Reid demands climate bill ASAP

Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has instructed Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to produce a revamped climate bill as soon as possible, according to sources, a task Kerry intends to accomplish within two weeks. (Washington Post)


California AG tries to sabotage anti-cap-and-trade ballot initiative

California attorney general Jerry Brown is trying to sabotage the state anti-cap-and-trade ballot initiative by changing its name.

The ballot initiative would rollback the California cap-and-trade law (AB 32) pending a decline in state unemployment.

The original name of the ballot initiative was the:

California Jobs Initiative

The initiative’s new Brown-ized name is the:

Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters To Report And Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming Until Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level For Full Year Initiative

Who wouldn’t vote for that? (Green Hell)


Investigate Climate Crimes

Imhofe: Pushing for a probe of what he sees as a costly hoax. AP

Imhofe: Pushing for a probe of what he sees as a costly hoax. AP View Enlarged Image

Climate Fraud: A senator wants an investigation of the false climate testimony before Congress and wants Al Gore to reappear. The illegalities may involve more than just lying to Congress.

At a hearing Tuesday by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the Environmental Protection Agency's budget, ranking Republican James Inhofe told EPA head Lisa Jackson that man-induced climate change was a "hoax" concocted by ideologically motivated researchers who "cooked the science."

More than that, Inhofe, in releasing a GOP report questioning the science used to support cap-and-trade legislation, hinted that such activities may be part of a vast criminal enterprise designed to bilk governments, taxpayers and investors while enriching those making the false claims.

In asking the administration to investigate what he called "the greatest scientific scandal of our generation," Inhofe called for Gore to be summoned to explain and defend his earlier testimony in light of the Climate-gate e-mail scandal and admissions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) was essentially a work of fiction. (IBD)


EDITORIAL: EPA's global-warming power grab - Senate should overturn greenhouse gas regulations

Scientific scandals and record snowfalls have begun to melt away the congressional appetite for more global-warming regulations. On Sunday, to take the latest example, a major scientific journal admitted that "oversights" compelled the retraction of its conclusion that sea levels were rising as a result of increased worldwide temperatures. Reports of this sort make it increasingly difficult for members of Congress to enter iced-over districts to ask their constituents to make economic sacrifices in an attempt to appease Mother Earth into favoring us with colder weather.

This does not mean, however, that the left has given up on global warming as a means of exerting more government control over the economy.

To avoid a potentially messy vote, President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency has turned to the administrative rule-making process to impose climate-control regulations. In December, the agency made an "endangerment finding" that declared that six gases - including the carbon dioxide you are exhaling as you read this - are putting the planet's well-being in peril. The first major rule based on this finding will be finalized next month.

President George W. Bush's EPA administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, warned that such a finding would result in a major government power grab. "[T]he potential regulation of greenhouse gases under any portion of the Clean Air Act could result in an unprecedented expansion of EPA authority that would have a profound effect on virtually every sector of the economy and touch every household in the land," he explained.

Fortunately, Mr. Obama's team might not get away with it. So far, 40 senators have signed on to an effort by Sen. Lisa A. Murkowski, Alaska Republican, to nullify the EPA endangerment finding. Three Democrats have been willing to co-sponsor the legislation, but Senate sources suggest a number of others may be willing to vote for the bill when it comes to the floor. (The Washington Times)


Good grief! EPA Will Need Increased Climate Funding as Regs Ramp Up, Jackson Says

U.S. EPA will need increased funding for climate programs in future years as the agency moves forward on efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Administrator Lisa Jackson said yesterday.

"I would expect that the needs would continue to grow as we move into a world -- either through legislation, hopefully through legislation, but possibly also with regulation -- of increasing activity on climate change," Jackson told the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee.

President Obama's fiscal 2011 request would allot $56 million -- including $43 million in new funding -- for regulatory programs to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The climate funding was increased even as EPA's total budget was trimmed to $10 billion -- about $300 million lower than 2010 enacted levels.

The proposed increase in funding is aimed at aiding states as they begin to implement forthcoming greenhouse gas regulations and for EPA to develop new standards and pollution control guidance. EPA is expected to roll out its first greenhouse gas regulations next month for cars and light duty vehicles; those rules will also trigger stationary source regulations.

Despite the increased funding request, Jackson and other Obama administration officials continue to voice a preference for comprehensive energy and climate legislation over EPA regulation.

While Jackson predicted that EPA will need even more cash for climate programs, the top Republican on the House panel questioned the proposed spending levels. ( Greenwire)

Rather than given blank checks the EPA should be expunged. Misanthropic ratbags.


CTM is Contacted by the Norfolk Constabulary and Responds

Me ~ ctm

by charles the moderator

I received the following this morning,

Dear Mr Rotter

I am part of the enquiry team who are investigating the theft of data from the UEA in Norwich last year.
As part of the investigation we would like to speak to everyone who has made any requests for information relating to the CRU at the UEA.
Records indicate that you made such a request last year and as a result I would like to discuss this and any other knowledge you may have with you at a convenient time.
Please can you contact me (I would suggest initially by e mail) leaving a contact number so that we can have a chat.

Kind regards

Sean Baker

Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


No offence established?

Some explanation of the rather surprising statements on FoI made by Sir Edward Acton and his colleagues in their submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee has emerged. As noted in the previous post, Sir Edward said that no offence under the FoI had been established and that the evidence was prime facie in nature. Here is the exact quote for reference

On 22 January 2010, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) released a statement to a journalist, which was widely misinterpreted in the media as a finding by the ICO that UEA had breached Section 77 of the FOIA by withholding raw data. A subsequent letter to UEA from the ICO (29 January 2010) indicated that no breach of the law has been established; that the evidence the ICO had in mind about whether there was a breach was no more than prima facie; and that the FOI request at issue did not concern raw data but private email exchanges.

Click to read more ... (Bishop Hill)


Acton analysis

I've now had a chance to cast an eye over Sir Edward Acton's contribution to the Parliamentary Select Committee's inquiry into CRU. Like many commenters, I'm not impressed.

It's every man for himself

The contribution is billed as as being submitted by Sir Edward, "with additional comment provided, where indicated, by the University's Climatic Research Unit". It's interesting to note, therefore, that the controversial sections are attributed to the CRU rather than to Sir Edward, so there's a strong hint that the UEA boss is not confident enough of what Jones et al are saying to want to put his name against it. Joint and several liability is a dangerous thing when giving evidence to one's political masters, it seems.

Click to read more ... (Bishop Hill)


Ben Santer vs Steve McIntyre

Judith Curry determined that the recent scandals surrounding the climate science are just a problem with its image: the climate skeptics who used to be just shills for Big Oil and who could be dismissed - because Big Oil is bad and no one needs oil, anyway ;-) - were suddenly transformed because they incorporated many open source software advocates who fight against the evil commercial software industry (which is similar to Big Oil). It's the main change that occurred, according to Dr Curry.

She thinks it's enough to repaint the makeup so that the good, left-wing people are on the side of the alarm and the skeptics become the bad "deniers" once again, so that the world is nice, simple, and black-and-white. Anthony Watts will surely help her to achieve this goal and the IPCC will return to the good old tracks, she thinks. ;-) (See my reply to her opinions. You may also read Climate Progress to find out that the hardcore AGW activists' reaction to her essay is much less friendly than Watts' or mine.)

(I am using my own words and simplifications to make her text more entertaining but if you read it, the essence of her proposals is the same.) ... (The Reference Frame)


Judith, I love ya, but you’re way wrong …

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Judith Curry posted here on WUWT regarding rebuilding the lost trust we used to have in climate science and climate scientists. This is my response to her post, an expansion and revision of what I wrote in the comments on that thread.

First, be clear that I admire Judith Curry greatly. She is one of the very, very few mainstream climate scientists brave enough to enter into a public dialogue about these issues. I salute her for her willingness to put her views on public display, and for tackling this difficult issue.

As is often my wont in trying to understand a long and complex dissertation, I first made my own digest of what Judith said. To do so, I condensed each of her paragraphs into one or a few sentences. Here is that digest:

Digest of Judith Curry’s Post: On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust

Read the rest of this entry »


Watson vs. Pielke on IPCC at Yale e360

In parallel with Robert T. Watson, former chair of the IPCC, I have a piece over at Yale e360 on the IPCC. Watson argues that the IPCC needs some minor tinkering but is otherwise sound. I call for more comprehensive reforms.

Please visit there, read both essays and then feel free to return here and ask questions or discuss. Here are a few short excerpts:

Watson: So does the IPCC process need to be significantly revised? I would argue no, that the IPCC is more than capable of conducting rigorous and reliable assessments in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner. But the IPCC needs to regain its full and deserved credibility. The procedures for the selection of authors and review editors and the peer-review process and approval of reports are all sound. What is needed is to tighten up the implementation of these procedures, coupled with training of authors and review editors. The selected authors need to represent the full range of credible views, including those of the skeptics, and must ensure that all statements are based on sound science and that the citations used contain convincing evidence.
Pielke: Standing up for climate science means openly supporting reform of the IPCC while underscoring its institutional importance. The climate science community has failed to meet its own high standards. If the IPCC continues to pretend that things will soon get back to normal or that it need only castigate its critics as deniers and skeptics, it will find that its credibility will continue to sink to new lows. It is time to reform the IPCC.
(Roger Pielke Jr)


World Warming Unhindered By Cold Spells: Scientists

SINGAPORE - The pace of global warming continues unabated, scientists said on Thursday, despite images of Europe crippled by a deep freeze and parts of the United States blasted by blizzards.

The bitter cold, with more intense winter weather forecast for March in parts of the United States, have led some to question if global warming has stalled.

Understanding the overall trend is crucial for estimating consumption of energy supplies, such as demand for winter heating oil in the U.S. northeast, and impacts on agricultural production.

"It's not warming the same everywhere but it is really quite challenging to find places that haven't warmed in the past 50 years," veteran Australian climate scientist Neville Nicholls told an online climate science media briefing. (Reuters)


But: ANALYSIS-Scientists examine causes for lull in warming

LONDON/OSLO, Feb 25 - Climate scientists must do more to work out how exceptionally cold winters or a dip in world temperatures fit their theories of global warming, if they are to persuade an increasingly sceptical public.

At stake is public belief that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet, and political momentum to act as governments struggle to agree a climate treaty which could direct trillions of dollars into renewable energy, away from fossil fuels. (Reuters)


Quality, not volume

The global warming began falling in Staten Island NY at 8 am their time (five hours behind the UK). By the time it has finished, perhaps by tomorrow morning, 12-14 inches may have accumulated, whipped up by strong winds, possibly gusting to hurricane force.

Not under any conceivable circumstances however, are the warmists prepared to concede that this – or the exceptionally hard winter throughout the northern hemisphere – in any way affects their beliefs.

Instead, we hear tell that climate scientists must do more to work out how exceptionally cold winters or a dip in world temperatures fit their theories of global warming if they are to persuade an increasingly sceptical public.

And there lies a brilliant illustration of exactly where the so-called science has gone completely off the rails. The mindset is focused on trying to make "inconvenient truths" fit the hypothesis, rather than evaluating the new conditions to see if they refute it. (EU Referendum)


More on NCDC Temperature Data “Adjustments”, Reports SPPI

Washington, DC 2/25/2010 04:36 PM GMT

The Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) has released another paper examining the surface temperature data adjustments by U.S. Government-funded scientists.

Both the Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS), the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC),  have come under increasing scrutiny and criticism for their station selections and the protocols used for adjusting raw data.  The outcome of the on-going tampering with raw data is the appearance of significant warming in the contiguous 48 States.

Writing in Contiguous U.S. Temperature Trends Using NCDC Raw and Adjusted Data for One-Per-State Rural and Urban Station Sets, Dr. Edward Long states, “The problem would seem to be the methodologies engendered in treatment for a mix of urban and rural locations; that the ‘adjustment’ protocol appears to accent to a warming effect rather than eliminate it.  This, if correct, leaves serious doubt for whether the rate of increase in temperature found from the adjusted data is due to natural warming trends or warming because of another reason, such as erroneous consideration of the effects of urban warming.” (TransWorldNews)


Climatology: A Generalist Study In a Specialized World

In the climate debate most are struggling because they can’t see the forest for the trees.

They’re confused by disagreements between scientists and the diversity of information from a multitude of areas.

Their dilemmas are a function of 200 years of evolution of knowledge and research, especially in weather and climate. (Tim Ball, CFP)


Pachauri cancels US tour

IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri announced yesterday that the IPCC was working on a strategy to better police the experts who produce its studies, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Pachauri said,

“We certainly don’t feel comfortable with the loss of even one iota of trust.”

So how many iotas are there in a sh**load, Raj?

Pachauri’s comments come in the wake of the cancellation of his high-profile visit to the US. He was scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the Wall Street Journal’s ECO-nomics conference (March 3-5 in Santa Barbara) and at the energy conference CERAWEEK 2010 (March 8-12 in Houston).

In addition to Climategate, Pachauri is laboring under revelations of financial conflicts of interest between his heading the IPCC and his private consultancies/board memberships/employment by renewable energy firms.

It could be, of course, that Pachauri simply couldn’t decide which of his custom-tailored suits to bring along on his trip — each of which costs about 10% of what the average worker in India makes. (Green Hell)


Dead wrong: Push to Oversimplify at Climate Panel

In the next few days, the world's leading authority on global warming plans to roll out a strategy to tackle a tough problem: restoring its own bruised reputation. 

A months-long crisis at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has upended the world's perception of global warming, after hacked emails and other disclosures revealed deep divisions among scientists working with the United Nation-sponsored group. That has raised questions about the panel's objectivity in assessing one of today's most hotly debated scientific fields.

The problem stems from the IPCC's thorny mission: Take sophisticated and sometimes inconclusive science, and boil it down to usable advice for lawmakers. To meet that goal, scientists working with the IPCC say they sometimes faced institutional bias toward oversimplification, a Wall Street Journal examination shows. (WSJ)

The IPCC has made the "problem" excessively complex. The real question is whether the world is warmer or cooler than should be expected (you need to know this before you know whether it is warming or recovering from excessive cold). The only factual answer at present is that we do not know and can not know until we properly determine earth's albedo under various natural cycle phases and that is likely going to take centuries. In the meantime get on with life and stop the absurd assault on carbon.


Charity begins with climate change

The plight of the Mongolian population, which is struggling through one of the worst winters in living memory, has at last been officially recognised. According to The Guardian - the only newspaper so far to record the event – the UN has launched a $4m appeal to clear up livestock killed by the big freeze in the country.

Rather than give money directly, creating a dependency culture, nomads are to be paid to collect and bury the carcases of animals killed by the cold, with a view to preventing disease and soil contamination.

The appeal comes after officials in Mongolia have declared more than half of the impoverished country a disaster area. So far, at least 2.5 million livestock have perished after weeks of persistent snow and temperatures below minus 50°C.

On current government estimates, three million more animals will die before the cold weather ends in June and the total economic losses so far are put at $62 million. Nearly two-thirds of the country has been buried under eight to 16 inches of hard-frozen snow, making grazing impossible for the country's herds of cows, yaks, goats, sheep, horses and camels.

As we have already noted, the slow response to this disaster – which has been completely ignored by UK charities - contrasts unfavourably with the concern shown by Oxfam for supposed climate change-related problems in the region.

One might have thought, therefore, that some alarm might be expressed about how charities dedicated to humanitarian relief are allowing their obsession with global warming to detract from their core mission.

That, however, does not seem to have occurred to Greg Clark, Conservative shadow secretary for energy and climate change. Recently addressing the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) annual conference, he told delegates that all organisations must make climate change central to their operations.

Charities have an important role to play in "humanising" climate change and showing the public how it is affecting populations, he said, acknowledging that campaigning and advocacy as a crucial role for charities dealing with climate change. He wants charities to take a lead role in raising awareness of climate issues.

More than content to see efforts thus diverted, Clark was evidently unconcerned at the modest amounts being directed to major disasters such as that affecting Mongolia, heedless of the billions being expended on climate change, much of it totally wasted.

Even a fraction of the amount spent by the UK government on carbon credits to keep civil servants warm would resolve the immediate problems in Mongolia, and perhaps help keep some children alive.

However, such is the mood of the age that we must learn to live with a new aphorism, that "charity begins with climate change". The likes of Greg Clark would obviously agree. (EU Referendum)


The worm's still in the apple: Al Gore a lightning rod at Apple shareholder meeting

CUPERTINO, Calif.--The presence of one of the world's pre-eminent environmentalists at Apple's shareholder meeting Thursday was the subject of much of the morning's pointed discussion.

As expected, Apple's attitude on environmental and sustainability issues was one of the main concerns of the stockholders present Thursday, followed closely by the company's immense pile of cash. But early harsh comments about former Vice President Al Gore's record set the tone.

Gore was seated in the first row, along with his six fellow board members, in Apple's Town Hall auditorium as several stockholders took turns either bashing or praising his high-profile views on climate change. (CNET News)


Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Feb. 25th 2010

In this weeks Round-Up you can vote for your favorite deadly gas, discover the pure joy of milk in a bag and learn the correct way to use a saucepan on a polar bear. I’m not kidding. (Daily Bayonet)


It's the icebergs wot's doin' it! Giant iceberg 'could change weather patterns'

AN iceberg the size of Luxembourg knocked loose from the Antarctic continent earlier this month could disrupt the ocean currents driving weather patterns around the globe, researchers said.

While the impact would not be felt for decades or longer, a slowdown in the production of colder, dense water could result in less temperate winters in the north Atlantic, they said.

The 2550 sq km block broke off on February 12 or 13 from the Mertz Glacier Tongue, a 160km spit of floating ice protruding into the Southern Ocean from East Antarctica due south of Melbourne, researchers said.

Some 400m thick, the iceberg could fill Sydney Harbour more than 100 times over.

It could also disturb the area's exceptionally rich biodiversity, including a major colony of emperor penguins near Dumont d'Urville, site of a French scientific station, according to the scientists.

"The ice tongue was almost broken already. It was hanging like a loose tooth,'' French glaciologist Benoit Legresy said.

Mr Legresy has been monitoring the Metz Glacier via satellite images and on the ground for a decade in cooperation with Australian scientists.

The billion-tonne mass was dislodged by another, older iceberg, known as B9B, which split off in 1987.

Jammed against the Antarctic continent for more than 20 years, B9B smashed into the Metz tongue like a slow-motion battering ram after it began to drift.

Both natural cycles and manmade climate change contribute to the collapse ice shelves and glaciers.

Tide and ocean currents constantly beat against exposed areas, while longer summers and rising temperatures also take a toll. (AFP)


Joke of the day: Pen Hadow returns to Arctic to study acidification of the oceans

The explorer Pen Hadow is mounting a new expedition to the Arctic to research “climate change's evil twin” – the acidification of the oceans caused by emissions of carbon dioxide. (The Independent)


The only disaster area is your bank balance

THERE was no apocalypse, no climate cataclysm. No change in our weather patterns.

Zilch. Nada. A big fat nothing.

But Sydney householders have still been hit with the bill for climate change disasters that never happened.

Your insurance premiums were mercilessly hiked last year, some by as much as 10 per cent, in preparation for what insurance experts labelled the "perfect storm" - a series of severe weather occurrences that were meant to pound our roofs and cars with rockmelon-sized hailstones, flood our lounge rooms knee-deep and leave us corner-bound, cowering from the environment's wrath.

Good trick, wasn't it?

Nothing like a scare campaign to empty wallets. The beneficiaries, insurance firms that boosted rates during an economic meltdown, are now rolling in cash. (Andrew Carswell, The Daily Telegraph)


Measuring economic decline: EU Industry CO2 Fell 11 Percent In 2009: Analysts

LONDON - Carbon dioxide emissions by companies regulated under the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme fell by 11 percent last year in the wake of the economic downturn, analysts said on Thursday.

Emissions by heavy industry across the 27-nation bloc fell to 1.886 billion tonnes in 2009, 233 million lower than the previous year, Point Carbon estimated.

The drop means there was a surplus in allocated EU carbon permits of 77 million tonnes, Point Carbon added. (Reuters)


India Explicitly Rejects Bringing Environmental Issues Into WTO

Posted by Sallie James

An article today in BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest (What? You don’t subscribe??) contains an explicit rejection by India’s trade minister of the idea that carbon border tax adjustments belong in the WTO’s agenda.  Border tax adjustments in this context refers to de facto tariffs that would “level the playing field” for domestic producers competing with foreign producers not subject to climate change policies of an equivalent rigour, also called “border carbon adjustments” or variations on that theme.

While Minister Khullar predicts that these sorts of measures will be in place in 2-3 years time, he rejects that the WTO is the forum to deal with environmental issues.

Furthermore, countries introducing such measures can expect litigation:

India and other developing countries will undoubtedly challenge the true impetus behind the [border carbon adjustment] measures.

“Such measures imposing restrictions on imports on the grounds of providing a ‘level playing field’, or maintaining the ‘competitiveness’ of the domestic industry, etc are likely to be viewed as mere protectionist measures by the developed world to block the exports of the poorer nations,” [a recent report from an Indian think-tank closely connected with the Indian government] reads. “This is because there is little empirical evidence that companies relocate to take advantage of lax pollution controls.”

The [report] argues that such unilateral trade measures will inevitably lead to tit-for-tat trade retaliation that could spiral into an all-out trade war. Such warnings have also been raised by China and several think tanks following the issue.

I’ve written before on the dangers of introducing climate change issues into the WTO (and Dan Griswold has written more broadly on why labor and environmental standards don’t mix well with the aim of freeing trade) but this is yet another firm, unequivocal warning to developed countries that their proposals (and they are still just proposals at this stage) will have consequences. Developed country politicians who insist on forcing rich-world standards on the poor world should listen carefully. (Cato @ liberty)


Always promising poor nations money for nothing -- that no one will ever give them: Poor nations could be paid to preserve marine CO2 -UN

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Feb 25 - Developing countries could in future earn money from reducing carbon emissions by protecting oceans and marine ecosystems, a top U.N. official said on Thursday.

Sea grasses, mangroves and salt marshes naturally store huge amounts of carbon but this is released as greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, when wetlands are drained or disturbed.

The head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, said a combination of public and private funds could be used to pay poor countries to repair and preserve carbon-rich marine environments.

"Do I believe that one day we might see a market for ocean-based carbon storage? I would say, at this point, why not?," Steiner told reporters at a UNEP conference in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesian island of Bali. (Reuters)


Why the feedback amplification can't be both positive and high

When no feedbacks are included, the greenhouse effect caused by CO2 adds about 1.2 °C per doubling of the CO2 concentration. This is a result of a rather clean physics problem. There's no real "complexity" in this problem: we reduce the Earth to a pretty manageable differential equation.

The doubling from the pre-industrial concentration of 280 ppm to 560 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere will occur slightly before 2100, assuming business as usual. If the figure 1.2 °C were the total answer, and assuming that the mankind has caused the whole 0.6-0.8 °C of the warming we may have seen in the last century or so, it would mean that 0.4-0.6 °C of man-made warming would be left by 2100 - less than the innocent 20th century change.

That's a completely unspectacular change. So this elementary greenhouse effect is not enough for the "applications" of the physical effect in policymaking. The advocates of carbon regulation and threats depend on some amplification of the man-made greenhouse effect, i.e. positive feedbacks. The IPCC would like the warming per the CO2 doubling to go as high as 5 °C and some people would be thrilled to see even higher figures - that seem to completely disagree with the small rate of the recent warming.

Feedbacks: geometric series

Imagine that you add some CO2. That changes the temperature by the "bare mechanism" of the greenhouse effect. But the modified temperature also changes some other things in the climate that may change the temperature again. These "second round" effects are called the feedbacks and they may change the temperature in both directions.

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)

If you would like a demonstration of functional feedback try our feature: How do they get a lot of warming from a little gas? with its interactive calculation forms. You'll seen see why "positive and high can not apply" when it comes to the dreaded climate feedback.


If carbon didn’t warm us, what did?

Graph: Svensmark reply to Lockwood and Frolich, Cosmic Rays

Svensmarks Cosmic Ray Theory. TOP: If the sun's magnetic field is weak it allows more cosmic rays, which may seed more clouds on Earth. BOTTOM: A strong solar magnetic field blocks the same rays and could mean less clouds and clearer skies.

People have known for 200 years that there’s some link between sunspots and our climate.  In 1800, the astronomer William Herschel didn’t need a climate model, he didn’t even have a calculator — yet he could see that wheat prices rose and fell in time with the sunspot cycle. Since then, people have noticed that rainfall patterns are also linked to sunspots.

Sunspots themselves don’t make much difference to us, but they are a sign of how weak or strong the sun’s magnetic field is. This massive solar magnetic field reaches out around the Earth, and it shields us from cosmic rays. Dr Henrik Svensmark has suggested that if more cosmic rays reach further down into our atmosphere, they might ionize molecules and help “seed” more clouds.
As it happens, this year, the sun has almost no sunspots, but for much of the late 20th Century, the solar magnetic field was extremely active. If the theory is right, an active field means a warming earth with fewer clouds. A quiet sun though, means a cooler earth with more clouds. More » (Jo Nova)


The Warning in the Stars

By David Archibald

If climate is not a random walk, then we can predict climate if we understand what drives it.  The energy that stops the Earth from looking like Pluto comes from the Sun, and the level and type of that energy does change.  So the Sun is a good place to start if we want to be able to predict climate.  To put that into context, let’s look at what the Sun has done recently.  This is a figure from “Century to millenial-scale temperature variations for the last two thousand years indicated from glacial geologic records of Southern Alaska” G.C.Wiles, D.J.Barclay, P.E.Calkin and T.V.Lowell 2007:


The red line is the C14 production rate, inverted.  C14 production is inversely related to solar activity, so we see more C14 production during solar minima.  The black line is the percentage of ice-rafted debris in seabed cores of the North Atlantic, also plotted inversely.  The higher the black line, the warmer the North Atlantic was.  The grey vertical stripes are solar minima.  As the authors say, “Previous analyses of the glacial record showed a 200- year rhythm to glacial activity in Alaska and its possible link to the de Vries 208-year solar (Wiles et al., 2004). Similarly, high-resolution analyses of lake sediments in southwestern Alaska suggests that century-scale shifts in Holocene climate were modulated by solar activity (Hu et al., 2003).  It seems that the only period in the last two thousand years that missed a de Vries cycle cooling was the Medieval Warm Period.”

The same periodicity over the last 1,000 years is also evident in this graphic of the advance/retreat of the Great Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland (below enlarged here):


The solar control over climate is also shown in this graphic of Be10 in the Dye 3 ice core from central Greenland (below enlarged here)::


The modern retreat of the world's glaciers, which started in 1860, correlates with a decrease in Be10, indicating a more active Sun that is pushing galactic cosmic rays out from the inner planets of the solar system.

The above graphs show a correlation between solar activity and climate in the broad, but we can achieve much finer detail, as shown in this graphic from a 1996 paper by Butler and Johnson (below enlarged here)::


Butler and Johnson applied Friis-Christensen and Lassen theory to one temperature record - the three hundred years of data from Armagh in Northern Ireland.  There isn�t much scatter around their line of best fit, so it can be used as a fairly accurate predictive tool.  The Solar Cycle 22/23 transition happened in the year of that paper’s publication, so I have added the lengths of Solar Cycles 22 and 23 to the figure to update it.  The result is a prediction that the average annual temperature at Armagh over Solar Cycle 24 will be 1.4C cooler than over Solar Cycle 23.  This is twice the assumed temperature rise of the 20th Century of 0.7 C, but in the opposite direction.

To sum up, let’s paraphrase Dante: The darkest recesses of Hell are reserved for those who deny the solar control of climate. See PDF. (Icecap)


Sea Level Shenanigans

Last year the Met Office, the Natural Environmental Research Council and the Royal Society released a joint pre-Copenhagen Conference statement that included as one of its five main scientific points:

“There is increasing evidence of continued and accelerating sea-level rises around the world.”

At around the same time the Royal Society also said in a press statement touching on sea level changes that, “…estimates generally larger than those previously projected including evidence of continued and accelerating sea-level change around the world.”

However, a closer look at the data supporting this statement reveals that it is difficult to justify. What is the evidence that sea levels are rising and, indeed, accelerating? (Dr. David Whitehouse, GWPF)


Oh boy... Experts will be studying conflicts caused by climate change in Europe and Africa

Meeting with experts in Barcelona to begin the European research project CLICO -- Climate Change, Water Conflict and Human Security

The European research project CLICO -Climate Change, Water Conflict and Human Security- devoted to the study of climate change and its social dimensions will begin in February with conferences that will take place from 25 to 27 February in Bellaterra. During the next three years, researchers from 14 institutes, under the direction of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), will be analysing the effects hydro-climatic phenomena -drought, flooding and rise of sea levels- have on the intensification of social tension and conflicts in eleven regions of the Mediterranean, Maghreb, Middle East and Sahel, and will propose specific actions to guarantee the peace and security of the population in each area. (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)


Always assuming the climate is changing in accord with their guesstimations:  NOAA, NASA and Old Dominion Researchers Measure Impacts of Changing Climate on Ocean Biology

Results of Northwest Atlantic Field Program Could Be Applied Worldwide

A three-year field program now underway is measuring carbon distributions and primary productivity in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean to help scientists worldwide determine the impacts of a changing climate on ocean biology and biogeochemistry. The study, Climate Variability on the East Coast (CliVEC), will also help validate ocean color satellite measurements and refine biogeochemistry models of ocean processes. (Press Release)


€3.9 billion out of thin air

So desperate is the EU commission to pursue its fantasy of "carbon capture and storage" (CCS) for coal-fired power stations that it is conjuring money out of thin air to kick-start the scheme – a cool €3.9 billion.

Needless to say, though, there is no such thing as a free euro. The bill will eventually have to be picked up by electricity consumers throughout the EU.

The magic trick being pulled off by the commission is to issue 300 million carbon "allowances", supposedly from a reserve stock, and to give them – entirely free of charge - to generators who are willing to build CCS demonstration projects.

At the current market price of about €13 each, equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide, the price could increase significantly if the price rises. Generators who are given the allowances can sell them to other generators who are short of carbon quota, the sums paid being recovered through hidden levies on electricity bills.

The first tranche of 200 million will be awarded in 2011, with the remainder issued in 2013, covering up to eight schemes. Provision is also being made to fund experimental renewable energy projects.

Contributions from national governments and generators are also expected and, if the Energy Bill currently going through parliament succeeds, four of the projects may be built in Britain, at an estimated cost of up to £1 billion each.

As if this wasn't sufficient madness, the Troy and Lib-Dim oppositions ganged up on the government this week, demanding mandatory emission caps on coal-fired plants – sufficiently restrictive to ensure that no generator could continue in business.

Even this government had the sense to realise quite how mad the opposition proposal was, using its majority to defeat an amendment to the Bill. But the vote was a close-run thing, slashing the in-built 57-strong majority to just eight. (EU Referendum)


Theo exposes the carbon capture con

Theo Theophanous, John Brumby’s former energy minister, blows the whistle on the clean-coal technology that Labor claims will cut our emissions without huge job losses:

AUSTRALIA should debate going nuclear and Victoria should be prepared to host nuclear power stations, former state energy minister Theo Theophanous said yesterday.

In a dramatic final speech to Parliament, the retiring Labor heavyweight called on Kevin Rudd to lead a national debate on nuclear power.

Mr Theophanous said Australia could not afford to put all its eggs in the ‘’clean coal’’ basket because the ‘’Holy Grail’’ of storing carbon underground might never be viable.

That would be more of your billions wasted:

Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has announced four projects which will move to the next stage of assessment in the $2 billion Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Flagships Program.

(Andrew Bolt)


Hello! Where were they? Geologic Carbon Storage Can NEVER Work, says new US study

If world leaders – still reeling from the fiasco of the Copenhagen Summit in the global war against carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – were hoping to find technological ‘solace’ on their return, the news could not be worse. Central to hopes for the future management of carbon dioxide emissions are theories associated with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). That is, collecting and storing the carbon emitted from burning fossil fuels underground, mainly beneath the ocean floor. However, a new US study just published exposes the concept of subsea CO2 management as “overwhelming in both physical needs and costs” and the entire strategy for geological sequestration per se as “profoundly non-feasible”. (Peter C. Glover, CFP) | The full report can be downloaded here.

Wrong target, wrong mechanism, just plain wrong headed.


Punitive taxes would cost jobs, hitting economy

By Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) - 02/22/10 08:01 PM ET

The surest way to rejuvenate our ailing economy, create American jobs, and strengthen our energy security is through an “all-of-the-above” energy policy that encourages production of our vast domestic resources. We can and should utilize all of the energy available to us, including natural gas, oil, coal, and nuclear — along with emerging alternative energy sources like wind, biofuels, geothermal, and solar. A new non-partisan government report shows that America is an energy-rich nation. The Congressional Research Service found that America’s combined supply of recoverable natural gas, oil, and coal is the largest on Earth. In fact, the CRS reports that America’s recoverable resources are far larger than those of Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th), and Canada (6th) combined — and that’s without including America’s immense oil shale and methane hydrates deposits. Additionally, just-released Department of Energy statistics show that the United States has eclipsed Russia as the world’s largest producer of natural gas. (The Hill)


Running Out of Oil?

Drilling for oil

As recent as last summer an article in The Independent, citing assessment from the lead economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that “The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production.” The 2008 report urged that we are at a crossroads and we need to transition rapidly to a low carbon fuel economy. It’s certainly not a new argument; it was a consensus in the 1970s that we were running out of oil too. Since oil is a finite resource, as a matter of physics, we will eventually run out of oil says George Mason professor Don Boudreaux. But,

Conventional wisdom, however, often is handicapped by a poor grasp of economics. And among the important lessons of economics is that the supply of resources is less a matter of physics than of, well, economics. First, no mineral, no plant, no geographical location, no anything becomes a resource unless and until human creativity and ingenuity figure out how to put that thing to use in a manner that satisfies human wants. Petroleum was no resource to our ancestors who had yet to grasp the fact that it can be refined and burned in ways that improve the quality of life. In fact, I suspect that whenever that gooey, noxious black stuff appeared in freshwater creeks in pre-Columbian Pennsylvania, natives of that region regarded it as a nuisance.

Continue reading... (The Foundry)


NARUC Study: Robust Oil and Gas Resources Could Be Developed for Consumers and Taxpayers (big opportunity for decision makers!)

by Dave Harbour (Guest Blogger)
February 25, 2010

At the NARUC Winter Meeting in Washington D.C. last week, a Study Group composed of regulatory commissioners, consultants, government and university economists, and non-profit association sponsors released their energy research report: ANALYSIS OF THE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF MAINTAINING OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION MORATORIA ON AND BENEATH FEDERAL LANDS
(Assessment of the Combined Relative Impacts of Maintaining Moratoria and Increased Domestic Onshore and Offshore Oil and Gas Resource Estimates).

The just released study, prepared by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and subcontractor Gas Technology Institute (GTI), makes a resounding case for the federal government to consider exploration and production on land and offshore for the common good.  And far from being an ‘industry group’, the ‘Moratoria Study Group’ represented a formidable national body of public and private energy experts whose study found that consumers, the national economy, vast new employment potential  and national defense could benefit from plentiful, affordable and reliable domestic energy resources.

The study makes several important findings and public-policy points.

1. Increased Estimates of Domestic Oil and Gas Resources

The report increased government estimates of the U.S. domestic natural gas resource base from 1,748 Trillion Cubic Feet (Tcf) to 2,034 Tcf, and increased the estimate of crude oil resources from 186 billion barrels of oil (Bbo) to 229 Bbo.   It also revealed that a multi-trillion dollar impact on American citizens of not developing resources could result in increased energy imports; increased gasoline, natural gas and electricity prices; along with decreased jobs, gross domestic product and family disposable income.

2. Congress and President Removed Moratoria, but Resources Still Unavailable

“The previous Administration and Congress removed oil and gas moratoria on public lands over one year ago,” Study Group chair O’Neal Hamilton said, “but required actions to access the energy resources thought to exist there have not been taken.” (Hamilton is past Chairman of the South Carolina Public Service Commission and Chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ NARUC Committee on Gas, which initiated the study in 2007.)

“Whether additional Federal lands should be leased for energy development–and under what conditions leasing should occur–is a matter for national energy policy decision makers,” Hamilton said.  “Our research allows policy makers to know the extent of the resource base and the effects that maintaining the restrictions would have on the country. Our public interest work is dedicated to giving decision makers information upon which they can rely in developing America’s national energy policy.”

3. Dramatic Negative Effects from Not Developing U.S. Resources [Read more →] (MasterResource)


I really don't like rent-seekers: Coal-to-gas company wants utilities required to buy its electricity

A Louisville company that's planning to build a coal-to-natural gas manufacturing plant in western Kentucky wants a state law that would require utilities to buy electricity from facilities like theirs.

A reprehensive of the Erora Group told a legislative committee Thursday that it would be able to complete financing for its Cash Creek Project if utilities were compelled to buy electricity from producers of renewable and alternative forms of energy.

The Cash Creek Project is designed to gasify 2.8 million tons per year of Kentucky coal to produce natural gas that would be sold through an interstate pipeline and burned to produce electricity.

The House has already passed a separate bill that would let one of its business partners condemn private property for a pipeline that would send its carbon dioxide to Texas to be used to help extract oil and natural gas from the ground there. (Courier-Journal)


Spain Eyes New Nuclear Waste Disposal Plan

With a global nuclear renaissance in the works, the quagmire of what to do with waste is back with a bite. And Madrid’s decisions on the matter could point to a trend. [Read More] (Andres Cala, Energy Tribune)


South Carolina To Sue Government Over Nuclear Waste Decision

CHARLESTON, South Carolina - South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster said on Wednesday he would take legal action to stop President Barack Obama from dropping plans to build a nuclear waste storage facility in Nevada.

Last month the Obama administration announced it was stopping the license application for a long-planned nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain near Las Vegas, which is opposed by environmental groups.

McMaster said that he would file a petition to intervene with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week and plans to take additional legal action in appellate courts in Washington and Virginia on Friday. (Reuters)


Vermont Senate Votes to Close Nuclear Plant

MONTPELIER, Vt. — In an unusual state foray into nuclear regulation, the Vermont Senate voted 26 to 4 Wednesday to block operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant after 2012, citing radioactive leaks, misstatements in testimony by plant officials and other problems.

Unless the chamber reverses itself, it will be the first time in more than 20 years that the public or its representatives has decided to close a reactor.

The vote came just more than a week after President Obama declared a new era of rebirth for the nation’s nuclear industry, announcing federal loan guarantees of $8.3 billion to assure the construction of a twin-reactor plant near Augusta, Ga. (NYT)


New process yields high-energy-density, plant-based transportation fuel

MADISON — A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has developed a highly efficient, environmentally friendly process that selectively converts gamma-valerolactone, a biomass derivative, into the chemical equivalent of jet fuel.

The simple process preserves about 95 percent of the energy from the original biomass, requires little hydrogen input, and captures carbon dioxide under high pressure for future beneficial use. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

If only there was a real reason to do so...


Kristof, you idiot! Do Toxins Cause Autism?

Autism was first identified in 1943 in an obscure medical journal. Since then it has become a frighteningly common affliction, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting recently that autism disorders now affect almost 1 percent of children.

Over recent decades, other development disorders also appear to have proliferated, along with certain cancers in children and adults. Why? No one knows for certain. And despite their financial and human cost, they presumably won’t be discussed much at Thursday’s White House summit on health care.

Yet they constitute a huge national health burden, and suspicions are growing that one culprit may be chemicals in the environment. An article in a forthcoming issue of a peer-reviewed medical journal, Current Opinion in Pediatrics, just posted online, makes this explicit.

The article cites “historically important, proof-of-concept studies that specifically link autism to environmental exposures experienced prenatally.” It adds that the “likelihood is high” that many chemicals “have potential to cause injury to the developing brain and to produce neurodevelopmental disorders.”

The author is not a granola-munching crank but Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, professor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and chairman of the school’s department of preventive medicine. While his article is full of cautionary language, Dr. Landrigan told me that he is increasingly confident that autism and other ailments are, in part, the result of the impact of environmental chemicals on the brain as it is being formed. (NYT)

Phil Landrigan, well-known anti-pesticide activist and Clown Prince of Chemophobia may not munch granola but "crank" is a label that seems well deserved -- and you've given him a platform for his insane chemical bashing, again. He's the "scientific expert" trotted out by New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli in an effort to make schools safe -- for disease-spreading roaches and rodents -- at the risk of our children's health by trying to ban pesticide use in schools. He's flown the flag for NRDC and the hysterical Alar campaign. In fact, Landrigan has a long and shameful history of chemical scaremongering.

And here's Kristof and The Crone trotting him out yet again to terrorize people already confused by the dazzling shape-shifting and expanding definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder, who are now to wonder whether they poisoned their developing child, causing them to miss the standardized "normal" classification. Shame!

Even worse, Kristof hangs absurd and long-debunked phthalate danger assertions on this chemophobia piece like baubles on a Christmas tree and, for good measure, scary-sounding mercury, lead, tobacco and asbestos, all to set the scene for the anti-everything "precautionary principle".


Obesity and physical inactivity poses arthritis risk, especially for women - Study shows arthritis rates are higher in US compared with Canada

Researchers from the Toronto Western Research Institute noted a higher prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations (AAL) in the U.S. versus the Canadian population. The authors attribute the higher prevalence of arthritis and AAL to a greater level of obesity and physical inactivity in Americans, particularly women. Full findings of this study are published in the March issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology. 

Arthritis is the leading cause of physical disability, and one of the most frequently reported chronic conditions in the U.S. and Canada. Those in mid to late life are particularly vulnerable to this disabling condition, which is expected to increase in both countries due to the aging baby boomer population. According to a 2005 figure from the National Arthritis Data Workgroup more than 21% of American adults (46 million) have arthritis or another rheumatic condition and over 60% of arthritis patients are women. The 2008 Canadian Community Health Survey reported 15.3% (4.3 million) of Canadians have some form of arthritis, with more women then men affected. 

This study is the first to provide a direct comparison of U.S. and Canadian data in search of between-country disparities associated with the prevalence of arthritis and AAL. The authors analyzed results from the Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health (JCUSH) conducted in cooperation by Statistics Canada and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics during 2002-2003. Data were obtained for 3,505 Canadians and 5,183 Americans with an overall response rate of 65.5% and 50.2%, respectively. (Wiley-Blackwell)


Children and obese hard hit by swine flu

WASHINGTON - People who were morbidly obese and school-aged children were much more likely to become seriously ill or to die from H1N1 swine flu, U.S. experts said on Wednesday.

Preliminary data showed the morbidly obese had four times the rate of hospitalizations and deaths, while the death rate for children was five times higher than usual, experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

They are working up detailed studies of the pandemic in the United States, the CDC's Dr. Nancy Cox, Dr. Anne Schuchat and Dr. Lyn Finelli told a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

"We estimate that the deaths in children are probably five fold higher, at least, than what is usually seen in seasonal flu," Schuchat told the meeting. (Reuters)


Everyone in US should get flu vaccine - experts

WASHINGTON - Everyone in the United States over the age of six months should get seasonal influenza vaccines every year, federal vaccine advisers said on Wednesday.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices made the long-awaited vote to recommend virtually universal flu vaccination -- something public health experts have long recommended.

"The new recommendation seeks to remove barriers to influenza immunization and signals the importance of preventing influenza across the entire population," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. (Reuters)


At Closing Plant, Ordeal Included Heart Attacks

The first to have a heart attack was George Kull Jr., 56, a millwright who worked for three decades at the steel mills in Lackawanna, N.Y. Three weeks after learning that his plant was closing, he suddenly collapsed at home.

Less than two hours later, he was pronounced dead.

A few weeks after that, a co-worker, Bob Smith, 42, a forklift operator with four young children, started having chest pains. He learned at the doctor’s office that he was having a heart attack. Surgeons inserted three stents, saving his life.

Less than a month later, Don Turner, 55, a crane operator who had started at the mills as a teenager, was found by his wife, Darlene, slumped on a love seat, stricken by a fatal heart attack.

It is impossible to say exactly why these men, all in relatively good health, had heart attacks within weeks of one another. But interviews with friends and relatives of Mr. Kull and Mr. Turner, and with Mr. Smith, suggest that the trauma of losing their jobs might have played a role.

“He was really, really worried,” George Kull III said of his father. “With his age, he didn’t know where he would get another job, or if he would get another job.” (NYT)

Yes, losing your job increases stress -- that's not good for your health. Let's not get carried away here though. It was not being laid off that created the need for three cardiac stents in a 40-something male, that was atherosclerosis, which is not at all associated with sudden onset from stress but rather gradual buildup. Worrying about the future might have contributed in a small way to the fatal coronaries of the cited 50-something men but it is not correct to say they were in good health since they all apparently had cardiac conditions, albeit previously undiagnosed.

About all that can really be said here is that booming economies are good for your health. The corollary is really that small government and low tax rates are the best health care a sovereign nation can provide.


Heart disease risk tied to mom's number of births

NEW YORK - A woman's risk of heart disease and stroke in middle-age and beyond may be associated with the number of children she gives birth to, a large study of Swedish women hints.

"Women having two births had the lowest risk of future cardiovascular disease," Dr. Erik Ingelsson, at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, noted in an email to Reuters Health, while women having five or more births had the highest risk.

Prior studies looking at ties between number of births and women's later risk of heart disease have yielded conflicting results. Most of these studies were small. Ingelsson and his colleagues looked for an association between number of births and heart disease risk in 1.3 million Swedish women after they turned 50.

During follow up lasting up to 23 years (average of 9.5 years), more than 65,000 heart disease-related events such as heart attack or stroke occurred, the researchers report in American Heart Journal.

Compared with women who gave birth twice (the lowest risk group), women with no, one, or three births had about 10 percent greater risk of future heart disease. The risk was 30 percent higher in women with four births and nearly 60 percent higher in women with five or more births. (Reuters Health)


They're only just realizing this? Smoke from home fuels tied to emphysema

NEW YORK - People who burn wood or other "biofuels" for heat or cooking may have a heightened risk of emphysema and related lung conditions, a new study suggests.

In an analysis of 15 international studies, researchers found that people exposed to smoke from "biomass" fuels in their homes generally had a greater risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than those who used other sources for cooking and heating.

Biomass refers to biological materials that can be burned for energy, including wood, crops and animal dung. They are major sources of energy in the developing world, and are thought to be used for cooking and heating in half of homes worldwide. (Reuters Health)


Nicotine is as addictive as nicotine? How do they do it? Swedish snuff just as addictive as cigarettes

NEW YORK - People who use smokeless tobacco, or "snuff," are just as hooked on nicotine as cigarette smokers, if not more so, new research from Sweden shows.

And those who smoke and use snuff may be especially nicotine-dependent, Dr. Ann Post of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and her colleagues found. (Reuters Health)


President Obama’s Refusal to Back Britain on Falklands is Disgrace

The Obama administration’s decision to remain neutral in the dispute between Great Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands is a shameful decision that will go down very badly across the Atlantic. As The Times has just reported, Washington has point blank refused to support British sovereignty over the Falklands, and is adopting a strictly neutral approach.

In the words of a State Department spokesman:

We are aware not only of the current situation but also of the history, but our position remains one of neutrality. The US recognises de facto UK administration of the islands but takes no position on the sovereignty claims of either party.

The remarks had echoes of an earlier statement by a senior State Department protocol official who, when asked about the shoddy treatment of the British Prime Minister in March last year, responded:

There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.

Even by the relentlessly poor standards of the Obama administration, whose doctrine unfailingly appears to be “kiss your enemies and kick your allies”, this is a new low. The White House’s neutrality in a major dispute between America’s closest friend and the likes of Venezuelan tyrant Hugo Chavez, Argentina’s biggest backer, represents the appalling appeasement of an alliance of anti-Western Latin American regimes, stretching from Caracas to Havana – combined with a callous indifference towards the Anglo-American alliance. Continue reading...


Social engineering in the Land Down-Under: Column - Making your house too good for you

IT takes a special kind of madness to run out of land for houses in this huge and near empty continent.

And even more madness - of the finger-wagging sort - to have made our houses among the dearest in the world.

Yeah, sure, celebrate a small victory when the Legislative Council this week blocked a “development tax” the Brumby Government hoped to slap on new housing estates on the city’s fringe.

But did you know the Government plans three new bits of meddling legislation to make houses even pricier, including one to force builders to make every new house disabled-friendly?

True. Every new house could soon have to have wheelchair access, wider doors and corridors, and a toilet big enough for a wheelchair in order to allow “most (disabled) people to visit a home with dignity”?

Don’t have disabled visitors? Well, get some. Oh, and reinforce your bathroom walls with extra noggins so handrails can be fitted more cheaply for the day that you’re old, too, and need them.

Yes, I know the families out in those new estates actually tend to be young and fit - and short of the $4300 that the Housing Industry Association warns this latest social engineering will cost.

But there’s no cost too great when government moralists dream of ways to improve you.

It’s thanks to their sort that the latest annual Demographia study of housing affordability shows our houses are already far too expensive for most young couples just trying to get a start.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Column - Making your house too good for you' (Andrew Bolt)


Carnegie Mellon's Chris Hendrickson tracks water use - Studying how US industry uses scarce water resources

PITTSBURGH—Just think, every time you feed Fido or flip a spoonful of sugar into your coffee cup, you use more than 300 gallons of water.

Checking the amounts of water it takes to make a $1 worth of sugar, cat and dog food or milk is part of a comprehensive study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers to document American industry's thirst for this scarce resource.

Chris T. Hendrickson, the Duquesne Light Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said the study shows that most water use by industry occurs indirectly as a result of processing, such as packaging and shipping of food crops to the supermarket, rather than direct use, like watering crops.

The study found it takes almost 270 gallons of water to produce a $1 worth of sugar; 140 gallons to make $1 worth of milk; and 200 gallons of water to make $1 worth of cat and dog food. (Carnegie Mellon University)

I don't care for these "bound water" claims since they are so misleading. Did this much water cease to exist in the earth? Of course not, it's merely part of a transient use cycle. Would the water not have evaporated from oceans and precipitated somewhere anyway? Again, that's silly, we either make temporary use of the water or it flows to sea (or evaporates off) anyway. Is there any reason other than misanthropy that we should not profit from making use of the water in various parts of its endless cycle?


Helping plants fertilize themselves

A BYU researcher helped discover a cellular tool some plants use to fertilize themselves. This fundamental understanding is important in the effort to reduce the 88 million tons of nitrogen fertilizer used worldwide every year. That in turn could help reduce fossil fuel use, because 3-5 percent of the world's natural gas is burned to make nitrogen fertilizer. The research is published in the journal Science. (


So where are all the triffids and dead consumers?

How much has our superstitious bans on GM crops, still maintained in some states, cost us? How far do we now trail our competitors, both in the development of this science and in market share?  The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Crops marks the rise and rise of the science-armed farmer:

2009 - Top 12 GM countries

64 (million hectares)
Soybean, corn, cotton, canola, squash, papaya, alfalfa (lucerne), sugarbeet

Soybean, corn, cotton

Soybean, corn, cotton


Canola, corn, soybean, sugarbeet

Cotton, tomato, poplar, papaya, sweet pepper


South Africa
Corn, soybean, cotton

Soybean, corn



Cotton, canola

Tasmania and South Australia still maintain bans on GM crops, and Western Australia lifted its own (partially) only last month. (Andrew Bolt)


Nanotechnology Tackles Major Problems Associated with Chemotherapy – Side Effects and Drug Resistance

Additional research focuses on practical application of nanotechnology across a wide range of fields including homeland defense and the environment
February 25, 2010

Huixin He, associate professor of nanoscale chemistry at Rutgers University, Newark, and Tamara Minko, professor at the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, have developed a nanotechnology approach that potentially could eliminate the problems of side effects and drug resistance in the treatment of cancer. Under traditional chemotherapy, cancer cells, like bacteria, can develop resistance to drug therapy, leading to a relapse of the disease.

As reported in the December 21, 2009, issue of the journal Small, He, Minko and their co-researchers, including investigators from Merck & Co. and Carl Zeiss SMT, a global nanotechnology firm, have designed nanomaterials that allow for the delivery of both a chemical (doxorubicin) to destroy cancer cells and a genetic drug to prevent drug resistance.

When administered to drug-resistant ovarian cancer cells, the treatment was more than 130 times lethal than when doxorubicin was administrated alone. “The drug can only be released when it is inside the cancer cells,” He said. “This controlled internal release mechanism can dramatically eliminate side effects associated with anticancer drugs to normal tissues.” (Rutgers)



"We're winning and they're losing"

In an interesting development in the ongoing saga of global warming - tell that to the Americans today when their "snow hurricane" hits them - Steve McIntyre has a novel perspective on the similarities between the "Climategate and Enron.

We are getting to the stage, though, where the whole climate charade is unravelling before our very eyes at a speed almost too fast to follow, leaving Real Climate railing against the "collapse" of journalistic standards.

That, in itself is highly indicative. We hear nothing about the constant diet of lurid scare stories in the media, but when The Guardian - of all papers - "sins" by offering semi-critical pieces, it gets a full broadside.

Criticism, however, is not confined to this obscure and ill-tempered blog. Tilts at journalists are one thing both warmists and sceptics have in common, even if UK media comment is still relatively muted.

For sure, we've had The Times pick up on the Met Office story about it wanting to revamp the temperature database, a story that Watts up with that? had a day earlier, after it was covered by Fox News.

We've also had Geoffrey Lean doing a bit of reporting instead of pontificating – which has to be a first. He is telling us that our favourite stage villain, Dr R K Pachauri, is facing his critics in Bali tonight – the environmental ministers of the member states who make up the UNFCCC. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


Transcript: Senator Wants Gore Stripped of Nobel Prize

Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto.

And the inconvenient truth this hour, winter ain’t letting up, which has Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe fed up at the man who won a Nobel Prize saying that the Earth was warming up. Inhofe has long called warming a hoax. Today, he is doing one better, dramatically better, demanding the Justice Department investigate what he calls the greatest scientific scandal of our generation.

First witness he wants to see testify? Al Gore.

With us now, James Inhofe.

Senator, any reaction as yet from the former vice president? (FNC)


Senators Boxer and Merkley Owe Apology, says SPPI

In Senate EPA hearings today false claims were made by Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Merkley (D-OR) that the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) is Exxon Mobil funded, implying its work and findings should be cast aside.

Says SPPI president, Robert Ferguson, “SPPI has never been offered or accepted funds or support in any form from Exxon Mobil. Senators Boxer and Merkley owe an apology and a correction in the record.” Added Ferguson, “It is rather simple for any senate staffer to call Exxon Mobil to verify the facts, or examine public filings for Exxon Mobil’s Contributions and Community Investments.

The intended slurs came as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson faced stern questioning from Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) about recent revelations of the shoddiness of the science underpinning the EPA’s CO2 ‘endangerment’ finding. (SPPI)


More Americans ‘Dismissive’ and Fewer ‘Alarmed’ About Global Warming

New Haven, Conn. — Researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities have identified six distinct “Americas” when it comes to the issue of global warming. One of these groups, the “Dismissive,” who believe global warming is not happening and is probably a hoax, has more than doubled in size since 2008 and now represent 16 percent of the American public, according to the report, Global Warming’s Six Americas, January 2010.

Meanwhile, the percentage of the “Alarmed”—Americans who are the most convinced that global warming is happening, is caused by humans and is a serious and urgent threat—has dropped from 18 percent in 2008 to 10 percent. (Yale University)


Al Gore Is Lying Low -- for Good Reason

Maybe Al Gore's been advised by legal counsel to lie low. He may be the leader of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) movement, but he's not defending it in public, not even when it's falling apart and his new fortune is based upon it. 

Mr. Gore and his financial backers earned millions of dollars in start-up "green" companies and carbon trading schemes. If the scam worked, he could've become the first "carbon billionaire."

"What goes up can fall down" applies to ill-gotten gains in the stock market or "carbon trading" schemes. In such schemes, it's foreseeable that trusting investors will (a) not only get hurt when the scam collapses, but they'll also (b) pursue legal remedies and sue him for fraud. (Rex McBride, American Thinker)


Al Gore found! JunkScience gets exclusive photos of MIA alarmist

Missing global warming alarmist Al Gore was captured today in a pre-dawn raid on his remote tropical island hideout.

The former vice president had been missing since the Copenhagen global warming conference last December, when he erroneously dismissed the Climategate scandal as having to do with e-mails that were 10 years old.

Since Gore was last seen in public, Climategate has been followed by glacier-gate, rainforest-gate, sea-level gate, the resignation of UN climate chief Yvo de Boer, revelations of IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri’s financial conflicts-of-interest and admissions by Climategate’s Phil Jones of no global warming since 1995 and the existence of a possibly warmer-than-now Medieval Warm Period. (Green Hell Blog)


Oh my... Climate change clear and present danger; ignore skeptics: Ban Ki-moon

UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon has asked the officials gathered at the environment ministerial meeting in Bali to reject attempts by climate skeptics who question the existence of climate change especially after the controversy surrounding the errors that have surfaced. 

"I urge you to reject the last-ditch attempts by climate skeptics to derail your negotiations by exaggerating shortcomings in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report," Ban said. 

"Tell the world that you unanimously agree that climate change is a clear and present danger, that you are working to implement agreements already made and that you are continuing negotiations under the UNFCCC to address climate change according to the demands of current scientific information," he added. (Economic Times)


Getting angry is not enough

Delingpole over on his blog tells us that it's "time to get angry" over global warming.

And if you needed any more reasons than you have already, then the story in The Register is a good place to start.

There, we learn that DECC, the fatuous department of climate change has spent £361,700 in the last 12 months on search keywords such as "climate change" and "global warming" to target Google users with government publicity urging them to cut their carbon emissions.

The Energy Saving Trust, meanwhile, had spent more than £270,000 on similar advertising in the last 12 months, with the two agencies bidding against each other for the key slots, thus driving up the cost to the taxpayer.

Personally, I don't know whether I should be angrier at the stupidity of government agencies, or the fact that another £600,000-plus of our money has been wasted the climate change propaganda effort.

The trouble with Delingpole's nostrum though is that anger needs to be directed, focused and then discharged at a suitable target, to achieve a specific effect.

Cue Gerald Warner writing in his blog about Dave's rather spectacular collapse in the opinion poll ratings, last seen giving him a mere six percent lead over Labour.

Here indeed is directed anger, aimed at the very target where, collectively, we have the capability to do real damage. For it is Dave who has within his capability, should his party win at the next election, to put a stop to this waste – and to the entire charade of climate change. But he will not and, for that, we need to make him suffer.

The Tory claque, on the other hand, tell us that if we don't vote for Dave, then we get another five years of Labour, under the leadership of Gordon Brown. But, in many areas, not least climate change, to say nothing of our rule from Brussels, this will make not the slightest bit of difference.

Thus, a change of face is not enough of a reason to vote Tory – we want something more than that, and so far a man wedded to personality politics has not been able to deliver. If he can't do that before an election, then the chances of him doing it when he is safely ensconced in Downing Street is nil. It is better to keep the Tories out until they get their acts together. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


China envoy says deep divides threaten climate talks

BEIJING, Feb 24 - Rich and developing countries have little hope of overcoming key disagreements over how to fight global warming, China's climate change ambassador said on Wednesday, warning of a year of troubled negotiations.

China's Special Representative for Climate Change Negotiations, Yu Qingtai, said as nations seek a new global treaty on climate change by the end of 2010, major players are unlikely to budge on the issues that stymied stronger agreement at the contentious Copenhagen climate summit in late 2009.

"There may be some adjustments and shifts in the positions and tactics of the various sides, but I personally believe that on some core issues, the positions of the major parties will not undergo any substantive changes," Yu said at a meeting in Beijing on China's climate change policies.

After they failed to agree on a comprehensive pact at Copenhagen, negotiators now hope to put together a binding treaty through meetings culminating in Mexico late this year. (Reuters)


'No intention' of capping emissions

But country 'still committed' to reducing carbon intensity 

China has no intention of capping its greenhouse gas emissions even as authorities are committed to realizing the nation's target to reduce carbon intensity through new policies and measures, the country's top climate change negotiators said yesterday. 

The negotiators also warned that rich and developing countries have little hope of overcoming key disagreements over how to fight global warming. 

China "could not and should not" set an upper limit on greenhouse gas emissions at the current phase, said Su Wei, the chief negotiator of China for climate change talks in Copenhagen, at a meeting in Beijing on China's climate change policies in the post-Copenhagen era. (China Daily)


Kevin Rudd suffers twin setbacks to carbon reduction scheme

KEVIN Rudd's carbon pollution reduction scheme has been dealt a double blow, with the Senate pushing a vote off until at least may and the scheme's last influential industry supporter declaring it off the agenda.

After calling for the CPRS to be passed last November, Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout said yesterday the fracturing of consensus on climate change policy and the failure of international negotiations meant there was no clear way forward. The AI Group would now consider the opposition's direct action approach as well as other emissions reduction options through a high-level industry leaders group to "identify the best way forward".

Ms Ridout's comments came after the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry this month declared their opposition to implementing an emissions reduction plan ahead of the rest of the world.

Last night, the Coalition was pushing for a new Senate inquiry into the government's scheme after succeeding in delaying the debate until May. Ms Ridout said that, in the longer term, the AI Group continued to see a market-based approach as the best means of delivering "least-cost abatement" but a cap-and-trade system was not included in five principles that would guide the industry leaders group's deliberations. (The Australian)

Still only partly right. The way forward is to expunge ridiculous carbon superstition and get on with life and development.


John Deere in the Headlights -- Why is the Company Lobbying for Cap-and-Trade?

Why is John Deere supporting cap-and-trade when an abundance of evidence suggests that it would harm its business? (Tom Borelli,


A Pending American Temperaturegate

Our study of data-massaging by the U.S. government agency charged with collecting temperature information raises uncomfortable questions.

We have been repeatedly told (perhaps "lectured" is a better word) the past twenty years that global warming is occurring. With Climategate and subsequent confessions and bailouts by scientists at the CRU, Penn State, Arizona State, IPCC, et al., we are learning that little to none of the factual content in their "peer reviewed" articles is true. The Medieval Warming Period did occur, and it was warmer than currently; the oceans are not going to flood the plains; and the Arctic Ocean may not be turning into a summer water park. Of course, the mainstream media, especially in the United States, has reported little of this news, and President Obama appears not to be well-informed. But now the global warming story grows more interesting because here in America, we may have our own little "gate." I will call it ATG, for "American Temperaturegate." ( Edward R. Long, American Thinker)


Met Office wants re-examination of 150 years of climate data

Plan comes at a time when public conviction about the threat of climate change has declined sharply after questions over the science (Mark Tran, The Guardian)

Wonder what will happen when the find most of the warming has been induced in tortured data rather than the real world?


Prospect of change

Prospect magazine, the house journal of the bien-pensant centre-left is the latest media outlet to throw in the towel and start discussing the other side of the climate debate. In its current issue it publishes a broadly sceptic take on the quality of the temperature records and notes some of the Climategate revelations.

Well worth a look. (Bishop Hill)


A scientist speaks out

SPPI receives many kind emails from members of the public who support our quiet but increasingly successful work in bringing some scientific and economic truth and perspective to the over-politicized debate about the climate. Here is a letter from an eminent scientist who has recently discovered what nonsense “global warming” is. (SPPI)


Can a leopard change its spots?

Fox News reports that the IPCC is on the brink of making major changes to the way it does business.

In the wake of its swift and devastating fall from grace, the panel says it will announce "within the next few days" that it plans to make significant though as yet unexplained changes in how it does business. 

Brenda Abrar-Milani, an external relations officer at the IPCC's office in Geneva, Switzerland, said changes have been slow in coming because "we have to inform the governments (all 194 member States) of any planned steps, and they are the ones who eventually take decisions on any revision of procedures."

"We put everything on the table and looked at it," she said, explaining that the panel's reforms would be extensive. She refused to detail any of the changes, but she did confirm that are in response to recent scandals involving the panel.

The article quotes Steve McIntyre, whose reaction seems to have been the same as mine:

Steve McIntyre, who also worked at the IPPC and whose blog, Climate Audit, has been one of the most vocal critics of the panel, says that while cries for reform have become loud, "very little thought has yet been put into what changes have to be made."

"I don't think they plan to change very much," he said. "They just don't know how to reform it."

(Bishop Hill) | FoxNews: IPCC plans big changes (Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame)


Trenberth, Christy and Pielke on IPCC Reform

The Council on Foreign Relations asked Kevin Trenberth, John Christy and me for capsule summaries of our views on reform of the IPCC. Here are snippets from the responses:

Trenberth: The IPCC review and oversight process is very rigorous. Clearly there can be and have been some lapses, but they appear to be fairly few. I do not think the system is broken and needs further change; it simply needs more attention to adhering to the process already in place.
Christy: [IPCC] lead authors are given powerful control by being vested with final review authority and thus are able to fashion a report that supports their own opinions while marginalizing countervailing views. This is not how the real uncertainties and difficulties of climate science may be established and communicated to policymakers.
Pielke: Unless the IPCC brings its institutional policies and procedures into the twenty-first century through a wholesale institutional reform, it will continue to come out on the losing end of challenges to its legitimacy and credibility.
(Roger Pielke Jr)


Rajendra Pachauri to defend handling of IPCC after climate change science row

Rajendra Pachauri, the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will defend his handling of a crisis that has shaken the world's faith in his organisation at a meeting of environmental leaders in Bali. (TDT)


A Comment On Judy Curry’s Post On Her Weblog Titled “On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust”

Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology has published an insightful discussion on the climate science debate. It is titled “On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust” and is worth reading.

I only have one comment on her excellent post and this is respect to treating the climate issue as having just two “camps”. She writes (bold face added).

“And finally, the blogosphere can be a very powerful tool for increasing the credibility of climate research. “Dueling blogs” (e.g. versus and versus can actually enhance public trust in the science as they see both sides of the arguments being discussed.”

As we summarize in our article

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union

there are actually three perspectives in the climate science debate. The view that is most robust scientifically, yet has been generally ignored by policymakers and others, is that

“Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influencesare significant and involve a diverse range of first- order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of these human infl uences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.”

We need more discussion on the blogs of this viewpoint, as it is well supported by the peer reviewed scientific literature (e.g. see). (Climate Science)


A Black Box

The IPCC has a Special Committee on Extreme Events and Disasters, which was set up in the spring of 2009. Andy Revkin has the story of my nomination to the committee, along with 30 other U.S. experts. Behind closed doors the IPCC selected 13 of these 31 nominees to serve on their committee. I was not included, despite the fact that I have more relevant publications than any other U.S. nominee (Google scholar) and numerous participants were selected who have no publications in the area of climate change and extreme events. Revkin finds this a bit curious, but was unable to get the IPCC to explain how it made its empanelment decisions.

The IPCC report includes the following focal areas, among others:

Changes in impacts of climate extremes: human systems and ecosystems
  • Role of climate extremes in natural and socioeconomic systems
  • Nature of impacts and relation to hazards
  • Observed trends in system exposure and vulnerability
  • System- and sector-based aspects of vulnerability, exposures, and impacts
  • Regional aspects of vulnerability, exposures, and impacts
  • Costs of climate extremes and disasters
My nomination came about when a colleague asked me in the spring of 2009 if I was participating in the committee. I explained to him that there was no point, as the IPCC would never select me to be included. He said they'd have to select me, if nominated, given my expertise and the IPCC's historical reliance on my work. So we made a bet of a beer, and I was nominated. Obviously, I won the bet and the beer. Since then, a range of colleagues have asked me why I am not participating on the committee.

There is a good case to be made that since I have collaborated in a lot of work in this area, I should not be on the committee, because I would be evaluating my own work. I think that this argument makes sense. However, this has not been a criterion used by the IPCC in its empanelment decisions in the past or on the extremes committee (based on who else was selected). However, having seen the efforts of the IPCC to actively undercut my work in its past reports and more recently via press release, I have my views as to what sort of criteria it employed in deciding the panel's membership ;-) (Roger Pielke Jr)


Climategate: What We Should Be Doing About Natural Climate Change

Just because AGW is a fraud doesn't mean that we should ignore the natural and cyclical changes in the Earth's temperature. (Harrison Schmitt, PJM)


Great Barrier Reef video brainwash claim

THE Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has been accused of brainwashing young minds by politicising climate change in a new video.

The Federal Opposition has attacked the reef management agency over a cartoon on the GBRMPA website, educating students about climate change and its impact upon the Great Barrier Reef.

The cartoon says: "So much carbon dioxide in the air, covering us like a blanket when it becomes too hot. This is called climate change." ( Cairns Post) | Watch the video here

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (calling themselves "Ga'brumpa" from their acronym) has always been a misanthropic enclave, determined to extend their empire to encompass the Pacific and any watershed draining into it, regardless of nation or continent, as well as any activity anywhere on the planet which may release dust or airborne material of any description which might, one day, end up in the same water body as the damn reef complex. They recognize no legitimate harvest of resources and no people's rights, not even the right to exist. To make the world a better place protect CO2, eliminate GBRMPA.


Ofcom probes TV climate porn - But too late to save Drowning Dog

Ofcom is to investigate the Government's notoriously emotive 'Drowning Dog' prime time TV advertisements. Ad industry self-regulator the ASA is already conducting its own investigation of the 'climate porn' campaign.

The taxpayer-funded advertisement features a father reading a bedtime story to his young daughter. The picture book comes to life, with a Carbon Monster engulfing a town; many cartoon animals are swept away in the resulting floods - which are the result of humans keeping the heating on and driving cars, the advertisement says. (Andrew Orlowski, The Register)


Update on Global Drought Patterns (IPCC Take Note)

We are sure you have heard that global warming is causing more frequent and intense droughts throughout the world. Right? The claim is easy to make – higher temperatures increase evaporation rates, soil moisture is depleted, and drought conditions result. Indeed the Technical Summary of the most recent IPCC assessment includes “More intense and longer droughts have been observed over wider areas, particularly in the tropics and subtropics since the 1970s. While there are many different measures of drought, many studies use precipitation changes together with temperature. Increased drying due to higher temperatures and decreased land precipitation have contributed to these changes”. Further, they write “Although precipitation has increased in many areas of the globe, the area under drought has also increased. Drought duration and intensity has also increased. While regional droughts have occurred in the past, the widespread spatial extent of current droughts is broadly consistent with expected changes in the hydrologic cycle under warming. Water vapour increases with increasing global temperature, due to increased evaporation where surface moisture is available, and this tends to increase precipitation. However, increased continental temperatures are expected to lead to greater evaporation and drying, which is particularly important in dry regions where surface moisture is limited.” The bottom line in the table below from the IPCC’s Technical Summary leaves little doubt that the IPCC thinks that droughts have become more frequent, they have been caused in some part by humans, and they will become more frequent in the decades to come.

A major article on global-scale drought has appeared recently in the Journal of Climate by drought experts from Princeton University and the University of Washington; the work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We saw an interesting sentence in their abstract as Sheffield et al. wrote “Globally, the mid-1950s showed the highest drought activity and the mid-1970s to mid-1980s the lowest activity.” That does not seem consistent with the story coming from the IPCC.

Sheffield et al. begin stating “Drought is a naturally occurring climate phenomenon that impacts human and environmental activity globally. It is among the costliest and most widespread of natural disasters. One of the reasons for this is the usually large spatial extent of droughts and their lengthy duration, sometimes reaching continental scales and lasting for many years. Drought is generally driven by extremes in the natural variation of climate, which are forced by the internal interactions of the atmosphere and feedbacks with the oceans and land surface. These are modulated by external forcings such as variations in solar input and atmospheric composition, either natural or anthropogenic.” Fair enough, they reveal that drought could be impacted by anthropogenic changes to atmospheric composition.

Sheffield et al. note that “Soil moisture is a useful indicator of drought because it provides an aggregate estimate of available water from the balance of precipitation, evaporation, and runoff fluxes.” Accordingly, they used a popular hydrologic simulation model to estimate soil moisture levels at the 1º latitude by 1º longitude resolution for land areas of the globe for the period 1950 to 2000.

Their results seem completely at odds with the conclusions of the IPCC. Sheffield et al. note with respect to global and continental droughts “The longest duration drought was 49 months (4 yr) in Asia from 1984 to 1988, closely followed by the 1950–53 North American drought (44 months). The most spatially extensive was the African drought of the early 1980s, which reached its peak extent in April 1983 when it covered over 11 million square kilometers.” Their time series plot for the globe and for various continents shows no upward trend whatsoever (below).

Figure 1. Monthly time series of area-averaged soil moisture percentile, percentage area in drought, and percentage contiguous area in drought (from Sheffield et al., 2009)

The table below from the article is amazing … note that the longest duration drought record-breakers generally occurred early in the record with four of the six from the 1950s. Similarly, the maximum spatial extent record-breaking droughts also tended to occur early, not late, in the time series.

Table 1. Summary of large-scale drought occurrence for the six continents. For the last column, the extent as a percentage of total area and the date when the maximum spatial extent was attained are given in brackets. Oceania is defined as Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands.

The article contains no end of comments indicating no upward trend on drought conditions. The authors state “The mean number of global droughts > 500 000 km2 occurring in any month is about 4.5 (or 55 yr-1) with a standard deviation of 1.6. This time series is quite variable and indicates several periods of increased global drought activity: the mid-1950s, 1960s, late 1980s to early 1990s, and late 1990s. The mid-1970s to mid-1980s are characterized by the lowest number of droughts, apart from a short burst of activity around 1976–77. The year with most drought months is 1992”.

The authors note that most of the last droughts are well-documented and have been analyzed by climate scientists for years. Sheffield et al. note “Other droughts are ranked highly in terms of severity and spatial extent yet are not well documented or analyzed, such as the 1965 Australian and 1963–64 South American droughts.”

The IPCC and the global warming alarmists continue to insist that droughts are becoming more frequent, more intense, more spatially extensive, and of longer duration. However, Sheffield et al. analyzed drought patterns at the global scale for the period 1950 to 2000, and found no evidence to support claims of increasing drought activity.

Enough said.


Sheffield, J., K.M. Andreadis, E.F. Wood, and D.P. Lettenmaier. 2009. Global and Continental Drought in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century: Severity–Area–Duration Analysis and Temporal Variability of Large-Scale Events. Journal of Climate, 22, 1962-1981. (WCR)


Study: Can Hurricanes Cause Climate Change?

Back in the Pliocene era, between 5 million and 3 million years ago, the average global temperature was about 7°F warmer than it is today, yet atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were about the same. If carbon dioxide were the sole factor in warming, that wouldn't make any sense. It isn't, of course; there are several other contributors, including the brightness of the sun and the location of the continents (whose positions dictate, among other things, where ice caps can form) — but these were all pretty much the same in the Pliocene as well.

So what accounted for the higher global temperature? According to a new paper in Nature, one possible factor is hurricanes. Scientists have long suspected that global warming could make hurricanes more intense somehow, but the new study suggests the effect works both ways: tropical cyclones could help drive up temperatures in response. "We're suggesting that hurricanes could have created a permanent El Niño condition," says Yale's Alexey Fedorov, lead author of the study. (Michael D. Lemonick, Time)


Virtually: More Tropical Cyclones in Past Could Play Role in Warmer Future

New Haven, Conn. — More frequent tropical cyclones in Earth’s ancient past contributed to persistent El Niño-like conditions, according to a team of climate scientists led by Yale University. Their findings, which appear in the Feb. 25 issue of the journal Nature, could have implications for the planet’s future as global temperatures continue to rise due to climate change.

The team used both cyclone and climate models to study the frequency and distribution of tropical cyclones (also known as hurricanes or typhoons) during the Pliocene epoch, a period three to five million years ago when temperatures were up to four degrees Celsius warmer than today. (Yale University)


More Fictitious Hurricane Predictions

According to the AP, top researchers now agree that the world is likely to get stronger but fewer hurricanes in the future because of global warming, seeming to settle a scientific debate on the subject. But they say there's not enough evidence yet to tell whether that effect has already begun. Despite warnings by scientists that identifying an actual trend in storm variability is impossible due to a lack of reliable historical data, a new report in Nature Geoscience is being cited as a solid prediction of future trends in tropical cyclone activity. The other thing not mentioned is that this research is based on models of questionable accuracy.

The review article by Thomas R. Knutson et al., entitled “Tropical cyclones and climate change,” was published online on Sunday, February 12, 2010. In it, the authors warn that there is precious little that can be predicted from past data. But this does not stop them from blithely predicting the future based on new “high-resolution” models. Here is part of the paper's abstract:

Large amplitude fluctuations in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones greatly complicate both the detection of long-term trends and their attribution to rising levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Trend detection is further impeded by substantial limitations in the availability and quality of global historical records of tropical cyclones. Therefore, it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone activity have exceeded the variability expected from natural causes. However, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100.

Once again, climate scientists are predicting future climate behavior based, not on empirical data, but on computer models. They go on to state that confidence in some of their predictions is low “owing to uncertainties in the large-scale patterns of future tropical climate change, as evident in the lack of agreement between the model projections of patterns of tropical SST changes.” Their approach is to combine a number of different models into an “ensemble,” manipulating the output until it converges on what historical observations we have. In the end they predict fewer but stronger storms because of global warming, though “the actual intensity level of these strong model cyclones varies between the models, depending on model resolution and other factors.”

Modeling and the Search for Scientific Truth

I have repeatedly stated that models can be a useful tool in any number of fields. Understand that there are different kinds of computer models. Some are quite exact and can be used for such things as aerodynamics and structural analysis. Those types of quantitative models are based in well understood natural laws and are relatively tractable. They give answers that engineers can use as actual guidance. But even then they are not always right. Recently Boeing had to reinforce the wing root attachment points on their new 787 airliner because the computer model simulations were not born out in actual testing.

Moreover, not all models are blessed with such passing verisimilitude with respect to nature. Most models are approximations for the systems being modeled. They are pressed into service when the system being studied is too complex for human intuition to predict system behavior. Computer models of this kind—which includes GCM climate models—should be used to provide insight, but instead are used to make authoritative predictions of things to come. This brings us to the philosophy of Sir Karl Popper.

Karl Popper was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th Century and a tremendous influence on modern scientific thought. One TRE reader, Peter Foster, pointed out to me that the 2007 IPCC report cites Popper's 1934 book, The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Peter is the second person with a connection to Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand, to contact me this month. Unsurprisingly, both mentioned Popper. In 1937, the rise of Nazism and the threat of the Anschluss led the Austrian born Popper to emigrate to New Zealand. There he became a lecturer in philosophy at Canterbury University where he had a strong influence that evidently persists to this day.

According to Popper “the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.” By falsifiability he did not mean that a theory was false but that there exists a way to prove the theory false (for more see Popper's essay “Science as Falsification”). A theory has to be testable. There have to be defined properties which can be predicted by theory and checked by measurement. It would appear that the IPCC authors agree, as shown in this quote from the AR4 section entitled “The Nature of Earth Science”:

Science generally advances through formulating hypotheses clearly and testing them objectively. This testing is the key to science. It is not the belief or opinion of the scientists that is important, but rather the results of this testing. Scientific theories are ways of explaining phenomena and providing insights that can be evaluated by comparison with physical reality. Each successful prediction adds to the weight of evidence supporting the theory, and any unsuccessful prediction demonstrates that the underlying theory is imperfect and requires improvement or abandonment.

Popper was among the first to state that discovering truth is the aim of scientific inquiry while acknowledging that most of the greatest scientific theories in the history of science are, strictly speaking, false. Scientists' theories represent their current understanding of nature. As that understanding improves old theories are discarded and new ones formulated. Popper's philosophy of science defined progress as the process of moving from one false theory to another, still false theory that is nonetheless closer to the truth.

Climate models are analogous to those false yet useful theories—models try to encapsulate science's understanding of how the Earth system works. This has led many, including another friend of mine from Canterbury University, to make the argument that the models we have may not be perfect but they are at least usable. The question becomes, how much faith are you willing to place in a model's results, starting from the acknowledgment that all such models are by definition wrong. Having spent many years modeling large, nonlinear systems I am not willing to base potentially world changing decisions on the output of current climate models.

This is because of how the models are constructed and how they are calibrated. In short, the models are tuned to produce a specific amount of temperature increase for a doubling of CO2 levels. It is unsurprising that the researchers then get the answers they expected. It is also unsurprising that, when faced with an unexpected response from the natural system like the recent leveling and possible decline in global temperatures, the models fail miserably. Worse than that, secondary predictions are often made based on the predictions of models or even models that use the output of other models as their starting data.

A New Hurricane Model

One of the references cited by the Nature Geoscienc hurricane modeling report was a recent paper in Science that can help fill in some of the technical details of how the modeling research was performed. In it, researchers did, indeed, report that fewer but stronger hurricanes will sweep the Atlantic Basin in the 21st century. This new modeling study by US government researchers from NOAA is predicated on climate change “continuing.” As explained in an accompanying perspective by Science writer Richard A. Kerr:

What makes the new study more realistic is its sharper picture of the atmosphere. In low-resolution models such as global climate models, the fuzzy rendition of the atmosphere can't generate any hurricanes, much less the intense ones that account for most of the damage hurricanes cause. The high-resolution models used by the U.S. National Weather Service to forecast hurricane growth and movement do produce a realistic mix of both weak and strong storms, but those models can't simulate global warming.

So, as a compromise the researchers took the output of some of those “fuzzy” GCM and used their projections for global environment at the end of the century as the starting point for the new “high-resolution” models.

Climate modeler Morris Bender of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, and his colleagues used a technique sometimes called "double-downscaling." The group started with the average of atmospheric and oceanic conditions forecast for the end of the century by 18 global climate models. They transferred those averaged conditions into a North Atlantic regional model detailed enough to generate a realistic number of hurricanes, although still too sketchy to get their intensities right. Finally, the team transferred the regional model's storms to an even higher-resolution hurricane forecast model capable of simulating which ones would develop into category 3, 4, and 5 storms.

Naturally this has led to a number of reports in the popular media that we are to expect fewer but stronger hurricanes in the future and those hurricanes are going to be caused by global warming. It should be noted that this study actually contradicts some reports that the recent “anomalous” rise in hurricane activity is linked to climate change. No consensus here.

Model tracks for all storms that eventually reached category 4 or 5 intensity. Bender et al./Science.

Given that the model predictions for 2100 are not testable except in the fullness of time, there is no convenient way to test to the new models future accuracy. As the researchers themselves state, “these findings are dependent on the global climate models used to provide the environmental conditions for our downscaling experiments.” It is, however, possible to run the model on known data taken over the past quarter of a century. The new modeling study attempted to reproduce recent conditions and they found:

The researchers note that the new modeling offers no support for claims that global warming has already noticeably affected hurricane activity. In the real world, the number of Atlantic hurricanes observed during the past 25 years has doubled; in the model, global warming would cause a slight decline in the number over the same period. Given that the mid-resolution model used by the group duplicates the observed rising trend, it may be natural.

So the fuzzier mid-resolution model, presumably less accurate than the new one, gets the recent trend correct, which the researchers interpret as an indication that any rising trend is purely natural. The new high-resolution model doesn't correctly predict current conditions. Here we have low-resolution models known to be inexact providing the hypothetical starting point data for other models—models which fail to correctly predict trends even based on real data—yet we are asked to uncritically accept the projections for hurricanes 90 years from now. It is to be expected that, if you start with wonky data input, you end up with wonky data output, but this carries the process a step further. Believing the results of this exercise seems more an act of faith than science. Is it any wonder that I mentioned the greatest sin a modeler: believing that the model is the thing being modeled.

Computer simulation of the most intense hurricanes shows an increase from today (top) to a warmer world at the end of the century (bottom). Adapted from Bender et al./Science.

Rather amazingly, an earlier study in Nature stated that current climate conditions resemble those that led to peak Atlantic hurricane activity about 1000 years ago. I say amazingly because this study based on examining ocean sediments, included Pennsylvania State University meteorologist Michael Mann of hockey stick fame—a global warming true believer in anyone's book. The paper states: “The short nature of the historical record and potential issues with its reliability in earlier decades, however, has prompted an ongoing debate regarding the reality and significance of the recent rise.”

Good modelers, like all cautious scientists, always use conditional phrases and qualifiers when writing of their work. “In the absence of a detectable change, we are dependent on a combination of observational, theoretical and modeling studies to assess future climate changes in tropical cyclone activity,” concludes the review by Knutson et al. “These studies are growing progressively more credible, but still have many limitations.” We have consensus and that consensus is “we don't really know.” Unfortunately, such reservations do not make it into the news headlines.

What usually happens is more a sin of omission rather than commission. Climate modelers, and the climate science community in general, have not gone out of their way to stress the inherent unreliability of their predictions to the lay public. In the public forum, climate science has been happy to let overly excitable reporters and fringe eco-activists spin the GCM results into predictions of future catastrophe. This is disingenuous at best and can lead to the types of backlash recently visited on CRU and other research organizations over mishandling and manipulation of data. Sure, the IPCC calls them scenarios and projections, not predictions, as if that gives them deniability when the projections do not come to pass.

In 2007, the IPCC said it was “more likely than not” that man-made greenhouse gases had already altered storm activity, but the authors of the review said more recent evidence muddies the issue. “The evidence is not strong enough that we could make some kind of statement” along those lines, Knutson said. It doesn't mean the IPCC report was wrong; it was just based on science done by 2006 and recent research has changed a bit, said Knutson and the other researchers.

The fact is, climate scientists have continued to use models to make predictions about future climatic conditions, and by attaching those predictions to the AGW theory they have weakened the very theory they are at pains to defend. Fortunately, Popper provides us with a way to filter truth from falsehood. The IPCC and other global warming alarmists have a choice—they can either say that AGW makes no predictions and is therefore not a scientific theory by definition, or they can stand by their model generated predictions and admit that their theory has been proven false time and again.

Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical.

The computer model says it's going to be a heck of a blow.

Post Script: This is the first of two articles that, in part, are based on the philosophy of Karl Popper. These articles were motivated by an exchange of ideas with Doug Campbell, one of the proprietors of ClimateDebateDaily and a climate change proponent. Correspondence with Doug has renewed my faith that good people can not only have honest differences of opinion but that they can discuss those differences in a civilized manner. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)


More video game nonsense: World's coral reefs could disintegrate by 2100

Researchers at Carnegie Institution say corals are being overwhelmed by rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (Ian Sample, The Guardian)

Corals and mollusks evolved when atmospheric carbon dioxide was up to an order of magnitude higher than today's and when temperatures ranged from 6-10 °C warmer than today's down to an ice age. They survived periods when carbon dioxide levels plunged to be similar to those of today and rebounded to about 6 times higher than current levels.

The "ocean acidification crisis" is a dog that will not hunt. It is even sillier than gorebull warbling and boy, that takes some doing!


Hung on too long, eh? Slow Recovery Frustrates Voluntary Carbon Investors

LONDON - The slow recovery of the voluntary carbon market is frustrating investors as trading remains sporadic and buyers focus on either high-quality credits or large volumes of lower-quality ones.

"There are deals out there but you have the entire market going after them," Grattan MacGiffin, head of voluntary carbon at brokers MF Global in London, told Reuters.

That's the thing about scams, you have to know when to get out...


Obama’s Proposed Oil and Gas Tax Hike: What Has the Industry Done for Us Lately?

by Donald Hertzmark
February 24, 2010

So let me see if I have this right – President Obama’s budget proposes to increase taxes on oil and gas by $36.5 billion over the next ten years, while laying out even larger sums for more politically favored energy sources – especially wind and solar.  And the reason advanced for this is that these “subsidies [sic] are costly to the American taxpayer and do little to incentivize production or reduce energy prices.”

Neither of the claims in this statement is true.  In fact, they are the opposite of truth.  The oil and gas industries are major sources of revenues for governments at all levels in the US, and production incentives have contributed to a stunning turnaround in the country’s natural gas supplies – with higher production and lower costs a major feature.

Let’s take a look at these two myths individually.

Myth 1: The oil and gas business receives significant subsidies from the federal government.

Fact:  Oil and gas production are major contributors of tax and royalty payments to all levels of government. Fortunately, for those interested in facts, the federal government publishes a lot of them, and they tell a stubborn truth.  The oil and gas production business pays about $140 billion annually in royalties and corporate income taxes to the US government.

In comparison, far from being a beneficiary of government subsidies, oil and gas producers receive little–about $2.2 billion in 2008. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


An Excellent News Article [But With One Very Important Error] In The Baltimore Sun By Timothy B. Wheeler Titled “A New Smokestack Cleans Baltimore’s Air”

There was an excellent news article on February 20 2010 in the Baltimore Sun titled “A new smokestack cleans Baltimore’s air” by Timothy B. Wheeler.  However, there is one very important error that the reporter makes. The article reads in part

“A new smokestack is not usually cause for celebration among environmentalists. But the 400-foot stack spouting white clouds at Brandon Shores power plant represents a quantum leap in cleaning Baltimore’s air, not another source of pollution.”

I have advocated throughout my career, including my tenure on the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, on the need to improve air quality. This is a critical threat to human health, which is one of the five resource areas that we urge action on in our paper

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union.

and in our focus on vulnerability as a policy framework (e.g. see also).

The single error, in the otherwise excellent article, is in the following paragraph [where I have bold-faced the error];

“Constellation Energy has just completed work on $875 million worth of pollution “scrubbers” at its 26-year-old coal-fired power plant on the Patapsco River. One of the plant’s two steam-generating units resumed operation with the new air-quality controls in December, and the second is cranking up now. The white clouds rising from the stack are almost entirely water vapor. A pair of 700-foot stacks nearby, which until recently belched toxic, acidic smoke from the power plant, are quiet.”

There is an other gas in this relatively clean effluent and it is carbon dioxide! I am unclear why this is not recognized in the article, but it is an important oversight.

The excerpts from the article given below present what are the positive benefits of the new scrubbers.

“But that’s likely to change with the installation of the twin scrubbers at Brandon Shores and pollution controls put in at Constellation’s other coal-burning plants in the area. The Baltimore-based power company has invested more than $1.5 billion to comply with Maryland’s Healthy Air Act, which when it was passed in 2006 was billed by state officials as the toughest power-plant pollution law on the East Coast.”

“Under the law, the state’s power plants were required to reduce harmful emissions by 70 percent to 80 percent by this year, and by 75 percent to 90 percent by 2013. Targeted are releases of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and mercury – byproducts of burning coal that contribute to environmental and health problems in the state.”

“Nitrogen oxides contribute to ground-level ozone pollution or smog that can make hot summer air difficult or painful to breathe. They harm water quality in the Chesapeake Bay as they drop from the air. Sulfur dioxide is a major source of fine-particle pollution that can cause breathing difficulties or premature death.”

“Mercury is a toxic metal that, in small doses, can damage the brain, nervous system and other organs. It accumulates in fish tissue, prompting state health officials to warn against eating too many fish caught locally.” (Climate Science)


Indonesia Warns Oil Output Falls On Environment Rule

JAKARTA - Indonesia's oil production, which has slumped in recent years, could be hit by new environment laws in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, a senior official in the energy ministry said on Wednesday.

Indonesia has said it would produce 965,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and condensate this year, compared with 949,100 bpd in 2009, and 1.5 million bpd in the 1990s.

"If the environment law comes into force then many oil companies could reduce activities, and oil production will fall sharply this year," Evita Legowo, director general oil and gas, told reporters. (Reuters)


Coal emissions: the burning issue

Unless the energy bill mandates tighter emissions standards for coal-fired power stations, the UK will miss its carbon-cut targets (Tim Yeo, The Guardian)

Yes Tim, um... so what? About the last thing the world needs is any form of restriction on atmospheric carbon dioxide (it's the best thing people have ever done for the environment).


There's a blackout coming - unless someone sees the light

The Tories must rescue Britain's energy policy after years of dangerous neglect, says Benedict Brogan (TDT)


Rightly: Power station developers dismiss renewable energy

TWO new fossil fuel power plants that will increase the state's greenhouse gas emissions by between 5 and 15 per cent will move a step closer to construction this week after developers claimed renewable energy cannot feed a growing hunger for electricity.

The carbon emissions from the power stations, which would be added to existing plants at Mount Piper near Lithgow and Bayswater in the Hunter Valley, would equal a doubling of the number of cars on NSW roads.

But the two government-owned developers, Delta Electricity and Macquarie Generation, say they are essential to meet demand and replace older, less efficient coal-fired generators. (SMH)


Robert Rapier Catalogs the Many Broken Promises From Range Fuels

When I first began my career, a wise old-timer gave me a piece of advice that I took to heart. He said ''When you are planning and executing a project, it is important for you to do what you say you are going to do. People are going to make investment decisions on the basis of the numbers you project. So don''t over promise and under deliver.'' [Read More] (Energy Tribune)


Fearing Obama Agenda, States Push to Loosen Gun Laws

When President Obama took office, gun rights advocates sounded the alarm, warning that he intended to strip them of their arms and ammunition.

And yet the opposite is happening. Mr. Obama has been largely silent on the issue while states are engaged in a new and largely successful push for expanded gun rights, even passing measures that have been rejected in the past.

In Virginia, the General Assembly approved a bill last week that allows people to carry concealed weapons in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, and the House of Delegates voted to repeal a 17-year-old ban on buying more than one handgun a month. The actions came less than three years after the shootings at Virginia Tech that claimed 33 lives and prompted a major national push for increased gun control.

Arizona and Wyoming lawmakers are considering nearly a half dozen pro-gun measures, including one that would allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit. And lawmakers in Montana and Tennessee passed measures last year — the first of their kind — to exempt their states from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition that are made, sold and used in state. Similar bills have been proposed in at least three other states. (NYT)


Whose Body Is It?

People suffer and die because the government "protects" us. It should protect us less and respect our liberty more.

The most basic questions are: Who owns you, and who should control what you put into your body? In what sense are you free if you can't decide what medicines you will take? (John Stossel, Townhall)


Soy unlikely to trim body fat after menopause

NEW YORK - Estrogen-like compounds found in soy won't help limit body fat in post-menopausal women, new research shows.

Animal studies and small studies in humans have offered some evidence that these compounds, known as isoflavones, could help build muscle mass and reduce fat mass, Dr. Oksana A. Matvienko of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and her colleagues write in the journal Menopause.

It's unclear why such compounds might have any effect on body composition, but it's possible that they might act as estrogen does, to affect hormones that play a role in fat and sugar metabolism. (Reuters Health)


Green Skepticism About the Skeptical Environmentalist

Nothing annoys ideological green doomsayers more than pointing out that most global environmental trends are positive. And few people arouse green ire more than Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (2001) and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming (2007). Newsweek's science reporter (and Al Gore fangirl) Sharon Begley is now touting the latest effort to "debunk" Lomborg: Howard Friel's The Lomborg Deception which will be published by Yale University Press next month. (Ronald Bailey, Reason)


Why Should Capitalists Go Green?

To do so is simply to exchange our technological, industrial, and energy superiority for a lie.
February 24, 2010
- by AWR Hawkins

For decades now, pressure has been building for America to “go green.” From the Kyoto Protocol the Senate refused to ratify, to the moratoriums on domestic drilling, to the construction of thousands upon thousands of eyesores known as wind turbines that now blemish our landscape, environmentalists in high places have been intent on driving our capitalist economy off the proverbial cliff of eco-friendliness.

To date, it’s all been done under the guise of trying to halt man-made global warming, a scientific theory which has become a quasi-religion for treehuggers and America haters the world over.

Yet during the past few months, as Climategate has unfolded, the idea of trading in a nine-passenger Ford Excursion for a hybrid that seats three adults and a dog comfortably in order to save the planet has lost much of its luster. And now that Phil Jones, the mind behind the man-made global warming myth, has admitted he lost the data to back up his theory, it seems like a good time to ask why any sane capitalist should give even a thought to going green. (PJM)


More frequent fires could aid ecosystems

CORVALLIS, Ore. –With a changing climate there’s a good chance that forest fires in the Pacific Northwest will become larger and more frequent – and according to one expert speaking today at a professional conference, that’s just fine.

The future of fire in this region is difficult to predict, will always be variable, and undoubtedly a part of the future landscape. People should understand, however, that fire is not only inevitable but also a valuable part of forest ecosystems and their management, says John Bailey, an associate professor in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management at Oregon State University. (OSU)



The fight is neither done nor won: EPA lays out timetable for regulating greenhouse gas emissions

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson laid out the timetable for regulating greenhouse gas emissions Monday, writing in a letter to lawmakers that she plans to start targeting large facilities such as power plants next year but won't target small emitters before 2016.

The letter makes it clear the Obama administration will move ahead with curbing global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act unless Congress moves to stop it. Jackson emphasized that the administration was required to act under a 2007 Supreme Court decision that said greenhouse gases from motor vehicles qualified as a pollutant under the 40-year-old air-quality law. Jackson was responding to a letter several coal-state senators sent her late Friday.

"I share your goals of ensuring economic recovery at this critical time and of addressing greenhouse-gas emissions in sensible ways that are consistent with the call for comprehensive energy and climate legislation," she wrote. (Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post)


Still forging on: More Ambition Needed if Greenhouse Gases are to Peak in Time, Says New UNEP Report

Pledges Post Copenhagen Unlikely to Keep Temperatures Below 2 Degrees Celsius by Mid Century

UNEP Year Book Also Launched Today Outlines Growing Governance Challenge from Climate to Chemicals

Bali (Indonesia), 23 February 2010 - Countries will have to be far more ambitious in cutting greenhouse gas emissions if the world is to effectively curb a rise in global temperature at 2 degrees C or less.

This is the conclusion of a new greenhouse gas modeling study, based on the estimates of researchers at nine leading centres, compiled by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). (Press Release)


Hard To Agree On U.N. Climate Treaty In 2010: De Boer

BONN, Germany - Agreeing on a U.N. climate treaty in 2010 will be "very difficult" despite a new push to spur negotiations after the Copenhagen summit, the head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat said on Tuesday.

Yvo de Boer, a Dutch citizen who announced plans last week to stand down in July after four years, also suggested to Reuters Television that his successor should be from a developing nation. (Reuters)


Hu Says China Committed To Fighting Climate Change

BEIJING - President Hu Jintao said on Tuesday China was committed to fighting climate change, both at home and in cooperation with the rest of the world, but stopped short of offering any new policies. (Reuters)


Good ol' U.S. of A., still saving the world, frequently from itself: U.S. Stands Out For Climate-Change Skepticism

DALLAS - Many Americans are skeptical about global warming and that makes it harder to get a bill through Congress.

"My personal leanings are that it's more cyclical than a permanent trend," said Jimmy Pritchard, a Southern Baptist pastor in a Dallas suburb.

"And I think It's a little presumptuous to put so many resources and energy into something that may change direction in the next few years."

Such views, widespread in the U.S. heartland, drive conservative opposition to President Barack Obama's bid to get a bill through Congress that would cap U.S. emissions of the greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

"It's a very different debate in Europe, where there is no discussion about whether climate change is occurring. But in the United States it is about whether it exists," said John Wright of pollster Ipsos.

It is a skepticism that stands in contrast with prevailing views in Europe and has been linked to the influence of U.S. talk radio, the "oil lobby", an enduring love affair with cars, and a history founded on limiting the role of government. (Reuters)


Climategate Meets the Law: Senator Inhofe to Ask for DOJ Investigation (Pajamas Media/PJTV Exclusive)

Inhofe intends to ask for a probe of the embattled climate scientists for possible criminal acts. And he thinks Gore should be recalled to explain his prior congressional testimony. (Click here for the just-released Senate Environment and Public Works report behind Inhofe's announcement.) (Charlie Martin, PJM)


Excerpts of New Senate Climategate Report


The emails (and the data and computer code released to the public) were written by the world's top climate scientists, many of whom had been lead authors and contributing lead authors of various sections of the IPCC reports and were thus intimately involved in writing and editing the IPCC's science assessments. This is no small matter. As noted science historian Naomi Oreskes wrote, the "scientific consensus" of climate change "is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." According to one top Obama Administration official, the IPCC is "the gold standard for authoritative scientific information on climate change because of the rigorous way in which they are prepared, reviewed, and approved...

These scientists work at the most prestigious and influential climate research institutions in the world. For example, Dr. Phil Jones was director of the CRU until he was forced to temporarily resign because of his role in the scandal. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), CRU is "among the renowned research centers in the world" on key aspects of climate change research. It also has "contributed to the scientific assessments of climate change conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)." CRU's CRUTEM3 is one of the key datasets of surface temperatures utilized by the IPCC in its Fourth Assessment Report...

The IPCC's work serves as the key basis for climate policy decisions made by governments throughout the world, including here in the United States...

In short, the utility and probity of the IPCC process and its results are crucial to policymaking with respect to climate change here in the United States. (Inhofe EPW Press Blog)


Jackson battles Republicans on climate science

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) crowed Tuesday that recent events prove he was right seven years ago when he called global warming the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public.”

Inhofe, the ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Public Enemy Number 1 in the eyes of climate bill advocates, pointed to recently uncovered errors in a widely cited U.N. climate change study, hacked “Climategate” emails that suggest climate scientists suppressed dissenting views, and comments by a leading climate scientist that the planet has not warmed significantly in the past 15 years to support his contention that the whole thing is, in fact, a giant hoax.

But Lisa Jackson, administrator of EPA, said issues Inhofe and other Republicans raised at an EPW hearing on Tuesday do not undermine the overwhelming scientific evidence that the planet is warming and humans are a leading cause. (Jim Snyder, E2 Wire)


EPA Chief Goes Toe-To-Toe With Senate GOP Over Climate Science

U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson today defended the science underpinning pending climate regulations despite Senate Republicans' claims that global warming data has been thrown into doubt. (Greenwire)


World’s biggest coal company brings U.S. government to court in climate fraud

The world’s largest private sector coal business, the Peabody Energy Company (PEC) has filed a mammoth 240-page “Petition for Reconsideration,” a full-blown legal challenge against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The petition must be answered and covers the entire body of leaked emails from ‘Climategate’ as well as those other ‘gate’ revelations including the frauds allegedly perpetrated under such sub-headings as ‘Himalayan Glaciers,’ ‘African Agricultural Production,’ ‘Amazon Rain Forests,’ ‘Melting Mountain Ice,’ ‘Netherlands Below Sea Level’ as well as those much-publicized abuses of the peer-review literature and so called ‘gray literature.’ These powerful litigants also draw attention to the proven criminal conduct by climate scientists in refusing to honor Freedom of Information law (FOIA) requests.

Peabody is, in effect, challenging the right of the current U.S. federal government to introduce cap and trade regulations by the ‘back door.’ In this article we summarize Peabody’s legal writ. (Climategate)


Who are the biggest CO2 emitters?

by Marlo Lewis
23 February 2010 @ 7:32 pm

I am posting Benchmarking US Air Emissions (2006), a joint report by Ceres, NRDC, and PSEG, because it apparently is no longer available on the Internet, and it contains research relevant to the climate policy debate. For example, many of the nation’s biggest CO2 emitters (e.g. American Electric Power) are also leading advocates of cap-and-trade. Does this make Waxman-Markey a “polluter-crafted” bill, and recipients of AEP campaign contributions “polluter-funded” politicians? Yes, if you apply green “logic” without fear or favor.

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


Timing is Everything: EPA Delays CO2 Regulations

Environmental Protection Agency

Let’s wait until the economy recovers a little before we step on it with costly environmental regulations. That was the message from Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson in a response to eight Democratic senators from industrial coal states the authority of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. Administrator Jackson said by April she will “take actions to ensure that no stationary source will be required to get a Clean Air Act permit to cover its greenhouse gas emissions in calendar year 2010.”

As the Clean Air Act is currently written, the EPA could regulate sources or establishments that emit 100 or 250 tons or more of a pollutant per year. The EPA is proposing a “tailoring rule” that would amend the CAA so that only entities that emit 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year would be affected. But even the 25,000 ton threshold is subject to change said Jackson: “I expect the threshold for permitting will be substantially higher than the 25,000-ton limit that EPA originally proposed.” These regulations for the largest of emitters are expected to take place between the latter half of 2011 and 2013.

Continue reading... (The Foundry)


EPA Endangerment Finding: Comments On Non-Greenhouse Gas Forcings As Part Of The Climate System

There is a set of replies to comments in Volume 3 in the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act  which I am providing input on in this post. These are in Volume 3 on page 32 [see also for my comments on another one of the EPA Responses]
See volume 3, response to comments pdf (at bottom of page) and look around page 32.

The Comments are: ... (Climate Science)


The Rapidly Melting Case For Carbon Legislation

by Robert Bryce (Guest Blogger)
February 23, 2010

What a difference 12 months makes. Almost exactly one year ago, the popular, newly minted president, Barack Obama, was telling Congress that he wanted “legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.”

The Democrats, fully confident of their new president and their grip on both houses of Congress, were certain that they could pass yet another big energy bill that would finally push hydrocarbons off their pedestal and replace them with wind turbines, solar panels, and every other type of alternative energy.

An Unstimulated Economy

But a lot has happened since Obama delivered his first State of the Union address. The global economy has continued to show lackluster growth. And perhaps most important: unemployment rates in the U.S. remain stubbornly high and are expected to stay high for at least the next two years. The massive stimulus, in short, has been expensive and unstimulating.

On Sunday, the New York Times reported that “roughly 2.7 million jobless people will lose their unemployment check before the end of April unless Congress approves the Obama administration’s proposal to extend the payments.” The same story, written by Peter S. Goodman, also contained this astonishing fact: Some 6.3 million Americans have “been unemployed for six months or longer, the largest number since the government began keeping track in 1948. That is more than double the toll in the next-worst period, in the early 1980s.”

Real estate foreclosures in the U.S. are soaring, with up to 3.5 million homeowners facing the threat of foreclosure this year. And of course, there’s the changing balance of power in Congress. The Democrats’ brief stint with a super majority has ended in the Senate, where a Republican, Scott Brown, now sits in the chair held by the late Ted Kennedy.

Other Problems for Climate Alarmism

Meanwhile, sloppy work has tarnished the reputation of the UN-sanctioned Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), perhaps irretrievably so. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


CHESSER: World cools toward warmists

The global-warming industry is getting several bailouts, none of which it wants. Last week, three major corporations - Conoco/Phillips, BP and Caterpillar - bailed out on the U.S. Climate Action Partnership lobbyist collaboration. Arizona bailed on the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) cap-and-trade plan. The Utah House presumably wants to bail on WCI, too, because it overwhelmingly passed a resolution requesting the Environmental Protection Agency to bail on its planned regulation of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. Texas and Virginia also want the nation's top environmental regulator to cease and desist. (Paul Chesser, Washington Times)


Seminar Announcement “From Hurricanes to Arctic Warming: Carbon Dioxide Or Multi-Decadal Climate Variability?” By Petr Chylek

From Hurricanes to Arctic Warming: Carbon Dioxide or Multi-Decadal Climate Variability?

Thursday, March 4, 03:30 PM
David Skaggs Research Center, Room GC402 Boulder Colorado

Increasing strength of Atlantic hurricanes, disappearance of Arctic sea ice, melting of the Greenland ice sheet, six meters flooding in coastal cities; are these impending climate catastrophes supported by observations, or are they just results of imperfect climate modeling and the imagination of overeager climate politicians? I will present recent analysis of North Atlantic hurricane activities to show that there is no justification for claims that hurricane intensity or numbers have increased drastically with increasing atmospheric concentration of CO2.  Similarly, Greenland temperatures in the 1930s and 1940s were as high as they are today. Finally, I will argue that the current warming of the Arctic region is affected by multi-decadal climate variability more than by an increasing concentration of carbon dioxide. Thus we may spend hundreds of billions of dollars on curbing CO2 emissions without having a noticeable effect on the ongoing climate change in the Arctic. (Climate Science)


Updated WMO Consensus Perspective on Tropical Cyclones

A team of researchers under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization has published a new review paper in Nature Geoscience (PDF) updating consensus perspectives published in 1998 and 2006. The author team includes prominent scientists from either side of the "hurricane wars" of 2005-2006: Thomas R. Knutson, John L. McBride, Johnny Chan, Kerry Emanuel, Greg Holland, Chris Landsea, Isaac Held, James P. Kossin, A. K. Srivastava and Masato Sugi.

The paper reaches a number of interesting (but for those paying attention, ultimately unsurprising) conclusions. On North Atlantic hurricanes the paper states (emphasis added):

Hurricane counts (with no adjustments for possible missing cases) show a significant increase from the late 1800s to present, but do not have a significant trend from the 1850s or 1860s to present3. Other studies23 infer a substantial low-bias in early Atlantic tropical cyclone intensities (1851–1920), which, if corrected, would further reduce or possibly eliminate long-term increasing trends in basin-wide hurricane counts. Landfalling tropical storm and hurricane activity in the US shows no long-term increase (Fig. 2, orange series)20. Basin-wide major hurricane counts show a significant rising trend, but we judge these basin-wide data as unreliable for climate-trend estimation before aircraft reconnaissance in 1944.
The paper's conclusions about global trends might raise a few eyebrows.
In terms of global tropical cyclone frequency, it was concluded25 that there was no significant change in global tropical storm or hurricane numbers from 1970 to 2004, nor any significant change in hurricane numbers for any individual basin over that period, except for the Atlantic (discussed above). Landfall in various regions of East Asia26 during the past 60 years, and those in the Philippines27 during the past century, also do not show significant trends.
The paper acknowledges that the detection of a change in tropical cyclone frequency has yet to be achieved:
Thus, considering available observational studies, and after accounting for potential errors arising from past changes in observing capabilities, it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone frequency have exceeded the variability expected through natural causes.
The paper states that projections of future activity favor a reduction in storm frequency coupled with and increase in average storm intensity, with large uncertainties:
These include our assessment that tropical cyclone frequency is likely to either decrease or remain essentially the same. Despite this lack of an increase in total storm count, we project that a future increase in the globally averaged frequency of the strongest tropical cyclones is more likely than not — a higher confidence level than possible at our previous assessment6.
Does the science allow detection of such expected changes in tropical cyclone intensity based on historical trends? The authors say no:
The short time period of the data does not allow any definitive statements regarding separation of anthropogenic changes from natural decadal variability or the existence of longer-term trends and possible links to greenhouse warming. Furthermore, intensity changes may result from a systematic change in storm duration, which is another route by which the storm environment can affect intensity that has not been studied extensively.

The intensity changes projected by various modelling studies of the effects of greenhouse-gas-induced warming (Supplementary Table S2) are small in the sense that detection of an intensity change of a magnitude consistent with model projections should be very unlikely at this time37,38, given data limitations and the large interannual variability relative to the projected changes. Uncertain relationships between tropical cyclones and internal climate variability, including factors related to the SST distribution, such as vertical wind shear, also reduce our ability to confidently attribute observed intensity changes to greenhouse warming. The most significant cyclone intensity increases are found for the Atlantic Ocean basin43, but the relative contributions to this increase from multidecadal variability44 (whether internal or aerosol forced) versus greenhouse-forced warming cannot yet be confidently determined.
What about more intense rainfall?
. . . a detectable change in tropical-cyclone-related rainfall has not been established by existing studies.
What about changes in location of storm formation, storm motion, lifetime and surge?
There is no conclusive evidence that any observed changes in tropical cyclone genesis, tracks, duration and surge flooding exceed the variability expected from natural causes.
Bottom line (emphasis added)?
. . . we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.
The latest WMO statement should indicate definitively (and once again) that it is scientifically untenable to associate trends (i.e., in the past) in hurricane activity or damage to anthropogenic causes. (Roger Pielke Jr)


Met Office: datasets to be built from scratch

Fox News just revealed that on Monday, 150 employees of the U.K. Met Office have met on a logistically convenient place of Great Britain - namely in a Turkish seaside resort of Antalya. ;-)

They agreed that their and the world's weather data (mostly the surface data) are a complete mess and they need to start from scratch. See the executive summary (PDF, 4 pages).

The new system should be verifiable and fully accessible; using fully documented algorithms and based on peer-reviewed methodologies; using multi-team approach to the surface data; subjected to strict audits; supplemented with seriously calculated uncertainties.

The Met Office will send the proposal to the World Meteorological Organization. The main U.K. weather institution didn't answer any further questions from Fox News. Note that the IPCC itself was mostly born in Great Britain so this is not just an irrelevant local event.

The Met Office was recently under a big pressure itself. For example, even their left-leaning comrades in the BBC plan to "fire it" as its source of the weather predictions because of many recent failed predictions (typically on the warm side).

I believe that this decision could be viewed as a nice partial victory of Steve McIntyre and the Climate Audit community - whose extension incorporates this blog, too. Partial congratulations. But the full congratulations will only arrive once a better product is available. ;-) (The Reference Frame)


Time to Turn Up the Heat on the Warmists

At one time, some would call them "deniers." The more generous called them "skeptics." But now, increasingly, it appears that they can be called something else: sane. Yes, the climate has certainly changed.

Even in the mainstream media, the less liberal organs are waking up. There is now a never-ending barrage of articles on the climate scam, with The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post firing some recent salvos. And these inconvenient truths are just adding to a case against the Climateers that has become dizzying. (Selwyn Duke, American Thinker)


Returning to form: Climate wars damage the scientists but we all stand to lose in the battle

It is open season on climate scientists, but such hand-wringing has allowed the creeping rehabilitation of climate scepticism (David Adam, The Guardian)

Poor old Graoniad, having a bit of difficulty setting its advocacy aside. Shame they can't see that science is actually advanced by these periodic cleanouts of fraud and incompetence.


Reiterating what a climate dill he really is: Back to Basics on Climate and Energy

It’s time to get back to basics.

Once in a while I try to “review the bidding,” as my former editor Cornelia Dean liked to say when some big breaking story was threatening to overwhelm the newsroom. In this case, it’s not breaking news but a flood of allegations and attacks on 100 years of research pointing to a growing human influence on the earth’s climate. The assaults have been fueled by a batch of liberated/hacked/stolen climate files that, at their root, have yet to be shown to indicate much beyond ill-advised language and strong passions among some climate scientists and by several missteps after two decades of grueling work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

I’m not saying there’s direct cause and effect, but it’s almost as if the tidal wave of dire pronouncements about the imminent unraveling of the earth’s climate and ecosystems several years ago hit a shore and rebounded in a way that now threatens to inundate the source. More likely, we’re seeing the explosive evolution of the blogosphere as a disruptive force, linked up the chain to talk radio and pundits and creating an echo chamber in which noise can swamp information. (Andy Revkin, NYT)


Sharp decline in public's belief in climate threat, British poll reveals

Climate change survey raises fears it will be harder to persuade the public to support costly policies to curb emissions ( Juliette Jowit, The Guardian)

Gosh! They think?


The empire has begun to strike back.

It was only a matter of time before the climate alarmists got their feet back under them. There is too much at stake politically, too many careers and reputations on the line, too much grant money for researchers and donations for environmental groups, too much green-tax revenue for governments, too much prestige in academic circles at risk for those who have asserted for more than a decade that man is causing damaging climate change to slink away in defeat.

So it is of little surprise that in the past couple of weeks many alarmists have begun asserting that despite all the revelations of the past three months about how key climate scientists and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have corrupted the scientific process in an obsessive drive to prove that climate change is real, nothing has undermined the "fact" that the Earth is warming dangerously. (Lorne Gunter, Canwest)


The Global Gullibles Shift to High Gear Smear

It’s tough when you can’t talk evidence, and the topic is science. What’s left is just the stone-age mud-throwing campaign.

There’s a matrix-moment coming for Clive Hamilton. Skeptics are now the grassroots activists against big-money and big-lies, fighting for the poor, and for the environment. He’s doing his damnedest to suppress community participation, promote intolerance, and effectively fight for banker profits, corrupt scientists, and plundering bureaucrats.

The AGW camp have on their side all the authority positions in climate science (you don’t get appointed unless you believe), all the climate and science journals, all the government and university funding, the computer models, Nobel prizes, the western governments, all the propaganda money can buy, the Greens, the politically correct, the UN, and all the mainstream media (at least until recently). And the skeptics have…evidence, logic, retired scientists, and donations to blogs. Clive imagines he is talking truth to power…

Since he can’t win on the science, he tries to bully instead (ironically while whinging about … bullies). He peddles easily refutable lies, using unverifiable words from anonymous entities. Twice, Hamilton even contradicts himself, probably because he knows he’s making defamatory claims he can’t back up.

Hamilton realizes too late that the campaign to “out” the bullies is working More » (Jo Nova)


D'oh! It just gets worse and worse! Bernie Sanders: Climate Change Skeptics Like Those Who Downplayed Nazism

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that people who do not take the threat of climate change seriously remind him of those who downplayed the growing threat of fascism and Nazism in the 1930s. (CBS News)


Euros for Rajendra

Since taking the chair of the IPCC in 2002, Rajendra Pachauri's own personal research institute, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), has enjoyed a multi-million-euro bonanza from EU-funded research projects.

Having led the institute from 1982, in the 20 years before he assumed the IPCC chair, only four EU projects had been awarded. Since then, the institute in seven years has shared in 17 projects worth over €56 million. For many of them, TERI had no obvious expertise or physical presence.

The rush of EU funding to Pachauri's institute – which insiders speak of producing "low quality research" – invites suspicion that the EU is seeking to influence the IPPC chair in favour of the European climate change agenda, ensuring he pulls his punches when it comes to supporting developing countries, including his native India, while wrong-footing the United States.

Pachauri, on the other hand – in so readily accepting millions of euros from the EU for his institute - lays himself open to the accusation of being a pawn of the Europeans, concerned more with promoting his own financial interests than impartially representing the international community.

On the face of it, the facts are damning. Virtually unknown in the West until he became IPCC chair, Dr Rajendra Pachauri's ascension to his elevated position marked a turning point in the fortunes of the institute which he headed as director general. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


From a mob misrepresenting themselves as scientists: Lawsuits Against EPA Misrepresent Climate Science - Blocking EPA Would Hamper Clean Car Rules, Climate Action

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) April 2009 finding that global warming emissions are pollutants that endanger public health is coming under fire in the courts. Oil and coal industry groups, their allies, and three states have filed 16 legal challenges to the agency's "endangerment finding." Additionally, some state legislators in Missouri and Utah are supporting nonbinding resolutions opposing EPA action on climate change.

These court challenges are based on disingenuous, uninformed attacks against climate science. If successful, they would prevent the EPA from requiring coal-fired electric power plants and other major polluting facilities to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. They also would thwart the agency from implementing new clean car rules that, according to a Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) analysis, would save drivers tens of billions of dollars at the pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by some 1.3 million barrels a day by 2020, nearly as much as what the nation currently imports from Saudi Arabia. (YUKS)

Nicky da MuttNicky da Mutt (pictured) used to be a "concerned scientist" although he's no longer financial (I refused to keep giving the silly buggers their $20/year). You too can be a "concerned scientist" by making a "donation" here and filling out the form -- absolutely no qualifications required. (Join UCS as a new member for $35 or more, and you'll receive a FREE UCS mouse pad!)

UCS are more value for yuks & snickers than anything else and we use "yuks" and "ucs" interchangeably here.

On a more positive note, they do make a passing useful "smell test" -- if yuks are for [anything] then the probability that [anything] is misanthropic bullshit is really quite high.

Nick (pictured in this old photo) is a lot older now and much less interested in sniffing out corrupt and fetid things, so it's doubtful he misses his lapsed membership. What a pity yuks haven't grown past their old ways.


Joe Bastardi Debates Global Warming With Bill Nye the Science Guy

A rare thing happened on Monday's "O'Reilly Factor": a climate alarmist and a global warming skeptic debated on American television Nobel Laureate Al Gore's favorite theory.

In the alarmist corner was Bill Nye the Science Guy.

In the skeptical corner was Accuweather meteorologist Joe Bastardi. 

Moderating the event, and doing a fine job of it, was Fox News's Bill O'Reilly (video embedded below the fold with transcript): (NewsBusters)


The disgrace is not the dodgy science but the exposing of it

The real sin isn’t the fraud, exaggeration, bullying, cherrypicking and stifling of dissent that went into producing the great global warming scare.

No, our university chiefs agree. The real sin is that all this has been exposed by the nasty tabloids:

UNIVERSITY leaders are pressing for a public campaign to restore the intellectual and moral authority of Australian science in the wake of the climate wars.

Peter Coaldrake, chairman of Universities Australia and vice-chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, told the HES yesterday he was “concerned about the way the climate change debate has flowed”, and would address the role of science in the formation of public policy at his National Press Club address next week.

“It worries me that this tabloid decimation of science comes at a time when we have a major national issue in terms of the number of people taking science at university,"Professor Coaldrake said.

Margaret Sheil, chief executive of the Australian Research Council, said she was deeply concerned about the backlash generated by emails from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, the criticisms of Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, head of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, and poor research on the rate of glacial melting in a 2007 UN report on climate change.

Professor Sheil said she feared that these black marks would spread to a “broader negative public perception” of science…

Ian Chubb, vice-chancellor of the Australian National University, said some populists had found it easy to denigrate science because many scientific conclusions in the field of climate change rested on a balance of probability rather than incontestable proof.

“What concerns me is when you get people who are purporting to comment on the science and all they’re doing is seeking to turn themselves into celebrities.” he said.

I think some people are about to reinforce the very cynicism they deplore. A little less elitism may suit them better, just for a start. (Andrew Bolt)


'Global warming': time to get angry

Heroic, monotesticular UKIP MEP Nigel Farage was bumped off the BBC Question Time panel at the last minute last week. Shame. That particular edition was broadcast from Middlesbrough and it would have been fascinating to hear the audience’s response to the choice things he was planning to say about the closure of their local steelworks. ( James Delingpole, TDT)


About time! Tory MPs threaten to send green image up in smoke with emissions vote

Amendment to energy bill which would set new emissions standard could fail if Tory backbenchers abstain as expected (Tim Webb, The Guardian)


Addressing the European "innovation gap"

Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is the Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Potsdam University. He chairs the German Advisory Council on Global Change and advises the President of the European Commission on energy and climate change issues.

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has established itself as one of the world's most distinguished climate impact research institutions since its foundation in 1992. What key research priorities has PIK set? (Research In Germany)

PIK was set up after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Potsdam was in East Germany and their first offices were in the old Stasi building. It seems that old habits die hard and controlling the population takes on a new mantle.


Engineering weather works best in theory, in practice, not so much... Russian capital Moscow covered by record 63cm snowfall

Thousands of snow-clearing machines have been working to dig the Russian capital Moscow out of a record-breaking fall of 63cm (nearly 25 inches).

After a weekend of heavy snow showers, the regional weather centre announced that the previous record of 62cm, set in 1966, had been broken. (BBC News)

A few months ago... Moscow Mayor Promises a Winter Without Snow

Pigs still can't fly, but this winter, the mayor of Moscow promises to keep it from snowing. For just a few million dollars, the mayor's office will hire the Russian air force to spray a fine chemical mist over the clouds before they reach the capital, forcing them to dump their snow outside the city. Authorities say this will be a boon for Moscow, which is typically covered with a blanket of snow from November to March. Road crews won't need to constantly clear the streets, and the traffic — and quality of life — will undoubtedly improve.

The idea came from Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who is no stranger to playing God. In 2002, he spearheaded a project to reverse the flow of the vast River Ob through Siberia to help irrigate the country's parched Central Asian neighbors. Although that idea hasn't exactly turned out as planned — scientists have said it's not feasible — this time, Luzhkov says, there's no way he can fail.

Controlling the weather in Moscow is nothing new, he says. Ahead of the two main holidays celebrated in the city each year — Victory Day in May and City Day in September — the often cash-strapped air force is paid to make sure that it doesn't, well, rain on the parades. With a budget of $40 billion a year (larger than New York City's budget), Moscow can easily afford the $2 million to $3 million price tag to keep the skies blue as spectators watch the tanks and rocket launchers roll along Red Square. Now there's a new challenge for the air force: Moscow's notorious blizzards. (Time, October 16, 2009)


Germans record underwater massive iceberg crash into Antarctic ice-shelf

German oceanographers in Antarctica used underwater microphones this month to listen in on a massive iceberg crashing into the Antarctic ice-shelf, which cause a 2 000- metre crack, the ice lab headquarters said on Monday.

The devices picked up the tremendous noise of the collision as well as the alarmed cries of seals and whales, according to the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany.

The moment when the 400-million-ton iceberg crashed was observed on February 11 from AWI's Neumayer III ice station about 10km away.

The 54-kilometre-long iceberg, code-named B-15-K, repeatedly nudged the coast over a nine-hour period. The force of each shunt was equivalent to up to 10 tons of high explosive.

B-15-K is a fragment of an 11,000-square-kilometre section of the Ross Ice Shelf which broke off in 2000 and drifted away on a coastal current.

An institute spokeswoman said it was sensational to see exactly what happens to ice when it is rammed with such force. The ice shelf sustained a crack 2 000 metres long and lost a 700-metre wide fragment during the movement. (MercoPress)

How long do you suppose before this morphs into "gorebull warbling causes ice shelf collapse"?


From CO2 Science Volume 13 Number 8: 25 February 2010

Cosmic Rays, Atmospheric Ozone and Global Climate Change: We review a new hypothesis of how they all may be related.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 805 individual scientists from 479 separate research institutions in 43 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Victoria Land Coast, Antarctica. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary
"Little" Medieval Warm Period: In addition to the voluminous evidence that continues to accumulate for the occurrence of higher-than-present temperatures during the Roman Warm Period of 2000 years ago and the Medieval Warm Period of 1000 years ago, a growing body of evidence is beginning to indicate there was a period of time some 500 years ago when temperatures were also warmer than they are currently.

Plant Growth Data
This week we add new results of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Red Algae (Zou and Gao, 2009), Reed Grass (Zhao et al., 2009), Trout Lily (Gandin et al., 2009), and White Clover (Johnson and McNicol, 2010).

Journal Reviews
A Century of High and Low Snowfall Extremes in the United States: Have there been any changes attributable to the period's supposedly "unprecedented" global warming?

Solar-Precipitation Connections on the Tibetan Plateau: Cyclical variability in solar activity drives cyclical variability in precipitation regimes (both positive and negative) over different portions of the Northeast Tibetan Plateau.

Coral Reefs of Tanzania: How susceptible are they to the predicted deleterious consequences of global warming?

Largemouth Bass in a Warming World: Will they be helped or hurt?

Purple Phototrophic Bacteria in Flooded Paddy Soil: How important are they? ... and how are they affected by atmospheric CO2 enrichment? (


First images from ESA’s water mission

In less than four months since launch, the first calibrated images are being delivered by ESA’s SMOS mission. These images of 'brightness temperature' translate into clear information on global variations of soil moisture and ocean salinity to advance our understanding of the water cycle.

Launched on 2 November, the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission is improving our understanding of Earth’s water cycle by making global observations of soil moisture over land and salinity over oceans. By consistently mapping these two variables, SMOS will not only advance our understanding of the exchange processes between Earth’s surface and atmosphere, but will also help to improve weather and climate models.

In addition, the data from SMOS will have several other applications in areas such as agriculture and water resource management. (ESA)


War on the West II

Grand Staircase National Monument

In 1996, President Clinton created an outcry in western states with the words:

NOW, THEREFORE, I WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 2 of the [Antiquities] Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431), do proclaim that there are hereby set apart and reserved as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, for the purpose of protecting the objects identified above, all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the United States within the boundaries of the area described on the document entitled “Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument” attached to and forming a part of this proclamation

By presidential proclamation he set nearly 1,700 square miles of Bureau of Land Management lands in Utah off limits with his surprise designation of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument and, with it, access to over 11 billion tons of recoverable, low sulfur, high btu (energy) coal. Several more such designations followed in what many felt was a War on the West. Continue reading...


NETL research delivers efficiency for fossil fuel use - Lab gets patents for several technologies that make hydrocarbons cleaner

The U.S. Department of Energy announced Feb. 17 that researchers in the agency’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, or NETL, have received patents for several new technologies, all targeted at the cleaner and more efficient use of fossil fuels.

“The far-reaching innovations address a range of fossil-fuel issues, including hydrocarbon production; carbon dioxide capture and sequestration; emissions controls; and making fossil-fuel systems, such as boilers, turbines and fuel cells, more efficient,” DOE said. (Alan Bailey, GoO)


No wonder they are cranking up the search for oil... Wind turbines to supply 40% of Falklands’ power

Annual wind power contribution in the Falkland Islands is set to rise to 40% of total energy generated with the installation of three new wind turbines, which started going online on 15 February. The installation of the first three wind turbines in 2007 has resulted in the displacement of 26% of annual fuel consumption and the aim with the three new turbines is to reach 40% fuel displacement. (MercoPress)


Looney TunesAustralia Group Rolls Out Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2020 - 'There Are No Technological Impediments'

A report to be released in the first half of this year finds that Australia can use solar and wind power to produce 100 percent of its electricity in 10 years using technologies that are available now.

The study is being compiled by the Victoria–based advocacy group Beyond Zero Emissions and is based on the research of engineers and scientists.

"We have concluded that there are no technological impediments to transforming Australia’s stationary energy sector to zero emissions over the next 10 years," said Matthew Wright, executive director of Beyond Zero Emissions.

(Stacy Feldman, Solve Climate)

Oh, I can think of an impediment or two and not merely technical:
  1. We Aussies are not stupid enough to waste the vast sums involved transforming a perfectly good and rather cheap electricity supply to an expensive waste of resources.
  2. Even if we were stupid enough to waste the vast sums involved transforming a perfectly good and rather cheap electricity supply to an expensive waste of resources K.Rudd and his Kommie co-travelers have squandered our societal surplus and put us into debt for a least a decade, probably a generation or two, so we can't afford this absurd pipe-dream anyway.

What's that do for your little wet dream?


Geothermal Energy Gets Cash But Hits Roadblocks

LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO - Technology to generate energy by harnessing the earth's inner heat is finally getting respect and looks on track to test ways to expand the industry, thanks to new U.S. government funding.

But steep startup costs and financing remain barriers, and new geothermal technology to pump cold water into hot rock also has sparked worries about the risk of manmade earthquakes, dimming prospects for near-term expansion. (Reuters)


Modular Reactors Getting Jump Start

Modular nuclear reactors are gaining momentum. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Babcock & Wilcox, a division of Houston-based McDermott International, had signed agreements with a trio of companies that could help Babcock & Wilcox get federal approval for its proposed modular reactor, a unit that would generate up to 140 megawatts. [Read More] (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)


Everyone Who Knows What They're Talking About Agrees with Me - And everyone who doesn't wears a tin foil hat

Is man-made global warming happening? Can nuclear waste be stored safely? Do concealed handguns reduce violence? Think about those questions for a minute. Then think about your thinking: Why do you hold those particular views on these controversial issues? And do scientific experts agree with you? (Ronald Bailey, Reason)


Turning peer review into modern-day holy scripture

The treatment of peer-reviewed science as an unquestionable form of authority is corrupting the peer-review system and damaging public debate.

Suddenly, the esoteric system of peer review has hit the headlines.

The Lancet, a leading British medical journal, has acknowledged that it made a serious error in publishing a study suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine and autism and bowel disease. Earlier this month, a group of leading stem cell researchers wrote an open letter pointing out the systematic abuse of peer review by a small cabal of scientists, whom they accuse of using their position to slow down the publication of the findings of their competitors.

Then there is the scandal surrounding the leaked emails of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England, and the dubious data published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which further exposes a worrying trend towards the corruption of peer review.

Peer review is a system that subjects scientific and scholarly work to the scrutiny of other experts in the field. Ideally it ensures that research is only approved or published when it meets the standards of scientific rigour and its findings are sound. At its best, peer review guarantees that it is disinterested science which informs public discussion and debate. When established through peer review, the authority of science helps to clarify disputes and injects into public discussion the latest findings and research. Peer reviewing depends on a community of experts who are competent and committed to impartiality. It depends on the commitment and collaboration of scientists and scholars in a given field.

However, the individuals who constitute a ‘community of experts’ also tend to be preoccupied with their own personal position and status. Often, the colleagues they are reviewing and refereeing are their competitors and sometimes even their bitter rivals. The contradiction between working as a member of an expert community and one’s own personal interests cannot always be satisfactorily resolved.

Unfortunately, even with the best will in the world, peer reviewing is rarely an entirely disinterested process. All too often the system of peer review is infused with vested interests. As many of my colleagues in academia know, peer reviewing is frequently carried out through a kind of mates’ club, between friends and acquaintances, and all too often the question of who gets published and who gets rejected is determined by who you know and where you stand in a particular academic debate. (Frank Furedi, spiked)


Virus experiment reminds that flu surprises await

WASHINGTON - Researchers who mixed together bird flu and ordinary flu viruses created three extremely virulent new strains, a reminder that influenza viruses can swap genes to create dangerous offspring.

Their experiment, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrates that as H1N1 swine flu wanes, other forms of flu continue to circulate and could make surprise appearances.

A World Health Organization experts committee was meeting on Tuesday to try to decide whether the H1N1 swine flu pandemic has peaked. But experts agree H1N1 might change or come back in a different form or recombine with another flu strain.

And H5N1 avian influenza is still circulating. It has infected 478 people and killed 286 of them since it re-emerged in Asia in 2003.

That particular strain especially frightens flu experts because it is so deadly when it does infect humans. They worry that H5N1 could either mutate or re-assort with another flu strain to become more easily able to spread among people. (Reuters)


Flightless mosquitoes may curb dengue: study

WASHINGTON - Genetically altered mosquitoes that cannot fly may help slow the spread of dengue fever and could be a harmless alternative to chemical insecticides, U.S. and British scientists said on Monday.

They genetically altered mosquitoes to produce flightless females, and said spreading these defective mosquitoes could suppress native, disease-spreading mosquitoes within six to nine months.

There is no vaccine or treatment for dengue fever, which is endemic in the tropics and is particularly prevalent in Asia and the western Pacific. The disease, which causes severe flu-like symptoms and can kill, is spread through the bite of infected female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

"This could be the first in a new wave of products that might supplant insecticides," researcher Anthony James of the University of California, Irvine, said in a telephone interview.

There are an estimated 50 million cases of dengue fever each year and about 2.5 billion people - two-fifths of the world's population - are at risk, mostly in Africa and southeast Asia, according to the World Health Organization. (Reuters Life!)


Medical journal bars tobacco-backed research papers

HONG KONG - A leading scientific journal will no longer publish research papers that receive any funding from tobacco companies, its editorial board said on Tuesday.

"While we continue to be interested in analyses of ways of reducing tobacco use, we will no longer be considering papers where support, in whole or in part, for the study or the researchers come from a tobacco company," states an editorial in PLoS Medicine (Public Library of Science).

The magazine expressed concern at "the industry's longstanding attempts to distort the science of and deflect attention away from the harmful effects of smoking." (Reuters)


Are non-smokers smarter than smokers?

NEW YORK - Cigarette smokers have lower IQs than non-smokers, and the more a person smokes, the lower their IQ, a study in over 20,000 Israeli military recruits suggests.

Young men who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day or more had IQ scores 7.5 points lower than non-smokers, Dr. Mark Weiser of Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and his colleagues found.

"Adolescents with poorer IQ scores might be targeted for programmes designed to prevent smoking," they conclude in the journal Addiction.

While there is evidence for a link between smoking and lower IQ, many studies have relied on intelligence tests given in childhood, and have also included people with mental and behavioral problems, who are both more likely to smoke and more likely to have low IQs, Weiser and his team note in their report. (Reuters Health)


HICKS: Child obesity in nanny state

Earlier this month, President Obama created a task force on childhood obesity to be headed by Michelle Obama, who has taken up the issue as her public-service cause under the banner "Let's Move." 

Pointing to the nearly one-third of U.S. children who are either obese or overweight, the administration will pursue a legislative agenda to support its efforts, expanding the federal school-lunch program by $10 billion over 10 years and spending $400 million to bring grocery stores to so-called food deserts, urban and rural areas without adequate food stores. (Marybeth Hicks, Washington Times)


Always trying to strangle consumption: UN calls for action on growing electronic waste

Study suggests the increased dumping of used computers, mobile phones and other electronic equipment poses a serious threat to health and the environment ( Bobbie Johnson, The Guardian)

One thing the Gaia nuts never mention is that resource-rich "waste" represents significant opportunity for the very poor (much the same way as flipping burgers was considered an opportunity in my day, although generation Y seems to think it beneath them).


Former White House adviser Van Jones lands new D.C. gig at liberal think tank

Van Jones, the environmental justice advocate who relinquished his post as a White House adviser five months ago after coming under fire from conservative activists, is reemerging on the public policy stage to push for green jobs.

In his first interview since stepping down as President Obama's environmental adviser on Sept. 5, Jones said that a green jobs policy represents the best chance of both aiding poor Americans and bridging the political divide. (Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post)


Strange that the Western MSM presented such a dire alternate report: Census of marine life reveals 5.000 new species and “most advanced chemicals”

A preview of the Census of Marine Life has revealed that the project has discovered over 5,000 new species. These include bizarre and colourful creatures, as well as many organisms that produce therapeutic chemicals. (MercoPress)


Nature is such a harsh mistress: Abundant rainfall anticipate bumper soybean crops in Brazil and Argentina

Brazil and Argentina, the biggest soybean producers after the US, may harvest as much as a combined 120 million metric tons of the oilseed this year as rain boosts yields, Cargill Inc.’s Jose Luiz Glaser said. (MercoPress, February 19th 2010)


Just a few days later: Too much rainfall threatening Argentina’s record soybean crop

Argentina’s record soybean crop may yield less than expected as continued downpours threaten to cause beans to rot and fungal diseases to spread, according to a Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange official quoted on Monday. (MercoPress, February 22nd 2010)



New Climate Agency Head Tried to Suppress Data, Critics Charge

Thomas Karl, the head of Obama's new Climate Change office has been criticized for trying to suppress contradictory scientific data on climate change. (Ed Barnes,


Senators Warn Over C02 Regulation

WASHINGTON—Eight Democratic Senators from coal and manufacturing states warned the Obama Administration Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency's plans to regulate greenhouse gases could hurt the economy. 

The lawmakers, including prominent Senators Max Baucus, (D., Mont.), Carl Levin, (D., Mich.) and John Rockefeller, (D., W.V), warned EPA chief Lisa Jackson in a letter that "ill-timed or imprudent regulation of [greenhouse gases] may squander critical opportunities for our nation, impeding the investment necessary to create jobs."

The letter could boost a Republican effort led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, (R., Alaska), to prevent the EPA from regulating stationary greenhouse gas emitters such as power plants, refineries, steel mills, chemical plants and cement kilns. (WSJ)


Hmm... EPA May Soften Greehouse Gas Permit Requirement

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday it was considering reducing the number of big industrial plants that would be required to get permits to fight climate change.

In September, the EPA said it would require large facilities, like coal plants and refineries, emitting more than 25,000 tons a year of greenhouse gases to obtain permits demonstrating they were using the best technology available to reduce emissions blamed for warming the planet.

"EPA is considering raising that threshold substantially to reflect input provided during the public comment process," the agency said in a release. (Reuters)

... real world respondents suggested EPA may take a flying leap at itself.


EPA Delays Start of New Rules on Emissions

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday the agency would delay subjecting large greenhouse-gas emitters such as power plants and crude-oil refiners to new regulations until 2011, and would raise the threshold for using the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

After an outcry from state regulators and members of Congress, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency would also limit regulations for the first half of 2011 to emitters already required to apply for new construction and modification permits under the Clean Air Act.

Between 2011 and 2013, "I expect the threshold for permitting will be substantially higher than the 25,000-ton limit that EPA originally proposed," Ms. Jackson told lawmakers in a letter. (WSJ) | Read EPA Chief's Letter


More on EPA’s Climate Science Problem: The Peabody Petition

In my last post, I pointed out a problem with the EPA’s major finding that:

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations.

I showed that it could be reasonably and straightforwardly argued that less than half of the warming since 1950 contained in the “observed” global temperature history can be attributed to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This is bad for the EPA, as this finding was simply parroted by the EPA from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)—a report relied on heavily by the EPA in underpinning its Endangerment Finding (that greenhouse gases released by human activities “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”). When the IPCC is wrong, so is the EPA.

Another new problem with the IPCC’s AR4 was reported earlier this week. This one involved the IPCC’s reliance on a book chapter instead of the peer-reviewed literature to conclude that sea ice extent around Antarctica had changed little since the late 1970s. In fact, it is well-established in the scientific literature, dating both prior to and subsequent from the production of the AR4, that there has been a statistically significant increase in the extent of sea ice in the Antarctic. That the IPCC AR4 projects Antarctic sea ice declines to accompany global warming, it is little wonder why the IPCC AR4 Chapter 4 authors wanted to downplay the actual behavior of Antarctic sea ice.

The Antarctic sea ice problem adds to an ever growing list of problems uncovered recently (since the EPA’s Endangerment Finding) that exist within the IPCC AR4 reports. Other errors involve IPCC findings on Himalayan glaciers, Amazon rainforests, African agriculture, Dutch geography, attribution of extreme weather damages, and several others.

And none of these problems have been exposed as a result of the Climategate email release. Well, maybe as a general result of the heightened nature of inquisitiveness that the Climategate emails evidenced as being warranted, but not as a direct result of the content of the any particular email.

But, don’t let this leave you thinking that the Climategate emails are just much ado about nothing, as many IPCC apologists would like you to believe. Far from it. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


The EPA's climate con

Looks like the great climate-change unraveling came none too soon.

Three states last week filed papers challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's scheme to use global-warming fears to seize sweeping power over much of the US economy.

Officials in Texas, Virginia and Alabama charge that recent revelations challenging the scientific "consensus" that humans are causing catastrophic warming also undermine the EPA's decision to regulate greenhouse gasses as a pollutant -- which would give it inordinate power over nearly every industry in the country.

But what about that warming? Certainly, it hasn't been a good few months for climate alarmists. (NYP)


Key Senator Sees No Quick Move On Climate Bill

WASHINGTON - Senator Max Baucus, whose committee oversees aspects of climate control legislation, said on Monday there did not appear to be momentum yet for passing a bill.

"If you actually read the tea looks like it's not getting a head of steam," Baucus told Reuters during a short interview.

Climate legislation aimed at controlling greenhouse gas emissions had been a top priority of the Obama administration but like his efforts to reform the expensive health care system, it has stalled in Congress.

Countries around the world are waiting to see what the Unites States will do on battling global warming but there is growing doubt there are enough votes in Congress to get pass the legislation in this congressional elections year. (Reuters)


UN Climate Official Steps In It, Then Aside

There are numerous possible reasons for UN climate chief Yvo de Boer’s decision to resign—from his inability to cobble together a new climate treaty last December in Copenhagen (where he wept on the podium), to recent revelations of his agency’s mishandling of climate change data.

What the climate science community and the public should focus on now are the ramifications of de Boer’s resignation. For one thing, it signals that hope is dead for a UN-brokered global treaty that would have any meaningful effect on global temperatures. It also means that the UN intends to keep its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change pretty much intact under the leadership of the scientifically compromised Rajenda Pauchari, who should have resigned along with de Boer.

This development guarantees that the Obama administration will have an unmitigated mess on its hands when signatories to the Framework Convention sit down in Mexico City this November in yet another meeting intended to produce a climate treaty. The Mexico City meeting convenes six days after U.S. midterm elections, in which American voters are fully expected to rebuke Obama for policies including economy-crippling proposals to combat climate change.

In short, Mexico City is about as likely to produce substantive policy decisions as the TV show ‘The View.’ Backers of radical climate change measures are now paying the price for over two decades of telling the public—in this case literally—that the sky is falling. (Patrick J. Michaels, Cato @ liberty)


They won't give up: Bonn To Host Extra U.N. Climate Talks, Treaty Unsure

OSLO - Germany will host an extra session of U.N. climate talks in April but it is too early to say if the world will agree a new treaty this year after falling short at a summit in Copenhagen in December, Denmark said on Monday.

"The negotiations are picking up speed again after Copenhagen," Danish Climate and Energy Minister Lykke Friis, who presides over the U.N. negotiations, told Reuters by telephone.

She said that 11 representatives of key nations decided at a one-day meeting at the headquarters of the Bonn-based U.N. Climate Change Secretariat to add an extra session of senior officials from 194 nations in the Germany city from April 9-11.

"There was a positive and constructive atmosphere and all parties were eager to move forward with the negotiations," she said of the first formal meeting since Copenhagen. (Reuters)


UN Eco-Commissars on Bali – Again

For folks terrified of warmer weather, the UN climate commissars sure do have a strange affinity for the balmy climes of Bali. (Claudia Rosett, PJM)


It's a conspiracy, they tells ya! A conspiracy! Greens take on sceptics

AUSTRALIAN green groups have called a strategy meeting to devise ways to hit back at the climate sceptics movement, amid fears they are losing the PR war.

The groups, including Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society, World Wide Fund for Nature, Australian Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Earth, have acknowledged that the public mood has shifted following the collapse of the Copenhagen climate talks and blows to the credibility of the IPCC.

James Norman, of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said the strategy of ignoring climate change sceptics had not worked as it had been taken as confirmation of their claims. ''The stakes are too high to remain silent or disorganised in the face of this systemic disinformation campaign,'' Mr Norman said. (The Age)

The really alarming thing is that the media still take these misanthropic nitwits seriously.


Wedded to their lies

The warmists have been continuing to huff and puff about the terrible sceptics who are calling their religion into question, one of the latest broadsides coming from The Guardian yesterday, headed: "Do climate change sceptics give scepticism a bad name?"

The details need not detain us, other than to note that this is an authored piece by Adam Corner, a research associate at Cardiff University. His interests, we are told, "include the psychology of communicating climate change".

It might help though if Corner told us that his "interests" were slightly more formal than his casual description would imply. His University is in fact a partner in an EU-funded project called PACHELBEL, funded to the tune of €1.68 million, researching "consumer behaviour" in relation to climate change.

Corner's work comes on the back of an earlier survey which addresses resistance to the climate change message, making this apparently independent academic a paid servant of the EU, charged with fighting climate scepticism.

Although not always picked up directly, it is this patina of dishonesty shrouding the warmists that is breaking though. Nothing they say is now regarded as trustworthy. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


The most slimy essay ever from the Guardian and Columbia University

Opinion by Anthony Watts

There has never been a time at WUWT that I’ve used the word “slimy” in a headline. This is a special case. I thought of about a half dozen words I could have used and finally decided on this one. I chose it because of precedence in a similar situation where Steve McIntyre wrote his rebuttal to a similar piece of amateur journalism entitled Slimed by Bagpuss the Cat Reporter.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Last week, the Guardian invited me to participate in their new online story forum. They were seeking the input from climate sceptics on issues they were writing about. They especially wanted my input. I said I’d consider it, but was a bit hesitant given the Guardian’s reporting history. But, after some discussion with one of the reporters, it seemed like a genuine attempt at outreach. I suggested that if they really wanted to make a gesture that would make people take notice, they should consider banning the use of the word “denier” from climate discourse in their newspaper. Nobody I know of in the sceptic community denies that the earth has gotten warmer in the past century. I surely don’t. But we do question the measured magnitude, the cause, and the scientific methods.

Now, any progress that has been made in outreach by the Guardian has been dashed by the most despicably stupid newspaper article I’ve ever seen about climate skeptics. The Guardian for some reason thought it would be a good idea to print it while at the same time trying to reach across the aisle to climate skeptics for ideas. Needless to say, they’ve horribly botched that gesture with the printing of this article.

Here’s the headline and link to the Guardian article:

Climate sceptics are recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain

It’s full of the kind of angry, baseless, stereotypical innuendo I’d expect Joe Romm to write. Instead, the writer is Jeffrey D Sachs. who is professor of economics and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, home to NASA GISS. (WUWT)


That "conspiracy" meme

Anthony Watts over at Watts up with that is a tad miffed with The Guardian - and rightly so.

But we are all getting a little weary with the desperation of the warmists to pin their conspiracy meme on us – the constant prattling about climate sceptics being funded by corporate interests.

As with just about everything associated with these people, there is a fundamental dishonesty about their argument. They pick up on the sceptic funding, ignoring the fact that most activists are entirely self-funded and working on a shoe-string, and ignore completely their own funding.

Yet, when it comes to corporate funding, one of the biggest "corporates" of them all is the European Union. In the run-up to the IPCC's AR4 (2002-2006), it threw €2.3 billion – yes BILLION – at climate change under its FP6-SUSTDEV programme.

Taking account matched funding from institutions and member state governments, plus separate national programmes (such as the £243 million the UK has allocated to the Met Office), and you are almost certainly talking about a sum in the region of €5 billion, out of Europe alone.

We do not have the specific figures for US research in that very narrow period (2002-2006), but Joanne Nova offers a sum of $36 billion for climate research over 20 years.

Given inputs from Canada, Australia and other developed countries – all within the same nexus – and the huge flow of funds from the giant US charitable foundations, plus corporate spending and the NGOs, and you can easily make a case for expenditure on pushing the climate change agenda in the run-up to AR4 exceeding $10 billion ... or £10 billion if you prefer, as long as we are in ballpark figures.

It is virtually impossible to work out the level of sceptic spending, but even if you put the total figure at £100 million (and that would take a giant leap of faith), that gives a spending ratio of something like 100:1 in favour of the warmists.

One could, of course, take the warmist paranoia over sceptic funding as a compliment. Despite the torrent of funds, they are on the back foot, run ragged by a citizen army, many equipped with no more than a laptop and a brain.

On the other hand, you can see where the warmists are coming from. Having thrown money at their new religion and been unable to prove their case, for them to admit that they are being defeated by so slender an opposition must be the ultimate humiliation.

Hence, for their own self-esteem, they have to invent their "well-funded, highly organised conspiracy" meme. To admit to reality would be more than they could cope with – they would probably suffer collective nervous breakdowns if they confronted the truth.

Speaking of which, does anyone know where Moonbat is? (Richard North, EU Referendum)


It’s all in the Head…lines

David Adam in The Guardian, 11 March 2009:

Sea level could rise more than a metre by 2100, say experts

David Adam, Guardian podcast, 13 March 2009:

The scientists, they have been saying it for a while, and we’ve been saying it in the media for a while… but I think the scientists have lost a little bit of patience almost. I mean one said to me here that we’re sick of having our carefully constructed messages lost in the political noise. You know this is the scientific community standing up and saying enough is enough, we’ve lost patience, get your act together.

Jeffrey Sachs in The Guardian, Friday 19 February 2010:

Climate sceptics are recycled critics of controls on tobacco and acid rain. We must not be distracted from science’s urgent message: we are fuelling dangerous changes in Earth’s climate.

David Adam in The Guardian, 21 February 2010:

Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels.

Adam Corner, Guardian, 22 February 2010:

Do climate change sceptics give scepticism a bad name? There is a crucial difference between scepticism and non-belief in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Sachs and Corner, like many alarmists, are continuing to hide behind the idea that the climate debate divides on a single point of difference: “Climate change is happening” versus “climate change isn’t happening”.

Even as shorthand, this is a clumsy, clumsy polarisation of the debate. There are many points of disagreement between perspectives within each putative ‘side’, and many points of agreement across them.

The implication is that people framing the debate in this way – as between people saying “climate change is happening”, and “climate change isn’t happening” reduce themselves to the level of their least sophisticated opposition. Very, very few commentators in the ‘sceptic’ camp in fact make such an argument. (Climate Resistance)


American Journalists MIA on Global Warming

By simply ignoring the massive scandal, American journalists are making the inevitable public backlash against them worse. (Dennis T. Avery, PJM)


How Al Gore Wrecked Planet Earth

The Washington Post this morning has a strong story on the collapse of the movement to stop climate change through a binding treaty negotiated under UN auspices. And even the normally taciturn New York Times is admitting that the resignation of the top UN climate change negotiator suggests that no global treaty will be coming this year.

Short summary: the current iteration of the movement–with its particular political project and goals–is dead. This will not be news to readers of this blog where the news was announced on February 1, but never mind. 

Anyway, as the Post now belatedly acknowledges, the movement to stop climate change through a Really Big and Comprehensive Grand Global Treaty is dead because there is no political consensus in the US to go forward. It’s dead because the UN process is toppling over from its own excessive ambition and complexity. It’s dead because China and India are having second thoughts about even the smallish steps they put on the table back in Copenhagen.

Doornail dead. (The American Interest)


Good grief! Climate Change

Yvo de Boer’s resignation on Thursday after nearly four tumultuous years as chief steward of the United Nations’ climate change negotiations has deepened a sense of pessimism about whether the world can ever get its act together on global warming. Mr. de Boer was plainly exhausted by endless bickering among nations and frustrated by the failure of December’s talks in Copenhagen to deliver the prize he had worked so hard for: a legally binding treaty committing nations to mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases.

His resignation comes at a fragile moment in the campaign to combat climate change. The Senate is stalemated over a climate change bill. The disclosure of apparently trivial errors in the U.N.’s 2007 climate report has given Senate critics fresh ammunition. And without Mr. de Boer, the slim chances of forging a binding agreement at the next round of talks in December in Cancún, Mexico, seem slimmer still.

Yet his departure is hardly the death knell for international negotiations. It is not proof that such talks are of no value or that the U.N. negotiating framework in place since 1992 should be abandoned. Even Copenhagen, messy as it was, brought rich and poor nations closer together than they had been. And more than 90 countries representing 83 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases promised, at least notionally, to reduce their emissions.

But his resignation does remind us that the U.N. process is tiring, cumbersome and slow. It reinforces the notion that some parallel negotiating track will be necessary if the world is to have any hope of achieving the reductions scientists believe are necessary to avert the worst consequences of climate change. (NYT)


A worldwide fervor over climate change orthodoxy: Christopher Essex

Can you hear me? You’ve been incognizant, but it’s over and you’re going to be OK. Take deep breaths and relax until your vision clears.

The world is not going to end because of climate change, at least not in the near future.

You are a most fortunate individual. You have been a participant in the biggest inter-dimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909! No wait, that’s Ghostbusters.

Let me put it differently: There has never been anything quite like this — ever.

The entire world has been embroiled in a persistent, free-floating global fervor (and a really nasty one, too) allegedly based on fervor-less, dispassionate science. 

Recently, there was a huge explosion in the climate change orthodoxy factory that was set off by objective evidence we have been deceived and manipulated.

The evidence was the leaked e-mails of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), which are now subject to several official investigations, forcing the head of the CRU to step aside. The e-mails tell a lurid tale of unbecoming, unwarranted, organized and fierce hostility to skeptical climatic researchers, as well as data tampering, anti-scientific secrecy, manipulations of scientific journals, and distortions of peer review that make George Orwell look like a prophet. (Christopher Essex, Toronto Sun)


Left-Wing European Press Attacks IPCC, UN Climate Change “Dilettentes”

The meltdown of the climate change movement is entering a new phase as the European left turns on the UN climate change office and the IPCC.

The German left wing press, one of the world’s strongest supporters of the ‘climate change movement’ is turning against the scientists and UN bureaucrats responsible for leading the movement. A round-up of German press coverage over the unexpected resignation of UN climate chief Yvo de Boer offers a perspective on the failures of the climate change movement that is both more scathing and more frank than anything the mainstream US press has yet brought itself to utter. (The American Interest)


Negative Impact of Policies Based on False IPCC Reports

A man called who experienced what is evolving from the lies and deceptions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) used to perpetrate the agenda of Maurice Strong. A group of citizens attended a public briefing on the British Columbia government’s climate change plans. I met them and all were concerned, frustrated and determined to do something. They asked about the science, but the main question was what could they do. Around the world similar plans are filtering down which give government control over almost every aspect of people’s lives using their money. Climate change as the major vehicle for political control requires a popular revolt because most politicians aren’t listening. (Tim Ball, CFP)


Amazing... CU-Boulder prof speaks on mass media role in climate change skepticism

Mass media have been a key vehicle by which climate change contrarianism has traveled, according to Maxwell Boykoff, a University of Colorado at Boulder professor and fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES.

Boykoff, an assistant professor of environmental studies, presented his research today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego. He spoke during a panel discussion titled "Understanding Climate Change Skepticism: Its Sources and Strategies."

Boykoff's segment was titled "Exaggerating Denialism: Media Representations of Outlier Views on Climate Change" and discussed prominent pitfalls. (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Climate hysteria is basically a media construct and these guys blame the media for failing to sufficiently indoctrinate the populace!


SciAm: AGW is worse than IPCC thought

If you have strong nerves, you should look what has happened with once fine popular science magazine, Scientific American. The most recent four months have shown everyone that the IPCC has distorted the available evidence in order to claim that the climate change is going to be - or already is - scary.

Well, there's one magazine that has the balls to tell you that the IPCC is actually too conservative:

Despite Climategate, IPPC Mostly Underestimates Climate Change
Yes, to give you an additional hint about their competency, they put "IPPC" instead of "IPCC" in the title.

The article claims that the warming and sea level trends predicted by the IPCC in 1990, 1995, 2000 were exceeded in reality. Well, that's surely a bizarre statement given the fact that the trend since 2001 has been cooling and there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995, as Phil Jones recently admitted, while the IPCC has surely predicted a statistically significant global warming for the last 15 years. The story about the sea level rise is similar. Yesterday, The Guardian reported that an IPCC-consistent paper claiming up to an 80+ centimeter sea level rise in a century has been withdrawn due to major errors.

So you may ask: how did the folks in Scientific American justify such a strange claim? Well, they wouldn't find any sane person - and not even any climate scientist - who would say such a thing (perhaps James Hansen could also do the job, but his lack of sanity is already too well-known a fact). But they find the predetermined conclusions to be so important that the writers considered it appropriate or necessary to quote a guy from the Harvard Medical School!

To make things worse, his name is James McCarthy - at least it wasn't Joseph McCarthy. ;-)

Well, if you look at the affiliation, you will learn that the Harvard Medical School has its own center for "health and the global environment". In the recent years, the AGW cancer has become so widespread that separate units (or tumors) of global warming alarmism are growing - and are being funded - even in the medical schools.

Needless to say, not only McCarthy's propositions are manifest lies, but as his page shows, he also has no qualifications to make statements about this physical science. Since 1982 for 20 years, he's been the director of a museum of comparative biology, and he has been a member of most bureaucratic bodies trying to justify the carbon regulation policies with the plankton. His field was biological oceanography.

By the way, the oceans are doing very well and will be doing just fine even if the unlikely case that a significant warming would take place, see e.g. a new finding by the folks at the Penn State University about the diversity of coral reefs advertised by One India a few days ago. But this kind of research isn't what Scientific American likes: you have to go to India to learn about this research done in Pennsylvania. The rotten self-described science journalists in the U.S. prefer a non-research - deluded unjustified and unjustifiable opinions of an outsider twisted by his huge career interests.

An eleven-fold increase of the hurricanes

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)


What the weatherman never said

Might the beginning of Lent not be an appropriate time for a little repentance, asks Christopher Booker. (TDT)


USA Dept of Energy Jones et al 1986 350 pages station documentation now online in pdf

It has finally happened, many thanks to a volunteer in California who through the inter-library loan system found a copy of the Martin Marietta 1991 edition DoE book published by CDIAC – and has scanned the entire book. (Warwick Hughes)


Reisinger and the divergence problem

An interesting article from the New Zealand Herald, looking at the divergence problem. What particularly fascinated me was the explanation of the issue from Andy Reisinger, who some will remember as being a man who is very close to Rajendra Pachauri.

Reisinger is a climatologist, but not, if I remember correctly, a paleo guy. It's odd then to see him being the expert interviewed on the subject of the divergence problem. It might also explain the explanation he gives for this inconvenient effect:

Dr Andy Reisinger, a climate researcher at Victoria University who has followed the progress of proxy temperature reconstructions, said it could be that a lack of rain in recent decades had stunted tree growth in some high-altitude spots - or that when temperatures reached a certain point, trees began to react differently.

Whatever the cause, "the relationships [between tree-rings and temperature] that we've developed for the last 500-100 years may not apply in the last 50," he said.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that paleoclimatologists picked trees that were sensitive to temperature rather than precipitation when they set about recreating temperatures of the past. If a drop in rainfall can cause a drop in growth now, then it could have caused a drop in the past. In other words, the paleo guys will have to admit that they know absolutely nothing about temperatures before the nineteenth century. (Bishop Hill)


Jerry Ravetz part 2 – Answer and explanation to my critics

Dr. Ravetz’s first posting on WUWT created quite a controversy. You can read it here:

Climategate: Plausibility and the blogosphere in the post-normal age.

Answer and explanation to my critics –

Guest post by Jerome Ravetz

Jerome Ravetz, of Oxford University in the UK.

First, I want to apologise for my long silence.  I have been overwhelmed by the volume and quality of the comments on this and other blogs, and just keeping up with them, while writing and also meeting other urgent commitments, has been a full time job.  I had nearly completed this when my daytime job ran into emergency phase, and I was delayed a bit further.  I am not at all afraid to put my point of view and see what happens.

The next thing to say is that I believe that my critics and I are fundamentally on the same side.  The basic motivation for our design of post-normal science was to help maintain the health and integrity of science under the new conditions in which it now operates.  I believe that my critics share this concern.  I can learn from them how I might have expressed myself better, or even how I have been just wrong in this case as sometimes in the past, or perhaps that our disagreements on practical issues are just too deep to be bridged.

Since my history is relevant to the debate, let me make a few very brief points.  I did grow up in a left-wing household in the ‘thirties, and I recall that it took about a decade, from my teens onwards, for me to make a complete sorting out of political Marxism.  Remembering this process gives me perspective on disagreements that take place now; both I and my interlocutor are (hopefully) moving and learning even if we do not show it.  A very big event for me was attending Swarthmore College, where I was exposed to the Quaker approach to living and discussing, and also to the way of non-violence.  As with other influences, this one took decades to mature.  I went to Cambridge, England and did a Ph.D in pure mathematics, settled here and later seized the chance to move to Leeds to study and teach the History and Philosophy of Science. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


Mojib Latif on ZDF: "A Fraud to the Public"

The German public television station ZDF has put together a nice segment (in German, available here) on the substantive problems in the IPCC, including the issue of catastrophe losses. In it Mojib Latif, a prominent German climate scientist, comments on the misrepresentation of the science of disasters and climate change in very strong terms:

"This is clearly a fraud to the public and to the colleague. Everybody has to reject such a behaviour. We have to take care, those things won't happen again."
UPDATE: In the comments Richard Tol offers some helpful details on the translation (original above by a native German speaker, FYI):
Latif uses the word "Betrug", which can mean fraud, but also deceit, deception, cheating, fooling, swindle, fiddle, or scam.

I would think that "Betrug" is somewhat softer than "fraud", but then English is my second language and German my third.
FURTHER UPDATE: From the comments:
German is my first language,too, and I would translate Mojib Latif's sentence like this:

"This is a very obvious fraud, on the public and on the colleague in question. One has to categorically reject such a thing and we must now try, should such things really have happened, to make sure they don't happen again next time."

On a sliding scale of words refering to matters of dishonesty, "Betrug" is the strongest and most serious accusation, used in the sense of criminal deception. As even in Germany libel cases are no longer quite so rare, using this word can be quite risky. Note that the ZDF itself calls this "dubious goings on" ("unsauberes Handeln") and does not itself accuse the IPCC of fraud. Mojib Latif, who is entirely apologetic about the other mistakes pointed out in the ZDF report, uses "Betrug" very deliberately, when referring to the IPCC's misrepresentation of Roger's work, but covers himself when he adds "wenn sie [solche Dinge] tatsaechlich vorgekommen sind" - "wenn" could be translated even stronger as "if" and not just "should have" but it's unclear from his words how much doubt he meant to throw in there.
(Roger Pielke Jr)


£60m bill for the CO2 of our political class

We pay billions of dollars to Asian countries for the right to continue emitting CO2 here in the West , says Christopher Booker. (TDT)


News Article On Fox News With Respect To The Appointment Of Thomas Karl As The Head Of A New Climate Office

There is a news article today by Ed Barnes of Fox News titled “New Climate Agency Head Tried to Suppress Data, Critics Charge“. The article accurately summarizes issues associated with the appointment of  Thomas Karl as the head of a new Climate office. As reported in the article, he

 ”has been criticized for trying to suppress contradictory scientific data on climate change.”

I documented the process by which Tom Karl excluded other viewpoints in my Public Comment

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“. 88 pp including appendices.

which I wrote after I resigned from the CCSP  Committee (not the IPCC Committee as given in the article).

Excerpts from the Executive Summary of my report read

“The process for completing the CCSP Report excluded valid scientific perspectives under the charge of the Committee. The Editor of the Report [Tom Karl] systematically excluded a range of views on the issue of understanding and reconciling lower atmospheric temperature trends. The Executive Summary of the CCSP Report ignores critical scientific issues and makes unbalanced conclusions concerning our current understanding of temperature trends”


“The process that produced the report was highly political, with the Editor taking the lead in suppressing my perspectives, most egregiously demonstrated by the last-minute substitution of a new Chapter 6 for the one I had carefully led preparation of and on which I was close to reaching a final consensus. Anyone interested in the production of comprehensive assessments of climate science should be troubled by the process which I document below in great detail that led to the replacement of the Chapter that I was serving as Convening Lead Author.

Karl’s narrow and incorrect view of the climate issues is illustrated yet again in the quote from the Fox News article where it is written

“Responding to the criticism, Karl told the Washington Post, “the literature doesn’t show [Pielke's] ideas about the importance of land use are correct.”

This statement, if he was quoted correctly, shows just one example of why he is ill-suited to serve as head of a new climate office. 

The literature is extensive on the major role of land surface change within the climate system as documented, for example, in the multi-authored assessment reports

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp


Kabat, P., Claussen, M., Dirmeyer, P.A., J.H.C. Gash, L. Bravo de Guenni, M. Meybeck, R.A. Pielke Sr., C.J. Vorosmarty, R.W.A. Hutjes, and S. Lutkemeier, Editors, 2004: Vegetation, water, humans and the climate: A new perspective on an interactive system. Springer, Berlin, Global Change – The IGBP Series, 566 pp

and summarized most recently in

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union.

For Tom Karl to cavalierly dismiss the peer-reviewed evidence of the major role of land surface processes documents his inaccurate narrow view on the climate issue.

It is disappointing that he has chosen to use his position to promote this particular perspective, as well as deliberately worked to exclude other views.  (Climate Science)


Water Vapor The Next Demon Gas

With CO2 driven global warming becoming more discredited by new scientific evidence every day, the world's meddling climate regulators are casting about for a new gas to demonize. Last year the US Environmental Protection Agency was reportedly thinking of even classifying water vapor as a pollutant, due to its central role in global warming. Because water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, accounting for the majority of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect, water vapor emissions during human activities—such as the processing and burning of fossil fuels—are again coming under increasing scrutiny by government regulators.

Recent research has shown that water vapor, gaseous H2O, plays an important part in regulating Earth's temperature. It has long been known that H2O is responsible for the majority of “greenhouse” warming. In fact, calculations show that removal of all greenhouse gases, leaving only water vapor, would decrease the absorption of infrared energy re-radiated by Earth's surface by only 34 percent. While water vapor in the atmosphere is highly variable, ranging from only trace amounts to as much as 4%, the overall average amount of H2O has been rising in recent decades.

According to a PNAS report by B, D. Santer et al. the recent increase in water vapor is primarily due to human-caused increases in GHGs and not to solar forcing or volcanic eruptions. Satellites have observed an increase in atmospheric water vapor of about 0.41 kg/m2 per decade since 1988. Observations show the increase in water vapor is around 6 to 7.5% per degree Celsius warming of the lower atmosphere. The study described the research this way:

Results from current climate models indicate that water vapor increases of this magnitude cannot be explained by climate noise alone. In a formal detection and attribution analysis using the pooled results from 22 different climate models, the simulated "fingerprint" pattern of anthropogenically caused changes in water vapor is identifiable with high statistical confidence in the SSM/I data. Experiments in which forcing factors are varied individually suggest that this fifingerprint ‘‘match’’ is primarily due to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases and not to solar forcing or recovery from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Our findings provide preliminary evidence of an emerging anthropogenic signal in the moisture content of earth’s atmosphere.

Here SSM/I data refers to microwave radiometry measurements made with the satellite-borne Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I). According to the researchers, the observed changes in temperature, moisture, and atmospheric circulation fit together in an internally and physically consistent way. Results from the SSM/I dataset can be seen in the figure below, taken from the paper.

Figure 1. from Santer et al./PNAS

The lower curve, labeled (B), represents the stratospheric aerosol optical depth (SAOD), which registers the amount of small particles in the atmosphere. SAOD can be seen to peak after after major volcanic eruptions, events that are known to have a cooling effect on climate. Naturally Santer et al. found a “discernible human influence” on water vapor levels which, of course, has implications for ongoing anthropogenic global warming. “These findings, together with related work on continental-scale river runoff, zonal mean rainfall, and surface specific humidity, suggest that there is an emerging anthropogenic signal in both the moisture content of earth’s atmosphere and in the cycling of moisture between atmosphere, land, and ocean,” they conclude. Then again, they attributed all water vapor from evaporation due to rising global temperatures rise to humans—direct emissions are another story.

The US EPA's 2009 report on the Atmospheric Concentrations of Greenhouse Gases states, “water vapor is not tracked in this indicator, as it is generally accepted that human activities have not increased the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere.” Furthermore, “no emissions control measures could significantly and directly affect atmospheric concentrations of water vapor.” No kidding. But this has not stopped the EPA from thinking about regulating water vapor for some time now.

According to EPA Director of the Department of Pollutant Decrees, Ray Donaldson: “Back before carbon dioxide was dangerous, we simply assumed that water vapor was also benign. But all reputable scientists now agree that the increased water vapor content of the atmosphere from such sources as burning of fuels and power plant cooling towers will also enhance the greenhouse effect, leading to potentially catastrophic warming.” Of course the EPA and various green NGOs find pollutants in every human activity. Asked for their position on the matter, Greenpolice spokesperson Rainbow Treetower stated, “Our basic policy is, if it's good for people, it's bad for the planet.” Thank goodness Mr. Donaldson added, “right now, we are not so concerned about the water vapor exhaled by people. That is low on our list of priorities.” I guess we can all continue to exhale.

The World Resources Institute (WRI) estimates that nearly two out of every three gallons of fresh water used in the Southeastern US is used to cool power plants. This amounts to around 40 billion gallons of water daily—about equal to the freshwater used for public supply across the entire country. One can draw similar conclusions for other regions in the developed world. During the heat waves in Europe a few years back France had to reduce output from several of its nuclear plants because for lack of cooling water. Does this mean that the EPA is right, that we humans need to rein in our H2O emissions?

When you think about the amount of energy released in a typical tropical storm, all of which comes from water vapor condensing back into liquid or solid H2O, it seems improbable that direct human water vapor emissions from cooling towers could have much of an impact on climate. To put this in perspective, a DOE white paper, “Water Vapor from Thermoelectric Power Plants, Does it Impact Climate?,” found that the total amount of water released from processing and burning all the world's fossil fuel reserves at once would yield about 1 x 1016kg of water vapor. Spreading the effect of the conversion over 100 years gives a water vapor emissions rate of 1 x 1014kg water vapor per year. The current amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is 1.3 x 1016kg water. By this estimation, human emissions from power generation is less than 1% of the total amount of water vapor in the atmosphere or 0.02% of annual rainfall worldwide (5 x 1017kg water).

Not so bad after all. The Limerick Nuclear Generating Station, PA. Photo by J. Royersford.

This estimate only accounts for power generation. Estimates for cooling water vapor emissions come in at around 25 gigatons per year, boosting the human “industrial activity” total to 125 gigatons, still under 1% and still just a drop in the bucket. Others would include evaporation from the surface of man-made reservoirs and waterways, but this is the beginning of a slippery slope. If you want to find the largest source of water vapor directly attributable to humans look to crop irrigation, which uses 70% of the freshwater consumed world wide. But that opens the door to arguments of how much water would have evaporated if left undisturbed.

The evaporation of irrigation water has been estimated to cause a globally averaged surface cooling of 0.15 Wm–2. The surface cooling rate can be as large as 30 Wm–2 in highly irrigated areas. Of course this means that somewhere else within the atmosphere all that latent heat will get released when the water vapor turns into precipitation. The heat doesn't disappear, it just gets moved to somewhere else in the troposphere—this process is heat neutral with respect to total climate system energy. Besides, if the choice is between irrigation and mass starvation any would be regulators would risk being drawn and quartered. It is plain to see why even climate change fanatics have stayed clear of water vapor regulation in the past.

Irrigation makes Arizona crops flourish.

As it turns out, despite the clamoring of green alarmists, nuclear power plants circulate significant volumes of water in the process of generating electricity but actually consume a small amount of water relative to other uses. Nuclear power plants circulate water to cool equipment, continuously returning the water to its source—comparatively little is turned into water vapor that is released into the atmosphere. For comparison, a combined cycle gas turbine plant needs only about one third as much engineered cooling as other thermal plants, since much heat is discharged in the turbine exhaust (along with a lot of that nasty CO2).

All power plants require some type of cooling, water is just usually the most convenient method. In fact, where availability of cooling water is limited, cooling does not need to be a constraint on new nuclear generating capacity. Alternative cooling options for nuclear and other types of power plants are available, though at slightly higher cost. It also seems that the WRI report was rather selectively myopic in its comparison.

Of all the freshwater consumed in the United States, electricity generation accounts for 3.3 percent—less than half of the freshwater consumed by residential use (6.7 percent), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. What is seldom mentioned by the diehard anti-nuke crowed is that nuclear power plants consume less water per unit of energy produced than some forms of renewable energy.

Water required for energy production. Source Dominguez-Faus et al.

Bottom line, unless you are willing to make the stretch and blame evaporation from the oceans due to the past century's temperature rise on humans, people just are not a major impact on atmospheric water vapor. The reasons why water vapor levels rise and fall remain a mystery. In particular, scientists are at a loss to explain why variations in the stratosphere can have such an impact on temperatures at the surface. According to NOAA researcher Susan Solomon, “it’s a thin wedge of the upper atmosphere that packs a wallop from one decade to the next in a way we didn’t expect.” With science befuddled a number of climate change adherents are sticking with CO2, no matter what the research says.

Dave Britton from the UK Met Office reportedly said that the new water vapor research highlights the complexity of climate science. “But it does not challenge the basic science that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released from human activity are warming the planet,” he said.

In a similar vein, Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate science at the Met Office, said: “Whatever's causing this change from decade to decade is having an influence at the surface. But it is a small variation on top of the long term increase in man-made greenhouse gases.” While +30 to -25% doesn't sound like a small variation to this observer, it's good to know that many of the climate change faithful are sticking with CO2—perhaps they will all go down with that rapidly sinking ship.

Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay skeptical. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)


Guest Post By Ben Herman “Conservation in Radiative Transfer Calculations”

Guest Post by Professor Ben Herman

I was just reading over the question from  Dan Hughes on this  site dated Feb. 9, 2010. The question  asked whether instrumentation having sufficient spatial and temporal coverage and measurement accuracy will ever be available to validate the expected TOA  radiative energy balance. It was, as you stated on your blog, a very good question. A similar question could be raised with respect to theoretical calculations of the TOA outgoing irradiance. (Climate Science)


Climate Change Melts Antarctic Ice Shelves: USGS

WASHINGTON - Climate change is melting the floating ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula, giving scientists a preview of what could happen if other ice shelves around the southern continent disappear, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said on Monday.

The ice has retreated so far from the land mass that Charcot Island, which has long been connected to the peninsula by an ice bridge, emerged as a real island again last year, a USGS scientist said.

"This is the first time since people have been observing the area, since the 1800s, that that ice shelf has not hitched together Charcot Island and the peninsula," scientist Jane Ferrigno said in a telephone interview.

The Antarctic Peninsula extends further northward than the rest of the roughly circular ice-covered continent, and it is warmer than the rest of Antarctica. But even in the peninsula's coldest, southern part, ice shelves are vanishing.

Research by the USGS was the first to show that every ice front on the southern section of the peninsula has been retreating from 1947 to 2009, with the most dramatic changes since 1990. (Reuters) | Ice Shelves Disappearing on Antarctic Peninsula (USGS)

So a mixture of current changes and waves knocked out some ice shelves on a peninsula that extends north of the Antarctic Circle, what about it? The Antarctic is really cold. It remains really cold. Sea ice is increasing around the frozen continent. Why exactly do they think we should panic over slightly less severe conditions on a peninsula closer to South America than the South Pole?


ASU researcher outlines strategies to curb urban heat island

SAN DIEGO – Protect yourself from the summer sun is good advice to children who want to play outside on a hot summer day and it is good advice to cities as a way to mitigate the phenomenon known as urban heat island.

For children, a hat, long sleeves and sun block provide protection. For cities, it might be canopies, additives to construction materials and smarter use of landscaping that helps protect it from the sun, said Harvey Bryan, an ASU professor of architecture.

Bryan presented several possible strategies a city could use to help it fight urban heat island (UHI) in a presentation he made at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in San Diego, Feb. 18 – 22. Bryan's presentation, "Digital Simulations and Zoning Codes: To Mitigate Urban Heat Island," was presented on Feb. 21 in a session on Urban Design and Energy Demand: Transforming Cities for an Eco-Energy Future.

Urban heat island is a phenomenon experienced by large cities, especially those located in desert areas, where the constant heat of the day is absorbed by the buildings, pavement and concrete. The result is a rise in nighttime low temperature for a city's core from the stored heat of the day. (Arizona State University)


NETL drilling deep without touching the earth - The Ultra-deep Drilling Simulator mimics the conditions of deep reservoirs

The most extreme drilling in the world isn’t even penetrating the surface of the earth. 

Right now, crews at the Extreme Drilling Laboratory in Morgantown, W. Va., part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, are testing a system that simulates some of the deepest oil and natural gas reservoirs on the planet. 

The Ultra-deep Drilling Simulator allows researchers to test drilling operations at pressures of 30,000 pounds per square inch and temperatures above 480 degrees, conditions similar to those in ultra-deep reservoirs located 20,000 feet underground. 

The information gleaned from those tests goes far beyond what government researchers currently know about deep wells. Testing conducted through the Deep Trek Program, also funded by the Department of Energy, topped out at 15,000 psi and 250 degrees. (Eric Lidji, GoO)


Robert Rapier Spanks The Ethanol Boosters Again

Mandating ethanol while also subsidizing it is like paying people to obey speed limits. [Read More] (Energy Tribune)



CHURCHVILLE, VA—My wife is complaining about our increased costs at the supermarket. I remind her that every pound of meat, milk, and butter we buy requires several pounds of corn to produce—and biofuel mandates have shoved the corn price up from about $ 2 per bushel to $3.60. Many hog producers, dairymen, and egg farms have gone bust due to the inevitably higher cost of feed for livestock. 

The higher food costs come on top of the already-higher prices we pay at the pump for the lower-energy ethanol being mixed with our gasoline. 

Now, comes word of another failing biofuel “miracle.” Thousands of farmers in the developing world were told that biofuel from an oily tree fruit, jatropha, could be grown on marginal land. Thus it could produce massive amounts of renewable fuels without competing with food crops. (CGFI)


The Long Road to an Alternative-Energy Future

Blame it on technology, infrastructure or policy. But it's going to take many years for new technologies to make much of a dent in our current energy mix. (WSJ)


National Parks Are Safer with Right to Carry Law

The journey this bill made to passage illustrates the power of special interest money to move the legislative process. 

Thanks to a new federal law beginning February 22, people who can legally carry concealed handguns according to state law can also carry within national parks and forests in that state, too. While this may help protect visitors from the parks’ burgeoning crime problem, the story of this law’s journey through Congress provides a lesson in campaign contributions and anti-liberty special interests. (Howard Nemerov, PJM)


Swine flu still out there, officials caution

WASHINGTON - H1N1 swine flu is still circulating around the world and still killing people, although it is on the decline everywhere, global health officials said on Friday.

The H1N1 strain is the dominant form of influenza globally, but some seasonal strains are starting to emerge in China and Africa, the World Health Organization reported.

The United States remains one of the hardest hit countries, but many Americans seem unconcerned and most have rejected the vaccine, according to a poll by the Harvard School of Public Health released on Friday. (Reuters)


U.S. hospital infections killed 48,000 - report

WASHINGTON - Pneumonia and blood-borne infections caught in hospital killed 48,000 patients and cost $8.1 billion in 2006, according to a report released on Monday.

The study is one of the first to put a price tag on the widespread problem, which is worsening and which some experts say is adding to the growing cost of healthcare in the United States.

"In many cases, these conditions could have been avoided with better infection control in hospitals," said Ramanan Laxminarayan of Resources for the Future, a think tank that sponsored the study.

Sepsis - a blood infection - killed 20 percent of patients who developed it after surgery, Laxminarayan and colleagues reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

They studied hospital discharge records from 69 million patients at hospitals in 40 U.S. states between 1998 and 2006, looking for two diagnoses - hospital-acquired pneumonia and sepsis. (Reuters)


It's about time: British homeopathy funding is "bad medicine": panel

LONDON - Britain should end its state funding for homeopathic treatments because they are "scientifically implausible" and work no better than placebos, an influential parliamentary panel said on Monday.

The Science and Technology committee said homeopathic products are not medicines and should no longer be licensed by medicines regulators.

Homeopathy producers should not be allowed to make medical claims on product labels without evidence they work, it added.

The committee accused the government of sending out mixed messages about homeopathic remedies by saying that while there is no evidence to back them, they can still be paid for by Britain's public National Health Service (NHS).

"It sets an unfortunate precedent for the department of health to consider that the existence of a community which believes that homeopathy works is 'evidence' enough to continue spending public money on it," committee chairman Phil Willis said in a statement. "This also sends out a confused message, and has potentially harmful consequences."

An election is due in Britain later this year and political leaders are under pressure to come up with any saving they can to bring down the country's ballooning public deficit.

Ministers estimate the NHS spends around 152,000 pounds ($235,000) - a tiny fraction of its around 100 billion pound budget - on homeopathic remedies each year.

In its report on homeopathy, the committee agreed with the government that evidence shows homeopathy is not efficacious - meaning it works no better than a placebo, or dummy pill.

"Explanations for why homeopathy would work are scientifically implausible," it said. (Reuters)


Obesity? Big Feet? Blame Darwin - Evolution Helped Humans Have Children and Survive, But It Also Led to Modern-Day Maladies, Scientists Say

Evolution, the theory goes, guarantees survival to the fittest. But we can blame evolution for some of today's most pressing health problems, such as cancer, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

A 2009 Gallup poll found that 44% of Americans believe that God created human beings in their present form within the past 10,000 years. Many of them also think the human body is perfectly designed.

But most scientists—including biologists, anthropologists, paleontologists and geneticists—see the 21st century human body as a collection of compromises, jury-rigged by evolution as our ancestors adapted to changing conditions.

"In many ways, we are maladapted for modernity," says Stephen Stearns, a Yale evolutionary biologist. He and others in the field are urging medical schools to include more evolutionary thinking when teaching doctors about modern diseases. (WSJ)


Hmm... Obesity rise on death certificates, researchers say

There has been a "dramatic rise" in deaths in England in which obesity was a contributory factor, figures suggest.

Analysis of death certificates by a University of Oxford team found a year-on-year increase in obesity-related deaths between 2000 and 2006. ( BBC News)

Obesity rates a mention because its popular/topical?


Soft drink tax battle shifts to states

California legislators recently pledged to pass a soda tax, and similar proposals have surfaced in other states. Beverage company lobbyists face an uphill struggle to oppose them all. (LA Times)


From mouth-wateringly good to eye-wateringly bad: Hopes calorie count will spark food war

HEALTH authorities hope a mandatory calorie count label on fast food will spark a fat-busting war among retailers as consumers switch to healthier options.

The Victorian government is set to enter into discussions with the fast food industry over plans to force outlets to disclose the calorie content in fatty and sugar-laden foods.

The proposal comes as new figures reveal Melbourne's western suburbs are a hot spot for preventable type 2 diabetes, with one in seven residents aged over 55 developing the disease.

Diabetes Australia Victoria chief executive Professor Greg Johnson said a calorie disclosure program in New York was successful in changing consumer habits, leading to competition among fast food outlets for healthier alternatives.

"In one study, 82 per cent of people indicated that having that nutritional information on the fast food menu would change their choice and we're starting to see the fast food companies change their content to reduce the caloric content from market pressure, so there is evidence that that may make a difference," he said. (AAP)


Restaurants forced to tackle obesity by serving standard portions

Restaurants will be forced to serve standard-size portions under a new blueprint to tackle Scotland’s “obesity time bomb” that will see unprecedented state intrusion into people’s diets. (TDT)


A Base for War Training, and Species Preservation

FORT STEWART, Ga. — Under crystalline winter skies, a light infantry unit headed for Iraq was practicing precision long-range shooting through a pall of smoke. But the fire generating the haze had nothing to do with the training exercise.

Staff members at the Army post had set the blaze on behalf of the red-cockaded woodpecker, an imperiled eight-inch-long bird that requires frequent conflagrations to preserve its pine habitat.

Even as it conducts round-the-clock exercises to support two wars, Fort Stewart spends as much as $3 million a year on wildlife management, diligently grooming its 279,000 acres to accommodate five endangered species that live here. Last year, the wildlife staff even built about 100 artificial cavities and installed them 25 feet high in large pines so the woodpeckers did not have to toil for six months carving the nests themselves.

The military has not always been so enthusiastic about saving endangered plants and animals, arguing that doing so would hinder its battle preparedness.

But post commanders have gradually realized that working to help species rebound is in their best interest, if only because the more the endangered plants and animals thrive, the fewer restrictions are put on training exercises to avoid destroying habitat. (NYT)



Avoid planetary destruction by using Gaiaceptives:

An environmental group is distributing hundreds of thousands of free condoms with hopes that it will educate the public about the impact of human overpopulation on endangered species.


The condoms are enclosed in colorful packaging bearing images of endangered species like polar bears, jaguars and the Puerto Rico rock frog. The images are accompanied by slogans like “Wrap with care, save the polar bear,” and “Cover your tweedle, save the burying beetle.”

Tweedle? According to one definition: “To lure by or as by music: The Pied Piper tweedled the children into following him.” Well, at least they won’t be breeding. That PR amphibian offers better rhyming possibilities: “Put it in a sock, dogg! Save the Puerto Rico rock frog.” (Tim Blair)


Federal Officials Unveil Blueprint for Great Lakes

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The Obama administration has developed a five-year blueprint for the Great Lakes, a sprawling ecosystem plagued by toxic contamination, shrinking wildlife habitat and invasive species.

The plan envisions spending more than $2.2 billion for long-awaited repairs after a century of damage to the lakes, which hold 20 percent of the world’s freshwater.

Lisa Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, released the blueprint at a news conference on Sunday in Washington.

Among the goals is taking a “zero-tolerance policy” toward future invasions by foreign species, including the Asian carp, a ravenous fish that has overrun parts of the Mississippi River system and is threatening to enter Lake Michigan. (AP)


Marine Reserves Help Fish Recover

SAN DIEGO—When fisheries have plummeted or collapsed, one approach to fix the situation is to set up a marine reserve where fishing is banned. The idea is to provide relief to stressed fish stocks by providing safe habitat where fish can reproduce, and then spread out. But banning fishing when a fishing industry is already struggling can be controversial. Yesterday and tomorrow, at two sessions here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW), researchers presented new data that marine reserves help fish recover. (ScienceNow)


Green Revolution in India Wilts as Subsidies Backfire

SOHIAN, India—India's Green Revolution is withering. 

In the 1970s, India dramatically increased food production, finally allowing this giant country to feed itself. But government efforts to continue that miracle by encouraging farmers to use fertilizers have backfired, forcing the country to expand its reliance on imported food. (WSJ)


How to make more food with transgenic crops

SAN DIEGO—In the next 50 years, humans will have to produce as much food as we have over the entire history of civilization. The planet’s ever-expanding population demands it. Yet productive farmland is scarce, and other resources such as water and fertilizer (which is made from fossil fuels) become more constrained by the day. (SciAm)


Roots key to second Green Revolution

Root systems are the basis of the second Green Revolution, and the focus on beans and corn that thrive in poor growing conditions will help some of the world's poorest farmers, according to a Penn State plant scientist. 

"Africans missed the Green Revolution of the '60s because they typically do not eat wheat and rice, which was its focus," said Jonathan Lynch, professor of plant nutrition. 

The First Green Revolution was an effort to create dwarf wheat and rice plants that could prosper with more fertilizer. While this approach worked in Asia and other places where rice and wheat are the staple crops, it did not affect Africa. 

"Just as the Green Revolution was based on crops responsive to high soil fertility, the Second Green Revolution will be based on crops tolerant of low soil fertility," Lynch told attendees at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, today (Feb. 20) in San Diego, Calif. (Penn State)



EDITORIAL: Cuccinelli fights the EPA - Virginia attorney general questions global warming red tape

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli took a gutsy and intelligent step Feb. 17 when he petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its ill-advised "finding" that carbon dioxide creates an endangerment for human health. The endangerment finding would let the EPA battle alleged global warming by regulating emissions of CO2, which of course is the gas that every animal and person exhales with every breath. The finding was ludicrous from the start, and now Mr. Cuccinelli makes a reasonable case that it also was unlawful.

"Attorney General Cuccinelli believes that the EPA acted in an arbitrary and capricious fashion and failed to properly exercise its judgment by relying almost exclusively on reports from the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an arm of the United Nations] in attributing climate change to [human-caused] greenhouse gas emissions," the AG's office explains. "The IPCC is an international body that is not subject to U.S. data quality and transparency standards and the IPCC prepared their reports in total disregard to U.S. Standards." (The Washington Times)


The Heretics: McIntyre and McKitrick

When the infamous hockey-stick graph that purported to prove that human activities are causing runaway global warming was finally broken, there is some irony in the fact that a couple of Canadians did the breaking. Retired mining engineer Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph, have been a thorn in the side of global warming alarmists for years. McIntyre, McKitrick and, more often, the acronym “M&M” to refer to the pair, are the subject of many discussions in the e-mails released from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) last November. (Rich Trzupek, Frontpage)


People whose funding depends on belief in global warming crisis affirm belief in global warming crisis... Top Scientists Affirm Consensus on Global Warming

SAN DIEGO, California, February 20, 2010 - A panel of eminent U.S. and European scientists has confirmed the widespread scientific consensus that the Earth's climate is warming due to human activities, but said they and their colleagues should have responded more quickly and effectively to news of an error in a major climate report and hacked researcher e-mails.

In a symposium Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement Science, AAAS, the scientific leaders acknowledged errors in a 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and possibly impolitic email exchanges by East Anglian University climate researchers.

But they expressed shock at the political effects of the disclosures and said the impact was far out of proportion to the overwhelming evidence that human activity is changing the Earth's climate. (ENS)


Letter of the moment: The sound of alarm

KERRY EMANUEL’S Feb. 15 op-ed “Climate changes are proven fact’’ is more advocacy than assessment. Vague terms such as “consistent with,’’ “probably,’’ and “potentially’’ hardly change this. Certainly climate change is real; it occurs all the time. To claim that the little we’ve seen is larger than any change we “have been able to discern’’ for a thousand years is disingenuous. Panels of the National Academy of Sciences and Congress have concluded that the methods used to claim this cannot be used for more than 400 years, if at all. Even the head of the deservedly maligned Climatic Research Unit acknowledges that the medieval period may well have been warmer than the present.

The claim that everything other than models represents “mere opinion and speculation’’ is also peculiar. Despite their faults, models show that projections of significant warming depend critically on clouds and water vapor, and the physics of these processes can be observationally tested (the normal scientific approach); at this point, the models seem to be failing.

Finally, given a generation of environmental propaganda, a presidential science adviser (John Holdren) who has promoted alarm since the 1970s, and a government that proposes funding levels for climate research about 20 times the levels in 1991, courage seems hardly the appropriate description - at least for scientists supporting such alarm.

Richard S. Lindzen
The writer is Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
(Boston Globe)


Climate chaos continues: who’s at fault?

As the debate over climate change heats up and some scientists continue to maintain that global warming is caused by humans, others are claiming it is all part of a clever marketing scheme.

Head of National Energy Security Fund Konstantin Simonov said to RT, “The global warming theme is a fine opportunity to sell goods with an ecological margin. I mean you come to a shop and see expensive merchandise. You ask: Why so expensive? They reply: Friend, it's ecologically clean merchandize. Purchase it and you will save the planet. And this sort of thing is happening everywhere.”

Read more (Russia Today)


NAS: Cicerone criticizes IPCC

One India, BBC, and Science Now describe a meeting organized by Ralph Cicerone, the boss of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, that discussed the "climate crisis", i.e. the leaked information showing that the climate science ceased to be an honest scientific discipline.

Note the amazing differences between the three stories.

Remotely related: John Coleman's second show about the AGW pseudoscience. Playlist: 50 minutes divided to 9 parts. Stars: Somerville, Watts, Christy, ... If he avoided ludicrous propositions such as that "the Himalayas cover one tenth of the Earth's surface" in the second part (it's 1/200), and if he learned what the word "deficient" meant at 5:40, eighth part :-), he would be an excellent popularizer of science.

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)


Oh dear... still blundering on regardless: Policy advice, based on science, to guide the nation's response to climate change.

View this video to learn about the National Academies America's Climate Choices study from the experts who are working on it.

In response to a request from Congress, the National Academies have launched America's Climate Choices, a suite of studies designed to inform and guide responses to climate change across the nation. Experts representing various levels of government, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and research and academic institutions have been selected to serve on four panels and an overarching committee.

The Summit on America's Climate Choices, held March 30-31, 2009 in Washington, D.C., provided an opportunity for study participants to interact with major thought leaders and key constituencies to frame the questions and issues that the study will address.

Four panels of experts will release consensus reports in 2010:

The Committee on America's Climate Choices will issue a final report in 2010 that will integrate the findings and recommendations from the four panel reports and other sources to identify the most effective short-term actions and most promising long-term strategies, investments, and opportunities for responding to climate change. (National Academies)


They still believe: Iceberg Ahead

Climate scientists who play fast and loose with the facts are imperiling not just their profession but the planet. (Fred Guterl, NEWSWEEK)


Work Safe Version: Hitler Learns of Global Warming Collapse

A non-profane version of Adolph Hitler becoming enraged when he learns that the lies and distortions about man-made global warming have been exposed.


Where's Al?

“I’m like Punxsutawney Phil, but do you know what it means when I see my shadow? It means the earth is dying. Have you been outside today? It’s 60 degrees in late November. I mean there’s a Christmas tree in front of this building and guys are wearing flip-flops. You can’t say this isn’t real.” -Al Gore on Saturday Night Live, November 2009

It was all laughs for Al Gore last November when he hit the media circuit to promote his new book and educate the ignorant masses about the imminent threat of catastrophic climate change. He had the rapt attention of the politicians and the pundits and the celebrities. He’d won an Academy Award! The former Vice-President and presidential hopeful had built a new career as the voice of the Green Movement, and business was booming. What a difference three months makes. (Ken Connor, Townhall)


Climate Change and Open Science - In the Internet age, transparency is the foundation of trust.

'Unequivocal." That's quite a claim in this skeptical era, so it's been enlightening to watch the unraveling of the absolute certainty of global warming caused by man. Now even authors of the 2007 United Nations report that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal" have backed off its key assumptions and dire warnings.

Science is having its Walter Cronkite moment. Back when news was delivered by just three television networks, Walter Cronkite could end his evening broadcast by declaring, "And that's the way it is." The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report likewise purported to proclaim the final word, in 3,000 pages that now turn out to be less scientific truth than political cover for sweeping economic regulations.

Equivocation has replaced "unequivocal" even among some of the scientists whose "Climategate" emails discussed how to suppress dissenting views via peer review and avoid complying with freedom-of-information requests for data. (L. Gordon Crovitz, WSJ)


EDITORIAL: More errors in temperature data - The global warming cult sees its superstitions shattered

Yvo de Boer, the United Nations' top climate-change official, announced his resignation yesterday. Good riddance. The bureaucrat's departure is no surprise because his pseudo-scientific global warming religion was proved to be a hoax on his watch. (The Washington Times)


Caveats Regarding Dr. Phil Jones’ Phenological Arguments for Global Warming

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

The latest Science magazine has an extended interview with Dr. Phil Jones. In this post, I’ll keep away from issues related to Climategate, whether this was a softball interview (given that, for example, there is no discussion of deletion of files, if any) or whether, by refusing to share data with skeptics, Professor Jones was undermining the scientific method (because the scientific method relies, among other things, on giving one’s skeptics the opportunity to disprove one’s conclusions). Instead I will focus on phenological arguments that have been advanced to argue that global warming indeed exists.

These arguments are the subject of the second question posed to Dr. Jones:

”Q: Let’s pretend for a second that we threw out the CRU dataset. What other data are available that corroborate your findings about temperature rise?

“P.J.: There’s the two other datasets produced in the U.S. [at NASA and NOAA]. But there’s also a lot of other evidence showing that the world’s warming, by just looking outside and seeing glaciers retreating, the reduction of sea ice … overall, the reduction of snow areas in the northern hemisphere, the earlier [annual] breakup of sea ice and some land ice and river ice around the world, and the fact that spring seems to be coming earlier in many parts of the world.” Read the rest of this entry »



Interview with Michael Mann

If you haven't seen a real nutcase for a little while, read

The Benshi interview with Michael Mann.

What I find amazing is the high degree of logical inconsistency in his reasoning. On one hand, he thinks that the alarmed climate scientists are the "David" who fights against a gigantic "Goliath" who is very well organized and funded (by the fossil fuel industry, of course!).

And the poor "David" is so weak and discriminated against... The media have never helped to promote the opinions of the alarmed climate scientists, as Michael Mann remembers the history of the last 20 years. Poor alarm about climate change: you know, the hypothetical threats have never been mentioned in the evil media, at least if you omit those 50,000 articles a month on Google News! There's a huge injustice by the "Goliath" and a suffocating conspiracy working against the nice "David" of the climate alarm.

On the other hand, he thinks that the opponents of the climate alarm are a couple of disorganized fringe lunatics.

» Don't Stop Reading »
(The Reference Frame)


Setting the Record Straight on the IPCC WG II Fourth Assessment Report

Martin Parry

Martin Parry

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

Nature News is carrying an interview with Professor Martin Parry, co-chair of IPCC WG II during the preparation of its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), titled Setting the Record Straight.  Unfortunately, he is not asked about, nor does he address, any sins of omission. He does say, however, “I don’t think there’s a problem in the robustness, rigour and veracity of the entire volume. I don’t think there’s any systemic problem with the way the authors undertook their work.”

But can this be said for the Summary for Policy Makers, perhaps the only piece that policy makers and their advisors ever read?

In two previous posts I noted a number of the sins of omissions in the IPCC’s WG II Summary for Policy Makers: Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


Warming to the debate: Pro: Climate change is real; there is no debate

By By Walter C. Oechel
Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.

The message from five decades of scientific research, the public-at-large and even most politicians is clear: Climate change is real and we must act now. Our future health, economic well-being and national security are at risk if we don’t.

“But what about the debate?” There really isn’t one. The following are facts:

  • Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that acts to warm the planet.
  • Carbon dioxide is being emitted from fossil fuels by human activity.
  • The amount of carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel use is increasing.
  • The climate is getting warmer, more unstable, and the climate extremes are greater.
  • This can only be adequately explained by including human carbon dioxide emissions.

More than 90 percent of the U.S. and international scientific communities agree that while there has always been climate variation, the recent historic warming is due to human activities, particularly from fossil fuel overuse. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Walter is trying to use his own facts :) Try some reality:
  • Carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas that acts trivially to warm the planet and is an essential trace gas supporting most surface and oceanic life on earth.
  • Carbon dioxide is being emitted from fossil fuels by human activity but nowhere near as much as is naturally emitted from oceans, soils, crustal weathering and biological activity.
  • The amount of carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel use is increasing and that is a very good thing for humanity and green plants (and everything that depends on them for food and shelter).
  • The climate is possibly getting (slightly) warmer (fortunately), but not more unstable, and the climate extremes are nothing at all unusual.
  • This can only be adequately explained by including human carbon dioxide emissions. Deleted as simply too silly for words.
  • Atmospheric CO2's recovery from critically low levels is a major boon to life on earth and is highly desirable, not disastrous.
  • Human emission of carbon dioxide is the best thing we have ever done for life on earth (pity it had to be an accidental side effect).

My corrections in bold face.


Warming to the debate: Con: Denialists say it’s all about the water vapor

By Jack Henderson
Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.

First, to set the record straight, examination of ice core samples from the arctic shows that cyclical global warming and cooling has been going on for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. It is the sun’s emissions that provide the heat, and greenhouse gasses trap that heat, warming the Earth. As the sun goes through cycles of more or less emission, the Earth goes through cycles of warming and cooling.

Water vapor is Earth’s most significant greenhouse gas. About 95 percent of the greenhouse effect is from naturally occurring water vapor, and about 5 percent of it from other gasses. Of the other gasses, carbon dioxide is about 3 percent. Of that portion, about half is man-made. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

"Denialists" U-Trib? Sheesh! What a way to headline it.


UN Climate Chief Throws in the Towel - De Boer Will Be a Hard Act to Follow

A climate agreement looks remote following the chaos of the Copenhagen summit and now United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer has thrown in the towel. UN chief Ban Ki-moon is on the lookout for a suitable successor -- someone who won't be daunted by the mammoth task ahead. (Spiegel)


'De Boer's Resignation Is Catastrophic'

Yvo de Boer, the UN's climate chief, has announced his resignation. In the wake of an unsuccessful summit in Copenhagen he plans to leave diplomacy altogether and join a big-business consultancy as a climate expert. German papers aren't sure what's worse -- his departure from the UN, or the disappointments of Copenhagen. (Spiegel)


Oh dear... Seth Borenstein: Experts settle hurricane and global warming feud; predict bigger storms, but fewer ones

WASHINGTON — Top researchers now agree that the world is likely to get stronger but fewer hurricanes in the future because of global warming, seeming to settle a scientific debate on the subject.

But they say there's not enough evidence yet to tell whether that effect has already begun.

Since just before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005, dueling scientific papers have clashed about whether global warming is worsening hurricanes and will do so in the future. The new study seems to split the difference. A special World Meteorological Organization panel of 10 experts in both hurricanes and climate change - including leading scientists from both sides - came up with a consensus, which was published online Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience. (CP)

All this from a gorebull warming guesstimate... looks like it's going to be a very long time before we finally come to our senses about PlayStation® Climatology.


Hype of Global Warming Far Scarier Than Science Shows

Global Warming hysteria

The following Q&A with The Heritage Foundation’s Ben Lieberman is cross-posted from The Washington Post’s Planet Panel:

Q: As the controversy swirling around the IPCC deepens at the same time some are questioning the significance of global warming now that large portions of the U.S. are buried under record-breaking snow, what kind of information do policymakers need to make decisions about climate change?

Any risks of global warming need to be weighed against the risks of global warming policies. Policymakers must have accurate information on both sides of the equation in order to avoid measures that do more harm than good. Most of the recent proposals — the Senate’s Boxer-Kerry cap-and-trade bill, a new UN treaty, EPA’s regulatory scheme — fail to accurately weigh the risks because they are based on the false premise that climate change is a dire threat.

Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Another Rahmstorf ramble: Sunspots and Climate Change: Study Shows Humans Still Play the Key Role - A Solar Minimum Would Cool Temps, but Not Enough to Balance Human Activity

Solar cycles of magnetic fields and sunspots have become a popular foothold for climate change skeptics. A new study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, however, shows that even if predictions of an extended minimum of solar activity are accurate, it will have only a tiny effect on the Earth’s climate in comparison to the current track of human-caused warming. (Solve Climate)


Speaking of Rahmstorf, I see they are handing out the goodies while they still can: Stefan Rahmstorf elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union

02/17/2010 - As a “special tribute for exceptional scientific contributions”, Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The honorary fellowship is bestowed on only one in each thousand members in any given year, who have attained “acknowledged eminence in the Earth and space sciences”. (PIK)


North American snow models miss the mark – observed trend opposite of the predictions

While some other bloggers and journalists insist that recent winter snows are proof of global warming effects, they miss the fact that models have been predicting less snow in the northern hemisphere. See this  2005 peer reviewed paper:

Frei, A. and G. Gong, 2005. Decadal to Century Scale Trends in North American Snow Extent in Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models. Geophysical Research Letters, 32:L18502, doi: 10.1029/2005GL023394.

It says exactly the opposite of what some are saying now. – Anthony


Guest post by Steven Goddard

A 2005 Columbia University study titled “WILL CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT SNOW COVER OVER NORTH AMERICA?” ran nine climate models used by the IPCC, and all nine predicted that North American winter snow cover would decline significantly, starting in about 1990.

In this study, current and future decadal trends in winter North American SCE (NA-SCE) are investigated, using nine general circulation models (GCMs) of the global atmosphere-ocean system participating in the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC-AR4)…

all nine models exhibit a clear and statistically significant decreasing trend in 21st century NA-SCE

Some of the models predicted a significant decline in winter snow cover between 1990 and 2010. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


Nice little video from Kevin Trenberth, telling us how snow cover is decreasing...

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Download the most recent Adobe Flash Player here.

Meanwhile, 54.5% of the continental U.S. is snow covered. Predictions are difficult to make, especially about the future...


JPL: Missing ice in 2007 drained out the Nares strait – pushed south by wind where it melted far away from the Arctic

This fits right in to what I’ve been blogging about for two years. the 2007 record minimum ice extent was wind driven not melt driven. A significant portion of the ice did not melt in place. It was pushed south by the wind where it melted.

Here’s where the wind is a factor in pushing past the ice arches:

NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face

Arctic Sea ice loss – “it’s the wind” says NASA

Here’s where ice arches help: Update on Arctic sea ice melt – “Ice pockets choking Northern Passage”

Watch how ice flows in the Arctic: Arctic Sea Ice Time Lapse from 1978 to 2009 using NSIDC data

Today’s Press Release From JPL:

Missing ‘Ice Arches’ Contributed to 2007 Arctic Ice Loss

Large, thick floes of ice can be seen breaking off.

Large, thick floes of ice can be seen breaking off of the Arctic sea ice cover before entering the Nares Strait in this Dec. 23, 2007 radar image from the European Space Agency's Envisat satellite. Click for large image. Credit: European Space Agency

Animation: View animation (GIF 52 Mb) | View animation (GIF 13 Mb)

PASADENA, Calif. – In 2007, the Arctic lost a massive amount of thick, multiyear sea ice, contributing to that year’s record-low extent of Arctic sea ice. A new NASA-led study has found that the record loss that year was due in part to the absence of “ice arches,” naturally-forming, curved ice structures that span the openings between two land points. These arches block sea ice from being pushed by winds or currents through narrow passages and out of the Arctic basin. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


2009 paper confirming IPCC sea level conclusions withdrawn, mistakes cited

From the Guardian, finally some refreshing honesty in Science:

Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels

Study claimed in 2009 that sea levels would rise by up to 82cm by the end of century – but the report’s author now says true estimate is still unknown

sea level
The Maldives – poster child for bad science Photograph: Reuters

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

At the time, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said the study “strengthens the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results“. The IPCC said that sea level would probably rise by 18cm-59cm by 2100, though stressed this was based on incomplete information about ice sheet melting and that the true rise could be higher. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


Global warming may hurt some poor populations, benefit others

The impact of global warming on food prices and hunger could be large over the next 20 years, according to a new Stanford University study. Researchers say that higher temperatures could significantly reduce yields of wheat, rice and maize – dietary staples for tens of millions of poor people who subsist on less than $1 a day. The resulting crop shortages would likely cause food prices to rise and drive many into poverty.

But even as some people are hurt, others would be helped out of poverty, says Stanford agricultural scientist David Lobell. (Stanford University)

We're still hoping for warming since cooling is much harder to deal with but our chances are only 1:2


New Work on the Recent Warming of Northern Hemispheric Land Areas


Arguably the most important data used for documenting global warming are surface station observations of temperature, with some stations providing records back 100 years or more. By far the most complete data available are for Northern Hemisphere land areas; the Southern Hemisphere is chronically short of data since it is mostly oceans.

But few stations around the world have complete records extending back more than a century, and even some remote land areas are devoid of measurements. For these and other reasons, analysis of “global” temperatures has required some creative data massaging. Some of the necessary adjustments include: switching from one station to another as old stations are phased out and new ones come online; adjusting for station moves or changes in equipment types; and adjusting for the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. The last problem is particularly difficult since virtually all thermometer locations have experienced an increase in manmade structures replacing natural vegetation, which inevitably introduces a spurious warming trend over time of an unknown magnitude.

There has been a lot of criticism lately of the two most publicized surface temperature datasets: those from Phil Jones (CRU) and Jim Hansen (GISS). One summary of these criticisms can be found here. These two datasets are based upon station weather data included in the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) database archived at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), a reduced-volume and quality-controlled dataset officially blessed by your government for climate work.

One of the most disturbing changes over time in the GHCN database is a rapid decrease in the number of stations over the last 30 years or so, after a peak in station number around 1973. (Roy W. Spencer)


Groan... Governments 'misjudging' scale of CO2 emissions

Policymakers in Europe and United States are markedly underestimating the changes needed to mitigate CO2 emission required to prevent dangerous climate change because they work in 'silos,' according to pioneering research

Policy makers in Europe and United States are markedly underestimating the changes needed to mitigate CO2 emission required to prevent dangerous climate change because they work in 'silos', according to pioneering research.

Dr Sebastian Carney, from The University of Manchester, discovered that the lack of communication between government departments, NGOs and other authorities has resulted in significant differences over who is responsible for what. (University of Manchester)

They operate in 'silos' alright -- if they emerged to the real world they'd find carbon dioxide is actually an essential trace gas, whose increasing abundance benefits life on earth.


Lamberts Pinker-Tape “Ambush”: PR Stunt

Lambert has claimed a major win over his use of a voice recording (Monckton’s McLuhan Moment). As usual, it all sounds incredibly clear cut and impressive until the bluff gets hit with a 5 minute test…

The bottom line? The infamous “Pinker tape” turns out to be a reenacted piece of cherry-picking exaggeration, where lines are taken out of context to imply something important, or to frame it as if it was significant.

It’s true Monckton did get Pinker’s sex wrong (golly), and there was a point about fluxes being at the surface vs top of the atmosphere, but nothing Pinker or Lambert said makes much difference to the point that matters: Climate Sensitivity. (When the top of atmosphere problem emerged, Monckton recalculated the climate sensitivity on the spot, it changed from  “very low” to “even lower”.)  Pinker herself acknowledges that Monckton’s approach is reasonable.

Monckton has over the years, pointed to many reasons why climate sensitivity is low. The Pinker paper is just another one of these corroborating pieces (and it looks a doozy). Using satellite measurements, Pinker showed that more sunlight is reaching the surface of the Earth, (possibly due to less clouds over the ocean).  Over the 18 years, the increase in energy amounts to almost 3W/m2. If this is the case, there is just not much room for greenhouse gases to be heating the world after the effect of this extra surface sunlight is taken into account.

Pinker 2005 global solar irradiation

Pinker 2005, Fig 1: global solar irradiation.

Lambert’s staged recording and carefully edited slide contained this select message: More » (Jo Nova)


Geoengineering takes a ride in the shipping lanes

Computer models show how skyborne seawater particles change cloud brightness, temperature, rain patterns

SAN DIEGO -- Ships blowing off steam are helping researchers understand how manmade particles might be useful against global warming. New results from modeling clouds like those seen in shipping lanes reveal the complex interplay between aerosols, the prevailing weather and even the time of day the aerosol particles hit the air, according to research presented Saturday morning at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting.

"We've seen ship tracks affect the reflectivity of clouds," said Phil Rasch, chief climate scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. "We want to know if we can do the same thing when we want to, on purpose, and how that might be helpful in countering some of the effects of global warming.

"We decided to see how the reflectivity of clouds is influenced by particles in a very detailed model that treats clouds much more realistically than we are able to do in a typical climate model." (DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)


Dust in the Earth system

Dust is a powerful thing.

Not the stuff that we wipe off the coffee table on a regular basis, but the tiny particles floating around in the earth's atmosphere, which originate primarily from deserts in North Africa and the Middle East.

It can affect the oceans, impact the carbon cycle and even have an effect on global temperature.

Dust, and its impact on our planet, will be the focus of a symposium at the upcoming American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, in San Diego, California. The discussion will begin with a presentation by NSERC-funded researcher Dr. Karen Kohfeld from Simon Fraser University. (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council)


Dust from distant lands may affect climate and health in the Americas and Europe

Residents of the southern United States and the Caribbean have seen it many times during the summer months—a whitish haze in the sky that seems to hang around for days. The resulting thin film of dust on their homes and cars actually is soil from the deserts of Africa, blown across the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, there is new evidence that similar dust storms in the arctic, possibly caused by receding glaciers, may be making similar deposits in northern Europe and North America, according to Joseph Prospero from the University of Miami in a February 19 presentation to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

"Our recent work in Iceland has shown that most of the dust events there are associated with dust emitted from glacial outwash deposits, which may be carried into the northern latitudes and into Europe by synoptic weather events," says Prospero, professor of marine and atmospheric chemistry at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, in his talk "Intercontinental Dust Transport: The Linkage to Climate and its Environmental Impact."

Satellite data have shown large dust plumes in the arctic, but persistent cloud cover has made finding the origins difficult. The glaciers have been retreating in Iceland for decades, and the trend is expected to continue with the changing climate. Prospero predicts that dust activity from the newly exposed glacial deposits will most likely increase in the future in Iceland and possibly from other glacial terrains in the Arctic. (University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science)


An Important Study On The Role Of Station Siting On Surface Temperatures – “Effects Of Simulated Grazing On Soil Temperature, Moisture, And Respiration On A Shortgrass Steppe In Northeastern Colorado” By Jennifer Wolchansky

There is a very important research contribution that is relevant to the effect of the siting of surface temperature instrumentation with respect to the assessment of spatially representative long-term trends.  The implications of her study goes beyond that of cattle grazing, as this is the first study, to my knowledge, of the effect on surface temperatures of vegetation/soil patterns on the scale of a few meters. This, of course, assures that the overlying atmosphere is essentially identical such that any differences in the soil temperatures, and other climate metrics are due to the details of the immediate land surface characteristics.

The study is in an M.S. thesis (which is a peer reviewed contribution) under the direction of Peter D. Blanken of the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The thesis is

Wolchansky, Jennifer E. (M.A., Geography)
Effects of Simulated Grazing on Soil Temperature, Moisture, and Respiration on a Shortgrass Steppe in Northeastern Colorado. University of Colorado, 2005. (Climate Science)


Here comes the next bubble – carbon trading

Forget CDOs and other inventions of the great credit bubble. That’s all old hat. Investment bankers are moving on to an area of securities trading that is potentially even more lucrative, and what’s more, even has a social value – saving the planet. Or supposedly so, anyway. I’ve long had my suspicions about the great carbon trading bubble, and I’ve had them pretty much confirmed by a brilliant article which has been drawn to my attention by one Mark Schapiro in Harper’s magazine. (Jeremy Warner, TDT)


How to Create Jobs and Save the Environment

Drilling for oil

There’s a plan out there that will create jobs, collect revenue for state and federal governments and improve the environment. And it won’t come at any cost to the taxpayer but if the administration doesn’t act, it will be a net drain on the economy. 1.) What is it? 2.) Why haven’t Congress and the administration acted? The answers are increased oil and natural gas production in the United States and we have no idea.

The costs of the ban: A new study commissioned by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) details the social, economic and environmental effects of oil and natural gas exploration on and beneath federal lands. The report estimates that consumer energy costs will increase and cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) will decrease by $2.36 trillion over the next two decades.

The other cost on inaction is an environmental one and specifically relates to offshore drilling. Off the coast of Santa Barbara and elsewhere, oil seeps from the ocean floor release oily bubbles or droplets of oil. The non-profit organization Stop Oil Seeps (SOS) California details that these “Oil slicks of varying thickness form on the sea surface and spread out under the influence of wind and currents. As the oil loses its lighter fractions and undergoes weathering, some of it sinks to the ocean floor, some is dispersed by wave agitation into the water column, and some eventually washes up on shore or sticks to rocks near the high tide line.”

Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Green Jobs: The Last Redoubt (invoking military images of us-versus-them)

by Donald Hertzmark
February 19, 2010

Over the past few weeks, with more dents accumulating in the armor of warmism, a new battle line is taking shape: ” The U.S. economy is ill, energy is important, green jobs will save us, promote green jobs, give us your money.”  Or something like that.

In fact, the shock troops of the green job army are now promoting the phrase “global weirding” to replacing global warming.  There is also terminological retreat on the green jobs side. You see green tech is not actually going to do much positive for the economy, you should think of it rather as a form of “insurance,” against global weirding, I suppose.

As we limp into our second year of crony capitalism under Barack Obama, with small businesses loath to risk their funds in what is increasingly a rigged crapshoot, and the importance of having friends in Washington all the more vital, government-backed green jobs appear to many as the only way out. (MasterResource)


New Research Questions Haynesville Shale Economics

By Allen Brooks, ET guest columnist
Feb. 19 2010, 12:34 EST

Conventional wisdom says the United States is blessed with 100 years of natural gas supplies due to the success in applying horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies to gas shale formations that underlie many of the oil and gas producing formations throughout the country. [Read More] (Energy Tribune)


A Response to “New Research Questions Haynesville Shale Economics”

Allen Brooks is to be complimented for writing this piece to stimulate discussion on the gas capacity and economics of one of the most important new reservoirs, the Haynesville Shale.

I rarely respond to our guest commentators but in this case I wear two hats. I happen to be, as many of you know, a petroleum production engineer, with more than 25 years of experience in hydraulic fracturing. I was also among the first people in the industry to have used this type of well completion on horizontal wells.

The deployment of these two technologies, along with geosteering, new instrumentation, and advances in completion and stimulation fluids, is arguably one of the most resounding successes of the petroleum industry in the last two decades, on par with the ability to find, drill and produce oil in 10,000 feet of water and another 20,000 to 25,000 of earth below that.

I understand Allen’s qualified skepticism, but let me remind all that as late as 2005, the US Geological Survey was rating both the Haynesville and the Marcellus Shales at about 1 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. There have been some astonishing escalations of these numbers, published by reputable people, larger than any other in memory: up to 300 Tcf for the Haynesville, and more than 500 Tcf for the Marcellus. These volumes would put them at the #2 and #3 positions in world natural gas reservoirs, below the combined Iranian South Pars, yet undeveloped, and the Qatari North fields, but ahead of the Urengoy field, Russia’s largest. Even the most conservative estimates put the two US shale gas fields at a minimum of 30 Tcf, truly remarkable in any case. (Michael Economides, Energy Tribune)


Water Waste A Kink In New York Shale Gas Future

BINGHAMTON, New York - Technological advances that have unlocked natural gas from shale rock deep beneath the surface have outpaced advances in water waste disposal, meaning that gas drilling could begin in New York state before a waste disposal program is in place.

"There is a shortage of treatment facilities that can handle this very salty water, so that's going to become a bit of a bottleneck for the industry when they do start issuing drilling permits," said hydrogeologist John Conrad, head of the environmental consulting firm Conrad Geoscience Corp.

The booming shale gas business accounts for 15 to 20 percent of U.S. natural gas production and is seen increasing fourfold over the next 15 years, providing a relatively clean energy source for a country sensitive to its dependence on foreign oil and looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions.

But millions of gallons of water are needed for each shale gas well, leaving drillers to deal with the tainted waste water. Some companies such as Chesapeake Energy have employed a "closed-loop" system that reuses water, which experts and environmental critics see as part of the solution. (Reuters)


Lawrence Solomon: Faith in fission

Environmentalism is the religion of the left, but many on the right blindly follow a misguided dogma of their own

By Lawrence Solomon

Environmentalism is the religion of the left, commentators often pronounce: “The Church of the Environment,” as conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer puts it.

I have no argument with them here. Many environmentalists have taken leave of their senses, making a ritual of recycling and a demon of carbon dioxide, a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that is indispensable to all life on Earth. By conducting mystical inquisitions into our imagined carbon footprints instead of focusing on core issues such as protecting our air and water, environmentalists hurt their cause.

But those on the right, particularly in the U.S., have their own dogma, one that is equally irrational and that also hurts their cause. The religion of the right is Nuclear Power.

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)


Is DOE/Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s Windpower Impacts Study ‘Junk Science’? (Albert R. Wilson challenges the ‘experts’)

by Kent Hawkins
February 20, 2010

[Editor’s note: With the author's permission, MasterResource reprints a probing analysis of a recent study by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States. Albert Wilson critically examines a genre of analysis used by wind proponents, including government bodies and environmentalists, that produces a desired result. Comments are invited on this paper as well as on other examples of where methodological tricks are used to justify wind power and other politically dependent energy technologies. (Mr. Wilson's Bio is at the end of the article.)]


Invasive Biofuel Crops an Overlooked Danger

GLAND, Switzerland, February 19, 2010 - The risk that biofuel crops will become invasive and outcompete native species is increasing as more advanced biofuel crops are planted, according to new research into this previously neglected but potentially costly problem.

A new report by the nonprofit International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, finds it is "likely that the cost of an invasion by a biofuel feedstock or associated pest would, in the long run, outweigh any economic benefit offered by biofuel development." (ENS)


Don't do it! USDA's Vilsack Backs Revival Of Biodiesel Credit

WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged Congress on Thursday to reinstate the $1 a gallon biodiesel tax credit, calling it "an important credit" and "a support mechanism" for renewable fuels.

The credit expired at the end of 2009.

Farm groups and allies in Congress are seeking a revival retroactive to January 1, but do not have a legislative vehicle for it.

At the Agriculture Department's annual Outlook forum, USDA chief economist Joe Glauber said the future of soyoil as a feedstock for biodiesel is dependent on the future of the credit. Without it, other vegetable and animal oils will be more economical, he said.

USDA forecasts 2.2 billion lbs of soyoil will be used to make biodiesel this marketing year and 2.4 billion lbs in the 2010/11 marketing year, which opens Oct 1.

The United States produces about 19 billion lbs of soyoil annually. (Reuters)


EDITORIAL: Getting rid of gun control - One-gun-a-month limits hurt law-abiding citizens, not criminals

Virginia finally is poised to repeal its unusual law that prohibits law-abiding citizens from buying more than one gun per month. It's about time, because the red tape has not had the desired effect in lowering crime. There is no academic research by criminologists or economists that shows that one-gun-a-month regulations reduce crime in either the states that pass them or their neighbors. The laws have merely inconvenienced honest Americans who want to buy guns.

Besides Virginia, only Maryland, California and New Jersey still have these laws. South Carolina was the first state to adopt the restrictions in 1976 but repealed the limit in 2004. New Jersey has had the law on the books for less than two months now.

Contrary to the nanny-state notion that gun control is good, gun limitations are actually harmful. The book "The Bias Against Guns" shows that one-gun-a-month rules significantly reduce the number of gun shows, because they reduce the number of sales that can occur. For the same reason, it's likely the regulation reduces the number of gun dealers. The reduction in legal sources to buy guns can raise the cost of law-abiding citizens buying guns relative to criminals, and thus disarm good people relative to criminals. The book "More Guns, Less Crime," the only peer-reviewed research on one-gun-a-month restrictions, from the University of Chicago Press, shows the laws either have no effect or a detrimental effect on violent crime. (The Washington Times)


Ever wondered about the flow of Nobel Peace prizes lately? They were bought out in '04: KPMG Named Global Founding Partner of Nobel Peace Center - Firm Taking Further Steps To Extend Spirit Of Nobel

Toronto, June 30, 2004 - KPMG International, the global network of professional services firms providing audit, tax and advisory services, today announced that it has been named the Global Founding Partner of the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, as a demonstration of its global commitment to inspire leadership, ethics and responsibility. (Media Release)


WHO may declare post-peak pandemic phase next week

GENEVA - Flu experts will advise next week whether the world is in a post-peak phase of the H1N1 pandemic, signalling infections are falling in most countries but new waves may still occur, the World Health Organisation said on Friday.

The U.N. agency declared last June that the new virus was causing the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years and raised the alert level to the maximum 6.

The WHO's emergency committee, comprising 15 experts, will review the situation by teleconference on Tuesday but will not declare an end to the pandemic, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said.

"We stay at phase 6 or we move to post-peak, those are the only two possibilities," Hartl told a news briefing.

"The post-peak means basically a transition period where most countries have probably seen the peak of activity but it doesn't mean that all countries have. We could see additional waves," he said. (Reuters)


Diabetes helps explain obesity-birth defect link

NEW YORK - While some research has suggested that obese women have an increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect, a new study shows that diabetes may at least partly account for the link.

Studies on whether obesity raises the odds of birth anomalies such as spina bifida, cleft palate and heart defects have so far come to conflicting conclusions. One question is whether obesity, per se, is the problem -- or whether certain factors associated with obesity are at work.

Type 2 diabetes, which is closely related to obesity, has been linked to a heightened risk of birth defects in a number of studies.

The new study, of nearly 42,000 women who gave birth between 1991 and 2004, found no association between mothers' obesity and the risk of any major birth defect. However, there was a link seen with diabetes. (Reuters Health)


School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children

Ensuring that the food provided to children in schools is consistent with current dietary recommendations is an important national focus. Various laws and regulations govern the operation of school meal programs. In 1995, Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements were put in place to ensure that all meals offered would be high in nutritional quality.

School Meals reviews and provides recommendations to update the nutrition standard and the meal requirements for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. The recommendations reflect new developments in nutrition science, increase the availability of key food groups in the school meal programs, and allow these programs to better meet the nutritional needs of children, foster healthy eating habits, and safeguard children's health.

School Meals sets standards for menu planning that focus on food groups, calories, saturated fat, and sodium and that incorporate Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes. This book will be used as a guide for school food authorities, food producers, policy leaders, state/local governments, and parents. (NAP)


U.S. launches program to end 'food deserts'

PHILADELPHIA - In an effort to fight childhood obesity, the U.S. government launched a program on Friday to encourage supermarkets in low-income areas to increase access to healthy food.

The Obama Administration said it would provide $400 million for its Healthy Food Financing Initiative, which is modeled on a successful Pennsylvania program that in the last five years has led to more than 80 supermarkets being set up in "food deserts" - areas that were previously underserved by sellers of healthy food. (Reuters Life)


Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention in Children: Workshop Summaries

As the public health threat of childhood obesity has become clear, the issue has become the focus of local, state, and national initiatives. Many of these efforts are centered on the community environment in recognition of the role of environmental factors in individual behaviors related to food and physical activity. In many communities, for example, fresh produce is not available or affordable, streets and parks are not amenable to exercise, and policies and economic choices make fast food cheaper and more convenient than healthier alternatives.

Community efforts to combat obesity vary in scope and scale; overall, however, they remain fragmented, and little is known about their effectiveness. At the local level, communities are struggling to determine which obesity prevention programs to initiate and how to evaluate their impact.

In this context, the Institute of Medicine held two workshops to inform current work on obesity prevention in children through input from individuals who are actively engaged in community- and policy-based obesity prevention programs. Community perspectives were elicited on the challenges involved in undertaking policy and programmatic interventions aimed at preventing childhood obesity, and on approaches to program implementation and evaluation that have shown promise. Highlights of the workshop presentations and discussions are presented in this volume. (NAP)


Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today's generation of children. While parents and other adult caregivers play a fundamental role in teaching children about healthy behaviors, even the most positive efforts can be undermined by local environments that are poorly suited to supporting healthy behaviors. For example, many communities lack ready sources of healthy food choices, such as supermarkets and grocery stores. Or they may not provide safe places for children to walk or play. In such communities, even the most motivated child or adolescent may find it difficult to act in healthy ways. Local governments--with jurisdiction over many aspects of land use, food marketing, community planning, transportation, health and nutrition programs, and other community issues--are ideally positioned to promote behaviors that will help children and adolescents reach and maintain healthy weights.

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity presents a number of recommendations that touch on the vital role of government actions on all levels--federal, state, and local--in childhood obesity prevention. The book offers healthy eating and physical activity strategies for local governments to consider, making it an excellent resource for mayors, managers, commissioners, council members, county board members, and administrators. (NAP)


America, we need to talk about Jamie

Once upon a time, you kicked us Brits out when we tried to tell you how to run your affairs. It’s time to do the same with Jamie Oliver. (Rob Lyons, spiked)


Mom's diet may alter infant's allergies

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Eating lots of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy may lower the chance of having a baby with certain allergies, hint study findings from Japan.

Greater intake of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruit, and veggies and fruits high in beta carotene (generally those colored red and orange) may lessen the risk of having a baby with eczema (itchy, dry, red patched skin), Dr. Yoshihiro Miyake at Fukuoka University and colleagues found.

Foods high in vitamin E, found in some green vegetables, similarly may lessen the risk of having a wheezy infant, they report in the journal Allergy.

Beta carotene and vitamin E are two of many vegetable and fruit antioxidants thought to benefit health. But prior investigations of maternal antioxidant intake and childhood allergies offered conflicting findings. This area of research "is still developing," Miyake noted in an email to Reuters Health.


What's Silly Sammy doing now? (more of our irregularly featured Samuel S. Epstein watch)

Food & Drug Administration Admits Medical Radiation Risks, Ignores Mammography Dangers

CHICAGO, IL, February 16, 2010 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- The Cancer Prevention Coalition notes with approval that on February 9, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would take stringent action to regulate "the most potent forms of medical radiation," particularly those from increasingly popular CT scans.

Cancer Prevention Coalition Chairman Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. commends the FDA for warning that such radiation is unsafe and equivalent to that of about 400 chest X-rays, 0.4 rads (radiation absorbed dose), and "can increase a person's lifetime cancer risk."

However, says Dr. Epstein, "the FDA remains strangely unaware that radiation from routine premenopausal mammography poses significant and cumulative risks of breast cancer." (Press Release)


A Ban on Hormonal Meat is Three Decades Overdue

CHICAGO, IL, February 2, 2010 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- On January 29, 2010, with three other scientific experts, Samuel S. Epstein, MD, Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, filed a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Petition seeking an urgent ban on hormonal meat, as it poses unrecognized risks of hormonal cancers. (Press Release)


An FDA Ban on Genetically-Engineered Milk is Twenty Years Overdue

Cancer Prevention Coalition CHICAGO, IL, January 15, 2010 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- In May 2007, Samuel S. Epstein, MD, Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, and four other leading national experts on genetically-engineered, recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) milk filed a Petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), "Petition Seeking the Withdrawal of the New Animal Drug Application Approval for Posilac®-Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)." (Press Release)


A Dangerous Spin on the Cancer Risks of a Sugar-Free Sweetener

Cancer Prevention Coalition CHICAGO, IL, January 6, 2010 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- The Cancer Prevention Coalition notes with alarm that on January 2 this year, in a heavily advertised special health-theme issue of People Magazine, Kraft announced a new campaign on Crystal Light, a sugarless powdered drink mix which can easily be poured into tap and bottled water drinks. Crystal Light's ingredients include the artificial sweetener aspartame, under the trademark names of NutraSweet and Equal, besides citric acid and sodium citrate.

Cancer Prevention Coalition Chairman Dr. Samuel S. Epstein warns that, based on scientific evidence published in peer-reviewed journals and presented to the U.S. Congress, aspartame is both toxic and carcinogenic. The coalition is calling upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban all dietary uses of aspartame. (Press Release)


The ‘taboo’ they just can’t stop talking about

Article after article after article now tells us that human overpopulation of the planet is the Great Unmentionable. Hmm, something doesn’t add up. (Brendan O’Neill, spiked)


1972 Article Unearthed: 'Worse than Hitler': 'Population Bomb' author Paul Ehrlich suggested adding a forced sterilization agent to 'staple food' and 'water supply'

Warned of 'Unpredictable climatic effects' -- Called on U.S. to 'de-develop'
Friday, February 19, 2010

A 1972 article about “The Population Bomb” biologist Paul Ehrlich reveals a nascent environmental movement grappling with mass sterilization, climate fears, “international policy planning” and redistribution of wealth. The article reveals dramatic parallels to today's modern environmental movement.

According to the June 16, 1972 article in the Boca Raton News. The article, part of the Newsweek Feature Service, was written by William J. Cook and was titled “Expert on population pleased by response.” (Marc Morano, Climate Depot)


One more stupid "environmental" cause

Most people in the US are probably unaware that back in 1984, Solano County, California passed a law prohibiting "non-local" garbage from being brought into county landfills. Since this is in clear violation of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, it was never enforced by county authorities.

Recently, though, this law—Measure E—has been invoked by so-called environmentalists, who are trying to block the expansion of the county's Potrero Hills landfill. Talk about being behind the curve!

I guess these self-proclaimed Greenies didn't get the memo that landfills are actually environmentally sound, especially since landfill gas contains methane, and has been used to generate significant amounts of power—with no pollution. Oh yeah, there is also some carbon dioxide in landfill gas, but it tends to stay in the ground, and last time I checked, CO2 is essential for plant life. Not sure what sort of moron would consider that a "pollutant."

Another point to consider in the double digit unemployment rate in the county. The landfill expansion would bring in new Green jobs, along with plenty of revenue.

I cover this story in my latest HND piece. Read the complete article. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)


Idea of restoring 'natural systems' misses mark as response to climate change challenges

Geoengineering solutions to environmental problems must take into account social and cultural impacts

TEMPE, Ariz. – The adage says that to discover the right solutions to a problem you first have to ask the right questions.

As Arizona State University engineering professor Brad Allenby sees it, our search for technological solutions to large-scale environmental problems sometimes gets off on the wrong track largely because we're posing the wrong questions.

Particularly in the debates about how to respond to atmospheric greenhouse gas buildup, climate change and humankind's impact on the global environment, Allenby says, "We are often framing the discussion from narrow and overly simplistic perspectives, but what we are dealing with are systems that are highly complex. As a result, the policy solutions we come up with don't match the challenges we are trying to respond to."

Allenby will offer his recommendations for reframing the approach to such challenges in his Feb. 19 presentation, "Technological Change and Earth Systems: A Critique of Geoengineering," at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (Arizona State University)

"Restoring natural systems" is a wrongheaded aim to begin with. There is nothing particularly useful to humans about "natural systems" -- they are usually hostile to us. We go to a lot of effort to make the world suit people and so we should. "Natural" simply means "not yet adapted for humanity" and therefore a work in progress.


Klamath Water Wars Settled With Agreements to Remove Four Dams

SALEM, Oregon, February 18, 2010 - Removal of four dams on the Klamath River and the largest river restoration project in U.S. history moved closer to accomplishment today with the signing of two agreements between federal, state, utility and tribal officials.

The four dams owned by the electric utility PacifiCorp - three in California and one in Oregon - produce enough power for 70,000 people, but they have blocked 350-mile-long salmon runs, preventing the fish from swimming upstream to spawn.

The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement outlines activities that would restore and sustain wild salmon populations to support in-river and ocean fishing industries and provide water supply certainty to communities and water users in the Basin. (ENS)


EPA Announces Plan To Clean Up Great Lakes

WASHINGTON - A year after President Barack Obama proposed a plan to clean up the Great Lakes, the government Sunday laid out its plan to improve the ecology of the major bodies of water that support much of U.S. agriculture and industry.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson met with governors of states that touch the inland waterways to describe an "action plan" that will focus on eliminating invasive species, cleaning up pollutants, and remediating more than a half million acres of the area's wetlands, she told reporters.

"It's about creating a new standard of care for the Great Lakes system," Jackson said. "Instead of minimizing harm, our new standard of care is to leave the Great Lakes better for the next generation than the condition in which we inherited them." (Reuters)


Research points to early El Nino warning

WEATHER experts say they have a tip that could give up to 14 months' warning before the onset of an El Nino, the weather anomaly that whacks countries around the Pacific, including Australia, but also affects southern Africa and even Europe. (AFP)



We certainly hope: Kyoto Risks Dying, No New Climate Deal In Sight

OSLO/SINGAPORE - Efforts to extend the Kyoto climate pact framework risk collapse in a setback to years of diplomatic bargains, as chances fade that the United States will join other rich nations in capping emissions.

December's U.N. climate conference in Denmark failed to cite the U.N.-brokered Kyoto pact as a touchstone -- sapping hopes for a global carbon price to guide billions of dollars in investments from nuclear plants to solar panels.

"We are probably seeing the beginning of the end for the Kyoto Protocol in its current form," said Johan Rockstrom, head of the Stockholm Resilience Center at Stockholm University.

"But it's also very clear that we are still in a situation where there is no alternative. So we are in a fix."

Plans to extend the Kyoto Protocol, the world's main pact for fighting climate change, beyond 2012 hinge on bridging a divide between rich and poor countries over the cost of switching from carbon-intensive technologies. (Reuters)

Now, next order of business is to get rid of UNFCCC altogether since that is the ultimate root cause of all this nonsense. We have an awfully long way to go to dismantle the watermelons misanthropy framework.


Terence Corcoran: Cap and fade

It’s hard to tell right now which part of global warming policy is in the fastest free fall — the economics, the politics or the science. The politics seemed to be winning the race yesterday. At least five major U.S. corporations have pulled out of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, an agglomeration of business and green groups lobbying Washington for climate legislation. High on USCAP’s agenda is a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. (National Post)


A Green Tea Party

A revolt against economic hardship imposed by unelected bureaucrats based on junk science is brewing. This Tea Party movement wants the faulty finding on carbon dioxide to be reviewed and dumped. (IBD)


The Melting Case For Carbon Legislation

By Robert Bryce

What a difference 12 months makes. Almost exactly one year ago, the popular, newly minted president, Barack Obama, was telling Congress that he wanted “legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.” [Read More] (Energy Tribune)


The Disappearing Science of Global Warming

Establishment figures intone about the substantial "body of science" supporting the notion of man-caused global warming. But based on recent events, they need to check the body's pulse. The body is dead, and rapidly wasting away before our very eyes. (Peter Ferrara, American Spectator)


Climategate: Not Fraud, But ‘Noble Cause Corruption’

Let's hope others besides Phil Jones abandon their "gut feeling" and start behaving like scientists again.
February 18, 2010
- by Steven Mosher

Three months after the release of the Climategate emails and fresh on the heels of the publication of Climategate: The Crutape Letters, Dr. Phil Jones — head of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia — took questions from Climategate’s version of David Frost: Roger Harrabin of the BBC.

That interview and a question and answer session indicate that Jones has since made some concessions after painful reflection. During this same period, the UK press has reexamined the ground covered in The Crutape Letters. However, the U.S. press has largely ignored the incident despite the involvement of New York Times journalists in the files.

Initial reactions are of two views. Fear-peddling alarmists argue that nothing in the emails changes the science; global warming contrarians scream fraud. A close reading of the emails shows that these views don’t explain anything — they merely restate entrenched views.

The truth of what has occurred is more subtle. (PJM)


You’ve Read It Here First – Present-Day AGW Science Is A Walking Dead

Just had a pleasant conversation with a published European researcher of considerable experience. Can’t write any detail to back up my claim yet, but let me try to claim precedence. AGW theory is dead and I am not talking about politics here. A research institute is likely to let the wheels come off the wagon, at last.

Eventually, climate science will replace it with a new theory combining solar, orographic and hydrodynamical studies. The greenhouse effect will not be repudiated, rather downsized to a more appropriate status. When? Not before a lot of effort will come to nothing, and plenty of people will be killed, let to die or forced into poverty for no reason at all.

It took 80 years for the Ediacaran fauna to be recognized, 30 years for the Chandrasekhar limit to be accepted, 74 years for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to relinquish power.

I envy the climate scientists of 2085. (Maurizio Morabito, OmniClimate)


Climategate 2.0 — The NASA Files: U.S. Climate Science as Corrupt as CRU (PJM Exclusive — Part Two)

Horner looks further into the NASA emails, and finds stunning examples of politicized science and institutional hypocrisy. (This is Part Two of a four-part series. Read Part One here.) Update: Don't miss Chris Horner's PJTV interview here.
February 18, 2010
- by Christopher Horner

(On December 31, 2009, NASA finally provided the Competitive Enterprise Institute with the documents I requested from them with an FOIA in August 2007. My request asked NASA to release their internal discussions regarding errors of theirs materially effecting their temperature claims caught by Steve McIntyre. NASA had stonewalled my request for more than two years.)

Dr. James Hansen has an extraordinary history of alarmism and dodgy claims: He has testified in support of the destruction of private property in the name of global warming alarmism and referred to coal rail cars as the equivalent of Nazi death trains, all while insisting that any president named George Bush was muzzling him. He has proven himself a global warming zealot leading a taxpayer-funded institute. (PJM)


Climategate: Seven Hard Questions from the Case Study of the Fall of Enron (will the AAAS panel consider them?)

by Robert Bradley Jr.
February 18, 2010

In recent years, I have been working on a book trilogy inspired by the rise and fall of Enron, easily a top-ten event in the history of commercial capitalism. I worked at Enron for 16 years and knew Ken Lay (a nice, albeit subtly flawed, man) well. No, I did not know the extent of the company’s problems (very few did), but I should have known more. Still, I was very critical of the company’s political business model and in particular, Enron’s climate alarmism and investments in (uneconomic, unreliable, unprofitable) wind power and solar power.

Book 1 in the trilogy, Capitalism at Work: Business, Government, and Energy (2009), spends several chapters on best business practices and sustainable corporate culture under capitalism proper–and the perils for the same from political capitalism. It was through the wisdom of several books, beginning with Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments and continuing with Charles Koch’s Science of Success (2007) that I found the worldview that explained the why-behind-the-why of Enron’s collapse–the philosophic failure behind the financial failure).

AAAS Panel on Climategate Tomorrow

Today, a friend alerted me about the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego and Friday’s panel on Climategate. One of the panelists is my friend Jerry North, who was part of two global warming debates we had here in Houston last month. (The Rice University debate between Richard Lindzen and North is online here.)

I was incited to write Jerry the email that is reproduced below. Perhaps this communication should have gone to the panel leader Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences. It would certainly apply to the other three panelists in addition to North given their topics:

Francisco J. Ayala, UC Irvine, “The Practice and Conduct of Scientific Research”
Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard, “Science in Society”
Gerald R. North, Texas A&M, “The Data Behind Climate Research”
Phillip A. Sharp, MIT, “Data Use and Access Across Disciplines”

At Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre is critical of both North and the chosen panel for its lack of intellectual diversity. He wrote in part:

Gerry North told the Penn State Inquiry that he hadn’t read the Climategate emails out of “professional respect”. This apparently qualified him as an “expert” on the topic.

Cicerone appears to have been quite careful not to invite any speakers that actually knew anything about the controversy. It sounds like it will be totally uninformative – an ideal Sir Humphrey outcome.

Seven Questions for Climategate Discussants

Here is my email to Dr. North which he kindly responded to by saying that his presentation was narrow and already sent in. Still, there is plenty of discussion to come where these hard questions, in part or whole, can be brought up and debated. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


Jones in Sciencemag

There is an extended interview with Phil Jones in Sciencemag. I think it's fair to say that people are going to take issue with some of the things he has to say. (Bishop Hill)


Peter Foster: Denial not just for the deniers

Leftists are inclined to believe in climate change because its “solutions” — central control and wealth redistribution — are things they already desire

By Peter Foster

Those who once called skeptics about catastrophic man-made climate change “deniers” are themselves now in a state of denial as both the science and public opinion shifts against them. Last week, The Globe and Mail carried a combative piece by Gerald Butts, president and CEO of WWF Canada, an organization whose professional alarmism has found its way into the official reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with nary a trace of “peer review.”

Mr. Butts continues, like Davy Crockett at the Alamo, to defend his lost cause, pointing to media authorities and scientific “consensus.” Intriguingly, and with admirable chutzpah, he cites a recent article in the magazine Nature that points out — which should come as a surprise to nobody — that we are biased in our perceptions: “We see the world as we want to see it, not as it is.”

Click here to read more... (Financial Post)


Hot and bothered over climate change

A funny thing has happened to the global warming and climate change establishment.

It seems India has established its own monitoring body on global warming because it “cannot rely” on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Can’t blame India for that, given the IPCC’s record of distortion and selective science that is politically acceptable for its agenda.

But it’s somewhat embarrassing because the IPCC is headed by India’s own leading scientist, Dr. R.K. Pachauri who, along with the IPCC and Al Gore, shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Pachauri is on the defensive these days, as noted by the Daily Telegraph and Wall Street Journal, among others, following a supposed revelation in the IPCC’s climate change report that Himalayan glaciers “are receding faster than any other part of the world, and if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner, is very high if the earth keeps warming at its present rate.” (Peter Worthington, Toronto Sun)


To the bitter end... The doubters do disservice to climate facts

There is no real IPCC scandal. Its stand on global warming cannot be ignored (Eric Reguly, Globe and Mail)


... although some are bailing: UN top climate change boss quits post

YVO de Boer, the top UN climate change official, announced last night that he was resigning after a tumultuous four years in the job, marked by the failure to convince governments to agree on a post-Kyoto deal and revelations of a series of blunders in the UN's 2007 report on climate change.

His departure as head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change takes effect on July 1, five months before 193 nations are due to reconvene in Mexico for another attempt to reach a binding worldwide accord on controlling greenhouse gases.

Mr de Boer is known to be disappointed with the outcome of the last summit in Copenhagen, which drew 120 world leaders but failed to reach more than a vague promise by several countries to limit carbon emissions. However, he denied that his decision to quit was a result of Copenhagen.

Mr de Boer will become a consultant on climate and sustainability issues for global accounting firm KPMG and will be associated with several universities. (AP)


UN Climocrat Deserts the Sinking UNFCCC

Polar bears may be doing fine, but the climate commissars of the United Nations are feeling the heat, as their claims of scientific “consensus” melt under them. Now we have the first big UN climocrat to desert the cooling/warming/sinking ship. Yvo de Boer, head of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, has announced he will be resigning as of July 1, 2010.

De Boer’s departure can’t come soon enough. For almost four years, this ramped-up Dutch bureaucrat has been one of the chief purveyors of climate alarmism, carbon-emitting his way around the globe from Bonn to Bali to Copenhagen, pushing UN plans for a global “climate change regime.” (Claudia Rosett, PJM)


U.N. Housecleaning

The United Nations' global warming chief is resigning. Now how about firing the head of its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and dismantling that worthless agency?

Yvo de Boer, the Austrian executive secretary of the U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, will leave his position July 1 to join the consulting group KPMG as global adviser on climate and sustainability.

We realize he'll be replaced by another functionary just as obsessed with forcing an emissions-restriction regime on developed nations. But we'd like to see the U.N. follow up the resignation by dismissing Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC. (IBD)


Lawrence Solomon: Vindication -- Dutch global warming denier "was right after all"

De Telegraaf, the Netherlands' largest daily newspaper, has totally vindicated the country's most prominent global warming denier in a prominent article entitled "Henk Tennekes - He was right after all."

Tennekes was the director of the Netherlands Meteorological Institute, KNMI, until the early 1990s, when his skepticism of the climate science coming out of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change led to his forced resignation. A translation into English of De Telegraaf's vindication appears here. (Financial Post)


Governments Plan for Warming Based On Corrupt IPCC Science

There is no need for any government action on CO2, global warming or climate change. But as usual governments are making the situation worse as they waste billions preparing for warming when cooling is the future. The misdirection is caused by the corrupted science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change particularly their omission of major solar changes. My last article identified the Milankovitch Effect, a solar mechanism excluded from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This article examines the second major solar mechanism ignored and identifies the machinations used to avoid or exclude the research and evidence. (Tim Ball, CFP)


Blame it on Asia, yeah that’s the ticket

From Nature

Asian pollution delays inevitable warming

Dirty power plants exert temporary protective effect.

Image from SEAWIFS: An often opaque layer of polluted air covers much of eastern China in this image which was collected on 2 January 2000

Jeff Tollefson

The grey, sulphur-laden skies overlying parts of Asia have a bright side — they reflect sunlight back into space, moderating temperatures on the ground. Scientists are now exploring how and where pollution from power plants could offset, for a time, the greenhouse warming of the carbon dioxide they emit.

A new modelling study doubles as a thought experiment in how pollution controls and global warming could interact in China and India, which are projected to account for 80% of new coal-fired power in the coming years. If new power plants were to operate without controlling pollution such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX), the study finds, the resulting haze would reflect enough sunlight to overpower the warming effect of CO2 and exert local cooling.

But this effect would not be felt uniformly across the globe and would last only a few decades. In the long run, CO2 would always prevail, and the world could experience a rapid warming effect if the skies were cleaned up decades down the road. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


Penny Wong signals doom for iconic beaches

AUSTRALIA'S most iconic beaches, including Bondi, Bells and those on the Sunshine Coast, could erode away or recede by hundreds of metres over the coming century, according to Climate Change Minister Penny Wong.

But locals aren't so sure.

Bondi veteran Lee Boman has swum at the beach for more than 30 years and was adamant he had seen "no change" to the coastline over that period. "Nothing too drastic that indicates it is going to be changed in the future," said Mr Boman, 53.

Bob Carter, a geologist and environmental scientist with James Cook University in Queensland, said Senator Wong's comments appeared to be an attempt to panic the public.

Pointing to historical rates of sea level rise of an average 1.6mm per year globally over the past 100 years, Mr Carter said it was reasonable to expect a total rise of 16cm in a century. (The Australian)


Policy Impact of IPCC Misdirection

In Australia yesterday, Climate Change Minister Penny Wong gave a speech is which she discussed the claims that the IPCC had misrepresented the science of disaster costs and climate change. She stated:

Another claim is that the IPCC exaggerated economic losses from catastrophes attributed to climate change.

The IPCC has described these claims as “misleading and baseless". The scientist has gone on the record to say his peer-reviewed scientific paper was correctly represented in the IPCC report.

Presumably, the "scientist" that she refers to is Robert Muir-Wood. In the paper that Wong refers to, Muir-Wood and colleagues write:

We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and normalized catastrophe losses.

If Wong thinks that paper suggests a linkage between rising temperatures and catastrophes, then that is pretty good evidence that the IPCC did not in fact accurately represent the paper. It is interesting how the issue is now about how a paper was represented, and not the science of disasters and climate change.

Muir-Wood also confirms that the IPCC intentionally miscited another paper in order to include a graph that he says,

. . . could be misinterpreted and should not have been included in these materials.
Obviously, from Wong's remarks misinterpretation is more than just a possibility. The IPCC also made up stuff about my views and ignored its reviewers who explained that the graph was misleading and should be reviewed.

The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence linking rising global temperatures to the increasing catastrophe losses around the world. Ironically enough, the scientific evidence includes the paper cited by Wong to suggest the opposite. Despite this fact, and the obvious IPCC misrepresentations on this subject, Australia's Penny Wong concludes:

There may well be dispute about the cost of catastrophes, but the science on the link between these catastrophes and climate change has not been credibly challenged.

Score that as one fully duped policy maker by the IPCC's spin and misdirection. (Roger Pielke Jr)


Gore on the Arctic (again)

Guest post by Mark Johnson

Former Vice President Al Gore in his home office in Nashville, TN. (Time magazine)

Former Vice President Al Gore in his home office in Nashville, TN. (Time magazine)

Al Gore trumpets the latest conclusions of Climate Change Advocate David Barber. “Sea ice in Canada’s fragile Arctic is melting more quickly than anyone expected,” says University of Manitoba Prof. David Barber, the lead investigator of the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System study released Friday. Barber is the lead investigator in the largest climate change study done in Canada. Barber said before the expedition, scientists were working under the theory that climate change would happen much more slowly. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


Why Is Winter Snow Extent Interesting?

Guest post by Steven Goddard

Several people keep asking why am I focused on winter snow extent.  This seems fairly obvious, but I will review here:

  1. Snow falls in the winter, in places where it is cold.  Snow does not generally fall in the summer, because it is too warm.
  2. Winter snow extent is a good proxy for winter snowfall.  Snow has to fall before it can cover the ground.

So what about summer snow cover?  Summer snow cover declined significantly (from the 1970s ice age scare) during the 1980s, but minimums have not changed much since then.  As you can see in the graph below, the overall annual trend since 1989 has been slightly upwards.

click to enlarge

Data from Rutgers University Global Snow Lab Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


Good luck guys... Climate Change Seen Bringing Bonanza for English Wine

DITCHLING, England -- While British climate scientists are dueling with skeptics over evidence of global warming, winemakers here have been sampling some evidence of their own. Much of it tastes like champagne, and it seems to be rapidly improving.

This century could see a river of new English wine if climate scientists are right in their predictions of rising global temperatures, with vines being grown possibly as far north as Scotland, and with the south of England possibly even becoming too hot, according to geologist and wine expert Richard Selley.

"If the predictions are correct, then there will be a heyday for English wine in southern England over the next 20 years or so. But then it will move steadily north," he told E&E. (Climatewire)

... the way the sun is going ice wine might be the only option.


Warmer planet temperatures could cause longer-lasting weather patterns

MU researchers are studying whether high levels of carbon dioxide and higher global temperatures could lead to more frequent atmospheric blocking

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Whether it's never-ending heat waves or winter storms, atmospheric blocking can have a significant impact on local agriculture, business and the environment. Although these stagnant weather patterns are often difficult to predict, University of Missouri researchers are now studying whether increasing planet temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could lead to atmospheric blocking and when this blocking might occur, leading to more accurate forecasts.

"In this research, we're trying to see if increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the resulting atmospheric warming will affect the onset and duration of future blocking events," said Tony Lupo, professor and chair of the atmospheric science department at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "We're hoping that the research will add cues that could help fellow forecasters better predict blocking and warn people in cases of long-lasting, severe weather." (University of Missouri-Columbia)


More virtual world guesstimating... Projection shows water woes likely based on warmer temperatures

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Several Midwestern states could be facing increased winter and spring flooding, as well as difficult growing conditions on farms, if average temperatures rise, according to a Purdue University researcher.

Keith Cherkauer, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, ran simulation models that show Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan could see as much as 28 percent more precipitation by the year 2070, with much of that coming in the winter and spring. His projections also show drier summer and fall seasons. (Purdue University)


What warming? Ocean geoengineering scheme no easy fix for global warming

Pumping nutrient-rich water up from the deep ocean to boost algal growth in sunlit surface waters and draw carbon dioxide down from the atmosphere has been touted as a way of ameliorating global warming. However, a new study led by Professor Andreas Oschlies of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) in Kiel, Germany, pours cold water on the idea.

"Computer simulations show that climatic benefits of the proposed geo-engineering scheme would be modest, with the potential to exacerbate global warming should it fail," said study co-author Dr Andrew Yool of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS).

If international governmental policies fail to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide to levels needed to keep the impacts of human-induced climate change within acceptable limits it may necessary to move to 'Plan B'. This could involve the implementation of one or more large-scale geo-engineering schemes proposed for reducing the carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere. (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK))


"Predicted environmental change"? Understanding global climate change through new breakthroughs in polar research

The latest findings from research on Antarctica's rich marine life are presented this week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The latest findings from research on Antarctica's rich marine life are presented this week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Marine Biologist Huw Griffiths from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is involved in a major international investigation into the distribution and abundance of Antarctica's vast marine biodiversity – the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML).

Griffiths presents results from the census – which began in 2005 – and describes how the investigation provides the benchmark for future studies on how the extraordinary and diverse range of sea-floor creatures living in Antarctica's chilly waters will respond to predicted environmental change. (British Antarctic Survey)



The Guardian, February, 2009:

The world’s pre-eminent climate scientists produced a blunt assessment of the impact of global warming on the US yesterday, warning of droughts that could reduce the American south-west to a wasteland and heatwaves that could make life impossible even in northern cities.

In an update on the latest science on climate change, the US Congress was told that melting snow pack could lead to severe drought from California to Oklahoma. In the midwest, diminishing rains and shrinking rivers were lowering water levels in the Great Lakes, even to the extent where it could affect shipping.

“With severe drought from California to Oklahoma, a broad swath of the south-west is basically robbed of having a sustainable lifestyle,” said Christopher Field, of the Carnegie Institution for Science. He went on to warn of scorching temperatures in an array of cities. Sacramento in California, for example, could face heatwaves for up to 100 days a year.

“We are close to a threshold in a very large number of American cities where uncomfortable heatwaves make cities uninhabitable,” Field told the Senate’s environment and public works committee.

ABC News (US), February, 2010:

In the span of just a couple years, the U.S. has gone from very high drought conditions to the lowest amount of drought in the last 10 years, [Doug LeCompte of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association] says. “It’s only a few times, really, in the last century that we’ve had this little of the country in drought. That is unusual.”

(Tim Blair)


No kidding: Climate change department sends staff on hundreds of domestic flights

The Government department set up to tackle climate change has paid for more than 1,000 internal flights around Britain despite telling the public to cut down on air travel. (TDT)


CO2 Capture and Storage Gains a Growing Foothold

The drive to extract and store CO2 from coal-fired power plants is gaining momentum, with the Obama administration backing the technology and the world’s first capture and sequestration project now operating in the U.S. Two questions loom: Will carbon capture and storage be affordable? And will it be safe? (David Biello, e360)

Wrong questions David: "Why do it at all?" is the one that really needs answering.


Another reason not to waste the atmosphere's carbon resource: Liability issues related to new anti-climate change initiatives

Yesterday, I listened to an interesting lecture on the economics of carbon capture and sequestration at my UCLA Institute of the Environment. As world electricity demand continues to rise, developing nations will use coal fired power plants to supply a big share of this demand. Under "business as usual", this will increase greenhouse gas emissions to levels that Jim Hansen would say are quite scary. 

If Carbon Capture and sequestration (CCS) could safely work, then this would be a way for the developing countries to achieve a "win-win" of access to electricity without the resulting greenhouse gases. 

Listening to the talk, CCS raises a host of legal liability issues and spatial economics issues. A whole infrastructure of collecting the coal gas and injecting it into pipes will be needed and these pipes will then have to go somewhere for injection under the ground. 

Will for profit insurance companies be willing to write insurance contracts for these unknown hard to quantify risks? If not, then government will need to step in and thus the taxpayers will bear the risk of this as yet unproven technology. 

Similar issues arise with geo-engineering. If China unilaterally engages in some geo-engineering experiment and this affects the United States through affecting our air quality or climate conditions, is there an international court where we could sue them?

It would interest me whether lawyers are optimistic concerning whether legal institutions evolve fast enough to stay a step ahead in a world where technological progress (i.e human cloning etc) is moving fast and opening up potentially tricky new contentious issues.

I know that young lawyers are worried today about their job prospects at the leading firms but this discussion has me thinking that there will be plenty of demand for their services in the future. (Matthew Kahn, CSM)


Sigh... New Rules Could Affect Coal Plants

The Obama administration proposed new rules Thursday for how federal agencies should apply one of the nation's signature environmental laws, a move that could affect construction of new coal-fired power plants and other government-approved projects that produce large amounts of greenhouse gases.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality announced the draft guidelines at an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires federal agencies to analyze potential environmental health impacts before approving major projects such as road construction.

The new guidelines set uniform standards, for the first time, on how federal agencies must consider the causes and effects of climate change as part of their environmental analyses. They require analyses under NEPA of the greenhouse gas emissions of any project expected to emit the equivalent of at least 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year – roughly 4,600 cars' worth of carbon. (Baltimore Sun)


House Committee Investigates Drilling Practice

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee said on Thursday it was investigating the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on the environment and human health.

Some members of Congress want to pass legislation giving the Environmental Protection Agency authority to regulate fracking.

"As we use this technology in more parts of the country on a much larger scale, we must ensure that we are not creating new environmental and public health problems," said committee chairman, Representative Henry Waxman.

"This investigation will help us better understand the potential risks this technology poses to drinking water supplies and the environment, and whether Congress needs to act to minimize those risks," he said. (Reuters)


Peabody signs coal-to-gas agreement

Peabody Energy Corp. said today that it has signed an agreement with Cambridge, Mass.-based GreatPoint Energy to develop plants that would convert coal to synthetic gas and hydrogen.

The number of plants, cost and location weren’t specified, but Peabody and GreatPoint indicated they would pursue projects in and outside the U.S., the companies said in a 
joint statement. 

The companies plan to use Peabody’s coal reserves and GreatPoint’s technology to produce pipeline-quality synthetic gas, which could be used to heat homes or run factories. Hydrogen produced at the plants would be sold to industrial customers or for generating electricity. (St Louis Post-Dispatch)


Leaders in a `turf war' over oil and gas approvals in the west

A TURF war has erupted over Australia's multi-billion-dollar oil and gas sector, with Western Australia using its constitutional powers to resist plans by the Rudd government to snatch control of the state's approval rights for lucrative new projects.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson wants to establish a powerful national regulator, but in a stand-off that threatens to derail attempts to save billions in reducing approval backlogs, WA Premier Colin Barnett has written to Kevin Rudd telling him to back off.

The impasse has been described by senior figures in the petroleum industry as a "turf war" that could add to the complex bureaucracy and high costs involved in the approvals process.

Last night, the peak body representing the oil and gas industry called on both governments to sort out their differences and devise a streamlined model for a sector on the verge of an unprecedented boom. (The Australian)


Coming to their senses at last: Drax power plant suspends plan to replace coal with greener fuel

Britain’s biggest power station has suspended its plan to replace coal with greener fuel, leaving the Government little chance of meeting its target for renewable energy.

Drax, in North Yorkshire, which produces enough electricity for six million homes, is withdrawing a pledge to cut CO2 emissions by 3.5 million tonnes a year, or 17.5 per cent.

The power station, which is the country’s largest single source of CO2, has invested £80 million in a processing unit for wood, straw and other plant-based fuels, known as biomass. The unit is designed to produce more renewable electricity than 600 wind turbines, but will operate at only a fraction of its capacity because Drax says it is cheaper to continue to burn coal.

Drax is also one of dozens of companies delaying investments in new biomass power stations because of uncertainty over the Government’s policy on long-term subsidies. Hundreds of farmers growing biomass crops may now struggle to sell their produce. (The Times)


Radioactive Corporate Welfare

by Jerry Taylor
February 18, 2010

A good default proposition regarding the government’s role in the economy would state that the government should not loan money to an enterprise if the enterprise in question cannot find one single market actor anywhere in the universe to loan said enterprise a single red cent.  It might suggest – I don’t know – that the investment is rather … dubious. (MasterResource)


FAO Sees Demand, Biofuels, Oil Fuelling Food Prices

ROME - Resumed demand for agricultural commodities for food and energy use and higher input costs on the back of rising oil prices may fuel a new food price surge, the United Nations' food agency said on Thursday.

Food prices fell from 2008 highs due to the global economic downturn, but remained above pre-peak levels and were set to stay high at least in the medium term, the Food and Agriculture Organization said, confirming earlier forecasts.

"At the same time, various currently latent underlying factors may cause a return to even higher food prices," the Rome-based FAO said in its key report on the State of Food and Agriculture, stopping short of more precise forecasts.

Renewed income growth in developing countries would power demand recovery and drive commodities and food prices higher, threatening food security, especially for poor people, FAO said.

Growing biofuels demand spurred by mandatory targets and incentives in some countries "irrespective of market conditions" would boost prices of maize and vegetable oils used as feedstock for biodiesel and bioethanol and, in turn, of food commodities. (Reuters)


New seasonal flu vaccine to contain H1N1 strain

GENEVA - The coming year's seasonal flu vaccine in the northern hemisphere should include protection against three strains of flu, including the pandemic H1N1 virus, the World Health Organization recommended on Thursday.

The composition of the vaccine, announced at the end of a closed-door four-day meeting of influenza experts that is closely followed by the world's vaccine makers, means governments that have stockpiled doses of H1N1 swine flu vaccine may now use them for part of the seasonal flu vaccine mix. (Reuters)


New drug class offers hope against "superbugs"

LONDON - Swiss scientists have found a new class of antibiotics, offering drug developers a fresh weapon in the fight against multi-drug resistant bacteria or "superbugs."

Researchers from a privately held Swiss biotech company Polyphor and the University of Zurich said the potential medicines are effective against a type of bacteria known as "Gram-negative," and offer hope for new treatments for serious and often life-threatening infections.

The antibiotics work by deactivating a protein vital for the formation of the bacteria's outer cell membrane. (Reuters)


Occasional binges may undo alcohol's heart benefits

NEW YORK - While research has linked moderate drinking to better heart health, a new study suggests that those benefits disappear when drinkers add the occasional binge to the mix.

Pooling data from 14 previous studies of moderate drinkers, researchers found that those who drank heavily every so often were 45 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease -- where plaque buildup in the heart arteries impedes the flow of blood and oxygen.

For comparison, overall, about 8 percent - or about one in 12 -- Americans has heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

Occasional heavy drinking was defined as having five or more standard drinks in a day at least a dozen times per year. "Regular" heavy drinkers -- those who averaged at least five drinks per day, were excluded from the analysis.

The findings suggest that bingeing at even irregular intervals may undo any heart benefits of lighter drinking, the investigators report in the American Journal of Epidemiology. (Reuters Health)


Average birth weight decreases in the U.S.

NEW YORK - Reversing a trend of nearly five decades, birth weight in the U.S. may be on the decline, according to a new study.

From 1990 to 2005, birth weight decreased by 52 grams (1.83 oz) on average. The drop - from 3441 to 3389 grams - leaves the vast majority of babies in the safe range, and the overall health consequences of this development are unclear.

"It is important to study trends in low birth weight over time because an increasing proportion of the smallest babies could lead to increased resource requirements to address health concerns," Sara Donahue of Boston University, who worked on the study, told Reuters Health.

Small babies (usually defined as lighter than 2500 grams, or 5.5 pounds) may face problems such as low blood sugar, lower body temperatures, or an increase in red blood cells, which can cause the blood to thicken and clot.

To track trends in birth weights, Donahue and her colleagues examined birth records for nearly 37 million newborns in the US, excluding California. (Reuters Health)


California lawmaker introduces soda tax bill

LOS ANGELES - A California lawmaker introduced legislation on Thursday that would tax sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks and use the proceeds to bankroll programs to fight childhood obesity. (Reuters)


Obesity Is Not Just An American Health Epidemic Any More

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with at least 2.6 million people dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese. Once associated with high-income countries, obesity is now also prevalent in low- and middle-income countries.

Governments, international partners, civil society, non governmental organizations and the private sector all have vital roles to play in contributing to obesity prevention. ( United Nations World Health Organization (WHO))


Romanians move to tax their once-beloved fast food

BUCHAREST, Romania — For post-communist Romanians a Big Mac and soda meant much more than a meal: It was a culinary signpost from the free and capitalist west — a sign they too, at last, had arrived.

But modernity requires something different today: the Balkan country is moving to join the health conscious 21st century by proposing taxes on burgers, french fries, soda and other fast foods with high fat and sugar content.

"We have to relearn how to eat," Health Ministry official Adrian Streinu Cercel said.

The ministry says that — in marked contrast to the situation under communism — half of Romania's 22 million people are overweight, while instances of obesity have doubled among 10-year-olds.

Officials have refused to say how high the taxes would be. But Cercel says authorities expect to generate up to euro1 billion ($1.37 billion) in new revenues — compared with an estimated euro16 billion in total revenues for 2010. (AP)


Bulgaria set to ease tough public smoking ban

SOFIA - Bulgaria's ruling party has proposed watering down a new smoking ban in the country with the second highest percentage of smokers in the European Union.

The centre-right GERB party, which won general elections last July, said its proposed relaxation of a ban on smoking in all public places would avoid hurting the tourist industry during tough economic times.

The proposed changes have the support of the Socialists but some of GERB's rightist allies in parliament said they would vote against them.

According to a draft submitted to parliament, restaurants and cafes smaller than 100 square metres (1,000 sq ft) in size will decide whether to allow smoking while larger establishments would be required to designate separate non-smoking halls.

Similar measures were imposed as part of a partial smoking ban in 2005 but have been widely ignored. Smoking will remain forbidden in all public buildings and on public transport.

The Balkan country of 7.6 million people has the second highest percentage of smokers in the EU after Greece. More than half of men and about a third of women smoke, surveys show. (Reuters)


Closing the Carp Highway

The Asian carp, a large and ravenous invasive species, has been making a so-far-unstoppable migration up the Mississippi River. It now has come to within a few miles from the Great Lakes. Unless serious measures are taken — soon — it looks as though the carp will likely break through, using canals that connect the river to Lake Michigan. (NYT)


South Florida officials, farmers lash out at EPA’s tough new water pollution rules

South Florida farmers and local governments alike on Thursday called for federal regulators to back off tough new water pollution rules they argue would cost too much to follow.

The Environmental Protection Agency proposes setting new limits on the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in Florida waters, including rivers, lakes and the drainage canals relied on to protect South Florida from flooding. (Sun Sentinel)


Disturbing EPA trend or coincidence?

By Aaron Kiess, Executive Director, California Alfalfa & Forage Association 

Last month’s column ( ) ended with a few words about the Federal EPA’s pending restrictions for chlorypyrifos, plus malathion and diazinon. The agency’s action is linked to a Biological Opinion (BiOp) that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) designed to protect endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead.

The use limitations are the result of measures outlined in NMFS’s November, 2008 BiOp, a biological opinion that has been controversial and difficult to swallow for growers who will be affected in California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington. The NMFS BiOp indicated that a standard buffer of 500 feet for ground applications and 1,000 feet for aerial application of “salmonid” habitat is needed to protect these species. They also indicated that a 20-foot vegetative buffer needs to be established next to salmon waters, a recommendation the EPA will substitute with “variable buffers.” (Farm Press)


Column - Did green faith turn a fire into an inferno?

ONLY now is this royal commission getting close to the true scandal behind the devastating Black Saturday fires.

It’s this: why did this Labor Government ignore so many warnings that it was burning too little of our forests?

Did its green agenda cripple the most effective technique it had to keep our bush towns safe - to burn off the fuel loads that turn a fire into an inferno?

A year after Black Saturday, the royal commission this week finally heard

its first witness on the fuel reduction burns done before Black Saturday. Or not done.

And the answers given by Liam Fogarty, assistant fire chief of the Department of Sustainability and the Environment, reinforced my suspicions.

Fogarty confirmed that over the past three years his department had burned off the excess fuel load from just 150,000ha a year. He said it should really have burned nearly twice that much, and in the early 1980s had burned up to three times more.

So why so little, when even Fogarty said a burned buffer around a town such as Anglesea could cut the fire risk to properties by 80 per cent?

Fogarty blamed a lack of resources, saying his department was “pretty well running at capacity”, and there’d actually been “some reduction in organisational capacity and focus” since the mid-1990s.

But, as you know, where there’s a will there’s always a way to find the staff and cash. Trouble is, since this Labor Government was elected in 1999, that will has gone missing.

Fogarty did not put it like that, of course. He simply said there had been a distinct drop in controlled burning in Victoria over the past 15 years or so, thanks to an “anti-forestry and anti-fire management movement”.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Column - Did green faith turn a fire into an inferno?' (Andrew Bolt)


Indian Official Warns Against Mixing Climate, Trade

NEW DELHI - A senior Indian trade official on Thursday warned there was a growing trend for countries to use unreasonable environmental and health standards as a covert form of protectionism, blocking trade already hit by global slowdown. (Reuters)


Creative accounting of the moment: World's top firms cause $2.2tn of environmental damage, report estimates

Report for the UN into the activities of the world's 3,000 biggest companies estimates one-third of profits would be lost if firms were forced to pay for use, loss and damage of environment (Juliette Jowit, The Guardian)

Here's some sad news for you guys -- "the environment" is neither lost or damaged, merely developed or not. Its only value is that which we give it and few if any people would agree to have their costs increased for the imagined "value" applied by misanthropic twits. There's a reason we pay less for unimproved land and that's because development improves its utility and value. Greenies and so-called conservationists want to lock up resources and as soon as they do the resource ceases to exist -- greenies make things valueless.



SCENARIOS-Climate change options for Congress in 2010

WASHINGTON, Feb 17 - President Barack Obama wants Congress to pass this year a climate control bill that has been stuck in the Senate, where it has proved difficult for his fellow Democrats to line up the 60 votes needed to advance controversial legislation.

In an attempt to move things along, Obama this week announced a $8.3 billion loan guarantee to help reinvigorate the nuclear power industry, a top goal of many Senate Republicans. Obama wants such funding to hit $54 billon.

A bipartisan group of senators is trying to come up with a compromise climate bill. Besides incorporating additional government incentives for nuclear power, the senators also are looking at ways to expand domestic oil and gas drilling.

Such provisions would be coupled with government-mandated reductions in carbon dioxide emissions blamed for climate change problems. (Reuters)


Still they blunder on... Stern Says To Stay In Climate Pact Even Without China

WASHINGTON - The United States would remain a participant in the newly struck Copenhagen Accord on global warming even if other major polluting countries like China and India did not formally "associate" themselves with the deal, a high-ranking U.S. official said on Tuesday.

Todd Stern, the lead U.S. negotiator in international climate talks, was asked by a reporter whether the United States might pull out of the Copenhagen Accord if China and India do not formally sign on.

Stern responded: "No ... we have put forward our own submission. It's consistent with what President (Barack) Obama announced back in November, so I don't think it's a question of the U.S. saying 'never mind ... that's not the plan." (Reuters)


Collapse Continues

The scientific "consensus" that man is warming the planet is cracking, and so is a group that was going to push for cap-and-trade. Some business members no longer feel threatened by the government. (IBD)


The Beginning of the End for Cap-and-Trade? (BP America, Conoco-Phillips, and Caterpillar bolt)

by Kenneth P. Green
February 17, 2010

With little fanfare, an earthquake has rippled through the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). Three significant members, two of them being integrated oil majors, are no longer planning the cap-and-trade (aka, cap-and-tax) game. And if energy affordability and reliability is a metric, expect more companies to bolt. Social corporate responsibility, anyone? After all, there is no climate gain from a unilateral U.S. cap by the alarmists’ own math.

Here is the background. According to its website, USCAP is “a group of businesses and leading environmental organizations that have come together to call on the federal government to quickly enact strong national legislation to require significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.” Others of a less charitable bent would characterize them as central headquarters of the U.S. Climate-Industrial Complex, a group of corporate rent-seekers (the bootleggers), made whole by the environmental scaremongers (the Baptists) hell-bent on slapping the United States into a carbon rationing scheme.

Members of USCAP include AES, Alcoa, Alstom, Boston Scientific Corporation, Chrysler, Deere & Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Duke Energy, DuPont, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Exelon Corporation, Ford Motor Company, FPL Group, General Electric (GE), General Motors Corporation, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), The Nature Conservancy, NRG Energy, PepsiCo, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, PG&E Corporation, PNM Resources, Rio Tinto, Shell, Siemens Corporation, and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

It doesn’t take a great deal of analysis to see who hopes to get what from cap-and-trade. The environmental posse– EDF, NRDC, Nature Conservancy, Pew Center, and WRI–get their ultimate dream: control of the U.S. economy by environmental bureaucrats who can determine who gets to buy carbon permits, who gets to sell them, how many can be bought overseas, who gets to slurp from the giant trough of government permit sales, and so on.

It’s not much harder to figure out what the corporations get, whether it’s simply “green” bragging rights to use in commercials (PepsiCo), or the hope to sell subsidized hybrid cars (Ford and GM), or the chance to sell new thermostats to millions of houses and businesses (Honeywell), to build nuclear plants, windmills, or solar farms (GE, Exelon), or to get in early in the hopes of getting free permits from the government (coal, oil, and other high GHG emitters). Again, a sober comparison of social costs and benefits should get these ‘greenwashers’ to bolt.

Three groups that used to be on that list which you won’t find mentioned at USCAP’s website are Caterpillar Inc., BP America, and ConocoPhillips which have made a relatively quiet exit, stage left. [Read more →] (MasterResource)


Cap and Trade is Dead: Let’s Hear It for BP, Conoco, and Caterpillar

by Myron Ebell
17 February 2010

The coalition of major corporations hoping to get rich off cap-and-trade legislation started to crack up yesterday when BP America, Conoco Phillips, and Caterpillar dropped out of the U. S. Climate Action Partnership (or US CAP ). Their defections end the exceedingly small remaining chance that cap-and-trade could be enacted this year.

BP America and Conoco Phillips did not pull out because they realized that the Climategate scientific fraud scandal has revealed that global warming alarmism is based on junk science. Nor did they pull out because they finally recognized that energy-rationing policies will wreck the U. S. economy. They pulled out when it became clear that they were not going to get rich off the backs of American consumers…

Read the full story (Cooler Heads)


Consensus or Con? The global warmists are the real deniers.

This column was scoffing at global warming back when global warming was still cool. But even we have been surprised at the extent of the past three months' "meltdown" of global warmism, to use the metaphor that everyone seems to have settled on.

As we've written on various occasions, we didn't know enough about the substance of the underlying science to make a judgment about it. But we know enough about science itself to recognize that the popular rendition of global warmism--dogmatic, doctrinaire and scornful of skepticism--is not the least bit scientific. The revelations in the Climategate emails show that these attitudes were common among actual scientists, not just the popularizers of their work.

Still, we would not have gone so far as to say that global warming was just a hoax. Surely there was some actual science to back it, even if there was a lot less certainty than was claimed.

Now, though, we're wondering if this was too charitable a view. (James Taranto, WSJ)


Climategate 2.0 — The NASA Files: U.S. Climate Science as Corrupt as CRU (PJM Exclusive — Part One)

Chris Horner filed the FOIA request that NASA didn't comply with for two years. Now we know what took so long. (Click here for the NASA files. This is Part One of a four-part series.)

February 17, 2010
- by Christopher Horner

In August 2007, I submitted two Freedom of Information Act requests to NASA and its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), headed by long-time Gore advisor James Hansen and his right-hand man Gavin Schmidt (and co-founder).

I did this because Canadian businessman Steve McIntyre — a man with professional experience investigating suspect statistical claims in the mining industry and elsewhere, including his exposure of the now-infamous “hockey stick” graph — noticed something unusual with NASA’s claims of an ever-warming first decade of this century. NASA appeared to have inflated its U.S. temperatures beginning in the year 2000. My FOIA request asked NASA about their internal discussions regarding whether and how to correct the temperature error caught by McIntyre.

NASA stonewalled my request for more than two years, until Climategate prompted me to offer notice of intent to sue if NASA did not comply immediately.

On New Year’s Eve, NASA finally provided the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) with the documents I requested in August 2007.

The emails show the hypocrisy, dishonesty, and suspect data management and integrity of NASA, wildly spinning in defense of their enterprise. The emails show NASA making off with enormous sums of taxpayer funding doing precisely what they claim only a “skeptic” would do. The emails show NASA attempting to scrub their website of their own documents, and indeed they quietly pulled down numerous press releases grounded in the proven-wrong data. The emails show NASA claiming that their own temperature errors (which they have been caught making and in uncorrected form aggressively promoting) are merely trivial, after years of hysterically trumpeting much smaller warming anomalies. (PJM)


The Science Is Not Settled

Last Saturday’s BBC interview of Phil Jones, the former head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) has been portrayed by some as a “retreat”; that, in effect, Jones is backing off his claim that human activities are catastrophically effecting the climate. That’s putting too strong a face on it. The interview was remarkable, but don’t believe for a second that Jones is trading in his alarmist badge for skeptical credentials. He’s simply engaged in damage control, but this interview was still something of an epiphany. (Rich Trzupek, FrontPage)


Lorne Gunter: They're finally admitting the science isn't settled

Why does Climategate matter? Who cares whether the climate data on a computer at some obscure English university has been deliberately corrupted?

In one form or another, I have had to answer these questions from dozens of readers in the three months since thousands of e-mails and computer files were leaked from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.

There are plenty of ways in which these disclosures have been crucial, but the principal change has been the uncertainty creeping into the remarks of former True Believers. Some of those who for years have insisted the science is “settled,” are now admitting we don’t know all we need to before making trillion-dollar policy decisions. (National Post)


The winter of global warming

The last few months have been cruel and wintry for global-warming true believers. The long storm began in November, when a leak of e-mails from Britain's University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit revealed that key global-warming scientists tried to stifle dissent, politicize peer-review, which led to revelations that the researchers had dumped much of the raw data used to bolster the alarmist argument.

Then came the news that that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007 report - you know, the one that reported that man-made global warming was "unequivocal" - wrongly predicted that it was likely Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, based not on peer-reviewed research, but on an article in a popular magazine. Oh, and it turns out that the IPCC was wrong in reporting that 55 percent of The Netherlands is below sea level. 

Last week, Phil Jones, the unit's director at the time of the e-mail leak, answered tough questions posed by the BBC in an interview, during which he admitted that there has been no statistically significant warming of the planet since 1995. Jones also rejected Al Gore's mantra when he said he did not believe that "the vast majority of climate scientists think" the debate over climate change is over.

Like the Wicked Witch of Oz, the global-warming machine is melting into a wretched puddle. (Debra J. Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle)


ClimateGater Jones' Stunning Global Warming Revelations Ignored

The absolutely stunning global warming revelations this weekend by the man in the middle of the ClimateGate scandal have gone almost completely ignored by America's press.

As NewsBusters reported Saturday, Phil Jones, the head of the British Climatic Research Unit at the heart of ClimateGate, told the BBC: the recent warming trend that began in 1975 is not at all different than two other planetary warming phases since 1850; there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995, and; it is possible the Medieval Warm Period was indeed a global phenomenon thereby making the temperatures seen in the latter part of the 20th century by no means unprecedented.

Jones also admitted that he and his fellow scientists manipulated figures to hide a decline in crucial tree-ring data thereby questioning the validity of the entire global warming theory.

Despite the seriousness of these revelations, much as what happened when the ClimateGate scandal first broke, with the exception of Fox News -- and a lone report by CNN -- America's media have almost totally boycotted this amazing story: (NewsBusters)


Who Doesn't Trust Science Now?

All of you deniers and flat-earthers who are exploiting the glacial temperatures and bizarre snowfall to mock global warming fears are missing the point: Weather isn't the same as climate.

Shoddy evidence, bogus fears and a lack of transparency, on the other hand, are worth talking about. Yet the lack of skepticism by those who claim a sacred deference to scientific integrity proves that flat-earthers aren't the only ones susceptible to some faith-based ideology.

Recently, Tim Wirth, who is the president of the U.N. Foundation and a former senator, said the manipulated evidence uncovered by the ClimateGate e-mail scandal was a mere "opening" to attack science that "has to be defended just like evolution has to be defended."

Get it? Those unreasonable people who deny evolution -- despite the overwhelming evidence -- are the same brand of illiterate hoi polloi who won't hand over their gas-powered lawn mowers on the word of an oracle weather model and haphazardly placed weather station. (David Harsanyi, Townhall)


47% Blame Global Warming on Planetary Trends

Questions continue to mount over the science behind years of studies that say humans are chiefly to blame for global warming. But reflecting a trend that has been going on for more than a year, just 35% of U.S. voters now believe global warming is caused primarily by human activity.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 47% think long-term planetary trends are mostly to blame, down three points from the previous survey in January. Eight percent say there is some other reason, and 10% aren't sure.

But 56% say President Obama still believes that human activity is the main cause of global warming. That's the highest finding on that question since last March. The president went to a United Nations summit in Copenhagen in December in hopes of reaching an international agreement that would limit human activities that some scientists say contribute to global warming.

Belief that human activity is the primary cause of global warming has declined significantly. In April 2008, the numbers were nearly the mirror image of the current numbers. At that time, 47% blamed human activity and only 34% named long term planetary trends as the reason for climate change.

Since July, the number who believe long-term planetary trends are the chief culprit have ranged from 47% to 50%. Those who blame human activity have ranged from 34% to 42% in the same period. (Rasmussen Reports)


And the band plays on... Penny Wong warns of climate change threat to Bondi Beach and the Sunshine Coast

CLIMATE change threatens to reshape the face of Bondi Beach, Bells Beach and the Sunshine Coast unless "large and expensive nourishment programs" are implemented, Penny Wong warned today. 

Shortly before the government's ETS bills are to be considered by the upper house, Ms Wong mounted a vigorous defence of the Copenhagen Summit, the science behind climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and suggested the future of some of the nation's most popular beaches was under threat.

The Climate Change Minister also said the government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme was the most effective way to take meaningful action, dismissing the Opposition leader's rival plan.

In the address to the National Coastal Climate Change Forum in Adelaide this morning, Ms Wong said it was “possible that with climate change, and without large and expensive nourishment programs Bondi Beach, Sunshine Coast and Bells Beach may no longer be the beaches we know today.”

Ms Wong heralded the Copenhagen Accord as an “important and welcome step toward an effective global agreement on climate change.”

For the first time, developed and developing countries agreed to take action on climate change and a consensus was forged among global leaders to hold temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius, Ms Wong said.

However, the most disappointing outcome of Copenhagen was the way some politicians had “smugly exaggerated the shortcomings as a justification of their position to do nothing on climate change”.

Claims that climate change science was unreliable had no credible foundation, said Ms Wong. (The Australian)


Eye-roller: With Stakes This High

Disclosures of isolated errors and exaggerations in the 2007 report from the United Nations panel on climate change do not undermine its main finding: that the planet has been warming gradually for more than a century and that human activity is largely responsible. But the misstatements have handed climate skeptics a public relations boost.

That’s not good news at a time when world leaders need to make tough decisions to control greenhouse gas emissions and when public confidence in the science is essential. Given the stakes, the panel cannot allow more missteps and, at the very least, must tighten procedures and make its deliberations more transparent. (NYT)

Except we still haven't decided "warming relative to when" or whether that is at all important. We do not know the precise "expected" temperature of the Earth and consequently cannot answer whether perceived warming (whether real or not) is an increase or a recovery from "unnatural" coolness.

The Crone seems impressed that the IPCC was awarded a Nobel (along with Al Gore!) but this was not a science award -- although there are Nobel Prizes for both Physics and Chemistry -- it was a "Peace Prize". How much scientific authority does this imply (heck, Barack Obabma got one for simply talking!)?

The only known risk is doing as the AGW zealots want and crashing the energy supply and global economy but there is no known risk from greenhouse gas emissions.


Climate chief says he won't bow to pressure to resign

NEW DELHI: THE United Nations climate change panel chief, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, says he has every intention of remaining in the job at least until the delivery of the next climate assessment report due in 2013-14.

Responding to questions from the Herald, Dr Pachauri said he had never considered resigning over recent criticisms of him and the panel and has vowed to make its next assessment report as good as ''humanly possible''.

Dr Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said its next assessment report due in three to four years would make an important contribution to knowledge on global warming. (SMH)


Intelligence squared debate on scaremongering

This looks interesting: a debate on global warming scaremongering at Wellington College (a very posh school, if you are an overseas reader), which will take place on Sunday.

They told us the polar bears were going to drown; they told us the Himalayan glaciers were going to melt by the year 2035. Now we learn both claims are untrue. They assured us they were engaged in unbiased science. And then we read their emails and found that they'd deliberately suppressed inconvenient facts. What are we to make of these disclosures? Are they just minor scratches on the solid structure of climate change theory, or are they emblematic of something far more troubling? Can we still trust the climate change experts or have they been guilty of exaggerating the threat in order to draw attention to their cause?

The speakers are David Davis MP and Prof Philip Stott versus Mark Lynas and David Aaronovitch. (Bishop Hill)


John Christy at Russia Today

Yesterday, Russia Today has made two interesting and, I would say, very balanced, professional, and informative interviews - with John Christy and Patrick Michaels.

John Christy talks about their recent paper arguing that most of the warming in the surface temperature record is due to local changes such as urbanization and deforestation. Also, he says that the effect of the Kyoto on the climate (and even on the emissions) was zero but Kyoto has played a negative psychological role, having led the people to false beliefs about their impact.

See also a new Russia Today interview with Pat Michaels about the fifth anniversary of the failed Kyoto protocol. He tries to answer her good question why the people are still pushing for such things if it is so costly and has no good consequences.

You should also check the latest Glenn Beck's show about the ClimateGate and Phil Jones' recent admissions. By the way, ConocoPhillips, BP and Caterpillar are leaving the USCAP, a climate change lobbying organization designed to create the cap-and-trade legislation. Virginia has officially challenged the EPA's decision to regulate carbon dioxide. (The Reference Frame)


A satisfactory model of complete ignorance

This one, I couldn't resist. In June 2006, the EU decided to commission a project under the heading: "What poor information can tell: Analysis of climate policies under large uncertainty about climate change."

The research investigated "the usefulness of imprecise probability concepts for assessing and processing the large and diverse uncertainty that needs to be considered in climate policy analysis. Imprecise probabilities are constituted by entire sets of probability measures."

I think I understand what they are talking about (just), but in case you have problems, they go on: "They provide a satisfactory model of complete ignorance, which is an important prerequisite for quantifying poor states of information such as encountered in climate change research. Classical probability theory faces severe difficulties in this field as the debate around quantifying uncertainties in the IPCC Assessment reports shows."

The project consisted of a theoretical part mainly conducted at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA and an applicational part to be executed at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, Germany (return host).

And you will be pleased to learn that the theoretical part consisted of an analysis of the decision theoretical as well as evidential basis of imprecise probabilities in the light of climate change. In the applied part, it investigated how the presence of ambiguity, i.e., imprecise information, can alter the results of model-based analyses of climate protection strategies and policy instruments.

It seems they had their work cut out. Fortunately, the work – completed in May last year – only cost us €245,365.00 – excluding VAT of course. Mind you, I could have provided "a satisfactory model of complete ignorance," absolutely free of change. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


Normalized US Hurricane Losses 1900-2009

The figure above shows normalized US hurricane losses for 1900 to 2009. It shows an estimate of what hurricane damages would be if each hurricane season took place in 2009. The dark line shows the linear best fit from Excel. Obviously, there is no trend. This makes sense as there has also been no trend in U.S. landfall frequencies or intensities over this period (in fact, depending on start date there is evidence for a slight but statistically significant decline, source in PDF).

One indication that our methodology does a good job adjusting for societal change is that the resulting time series matches up with the time series in landfall frequencies and intensities. If there were a significant bias in our methods (for whatever reason) it would show up as a deviation between the normalized trends and the geophysical trends. We see no such deviation. Other reasons for confidence in our analysis is that it has been independently replicated on several occasions and that we (and others) can also recover an ENSO signal in the data (e.g., PDF).

You can play around with the data from the ICAT Damage Estimator. Details on the analysis can be found in the following paper:

Pielke, Jr., R. A., Gratz, J., Landsea, C. W., Collins, D., Saunders, M., and Musulin, R., 2008. Normalized Hurricane Damages in the United States: 1900-2005. Natural Hazards Review, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp. 29-42.
(Roger Pielke Jr)


Northern Hemisphere Snow Extent Second Highest on Record

Guest post by Steven Goddard

According to Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, last week’s Northern Hemisphere snow extent was the second highest on record, at 52,166,840 km2.  This was only topped by the second week in February, 1978 at 53,647,305 km2.  Rutgers has kept records continuously for the last 2,227 weeks, so being #2 is quite an accomplishment.

Daily Snow – February 13, 2010 (Day 44)

Source : Rutgers University Global Snow Lab

According to Rutgers University data through mid February, Northern Hemisphere snow extent has been increasing at a rate of over 100,000 km2 per year.

Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


The big picture: 65 million years of temperature swings

Greenland Temperatures - last 10,000 years Greenland Temperatures - last 10,000 years. Are we headed for an ice age?

David Lappi is a geologist from Alaska who has sent in a set of beautiful graphs–including an especially prosaic one of the last 10,000 years in Greenland–that he put together himself (and which I’ve copied here at the top).

If you wonder where today’s temperature fits in with the grand scheme of time on Earth since the dinosaurs were wiped out, here’s the history. We start with the whole 65 million years, then zoom in, and zoom in again to the last 12,000 from both ends of the world. What’s obvious is that in terms of homo sapiens history, things are warm now (because we’re not in an ice age). But, in terms of homo sapiens civilization, things are cooler than usual, and appear to be cooling.

Then again, since T-rex & Co. vanished, it’s been one long slide down the thermometer, and our current “record heatwave” is far cooler than normal. The dinosaurs would have scoffed at us: “What? You think this is warm?”

With so much volatility in the graphs, anyone could play “pick a trend” and depending on which dot you start from, you can get any trend you want. — Jo More » (Jo Nova)


Retreating to a Comfort Zone

With prospects for U.S. cap and trade legislation now completely extinguished, it is interesting to see some of the most vocal supporters of cap and trade silent on the implications of its failure and what should be done next on climate policy. Instead, Thomas Friedman and his favorite climate expert have decided to fall back onto debating the science and increasing emphasis on warring with the "deniers." Friedman writes today:

It is time the climate scientists stopped just playing defense.
Do we really need a further politicization of climate science? Haven't we had enough of that already?

Friedman's emphasis on stirring up the climate science wars is a shame because it obscures a really important point that he makes:
Even if climate change proves less catastrophic than some fear, in a world that is forecast to grow from 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion people between now and 2050, more and more of whom will live like Americans, demand for renewable energy and clean water is going to soar. It is obviously going to be the next great global industry.
What is this? There is good reason to decarbonize the global economy independent of uncertainties about climate change? You'll be hearing much more about this from me in coming months. (Roger Pielke Jr)

Say what Roger? We are going to need a great deal more energy so we should throw away the greatest available source, carbon dense fuels? There is simply no value for the planet or human society in "decarbonizing" the energy supply, only for misanthropists.

Don't misunderstand, I quite like the young fellow but he's been badly contaminated by Gaia cranks and believes the enviro dogma, which is a real shame since he could otherwise make a valuable contribution.


Oh dear... Canada's Permafrost Retreats Amid Warming Trend

WASHINGTON - The permanently frozen ground known as permafrost is retreating northward in the area around Canada's James Bay, a sign of a decades-long regional warming trend, a climate scientist said on Wednesday.

When permafrost melts, it can liberate the powerful greenhouse gas methane that is locked in the frozen soil. The amount of methane contained in permafrost around James Bay is slight compared to the vast stores of the chemical found in ancient, deep permafrost in the Yukon, Alaska and Siberia.

The southern edge of permafrost in the James Bay area has moved about 80 miles north of where it was 50 years ago, Serge Payette of Laval University in Quebec City said in a telephone interview.

It's a sign that warming is taking hold in this area that straddles the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. Payette said the sites he has studied have warmed by 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) in the last two decades.

And it shows what dying permafrost looks like.

"This is the end of the line for permafrost," Payette said.

To track the retreat, Payette and his colleagues looked at distinctive plant-covered mounds called palsas that form naturally over ice in the soil of northern peat bogs.

There were up to 90 percent fewer palsas in bogs around James Bay in 2005 than there were in 2004, the researchers found. And that was far fewer than those palsas shown in the area in aerial photographs taken in 1957, Payette said.

The trend cannot be conclusively linked to climate change, Payette said, citing a lack of data in this remote area, but he noted that this is the most likely cause. The research was published in the journal Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. (Reuters)

And besides which, deep permafrost in not in any danger of melting. Hopefully these associate everything with catastrophic warming pieces will dry up as the idiotic scare finally collapses.


You idiots! Norway Outlines Ways To Reach Deep 2020 CO2 Cuts

OSLO - Norway laid out ways to reach one of the world's toughest climate goals on Wednesday with measures to clean up sectors from oil to transport that it said would trim just 0.25 percent from the economy by 2020.

The "Climate Cure," outlined by state-run agencies to guide deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, said costs would range up to 1,100 to 1,500 crowns ($188-$256) per tonne of avoided carbon dioxide emissions. (Reuters)


Troubling: US energy chief struggles to shift debate

Steven Chu, the Nobel prize-winning physicist, is fast discovering that science is not enough when it comes to winning the climate change debate in Washington.

A year after President Barack Obama appointed the mild-mannered Stanford academic as energy secretary, Mr Chu is struggling to convince an increasingly partisan Congress that the US cannot afford to delay far-reaching reforms, from nuclear policy to reducing carbon emissions. (Financial Times)

The big worry is that Chu is a physicist and still professes to believe gorebull warbling, which suggests he's willing to subvert science for ideology. Chu, of all people, should be capable of checking references and finding we lack 2 of 4 necessary numbers required to calculate the planet's precise expected mean temperature -- we can not know whether the planet is warmer or cooler than expected. Chu should know gorebull warbling is a total crock. Not good.


Not Expanding Drilling May Cost U.S. $2.4 Trillion

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy will lose $2.4 trillion over the next two decades if the federal government does not allow oil and natural gas drilling in restricted onshore lands and in offshore areas previously closed to energy companies, according to a new study released on Monday.

The report, prepared for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, also said U.S. imports of crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas would increase by $1.6 trillion over the period without access to the energy resources.

In particular, the United States is expected to pay the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) $607 billion for an extra 4.1 billion barrels of crude, the report said.

Separate congressional and presidential bans on drilling in most U.S. waters beyond the western and central Gulf of Mexico ended in 2008, and the Interior Department is now considering whether to expand exploration in only a small part of the formerly closed areas. (Reuters)


Gas Drillers Find Welcome Mat In New York State

BINGHAMTON, New York - New York landowners whose properties sit on the gas-rich Marcellus Shale are pushing back against calls for greater environmental regulation, saying it has halted the U.S. gas drilling boom at the New York border.

Their concerns have opened a new front in the gas drilling wars, in which environmentalists and neighbors opposed to seeing gas wells in their back yards have put a drag on the exponential growth of onshore U.S. natural gas production.

A group of landowners who stand to earn a windfall from leasing their property to companies like Chesapeake Energy gathered in the town of Binghamton recently to push back against claims that drilling could pose health hazards.

"This is a very depressed area and this is something that will turn this whole community around," said Dan Fitzsimmons, 54, a leader of the Joint Landowners Coalition, which includes 17,500 families. (Reuters)


U.S. Heating Oil Demand Hit By Conservation

TORONTO - A fresh wave of conservation efforts spurred by a government incentive may help to spark another drop in U.S. heating oil consumption and counter a decline in the number of homes switching from the fuel to natural gas.

The U.S. homeowner trend away from heating oil got another prod after President Obama's 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act earmarked as much as $10 billion for energy audits, weatherization and natural gas heating retrofits for homeowners.

In 2008, it looked as if the steady erosion in U.S. demand for home heating oil, caused by consumers switching to natural gas over the last 35 years, may have tapered off.

"There have been a lot of conservation measures that wiped away gallons." said Shane Sweet, chief executive officer for New England Fuel Institute which represents 1,100 members companies made up of distributors, retailers, and wholesalers.

"That is demand we will never get back" he said. (Reuters)


The War on Coal

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is soon expected to make a decision that could have an enormous impact on coal-fired power plants across the nation and, by extension, on the cost of energy and building materials. No, we’re not talking about greenhouse gas regulations here. The question that USEPA Administrator Lisa Jackson must answer is this: Should the ash generated from the burning of coal be classified as a hazardous waste or not? It’s a decision that has the potential to pile more costs onto the price of energy at a time we can least afford it. (Rich Trzupek, FrontPage)


The Green Jobs Engine That Can’t

By Max Schulz, ET guest columnist
Feb. 17 2010, 2:30 EST

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to transform America’s energy economy by creating millions of “green jobs.” Accepting his party’s nomination at the Democratic convention in Denver, Obama proclaimed: “I’ll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced.” [Read More] (Energy Tribune)


New Rules On Corn Ethanol May Hurt Environment

WASHINGTON - U.S. corn growers expressed relief when the Obama administration unveiled new environmental rules that would boost use of corn-based biofuel, but green groups complained the guidelines may fill the air with nitrogen, a greenhouse gas viewed as more potent than carbon.

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled what amounted to a tweaking of the national renewable fuel standard in early February, and still found that ethanol made from corn is still cleaner than conventional gasoline, dashing the hopes of some critics who opposed using food to create fuel.

The EPA's new assessment basically calls for corn ethanol output to rise from around 12 billion gallons this year to around 15 billion gallons annually starting around 2015, which the industry was already on track to reach regardless of agency's action. (Reuters)


Forgot the most important thing: The Big Shift

In the 2010 Dodgen Lecture at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, and in the Q&A that followed, I described four principles that must be observed in order to successfully complete the transition away from a fossil-fuel based society. ( Jim Lane, Editor, Biofuels Digest)

Or maybe not "forget" so much as completely avoided: Why abandon useful, abundant, energy-dense fuels in the first place? I take the reason that was omitted is because there's no rational reason to do so.


Definite lack of progress: Slow Trip Across Sea Aids Profit and Environment

It took more than a month for the container ship Ebba Maersk to steam from Germany to Guangdong, China, where it unloaded cargo on a recent Friday — a week longer than it did two years ago.

But for the owner, the Danish shipping giant Maersk, that counts as progress.

In a global culture dominated by speed, from overnight package delivery to bullet trains to fast-cash withdrawals, the company has seized on a sales pitch that may startle some hard-driving corporate customers: Slow is better.

By halving its top cruising speed over the last two years, Maersk cut fuel consumption on major routes by as much as 30 percent, greatly reducing costs. But the company also achieved an equal cut in the ships’ emissions of greenhouse gases.

“The previous focus has been on ‘What will it cost?’ and ‘Get it to me as fast as possible,’ ” said Soren Stig Nielsen, Maersk’s director of environmental sustainability, who noted that the practice began in 2008, when oil prices jumped to $145 a barrel.

“But now there is a third dimension,” he said. “What’s the CO2 footprint?”

Traveling more slowly, he added, is “a great opportunity” to lower emissions “without a quantum leap in innovation.” (NYT)

How nifty... and if they go backwards, does it take CO2 out of the air, too? Sheesh!


<chuckle> Environmental Advocates Are Cooling on Obama

WASHINGTON — There has been no more reliable cheerleader for President Obama’s energy and climate change policies than Daniel J. Weiss of the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

But Mr. Obama’s recent enthusiasm for nuclear power, including his budget proposal to triple federal loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors to $54 billion, was too much for Mr. Weiss.

The president’s embrace of nuclear power was disappointing, and the wrong way to go about winning Republican votes, he said, adding that Mr. Obama should not be endorsing such a costly and potentially catastrophic energy alternative “as bait just to get talks started with pro-nuke senators.”

The early optimism of environmental advocates that the policies of former President George W. Bush would be quickly swept away and replaced by a bright green future under Mr. Obama is for many environmentalists giving way to resignation, and in some cases, anger. (NYT)


Labor rejects nuclear power in Australia

Labor remains opposed to adopting a civil nuclear power program, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.

Mr Rudd said the priority now was to develop effective technology for carbon capture and storage to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

He said the people of Australia could debate anything they wanted.

"Our policy is that Australia has multiple other energy sources and we will not be heading in the direction of civil nuclear power," he told reporters.

"The coalition has a policy which I understand embraces that possibility. That is the difference between the two of us. (AAP)


In the style of David Berkowitz: Son of Malthus... Overpopulation and Climate Change

PUTNEY, VERMONT — With the continuing failure of governments to reach agreements on combating climate change, the outlook for both humans and nature remains bleak. 

And nowhere is the failure more conspicuous than in the avoidance of the subject of population growth. Population is a double-barreled environmental problem — not only is population increasing; so are emissions per capita. 

In 1970, when worldwide greenhouse gas emissions had just begun to transgress the sustainable capacity of the atmosphere, the world population was about 3.7 billion; today it’s about 6.9 billion — an increase of 86 percent.

In that same period, worldwide emissions from fossil fuels rose from about 14 billion tons to an estimated 29 billion tons — an increase of 107 percent.

In other words, in 1970, such emissions were about 3.8 tons per capita; today, despite the growing awareness of climate change, they have actually risen to about 4.2 tons per capita. 

The growing fraction of energy produced by low-emission means (solar, nuclear, wind, etc.) seems merely to be slowing down the rapidly growing dependence on fossil fuels in response to ever increasing energy demand. 

Yet inexplicably and inexcusably, recommendations by the United States, the United Nations and independent research groups essentially never include — and certainly never stress — population as a contribution to global warming. (Arthur H. Westing, IHT)

There's a good reason they're not mentioned, ya gibbering nitwit. Like population, enhanced greenhouse is a "problem" that never was.


Compassion fraud - by Richard...

Featured prominently in today's Guardian and dutifully mirrored by the BBC is a tale of woe, headlined: "Tajikistan facing water shortages and climate extremes, report warns". The strap line reads: "Falling supplies due to rising temperatures and retreating glaciers could spark conflict between water-stressed countries in the region, says Oxfam."

Few will actually read the Oxfam report and fewer still will have the background knowledge to understand how fundamentally dishonest it is. In pursuing its own distorted agenda on climate change, the charity is exploiting the misery of the peoples of Tajikstan, wilfully distorting the cause of their plight.

A taste of that dishonesty, writ through the entire 24-page production, comes at the very end, where the pompously is of quite staggering proportions: 


(Richard North, EU Referendum)


A climate change person

Following up on my previous piece (which seems to be becoming a habit), another reader tells me to have a look at Anita Swarup, the author of the Oxfam report on Tajikstan. It turns out that the lady has "form".

Formerly a "communications officer" for the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, she subsequently became freelance, as a describing herself at a UNESCO International Conference on Broadcast Media and Climate Change in Paris in September 2009 as: "Research, advocacy and communications – Climate Change."

In her Carbon Capture bio (above), she is described as a "climate change person," telling us that she is an Oxfam International regional research report author, "who has worked as a consultant on climate change for Oxfam , Unicef and other organisations."

Interestingly, the Oxfam Tajikstan report was edited by John Magrath and Richard English. Magrath is a writer and researcher who has worked for Oxfam GB for over 20 years in a range of roles, including press officer and executive assistant to the Director. For the last three years, he has researched climate change implications for Oxfam's work. English is the campaigns manager for Oxfam.

Thus, we have a report "researched" and written by a climate change advocate, and edited by another "researcher" on climate change, overseen by a campaigns manager for an organisation that is active in climate change activism. And it was going to report anything else, other than climate change was a problem?

More than ever, this underlines the unreliability of NGO reports – in particular from advocacy groups such as Oxfam, whose work is not worth the paper it is printed on. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


When are companies going to stop paying the extortionists? Tetley Tea To Be 100 Percent Rainforest Certified By 2016

NEW YORK - The world's second biggest tea company Tetley will source all of its branded tea from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms by 2016, both groups said on Wednesday. (Reuters)


Large crowd mostly hostile to EPA plans for cleaning Florida’s lakes and rivers

public hearing on a federal plan to clean up Florida's rivers and lakes drew an unexpectedly large crowd of nearly 350 people to a room with only 200 chairs Wednesday. Whether seated or standing, most of the anxious speakers repeatedly lashed out against stiffer environmental regulations. (Orlando Sentinel)


Sugar technology keeps vaccines stable in the heat

LONDON - British scientists have found a cheap and simple way of keeping vaccines stable, even at tropical temperatures, which they say could transform immunisation campaigns in the developing world.

The technology developed by Oxford University scientists and the privately owned Nova Laboratories would remove the need for costly infrastructure, like fridges and freezers that require power and can break down, and highly trained staff.

"Currently vaccines need to be stored in a fridge or freezer," Matt Cottingham of Oxford's Jenner Institute, who led the study, said in a statement. "You need a clinic with a nurse, a fridge and an electricity supply, and refrigeration lorries for distribution."

"If you could ship vaccines at normal temperatures, you would greatly reduce cost and hugely improve access to vaccines. You could even picture someone with a backpack taking vaccine doses on a bike into remote villages."

The team's method uses a patented system from Nova called HydRIS and involves mixing the vaccine with the sugars trehalose and sucrose and leaving it to dry out on a filter or membrane.

As the water evaporates, the vaccine mixture turns into a syrup and solidifies on the membrane, preserving the active part of the vaccine in a kind of suspended animation and protecting it from harm even at high temperatures. (Reuters)


Scientists develop new plastic made from sugar that can be composted - Food packaging made from sugar has been developed by British scientists.

Researchers at Imperial College London have managed to transform sugars found in fast growing trees and grasses into a large molecule, known as a polymer, that can be used to make plastic. 

Although there are already plastics on the market made from natural materials like corn, these do not biodegrade quickly. 

The new discovery would not only cut down on the use of oil, that is usually used to make plastic, but potentially enable people to compost plastic at home. (TDT)


Childhood Obesity a Risk for Premature Death

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Associate Professor Paul Franks of Umeå University in Sweden, in collaboration with researchers in the US, shows how childhood obesity, together with other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, affects premature death. (ScienceDaily)


Adult obesity expected to rise sharply by 2010, study says

Eight out of ten men and almost seven in ten women will be overweight by 2020, a study published today says.

While data suggests that childhood obesity may be levelling off, adult obesity is expected to rise. The report predicts a higher incidence of diabetes, strokes and heart disease.

The study, led by Professor Klim McPherson, of the University of Oxford, uses figures from 1993 to 2007 to predict future levels of obesity in England. It says that about 41 per cent of men aged 20 to 65 will be obese by 2020 and 40 per cent will be overweight; 36 per cent of women will be obese and 32 per cent will be overweight.

The study said: “Unlike the recent report on child obesity, which showed some indications of a plateauing or at least a significant reduction in the rate of obesity, the future projections for adults are less optimistic.” (The Times)


When Humans Almost Went Extinct

Around 1.2 million years ago, only 18,500 early humans were breeding on the planet. According to researchers, this is evidence that there was a real risk of extinction for our early ancestors. What's more, according to a new study it took at least a million years for humans to come back from the brink. It was not until the emergence of modern humans, Homo sapiens, around 160,000 years ago and their migration out of Africa that humanity's place on Earth was secured. Two factors helped humans to survive: an increasingly carnivorous diet and mastery of fire.

In an on online report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), “Mobile elements reveal small population size in the ancient ancestors of Homo sapiens,” researchers found that the ancient human effective population size 1.2 million years ago was about 18,500, and couldn't have been larger than 26,000. This means that the population of Homo erectus, an ancestor of modern humans, was small even at a time that the species was spreading around the world. This implies an “unusually small population size for a species spread across the entire Old World,” the authors write. “There's this history of a precarious existence not just for our species but for our ancestors,” says co-author Lynn Jorde, a human geneticist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

On of the things that has long puzzled researchers is that modern humans lack the genetic variation found in other living primates. Compared with chimpanzees or gorillas, human genetic variation is remarkably small, even though our current population is so much larger than any species of great ape. One explanation for this lack of variation is that our species experienced events where a significant part of the human population were killed. Some researchers proposed that the lack of variation in our maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA suggested these events took place relatively recently, perhaps as our ancestors were migrating out of Africa. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)



Is Global Warming Really A Bigger Threat than Iran?

Pentagon (Photo by Newscom)

Over the past year, Iran has declared itself a nuclear state and continues to expand their ballistic missile program, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair has testified to Congress that Al Qaeda and its affiliates are planning a large-scale attack on American soil within the next six months, and failed Flight 253 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has told the FBI that he met with other English speakers at a terrorist training camp in Yemen.

Meanwhile, the scientist at the center of Climategate now tells BBC News that there has been no statistically significant rise in temperature in the past fifteen years and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been forced to admit their 2007 report substantially overstated global warning’s impact on glacier loss, hurricane damage, and African crop failure.

So how is the Obama Administration focusing our precious national security resources? Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve (rtd) explains in The Telegraph: Continue reading... (The Foundry)


And still they got it wrong: Three Firms Quit Climate Lobby

A trio of influential multinational corporations have decamped from the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a 3-year-old lobby group, citing mounting concerns over the direction of climate change legislation, particularly concessions to the politically-influential coal sector.

In separate statements, BP America, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar all announced they were discontinuing their membership in the group, which includes chief executives from several corporate giants as well as influential environmental organizations like The Nature Conservancy and Environmental Defense.

“All three companies have provided invaluable assistance, expertise and significant commitments of time and resources in U.S.C.A.P.’s efforts to advance comprehensive climate and energy legislation,” the organization said in a statement that downplayed the departures.

But BP spokesman Ronnie Chappell told Green Inc. that the company feels it can do more to influence the outcome of pending House and Senate legislation on its own. “Our views are that there are segments of the economy that are largely untouched or aren’t carrying as big a piece of the burden that they might,” Mr. Chappell said, referencing the coal sector. (Green Inc.)

There is not now, nor has there ever been any need for anyone to carry any piece of the gorebull warbling burden.


Not time to relax our efforts: BP, Conoco, and CAT Abandon Ship

by Myron Ebell
February 16, 2010

BP, Conoco, and CAT Abandon ShipToday, BP America, Conoco Phillips, and Caterpillar have dropped out of the U. S. Climate Action Partnership.  This is the first recognition by the many major corporations pushing energy-rationing legislation that cap-and-trade legislation is dead in the Congress and that the scientific case for global warming alarmism is collapsing rapidly.  We hope that other major corporations will soon see the light and drop their support for cap-and-trade and other similar policies.

While these announcements are most welcome, they do not mean that we can relax our efforts to defeat and roll back energy-rationing legislation and regulations.  Many policies and proposals that would raise energy prices through the roof for American consumers and destroy millions of jobs in energy-intensive industries still pose a huge threat.  These include:

  • the EPA’s decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act;
  • efforts by environmental pressure groups to use the Endangered Species Act to stop energy production and new power plants;
  • the higher fuel economy standards for new passenger vehicles enacted in 2007;
  • presidential executive orders;
  • and bills in Congress to require more renewable electricity, higher energy efficiency standards for buildings, and low carbon transportation fuel standards. (Cooler Heads)


Budget Wielded to Cut Greenhouse Gases

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama's 2011 budget calls for an array of regulations, subsidies and taxes aimed at cutting emissions of greenhouse gases, even as a sweeping climate bill sits on ice in the Senate. (WSJ)


Lawsuits roll in as EPA 'endangerment' deadline looms

Critics of U.S. EPA's climate regulations are lining up to launch legal battles against the agency's "endangerment" finding amid a looming deadline for court challenges.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday petitioned a federal appeals court to reconsider EPA's determination that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare, a finding that paves the way for broad regulations of the heat-trapping emissions. (Greenwire)


Skeptics petition EPA to reconsider 'endangerment' finding

Three climate change skeptic groups today petitioned U.S. EPA to reconsider its finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare.

The petition marks the latest in a series of attacks from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which joined the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change and the Science and Environmental Policy Project in challenging the finding. (E&ENews)


Petition to the EPA: Your Agency Has No Legal Option But to Re-examine Its Endangerment Finding

(Peabody Energy Company)


Texas sues to stop EPA from regulating greenhouse gases - Perry and Abbott say rules would be based on bad science and put jobs at risk.

Texas fired off another salvo in a struggle with Washington over environmental regulation Tuesday, filing a suit in federal court to prevent regulation of greenhouse gases.

Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott are trying to get the federal Environmental Protection Agency to back away from a finding last year that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health. The finding sets the stage for regulation of the gases, which scientists have linked to global warming. (Austin-American Statesman)


Leading Texas Climate Change Lawyer Praises State’s EPA Challenge

Attorney Richard O. Faulk labels the challenge by Texas to the EPA a much-needed call for "climate change sanity." (Press Release)


Pacific Legal Foundation vs. EPA on Endangerment (Bad science and bad policy can be avoided)

by Tom Tanton (Guest Blogger)
February 16, 2010

Another defender of limited government (and sound science) has petitioned U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reopen the regulatory process that led to EPA’s controversial endangerment finding, arguing that new information casts doubt on the scientific integrity of the determination. The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a Sacramento, Calif.-based group that defends individuals against large, intrusive government, filed an administrative petition with EPA last week that challenges the agency’s finding on procedural grounds. The petition to the EPA is available at PLF’s web site.

According to the filing, EPA must reopen the proceedings surrounding its determination that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare, in light of recent controversy over e-mails released from prominent climate scientists whose work formed the very foundation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 4th assessment on climate change (2007). The filing also demands that EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board evaluate whether the finding itself should be reconsidered. The IPCC reports were preeminent among the data used to underpin EPA’s endangerment finding. (MasterResource)


Virginia challenges EPA ruling on greenhouse gases

Virginia joined a growing list of opponents to the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to regulate greenhouse gases.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II petitioned a federal court Tuesday to reconsider EPA's decision that greenhouse gases, which are linked to global warming, are a public health threat. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Texas filed similar suits.

Cuccinelli will argue, among other things, that EPA failed to consider how regulations will affect the state's economy, particularly in the coal-mining towns of southwest Virginia, spokesman Daniel Dodds said.

"We're asking them to reconvene because it did not take in to account the economic impacts," he said. (Daily Press)


AISI challenging EPA’s plan to regulate climate change

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has filed a legal challenge to a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will result in greenhouse gas emissions being regulated under the Clean Air Act.

Washington-based AISI claims the analysis by EPA and its method for reaching the findings were "fundamentally inadequate" and believes the move will hinder the abilities of North American steelmakers to compete globally. (AISI)


Sir John’s "Memory Lapse"

Did John Houghton promote disaster for environmental policy? The web's informal coalition of researchers and archivers says: "Yes":

If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster. It's like safety on public transport. The only way humans will act is if there's been an accident. Sir John Houghton,  ‘Me and My God’, ‘The Sunday Telegraph’, September 10, 1995.

(Slightly cleaned up image here if you have trouble reading the above)

On Sunday last, Sir John Houghton, former Chief Executive of the Met Office, founder of the Hadley Centre, and former Co-Chair of the IPCC had a somewhat intemperate ‘Letter to the Editor’ published in The Observer, which went as follows:

“Dr Benny Peiser, director of the the Global Warming Policy Foundation, writing about my work as the chair of the first IPCC Scientific Assessment , quotes me as saying: ‘Unless we announce disasters no one will listen,’ thereby attributing to me and the IPCC an attitude of hype and exaggeration. That quote from me is without foundation. I have never said it or written it ...

... This quote is doing damage not only to me as a responsible scientist but also to the IPCC which in its main conclusions has always worked to avoid exaggeration. I demand from Dr Peiser an apology that he failed to check his sources and a public retraction of the use he made of the fabricated quotation.”

Oh dear! Oh dear! To adapt slightly Queen Gertrude speaking in Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2: “The Gentleman doth protest too much, methinks”.

Read more at Emeritus Professor Philip Stott's The Clamour of the Times here.


Bit late to try bluffing isn't it? Climate scientist says Himalayan glacier report is 'robust and rigorous'

The scientist at the centre of the storm over mistakes by the UN's climate change panel has broken his silence on the affair to defend his report as "robust and rigorous".

Martin Parry, a climate expert at the Grantham Institute and Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College, London, said he was "perplexed" at the way the media has focused on what he called minor points. (David Adam, The Guardian)


Jones may submit a correction to his 1990 paper – Keenan responds

Excerpt from the Nature article here

This weather station in Shenzhen used to be rural 30+ years ago, it also used to be a couple of kilometers away from this location.

Central to the Russell investigation is the issue of whether he or his CRU colleagues ever published data that they knew were potentially flawed, in order to bolster the evidence for man-made global warming. The claim specifically relates to one of Jones’s research papers1 on whether the urban heat island effect — in which cities tend to be warmer than the surrounding countryside — could be responsible for the apparent rise in temperature readings from thermometers in the late twentieth century. Jones’s study concluded that this local effect was negligible, and that the dominant effect was global climate change.

In the paper, the authors used data from weather stations around the world; those in China “were selected on the basis of station history: we chose those with few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location or observation times”, they wrote. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


For absolute believers: Climatologist Phil Jones fights back

Olive Heffernan traveled to the University of East Anglia in Norwich to meet with Phil Jones, the climatologist at the centre of the hacked email controversy. From Climate Feedback part of Guardian Environment Network


but: What about the Jones et al co-authors ?

Except for his 1994 update, Professor Jones tended to publish with many co-authors.

I see that the BBC says, Phil Jones, the professor behind the “Climategate” affair, has admitted some of his decades-old weather data was not well enough organised.

Well, I am asking myself, what about all these co-authors, presumably some of them worked on the data too, otherwise why would they be co-authors ? Is their data too, “..not well enough organised..” ? They are all from big instos – did none of them park a copy on their HDD ?

Or is co-authoring on this scale just an exercise in influence peddling and mutual career building – facilitating a network of supportive mates to ease the way in the peer review process. I am curious to see if anybody else has thought about this. (Warwick Hughes)


Climategate: A Defiance of Arrogant Political Power

The average voter has had enough: no more being force-fed scenarios defying that rare commodity called common sense.
February 16, 2010
- by Ian Plimer

The people are speaking. We are seeing a defiance of bureaucrats, officials, government propaganda, and funded climate catastrophe researchers. A scary scientific paradigm of human-induced climate change is collapsing because the cake has been over iced. The average voter has had enough of being talked down to by arrogant scientists with vested interests who present scenarios that defy that rare commodity called common sense.

It was only a short time ago that climate rationalists were told they were factually wrong, that their skepticism was evil, their views were akin to Holocaust denial, and that they should be tried for crimes against humanity. However, Climategate emails show that the coterie of two dozen leading climate comrades shared this skepticism in private — yet denounced skeptics in public. Various cap-and-trade systems have been shown to be an extra tax, which may end up being distributed by the sticky fingers of the UN. (PJM)


IPCC Science Scandals Aren’t New, By: Dennis T. Avery

February 16, 2010 

CHURCHVILLE, VA—The UN’s climate change panel is reeling from a series of scandals about unsupported claims in its 2007 report.

  • India has documented that the Intergovernmental Panel’s claim of Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035 was mere speculation—and has now been proven false. 
  • The 2007 IPCC report claimed global warming could cut rain fed African food yields in half by 2020. New lead author Chris Field says this is highly unlikely, and he can find nothing in the report’s supporting chapters to document it.
  • The Dutch are complaining that the IPCC said half of its land area lies below sea level, when the figure is actually 20 percent.

All this criticism is valid and long overdue. But the biggest scandal in the IPCC’s closet remains its 1995 claim to finding a “discernible human influence” on the earth’s changing climate. Lead author Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore government laboratory inserted those words—after the IPCC’s consulting scientists had signed off on a draft that specifically said no such “human fingerprint” had been found! 

Santer deliberately reversed the meaning of the whole IPCC 1995 report—and the trajectory of every IPCC document since. He claimed the rewrite was justified by two of his own studies. However, Santer’s papers “cherry-picked” the earth’s temperature record from 1963–1987, ignoring the earlier and later temperatures that didn’t confirm the Greenhouse theory! Thus the IPCC’s whole claim of a “discernible human influence” remains without scientific support to this day. 

What will we learn next about the IPCC and its frolicking alarmists? Expect proof that the land-based thermometer records have been deliberately sabotaged to lower the temperature readings of yesteryear and raise recent thermometer readings—to make global warming seem scarier. 

The most obvious case of this record manipulation to date is in New Zealand, where the “official” graph shows the country’s temperatures rose 0.92 degrees C through the 20th century. However, NIWA’s own raw data showed no 20th-century temperature uptrend in any of its stations. Is it an accident that most of the world’s raw climate historical data has disappeared? 

Veteran meteorologist Joe D’Aleo appeared on John Coleman’s TV special at KUSI-TV on January 14, charging that U.S. official temperatures have been rigged by quietly dropping “cold” weather stations: those at high altitude, high latitude, or in rural areas. 

Clear back in 1992, James Goodridge, then California State Climatologist, published a peer-reviewed paper that sorted the state’s weather trends by county population. The urban counties had a strong upward trend of plus 3.14 degrees F per century. Rural stations showed no upward trend at all. 

Looking back, an “official” global warming of 0.6 degrees since 1900 may not seem all that dramatic. Especially after a dozen years of non-warming. But think how hard it would have been for the global warming alarmists to panic the people if they’d admitted the rural areas hadn’t warmed at all! That “global warming” was mostly cities ratcheting up their own heat!

The supposedly dedicated “climate researchers” have nearly cost the world trillions of dollars in higher energy costs, agonies of wintertime suffering for the elderly “energy poor,” and needless deaths for lack of air conditioning in the summers. They and the Green campaigners came awfully close to destroying human society as most of us have known it. (CGFI)


Another IPCC Error: Antarctic Sea Ice Increase Underestimated by 50%

Several errors have been recently uncovered in the 4th Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These include problems with Himalayan glaciers, African agriculture, Amazon rainforests, Dutch geography, and attribution of damages from extreme weather events. More seem to turn up daily. Most of these errors stem from the IPCC’s reliance on non-peer reviewed sources.

The defenders of the IPCC have contended that most of these errors are minor in significance and are confined to the Working Group II Report (the one on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability) of the IPCC which was put together by representatives from various regional interests and that there was not as much hard science available to call upon as there was in the Working Group I report (“The Physical Science Basis”). The IPCC defenders argue that there have been no (or practically no) problems identified in the Working Group I (WGI) report on the science.

We humbly disagree. (WCR)


Climate skeptics exploiting scandal: US envoy

Todd Stern, US special envoy for climate change seen here in 2009, on Tuesday accused vested interests of exploiting recent scientific scandals, saying there was an overwhelming case for the world to take action. (AFP) | Briefing by the Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern (State)

Well we're certainly trying to bring them to people's attention Todd, have been for 14 years in fact. And yes, there is an overwhelming case for the world to take action against carbon scammers and misanthropists trying to use gorebull warbling as a weapon against humanity.


Take a bow -- you are a "powerful movement": Climate scientists are losing ground against deniers' disinformation

The IPCC and scientific community urgently need to focus on rebuilding trust and could learn a few tactics from Barack Obama

There's an incredibly powerful movement opposed to action on climate change. Without doubt it had more influence on the outcome of the climate negotiations in Copenhagen than many of the world's countries combined. (Joss Garman, The Guardian)

Wow! get a load of this:

The name of this world-changing movement? It's the Tea Party movement, coupled with its sophisticated echo chamber of right-wing shock jocks, culture-war keyboard commandos, and allies at Fox News, all pushing the scepticism line on climate change.

To be honest I found the image of parties coupled with jocks in chambers faintly disturbing -- and that was before the introduction of commandos and allies in a culture war...

Hasn't actually occurred to these clots yet that their favorite apocalypse exists only in fevered imaginations, has it? Much less that skepticism is the natural state of scientists. Silly game, innit guv'na?


Climategate: Skeptics Can’t Relax Yet — Real Fraud Is Measured in Dollar Signs, Not Degrees

The scientific fraud started with the money and the (leftist) politics, and that's where the investigation needs to go now.
February 16, 2010
- by Charlie Martin

The Climategate files have led to a reexamination of the science behind climate change, and the arguments of the so-called climate skeptics have been vindicated. It’s time for them to take a deserved victory lap.

But skeptics can’t afford to get cocky.

Elsewhere in Pajamas Media, there are a number of reactions to the bombshell interview with Dr. Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia and one of the first people to feel the consequences of Climategate. Those other PJM articles cover, in much greater detail than I will, the implications of the interview in which Jones begins to come clean about the machinations of the climate clique. Clarity regarding the science is important, but it’s not the science that has made “climate change” what it is today. To understand that, we need to look at what has really driven the issue into prominence.

To understand that — as always — we must ask: Who benefits, and how? (PJM)


What, they don't just get the cash, unconditionally? Bangladesh rejects terms for £60m of climate aid from UK

The Bangladeshi government objects to grant money being channelled through the World Bank, which it says will attach unfavourable "strings and conditions" ( David Adam and John Vidal, The Guardian)

Robbed, they was. Robbed, they say!


Throwing everything, hitting nothing: Scientists dispute climate sceptic's claim that US weather data is useless

Ex-weatherman Anthony Watts says many US weather stations produce unreliable data because they are located next to artificial heat – but a scientific analysis suggests that, if anything, such stations underestimate warming ( James Randerson, The Guardian)

For some of the real story see this Roger Pielke Sr. posting.


Mirror image

Newsmax seems to be one of the few news outlets that publicises the latest attitude survey on "climate change".

In what is almost a perfect mirror image of April 2008, the poll currently finds that 35 percent of US voters now believe global warming is caused primarily by human activity while 47 percent think long-term planetary trends are mostly to blame, down three points from the previous survey in January. Eight percent say there is some other reason, and 10 percent aren't sure.

In April 2008, 47 percent blamed human activity and only 34 percent named long term planetary trends. Despite billions of dollars and countless hours of effort by the warmists, that is all they can achieve.

Meanwhile, it looks as if the greenies have sussed me. But don't you love the first comment: "Tim, outstanding sleuthing!" Er... like they've at last been reading EU Referendum and put two and two together. Outstanding!

That's the weakness with these idiots. They tend to read – and believe – their own propaganda. They rarely pop over the fence to see what the opposition is doing. Me, I read their crap all the time – military history helps. During the '40-41 desert campaign, Montgomery had a picture of Rommel on the wall of his personal caravan. "Know thine enemy" – one of the primary rules of war.

And now, creeping round the back, we get a US majority ditching their garbage. It's like stealing candy from a baby – they didn't even see it coming. But the politicians are going to be a tough nut to crack – but then, so was Rommel. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


And They Wonder Why They Are Not Taken Seriously

January 2009 – After snowstorms in British Columbia, a statement by Andrew Weaver, “climate-modelling expert at the University of Victoria and a lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

for decades, climate scientists have consistently said that with climate change, many parts of the world should expect an increase in overall precipitation. “So the fact that we’re getting snowfall records is entirely consistent with what we’ve been saying,” he said.

February 2010 – After little if any snow in British Columbia, a statement by climate wrestler Joe Romm

this type of purely coincidental extremely warm weather is completely consistent with the predictions of climate science.  Indeed climate science says we are likely to see far, far worse, far, far more often

Another example in a comment to Andy Revkin’s “A Historian Looks ‘Back’ at the Climate Fight

23. Eva – February 12th, 2010 – 4:25 pm
In 1899, Washington DC had 54 inches of snow. We are told that was because there was less CO2 and it was cold. In 2010, Washington DC had 55 inches of snow. We are told that is due to global warming.

Why does the global warming community expect the rest of the world to be as neurotic and confused as they are?

(Maurizio Morabito, OmniClimate)


Fancy carbon footwork: How Climate-Change Dance Theory spells the end of a movement

A growing number of Americans are beginning to think that global warming alarmism is little more than some sort of hippie plot to drag us back to the Stone Age. Or, failing that, at least drag us back to the Hippie Age. And what with the abject failure of the international community to reach any kind of binding agreement at the recent Copenhagen climate conference, and the growing unlikelihood that the U.S. Senate will pass any bill to combat that chimerical foe Anthropogenic Global Warming, coupled with the scandal-a-minute collapse of any scientific “consensus” that we’re even changing the climate after all, the alarmists are now looking at a bleak future of their grand scheme devolving into nothing more than a passing fad along the lines of Hula Hoops or the Macarena. (PJM)


Romm’s “Smoking And Cancer” Fallacy

Joe Romm is not the only one making the absurd analogy between the smoking-lung cancer link and the carbon emissions-global warming connection:

Everyone knows you can’t make a direct connection between carbon emissions and this January in Vancouver which is so damn warm it crushed the record set so long ago that toddlers can’t even remember it. It’s just a coincidence that we are now in the warmest winter globally in the satellite record.

It’s just like that chain-smoking guy who got lung cancer. The fact that he smoked two packs a day is a coincidence. You can’t prove it — so keep smoking, already. Sure the statistics show the warming footprint — Record high temperatures far outpace record lows across U.S. — but individual events are just coincidence. I’m telling you.

Romm’s sarcasm is wholly inappropriate. The  Relative Risk (RR) of developing lung cancer is around 23 for habitual (male) smokers. There is no reasonable “you can’t prove it” argument: indeed, here’s a checklist of what is needed to understand a phenomenon where most data are of a statistical nature:

  1. Epidemiology should find a strong association (i.e. a high value for RR, e.g. above 3)
  2. A very specific disease should be involved
  3. There should be a consistency between studies and with data from laboratory work, disease incidence trends and other sources
  4. The results should be preferably not involve a rewriting of biology and physics

(you can read more about the complexity of dealing with a statistical understanding of the world at this link)

In the case of smoking and lung cancer, every single point of the checklist is fulfilled. In the case of carbon emissions and global warming:

  • Point 1 is still ill-defined – notably, the fork between maximum and minimum expected warming has not decreased between the IPCC TAR and AR4. That’s a far, far cry from a RR of 23…
  • Point 2 is still ill-defined – we are given very generic statements “it’s going to get warmer”, “it will likely be a warm winter”, “the likelihood of heavier snowstorms and rainfalls will increase”, almost value-free if there’s no number attached to them

No need to talk about points 3 and 4. If there’s no well-defined data to work on, everything else is a moot point. All in all, it is sad to see just how misinformed somebody like Romm can be, when one is unwilling to find the time to understand the topic at hand. Hasn’t he got anybody helping investigating his own arguments??? (Maurizio Morabito, OmniClimate)


Hostage to hot air

The climate debate in the US – and so the world – is mired in political weakness and infighting ( Isabel Hilton, The Guardian)

But Isobel, gorebull warbling is all hot air.


Global collective action is the key to solving climate change

We cannot accept a 'climate apartheid', where the rich can buy their way out of the problem (John Sauven, The Guardian)

First John, you need a real problem. Anyway, shouldn't you be getting with the watermelon program? This whole "buying of indulgences" thing has been pushed by anti-capitalists for the express purpose of wealth transfer (allegedly on equality and social justice grounds). Singing out of the wrong songbook, aren't you?


Carbon dioxide is already absorbing almost all it can.

Here’s why it’s possible that doubling CO2 won’t make much difference.

The carbon that’s already up in the atmosphere absorbs most of the light it can. CO2 only “soaks up” its favorite wavelengths of light, and it’s close to saturation point. It manages to grab a bit more light from wavelengths that are close to its favorite bands, but it can’t do much more, because there are not many left-over photons at the right wavelengths.

Graph of Additional Absorbance of CO2 showing that extra CO2 makes less and less difference.

The natural greenhouse effect is real, and it does keep us warm, but it’s already reached its peak performance.

This graph shows the additional warming effect of each extra 20ppm of atmospheric CO2. More » (Jo Nova)


More on the Pacific fog piece: You will love this

Hot on the trail of the Golden-Gate scam, a readers draws my attention to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle for 6 July 2009.

The title of the piece somewhat gives the game away, as it declares: "Get ready for even foggier summers". The opening lines of the text tell us that the Bay Area just had its foggiest May in 50 years. "And thanks to global warming, it's about to get even foggier."

This makes an interesting counterpoint to the article in The Daily Telegraph today, proclaiming: "Fog over San Francisco thins by a third due to climate change".

The lead author of the 2009 study is Robert Bornstein, a meteorology professor at San Jose State University who points out that "global warming is warming the interior part of California, but it leads to a reverse reaction of more fog along the coast."

We are told that study would appear in the journal Climate, which may be this one here, headed: "Observed 1970-2005 cooling of summer daytime temperatures in coastal California."

Bornstein and team argue that as global warming heats up the Central Valley gets, the greater the temperature and pressure gradients between the inland and coast would be greater - therefore forming more fog.

To demonstrate the thesis, they broke the Bay Area down into smaller regions and looked at daily temperatures for the last half century, focusing on the rapid post-1970 warming period. They found that, although temperatures were trending upward as a whole, they were asymmetric - the hills and inland areas were warming, while low-elevation coastal areas were actually cooling.

This was by no means the only time Bornstein ventured into print, his views being aired in the Ventura County Reporter in October 2008. In November 2007 in the Napa Valley Register, another scientist, Jeffrey P. Schaffer, seemed to support him, predicting that summers in the Bay Area would become cooler, windier and foggier. "And this has already happened," he observed.

However, there is no shortage of conflicting material, this undated paper (circa 1997?) finding a fog decrease in four West Coast locations. On the other hand, this comprehensive review (107 pages) points to considerable variation in fog levels over time, with periods when fog levels were considerably lower than at others.

Ironically – at least, according to the Los Angeles Times, fog is a major nuisance to San Francisco Airport, where Dr Johnstone did his measurements. The two main runways are only 750 feet apart, so they cannot be used simultaneously when it is foggy. If Johnstone's observations about fog were correct, the tree-huggers' loss would be aviation's gain. (Richard North, EU Referendum)

See also Golden-Gate-gate?


Now they're in trouble, even young Roger's picked it up: Consistent with Being in a Deep Fog

National Geographic reports yesterday:

Declining fog cover on California's coast could leave the state's famous redwoods high and dry, a new study says.

Among the tallest and longest-lived trees on Earth, redwoods depend on summertime's moisture-rich fog to replenish their water reserves.

But climate change may be reducing this crucial fog cover. Though still poorly understood, climate change may be contributing to a decline in a high-pressure climatic system that usually "pinches itself" against the coast, creating fog, said study co-author James Johnstone, an environmental scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.
Last summer the San Francisco Chronicle carried a story about research on fog and climate with a different conclusion:
The Bay Area just had its foggiest May in 50 years. And thanks to global warming, it's about to get even foggier.

That's the conclusion of several state researchers, whose soon-to-be-published study predicts that even with average temperatures on the rise, the mercury won't be soaring everywhere.

"There'll be winners and losers," says Robert Bornstein, a meteorology professor at San Jose State University. "Global warming is warming the interior part of California, but it leads to a reverse reaction of more fog along the coast."

The study, which will appear in the journal Climate, is the latest to argue that colder summers are indeed in store for parts of the Bay Area.

More fog is consistent with predictions of climate change. Less fog is consistent with predictions of climate change. I wonder if the same amount of fog is also "consistent with" such predictions? I bet so. (Roger Pielke Jr)


Denominational confusion? Church leaders call for 'technology fast' - Church leaders are urging people to give up iPods rather than chocolate this Lent as part of a 'technology fast' to save the planet as well as our souls.

Senior bishops are calling for a cut in personal carbon use for each of the 40 days of Lent. Their list of ways to achieve this includes eating less meat, flushing the toilet less often and cutting vegetables thinner so they cook faster.

But one of their tougher challenges is to give up technology such as television, mobiles and iPods for one day. The "Carbon Fast", organised every year by development agency Tearfund, even suggests giving up technology for a day every month of the year and giving the money to charity.  (TDT)

Christian? Pagan? Gaian? Do they not know to which faith they are adherent? For Christians to embrace carbon idolization and climate reverence reeks of polydeism and a systemic crisis of faith.


Oh boy! "It's accelerated! Perhaps, maybe - or not... we just don't have any prior data to know." Team finds subtropical waters flushing through Greenland fjord

Waters from warmer latitudes — or subtropical waters — are reaching Greenland's glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team of researchers led by Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

"This is the first time we’ve seen waters this warm in any of the fjords in Greenland," says Straneo. "The subtropical waters are flowing through the fjord very quickly, so they can transport heat and drive melting at the end of the glacier."

Greenland's ice sheet, which is two-miles thick and covers an area about the size of Mexico, has lost mass at an accelerated rate over the last decade. The ice sheet's contribution to sea level rise during that time frame doubled due to increased melting and, to a greater extent, the widespread acceleration of outlet glaciers around Greenland.

While melting due to warming air temperatures is a known event, scientists are just beginning to learn more about the ocean's impact — in particular, the influence of currents — on the ice sheet.

"Among the mechanisms that we suspected might be triggering this acceleration are recent changes in ocean circulation in the North Atlantic, which are delivering larger amounts of subtropical waters to the high latitudes," says Straneo. But a lack of observations and measurements from Greenland's glaciers prior to the acceleration made it difficult to confirm. (Press Release)


New Paper “Effects Of White Roofs On Urban Temperature In A Global Climate Model” By Oleson Et Al 2010

There is a new paper which documents the importance of surface albedo on the surface temperatures (and, therefore, on their long term trends).

It is

Oleson, K. W., G. B. Bonan, and J. Feddema (2010), Effects of white roofs on urban temperature in a global climate model, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L03701, doi:10.1029/2009GL042194.

Watts Up with That has also posted on this paper.

The abstract of the Oleson et al paper reads

“Increasing the albedo of urban surfaces has received attention as a strategy to mitigate urban heat islands. Here, the effects of globally installing white roofs are assessed using an urban canyon model coupled to a global climate model. Averaged over all urban areas, the annual mean heat island decreased by 33%. Urban daily maximum temperature decreased by 0.6°C and daily minimum temperature by 0.3°C. Spatial variability in the heat island response is caused by changes in absorbed solar radiation and specification of roof thermal admittance. At high latitudes in winter, the increase in roof albedo is less effective at reducing the heat island due to low incoming solar radiation, the high albedo of snow intercepted by roofs, and an increase in space heating that compensates for reduced solar heating. Global space heating increased more than air conditioning decreased, suggesting that end-use energy costs must be considered in evaluating the benefits of white roofs.”

This paper  further provides a reason that the claim in the papers

Parker, D.E., 2004: Large-scale warming is not urban. Nature, 432, 290, doi:10.1038/432290a

Peterson, T.C., 2003: Assessment of urban versus rural in situ surface temperatures in the contiguous United States: No difference found. J. Climate, 16, 2941â,€

that there is no appreciable difference in long term trends between urban and rural sites, is incorrect.

As a necessary condition for this to be true, the landscape of the rural and urban sites must be unchanging over time.  This is clearly not true for most urban areas as their population, streets, and building have changed over time (e.g see and see). The new Oleson et al paper illustrates (in this case with white roofs) how sensitive the urban area near-surface temperatures are to changes in the microclimate of cities. (Climate Science)


From CO2 Science Volume 13 Number 7: 17 February 2010

A Tempering of Thought on CO2-Induced Ocean Acidification: As ever more research is conducted, early climate-alarmist claims of an impending "calcification crisis" throughout the world's oceans are being significantly revised.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 805 individual scientists from 478 separate research institutions in 43 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Terra Nova Bay, Victoria Land, Antarctica. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Long-Term Studies (Woody Plants - Pine Trees: Scots): What do they reveal about the potential future effects of what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently labeled -- or should we say libeled -- "a dangerous air pollutant," namely, carbon dioxide?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Cotton (Yoon et al., 2009), Freshwater Benthic Algae (Hargrave et al., 2009), Scallion (Levine and Pare, 2009), and Soybean (Kanemoto et al., 2009).

Journal Reviews:
Coral Hosts Can Evolve to Cope with Global Warming: Likely or unlikely? True or false? A sure thing or no way?

Climatic Oscillations Recorded in a Coastal Setting on the French Side of the English Channel: What do they suggest about the nature and significance of 20th-century global warming?

Effects of Elevated CO2 and Temperature on Condensed Tannin Concentrations in Silver Birch Tree Leaves: What are the effects? ... and why are they important?

The Impact of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on Soil Carbon Beneath a Wheat Crop: Is it positive or negative?

Could Alpine Plants Survive Significant Global Warming?: Climate alarmists think not ... but real-world data suggest otherwise. (


Eye-roller: Diversity of Corals, Algae in Warm Indian Ocean Suggests Resilience to Future Global Warming

14 February 2010—Penn State researchers and their international collaborators have discovered a diversity of corals harboring unusual species of symbiotic algae in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea in the northeastern Indian Ocean. "The existence of so many novel coral symbioses thriving in a place that is too warm for most corals gives us hope that coral reefs and the ecosystems they support may persist — at least in some places — in the face of global warming," said the team's leader, Penn State Assistant Professor of Biology Todd LaJeunesse. According to LaJeunesse, the comprehensiveness of the team's survey, which also included analysis of the corals and symbiotic algae living in the cooler western Indian Ocean and Great Barrier Reef area of Australia, is unparalleled by any other study. The team's findings will be published during the week ending 20 February 2010 in an early online issue of the Journal of Biogeography. (Penn State)

At no point has there been any serious danger to corals posed by gorebull warbling. Nor do we have any expectation of "unnatural warming".


Hmm... not expecting it to all melt away then? Expansion of permafrost tunnel planned

Researchers plan to expand the Fox Permafrost Tunnel during the next few years, drilling or blasting a new shaft 450 feet into a frozen hillside to parallel the existing tunnel.

“We want to begin digging (a new) permafrost tunnel next winter,” said Matthew Sturm of the U. S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory on Fort Wainwright. He and others envision a new “Alaska Permafrost Research Center” that will better serve scientists and non-scientists.

With start-up federal funding of $500,000 this year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will carve out a new tunnel as well as build labs, offices, and a learning center. Other improvements include a walkway on top of the frozen bluff where scientists can do permafrost experiments from the forest and tundra above the tunnel, and side rooms within the new tunnel for permafrost-warming experiments. The improvements would replace infrastructure at the tunnel that has endured for four decades. (Alaska Science Forum)


Trans-Alaska oil pipeline plans bullet-hole drill - Involves field testing clamp designed to quickly seal high-pressure leak

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. is planning a field exercise this year to test a hydraulically powered clamp designed to stop oil squirting out of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline through a bullet hole.

The drill is part of a series of oil spill response exercises the Anchorage-based operator of the 800-mile line aims to conduct this year and in 2011. 

The bullet-hole exercise is planned for Milepost 438 of the pipeline at the Chatanika River, say documents Alyeska recently filed with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

A test piece of 48-inch mainline pipe will be placed at the scene and pressurized with water to simulate a high-pressure oil spray through a bullet hole, an exercise description says. Equipment including Alyeska’s HC 320 hydraulic clamp will be dispatched from the company’s Fairbanks Response Base.

A simulated 60-barrel release is expected over the course of the planned 12-hour exercise, and Alyeska and regulators will time and evaluate all the activities, the exercise description says. (Wesley Loy, GoO)


Drilling Ban To Cost Trillions

A new study shows that our reluctance to develop domestic energy will cost the beleaguered U.S. economy trillions in opportunity costs, reduce our gross domestic product and increase our trade deficit.

From trying to stimulate jobs in nonexistent ZIP codes at great expense to worshiping the false gods of climate change, our biggest deficit these days may be in the area of common sense. A new study shows that many of our wounds are self-inflicted as we forgo the wealth and jobs to be found in our waters and under our feet.

The study by Science Applications International Corp. at the request of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the Gas Technology Institute and others shows the U.S. economy will suffer $2.3 trillion in lost opportunity costs over the next two decades, monies that would go a long way to reining in runaway deficits and creating economic growth.

Critics will say this is another self-serving study paid for by oil industry groups, but unlike the climate change fantasies concocted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Britain's Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, the study's data can survive fact-checking and the conclusions are rooted in reality. (IBD)


Biomass Gets Tax Break, Oil & Gas Get Tax Hike

With wind, solar and geothermal receiving much of the government handouts when it comes to energy production, biomass is back in the game after the Senate Finance Committee unveiled its tax extender plan, which includes a $100 million in production tax credits for biomass energy as part of a larger tax extender package. Politico reports,

As drafted, Section 503 breathed new life into an unusual production tax credit, first awarded to the industry in 2004 as part of a one-time, five-year deal benefiting nearly 80 biomass electric-generating plants, most of which were up and running well before the tax break was enacted. The House balked at renewing this bargain in December, saying production tax credits are to spur new production, not to subsidize old. But Finance subtly changes the old wording from five years to six, thereby adding 12 months to a tax break that is typically worth about $1.75 million annually for a qualified 20-megawatt plant.”

Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Earth to watermelons: "Sod off, Swampy!" Does the Huge China-Australia Coal Deal Square With the Copenhagen Accord?

Environmental activists are attacking a $60 billion deal that will keep Chinese power stations supplied with Australian coal for at least the next two decades.

Under the agreement announced last week, the Australian coal and iron ore mining company Resourcehouse will build a new mining complex to give China Power International Development 30 million tonnes of coal annually for the next two decades. Resourcehouse Chairman Clive Palmer called it the "biggest-ever export contract" for Australia, which is the world's leading exporter of coal.

But in supplying China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, green groups are accusing Australia of ignoring the role it plays in maintaining dirty energy economies around the world. (ClimateWire)

For those who may have missed the reference, here's a flashback to February '05:

Kyoto protest beaten back by inflamed petrol traders

WHEN 35 Greenpeace protesters stormed the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) yesterday they had planned the operation in great detail.

What they were not prepared for was the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.

“We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,” one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. “I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.”

Another said: “I took on a Texan Swat team at Esso last year and they were angels compared with this lot.” Behind him, on the balcony of the pub opposite the IPE, a bleary-eyed trader, pint in hand, yelled: “Sod off, Swampy.” (The Times, February 17, 2005)

Gorebull warbling is not just the crisis that never was, it's the crisis that never could be. Coal is one of the finest and most abundant sources of energy on the globe. One which should be used to the fullest extent to benefit humanity, especially as its use comes with the happy if accidental side effect of feeding the biosphere. The fools attempting to use any excuse to hinder human wellbeing are not "environmentalists" but misanthropists wishing to simultaneously limit photosynthesis and life on Earth. Get lost, tree haters! You are no value to society or the planet.


Why? British Airways to fly jets on green fuel made from London's rubbish by 2014 - BA will buy output from East End biofuel factory planned by US-based Solena

British Airways and the US bioenergy company Solena are to establish Europe's first green jet fuel plant in the East End of London.

When it is up and running in 2014, the factory will turn 500,000 tonnes of landfill waste – including household and industrial rubbish – into 16 million gallons of carbon-neutral aviation fuel every year.

It will produce enough fuel to power all of BA's flights from nearby City Airport twice over. And with 95 per cent fewer emissions than traditional kerosene, the plan will be equivalent to taking 48,000 cars off the roads. (The Independent)


In Bid to Revive Nuclear Power, U.S. Is Backing New Reactors

WASHINGTON — President Obama told an enthusiastic audience of union officials on Tuesday that the Energy Department had approved a loan guarantee intended to underwrite construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia, with taxpayers picking up much of the financial risk.

If the project goes forward, it would be the first nuclear reactor built in the United States since the 1970s. (NYT)


Yeah... hooray: Norway plans the world's most powerful wind turbine

Norway plans to build the world's most powerful wind turbine, hoping the new technology will increase the profitability of costly offshore wind farms, partners behind the project said Friday.

With a rotor diametre of 145 metres (475 feet), the 10-megawatt protype will be roughly three times more powerful than ordinary wind turbines currently in place, Enova, a public agency owned by Norway's petroleum and oil industry ministry, said.

The world's largest wind turbine, 162.5 metres (533 feet) tall, will be built by Norwegian company Sway with the objective of developing a technology that will result in higher energy generation for offshore wind power.

It will first be tested on land in Oeygarden, southwestern Norway, for two years. (The Independent)


In Their Own Words: Environmentalists Out to Dismantle Capitalism

A video from a David Horowitz retreat several months back has already cost one person a job. The video shows Patrick Caddell, former pollster to Jimmy Carter, lament that “the whole idea of the environmental movement isn’t to clean up the environment” but rather to “basically deconstruct capitalism. They are against capitalism.” A little later Caddell continues,  “I happen to believe this country needs a good dose of what it believes in: real democracy and real free enterprise.”

While embarrassing to those on the left who promote the sort of policies Caddell refers to, the remark comes as no surprise to The Heritage Foundation—our extensive research on the subject has long demonstrated that succumbing to the environmental lobby has often come at the expense of jobs and free trade. (The Foundry)


Review of the Environmental Protection Agency's Draft IRIS Assessment of Tetrachloroethylene

Tetrachloroethylene is a volatile, chlorinated organic hydrocarbon that is widely used as a solvent in the dry-cleaning and textile-processing industries and as an agent for degreasing metal parts. It is an environmental contaminant that has been detected in the air, groundwater, surface waters, and soil. In June 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its draft Toxicological Review of Tetrachloroethylene (Perchloroethylene) (CAS No. 127-18-4) in Support of Summary Information on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). The draft IRIS assessment provides quantitative estimates of cancer and noncancer effects of exposure to tetrachloreothylene, which will be used to establish airquality and water-quality standards to protect public health and to set cleanup standards for hazardous waste sites.

At the request of EPA, the National Research Council conducted an independent scientific review of the draft IRIS assessment of tetrachloroethylene from toxicologic, epidemiologic, and human clinical perspectives. The resulting book evaluates the adequacy of the EPA assessment, the data and methods used for deriving the noncancer values for inhalation and oral exposures and the oral and inhalation cancer unit risks posed by tetrachloroethylene; evaluates whether the key studies underlying the draft IRIS assessment are of requisite quality, reliability, and relevance to support the derivation of the reference values and cancer risks; evaluates whether the uncertainties in EPA's risk assessment were adequately described and, where possible, quantified; and identifies research that could reduce the uncertainty in the current understanding of human health effects associated with tetrachloroethylene exposure. (NAP)


U.S. Child Obesity Rate Doubled Before Easing Off, Study Says

Feb. 16 -- The rate of childhood obesity and chronic health problems doubled in the U.S. from 1988 to 2006 with fewer cases toward the end of the study consistent with a recent leveling off, researchers found.

Children ages 8 to 14 showed an obesity rate of 15.8 percent at the end of 2006, compared with 8.3 percent in a similar period that ended in 1994, according to a study published online today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The overall rate of chronic childhood health conditions including obesity, asthma and behavioral or learning problems increased to 26.6 percent from 12.8 percent during the same years. (Bloomberg)


Chronic conditions including obesity up in US kids: study

WASHINGTON — Chronic conditions including asthma, obesity and behavior disorders have become more common among US children in recent years, with environmental changes and more diagnoses partly to blame, a study published Tuesday shows.

Researchers led by Jeanne Van Cleave, a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston, looked at the prevalence of conditions that lasted a year or longer in three groups of children, starting with a first cohort of more than 2,000 kids in 1988.

That group was tracked for six years, after which a second group was studied between 1994-2000 and finally a third group from 2000- 2006. (AFP)


Ready for Feds In Your Kitchen?

We all wish former President Bill Clinton a quick recovery from the medical procedure in which two stents were inserted in a single artery. That, following his 2004 quadruple bypass, when four arteries were 90 percent clogged.

We're told that gone are Clinton's presidential days, when his dietary indulgences included regular binges on Big Macs. But it seems that Washington is still in the business of supersizing government regulations and union power over what kids eat in our public schools.

On the one hand, I want genuinely to commend first lady Michelle Obama for her passion to launch her campaign against childhood obesity, "Let's Move." In particular, I like the part that seeks to "mobilize public and private sector resources ... to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy."

Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution

My concern, however, is that the first lady's nutritional quests, like Washington's health care crusade, ultimately will lead to more big-government and union-based solutions, as well as enact more faulty legislation like the 1966 Child Nutrition Act, which the Obama administration is seeking to update, or "overhaul." (Of course, update and overhaul in government translates into upgrade and expand; you can bet your last tax dollar on it.) (Chuck Norris, Townhall)


The Government Has Your Baby’s DNA

Posted by Jim Harper

My 2004 Cato Policy Analysis, “Understanding Privacy — and the Real Threats to It,” talks about how government programs intended to do good have unintended privacy costs. “The helping hand of government routinely strips away privacy before it goes to work,” I wrote.

There could be no better illustration of that than the recent CNN report on government collection and warehousing of American babies’ DNA. “Scientists have said the collection of DNA samples is a ‘gold mine’ for doing research,” notes a sidebar to the story.

I have no doubt that it is—and that government-mandated harvesting of this highly valuable personal data from children is an unjust enrichment of the beneficiaries. (Cato @ liberty)


A Review of Vegetated Buffer Efficacy - Scientists analyze the literature to establish relationships between pollutant removal efficacy and key buffer design features.

MADISON, WI, February 15, 2010 -- Agricultural nonpoint source pollution has been listed as one of the leading sources of pollution in rivers and water bodies throughout the world. Environmental regulators and scientists are making concerted efforts to reduce these pollutions using mitigation tools called best management practices (BMPs). As promising and effective BMPs, vegetated buffers are gradually gaining in popularity. However, lack of quantification on their mitigation efficacies limits their implementation in agricultural fields to reduce nonpoint source pollutions. (Press Release)


Britain set for a bumper bloom – when the bad weather ends - Botanists blame arctic conditions for delayed start to spring

The bad weather has delayed spring by up to four weeks but when it finally does arrive it will be a stunner, gardeners said yesterday.

Temperatures have been so low for so long that plants that usually start flowering in spring are holding back to avoid being damaged by the Arctic conditions.

But the number of botanical no-shows is stacking up and when spring does arrive, gardeners expect a riot of colour in their borders.

A survey by National Trust gardeners and volunteers has shown that flowering dates have been set back by up to a month, bucking a trend for the earlier flowering seen in recent years. (The Independent)

When Spring is "early" that's gorebull warbling but when it's "late" it's just "bad weather".


Risk of drought in Northeastern Spain is exaggerated by the press

Researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) have, for the first time, analysed all the articles published in the La Vanguardia newspaper between 1982 and 2007 linked to natural hazards, climate change and sustainable development. Over 25 years the press devoted more headlines to forest fires and droughts, even though floods are much more frequent and cause more damage.

"If the press focus more on forest fires and droughts, then people also become more aware of these events, to such an extent that they are deemed a more significant hazard in the area and more frequent occurrences than they really are", Carme Llasat, main author of the article and researcher at the Department of Astronomy and Meteorology at the UB, explains to SINC. "On the positive side, the substantial press coverage has brought about a change of attitudes in favour of saving water", explains the expert. (FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology)


Europe's eel stocks 'under threat' from export fishing - Conservationists fear France's supplies to China may jeopardise restocking plan

A campaign to save the eel, the continent's most threatened common freshwater fish, may be breaking down because French fishermen are exporting too many baby eels to China, British conservationists fear.

France holds up to 90 per cent of Europe's eels, and French supplies are crucial for restocking rivers and lakes in other countries from which they are rapidly disappearing.

But in the current fishing season, which runs for another two months, French fishermen plan to export a massive 14.5 tonnes of baby eels – elvers or "glass eels" – to China, where they can fetch the remarkable price of €800 per kilo. And in doing so, they may not be able to meet the restocking commitments which they have entered into under an EU rescue plan for the species. (The Independent)


Britain's rarest farmland bird, the cirl bunting, is back from the brink of extinction.

The bird, that looks a bit like a fat yellowhammer, used to be found as far north as Wimbledon Common in London.

But by the late 1980s the population was down to just 118 pairs in Devon and Cornwall because of intensive farming and habitat loss.

Conservationists feared the bird would die out but thanks to an innovative partnership with farmers there are now 862 breeding pairs. (TDT)


Drive to stamp out foot-and-mouth in developing countries

A £13 million UK-funded research programme has been launched to tackle damaging animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth and goat plague in developing countries. (TDT)



Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power

WASHINGTON — With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.

Mr. Obama has not given up hope of progress on Capitol Hill, aides said, and has scheduled a session with Republican leaders on health care later this month. But in the aftermath of a special election in Massachusetts that cost Democrats unilateral control of the Senate, the White House is getting ready to act on its own in the face of partisan gridlock heading into the midterm campaign.

“We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues,” said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff.

Any president has vast authority to influence policy even without legislation, through executive orders, agency rule-making and administrative fiat. And Mr. Obama’s success this week in pressuring the Senate to confirm 27 nominations by threatening to use his recess appointment power demonstrated that executive authority can also be leveraged to force action by Congress.

Mr. Obama has already decided to create a bipartisan budget commission under his own authority after Congress refused to do so. His administration has signaled that it plans to use its discretion to soften enforcement of the ban on openly gay men and lesbians serving in the military, even as Congress considers repealing the law. And the Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with possible regulations on heat-trapping gases blamed for climate change, while a bill to cap such emissions languishes in the Senate. (NYT)


Wrong answer: Business Challenges How Gases To Be Curbed

WASHINGTON - The Chamber of Commerce is mounting a legal challenge to the Obama administration's bid to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act.

"The U.S. Chamber strongly supports efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, but we believe there's a right way and a wrong way to achieve that goal," said Steven Law, a legal official for the business lobby group, in a statement on the chamber's website. (Reuters)

The correct challenge is to prevent attempts to limit atmospheric carbon dioxide at all.


Climategate: Phil Jones Finally Proves Al Gore Right — The Debate Is Over

CRU's Phil Jones just ended it via the BBC, but the world now owes credit where credit is due: to the long-suffering, abused global warming skeptics. (See also Roger Kimball: "It’s Not That I Like Saying 'I Told You So' About 'Global Warming,' but ... ")
February 15, 2010
- by Steve Milloy

Now that Climategate ringleader Phil Jones has admitted that there has been no global warming (man-made or otherwise) since at least 1995, and that the world was warmer in medieval times than now, I only have one question. Where do the so-called global warming skeptics go to get their reputations back?

As head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia — their data underpins most of the claims of man-made global warming — Jones’ admission should be the final nail in the coffin of the anti-carbon dioxide crusade of Al Gore, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), most green activist groups, industry lobbying groups like the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), and President Obama.

Concepts and policies like cap and trade, carbon taxes, carbon footprints, and carbon offsets all should shortly be relegated to the same ash heap of history as eugenics, communism, Enron, and Bernie Madoff.

Secondary school students subjected to hysterical global warming propaganda — like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth — should recover quickly, if they were even paying attention in the first place. Since global warming alarmism for America’s universities was all about the federal grant money to start with, they should have no problems switching gears as long as the money keeps flowing.

Goldman Sachs probably won’t get to profiteer from trading carbon credits. But not to worry — there’s always some new sort of financial fraud for modern Wall Streeters to engage in just around the corner. General Electric will be forced to return to Thomas Edison-like innovation rather than lobbying for revenues and profits, but that should be no problem after shareholders get rid of global-warming-loving CEO Jeff Immelt.

Yes, the world will inexorably move on from global warming to new crises, both real and imaginary. But before it does, the world should give credit where credit is due: to the global warming skeptics. (PJM)


Phil Jones torpedoes the IPCC

Two remarkable documents were published on the BBC website on Friday night. One is a long interview with Phil Jones conducted by Roger Harrabin. This does not seem to have been the usual head to head affair, but written answers to written questions over a period of several days, some of them provided by sceptics. Therefore there is no scope for Jones to claim that he was panicked into hasty responses or that he has been misquoted: (Harmless Sky)


Climategate: So Jones Lost the Data? It Was Worthless, Anyway

The "mean daily temperature" CRU used is a statistically nonsensical calculation.
February 15, 2010
- by Vincent Gray

There are now admissions from Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, that his “data” may be lost.

But what did this “data” actually consist of, anyway?

The only temperature measurements made at weather stations — until recently when some became “automatic” — were taken only once a day. Usually all the stations measure are the maximum and the minimum temperatures.

But the time of day that this is done is not standardized. And the maximum usually refers to a different calendar day from the minimum.

These two figures are then averaged and called the “mean daily temperature.”

It is this quantity that gets subjected to further multiple averaging to arrive at monthly and annual figures. Eventually a “global” chart is produced, purporting to show temperature “trends.”

So all of this is built on a foundation of sand.

If you would like to measure the average height of a group of schoolchildren, it is not much use measuring only the tallest and the shortest. Quite obviously, you will not get a fair average from these two measurements.

Weather forecasters all know that the maximum/minimum average is inaccurate and they avoid using it, preferring to mention the separate figures. They also know that decimals of a degree are meaningless.

Yet we have been persuaded to change our lives, the entire developed world, because a system built on such a dubious foundation shows a “warming” estimated only in decimals of a degree over an entire century.

An amount you would never notice if such a change happened in one moment, never mind one hundred years.

Dr. Vincent Gray, founder of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, is an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (PJM)


Climategate: Phil Jones Still Has More Reflecting To Do

Jones conceded a little, but he remains unwilling to take a more objective view of climate science.
February 15, 2010
- by Alan Carlin

Phil Jones’ responses to the BBC were notable for the fact that the BBC actually asked some probing questions. Also, Jones actually answered them.

But of more significance was that, although Jones was willing to admit some of the obvious problems with the warmist position (such as whether the 1975-98 warming is unprecedented, and whether the Medieval Warm Period was warmer), Jones remains unwilling to take a broader and more objective view of climate science despite having had ample time to contemplate all that has transpired.

In this, his views may be representative of many of the committed warmists central to the preparation of the IPCC reports. But this certainly is not the objective viewpoint that the EPA — and others — should insist on in making multi-trillion dollar regulatory decisions. (PJM)


The Continuing Climate Meltdown - More embarrassments for the U.N. and 'settled' science.

It has been a bad—make that dreadful—few weeks for what used to be called the "settled science" of global warming, and especially for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that is supposed to be its gold standard. 

First it turns out that the Himalayan glaciers are not going to melt anytime soon, notwithstanding dire U.N. predictions. Next came news that an IPCC claim that global warming could destroy 40% of the Amazon was based on a report by an environmental pressure group. Other IPCC sources of scholarly note have included a mountaineering magazine and a student paper. 

Since the climategate email story broke in November, the standard defense is that while the scandal may have revealed some all-too-human behavior by a handful of leading climatologists, it made no difference to the underlying science. We think the science is still disputable. But there's no doubt that climategate has spurred at least some reporters to scrutinize the IPCC's headline-grabbing claims in a way they had rarely done previously. (WSJ)


Recidivist of the day: Juliet Eilperin

Washington Post “reporter” Juliet Eilperin is back to her biased ways.

When the paper’s ombudsman gave her a polite spanking for biased climate reporting last fall, he concluded by saying:

It’s a close call, but I think she should stay on the beat. With her work now getting special scrutiny, it will become clear if the conflict is real.

You be the judge of whether the conflict is real.

Below is her front-page, above-the-fold article on Climategate in today’s Post. In addition to her own personal slants, keep in mind that Eilperin’s husband is a global warming activist with the way-left-of-center Center for American Progress.

Our comments are bold and in brackets. (Steve Milloy, Green Hell)


IPCC Corruption Included Ignoring Facts and Science

Phil Jones, disgraced and dismissed Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), granted BBC reporter Roger Harrabin an interview. Why Harrabin? His reporting has shown bias on all the IPCC and CRU activities. Leaked emails showed the CRU gang used friends in the BBC and that apparently continues. Prevarication, evasion, half-truths continue in Phil Jones’ answers. Despite this there are stunning admissions from Jones. “There is a tendency in the IPCC reports to leave out inconvenient findings, especially in the part(s) most likely to be read by policy makers.” (Tim Ball, CFP)


Climategate Debate Continues

UNIVERSITY PARK, CENTRE COUNTY - The ongoing questioning of Climategate and Dr. Michael Mann is still heating up. Supporters of Mann think the questions have already been answered when PSU exonerated Mann on three of the four allegations they felt had been made against the Earth Sciences Professor.

Protestors of that decision held a rally at Penn State’s HUB-Robeson Center Friday to object to what they believe is a forgery of climate research by Penn State professor Dr. Michael Mann. The rally, which included critics of Penn State as well as Mann, was met with a counter rally by supporters of the embattled professor. (


Students concerned with internal review

Atop a milk crate, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) member Samuel Settle called on Penn State to protect its reputation by conducting an outside review of meteorology professor Michael Mann.

Armed with signs and handouts, members from at least six organizations gathered Friday to express opposing views of the climate change debate that has taken root at Penn State.

Climate change critics bundled up to brace the cold and listen to speakers, holding posters with slogans like "Mann-made Climate Change."

Since the university decided to look into Mann's research through an internal investigation, multiple groups have accused Penn State of "whitewashing" the issue by reviewing its own professor. Calling for an outside investigation, the Penn State Young Americans for Freedom and the 9-12 Project of Central Pennsylvania used Friday's demonstration in front of the HUB-Robeson Center as an opportunity to express their disapproval.

Settle said the inquiry -- the results of which were published in a 10-page document earlier this month -- is not what he expects from a major research university. (Daily Collegian)

Video: Climategate rally

Picture gallery: Rally for Academic Integrity


2 Views, 1 'Climategate' Rally On Penn State Campus

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Nearly 100 students, local leaders and residents gathered for a rally surrounding the "Climategate Controversy" on Penn State’s University Park Campus Friday.

Two different groups rallied outside the Hetzel Union Building at noon; one group calling for an external investigation into Dr. Michael Mann’s leaked emails, the other supporting the professor.

The rally came on the heels of released results from an internal peer investigation earlier this week.

The committee decided that there is no substantial information to pursue an investigation into three of the four misconduct allegations against Dr. Mann.

Leading the local Young Americans for Freedom group requesting an external investigation, Samuel Settle told WJAC-TV Friday that he doubts the committee of peers could be unbiased.

“For the sake of the university, for the sake of his reputation, for the sake of our reputations as students and community members, we need to come out and make it clear to the university that this is not what we consider acceptable,” said Settle. “We ask; we demand an external investigation of this."

Bette Jackson believes that an independent probe into academic misconduct allegations is necessary.

"I know if I were Dr. Mann, I would want impartial people to take a thorough look at my career and make sure that there were no blemishes on it," said Jackson. (WJAC TV)


Mann talks climate change

Only hours after protestors voiced their opinions on "Climategate" outside the HUB-Robeson Center, Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann presented a lecture on climate change to a packed auditorium in the Walker Building.

"I imagine the standing room crowd was due in part to all of the publicity, but I don't mind," Mann said. "I love talking about science to anyone who will listen."

Penn State is currently conducting an investigation on Mann's research ethics after hundreds of illegally obtained e-mails were leaked last November from a private server in the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. Critics say these e-mails suggest Mann and his colleagues may have misrepresented climate change evidence. 

A two-month-long initial inquiry cleared Mann of three of four charges of research misconduct, but a panel of three Penn State employees decided Jan. 29 that further investigation into whether Mann undermined "public trust in science" is necessary.

While this investigation proceeds, Mann continues his duties as a professor, saying he trusts the university to continue with the investigation responsibly. (Daily Collegian)


Slowly catching on... UN global warming data skewed by heat from planes and buildings

Weather stations which produced data pointing towards man-made global warming may have been compromised by local conditions, a new report suggests. (TDT)


Nice try though: Bangladesh PM Seeks Early Climate Fund Disbursement

DHAKA - Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday urged donors countries to come up quickly with promised funds to help her country limit the effects of climate change.

World leaders pledged an initial $10 billion fund at the December climate summit in Copenhagen to help least developed countries (LDCs) most vulnerable to climate change, particularly low-lying costal states like Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh needs quick disbursement of the fund promised in Copenhagen ... as we have already started mitigation programs," she told a donors' conference. (Reuters)

Unfortunately gorebull warbling is collapsing as more people realize it to be a blatant fraud and developed countries are simply not going to pay guilt money for having developed. [Actually the Prime Minister is correct trying the strategy of demanding early disbursement before the scam collapses but it is unlikely to succeed]


“Al Gore, Call Your Agent”

Back in early December, Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd called on the Motion Picture Academy to rescind their Oscar to Al Gore’s movie, which is more and more looking like it was produced by Industrial PowerPoint and Magical Thinking: (Ed Driscoll, PJM)


Trump cool to global warning

Donald Trump is not a big believer in global warming. "With the coldest winter ever recorded, with snow setting record levels up and down the coast, the Nobel committee should take the Nobel Prize back from Al Gore," the tycoon told members of his Trump National Golf Club in Westchester in a recent speech. "Gore wants us to clean up our factories and plants in order to protect us from global warming, when China and other countries couldn't care less. It would make us totally noncompetitive in the manufacturing world, and China, Japan and India are laughing at America's stupidity." The crowd of 500 stood up and cheered. (New York Post)


Hooterville Gazette wants to strip Al Gore and the IPCC of the Nobel Peace Prize

Please Sign Petition to Strip Al Gore and The UN IPCC of Their Nobel Prize and Award It Instead to The Much More Deserving Irena Sendler

Al Gore and The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Since receiving the award, a UK court has ruled that An Inconvenient Truth, the work for which Al Gore received his half of the prize, contained nine factual errors.

Recently, it was discovered that the UN IPCC 2007 Report, the work for which the IPCC received its half of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, contained false information regarding the risk of glacier melt, species extinction, sea-level rise and natural disaster in an effort to frighten the public and goad politicians into taking action. By signing this petition, you are sending a clear message that you wish for Al Gore and the UN IPCC to be stripped of their 2007 award.

In signing, you are also asking that the 2007 prize to Irena Sendler who risked her life daily during WWII to ultimately rescue more than 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis.  Irena Sendler was among those up for the Prize in 2007 that the much less deserving Gore and IPCC won for political reasons.

To Sign The Petition Click Here


Boulton is staying

Sir Muir Russell and his team have rejected the concerns of those of those sceptics who have questioned his suitability as a panel member.

Sir Muir Russell said:

"This Review must determine if there is evidence of poor scientific practice, as well as investigate allegations around the manipulation and suppression of data.

"As others have pointed out, it would be impossible to find somebody with the qualifications and experience we need who has not formed an opinion on climate change.

"I am completely confident that each member of the Review team has the integrity, the expertise, and the experience to complete our work impartially."

Unfortunately it is not Sir Muir who needs to be confident of the integrity of the review team, it is the public who will be the consumers of his findings. Sir Muir said at the start of his review that he considered it important to carry the confidence of sceptics. It seems clear now that this is not an issue that is occupying his mind any longer. (Bishop Hill)


Boulton pulls the strings

Well, well, well. You really can't pull the wool over Steve McIntyre's eyes can you? It turns out that the issues paper for the CRU emails review was written, not by Sir Muir Russell, but by Professor Geoffrey Boulton, the secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the body that is supplying the secretariat to the review, the man who works along the hall from Hockey Team staffers, the man who promotes global warming, the man who stands in breach of the panel's own rules but refuses to stand down.

No wonder he's staying put - he's running the show.

In the comments to the CA piece, Mr Pete notes that the PDF was generated from a Word file and that the Word file's author was Boulton too. (Bishop Hill)



Yet again,  we have a situation where the data doesn’t match the full-gloss coloured graphs produced by the PR agency for global warming called the IPCC.

Frank Lansner and Nicolai Skjoldby have started a new blog Hide The Decline, and posted that Scandinavian data shows clearly that temperatures got markedly cooler from 1950-1970, before they began rising again, and even after the warming, they only appear to be back where they were. But, all the IPCC graphs minimize the cooling. It would be reasonable to conclude from the data that the temperature today in Scandinavia is roughly similar to that of the 1930’s. But, you’d never know this from looking at the IPCC graphs.

Scandinavian Temperatures

Scandinavian Temperatures: 25 data series combined from The Nordklim database (left), compared to the IPCC's temperature graph for the area.

The IPCC needs to come forward and explain why its graphs are so different.

There is no “hockey stick warming” here. There is no unprecedented heat, and there is no good correlation with the rise of carbon dioxide either. Sure, this is just one region, not the globe, but this is yet another example of how the IPCC has not presented an honest assessment of the information. More » (Jo Nova)


Now IPCC hurricane data is questioned

Open science: Got Excel? Debunk this

More trouble looms for the IPCC. The body may need to revise statements made in its Fourth Assessment Report on hurricanes and global warming. A statistical analysis of the raw data shows that the claims that global hurricane activity has increased cannot be supported.

Les Hatton once fixed weather models at the Met Office. Having studied Maths at Cambridge, he completed his PhD as metereologist: his PhD was the study of tornadoes and waterspouts. He's a fellow of the Royal Meterological Society, currently teaches at the University of Kingston, and is well known in the software engineering community - his studies include critical systems analysis.

Hatton has released what he describes as an 'A-level' statistical analysis, which tests six IPCC statements against raw data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) Administration. He's published all the raw data and invites criticism, but warns he is neither "a warmist nor a denialist", but a scientist. (Andrew Orlowski, The Register)


IPCC’s latest great source: a newsletter than doesn’t even back its scare

The Air Vent discovers another supposedly impeccable, peer-reviewed source for the IPCC’s alarmist claims in its 2007 report. The claim in question:

Climate variability affects many segments of this growing economic sector [Tourism]. For example, wildfires in Colorado (2002) and British Columbia (2003) caused tens of millions of dollars in tourism losses by reducing visitation and destroying infrastructure (Associated Press, 2002; Butler, 2002; BC Stats, 2003).

The Air Vent:

That’s two newspaper articles and one tourism statistics newsletter. I can’t find the first two articles, one is an old AP story and the other was in a newspaper that folded last year.

That doesn’t sound very scientific. And, in fact, the one source able to be checked - and the only one dealing with the impact of fires in British Columbia - shows no evidence for the IPCC claim. Here is the relevant passage from BC Stats, 2003: Tourism Sector Monitor – November 2003, British Columbia Ministry of Management Services, Victoria, 11 pp. [Accessed 09.02.07: :]]:

Tourism is a seasonal phenomenon. The wildfires unfortunately burned mostly during July, August and September, the three months of the year when most room revenues are typically generated. More precisely, establishments generated 38% of their annual room revenues in these three months between 1995 and 2001. Moreover, the forest fires were at their peak in August, also
the peak month for tourism. Despite this bad timing, the peak of the 2003 season does not appear to be lower than the peak of previous years.

The Air Vent rightly concludes:

Once again, I am not saying that their claim is wrong. I am only underlining that their sources don’t match their claims. This shows that the IPCC already had a point of view, and they simply wanted a source to back up their claims. They found this BC Stats, probably didn’t read it because they figured it must show that fires reduce tourism, and cited it as the source of their claim. The IPCC makes a conclusion, then looks for evidence that supports their claims, and cite it. Sometimes they even cite evidence that doesn’t support their claims. Since no one read it for 2 years, they almost got away with it. This isn’t how a reputable scientific organization works.

Read the whole post at the first link. (Andrew Bolt)


IPCC WGI Ch10 – Projecting Alarm

In our previous post, we argued that ‘Without WGII and WGIII, there is no grounds for alarm’. Our point being that WGII and WGIII take certain premises for granted in order to be able to talk about the inevitability of Nth-order effects of climate change, especially the human cost. The nature of these presuppositions is the subject of Ben’s recent article on Spiked-Online. Briefly, confusion exists between the ideas of climate’s sensitivity to CO2 on the one hand, and society’s sensitivity to climate on the other. (Climate Resistance)


Video: The IPCC’s Rapdily Melting Credibility

In the video to the right, BBC’s Andrew Neil grills Chief Scientist at the Department for the Environment, Professor Robert Watson on the many many mistakes in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report.

As the Wall Street Journal has documented, in just the past year the IPCC’s 2007 report has been exposed for overstating the science on glacier loss in the Himalayas, crop loss in Africa, Amazon rain forest depletion and damage from weather catastrophes. No wonder the government of India it says they “cannot rely” on the IPCC and has established their own body to monitor the effects of global warming. (The Foundry)


From a Mistake to a Lie

If you want to understand why so many people have lost trust in the climate science community, due to the acts of a few, just take a look at what Real Climate has done to spin the disaster issue regarding the IPCC. They write in a post that (emphasis added):

WG2 did include a debatable graph provided by Robert Muir-Wood (although not in the main report but only as Supplementary Material). It cited a paper by Muir-Wood as its source although that paper doesn’t include the graph, only the analysis that it is based on.
As readers here well know, the analysis of the Muir-Wood mystery graph does not appear in the cited source (or any other). Real Climate's claim is easily shown to be wrong. Perhaps they made an honest mistake. I pointed this fact out to them and asked that they correct the error:

This statement in your post is in error:

“It cited a paper by Muir-Wood as its source although that paper doesn’t include the graph, only the analysis that it is based on.”

The cited paper does not include the analysis that the graph is based on. In fact, it includes no discussion of temperature trends and disasters. You can confirm this for yourself:

You should correct the error in this post.

Real Climate has decided to leave the error uncorrected. When does an honest error become something different?

Instead of just correcting the factual record Real Climate responds to my request with the following:

You've been working hard to scandalize your personal quibbles with IPCC here - how consistent is this with your self-proclaimed role as "honest broker"?
Lies on top of lies. Not good. If they want to understand why their community has lost so much credibility, they need only look to their own actions. (Roger Pielke Jr)


Climate Science Compromise

A new round of pro-global warming papers have begun to appear as the vested interests of the climate change community attempt to resuscitate their failed theory. Having been exposed as a theory full of holes, based on uncertain, perhaps even corrupt, data and overly dependent on computer modeling for “proof,” the supporters of catastrophic climate change are trying to rally. Amid mounting attacks on the IPCC, a small number of its leaders are trying to explain themselves to colleagues, the press and the people of the world. Now that their highhanded, tolerate-no-dissent approach has failed, it seems some IPCC scientists are open to compromise. (The Resilient Earth)


They keep trying with this nonsense: Oceans' acidity rate is soaring, claims study

The rate at which the oceans are becoming more acidic is greater today than at any time in tens of millions of years, according to a new study. (The Independent)

See Acid Seas, Back to Basic


What's wrong with this scenario? Fog over San Francisco thins by a third due to climate change - The sight of Golden Gate Bridge towering above the fog will become increasing rare as climate change warms San Francisco bay, scientists have found.

The sight of Golden Gate Bridge towering above the fog will become increasing rare as climate change warms San Francisco bay Photo: ALAMY

The coastal fog along the Californian coast has declined by a third over the past 100 years – the equivalent of three hours cover a day, new research shows.

And it is not just bad for scenery, the reduction in the cooling effect of the fog could damage the health of the huge Redwood Forests nearby.

"Since 1901, the average number of hours of fog along the coast in summer has dropped from 56 per cent to 42 per cent, which is a loss of about three hours per day," said the study leader Dr James Johnstone at the University of California.

He said that it was unclear whether this is part of a natural cycle of the result of human activity, but the fog is receding because of a reduction in the difference between the temperature of the sea and the land.

"A cool coast and warm interior is one of the defining characteristics of California's coastal climate, but the temperature difference between the coast and interior has declined substantially in the last century, in step with the decline in summer fog," he added. (TDT)

So, the interior has warmed substantially less than the coast, contrary to every measure and hypothesis on warming because that is the only way you can get a reduced temperature differential -- by warming the sea relative to the land and land heats far more rapidly than water. What about San Francisco's UHIE? Has that so diminished the city is cooling relative to the seawater in the bay? The stated simplistic temperature relation would appear highly unlikely. Perhaps they should look at the reduction in smoke particulates providing droplet nuclei over the 20th Century? Since 1901 most people have moved away from wood stove cooking and wood/coal fire heating -- maybe clear air provides fewer fog hours?

Is the land really cooling relative to the sea over summer? The claim looks dubious on its face.


Dear Al Gore: Please Send Us Some More of That “Global Warming”

Global Warming

During the first two weeks of January, a record cold wave invaded Florida. It was the longest and coldest penetration of Arctic air into Florida since 1940. For the first two weeks of 2010, West Palm Beach had an average low temperature of 39 degrees.

This month, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia were buried under record amounts of snow. Meanwhile, another storm dropped snow on the Deep South closing schools and highways. Dallas reported getting a foot of the white stuff, breaking that city’s 24-hour record for snowfall.

The winter of 2009-10 is rewriting the record books for cold and snow. Gee, I thought we were going to see the end of winter due to global warming -- at least that’s what Al Gore told us. And yet, to the amazement and amusement of many we are being told that this winter’s record cold and record snowfall is due to global warming. Huh? Record cold and record snow is because it’s getting warmer?

Here is the political spin on all this cold and snow: To defend the climate Armageddon predictions, the global warming enthusiasts have declared that warmer temperatures introduce more moisture into the air and therefore create more snowfall. The global warming faithful say these weather extremes are a sure sign that global warming is here and we had better change our ways because global warming is even worse than we thought! (Art Horn, Energy Tribune)


Dalton Minimum Repeat goes mainstream

The AGU Fall meeting has a session entitled “Aspects and consequences of an unusually deep and long solar minimum”.  Two hours of video of this session can be accessed:

Two of the papers presented had interesting observations with implications for climate.  First of all Solanki came to the conclusion that the Sun is leaving its fifty to sixty year long grand maximum of the second half of the 20th century.  He had said previously that the Sun was more active in the second half of the 20th century than in the previous 8,000 years.  This is his last slide:

McCracken gave a paper with its title as per this slide:

While he states that it is his opinion alone and not necessarily held by his co-authors, he comes to the conclusion that a repeat of the Dalton Minimum is most likely:

Solar Cycle 24 is now just over a year old and the next event on the solar calendar is the year of maximum, which the green corona brightness tells us will be in 2015.

David Archibald (WUWT)


The Snow Line is Moving South

Guest post by Steven Goddard

As we have been discussing on WUWT, three of the last four months have seen top ten Northern Hemisphere snow extents and the decadal trend has been towards increasing (and above normal) snow extent during the autumn and winter.  It appears that this month will achieve snow extent among the top two Februaries on record.

As you can see in the Rutgers University maps below for mid-February, the excess snow cover is necessarily found at lower latitudes.  Snow cover radiates out from the pole, so the only place where snow extent can increase is towards the south.

The implication of the observed trend towards increasing snow extent is that the Northern Hemisphere autumn/winter snow line is moving southwards over the last ten to twenty years.

Daily Departure – February 13, 2010 (Day 44)

Source : Rutgers University Global Climate Lab

Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


Comments On “Contributions Of Stratospheric Water Vapor To Decadal Changes In The Rate Of Global Warming By Solomon Et Al 2010

The paper

Susan Solomon, Karen Rosenlof, Robert Portmann, John Daniel, Sean Davis, Todd Sanford, Gian-Kasper Plattner, 2010: Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of
Global Warming. / 28 January 2010 / Page 1 / 10.1126/science.1182488 ( see also)

has already received considerable attention on blogs (e.g. see).  [thanks to Marcel Crok for first alerting me to the paper].

The abstract of this paper reads

“Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000-2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor represents an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.”

I have two comments on the implications of this paper:

1. This study reinforces that climate variability and change is more complex than just a response to added CO2 and a few other human greenhouse gases. This conclusion has been emphasized in a variety of publications; e.g.

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp.

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413


2. The evidence that the stratospheric temperatures have not been behaving as the IPCC models have predicted (i.e. with a more-or-less monotonic cooling in the absence of major volcanic eruptions of ash into the stratosphere) has been clear to anyone who has looked at the data.

I discussed this  lack of cooling  in my post

Is there Continued Stratosphere Cooling? [from March 13, 2006]. The most recent lower stratospheric data can be seen in the figure below from RSS MSU data (see Figure 7 where since about 1995 the trend has been about flat).

Channel TLS Trend Comparison

The reason for the lack of a multi-year trend in the lower stratosphere since 1995 has not received the attention it needs. Indeed, since the IPCC multi-decadal global climate models have not predicted this behavior, this is yet another reason to question the skill of their forecasts of climate for the coming decades. (Climate Science)


Gasp! UK firms flout CO2 ratings for buildings

The drive to cut Britain's carbon-dioxide emissions has been hit by companies' reluctance to obey new rules to reveal how much heat and light their buildings waste.

Nearly three-quarters of firms are flouting legislation requiring them to disclose energy performance details for the properties they sell or rent out, The Independent has learnt.

The refusal to comply with the law raises fresh doubts over this country's ability to meet a European Union target of reducing emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2020. Nearly one-fifth of UK emissions come from business and industry. (The Independent)


Bed, Bath & Beyond backs away from boycott

The boycott is down to one. A day after environmental activist group ForestEthics bragged that two major U.S. retailers - Whole Foods Market and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. - had agreed to spurn fuel made from oil sands bitumen, Bed Bath & Beyond is distancing itself from an effort some had described as "greenwashing." "Bed Bath & Beyond has not 'rejected' or otherwise 'banned' our third-party transportation providers from using fuels from Canadian tar sands," the company said in a release yesterday. "In our communication with our providers, we incorrectly communicated a desire to limit or avoid fuels from Canadian tar sands." The company has come under fire in Alberta, where businesses and angry consumers have taken to talk radio stations and local newspaper pages to pledge their own boycott of Bed Bath & Beyond. ( Globe and Mail)

Now just Whole Foods need come to their senses.


Lack of Direction on Climate Change Hobbles Carbon Trading

LONDON — Touted by its supporters as the best and cheapest way to fight global warming, carbon trading is losing momentum amid the uncertainty created by the failure of the Copenhagen summit meeting and President Barack Obama’s political troubles in the United States. (NYT)

Good! Get rid of the damn fraud completely.


Saudi oil giant to inject CO2 into world's biggest oilfield by 2012

State oil giant Saudi Aramco plans to inject carbon dioxide into the world's biggest oilfield by 2012, a year ahead of previous plans, a government official said on Monday.

The giant field Ghawar pumped 5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2008, more than half of top oil exporter Saudi Arabia's output. The kingdom announced plans last year for a pilot project to pump the climate-warming gas into the field to both improve production and reduce emissions. (Calgary Herald)

Well, the improving production part we are happy about...


<chuckle> CO2 triple win at Anadarko’s Salt Creek oil field - Injected carbon dioxide acts as a cleaning solvent in wells, forcing out oil

Anadarko Petroleum Corp’s reinvigoration of Wyoming’s huge but aging Salt Creek oil field has become something of a poster child for what can be done to reduce the environmental impact of oil production, Craig Walters, Anadarko’s general manager for Rockies enhanced oil recovery, told Greening of Oil Feb. 9. The company has been pumping carbon dioxide into the field reservoir, using a technique known as carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery, or EOR, to increase oil production.

EOR is a win for the environment because it reduces the oil field’s surface footprint and keeps the CO2 underground, out of the atmosphere. And because it squeezes more oil out of the ground, extending the life of the Salt Creek field, it is a win for Anadarko and the local and U.S. economy. (Alan Bailey, GoO)

EOR is definitely a major plus but the storage part of CCS, not so much. Fortunately only a relatively small proportion of the CO2 injected during EOR is actually lost to the biosphere because you actually get about 85% of it back with the increased oil flow :)

Since you get a lot more carbon out in the oil than you lose during EOR everybody including the biosphere wins. Good on Anadarko, we say.


Petrobras finds 25 million barrels oil reserve in shallow waters off Rio

Brazilian government managed energy giant Petrobras announced this week that it has found oil at a well located in shallow waters of the Campos Basin. The find was made in waters just 200 meters deep and is near massive deposits in deeper areas of Campos, which is located off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state and is the basin where 80% of Brazil’s oil is extracted. (Merco Press)


Chevron and Repsol will lead development of Orinoco tar sands

Chevron and Repsol YPF SA will lead development of two 15 billion US dollars projects to pump and refine Venezuelan crude after winning the country’s first oil auction since President Hugo Chavez took office 11 years ago.

Chevron, Mitsubishi Corp., Inpex Corp. and Suelopetrol CA will take a combined 40% stake in the Orinoco tar sands Carabobo 3 area, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said in Caracas. State-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, will hold 60%. Output is scheduled to start in 2013 and rise to 400,000 barrels a day in 2016, Ramirez said.

The Carabobo projects, along with similar ventures with Eni SpA, PetroVietnam and a group of Russian companies in the neighboring Junin field, are central to Venezuelan plans to boost oil output. The foreign companies get the opportunity to stake a claim to one of the world’s biggest oil deposits.

“Foreign oil investment is absolutely necessary to develop our reserves,” Chavez told company executives in a ceremony at the presidential palace. “We can’t do it alone.” He said the US Geologic Survey found the Orinoco Belt has more than 500 billion barrels of recoverable crude. (Merco Press)


U.K. OKs First Step for Major Gas-Storage Site

LONDON—The U.K. government on Monday gave tentative approval for the construction of a £600 million ($942 million) natural-gas storage facility aimed at correcting years of government and market failure to build enough back-up capacity to keep pace with demand and to fill unexpected supply disruptions. 

The planned underground facility would be the biggest built in many years in the U.K. It is expected to boost the nation's total gas storage capacity by 30% by 2014, when it is slated to start operation, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said. (WSJ)


Death of the wind farms


Wind farms are dying in the United States as the taxpayer handouts dry out:

Some say that Ka Le is haunted—and it is. But it’s haunted not by Hawaii’s legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are “Na leo o Kamaoa"-- the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm…

The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles—but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California “big three” locations—Altamont Pass, Tehachapin (above), and San Gorgonio—considered among the world’s best wind sites…

California’s wind farms—then comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity—ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa.  In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned.  Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills...

(Andrew Bolt)


Please no, enough with the boondoggles! New Effort To Revive U.S. Biodiesel Credit

WASHINGTON - Senate leaders have dropped from a jobs creation bill a U.S. tax credit for biodiesel, creating uncertainty for biodiesel makers, who say they need the incentive to keep running.

A $1-a-gallon tax credit, which expired at the end of 2009, was in the first draft of the bill. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pared back the bill on Thursday, dropping the biodiesel tax credit, among other tax measures.

A spokeswoman said Sen Charles Grassley, the No 1 Republican on the Finance Committee, will press for action on the biodiesel credit and other so-called tax extenders. They will be put into a Republican jobs bill or a list of amendments submitted for inclusion in Reid's bill, she said.

Reid presented a different plan of action on Thursday. He said his pared down bill would be the first of several job-creation bills, so provisions stripped from the Reid bill would be considered later.

Senators are not expected to vote on the stripped-down bill before the week of February 22.

The U.S. Agriculture Department projects 11 percent of U.S. soybean oil will be turned into biodiesel this marketing year. (Reuters)


Seeds of discontent: the 'miracle' crop that has failed to deliver - A new 'ethical' biofuel is damaging the impoverished people it was supposed to help

A "miracle" plant, once thought to be as the answer to producing renewable biofuels on a vast scale, is driving thousands of farmers in the developing world into food poverty, a damning report concludes today.

Five years ago jatropha was hailed by investors and scientists as a breakthrough in the battle to find a biofuel alternative to fossil fuels that would not further impoverish developing countries by diverting resources away from food production.

Jatropha was said to be resistant to drought and pests and able could grow on land that was unsuitable for food production. But researchers have found that it has increased poverty in countries including India and Tanzania. (The Independent)


HWGA: Weed Killer in the Crosshairs - Concerns prompt reexamination of atrazine’s safety

Each year, American farmers and turf managers apply some 34 million kilograms of atrazine to quash broad-leaved and grassy weeds. Most treatments go to protect corn, sorghum, sugarcane and cotton, though golf courses sometimes tap the weed killer to maintain immaculate fairways and putting greens.

In recent years, however, questions have surfaced about atrazine’s safety, especially after monitoring programs picked up the chemical in drinking water and lab studies demonstrated the pollutant’s ability to emasculate — if not deform — amphibians and fish. Last fall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it was reopening what industry had hoped was a closed chapter on allegations in the United States of atrazine’s risks.

In a surprising turnabout, the EPA instructed its Scientific Advisory Panel on pesticides, a group of outside experts, to reevaluate the weed killer’s safety through three meetings this year, the first of which took place earlier this month. The panel will review human data and any studies, including animal or test-tube assays, that might suggest risks to people.

EPA admits this new review was prompted by a flurry of recent news stories and critical reports by advocacy groups, which continue to show that large numbers of people are being exposed to atrazine through drinking water and which offer new data suggesting health concerns.

Overall, researchers concede that no smoking guns exist regarding atrazine risks. Data are suggestive, based on high-dose rodent tests, real-world wildlife exposures and epidemiological surveys of people exposed to a mix of pollutants.

Although there have been charges that Syngenta has hidden troubling data from regulators and the public, Pastoor counters that the company’s research “is publicly available,” and that “EPA has all of our raw data” for every study. Indeed, he says, “When we submit a study, it undergoes the kind of scrutiny that would rival an Internal Revenue Service review.”

So regardless of the concerns that have been circulating in news accounts and reports by public interest groups, Pastoor says he’s confident that as long EPA bases its new safety assessment on science, “any further opening up of atrazine’s scientific history is welcome.” (Science News)

Why do we keep dancing to the same old misanthropic tune of the chemical wackos? Human lifespans keep increasing and these twits keep claiming we're poisoned, poisoned they say, by every useful compound known to man. If nothing else they are certainly tedious little blighters because they reopen the same absurd claims every few years, regardless of the complete absence of any supporting data.


Whatever Prank Betides: Emily Dickinson and American Environmentalism

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

‘Perhaps the “Kingdom of Heaven’s” changed -’

With the recent publication of Lyndall Gordon’s fascinating new biography [right] of America’s greatest, and my own favourite, poet, Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and her Family’s Feuds [Virago, London, and Penguin, New York: sample reviews here and here], I thought that this could be a suitable moment to reprise an ‘Essay’ I wrote some time...

Read more... (The Clamour of the Times)


Julian Simon Changed His Mind–Can Others Come to View Humans as the Solution, not the Problem?

by Robert Bradley Jr.
February 15, 2010

“The quality of [truth-seeking] depends on a willingness to respectfully engage in open, honest, and objective debate, to challenge … our own beliefs…. As the philosopher, economist, and Anglican bishop Richard Whately observed: ‘It is one thing to wish to have truth on our side, and another thing to wish sincerely to be on the side of truth’.”

- Charles Koch, The Science of Success (John Wiley & Sons, 2007), p. 115. [Book review here]

A week ago I posted a tribute to Julian Simon (1932–1998) on the anniversary of his death. The post was picked up elsewhere in the blogosphere, and I received a number of emails from academics who remarked about how much they appreciated Simon’s personal kindness and scholarly qualities. Steve Horwitz wrote at Coordination Problem:

[Simon] was a model of what a scholar can and should be:  well-read, totally on top of the relevant data, fearless about taking on sacred cows, unafraid to be in your face but always with a smile on his face.  Plus, his boundless optimism for humanity’s future makes for a wonderful contrast to not just the doom-and-gloom of the environmentalists, but even the doom-and-gloom of some libertarians, for whom disaster (though political not environmental) lurks just around the corner.

Plus, Simon’s bet with Ehrlich is the best example of challenging “cheap talk” ever.

Above all of that, he was a charming man who even had time for three over-eager assistant professors on a boat ride in the middle of the Mediterranean in the fall of 1994.  I know that Pete, Dave, and I would all tell you that the 45 minutes we spent chatting with Julian at the rear of that boat on a gorgeous sunny day was one of the fonder memories we have of time spent with Big Thinkers.  He was funny, charming, and gracious.  And he is missed.

Yes, Simon was a true scholar who worked in a ‘challenge culture’ inside his mind.  I remember how at his Houston Forum talk, “More People, Greater Wealth, Expanded Resources, Cleaner Environment,” he was asked perhaps the hardest question of all: what do you think is the major weakness of your view. (What would your answer be to this question?) I remember the pained expression on Simon’s face as he grabbled with that question. I just knew how hard he was trying…. (MasterResource)


From the Gro Harlem Brundtland stable of lunacy and hypochondria: On different wavelengths over EMFs

Do the electromagnetic fields of power lines, cells and Wi-Fi cause harm? Experts disagree, so anxieties persist. (Chris Woolston, Los Angeles Times)


Confirmation bias, much? Electromagnetic field studies reach different conclusions - Some studies say a link between EMFs and health issues is possible, others don't. And scientists interpret the data differently.

How could respectable scientists armed with the same data on electromagnetic fields end up on opposite sides of the spectrum? The studies themselves are largely to blame. The results are often ambiguous and hard to interpret. Some suggest a link between EMF and health problems, and some don't.

David Carpenter, a professor of environmental health sciences and biomedical sciences at the University at Albany, State University of New York, says he has more faith in the studies that suggest a danger. "A positive study [that shows a link] is more believable than a negative one." (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times) [Em added]

Carpenter believes and therefore that which confirms his wrong conclusions must be right... How did this fool get his parchment?


Missteps at the Lancet

We addressed The Lancet's idiotic embrace of Andrew Wakefield in an earlier posting. A recent HND piece examines other lapses in editorial judgment by this once august publication.

Of special interest is their ludicrous inflation of the number of deaths in the Iraq war, an act of pure hysteria and junk science that earned them condemnation from both doves and hawks.

It's well past time to fire the editor-in-chief Richard Horton, only don't hold your breath. The Brits have a long and sordid tradition of keeping bad people in key positions. Does the name Kim Philby ring a bell? How about the knighted Anthony Blunt?

Read the complete article. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)


Grandparents who care for children 'boost obesity risk'

Young children who are regularly looked after by their grandparents have an increased risk of being overweight, an extensive British study has suggested.

Analysis of 12,000 three-year olds suggested the risk was 34% higher if grandparents cared for them full time. 

Children who went to nursery or had a childminder had no increased risk of weight problems, the International Journal of Obesity reported. (BBC News) | Indulgent grandparents 'overfeed' kids and make them fat, scientists warn (Daily Mail)

Why are these kids being so-often cared for by grandparents? Is there perhaps a socioeconomic factor at work here? Kids being sent to nursery or having employed childminders suggest the possibility of higher net household income, which in itself is associated with reduced risk of obesity.


Obesity 'often set before age of two'

The "tipping point" that sets children on the way to a lifetime of obesity often occurs before the age of two, say US researchers.

A study of more than 100 obese children and teenagers found more than half were overweight by 24 months and 90% were overweight by the age of five. 

A quarter were overweight before they were five months old, the researchers reported in Clinical Pediatrics. 

In the UK, around 27% of children are now overweight. 

The children in the study - who had an average age of 12 - were all overweight or obese by the age of 10. (BBC)


Mom's exercise has little impact on newborn weight

NEW YORK - Exercise during pregnancy, while healthy for both mother and baby, has only a minor impact on an infant's birth weight, suggest findings from a large study from Norway.

On the other hand, the findings confirm a strong association between being heavy prior to becoming pregnant and having a heavier baby, Caroline Fleten of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, and colleagues report. (Reuters Health)


Good news about good bacteria

Most of you are familiar with the concept of good bacteria and probiotics. You probably also know what can happen to your digestive system if you are on a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics, and forget to eat your yogurt.

Now, new research suggests that good bacteria function in priming the immune system. Since secondary infections—that is, infections that take place DURING a course of antibiotics—are a big problem in hospitals, the hope is that this work will lead to better outcomes for immunocompromised patients.

Read all about it, in a recent HND article. (Shaw's Eco-Logic)


More on the home health care robotic revolution

We've mentioned the CareBot™ from Gecko Systems before, but it's just such a great idea that it deserves more coverage.

When reporters write about robotics, they often refer to industry as a prime example of successfully integrating this technology. After all, robots play a central role in the manufacture of automobiles and other machinery so the example is an easy one—but an incomplete one.

The real revolution in robotics is in home health care. Some great apps are:

  • Monitoring patients
  • Dispensing medication
  • Communicating with doctors
  • Relaying important medical information

Gecko's CareBot™ is a home health care robot that promises to transform how we assist our loved ones. Reliable, durable and technologically advanced—the CareBot™ adapts to new surroundings and gives the peace of mind patients deserve.

Welcome to the new world of robotics! (Shaw's Eco-Logic)


Rescuing adult authority in the twenty-first century - Parental determinism – the idea that parenting skills shape the future – makes Stalin’s economic determinism seem almost subtle by comparison.

At a conference on parenting at the British Library in London tomorrow, Professor Frank Furedi will outline how the politicisation of parenting is damaging family relations and the education system. Here, we publish a preview of his comments, and his five-point programme for rescuing education from today’s meddling policymakers. (Frank Furedi, spiked)



'Climategate' expert Jones says data not well organised

Phil Jones, the professor behind the "Climategate" affair, has admitted some of his decades-old weather data was not well enough organised.

He said this contributed to his refusal to share raw data with critics - a decision he says he regretted.

But Professor Jones said he had not cheated over the data, or unfairly influenced the scientific process.

He said he stood by the view that recent climate warming was most likely predominantly man-made.

But he agreed that two periods in recent times had experienced similar warming. And he agreed that the debate had not been settled over whether the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the current period.

These statements are likely to be welcomed by people sceptical of man-made climate change who have felt insulted to be labelled by government ministers as flat-earthers and deniers. (Roger Harrabin, BBC News)

Translates to: "I didn't want people to know I'd made a career out of junk numbers", which is probably understandable but certainly not forgivable. This crap is going to cost us big for years to come and the harm done to the citizens of least developed and developing nations incalculable.

I have no doubt perpetrators of this fraud should be tried for genocide and associated crimes against humanity. Even if they are simply dupes of the misanthropic watermelon brigade that is no defense, although they should probably receive leniency in return for their testimony leading to conviction of the Greens for, what's the correct term...  anthropicide? Humanicide, perhaps? "Homicide" seems so hopelessly inadequate for a group with such self-hatred they wish to expunge humanity from the world.


Climategate: Viscount Monckton Takes a Victory Lap

Per a Phil Jones interview with the BBC, confirmation that the temperature record of the CRU is little better than a fabrication.

by Christopher Monckton

For several months, the “Monthly CO2 Reports,” compiled by me at, have been pointing out that there has been no statistically significant “global warming” for 15 years. Regular attacks on my calculations and graphs have appeared on blogs by the usual suspects — Gavin Schmidt of NASA being, as usual, the most venomously ad hominem and the least scientifically plausible.

Then came Climategate. Kevin Trenberth, one of the many scientists whose activities I had been following with suspicion for some years, had privately been saying to his colleagues that there had been “no global warming for a decade” and that it was “a travesty” that they could not explain why. Publicly, of course, the Climategate conspirators had been saying that the last ten years were the warmest decade on the instrumental record — true, but not surprising given that there has been 300 years of global warming.

Now, Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia has admitted publicly, and — as far as I know — for the first time, that there has been no statistically significant “global warming” for 15 years. He has also admitted that his Climatic Research Unit has lost much of the data behind the “hockey-stick” graph, via which Michael Mann and other Climategate conspirators had falsely attempted to demonstrate that the Medieval Warm Period was not warmer than the present. (PJM)



Now even Phil Jones is a sceptic:

Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995

Which, by the sounds of it, was the last time Jones cleaned his office:

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.

Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.

The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

It’ll be in there somewhere, underneath lunch wrappers from 2003 and some old lottery tickets. This is interesting:

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon …

He said that the debate over whether the world could have been even warmer than now during the medieval period, when there is evidence of high temperatures in northern countries, was far from settled.

Sceptics said this was the first time a senior scientist working with the IPCC had admitted to the possibility that the Medieval Warming Period could have been global, and therefore the world could have been hotter then than now.

The consensus! The precious consensus!

UPDATE. The full BBC interview.

UPDATE II. Bring on the politeness:

In the light of the ‘Climategate’ revelations, it is time for governments, academics and their media cheerleaders to be more modest in their claims and to treat sceptics with far more courtesy.

I’ll settle for money.

UPDATE III. Mark Steyn: “Say it loud, he’s unsettled and proud. Hide-the-decliner Phil Jones is embracing his inner decline.”

UPDATE IV. Marc Sheppard: “The statements Jones made regarding relatively recent temperature trends … truly boggle the mind.”

UPDATE V. Good point from Ann Althouse: “Why would it just be skeptics who would be interested in evidence of serious flaws in the science?”

UPDATE VI. Don Surber: “The whole interview — and it is done by e-mail — is very defensive and insightful. [Jones] believes what he believes. He just can’t prove it.”

UPDATE VII. MIT’s Richard Lindzen (a sceptic) was saying almost exactly the same thing in 2008 as warmy Jones is saying now: “There has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995. Why bother with the arguments about an El Nino anomaly in 1998?” (Tim Blair)


And still they come: U.N. Forms Climate Funding Panel

The United Nations is moving forward in implementing the Copenhagen Accord, setting up a high-level advisory panel Friday to mobilize climate funding for developing nations.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced today that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi will lead the panel. The group will include heads of state and government, top officials from ministries and central banks as well as experts on public finance, development and related issues. (Clean Skies News)


Climate change – a torrent of EU money

If you happen to be wandering down High Holborn in London, you will hardly notice New Penderel House but, if you did, you might catch sight of a nameplate, one of many, just inside the lobby, announcing the London headquarters of New Energy Finance Ltd.

Apart from the name, there would no other clues as to the nature of the company, still less that it is one of the new breed of parasites living off the hype over "climate change". Part of the Bloomberg empire, with offices in New York, Washington and throughout the world, including Peking and Delhi, it was set up to exploit the burgeoning and totally artificial carbon market, grabbing money indiscriminately from wherever the trail led.

And in November 2008, one of those trails led to Brussels, where the EU Commission's Directorate-General Environment kindly awarded it a €196,625 contract – excluding VAT - to analyse the carbon market.

This is but one example of the torrent of money – provided by increasingly unwilling taxpayers – which is pouring out of Brussels, filling the coffers of disparate commercial companies, research institutes, academia and even public relation companies, all under the generic heading of "climate change" and closely related matters.

As with the UK government though, the spending is so fragmented and dispersed in the budgets of different spending departments (or Directorate-Generals – DGs – as they are called in Brussels) that it is virtually impossible to get a clear idea of quite how much money is being spent. But, by following the trail of contracts awarded by the Commission for work related to climate change, it is clear that hundreds of millions, running into billions of euros, is pouring out of the system. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


Sen. Inhofe calls for head of UNIPCC to testify before Congress.

2-12-10 Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, spoke from the Senate floor asking Rajendra Pachauri to respond directly to the Senate on reports his organization, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published reports on climate change with errors. Inhofe calls it a "crisis of confidence" in the IPCC. Pachauri has denied the claims. (Clean Skies)


Hang On There, EPA

Remember when the far-green fringe went bat-stuff crazy over a simple call by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a review of evidence used to allow the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide? You would have thought someone was going after a sacred cow … which, of course, is how quasi-religious zealots reacted when the cow was their beloved global warming.

Now that there’s been a torrent of utterly humiliating (and alternately amusing) stories of green groups cooking the books, the public conversation has more or less left the Chamber behind (which, we’re sure, is not a bad thing for them).

So it’s notable that we aren’t hearing nearly as much noise now that the Chamber has filed a petition challenging EPA on triggering use of the Clean Air Act. According to the Chamber there’s a right way to address greenhouse gas emission, but:

The wrong way is through the EPA’s endangerment finding, which triggers Clean Air Act regulation. Because of the huge potential impact on jobs and local economies, this is an issue that requires careful analysis of all available data and options. Unfortunately, the agency failed to do that and instead overreached. The result is a flawed administrative finding that will lead to other poorly conceived regulations further downstream.

(The Chilling Effect)


Senior Scots scientist in climate probe row

AN EMINENT Scottish scientist is facing calls to resign from the "climategate" inquiry, amid concerns over his impartiality

Only 24 hours after another panel member quit, questions emerged over Professor Geoffrey Boulton because of his previous views that climate change is caused by human activity.

The investigation was set up to look into whether scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) covered up flawed data.

But some have cast doubt on whether the inquiry results can be trusted if Prof Boulton, general secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, remains on the panel.

The leading geologist was one of five people chosen by former University of Glasgow principal Sir Muir Russell to carry out the high-profile investigation. A statement released at the launch of the inquiry on Thursday said none of the panel members had a "predetermined view on climate change and climate science".

It added: "They were selected on the basis they have no prejudicial interest in climate science."

However, The Scotsman can reveal that only a few months ago, Prof Boulton, from the University of Edinburgh, was among a number of scientists who, in the wake of the climategate scandal, signed a petition to show their confidence that global warming was caused by humans. And for at least five years, he has made clear his strong views on global warming. He has given interviews and written articles – including in The Scotsman – that have spelled out his firmly held beliefs.

In one article for Edinburgh University, he wrote: "The argument regarding climate change is over." And for 18 years, he worked at the University of East Anglia (UEA) – the establishment at the centre of the scandal. (The Scotsman)


Now the MSM notices? Global warming's snowball fight

The back-to-back snowstorms in the capital were an inconvenient meteorological phenomenon for Al Gore.

"It's going to keep snowing in D.C. until Al Gore cries 'uncle'," Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) exulted on Twitter.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) posted photos on Facebook of "Al Gore's New Home" -- a six-foot igloo the Inhofe family built on Capitol Hill.

"Where is Al Gore?" taunted Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.).

"He has not been seen since the snow and the arctic blast have pummeled the Eastern Seaboard in America, turning it into a frozen tundra," reported Fox News's Glenn Beck, who also tastefully suggested hari-kari for climate scientists.

As a scientific proposition, claiming that heavy snow in the mid-Atlantic debunks global warming theory is about as valid as claiming that the existence of John Edwards debunks the theory of evolution. In fact, warming theory suggests that you'd see trends toward heavier snows, because warmer air carries more moisture. This latest snowfall, though, is more likely the result of a strong El Niño cycle that has parked the jet stream right over the mid-Atlantic states.

Still, there's some rough justice in the conservatives' cheap shots. In Washington's blizzards, the greens were hoisted by their own petard. (Dana Milbank, Washington Post)

So, absurd weather claims, inter alia, were fine while watermelons were winning but now some facts are escaping and the weather doesn't suit the narrative it's time for a change in tactic?

Did AGW zealots claim gorebull warbling would reduce or even eliminate winter snow? Of course they did:

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

Britain's winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters - which scientists are attributing to global climate change - produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

The first two months of 2000 were virtually free of significant snowfall in much of lowland Britain, and December brought only moderate snowfall in the South-east. It is the continuation of a trend that has been increasingly visible in the past 15 years: in the south of England, for instance, from 1970 to 1995 snow and sleet fell for an average of 3.7 days, while from 1988 to 1995 the average was 0.7 days. London's last substantial snowfall was in February 1991. (Charles Onians, The Independent, March 20, 2000)


EVANS: Has global warming got you snowed in?

Not even 30 inches of snow falling on Washington has discredited claims of "global warming," the belief that human activity is appreciably warming our planet. Of course, a single snowstorm does not disprove global warming. Weather is not the same as climate. But even after a decade of unexpectedly cool temperatures, global-warming alarmists still show no skepticism. Skepticism is a core value of science.

In "1984," George Orwell wrote about Big Brother (government) being so powerful that it can persuade people to believe things contrary to their senses. It even can convince them that two plus two is not equal to four.

Eventually the truth will out. When global warming finally is recognized as the world's greatest political hoax, those discredited will not be the perpetrators.

The perpetrators are politicians and traditional media. After the credibility bubble bursts, the same politicians and media will continue to influence what the public is told. They will effectively claim that they never misled anyone. The fall guy will be science.

Lost in the confusion will be the distinction between science and the scientific community.

The scientific community has largely abandoned science. It has degenerated into little more than just another lobbying group seeking advancement for its members. (Leonard Evans, Washington Times)


Eye-roller: How global warming contributed to the snow - A warming world increases atmospheric moisture, which leads to massive snowstorms

You can't even find your car on the street, the kids have been out of school for days, and "blizzard conditions" is now standard weatherman talk in the D.C.-Baltimore region. So if global warming is happening, why in the world are we literally buried in snow?

It's a good question, and thankfully, the answer is pretty straightforward. In fact, the growing pattern of extreme snowfall in our region has the fingerprints of climate change all over it -- even as temperatures steadily rise across America and the world. ( Mike Tidwell, Baltimore Sun)

Just one teency gaping flaw in the above assertion: only the very low altitude atmosphere shows any moistening while anywhere above about 2500 feet (i.e., much of the continental land masses), has shown a drying trend.

We've laid out the atmospheric moisture time series for you here. Check it out or simply cut to the chase with our summary:

So, what do these time series tell us?

To begin with, what atmospheric moistening is believed to have occurred is at altitudes basically well below the surface altitudes of the major ice shields, Greenland and the East & West Antarctic and much of Earth's land surfaces.

Secondly, the atmospheric region of most interest from a weather/climate perspective appears to be on a drying trend, contrary to that expected under the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis.

Simply eyeballing the time series suggests the 1977 Pacific phase shift is a much better fit with changes in trends than is the steady increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Bottom line is that the regions climate models are programmed to expect atmospheric moistening are not actually doing so, making either the models or the atmosphere wrong. None of the above time series leads to a plausible conclusion that we should anticipate any increase in weather activity.


LIEBERMAN: The late, great global warming scare

Global-warming skeptics were hit with numerous setbacks over the past few years - from a major 2007 U.N. report that seemingly confirmed the warming crisis, to Al Gore's popularization of this gloomy message through his book and Oscar-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

And let's not forget the shifting political winds that elected a greener Congress and brought in an administration that made climate change a priority.

But now those skeptics are facing a new challenge: overconfidence.

That's because everything of late has been breaking their way.

OK, overconfidence may be an exaggeration, but the wheels are really coming off the global-warming cart. (Ben Lieberman, Washington Times)


The great collapse of the global warming myth

Image: Breaching the media wall against global warming
Photo adapted from Ron Neibrugge’s beautifully crisp original at Wild Nature Images

This is it: The dam wall is breached.

There are defining moments in any era, and we are right now in the midst of the Great Collapse.

Open Magazine's "Hottest Hoax in the World" Cover Issue Open Magazine's
"Hottest Hoax in the World"
Cover Issue

Jan 30, 2010: the hottest hoax

The weekend before last, a magazine cover called it Fraud.  This could have been New Scientist, Scientific American, Discover, or any of the other popular science magazines, but it wasn’t.  They were all scooped by an Indian publication, Open Magazine, that had only been running for a year.

The climate change fraud that is now unraveling is unprecedented in its deceit, unmatched in scope—and for the liberal elite, akin to 9 on the Richter scale.  Never have so few fooled so many for so long, ever.

The entire world was being asked to change the way it lives on the basis of pure hyperbole. Propriety, probity and transparency were routinely sacrificed.

Feb 2, 2010: the Australian abandons the IPCC and the ETS

More » (Jo Nova)


The Temperature at Which Global Warming Freezes

Wednesday afternoon, the sky over New York City was a falling sheet of white. Temperatures had dropped sharply and the blizzard was underway. But nowhere in the city was the blizzard more pronounced than in Central Park, which had been designed in the 19th century to create a miniature forest in the heart of one of the biggest cities in the world. The trees were layered with coats of snow and visibility had vanished into a cloud of whiteness. And walking along a path in the Ramble, I heard a woman lecturing her children on the dangers of what else, but Global Warming.

There is a kind of madness to walking through a blizzard, while wearing a thick coat and picking the moment to discuss Global Warming. A theory according to which we should be sliding toward the tropics, awash in fleeing polar bears and Florida style temperatures, instead of frantically shoveling our driveways. Such an attitude has very little to do with science, and a great deal to do with faith. Because while the scientist sees what is and evaluates it based on the available evidence, the believer has faith in what he cannot see. And to see Global Warming while walking through a blizzard, is itself an act of faith. (Daniel Greenfield, RSN)


Good sense eventually prevails? Utah delivers vote of no confidence for 'climate alarmists'

The US's most Republican state passes bill disputing science of climate change, claiming emissions are 'essentially harmless' (The Guardian)


Lawrence Solomon: The West Wants Out of the Western Climate Initiative

The Western Climate Initiative’s cap and trade market may soon need to be renamed The Canada Climate Initiative.

Until this week, the Western Climate Initiative boasted seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces who were working toward the launch of a regional cap and trade system on Jan 1, 2012.  On Thursday, Arizona formally announced it was backing out of cap and trade. As the state with the fastest rate of emission growth -- 61% between 1990 and 2007 – many feared a body blow to Arizona’s economy  if it tried to meet the initiative’s carbon reduction goals.

The following morning neighbouring Utah indicated it might follow suit. By a 6 to 2 vote, its House Committee on Public Utilities and Technology passed a nonbinding resolution to urge Governor Gary Herbert to pull out of the Western Climate Initiative. Earlier in the week, the full Utah House voted resoundingly – 56 to 17 – to curb any carbon-curbing attempts by the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency. Specifically, the resolution “urges the United States Environmental Protection Agency to halt its carbon dioxide reduction policies and programs and with its ‘Endangerment Finding’ and related regulations until a full and independent investigation of the climate data conspiracy and global warming science can be substantiated.”

To date, only four of the 11 jurisdictions have adopted legislation that would allow them to participate in the cap-trade-market: California, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, with Manitoba appearing close to joining.

Oregon, Washington, Montana and New Mexico have not yet adopted cap-and-trade legislation and now California, which is tottering toward bankruptcy, has become iffy: A voter initiative in California, if it passes in November, would halt the cap-and-trade program until unemployment falls to 5.5%.

The upshot? By the end of the year, the only jurisdictions left in the Western Climate Initiative’s cap and trade program could be the Canadian provinces (Financial Post)


Ooh! And in the Sunday Times, too! World may not be warming, say scientists

The United Nations climate panel faces a new challenge with scientists casting doubt on its claim that global temperatures are rising inexorably because of human pollution.

In its last assessment the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the evidence that the world was warming was “unequivocal”.

It warned that greenhouse gases had already heated the world by 0.7C and that there could be 5C-6C more warming by 2100, with devastating impacts on humanity and wildlife. However, new research, including work by British scientists, is casting doubt on such claims. Some even suggest the world may not be warming much at all.

“The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change,” said John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former lead author on the IPCC.

The doubts of Christy and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years.

These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.

Christy has published research papers looking at these effects in three different regions: east Africa, and the American states of California and Alabama.

“The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.” (Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times)


African crops yield another catastrophe for the IPCC - One more alarming claim in the IPCC's 2007 report is disintegrating under closer examination, says Christopher Booker

Ever more question marks have been raised in recent weeks over the reputations of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and of its chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri. But the latest example to emerge is arguably the most bizarre and scandalous of all. It centres on a very specific scare story which was included in the IPCC's 2007 report, although it was completely at odds with the scientific evidence – including that produced by the British expert in charge of the relevant section of the report. Even more tellingly, however, this particular claim has repeatedly been championed by Dr Pachauri himself.

Only last week Dr Pachauri was specifically denying that the appearance of this claim in two IPCC reports, including one of which he was the editor, was an error. Yet it has now come to light that the IPCC, ignoring the evidence of its own experts, deliberately published the claim for propaganda purposes. (TDT)


U.N. climate panel admits Dutch sea level flaw

OSLO - The U.N. panel of climate experts overstated how much of the Netherlands is below sea level, according to a preliminary report on Saturday, admitting yet another flaw after a row last month over Himalayan glacier melt. (Reuters)


Stotty's Corner

The Neanderthals Just Can’t Stop Themselves

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Today, there is a disgraceful letter published in The Observer [p. 40] from Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, which is chaired by Lord Stern. The letter attacks Dr. Benny Peiser, the Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF): “Dr Peiser argues for less bias and more transparency in the climate policy...



A Most Important Interview

Saturday, 13 February 2010

“I don't believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the instrumental (and especially the palaeoclimatic) past as well.” [Professor Phil Jones (pictured right) answering questions put to him by the BBC’s Roger Harrabin (left) in a key interview, in this...



Phil Jones: MWP yes, warming since 1995 no

Daily Mail in the U.K. published recent admissions of Dr Phil Jones, the main villain of the ClimateGate. He now agrees that

Roger Harrabin wrote his interview with Phil Jones as questions and answers and Jones basically confirms every single statement that the informed skeptics have been making for years. (The Reference Frame)


The second front

Currently standing at 476, the comments on the Mail on Sunday piece on Phil Jones must be close to a record.

With the commentary from Anthony Watts on the original interview, with Roger Harrabin, there can be no doubt that something remarkable has just happened.

Add to that Jonathan Leake's piece in The Sunday Times, headed "World may not be warming, say scientists", then mix in with the article in The Daily Mail today – which refers to the Leake piece – and the indications are that we are close to, if not at, a tipping point.

Factor in the The Daily Express lead story and the front page (pictured) and the piece in The Times, where Bob Watson argues that the IPCC must nvestigate an apparent bias in its report that resulted in several exaggerations of the impact of global warming. Then look at the crumbling edifice of the Muir inquiry into the CRU, under further attack from Steve McIntyre. It is evident that the temples of the global warming creed are tottering.

And, while this sustained attack on WGI data goes on, Booker ploughs his solitary furrow, sustaining the attack on WGII and its co-chair Martin Parry. However, an unrepentant Parry comes out of hiding today in The Guardian, clearly unaware of how much the tide has turned.

This signals that there is a long way to go before the institutional inertia supporting the global warming industry can be overturned, and the lack of political engagement by the Conservatives is a major handicap. Until and unless this issue goes political, there is little to sustain it in the long run. Without that political traction, skeptics will find it hard to keep up the momentum, feeding fresh stories to the media. The campaign could falter.

Thus, it is also essential that the two-front campaign is kept up. Rightly, the focus is on Jones at the moment, but the weak links of Pachauri and Parry must also be kept under pressure. Not for nothing are they trying to hold the line as they seem to appreciate, perhaps more than some on our own side, where the danger lies.

In this, "Africagate" is a gaping hole in the IPCC – the chance to extract another, and possibly fatal – admission of error. WGI and Jones may be "Normandy" but "Africagate" is the Eastern Front. And two fronts, not one, are needed to defeat this enemy. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


Climategate: the official cover-up continues

If there’s one thing that stinks even more than Climategate, it’s the attempts we’re seeing everywhere from the IPCC and Penn State University to the BBC to pretend that nothing seriously bad has happened, that “the science” is still “settled”, and that it’s perfectly OK for the authorities go on throwing loads more of our money at a problem that doesn’t exist.
The latest example of this noisome phenomenon is Sir Muir Russell’s official whitewash – sorry “independent inquiry” into the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) scandal. (James Delingpole, TDT)


Boulton contradicts Sir Muir

From the same Times article discussed in the last posting, a statement from Professor Geoffrey Boulton on the furore over his combining a position on the CRU emails review and role as a global warming activist.

Sir Muir issued a statement last week claiming that the inquiry members, who are investigating leaked e-mails from the University of East Anglia, did not have a “predetermined view on climate change and climate science”.

Professor Boulton told The Times: “I may be rapped over the knuckles by Sir Muir for saying this, but I think that statement needs to be clarified. I think the committee needs someone like me who is close to the field of climate change and it would be quite amazing if that person didn’t have a view on one side or the other.”

This is quite extraordinary. How was it that the review went public with a statement that the panellists' views on climate change were not predetermined when one of the panellists openly admits that his views are just that? Did Sir Muir check the views of the panellists before he published this statement on the official website? What did Professor Boulton tell him then? For that matter, what did Philip Campbell say? We need answers to these questions because either Sir Muir has not checked to ensure that his panellists are independent or someone has not been telling the truth.

The Russell review is rapidly turning into a farce. (Bishop Hill)


Hooterville Gazette wants to strip Al Gore and the IPCC of the Nobel Peace Prize

Please Sign Petition to Strip Al Gore and The UN IPCC of Their Nobel Prize and Award It Instead to The Much More Deserving Irena Sendler

Al Gore and The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Since receiving the award, a UK court has ruled that An Inconvenient Truth, the work for which Al Gore received his half of the prize, contained nine factual errors.

Recently, it was discovered that the UN IPCC 2007 Report, the work for which the IPCC received its half of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, contained false information regarding the risk of glacier melt, species extinction, sea-level rise and natural disaster in an effort to frighten the public and goad politicians into taking action. By signing this petition, you are sending a clear message that you wish for Al Gore and the UN IPCC to be stripped of their 2007 award.

In signing, you are also asking that the 2007 prize to Irena Sendler who risked her life daily during WWII to ultimately rescue more than 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis.  Irena Sendler was among those up for the Prize in 2007 that the much less deserving Gore and IPCC won for political reasons.

To Sign The Petition Click Here


British Council gets in on the climate act - Why is the British Council spending taxpayers' money on the recruiting of 100,000 "international climate champions", asks Christopher Booker

Last December, our television screens were filled with scenes of young demonstrators from all over the world parading through the streets of Copenhagen to call for action to halt global warming. Few people will have been aware, though, that they were being funded with the aid of millions of pounds from British taxpayers. What makes this even more curious is that the money was provided by a body set up to promote British culture internationally.

Last Sunday, when I reported on some of the ways in which an array of British ministries have poured hundreds of millions of pounds into projects related to climate change, I overlooked one branch of government which has been as active in the cause of saving the planet as any – the British Council, created more than 70 years ago to stage lectures on Shakespeare and Jane Austen, and to spread the use of the English language.

In recent years, however, on the initiative of Lord Kinnock when he was its chairman, the British Council has been hijacked to promote the need for action on climate change. In answer to a Freedom of Information request, we can now see some of the curious ways in which the British Council has been spending our money. (TDT)


Buying thin air - by Richard...

Cash-strapped Gordon Brown is buying £60,000,000-worth of "carbon credits" for Whitehall and other government offices in the UK, as well as British Nato bases in Europe.

While the rest of the country shivers in the cold, with householders wondering whether they can afford their mounting heating bills – inflated by hidden "carbon taxes" to pay for the carbon emissions produced - bureaucrats in their centrally-heated government offices can keep producing "greenhouse gasses", their emissions paid-for by British taxpayers.

The details, which were not announced publicly, emerged last week on the EU's official website, announcing a contract to Barclays Capital PLC to buy the credits on behalf of the government's buying agency in Liverpool.

They will be bought under the UN's Kyoto protocol "clean development mechanism" (CDM) which allows from third world countries using carbon-reducing schemes such as windfarms to sell "credits" for the carbon dioxide they save – worth approximately £12 a tonne. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


And naturally we defer to such authority... Climate sceptics denounced by Brown as he launches climate change group

Gordon Brown has launched a new UN climate fundraising group, and says sceptics go 'against the grain' of science (Press Association)


Still foolishly believing there's a direct relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature... Carbon targets pledged at Copenhagen 'fail to keep temperature rise to 2C'

MIT analysis shows pledges submitted to the UN falls short of reduction targets by at least 11bn tonnes of CO2 (John Vidal, The Guardian)


Eye-roller: Climate change sceptics 'playing Russian roulette with planet'

Critics of the science behind man-made global warming theories are playing "Russian roulette with the planet", the new head of the controversial unit at the centre of the "climategate" storm has warned. (TDT)


More misanthropy: Climate change: calling planet birth

Family size has become the great unmentionable of the campaign for more environmentally friendly lifestyles (Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian)


Acid Seas, Back to Basic

Written by Dennis Ambler 
Friday, 12 February 2010

For the Full Report in PDF Form, please click here.

[Illustrations, footnotes and references available in PDF version]

In August last year, the National Resources Defense Council released a film “documentary” claiming that CO2 is turning the oceans to acid: It was funded by the Entertainment industry foundation1, and has the title, “Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification”. This is SPPI’s second published analysis. (Science and Public Policy)


Tisdale on the importance of El Nino’s little sister – recharging ocean heat content

La Nina – The Underappreciated Portion Of ENSO

Guest post by Bob Tisdale

Image: La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the central equatorial Pacific. The colder than normal water is depicted in this image in blue. During a La Niña stronger than normal trade winds bring cold water up to the surface of the ocean. Credit: NASA

Perform a Google Scholar search for documents including “El Nino” in quotes and there will be more than 200,000 results. On the other hand, “La Nina” will only raise 26,000+. Granted, the formal name of the coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon in the tropical Pacific is “El Nino-Southern Oscillation”, but that in quotes only returns 28,000+ results. So it appears that El Nino events do get much more “press” from the scientific community than La Nina events.

Figure 1 is a time-series graph of NINO3.4 SST anomalies from January 1979 to January 2010. El Nino events are a warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific so they are displayed as a Positive SST anomaly, where La Nina events are a Negative. Visually, is the eye drawn to the upward spikes more than it is to the downward troughs? El Nino events are viewed as being larger in magnitude than La Nina events. NINO3.4 SST anomalies peaked at approximately 2.8 deg C during the Super El Nino events of 1982/83 and 1997/98, while the La Nina events that followed them failed to reach -2 deg C. But the La Nina events of 1988/89 and 2007/08 were stronger than the El Nino events that preceded them. (Refer to the note about base years at the end of this post.) Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


U.S. To Offer 37 Million Offshore Acres For Oil Drilling

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Interior Department on Thursday issued the final terms for leasing almost 37 million acres in the central Gulf of Mexico to energy companies so they can drill for oil and natural gas.

The area to be leased may hold up to 1.3 billion barrels of crude oil and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the department, which is also shortening the time that companies would have to develop the tracts. (Reuters)


Thomas Friedman’s Twisted Energy Politics

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman. Photo by Charles Haynes: Flickr

When it comes to energy issues, Thomas Friedman simply doesn’t care about the facts.

That reality was made apparent, once again, in Friedman’s column in the February 10 issue of the New York Times. In an otherwise mostly sensible article, written from Yemen, where Friedman was talking about the need for proper educational opportunity in the Arabic and Islamic worlds, Friedman concluded that the US will have to maintain a strong military presence in the region in order to counter al-Qaeda. But he continues, we also must “help build schools and fund scholarships to America wherever we can. And please, please, let’s end our addiction to oil, which is what gives the Saudi religious ministry and charities the money to spread anti-modernist thinking across this region.”

Friedman has been bashing the Saudis for so long, it’s hardly worth recounting the many instances where he does so. But the fact that Friedman once again trots out the tired cliché of our “addiction to oil” and that he then immediately ties that issue to the Saudis shows that he simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Rather than stick to the facts, he retreats to a mindless slogan that contributes nothing to the need for a broader discussion of energy policy and the reality of the global marketplace. (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)


Delta Warns Of Dutch Red Tape Delaying Wind Farms

VLISSINGEN, Netherlands - The Dutch will not meet their renewable energy targets unless they speed up approval of wind farms, while nuclear energy has a key role to play in energy supply, utility Delta said on Friday.

The Netherlands will miss its target of sourcing 20 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020 unless it cuts bureaucracy surrounding the licensing of wind parks, Peter Boerma, the unlisted Dutch utility's chief executive, told Reuters.

"Permits are the biggest problem, bigger than any reduction in subsidies," Boerma said. "Of course we also need subsidies, in onshore and offshore wind. Offshore wind technology is not yet fully established, this is my personal view."

Delta is also pressing on with plans for a second nuclear power station near its existing one at Borssele, despite a decommissioning trend in the Netherlands that has led to the Dutch generating only 4 percent of their electricity from nuclear.

The Dutch government has said that no new plants would be built during its mandate, which runs until 2011. (Reuters)


China Capitalizes on Carbon Trading and the CDM

China Capitalizes on Carbon Trading

The 1997 UN meetings in Japan about climate issues did more than give birth to the term “Kyoto Protocol” they also created the concept of “carbon capital.” And over the past few years, no other country has capitalized on that concept more than China, which is collecting major subsidies from the international community for its energy projects.

Here’s how it works: The amount of the carbon capital is determined by using a new alphabet soup of UN bureaucratese, specifically, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which issues Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs). The idea behind the CDM is fairly simple: industrialized countries who need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions can invest in projects that lower emissions in developing countries rather than cut emissions in their own. In theory, this allows overall global emissions to be reduced at a lower cost.

The CDM is part of what some forecasters expect could be a booming international market in carbon trading and offsets. The World Bank has projected that the global carbon trading market could be worth $150 billion by 2012.

Does the CDM process work? If it does, there’s no evidence of it from the numbers. (Xina Xie and Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)


Controversy Mounts In EU Over Fall-Out From Biofuel

BRUSSELS - Fresh controversy is mounting within the European Union over biofuels and their unintended impact on tropical forests and wetlands, documents show.

One leaked document from the EU's executive, the European Commission, suggests biofuel from palm oil might get a boost from new environmental criteria under development.

But another contains a warning from a top official that taking full account of the carbon footprint of biofuels might "kill" an EU industry with annual revenues of around $5 billion.

The European Union aims to get a tenth of its road fuels from renewable sources by the end of this decade, but has met with criticism that biofuels can force up food prices and do more harm than good in the fight against climate change.

Most of the 10 percent goal will be met through biofuels, creating a market coveted by EU farming nations, which produce about 10 billion liters a year, as well as exporters such as Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Environmentalists say biofuels made from grains and oilseeds are forcing farmers to expand agricultural land by hacking into rainforests and draining wetlands -- known as "indirect land-use change" (ILUC). (Reuters)


STEYN: Giving in to group-think

A man asks for a plastic bag at the supermarket checkout. Next thing you know, his head's slammed against the counter, and he's being cuffed by the Green Police. "You picked the wrong day to mess with the ecosystem, plastic boy," the enviro-cop sneers as the perp is led away. Cut to more Green Police going through your trash, until they find - a battery! "Take the house!" the eco-commando orders. And we switch to a roadblock on a backed-up interstate, with the Green Police prowling the lines of vehicles to check to see if they're in environmental compliance.

If you watched the Super Bowl, you most likely saw this commercial. As my comrade Jonah Goldberg noted, up until this point, you might have assumed it was a fun message from a libertarian think tank warning of the barely veiled totalitarian tendencies of the eco-nanny-state. Anytime now, you figured, some splendidly contrarian type - perhaps Clint Eastwood in his famous Gran Torino - would come roaring through, flipping the bird at the storm troopers and blowing out their tires for good measure. But instead, the Greenstapo stumble across an Audi A3 TDI. "You're good to go," they tell the driver, and, with the approval of the state enforcers, he meekly pulls out of the stalled traffic and moves off. Tagline: "Green has never felt so right."

So, the message from Audi isn't, "You are a free man. Don't bend to the statist bullies," but, "Resistance is futile. You might as well get with the program."

Strange. Not so long ago, car ads prioritized liberty. Your vehicle opened up new horizons: Gitcha motor running, head out on the highway, looking for adventure.

To sell dull automobiles to people who lived in suburban cul-de-sacs, manufacturers showed them roaring around hairpin bends, forging deep into forests, splashing through rivers, zooming across the desert plain, invariably coming to rest on the edge of a spectacular promontory on the roof of the world offering a dizzying view of half the planet. Freedom!

But now Audi flogs its vehicles on the basis that it's the most convenient way to submit to arbitrary state authority. Forty years ago, when the company first began selling over here, it's doubtful it would have considered this either a helpful image for a German car manufacturer or a viable pitch to the American male. (Mark Steyn, Washington Times)


Swine flu killed up to 17,000 in U.S.: report

WASHINGTON - H1N1 swine flu has killed as many as 17,000 Americans, including 1,800 children, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday.

The swine flu pandemic put as many people into the hospital as during the normal influenza season - but most were younger adults and children instead of the elderly, and it was during the months when usually very little or no flu is circulating, the CDC said.

"CDC estimates that between 41 million and 84 million cases of 2009 H1N1 occurred between April 2009 and January 16, 2010," the agency said in a statement. Usually the CDC goes with a middle number, which is about 57 million people infected.

Between 8,330 and 17,160 people died during this time from H1N1, with a middle range of about 12,000, CDC said. But between 880 and 1,800 children died, up to 13,000 adults under the age of 65 and only 1,000 to 2,000 elderly.

In a normal flu season, the CDC estimates that 36,000 Americans die of flu but 90 percent are over the age of 65. CDC estimates that 200,000 go into the hospital, again mostly the elderly.

The swine flu pandemic has affected much younger people.

The CDC estimate shows that between 183,000 and 378,000 people were hospitalized with H1N1 swine flu from April to January. (Reuters)


Pricey scans have no impact in breast cancer: study

LONDON - Expensive extra scans using MRI on breast cancer patients make no difference to the number of patients who have a repeat operation, scientists said on Friday, raising questions about whether the scans are worth it.

A study of 1,623 women with breast cancer found that those who have a conventional triple assessment of their cancer are no more likely to be told they need a repeat operation than those assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as well.

"Our results have important implications in routine clinical practice for the appropriate use of health-service resources and patient burden on health services," said Lindsay Turnbull of Britain's Hull University and Hull Royal Infirmary, who led the study. "MRI is an expensive procedure."

Turnbull said that since the use of MRI scans in breast cancer patients is similar in many countries worldwide, her findings should be taken into account by all health authorities.

"We believe that our findings are generalisable to all healthcare providers, and show that MRI might not be necessary in this population of patients in terms of reduction of reoperation rates," she wrote in the Lancet medical journal. (Reuters)


Another dud data dredge? Underactive thyroid linked to pesticide exposure

NEW YORK - Exposure to certain types of pesticides could up the risk of thyroid disease in women, according to a new study of thousands of women married to licensed pesticide applicators.

Problems with the thyroid gland are more common among women than men, Dr. Whitney S. Goldner of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and colleagues note in their report. The thyroid is located at the base of the throat and plays an important role in regulating the body's energy use.

There is growing evidence for a link between exposure to pesticides and thyroid problems, the authors note. They studied more than 16,500 women living in Iowa and North Carolina who were married to men seeking certification to use restricted pesticides in those states during the 1990s.

Overall, 12.5 percent of the women reported having thyroid disease; 7 percent had underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism) and 2 percent had overactive thyroids (hyperthyroidism).

In the general population, Goldner and colleagues point out, the rate of diagnosed thyroid disease ranges from around 1 percent to 8 percent.

When they looked at 44 different pesticides, they found that women married to men who had ever used organochlorine insecticides -- such as aldrin, DDT, and lindane -- were 1.2 times as likely to have hypothyroidism. (Some of these pesticides are no longer used in the U.S. and elsewhere, although lindane is available in some states as a treatment for head lice.) (Reuters Health)


Perfect sunbed tan could cost you, EU warns

BRUSSELS - You may need a sunbed to get that especially fine tan over this long winter, but the EU warned on Friday that some tanning beds and operators violate safety regulations, putting users at risk of skin cancer.

The European Union's executive arm said on Friday that just over 14 percent of sunbeds violate radiation safety limits and that tanning salons often fail to warn clients of the dangers of UV radiation while using the appliances.

"I am concerned that a high percentage of sunbeds and sunbed services were found not to respect safety rules," EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner John Dalli said in a statement.

"This is an important health concern since the incidence of skin cancer is doubling every 15-20 years," he said.

Tanning beds have been ranked one of the greatest cancer threats to humans by an international research group.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the ultra-violet-emitting beds in its highest cancer risk category, labelling them "carcinogenic to humans". (Reuters Life!)


Migraine drugs don't up birth defect risk: study

NEW YORK - A study in nearly 70,000 pregnant women has found no link between migraine drugs called triptans and the risk of birth defects.

However, the researchers did find a "slight increase" in the risk of excessive bleeding during labor, and the failure of the uterus to contract normally after delivery, for women who used the drugs while pregnant.

Triptans are among the most powerful drugs used for migraine; others include aspirin, Excedrin, and ibuprofen.

While as many as three in 10 women may develop migraines during their childbearing years, women often shy away from using such drugs during pregnancy because of safety concerns, according to study co-author Katerina Nezvalova-Henriksen of the University of Oslo in Norway and her colleagues.

However, the authors of the study in Headache note, untreated migraine may itself carry risks for mother and child; some studies have linked it to pre-eclampsia, a potentially deadly pregnancy complication.

"While it is important to exert caution when using any medications during pregnancy, this study indicates" that pregnant women can either start or continue taking triptans without "any major risk" of miscarriage, premature delivery, or other bad outcomes, the authors conclude. (Reuters Health)


Restrict Sodium Consumption? Not Without Evidence, Researcher Argues

Should there be restrictions on the amount of sodium in processed and restaurant foods? Many public health advocates think so. They argue that people consume excessive amounts of sodium without even knowing it and mandatory restrictions would reduce the number of heart attacks, strokes, and even deaths that result from all that salty food. 

But does the available research justify a population-wide restriction on sodium in food? Not quite, says Michael H. Alderman from the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (Scientific Blogging)


Low-carb beer slammed as an 'insidious health risk'

Low-carb beer has been branded an "insidious health risk" by a doctor who says it could encourage more drinking and, take note girls, it does little to prevent a beer gut.

Diet conscious drinkers have flocked to beers like Foster's Pure Blonde and Bluetongue's Bondi Blonde which make much of their low-carbohydrate credentials, says addiction expert Dr Peter Miller.

But such beers should not be seen as a "healthy alternative" to full strength beer, he said, and if your waistline was the concern then a switch to light beer would be better.

"The recent rapid increase in popularity of low-carbohydrate beers in Australia ... may represent an insidious health risk," Dr Miller said.

"The message should be made explicit - low-carb beers are not a healthy choice."

The problem, Dr Miller said, was that while the beers had lower carbohydrate levels they delivered almost the same energy load to the body as full strength beer.

Low-carb beers contain around 1.5 grams of carbohydrate per 100ml - about half that found in full strength beer.

But when it comes to overall kilojoules of energy delivered to the body, low-carb is not far short of full strength beer.

Low-carb beers pack about 130 kilojoules of energy per 100ml while full strength beer can range from 150 - 170 kilojoules.

"There is little, if any, difference in either the amount of alcohol or the total energy content of traditional and low-carb beers," Dr Miller said.

Beers with a lower alcohol content, mid- or low-strength beers, deliver about 100 to 120 kilojoules in energy to the body - below the level of a low-carb beer.

Dr Miller said European authorities had recently moved to stop health-related claims from being used in the marketing of alcoholic drinks, and the Australian government should do the same. (AAP)


Unfortunately not a joke, these bloody idiots are serious: The Robin Hood Tax

A tiny tax on bankers that would give billions to tackle poverty and climate change, here and abroad.

This tax on banks – not you or I - has the power to raise hundreds of billions every year. It could give a vital boost to the NHS, our schools, and the fight against child poverty in the UK – as well as tackling poverty and climate change around the world.

Financial institutions pay taxes but don't pass on their costs? Who the heck do they think ends up paying the taxes? Just one more consumer tax for the benefit of those poor starving carbon traders who aren't making enough taxing your every energy use but should get to tax your payments for it too...


Despite Rain, California Still Fighting Over Water

LOS ANGELES - California has been deluged with rain and snow this winter, but its epic tug-of-war over water rages on, this time in the form of a plan by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein to divert more water to the state's farmers.

Feinstein has infuriated environmental activists, fishing groups and even fellow California Democrats by drafting federal legislation that would ease Endangered Species Act restrictions to allow more water to be pumped out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta for growers in the state's Central Valley.

Drastic cutbacks in irrigation supplies this year alone from both state and federal water projects have idled about 23,000 farm workers and 300,000 acres of cropland, according to University of California at Davis researchers.

"The unemployment rate is 40 percent in some valley towns and people are standing in bread lines," Feinstein said in a statement released through her office.

"I believe we need a fair compromise that will respect the Endangered Species Act while recognizing the fact that people in California's breadbasket face complete economic ruin without help," she added. (Reuters)


“Fuelling Future Famines.”

This generation of pampered westerners is the first tribe in the history of the world that seems determined to destroy its ability to produce food.

The history of the human race has always been a battle for protein in the face of the continual challenge of natural climate change. Nothing has changed for this generation, except the wildfire spread of a destructive new religion that requires the sacrifice of food producers on a global warming altar.

Food creation needs solar energy, land, carbon dioxide and water. All four food resources are under threat.

Eons ago, long before ancient humans discovered the magic warmth locked in coal, millions of woolly mammoths were snap frozen in the icy wastes of Siberia. They are still being dug out of the ice today.

In the last few weeks, in a mild repeat of this past climate disaster, massive snowstorms have killed millions of domestic animals in Mongolia and China. The capacity to produce and distribute food has been decimated across the top of the world from Northern Europe and Russia to North America. When orange groves in Florida are damaged and Texas gets six snowstorms in a few weeks it is obvious that nature is damaging the world food supply.

Solar energy produces all of our food. Those who follow the sun are already recording a dramatic change in sunspots, which tend to reflect solar energy. This seems to indicate that the current frigid conditions affecting the Northern Hemisphere may not be an isolated weather event but may be a harbinger of natural climate change.

Global warming has never been a problem for mankind. But global cooling is a killer.

Australia can feed itself and is a major food supplier to the world – beef, mutton, cereals, sugar, dairy products, pork, chicken, eggs, seafood, nuts, legumes, fruit, vegetables, beer and wine.

However green extremists, supported by foolish politicians, are gnawing at the foundations of Australia’s food chain. And the biggest threat today is Climate Change Policies.

Land is an essential ingredient to most food production. All over Australia, uncontrolled regrowth of eucalypt scrub is silently reclaiming our vast grazing lands, the source of the lowest cost beef and mutton in the world. Generations of graziers have created and maintain these grasslands against the ever present threat of capture by woody weeds. Now their hands are tied and their land is being stolen by global warming politics. The suffocating scrub will soon pass the tipping point, beyond which grasslands are destroyed and the land is no longer capable of food production.

Land sterilisation is also occurring via the stealth of Wild Rivers, World Heritage and other lock-away land policies.

Even more food producing land is lost by policies that subsidise people to grow carbon forests in the stupid belief that this will somehow improve the climate by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Trees, grasses, sub-soil critters, grazing animals and carnivores are all part of the same carbon cycle. If one life form gets to monopolise land and carbon resources, it is detrimental to other life.

Still more stupid are market destroying policies that use government mandates and subsidies to convert food producing land to growing ethanol for cars. This has already caused massive dislocations to markets for corn, sugar, soybeans and palm oils. Forcing people to convert food into motor fuel is not a sensible policy and always adds to food shortages.

Carbon dioxide is the breath of life for all food production. Imagine the stupidity of trying to capture this harmless will-o-the-wisp in order to bury it in carbon cemeteries. Luckily for our food capacity, this suicidal policy of carbon capture and burial is unlikely to succeed.

Finally, let’s look at water, the life blood of all food production.

Australia probably has access to more water per head of population than most countries in the world, but decades of government mis-management have made us more vulnerable to every drought. Many government policies have encouraged the waste of water resources.

There are huge unused water resources across the north from the Fitzroy River in the West to the Flinders River in Cape York. Most of this water is untapped and unused because of government anti-development and land sterilisation policies.

In the south, other silly government policies have supplied water for “free” to the cities. Anything free is wasted. Because of urban demand, food producers are now being denied water at any price, but there is no real price rationing in the cities. Government drought relief for farmers also rewards those who overstock.

When natural climate change in the Northern Hemisphere is combined with political climate change in our southern food baskets, the real crisis creeping up on the world is not global warming caused by industry, but global famine caused by politicians. 

As Genghis Khan said wisely “Only a foolish horse fights with his feed bag”.

Viv Forbes, 
Carbon Sense Coalition



Climategate: Obama’s National Climate Disservice

There’s good news for those who like to watch paint dry and grass grow. Now you can log on to and watch the climate change.

Under the pretext that “Americans are witnessing the impacts of climate change in their own backyards,” and that they “increasingly are asking the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for information about climate change in order to make the best choices for their families, communities and businesses,” this week the Obama administration unveiled its National Climate Service (NCS).

Though we can’t rely on a weather forecast that extend more than a few days, the National Climate Service is going to help us plan for micro-changes in climate decades and more into the future. features a “climate dashboard” with constantly updated graphs showing changes in global temperature, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), incoming sunlight, sea level, and Arctic ice. How any of this information will help anyone make any choice for any family, community, or business is not even suggested on the website. But rest assured, says NOAA:

People are searching for relevant and timely information about these changes to inform decisionmaking about virtually all aspects of their lives. is more self-lampooning than informative. (Steve Milloy, PJM)


Why the EPA is Wrong about Recent Warming

by Chip Knappenberger
February 11, 2010

Back in December, the EPA announced that it had determined that greenhouse gases released by human activities “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” This “Endangerment Finding” is the first step toward EPA’s issuing regulations aimed at restricting GHG emissions in the U.S.

Unfortunately for the EPA, a major pillar of support of the Endangerment Finding—that “most” of the “observed warming” since the mid-20th century is from greenhouse gas emissions from human activities—has been shown by recent scientific research in major peer-reviewed scientific journals to be largely in doubt.

Add this result to the list of problems that seems to grow longer with each passing day as more IPCC gaffes are uncovered and Climategate emails are parsed. One has to wonder just how long it will be until the EPA is challenged to reconsider its Endangerment Finding.

The basis for the Endangerment Finding is contained in the EPA’s Technical Support Document for Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (TSD). The TSD does not describe any new, independent research carried out by the EPA (because they did not undertake any), but instead largely summarizes the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

One of the key statements (from page 2 of the Executive Summary of the EPA’s TSD) is this—a simple mimic the IPCC AR4 finding:

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations.

As I shall show, this statement is no longer tenable.


First off, here is my take on what the EPA/IPCC is claiming.

For “most” I’ll assume “more than half.” For “observed increase in global temperature” I’ll assume the linear least-squares regression trend through the most recent version of the global temperature dataset compiled jointly by the U.K.’s Hadley Center and Climate Research Unit (dataset HadCRUT3). [Read more →] (MasterResource)


Charge of the Rent-Seekers: Lobbyists For Cap And Trade Face Daunting Task

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate's stalled climate bill is getting a last big push from an unlikely ally -- a group of energy companies who say a carbon market will help them get financing for the next generation of energy production.

But intensive lobbying by these climate bill proponents -- including heavyweights like Duke Energy, Shell Oil Co and General Electric Co -- may not be enough to counter powerful opposition and get a bill passed before the U.S. mid-term elections in November. (Reuters)


Climate and Rent-Seeking

United Nations Climate Change Conference

Data show 2009 was a record year for lobbying on energy issues.  1747 clients (firms and groups) hired lobbyists to work in the area of energy and nuclear power. This is a stunning 93 percent increase from 2006.

This increase may be stunning, but it isn’t surprising.  With literally trillions of dollars put into play by various cap-and-trade bills over the last three years, it would have been surprising if lobbying hadn’t grown by leaps and bounds.

Though initially offered as legislation to fight global-warming, the justifications for cap and trade followed the polls (from global warming to climate change to energy security to economic stimulus to green jobs to who knows what’s next) and the bills’ provisions followed the money.  Effectively a huge energy tax, early proposals kept the trillions in new taxes for federal spending.  In the end, the only bill to pass either house of Congress, the Waxman-Markey bill, gave virtually all of the revenue away to a grab bag of special interests. Continue reading... (The Foundry)


Following Obama Comments, Corporate and Environmental Special Interests Scramble to Lobby Administration Officials on Global Warming Legislation

Climategate and United Nations' Controversies Eroding Political Support for Obama's Policy, says National Center for Public Policy Research

Washington, DC - Desperation and panic over the imminent failure of cap-and-trade legislation is driving a new White House lobbying push by special interest groups, according to policy experts at the National Center for Public Research.

Corporate and environmental special interest groups are meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Climate Change Czar Carol Browner this week, spurred by comments by President Obama that the politically-unpopular cap-and-trade requirements might be split from the “green jobs” section of the cap-and-trade bill. Such a change would likely doom the chances of a national law mandating reductions in carbon emissions.

President Obama made the remarks at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire last week. (National Center)


Climate Deranged – and How to Cope

I’m writing this from Washington, D.C., looking out at cars buried in snowdrifts and hemmed in by snowbanks, along a snow-covered street — where the occasional pedestrian toils past, like those lone stragglers in an apocalypse movie. I’ve lost track of whether Washington has already beat the record snowfall of 1898, or is just edging up on it. But if carbon emissions will warm this scene, we’re ready to exhale and switch on all the lights.

In Washington, where local authorities can’t even keep the streets open, this is of course the week the White House picked to announce plans to set up a new “Climate Service.”  This will presumably be enlisted along with the United Nations, the Environmental Protection Agency and Ted Turner’s UN Foundation to tell us all how to amend our lives to control the climate of the planet.

On the basis of what? Climate “science”? Thirty years ago, the budding climate-ocracy was sounding the klaxons over “global cooling.” Then it was “global warming.” Now it’s “extreme weather.” Hmmm. Would that be “extreme” as in the record Washington snowfall of 1898? That was back in the low carbon-emissions era when people were engaged in such useful projects as inventing better, cheaper incandescent lightbulbs, so everyone could enjoy well lit rooms – instead of regulating these lightbulbs away because Al Gore and the United Nations said the earth had a fever. (Claudia Rosett, PJM)


China's fears of rich nation 'climate conspiracy' at Copenhagen revealed - 'Conspiracy to divide developing world' will make future talks harder, says leaked government report

Rich nations furthered their "conspiracy to divide the developing world" at December's UN climate summit in Copenhagen, while Canada "connived" and the EU acted "to please the United States", according to an internal document from a Chinese government thinktank obtained by the Guardian.

The document, which was written in the immediate aftermath of Copenhagen but has only now come to light, provides the most candid insight yet into Chinese thinking on the fraught summit.

"It was unprecedented for a conference negotiating process to be so complicated, for the arguments to be so intense, for the disputes to be so wide and for progress to be so slow," notes the special report. "There was criticism and praise from all sides, but future negotiations will be more difficult." (The Guardian)

With any luck people will come to their senses and there will never be another "climate conference".


The times they are a changing

The resignation of Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature, from the Muir Russell/CRU inquiry – after he had been outed for offering favourable comments about the researchers' actions – has elicited interesting comments from Channel 4 News:

The revelation, it says, is evidence of the well-organised and highly-motivated campaign by climate change sceptics that has already used the emails leaked from University of East Anglia to make allegations about the validity of climate change science.
The report continues: "They have also been swift to attack errors in the influential United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) report on the science of climate change, published in 2007."

Now let's see. The IPCC report was published in 2007 ... and it is now 2010. That's "swift"? Actually, it is a measure of the remarkable hype that attended the launch of AR4 and all the hullabaloo of the Nobel peace prize, that it took so long.

History will record, I suspect, that "Climategate" was the turning point, opening the flood gates and changing media sentiment to the extent that journalists were prepared to listen to the "sceptic" arguments.

As a sign of the times, we see this from Denise Robertson, columnist at the Western Mail, a provincial Welsh newspaper.

Under the heading "Climate shift on climate shift itself", she tells us that "for years we’ve been hectored by the climate-change 'experts'. I had an open mind on the subject but now I feel myself moving into the sceptic camp."

My conversion, she says, "is a result of all the mistakes, untruths, exaggerations and suppression of data on the part of the warming lobby. If they’re so sure of their case, I reason, why do they need to fiddle?"

Meanwhile, she adds, the government is pouring millions into mysterious "studies" like "Climate change impacts on Chinese agriculture" or how to help the Indian insurance industry profit from carbon credits. That's your money and mine. (Shades of Booker there?)

"We need an honest debate about this issue," Robertson concludes. And when you get that from a provincial paper, things are changing. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


New voices

... urge IPCC chief to step down. To Hartmut Grassl, any conflicts of interest, real or perceived, could still undermine the credibility of the panel. The former director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg told Deutsche Welle that this "mixing of duties makes [Pachauri] vulnerable."

The Discover magazine writer Chris Mooney sees it as a guerrilla war.

... what I and many others failed to anticipate was that a kind of guerilla war on science–and especially climate science–would take its place, driven by blogs like Climate Depot and Watts Up With That. This war springs from the same politics, but it is coming from those who are out in the wilderness, rather than running the government.

As a result, this war hits harder, and is much more personal—aimed at discrediting individual researchers, by sifting through their emails and accusing them of scandalous wrongdoing. And it is draws its momentum from the vast numbers of online commenters who closely follow the climate "scandal" stories and then show up at this blog, and other ones, to leave comments attacking scientists like Mann, and institutions like the IPCC.
After trying to ignore the issue, even Richard Black of the BBC is wobbling. On the back of "Climategate", it's nearly two months since this started and it's showing no signs of abating. I think it's got to the stage where only a blood sacrifice is going to resolve it. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


But: Bill Nye 'The Science Guy': Denying Climate Change 'Unpatriotic,' 'Inappropriate'

Educator-turned global warming alarmist claims older people struggle with manmade warming theory and cites IPCC Nobel Prize as proof of phenomenon. (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)


A Psychological Profiling of Global Warming

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Caroline Lucas MEP, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales since 2008 [Photo by Kaihsu Tai, reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License]

Laying aside for a moment the current discussions over the science of climate change, I have long been interested in what we may term the psychological profiling of ‘global warming’*, that is the differences in...

Read more... (The Clamour of the Times)


An independent inquiry?

Why has this review been announced? Well, the website says: "The University of East Anglia announced the independent Review on 11 February to investigate key allegations arising from the series of hacked emails from the Climatic Research Unit in December 2009."

"The incident," it continues, "saw an anonymous hacker steal 160MB of data from the UEA server (including more than 1,000 emails and 3,000 other documents) and leak it online."

So, even while a police inquiry continues, with every possibility that this was an inside job, we have a supposedly independent inquiry which makes assumptions which prejudice the outcome of another inquiry – and shows its own bias into the bargain.

And we are supposed to believe this is going to come up with anything useful? It is tainted before it has even started. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


Nigel Lawson's Statement On The CRU Inquiry

As the first person to call for an independent inquiry into 'climategate', I regret that what has been announced today is defective in a number of ways. The inquiry will wholly lack transparency, with the hearings held in private, and no transcripts to be published.

The terms of reference, while better than nothing, are inadequate in a number of ways, not least the failure to include the question of the efforts made by CRU scientists to prevent the publication of papers by dissenting scientists and others, contrary to the canons of scientific integrity. And the objectivity and independence of the inquiry is seriously called into question by the composition of Sir Muir Russell's team, in particular the Editor in Chief of Nature, who has already published an editorial on the matter strongly supportive of the CRU scientists and accusing their critics of being 'paranoid'.

We will, of course, suspend final judgment until see the report of the inquiry.

Nigel Lawson, Chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation


Even refeaturing the hokey hockey stick: Hacked climate emails inquiry will not 'audit scientific conclusions'

Panel will examine behaviour over preparation of 'hockey stick' graph and alleged abuse of peer review, says inquiry head (The Guardian)

Preparation of the pioneering 'hockey stick' graph will be examined by the inquiry

Apparently this mythical reconstruction is indestructible.


Editor of Nature forced to resign from climate review panel

From Channel 4 news in the UK:

‘Climate-gate’ review member resigns

By Tom Clarke

Phillip Campbell photo: Rockefeller University

Within hours of the launch of an independent panel to investigate claims that climate scientists covered up flawed data on temperature rises, one member has been forced to resign after sceptics questioned his impartiality.

// In an interview last year with Chinese State Radio, enquiry panel member Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature said: “The scientists have not hidden the data. If you look at the emails there is one or two bits of language that are jargon used between professionals that suggest something to outsiders that is wrong.”

He went on: “In fact the only problem there has been is on some official restrictions on their ability to disseminate data otherwise they have behaved as researchers should.”

Dr Campbell, was invited to sit on the enquiry panel because of his expertise in the peer review process as editor of one of the world’s leading science journals. Read the rest of this entry » (WUWT)


Pachauri's law

A fine piece of writing from Dipankar Gupta in yesterday's Indian Mail Today. It is on line here or if you click the pic above, it is readable. Says Gupta:

On the other hand, to get an admission from Pachauri is like dragging a pet to the vet. When confronted with the errors, he shifted the blame to his researchers and to the probability theory that with so many facts it's alright to go wrong on a couple.
and ...
What really matters is the emergence of Pachauri's law. It says "good science drives out bad science with the speed of melting ice cream".
Not sure about that last bit – it seems to contradict the headline, which is more to the point. But, overall, there are some delicious barbs, and some serious points, not least that the paranoia over climate change is diverting attention from real pollution. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


New voices urge IPCC chief to step down

The credibility crisis facing the UN's climate panel over errors in its 2007 report has cast a shadow on IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri. Now, top researchers in Germany are among those calling for his resignation. (Deutsche Welle)


Inside the Climate Bunker - How global-warming deniers are running circles around the U.N.'s top climate body.

Three years ago, Rajendra K. Pachauri was accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N.'s climate science panel. Now the IPCC head is under fire from critics for a catalogue of recent embarrassments: his initial kneejerk defense of the "Climategate" emails (Pachauri first questioned the motives of those who had hacked into the University of East Anglia's email system, then said there was "virtually no possibility" that IPCC findings were impacted), the fight he picked with the Indian environmental minister when the latter questioned certain data on glacier melt within India (Pachauri called the government report's "voodoo science"), and the steamy soft-core novel, Return to Almora, he released last month (somewhere between memoir and fantasy, it features the sexual exploits of a 60-something globetrotting climate expert, and has scandalized an Indian public not accustomed to its masturbating scenes and erotic explicitness).

Few stars have risen and fallen so quickly as Pachauri's, who has gone from being an international climate hero to subject of increasing ridicule at home and abroad. Pachauri, an economist and former railroad engineer from a small town in the Himalayan foothills of north India, assumed his position at the helm of the IPCC in 2002. At the time, he had the enthusiastic backing of the Bush administration, which had grown tired of fielding industry complaints about his predecessor Robert Watson and hoped (wrongly, it turned out) that Pachauri would prove less vocal in his calls for carbon-reduction efforts. (Foreign Policy)


Seth trying to make the best of a really bad situation: Scientists Seek Better Way to Do Climate Report - Scientists call for better way to do climate report; errors tarnish Nobel Prize-winning effort

The flaws — and the erosion they've caused in public confidence — have some scientists calling for drastic changes in how future United Nations climate reports are done. A push for reform being published in Thursday's issue of a prestigious scientific journal comes on top of a growing clamor for the resignation of the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The work of the climate change panel, or IPCC, is often portrayed as one massive tome. But it really is four separate reports on different aspects of global warming, written months apart by distinct groups of scientists. (Associated Press)

Poor old Boringtheme is trying to claim WG1 remains unsullied yet that is home of the patently absurd "hockey stick" graph and territory of the climategate conspirators. Nice try though...


Climate-Change Debate Is Heating Up in Deep Freeze

WASHINGTON — As millions of people along the East Coast hole up in their snowbound homes, the two sides in the climate-change debate are seizing on the mounting drifts to bolster their arguments.

Skeptics of global warming are using the record-setting snows to mock those who warn of dangerous human-driven climate change — this looks more like global cooling, they taunt.

Most climate scientists respond that the ferocious storms are consistent with forecasts that a heating planet will produce more frequent and more intense weather events.

But some independent climate experts say the blizzards in the Northeast no more prove that the planet is cooling than the lack of snow in Vancouver or the downpours in Southern California prove that it is warming. (NYT)

Well, since warmies did claim snow would be a thing of the past, suggesting modern kids would never know sledding, etc., etc., why shouldn't skeptics rub their noses in modern era record falls?


Heated Blizzard

Will global warm-mongers admit that this winter's heavy snow in the East weakens their position? Of course not. They insist the record flurries are confirmation of their bogus theory.

We've seen this before. In January 1996, when a nor'easter dumped 14 inches of snow in Hickory, N.C., and almost three feet in parts of Massachusetts, Jessica Mathews wrote in her Washington Post column that "blizzards like this one are part of what the experts tell us to expect of a warming climate."

The New York Times ("Blame Global Warming for the Blizzard") and Newsweek ("Blizzards, Floods and Hurricanes: Blame Global Warming") offered the same explanation.

The believers might be losing credibility, but they're consistent. In Thursday's New York Times, under the headline "Climate-Change Debate Is Heating Up in Deep Freeze," Joseph Romm, identified as "a climate-change expert and former Energy Department official who writes about climate issues at the liberal Center for American Progress," is allowed to resurrect the notion. (IBD)


Mostly right: Weather is not Climate

Let's see if I can make this simple.

What happens in the weather this week or next tells us absolutely nothing about the role of humans in influencing the climate system. It is unjustifiable to claim that a cold snap or heavy snow disproves or even casts doubts predictions of long-term climate change. It is equally unjustifiable to say that a cold snap or heavy snow in any way offers empirical support for predictions of long-term climate change. This goes for all weather events.

Further, it is professionally irresponsible for scientists to claim that some observed weather is "consistent with" long-term predictions of climate change. Any and all weather fits this criteria. Similarly, any and all weather is also "consistent with" failing predictions of long-term climate change. The "consistent with" canard is purposely misleading.

Knowledge of climate requires long-term records -- on the time scale of a decade and longer. Don't look to the weather to learn about climate, unless you have a long time to watch. Using the weather to score cheap political points in the climate debate appears to be a tactical area of agreement among those who otherwise disagree about climate change. (Roger Pielke Jr)

Weather is not evidence of climatic trend. Weather events tell us absolutely nothing about anthropogenic influence on the climate system but weather actually is climate since climate is merely the sum of all weather events over a given period.


Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Feb. 11th 2010

Dirt is endangered, Prius loving hippies can’t stop themselves and the IPCC needs a trainer to throw the towel in before their beating gets worse. (Daily Bayonet)


My Comment On Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth Post Titled “Does An Old Climate Critique Still Hold Up?”

Andy Revkin has a very informative post and set of comments in his post of February 9 2010 titled “Does an Old Climate Critique Still Hold up?”. My comment with respect to an input to his post by Gabriele Hegerl [one of the IPCC contributing lead authors] is reproduced below.

This came in from Roger Pielke Sr. at the University of Colorado:

Hi Andy

It is clear, from the failed seasonal forecasts of the UK Met Office and others over the past few years, that there is less understanding of the climate system, even on that time scale, than is concluded by Gabriele Hegerl and by the IPCC. If we cannot provide seasonal skillful forecasts most of the time, multi-decadal climate forecasts are even more difficult as more climate feedbacks and forcings become important.

I can provide a few examples here to document that this lack of understanding is becoming better recognized:

1. From

Lavers, D., L. Luo, and E. F. Wood (2009), A multiple model assessment of seasonal climate forecast skill for applications, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L23711, doi:10.1029/2009GL041365. [see]

“Given the actual skill demonstrated by operational seasonal climate forecasting models, it appears that only through significant model improvements can useful long-lead forecasts be provided that would be useful for decision makers – a quest that may prove to be elusive.”

2. From a presentation given by Greame Stephens at the August 2009 GEWEX meeting in Melbourne Australia titled “Earth observations and moist processes.” [see]

“Observational inferences on indirect radiative forcing do not support the large values of forcings being applied in models.”

“Models contain grave biases in low cloud radiative properties that bring into question the fidelity of feedbacks in models.”

“While I believe the changes that are likely to occur are primarily driven by changes in the large scale atmospheric flows, we have to conclude our models have little or no ability to make credible projections about the changing character of rain and cannot conclusively test this hypothesis.”

3. In

Koutsoyiannis, D., A. Efstratiadis, N. Mamassis, and A. Christofides, 2008: On the credibility of climate predictions, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 53 (4), 671-684. [see]

“At the annual and the climatic (30-year) scales, GCM interpolated series are irrelevant to reality. GCMs do not reproduce natural over-year fluctuations and, generally, underestimate the variance and the Hurst coefficient of the observed series. Even worse, when the GCM time series imply a Hurst coefficient greater than 0.5, this results from a monotonic trend, whereas in historical data the high values of the Hurst coefficient are a result of large-scale over-year fluctuations (i.e. successions of upward and downward “trends”. The huge negative values of coefficients of efficiency show that model predictions are much poorer than an elementary prediction based on the time average. This makes future climate projections at the examined locations not credible. Whether or not this conclusion extends to other locations requires expansion of the study, which we have planned. However, the poor GCM performance in all eight locations examined in this study allows little hope, if any. An argument that the poor performance applies merely to the point basis of our comparison, whereas aggregation at large spatial scales would show that GCM outputs are credible, is an unproved conjecture and, in our opinion, a false one.”

I can provide quite a few more examples as to studies which question the attribution conclusions summarized by Dr. Hegerl.

Roy [Spencer] can also provide results from his studies that illustrate a much larger natural variability in global average radiative forcing than concluded in the IPCC report.

Let me know if you need further feedback.

Best Regards

Roger Sr. (Climate Science)


Climate Change Affecting Kenya's Coffee Output

MOMBASA - Climate change has affected Kenyan coffee production through unpredictable rainfall patterns and excessive droughts, making crop management and disease control a nightmare, a researcher said on Thursday.

Intermittent rainfall in the 2007/08 crop year, for example, caused a terrible bout of the Coffee Berry Disease that cut Kenyan output 23 percent to 42,000 metric tons as farmers were caught out by rains and did not protect their crop in time.

"We have seen climate change in intermittent rainfall patterns, extended drought and very high temperatures," said Joseph Kimemia, director of research at Kenya's Coffee Research Foundation (CRF). (Reuters)

But what caused the variation in local conditions? (Good thing ambient CO2 levels are up since they are quite protective of stressed plants)


Oh no... Radical new directions needed in food production to deal with climate change

Yields from some of the most important crops begin to decline sharply when average temperatures exceed about 30 degrees Celsius, or 86 Fahrenheit. Projections are that by the end of this century much of the tropics and subtropics will regularly see growing season temperatures above that level, hotter than the hottest summers now on record.

An international panel of scientists writing in the Feb. 12 edition of the journal Science is urging world leaders to dramatically alter their notions about sustainable agriculture to prevent a major starvation catastrophe by the end of this century among the more than 3 billion people who live relatively close to the equator.

Specifically they urge world leaders to "get beyond popular biases against the use of agricultural biotechnology," particularly crops genetically modified to produce greater yields in harsher conditions, and to base the regulations of such crops on the best available science. (University of Washington)

We're all for ag biotech but gorebull warbling is not a valid reason to do anything.


Interesting despite the obligatory gorebull warbling insertion: Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapse Possibly Triggered by Ocean Waves, Scripps-led Study Finds - Extremely long waves could have initiated 2008 collapse events

Depicting a cause-and-effect scenario that spans thousands of miles, a scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and his collaborators discovered that ocean waves originating along the Pacific coasts of North and South America impact Antarctic ice shelves and could play a role in their catastrophic collapse.

Peter Bromirski of Scripps Oceanography is the lead scientist in a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that describes how storms over the North Pacific Ocean may be transferring enough wave energy to destabilize Antarctic ice shelves. The California Department of Boating and Waterways and the National Science Foundation supported the study.

According to Bromirski, storm-driven ocean swells travel across the Pacific Ocean and break along the coastlines of North and South America, where they are transformed into very long-period ocean waves called "infragravity waves" that travel vast distances to Antarctica.

Bromirski, along with coauthors Olga Sergienko of Princeton University and Douglas MacAyeal of the University of Chicago, propose that the southbound travelling infragravity waves "may be a key mechanical agent that contributes to the production and/or expansion of the pre-existing crevasse fields on ice shelves," and that the infragravity waves also may provide the trigger necessary to initiate the collapse process. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San Diego)


Arrgh! UCLA chemists create synthetic 'gene-like' crystals for carbon dioxide capture

UCLA chemists report creating a synthetic "gene" that could capture heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming, rising sea levels and the increased acidity of oceans.

The research appears in the Feb. 12 issue of the journal Science.

"We created three-dimensional, synthetic DNA-like crystals," said UCLA chemistry and biochemistry professor Omar M. Yaghi, who is a member of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA and the UCLA–Department of Energy Institute of Genomics and Proteomics. "We have taken organic and inorganic units and combined them into a synthetic crystal which codes information in a DNA-like manner. It is by no means as sophisticated as DNA, but it is certainly new in chemistry and materials science."

The discovery could lead to cleaner energy, including technology that factories and cars can use to capture carbon dioxide before it reaches the atmosphere. (University of California - Los Angeles)

Carbon dioxide is not an atmospheric pollutant, it is an essential trace gas, an environmental resource and an asset. Leave it alone!


Industrial Emissions Cool Climate!

A surprising revelation from a new paper: industrial emission actually have a net cooling effect on Earth's climate. The paper that appears in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences early edition attempts to apportion blame for global warming among various economic sectors. Climate impacts of CO2, tropospheric ozone, fine aerosols, aerosol-cloud interactions, methane, and long-lived greenhouse gases were all analyzed and the appropriate human activities cited. When the dust settled, two sectors turned in large net negative (i.e. cooling) forcing values: biomass burning and industry. (Doug L. Hoffman, The Resilient Earth)


Comments On News Article Titled “Word From the Caves” By John Fleck Of The Albuquerque Journal

There is an excellent news article titled Word From the Caves  by John Fleck of the Albuquerque Journal with respect to two new research papers:

Yemane Asmerom , Victor J. Polyak & Stephen J. Burns, 2010: Variable winter moisture in the southwestern United States linked to rapid glacial climate shifts, Nature Geoscience 3, 114–117 (1 February 2010) | doi:10.1038/ngeo754

with the abstract

“During the last glacial period, the climate of the Northern Hemisphere was characterized by rapid, large-amplitude temperature fluctuations through cycles lasting a few thousand years. These fluctuations are apparent in Greenland temperature reconstructions, and corresponding temperature and hydrological variations have been documented throughout the Northern Hemisphere.”


J. D. M. Wagner , J. E. Cole , J. W. Beck , P. J. Patchett , G. M. Henderson & H. R. Barnett, 2010: Moisture variability in the southwestern United States linked to abrupt glacial climate change. Nature Geoscience 3, 110–113 (1 February 2010) | doi:10.1038/ngeo707

with the abstract

“Many regions of the world experienced abrupt climate variability during the last glacial period (75–15 thousand years ago). These changes probably arose from interactions between Northern Hemisphere ice sheets and circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean, but the rapid and widespread propagation of these changes requires a large-scale atmospheric response whose details remain unclear.”

John Fleck’s very informative  news article reads

Thousands of years of drip, drip, drip from the ceiling of a southern New Mexico cave tells a story of a dry Southwest in the past when the world was warm, University of New Mexico researchers have found. And that has implications for what might happen here the future, according to the scientist who did the work.

For 45,000 years, the drips built stalactites and stalagmites in Fort Stanton Cave. The minerals in the rocky deposits recorded traces of dry and wet spells above, according to Yemane Asmerom, a professor in UNM’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

The scientists wrote last week in the journal Nature Geoscience that their finds suggest that a warming planet “could lead to increasingly arid conditions in southwestern North America in the future.”

The new research takes advantage of the scientists’ ability to precisely date the layers in stalactites and stalagmites, the delicate formations that build up slowly in caves, using equipment at UNM’s Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory.

With 15 miles of surveyed passages, Fort Stanton in southeast New Mexico is the third longest known cave in New Mexico, according to Victor Polyak, a UNM cave researcher and collaborator on the climate study.

The work is the latest use of cave formations, a technique Asmerom and others have been developing in recent years, to reveal evidence of how Earth’s climate changed in the past. The findings closely match a similar effort by a University of Arizona team that used formations in the Cave of the Bells in Arizona, said Julia Cole, one of the leaders of the U of A team.

Scientists have long used tree rings to track wet and dry periods in the Southwest. The tree rings show the “medieval warm period,” from roughly 900 to 1300 A.D., was unusually dry across much of what is now the western United States. Some scientists have argued that suggests a linkage between globally warm conditions and drier weather here. But the tree ring record is limited in how far back in time it goes.

The cave formations allowed Asmerom and his colleagues to look at what happened over much longer time periods, from 56,000 to 11,000 years ago.

Earth’s climate was very different then, but periods of known northern hemisphere cooling tended to have more winter precipitation in the Fort Stanton area, according to Asmerom and his colleagues. When it was warmer, there was less winter precipitation.

Comparing the Fort Stanton records with other sites around the world, Asmerom, Polyak and Stephen Burns of the University of Massachusetts found evidence that the jet stream — the river of high altitude air that guides the region’s winter storms — changed in response to global temperatures.

When temperatures warmed, they wrote, the jet stream shifted to the north, and the Fort Stanton area got less winter precipitation. Cole and her University of Arizona colleagues found the same pattern at their site.

The findings also closely match research using sediments from ancient Lake Estancia in central New Mexico, according to Bruce Allen of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology.

“The jet stream and the storm track moves around as the northern hemisphere warms and cools,” Cole said in a telephone interview.

“It is really neat after watching this kind of research develop over the years to see how it is all meshing together,” said Allen, who has spent two decades using the Lake Estancia sediments to track New Mexico’s prehistoric wet and dry periods.

Computer simulations of the effect of rising greenhouse gases on Earth’s climate suggest that, in a future warming world, the jet stream will shift to the north. In a study published last year, Cristina Archer of California State University at Chico found evidence that the jet stream shifted northward over the last few decades, though it is not clear whether the shift was human-caused or the result of natural variability.”

These two papers and John’s summary include these two important findings:

1. Long periods of drought can occur in the southwest United States even without the interference of humans in the climate system. This means that society should take steps to reduce the risks we face from these long dry periods, irrespective of how humans are altering the climate.  We recommend this perspective in our recent EOS paper (see).

2.  The conclusion that the jet stream moves north, in a warming world is an interesting hypothesis.  There is current evidence, however, that this is not necessarily true as we see in the current weather pattern where i) the global average lopwer tropopsheric temperature anomaly is well above average (in fact it is at a record high for January for the period 1979 to the present – see) , yet ii) the jet stream is well south of its average latitude and has been for much of the winter.  Indeed, this more southerly track explains the above average precipitation we have seen across the southern United States  [e.g.see the insightful discussions by Joe Daleo on Icecap on Feb 5 2010 on this weather pattern]. Clearly, the explanation for the dry periods presented by Bruce Allen,  Cristina Archer and the authors in the news article is incomplete, or even in error.

An example of this southerly displacement of the jet stream at the present is seen in

(Climate Science)


Area Weighted Presentation Of UAH LT MSU data By Tim Channon

Roy Spencer has posted on the January 2010 UAH LT MSU data (see), and there is also a press release (see).  In the presentation from UAH, the analyses are not area weighted. This results in a visual overstatement of the contribution to the anomalies in the higher latitudes.

Tim Channon, however, has completed area averaged maps of this analyses which is reproduced below with his permission [he also has completed such presentations for other temperature analyses which I will post on later].

I have presented both the standard UAH LT MSU presentation (non-area weighted) and Tim Channon’s area-weighted presentation below.

(c) 2010 T Channon (Climate Science)


Research challenges models of sea level change during ice-age cycles

Theories about the rates of ice accumulation and melting during the Quaternary Period -- the time interval ranging from 2.6 million years ago to the present -- may need to be revised, thanks to research findings published by a University of Iowa researcher and his colleagues in the Feb. 12 issue of the journal Science.

Jeffrey Dorale, assistant professor of geoscience in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, writes that global sea level and Earth's climate are closely linked. Data he and colleagues collected on speleothem encrustations (see photo right), a type of mineral deposit, in coastal caves on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca indicate that sea level was about one meter above present-day levels around 81,000 years ago. The finding challenges other data that indicate sea level was as low as 30 meters -- the ice equivalent of four Greenland ice sheets -- below present-day levels.

He said the sea level high stand of 81,000 years ago was preceded by rapid ice melting, on the order of 20 meters of sea level change per thousand years and the sea level drop following the high water mark, accompanied by ice formation, was equally rapid.

"Twenty meters per thousand years equates to one meter of sea level change in a 50-year period," Dorale said. "Today, over one-third of the world's population lives within 60 miles of the coastline. Many of these areas are low-lying and would be significantly altered -- devastated -- by a meter of sea level rise. Our findings demonstrate that changes of this magnitude can happen naturally on the timescale of a human lifetime. Sea level change is a very big deal." (University of Iowa)


Trying to talk down oil? An Oil-Less Recovery Dims The Future For Oil

LONDON - The world may lose its taste for oil long before oil itself runs out, if the trend in the West becomes global.

Demand for oil may well have peaked in the developed world, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday, postponing further any possible supply crunch. But emerging nations still want more, the IEA said.

More efficient cars and the increasing use of electricity and gas instead of oil in areas outside transport, such as heating, have driven the move in the West.

Recession has also played a part. (Reuters)


Peakers: Oil shortages by 2020 due to Western 'profligacy', says energy boss

Drivers need to start treating oil as a scarce commodity and switch to green transport to avoid shortages by 2020, according to the chief executive of Scottish & Southern. (TDT)

So, all the more reason to bring unconventionals to market then. How's that coal to liquid thing coming along? (Carbon is not really in short supply, which is why the misanthropy brigade run such desperate campaigns pretending its use to be hazardous rather than the benefit it truly is.)


EMISSION CRITICAL: EPA Ruling On CO2 Controls Could Boost Gas

WASHINGTON--U.S. environmental regulators must soon decide whether burning natural gas to generate power counts as a means of cutting greenhouse gases, a ruling that could reshape the country's industrial operations and edge the U.S. away from coal. 

If the EPA decides that companies must consider gas as a tool to limit emissions, power companies with coal-burning power plants in the works might have to go back to the drawing board. Gas producers would find fresh demand for the abundant fuel. Gas releases about half the greenhouse-gas emissions of coal. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is pursuing its own greenhouse-gas regulations because Congress has failed to act. The issue has been pending at the EPA since 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases are pollutants and said that the EPA must determine whether to write regulations. 

At issue is what counts as "best available control technology" to reduce emissions from power generation. Other methods under consideration are carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS, whereby carbon dioxide emissions are piped into permanent underground storage, and energy efficiency measures. The EPA is working on that guidance as it finalizes rules requiring power plants and other stationary emissions sources to hold permits to emit greenhouse gases. States would implement the rules and approve permits that have the best available technology to control greenhouse-gas emissions. (Dow Jones)


Still with the idiotic ghg obsession: Queen's researchers propose rethinking renewable energy strategy

Researchers at Queen's University suggest that policy makers examine greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions implications for energy infrastructure as fossil fuel sources must be rapidly replaced by windmills, solar panels and other sources of renewable energy. (Queen's University)


This is their idea of a "sensible rule"? Sensible Rules for Ethanol

Despite pressure from farm state politicians, the Environmental Protection Agency has taken an important step to ensure that biofuels help rather than hurt the environment. Under new guidelines, biofuels produced at new facilities — including ethanol from corn, sugar, plants and other sources — must achieve at least a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with conventional gasoline. (NYT)

GHGs are irrelevant and ethanol, while suited to sippin' liquors and beer, has no place in the fuel supply. Normally vehemently against big ag boondoggles The Crone actively promotes this one. Why? We can't tell but we have a terrible suspicion it's because this particular boondoggle helps starve lots of those little brown people, "breeding with the irresponsibility of codfish", as Vogt wrote in Road to Survival (1948). We have little doubt The Crone remains a hotbed of population panic, despising the bulk of humanity.


Known Lithium Deposits Can Cover Electric Car Boom

MEXICO CITY/LA PAZ - Hopes of an electric car boom are spurring companies to seek new lithium sources, but new finds may be lower quality and costlier to develop than established deposits able to meet demand for years to come.

Lithium is a key component in rechargeable batteries that power laptop computers, digital cameras and cell phones. Demand for the silver-white metal is expected to surge if carmakers start producing electric or hybrid vehicles on a large scale.

Excitement is brewing about new projects in Bolivia -- which could hold the world's largest lithium bounty -- and in Mexico, where a small company says it has a site with up to 800,000 tonnes of the highly reactive and versatile metal.

But all lithium deposits are not created equal and experts say the new finds may be poor quality or expensive to extract. (Reuters)


WHO to decide whether worst over in H1N1 pandemic

GENEVA - The World Health Organisation will convene its emergency committee later this month to examine whether the H1N1 flu pandemic has peaked, its top influenza expert said on Thursday.

"What we are hoping for is that the worst is behind us," Keiji Fukuda told a news conference.

Fukuda said the committee, which makes recommendations on the state of a pandemic to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, would decide whether the H1N1 pandemic declared in June had entered a post-peak or transition phase.

Designating a transition phase in this way -- indicating that the pandemic is continuing but the overall trend is back towards seasonal patterns of influenza -- would help national health authorities look to the future, he said.

Even if the WHO decided the pandemic had peaked, the virus remained active, causing disease and death, and could continue to flare up in some regions, as it had done recently in West Africa, Fukuda said. (Reuters)


Poisonings point to holes in supplement oversight

NEW YORK - A new report on people sickened by a liquid dietary supplement illustrates the real -- if rare -- risks associated with using these products.

In 2008, users of "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula" started losing their hair and began suffering from fatigue, diarrhea, nausea and other symptoms; some doubled their dose of the liquid supplement in response.

But the symptoms, first reported by patients of a Florida chiropractor who was selling the products in his office, were subsequently traced to a batch of the supplements carrying up to 200 times the amount of selenium stated on the label. Further investigation found 201 people in ten states who had been sickened by the supplement. (Reuters Health)


Extremely premature babies show higher autism risk

NEW YORK - Children born extremely preterm may face a much higher-than-average risk of developing autism later in childhood, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that of 219 children born before the 26th week of pregnancy, 8 percent met the criteria for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at age 11. That compared with none of 153 classmates who were born full-term and included in a comparison group.

The ASD rate was far higher than that in the general population, which experts estimate to be somewhere between one and nine cases per 1,000 children, depending on how strictly the disorders are defined.

ASD refers to a group of developmental disorders that hinder people's ability to communicate and build relationships. The conditions range from severe cases of "classic" autism to Asperger's syndrome -- a disorder in which a person has normal intelligence and verbal skills, but difficulty socializing and understanding subtler forms of communication, like body language and vocal tone.

Some past research has indicated that children born prematurely have a higher prevalence of ASDs, but the extent of the risk linked to extreme prematurity has not been clear. (Reuters Health)


Bad taste: Food, Inc. exposes the secrets of the modern food industry

Artificially-enhanced chicken breasts, patented soya beans – a new film exposes the secrets of the modern food industry. Viewers will need a strong stomach, says Tim Walker  (The Independent)

Wonder why they don't do a compare and contrast with the food industry pre-refrigeration, modern cleaners and pesticides and all the sanitation and inspections of the modern era? Do people really believe they were better off when the local butcher had neither refrigeration nor indoor plumbing and knew knowing of bacteria or hygiene? Oh yeah, I'm sure our food industry has gone downhill over the last few hundred years...


Oops! Tofu can harm environment more than meat, finds WWF study

Becoming a vegetarian can do more harm to the environment than continuing to eat red meat, according to a study of the impacts of meat substitutes such as tofu.

The findings undermine claims by vegetarians that giving up meat automatically results in lower emissions and that less land is needed to produce food.

The study by Cranfield University, commissioned by the environmental group WWF, found that many meat substitutes were produced from soy, chickpeas and lentils that were grown overseas and imported into Britain.

It found that switching from beef and lamb reared in Britain to meat substitutes would result in more foreign land being cultivated and raise the risk of forests being destroyed to create farmland. Meat substitutes also tended to be highly processed and involved energy-intensive production methods. (The Times)

Probably not the answer watermelons were looking for.


Yet another front in the watermelon war on capitalism: Water-Gulping Companies' Risk Disclosures Run Dry: Report

WASHINGTON - Most publicly traded companies that depend on water do not adequately disclose their financial risks to droughts and future regulations, even as water scarcity problems mount, according to a report released on Thursday.

The report produced by Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmentalists and Swiss Bank UBS, ranked 100 of the biggest publicly traded companies on the quality, depth and clarity of their water disclosure risks and opportunities.

"This report makes clear that companies are not providing investors with the kind of information they need to understand the risks and opportunities posed by water scarcity," said Jack Ehnes, chief executive officer of the California State Teachers' Retirement System.

The group, known as CalSTRS, is a member of Ceres. (Reuters)


WWF concocts its own beautiful set of numbers

The conservation group has for years been playing fast and loose with the facts

THE revelation that a World Wildlife Fund report was the source of an insupportable claim that glaciers in the Himalayas were melting rapidly is embarrassing for the body.

The organisation has been silent about this. Little wonder.

Its integrity is important. It is the largest environmental body in the world and has royalty and the cream of society and business on its boards. Its worldwide arms are estimated to turn over about $US400 million ($458m) annually, most from donations, but about 10 per cent is taxpayers' money.

WWF delivers some reputable and important conservation programs. It also an environmental activist. And in that capacity, it evidently has some problems with numbers. Let's deal with that first.

Bjorn Lomborg, global environmental expert and statistician, reported this problem in his book The Skeptical Environmentalist more than a decade ago. He queried a media release in 1997 by WWF UK that new research showed two thirds of the world's forests had been lost. The conventional number was 20 to 25 per cent. When Lomborg asked to see the research report, he was told there was none.

That was not the only questionable number. This was the year environmental groups sensationalised Indonesian forest fires as part of a global campaign to pressure poor countries to halt forestry. WWF president Claude Martin declared 1997 "the year the Earth burnt". He declared more forest was burnt in Indonesia that year than in history. (Alan Oxley, The Australian)


Okay... French feminist warns green movement forcing women to stay at home

Elisabeth Badinter, a leading French feminist, has warned the green movement is threatening decades of improvements in gender equality by forcing women to give up their jobs and become earth mothers. (TDT)


Venezuela Tries To Make It Rain

Flying high over Venezuela's southeastern territories, a plane banks and fires into a mass of clouds.

Venezuela is not at war with the skies but with a severe drought that has caused an electricity crisis and forced the government to resort to unconventional methods to make it rain.

The government began "bombing clouds," or cloud seeding, late last year after it emerged that the country was facing a dire water shortage.

Using technology borrowed from Cuba and Chile, the idea is to fire a mixture of silver iodide, dry ice and salt into vertically growing cumulonimbus clouds to encourage raindrops to join together.

"Where we have sewn it has rained," said Jose Gregorio Sottolano, president of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology. "What I can't tell you, and it would be a lie, is how much water has fallen and if it has increased." (Reuters)


Fertilizer Is Acidifying Chinese Land

China has long struggled to feed one-fifth of the world's population on 7% of the world's arable land. Adding to the challenge are the side effects of rapid economic development: air pollution, contaminated water, and encroaching urbanization, all of which threaten Chinese farmland. Now, a new study has tacked unnaturally acidic soil onto the list, caused by excessive fertilizer use over the past 30 years.

Soil pH is critical to plant growth. Most crops thrive in soils that are neutral, with a pH value of 7, or slightly acidic. When soil's pH value creeps downward, it becomes prone to diseases and pests that stunt plant growth. Heavily acidic conditions also prompt the leaching of toxic metals into nearby bodies of water. So when pH values plunge, as they have in China, scientists start to worry. (ScienceNOW Daily News)


Assuming people find a wild world desirable: ‘Rewilding’ the World: A Bright Spot for Biodiversity

As burgeoning human populations place greater pressure on wild areas, a strategy is emerging for preserving threatened lands and wildlife. Known as ‘rewilding,’ it involves expanding core wilderness areas, connecting them via corridors that allow humans and animals to co-exist, and protecting and reintroducing top predators. (Caroline Fraser, e360)


Regional leaders working on "miracle" for ailing Baltic Sea

Leaders from Baltic region countries pledged urgent action to generate the "miracle" needed to save one of the world's most polluted seas at a summit in Helsinki Wednesday.

Over-fished, polluted by agricultural nutrient discharge and uncared for, the Baltic is so toxic Greenpeace says pregnant women should not eat its fish.

"We don't expect any miracles, but serious work by all of us which may make a miracle," said Finland's President Tarja Halonen, who co-hosted the summit with Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) foundation.

The summit brought together national leadership from 11 countries with a Baltic Sea coast or located in its vicinity - Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Norway.

Increasing maritime traffic, over-fishing and eutrophication - the overconcentration of nutrients caused by sewage and agricultural run-off carrying fertilizers into the sea - are key threats to be tackled. (The Independent)


Another of the mass releases on this: Dramatic changes in agriculture needed as world warms and grows, researchers say

The looming threats of global climate change and population growth call for sweeping changes in how the world produces its food and fiber, warns a group of prestigious scientists, including an expert in plant genetics at the University of California, Davis.

The research team, led by Nina Federoff, science and technology adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suggests that there is a "critical need to get beyond popular biases against the use of agricultural biotechnology," as well as explore the potential of aquaculture and maximize agricultural production in dry and saline areas. Their recommendations will appear as a perspective piece titled "Radically Rethinking Agriculture for the 21st Century" in the Feb. 12 issue of the journal Science. (University of California - Davis)

And our answer remains the same: we are all for ag biotech but hitching your wagon to a failing fraud like gorebull warbling is a really bad idea!



Climate-change legislation buried under record snowfall in capital

Record snowfall has buried Washington — and along with it, buried the chances of passing global warming legislation this year.

Cars are stranded in banks of snow along the streets of the federal capital, and in the corridors of Congress, climate legislation also has been put on ice.

Democratic senators say a bill that was once a top priority for the party and for President Barack Obama cannot be dug up again during 2010.

Voters are mostly concerned with jobs and the economy. Global warming is at the bottom of their list. And now, on top of that, the paralyzing snowfalls have made the prospect of winning support for a climate bill this year even less likely. (The Hill)

The big danger, however, is EPA zealotry. Of course, there are moves to prevent this happening, which both need and deserve support:

Senators Offer Disapproval Resolution to Block EPA Endangerment Actions

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Jan. 21 introduced a bipartisan disapproval resolution to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Murkowski's resolution ─ co-sponsored by 35 Republicans and three Democrats ─ comes in the wake of the EPA's recent endangerment finding, which will result in regulations that Murkowski says will endanger America's economy.

"As the EPA moves closer and closer to issuing these regulations, I continue to believe that this command-and-control approach is our worst option for reducing the emissions blamed for climate change," Murkowski said.

Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a strong proponent of moving the nation toward a cleaner energy future, said the disapproval resolution is necessary to avoid the "economic train wreck" that would result from the EPA regulating GHGs under the Clean Air Act. (EP)

House bill would prevent EPA regulating carbon

WASHINGTON - With congressional action on climate legislation in doubt, two House committee chairmen have filed a bill to block the government from regulating greenhouse gases under its own power. (Reuters)

You need to help make this happen -- contact your Senators and Representatives. Rest assured the enviros are responding to this challenge and remember that politicians respond to voter activity. Be polite, be brief and direct but above all, be active. Politicians don't mind being reminded that voters don't vote for the loss of their jobs, their lifestyles or their hopes and aspirations for their children, it actually gives them a defense against the looney campaigns run by misanthropists and Gaia cranks. And it does work! Here in Australia we dodged a bullet (just) because voters motivated politicians to stand against energy rationing gorebull warming legislation. You can do this but you must make the effort and make contact rather than leaving it thinking someone else will. Numbers count! (And so do politicians)


Climategate: MoveOn’s Triple Whopper

Air quality in the United States has improved dramatically over the past 40 years, yet MoveOn.Org wants you to believe that breathing the air is like being a pack-a-day smoker.

MoveOn broadcasts this disinformation in TV ads bashing Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Ben Nelson (D-NB), and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). The ads show little leaguers, a mother and her bottle-feeding infant, track athletes, and even a mother giving birth all smoking cigarettes. As these images flash by, the text of the ads says:

While Senator Landrieu [or Lincoln, or Nelson] works to roll back the Clean Air Act

Many Americans are already smoking the equivalent of a pack a day.

Just from breathing the air.

Senator Landrieu [or Lincoln, or Nelson], Americans need the Clean Air Act.

Leave it alone.

The MoveOn ad is a triple whopper, piling falsehood upon falsehood upon falsehood. No American smokes the equivalent of a pack a day just by breathing. The senators are not working to “roll back” the Clean Air Act. The policy they support — one that MoveOn opposes — would not slow any federal or state efforts to clean the air. Let’s examine each falsehood in turn. ( Marlo Lewis, PJM)


“Cap-and-Divide”: More Civil War on the Left Over Capping Carbon

by Robert Murphy
February 10, 2010

George Carlin once asked, “Is it really possible to have a civil war?” Readers of Joe Romm’s pronouncements on greenhouse gas legislation would answer in the negative. Romm has always been a caustic critic of the “anti-science disinformers” who do not toe the line on the alleged scientific consensus, but lately he has turned his fire on former allies who dare to question the legislative developments in Washington.

An illustration of this internal squabbling is Romm’s recent post on the “cap and dividend” proposal put forth by Senators Cantwell and Collins. Here’s Romm’s take (emphasis added):

Climate politics can be very strange indeed.  Because cap-and-trade bills like Waxman-Markey are seen as having no chance of passing the Senate, some enviros appear to be shifting their support to bills that are politically even less attractive and environmentally even less adequate.

The latest misguided missile is the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act put forward by Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) — full text and info hereSupporters call it “Cap-and-Dividend,” but right now I think the best term for it is, “Cap-and-Divide,” since it has no chance whatsoever of becoming law but is serving to undercut the tripartisan effort by Graham, Kerry, and Lieberman to develop a bill that might get 60 votes….

Cap-and-Divide…doesn’t even pass the environmental viability test, as the first-rate researchers at World Resources Institute have shown…. And while W-M is far from perfect environmentally, as I’ve said many times,  it would enable a global deal.  W-M’s biggest problem is that it can’t get 60 votes in the Senate or even close.   But “cap-and-divide” is certainly less politically viable than Waxman-Markey or Kerry-Boxer.

[Read more →] (MasterResource)


Utah Legislature: House formally questions global warming

SALT LAKE CITY — With most Democrats voting no, the Utah House approved a resolution Tuesday that questions global warming while asking the federal government not to proceed with "cap-and-trade" legislation or CO2 regulation.

Sponsor Rep. Kerry Gibson, R-Ogden, a dairy farmer, agreed to have his HJR12 amended to take out some inflammatory wording, like calling global warming and those who advocate it guilty of "tricks," and a "conspiracy" and "flawed" research. (Deseret News)


A wry observation

... on the state of the media. We started pumping stuff into the system in mid -December yet, even though our stories have been replicated in whole or part, thousands of times, it really is quite remarkable how few journalists bring anything new to the table.

Most of the stuff seems to be recycled, very often poorly understood and most often incomplete and behind the curve – and very rarely acknowledging the source. And it came full circle yesterday, with the New York Times finally broaching a story about Pachauri and the IPCC, two months are we started the hare running.

To think that an NYT journalist once called blogs "derivative", claiming that: "Without the New York Times (insert name of preferred British newspaper here), there is no blog community. They'd have nothing to blog about."

How the worm as turned. While the media is cutting and pasting press releases and agency copy, increasingly blogs are making the news that matters. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


Global warming causes snowstorm in D.C.

At least that's what The Time Magazine and their Bryan Walsh think or at least pretend to think and tell us.

Cross-country ski used as a vehicle: that's why their ancestors were designed in the first place.

But does it? More precisely, are there any rational arguments justifying the unexpected conclusion (and preconception) of Walsh's article?

At the beginning, he tells us a lot about the conspiracies. The politicians are trying to hide the lethal threat of global warming by hiding the global warming as the cause of the snowstorm in D.C., Walsh asserts.

Walsh also says it's unlikely for top-10 storms to take place by chance in Washington D.C. as well as Philadelphia (200 km away, it's almost like light years) or even Baltimore (55 km away, that's near the Hubble scale) during the same winter. He's apparently completely unable to understand that these are just two parts of the same regional atmospheric phenomenon so their probabilities are not independent at all.

He quotes some meteorologists who claim that the snowstorm was really big - well, there exists an obvious threat in doing science in the ancient way, i.e. without numbers (with numbers replaced by emotional words). And we also hear some other old talking points: for example, the hurricanes are getting bigger, too.

But is there an argument why such a thing should be true? Well, there's no argument but there's surely something that the author considers to be an argument. In the middle of the article, we read:

That's in part because of global warming — hotter air can hold more moisture, so when a storm gathers it can unleash massive amounts of snow. Colder air, by contrast, is drier; if we were in a truly vicious cold snap, like the one that occurred over much of the East Coast during parts of January, we would be unlikely to see heavy snowfall.

Well, that's very entertaining. While it's true that hotter air can hold more moisture, the comment about "a truly vicious cold snap" negates the argument. It disagrees with the weather records, too.

First, it negates the argument because it admits that a "truly vicious cold snap" existed even in 2010. Second, it tries to suggest that once upon a time, before the global warming began, there was nothing else than a "vicious cold snap" in D.C. in January and February.

That's, of course, a complete nonsense. Look at the climate profile of the U.S. capital. The average daily high in January is 42 °F (6 °C) and it is 47 °F (8 °C) in February. So it is surely not true that before the "catastrophic man-made global warming" began, the city was permanently suffering a "truly vicious cold snap".

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)


Climate Götterdämmerung

Exaggeration and alarmism have been a chronic weakness of environmentalism since it became an organized movement in the 1960s. Every ecological problem was instantly transformed into a potential world-ending crisis, from the population bomb to the imminent resource depletion of the “limits to growth” fad of the 1970s to acid rain to ozone depletion, always with an overlay of moral condemnation of anyone who dissented from environmental correctness. With global warming, the environmental movement thought it had hit the jackpot — a crisis sufficiently long-range that it could not be falsified and broad enough to justify massive political controls on resource use at a global level. Former Colorado senator Tim Wirth was unusually candid when he remarked in the early days of the climate campaign that “we’ve got to ride the global-warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing — in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” (Not surprisingly, after Wirth left the Senate and the Clinton administration he ended up at the United Nations.) (NRO)


IPCC in the hands of greens? Get away with you

Even The Age now reports it:

LEADING scientists have stepped up calls for a major overhaul of the United Nation’s climate panel following a string of criticisms of its Nobel peace prize-winning 2007 report…
by 2035.

Many subsequent criticism have focused on the panel’s use of ‘’grey literature’’ - work that has not been peer reviewed by other scientists including student thesis, reports by green groups and magazine articles - in parts of its 3000-page report.

Writing in respected journal Nature, contributing author Eduardo Zorita ... called for (the IPCC) to be made stronger and independent so that it drew only on established peer-reviewed literature and highlighted gaps in the published science. Opposing views would be included.

Dr Zorita, from the GKSS Research Centre in Germany, said the IPCC’s use of government-nominated academic volunteers working under unmanageable deadlines had put it ‘’at the mercy of pressure from advocates‘’.

(Andrew Bolt)


IPCC: Cherish, Tweak or Scrap?

Nature solicits the opinions of 5 past IPCC contributors about the best way forward for the institution. Here are a few short excerpts from the diverse range of views.

Mike Hulme

The IPCC is no longer fit for purpose. . .

My suggestion for radical reform is to dissolve the IPCC after the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) in 2014. The work would be split into three types of assessment and evaluation, each rather different to the three existing IPCC working groups.

Eduardo Zorita

An [International Climate Agency] could be built, for instance, on the IAEA template, encompassing many more countries than the IAEA but with a smaller staff. . .

As with finance, climate assessment is too important to be left in the hands of advocates.

Thomas Stocker

The IPCC has served as an honest broker in the past and will do so, hopefully, in the future.

Only with strict adherence to procedures and to scientific rigour at all stages will the IPCC continue to provide the best and most robust information that is needed so much.

Jeff Price

Increasing the number of lead authors would provide better balance and give more scientists the ability to participate in the process. . . The IPCC should also expand the number of specialist task forces, task groups and hold more expert meetings to provide additional scientific review and oversight . . . the current period between assessments is too long.

John Christy

The IPCC selects lead authors from the pool of those nominated by individual governments. Over time, many governments nominated only authors who were aligned with stated policy.

I recommended last year that the next IPCC report invites published authors to write about the evidence for low climate sensitivity and other issues. The IPCC then would be a true reflection of the heterogeneity of scientific views, an ‘honest broker’, rather than an echo chamber.
(Roger Pielke Jr.)

This all assumes the IPCC has a valid function, which it does not. Its entire remit is "dangerous human climatic interference", which is fatally flawed to begin with. If you were really worried then you would investigate whether such interference could exist (implausible). Then, if that were ever established you would investigate whether it does exist. Finally, in probably a thousand years or so, since it will take that long for us to understand the climate system, you pose the question of whether it is really worth addressing or simply better to adapt as we have always done.


The end of the IPCC

Almost daily, we learn about new problems with the formerly respected UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): In their 2001 report, they claimed that the 20th century was "unusual" and blamed it on human-released greenhouse gases. Their infamous temperature graph shown there, shaped like a hockey stick, did away with the well-established Medieval Warm Period (around 1000AD, when Vikings were able to settle in Southern Greenland and grow crops there) and the following Little Ice Age (around 1400 to 1800AD). Two Canadians exposed the bad data used by the IPCC and the statistical errors in their analysis. (S. Fred Singer, American Thinker)


UN climate cronies

Claudia Rosett is on the case, in Pajamasmedia, looking at the web of conflicts of interest, and in particular at Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), one of the sponsoring organisations for the IPCC.

Rosett, who cut her teeth on the UN's corrupt "oil for food" programme, is well-placed to observe the machinations of this organisation, building a picture which demonstrates that the UN climate Mafia (of which Rajendra Pachauri is part) is as corrupt and self-serving as the rest of the UN institutions.

How anyone can take any UN body seriously is one of those mysteries in life which seem to defy explanation. How rotten and how corrupt do you have to be before people start taking notice? (Richard North, EU Referendum)


Precaution, Projection & Parthian Shots

It can’t be easy being a climate change alarmist just at the moment. In its desperation to keep the ragged flag flying, the Guardian has run a couple of very strange stories today. First up, in What happened when scientists photoshopped climate sceptics, they’ve rehashed an old story from last November about this image

Peterson Collage

which was sent as an attachment in an email to Phil Jones by Tom Peterson of NOAA. As you can imagine, Roger Pielke Sr wasn’t too happy with the suggestion that he believes that ‘global warming is a hoax’. (Climate Resistance)


Jerry Ravetz on Climategate

Jerry Ravetz, a giant among scholars in the history and philosophy of science and someone who I am happy to call a friend and colleague, has written a thoughtful essay on the remarkable events that have unfolded in climate science of recent months. Here is an excerpt:

The total assurance of the mainstream scientists in their own correctness and in the intellectual and moral defects of their critics, is now in retrospect perceived as arrogance. For their spokespersons to continue to make light of the damage to the scientific case, and to ignore the ethical dimension of Climategate, is to risk public outrage at a perceived unreformed arrogance. If there is a continuing stream of ever more detailed revelations, originating in the blogosphere but now being brought to a broader public, then the credibility of the established scientific authorities will continue to erode. Do we face the prospect of the IPCC reports being totally dismissed as just more dodgy dossiers, and of hitherto trusted scientists being accused of negligence or worse? There will be those who with their own motives will be promoting such a picture. How can it be refuted?

And what about the issue itself? Are we really experiencing Anthropogenic Carbon-based Global Warming? If the public loses faith in that claim, then the situation of science in our society will be altered for the worse. There is very unlikely to be a crucial experience that either confirms or refutes the claim; the post-normal situation is just too complex. The consensus is likely to depend on how much trust can still be put in science. The whole vast edifice of policy commitments for Carbon reduction, with their many policy prescriptions and quite totalitarian moral exhortations, will be at risk of public rejection. What sort of chaos would then result? The consequences for science in our civilisation would be extraordinary.

Jerry's article is thoughtful and worth your time. Jerry sends another strong message as well with his choice of venues where he chose to publish the essay. (Roger Pielke Jr.)


Lords a-leaping to the barricades

Rees and other LORDs fear public is losing confidence in climate change science. It now looks as thought the consensus defence has emerged that a few errors and misjudgements by a minority of incompetents has put the whole immaculate edifice of climate change evidence under threat from those evil sceptics.

They must be hoping that the inadequate establishment media just stick to those leaked e-mails and do not cotton on to the much more damaging annotations to software that accompanied them, let alone the evidence that is arising all round the world of fraudulent adjustment of temperature data accompanied by “the dog ate my homework” excuses for not releasing the source data.

The main thing to remember is this:

Such people do not hold their beliefs because of their positions: they hold their positions because of their beliefs. (Number Watch)


Fabricated quote used to discredit climate scientist

Sir John Houghton explains to Steve Connor how global warming sceptics have misrepresented his views (The Independent)

Is it purely apocryphal? I don't know but I do know Sir John is no better angel, here he is promoting IPCC TAR with the fraudulent hockey stick graph as his chief prop:

BTW: does anyone know how Houghton came to use Kondratjew & Moskalenko and their estimate of 7.2 °C for pre-IR level of CO2-forced climate warming? My Russian is not up to the task & we've never found any English reference other than Houghton's book 'The Global Climate', (1984) and those citing it. Lindzen derives only half that sensitivity with the cited 40% cloud, making us very interested in the number's provenance.


Rudd deceives student on IPCC

Grilled by a sceptical student, Kevin Rudd defends the scandal-ridden IPCC as just a bunch of serious climate scientists:

The first thing I’d say is the IPCC - International Panel on Climate Change - scientists has 4000 essentially humourless scientists in white coats who go around and measure things and have been doing so for about 20 years. They reached a conclusion about, first of all, climate change happening and, second, the high likelihood, defined as 90 per cent plus, of it being caused by human activity sometime ago.

Er, not so, says even the warmist Guardian:

Perhaps unknown to many people, the process is started and finished not by scientists but by political officials, who steer the way the information is presented in so-called summary for policymakers [SPM] chapters.

Not so, agrees Anton Imeson, a former IPCC lead author from the Netherlands:

The IPCC should have never allowed itself to be branded as a scientific organisation. It provides a review of published scientific papers but none of this is much controlled by independent scientists.

And Rudd’s 4000 claim is wrong, too, says John McLean:

The evidence shows that the claim of “4000 scientific experts supported the IPCC’s claims” is dishonest in almost every word. There were not 4000 people, but just under 2900; they were not all scientists; and it seems that they were not all experts. There is only evidence that about 60 people explicitly supported the claim, although that might not mean much given the vested interests and lack of impartiality of many authors and reviewers.

(Andrew Bolt)


A wolf in sheep's clothing

While we are all familiar with the figures of al-Gore and James Hansen pushing "dangerous climate change", not all those behind the climate alarmism agenda are household names.

One who most definitely should be is Professor Martin Parry, whom we featured in an earlier piece. It is he that has been responsible for fashioning many of the "bullets" used by the higher-profile figures.

What has brought this man onto the radar is "Africagate", where the accumulating evidence suggests that – as with "Glaciergate" - the alarmist claim that found its way into the IPCC AR4 cannot have been an accident.

Parry is, of course, the co-chair of Working Group II (WGII) which, in dealing with climate impacts, has been responsible for all the "gates" bar the original "Climategate". As head of the all-powerful Technical Support Unit (TSU) as well, it is he more than anyone who had ultimate control over what went into the WGII report, and how it finally appeared. (Richard North, EU Referendum)


Not FOUR degrees, 1.4 degrees

The December SPPI monthly report came out on Jan 23. As usual, it contains graphs of the latest juiciest data: sea levels, ice, sunspots, cyclones, global temperature trends and the latest papers. Here’s a few snippets that caught my eye.

Get ready for, 1.4 degrees (or more… or less).

Global Temperature Trends 1981-2009

Global Temperature Trends 1981-2009

Call me a cherry picker, but going by the full satellite data record we have and drawing a simplistic straight line, we are rocketing towards 1.4 degrees of warming by 2100, (but only if that trend of the last 30 years doesn’t change, which it is, every year). For those who are new to this, there are two interpretations of the satellite data and this neatly combines both of them (UAH and RSS) and makes one wiggly line out of masses of data.  Not surprisingly, the SPPI team have chosen to ignore the surface record of airports and air-conditioners, “ground based thermometers”. More » (Jo Nova)


This time UC Davis gets tipsy: Climate 'Tipping Points' May Arrive Without Warning, Says Top Forecaster

A new University of California, Davis, study by a top ecological forecaster says it is harder than experts thought to predict when sudden shifts in Earth's natural systems will occur -- a worrisome finding for scientists trying to identify the tipping points that could push climate change into an irreparable global disaster.

"Many scientists are looking for the warning signs that herald sudden changes in natural systems, in hopes of forestalling those changes, or improving our preparations for them," said UC Davis theoretical ecologist Alan Hastings. "Our new study found, unfortunately, that regime shifts with potentially large consequences can happen without warning — systems can ‘tip’ precipitously.

"This means that some effects of global climate change on ecosystems can be seen only once the effects are dramatic. By that point returning the system to a desirable state will be difficult, if not impossible."

The current study focuses on models from ecology, but its findings may be applicable to other complex systems, especially ones involving human dynamics such as harvesting of fish stocks or financial markets. (UC Davis)


Not more PlayStation® Climatology! Alternative futures of a warming world - Potential human responses to climate change will be integrated into future models of global climate

RICHLAND, Wash. -- An international team of climate scientists will take a new approach to modeling the Earth's climate future, according to a paper in 11 February Nature. The next set of models will include, for the first time, tightly linked analyses of greenhouse gas emissions, projections of the Earth's climate, impacts of climate change, and human decision-making.

This approach will influence the next international scientific assessment undertaken by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It will provide the framework for thousands of individual scientific studies on climate impacts and adaptation, climate modeling, and changes in the way societies generate and use energy. (DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Couldn't you guys just go see Madame Zelda for a tarot reading or something? It'd be way cheaper and probably more accurate too.


Comment on Time Article “Another Snowstorm: What Happened to Global Warming?”

There is an article in Time magazine (h/t to Marc Morano for alerting us to it) by Bryan Walsh titled

Another Snowstorm: What Happened to Global Warming?

The article correctly writes

“….it’s a mistake to use any one storm — or even a season’s worth of storms — to disprove climate change (or to prove it)…”


“Weather is what will happen next weekend; climate is what will happen over the next decades and centuries. And while our ability to predict the former has become reasonably reliable, scientists are still a long way from being able to make accurate projections about the future of the global climate.”

However, the article contains misinformation. I briefly comment on two issues presented in the article.

1. It is written

“The 2009 U.S. Climate Impacts Report found that large-scale cold-weather storm systems have gradually tracked to the north in the U.S. over the past 50 years.”

The current set of snowstorms in the Middle Atlantic states this winter actually have become intense further south than average.  New England is certainly accustomed to these nor’easters.  In an earlier post (see figure top), illustrates that the jet stream (as represented by the lower tropospheric temperature anomalies) was well south of its average position across the northern  hemisphere.  It is the polar jet stream which is where winter storms develop and intensify.

2. It is written

“As global temperatures have risen, the winter ice cover over the Great Lakes has shrunk, which has led to even more moisture in the atmosphere and more snow in the already hard-hit Great Lakes region, according to a 2003 study in the Journal of Climate.”

A new paper in EOS titled Severe Ice Cover on Great Lakes During Winter 2008–2009 [subscription needed]


“After a decade of little ice cover, from 1997–1998 to 2007–2008, the Great Lakes experienced extensive ice cover during the 2008–2009 winter. The area of Lake Superior covered by ice during the 2008–2009 winter reached 75,010 square kilometers on 2 March 2009, nearly twice the maximum average of nearly 40,000 square kilometers. By this time, Lake Superior was nearly completely ice covered, as were Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake St. Clair, a small basin between Huron and Erie (Figure 1a). Even northern Lake Michigan experienced severe ice cover.”

These news articles would be more accurate (and effective) if the actual behavior of the climate system were presented. (Climate Science)


A New Paper On The Role of Landscape Processes Within The Climate System

Guest Weblog By Thomas N. Chase

A new study finds that the effects of changing land surface are dominated by changes in the hydrological cycle (reduced latent heat flux) warming globally rather than changes in radiative forcing at the surface due to albedo. The reduced latent heat flux led to a small but statistically significant warming in the global average. Larger regional warmings were partially compensated for by regional cooling which varied by season. This warming due to hydrological response is directly opposite to the discussion presented in the latest IPCC report which finds a small cooling due to the albedo changes resulting from land cover changes. In the land surface model inter-comparison study of [Pitman, et al., 2009, LUCID] only half of the modeling experiments had decreased latent heat flux associated with deforestation, while the other half had increased latent heat flux. To realistically simulate land surface forcing a model must be able to reproduce the surface forcing found in field and satellite studies. From the LUCID experiments we can see that this is not the case for many of the current GCMs.

The url for the paper and abstract are below.

Lawrence, Peter J. and Thomas N. Chase, 2010: Investigating the Climate Impacts of Global Land Cover Change in the Community Climate System Model (CCSM 3.0).  International Journal of Climatology, 10.1002/joc.2061 

See also the UCAR/NCAR news article: The hydrologic link between land use changes and climate


Peter J. Lawrence1 and Thomas N. Chase2

1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

2 Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), and Dept. of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

The abstract reads

Recently, [Pitman, et al., 2009] found a wide range of bio-geophysical climate impacts from historical land cover change when modeled in a suite of current Global Climate Models (GCMs). The bio-geophysical climate impacts of human land cover change however, have been investigated by a wide range of general circulation modeling, regional climate modeling, and observational studies. In this regard the IPCC 4th assessment report specifies radiative cooling of -0.2 W/m2 as the dominant global impact of human land cover change since 1750, but states this has a low to medium level of scientific understanding. To further contribute to the understanding of the possible climate impacts of anthropogenic land cover change, we have performed a series of land cover change experiments with the Community Land Model (CLM) within the Community Climate System Model (CCSM). To do this we have developed a new set of potential vegetation land surface parameters to represent land cover change in CLM. The new parameters are consistent with the potential vegetation biome mapping of [Ramankutty and Foley, 1999], with the Plant Functional Types and plant phenology consistent with the current day MODIS land surface parameters of [Lawrence and Chase, 2007]. We found that land cover change in CCSM resulted in widespread regional warming of the near surface atmosphere, but with limited impact on near surface temperatures globally. The experiments also found changes in precipitation, with drier conditions regionally, but with limited impact on average global precipitation. Analysis of the surface fluxes in the CCSM experiments found the current day warming was predominantly driven by changes in surface hydrology through reduced evapo-transpiration and latent heat flux, with the radiative forcing playing a secondary role. We show these finding are supported by a wide range of observational field studies, satellite studies, and regional and global climate modeling studies. (Climate Science)


Slowly wising up? Voluntary CO2 Offset Buying Slow As Investors Get Picky

LONDON - Buying activity in the voluntary carbon market has been quite slow recently as buyers favor very specific types of offset credits and it is difficult to source such clean energy projects.

"The market hasn't changed much, it is quite quiet. Buyers prefer renewables but it is taking a long time to get something into the market," said David Pontis, emissions broker at Tullett Prebon. (Reuters)


Putin: Don't Bet On Manure To Replace Russian Gas

HELSINKI - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin insisted on the superiority of pipeline gas over alternative fuels Wednesday as Moscow prepares to start building its biggest post-Soviet gas link to Europe.

"Fortunately or unfortunately, neither solar power nor firewood nor dried manure can replace hydrocarbons in the next 20-25 years," Putin told a joint news conference with Finnish Prime Minister with Matti Vanhanen.

"As far as natural gas reaching Europe by pipelines is concerned, this gas will always be cheaper than liquefied gas," said Putin. (Reuters)


Tough UK Energy Regulation Decisions For Green Future

LONDON - Britain faces tough choices on the level of energy sector regulation needed in order to provide secure, affordable, and sustainable energy supplies in the future.

Energy regulator Ofgem called for radical energy sector reforms last week, presenting five policy packages of various levels of regulation, aimed at encouraging long-term investments in energy security, such as gas storage, and renewable energy projects such as wind and back-up power plants. (Reuters)


Czech grid plans to block new solar, wind plants

In December, I wrote about the problems caused by the German wind turbines to the electric grid in Germany and its neighbors, including the Czech Republic.

As Reuters and the Czech media noticed today, the Czech grid is overloaded and the company in charge of it, ČEPS, is finalizing its plans to solve the situation.

ČEPS urges the electricity distribution companies to halt the connecting of the new solar and wind plants. At the end of 2009, they were giving 600 MW to the grid. However, projects that would add a whopping extra 3,500 MW have already been approved! This is a genuine threat to the stability of the grid.

ČEPS has informed that if the rules won't be changed to avoid the danger raised by these ludicrously subsidized and hugely irregular sources of energy, it will have to start to disconnect them. This could mean that the green investors could lose their money which would be great.

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)


Solar Subsidies Fail to Create Green Jobs, Again

Wind generators

As we reported in today’s Morning Bell ABC News reports that despite massive amounts of stimulus funding being spent on wind farms—nearly $2 billion—the vast majority (80%) of it has been spent on overseas companies. ABC contacted Russ Choma at the Investigative Reporting Workshop who suggested that the project has resulted in nearly 6,000 jobs for overseas manufacturers and only a few hundred over here.

To add insult to injury, ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports that “a recent report by American Wind Energy Association showed a drop in U.S. wind manufacturing jobs last year.” That’s right—even with a government-subsidized demand, wind manufacturing decreased. Continue reading... (The Foundry)


The Latest on the Ethanol Scam: US Ethanol Industry’s Grain Consumption in 2009 Was Enough to Feed 330 Million People

By Robert Bryce

Some headlines are so telling, that you don’t really need to write the story to go with them. So I’ll keep this story short and focus primarily on the facts that were revealed by the Earth Policy Institute last month. The think tank reports that in 2009, US ethanol distilleries consumed 107 million tons of grain. That amounts to more than 25% of total US grain production. That quantity of grain, says Earth Policy, “was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels.” [Read More] (Energy Tribune)


<chuckle> Boosting livestock density could cut biofuel impact

Brazil has plans to increase its production of biofuels over the next ten years. But, although Brazilian sugarcane is currently one of the best raw materials for producing biofuels with low greenhouse-gas emissions, there are concerns that land-use changes caused by expanding biofuel plantations could mar this good performance.

With that in mind, a team from Germany and Kenya has projected land-use changes in Brazil to 2020. Its results indicate that the biofuel and cattle ranching sectors should work together to ensure that the increased growth of biofuels does not lead to destruction of rainforest for rangelands. One way to achieve this could be by increasing livestock density. (environmentalresearchweb)

Yeah, sure, we can all see enviros welcoming high-intensity farming in the Amazon Basin, right?


Revising Book on Disorders of the Mind

Far fewer children would get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. “Binge eating disorder” and “hypersexuality” might become part of the everyday language. And the way many mental disorders are diagnosed and treated would be sharply revised.

These are a few of the changes proposed on Tuesday by doctors charged with revising psychiatry’s encyclopedia of mental disorders, the guidebook that largely determines where society draws the line between normal and not normal, between eccentricity and illness, between self-indulgence and self-destruction — and, by extension, when and how patients should be treated.

The eagerly awaited revisions — to be published, if adopted, in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, due in 2013 — would be the first in a decade. (NYT)


F.D.A. to Increase Oversight of Medical Radiation

The federal Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it would take steps to more stringently regulate three of the most potent forms of medical radiation, including increasingly popular CT scans, some of which deliver the radiation equivalent of 400 chest X-rays.

With the announcement, the F.D.A. puts its regulatory muscle behind a growing movement to make life-saving medical radiation — both diagnostic and therapeutic — safer.

Last week, the leading radiation oncology association called for enhanced safety measures. And a Congressional committee was set to hear testimony Wednesday on the weak oversight of medical radiation, but the hearing was canceled because of bad weather.

The F.D.A. has for weeks been investigating why more than 300 patients in four hospitals were overradiated by powerful CT scans used to detect strokes. The overdoses were first discovered last year at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where patients received up to eight times as much radiation as intended.

The errors occurred over 18 months and were detected only after patients lost their hair. (NYT)


'New HIV' just prostitute guilt, say doctors

HUNDREDS of Chinese believe they have a mysterious new disease with HIV-like symptoms but doctors suggest it is just "HIV phobia" caused by guilt from having sex with prostitutes.

In the past Chinese authorities have been accused of covering up epidemics such as the SARS virus and doctors are blaming a breakdown in trust between the medical profession and patients for the growing HIV phobia. (NewsCore)


You heard it here first

Number Watch is obliged to accept its destiny as the producer of great ideas that are taken up later by others around the world. Seven years after we launched our miracle diet the same thing has turned up in Hong Kong. (Number Watch)


Advocacy research: what a filthy habit - New research suggesting ‘third-hand smoke’ is a major health hazard was spurred by policy, not hard science.

First we were told - quite reasonably - that smoking was bad for us. It increases the risk of a variety of diseases, particularly lung cancer and respiratory illnesses, as well as making heart disease and stroke more likely. No one who smokes regularly can be unaware that there is a fair chance that their habit will shorten their life, even if the immediate prospect of a stimulating drag is more enticing than a few extra years of old age. We’ve all got to die of something, at some point; it’s up to us to make a calculation about whether that nicotine hit is worth it.

More controversial was the suggestion that breathing other people’s smoke might be dangerous, too. Okay, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if those nights of old spent steeped in a nicotine-tinged fug in the Dog and Duck didn’t exactly do one’s lungs the world of good. The smell certainly lingered on your clothes. Even then, anyone who remembers boozers in the past, or the top-deck of the bus on a winter’s evening, will know that the modern, well-ventilated, pre-smoking ban pub was a much less smoky environment. By rather dubiously extrapolating from some small personal risks, based on smoking studies that probably bear little relevance to twenty-first century Western workplaces, official estimates concluded that about 1,000 people per year die from ‘secondhand’ smoke in the UK. In July 2007, a ban on smoking in public places came into force in England. The tobacco lovers were turfed out on to the street.

Yet even the junk science of secondhand smoke seems like the stuff of Nobel Prizes next to the new kid on the block: ‘third-hand smoke’. Now, claim researchers, you don’t even need to breathe smoke in, you simply need to be in contact with smokers or touch surfaces that have been in contact with their smoke to be at risk. If the dodgy research that produced the smoking ban was bullshit, the claims made for third-hand smoking are in a whole new category: ‘beyond bullshit’. (Rob Lyons, spiked)


Hurtling Down the Road to Serfdom

Government is taking us a long way down the Road to Serfdom. That doesn't just mean that more of us must work for the government. It means that we are changing from independent, self-responsible people into a submissive flock. The welfare state kills the creative spirit.

F.A. Hayek, an Austrian economist living in Britain, wrote "The Road to Serfdom" in 1944 as a warning that central economic planning would extinguish freedom. The book was a hit. Reader's Digest produced a condensed version that sold 5 million copies.

Hayek meant that governments can't plan economies without planning people's lives. After all, an economy is just individuals engaging in exchanges. The scientific-sounding language of President Obama's economic planning hides the fact that people must shelve their own plans in favor of government's single plan. (John Stossel, Townhall)


US: pika not endangered, SciAm: panic!

The Scientific American runs a story about a ruling by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that was released last week. The title is kind of incredible:

Denial of global warming threat to the American pika means no protection from U.S.
After one year of research, the official U.S. body for biodiversity decided that
After review of all available scientific and commercial information, we find that listing the American pika ... is not warranted at this time.
Well, most of the American pika actually belong to the "least concern" group, whopping three categories below the "endangered" group, while only 8 out of 31 populations are "vulnerable", one step below "endangered".

The petition to classify these small (170 g) cousins of the rabbit as an endangered species came from environmental advocacy groups. These green humans claimed that Pika dies when the temperature jumps to 25.5 degrees Celsius for a few hours. (The only existing reference seems to be a statement by an ABC journalist.) FWS found out that they can live at 40 degrees Celsius: there's just 14.5 degrees discrepancy between the two sources.

These little animals live in Oregon and Nevada. They may move by 3 kilometers to the North a year or 2 meters upslope a year (or some mixture of these two) if the slow changes to the temperatures continue (regardless of the cause) and if these changes pose a problem for them. That is enough to counter the 0.013 °C of warming a year that we have seen for 30 years.

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)


Where's my woohoo hat? 'Fingerprinting' method reveals fate of mercury in Arctic snow

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—A study by University of Michigan researchers offers new insight into what happens to mercury deposited onto Arctic snow from the atmosphere.

The work also provides a new approach to tracking mercury's movement through Arctic ecosystems.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element, but some 2000 tons of it enter the global environment each year from human-generated sources such as coal-burning power plants, incinerators and chlorine-producing plants.

"When released into the atmosphere in its reduced form, mercury is not very reactive. It can float around in the atmosphere as a gas for a year or more, and it's not really an environmental problem at the concentrations at which it occurs," said Joel Blum, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Geological Sciences. (UM)


Simply weird: Putting a value on nature could set scene for true green economy

Much environmental damage has been caused by the way we do business. Is there a way of changing our economic models from being part of the problem into part of the solution? (Pavan Sukhdev, The Guardian)

Before we even start, what's wrong with shaping our world to suit ourselves? Never mind...

So, you want to "save" wild critters or some particular patch of unmodified dirt? Fine, to guarantee X's "protection" simply privatize and commoditize it, then you have owners with an incentive to husband and protect X, don't you? Why is it the watermelons have such problems with that? Moreover, you don't need to create some imaginary value since the market will soon find X's true value and it will be protected by its owners in accord with its worth.


Lost in translation? 38 percent of world's surface in danger of desertification

"Despite improvements in the LCA, it has a methodological weakness, which is a lack of environmental impact categories to measure the effect of human activities such as cultivation or grazing on the soil", Montserrat Núñez, lead author and a researcher at the Institute of Agro Food Research and Technology (IRTA), tells SINC. (FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology)

Given that 70% of the globe's surface is oceans there's a bit of a problem with the headline. Of the approximately 25% of the world not permanently covered by water, ice and snow about two-fifths receives less than 10" annual rainfall and is thus classified as "desert" (although that doesn't prevent a great deal of dry land farming, livestock grazing and other uses). Are they really distributing a release saying desert regions may become desert regions?


From the Dearth Institute (a.k.a. "The Destitute"): Urbanization, Export Crops Drive Deforestation - In Reversal, Land Is Cleared for Global Trade and Big Cities, Says Study

The drivers of tropical deforestation have shifted in the early 21st century to hinge on growth of cities and the globalized agricultural trade, a new large-scale study concludes. The observations starkly reverse assumptions by some scientists that fast-growing urbanization and the efficiencies of global trade might eventually slow or reverse tropical deforestation. The study, which covers most of the world’s tropical land area, appears in this week’s early edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.

Deforestation has been a rising concern in recent decades, especially with the recognition that it may exacerbate climate change. Studies in the late 20th century generally matched it with growing rural populations, as new roads were built into forests and land was cleared for subsistence agriculture. Since then, rural dwellers have been flooding into cities, seeking better living standards; 2009 was recorded as the first year in history when half of human lived in urban areas. Large industrial farms have, in turn, taken over rural areas and expanded further into remaining forests, in order to supply both domestic urban populations and growing international agricultural markets, the study suggests. (Earth Institute News)


Man vs marine in the Chagos Islands

Conservationists want to turn archipelago into a giant sea-life reserve. But what about the exiled population whose hopes of going home would be dashed forever?

A major conservation row is developing over proposals for Britain to establish the biggest and most unspoiled marine nature reserve in the world. The issue of the Chagos Islands raises the increasingly difficult question of how to weigh up the protection of the best remaining parts of nature, in a rapidly degrading world, against the needs and rights of people.

It concerns the Chagos Archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean, a group of isolated coral islands teeming with wildlife which is considered to be among the least polluted marine locations on Earth. Its seawater is the cleanest ever tested; its coral reefs are completely unspoiled; its whole ecosystem, with its countless seabirds, turtles, coconut-cracking crabs (the world's largest), dolphins, sharks and nearly 1,000 other species of fish, is pristine.

Officially British Indian Ocean Territory, the islands are the subject of an ambitious plan by conservationists – backed by the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband – to keep them the way they are, by creating a marine protected area, where fishing and all other exploitation would be banned, of 210,000 square miles – more than twice the land surface of Great Britain. In an age when the oceans and their biodiversity are being ever more despoiled, it would be a supreme example of marine conservation and one of the wildlife wonders of the world – in effect, Britain's Great Barrier Reef, or Britain's Galapagos.

The plan excites many wildlife enthusiasts and has the formal support of several of Britain's major conservation bodies, from the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew and the Zoological Society of London to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The backing of the Foreign Office and the Foreign Secretary is significant. A public consultation on the plan ends on Friday.

But there is a notable omission from the plan. It takes no account of the wishes of the original inhabitants, the Chagossians – the 1,500 people living on the islands who, between 1967 and 1973, were deported wholesale by Britain, so that the largest island, Diego Garcia, could be used by the US as an airbase for strategic nuclear bombers. (The Independent)



Obama’s EPA – Creating Real Pollution to Reduce CO2

Obama’s EPA – increasing air pollution in the form of particulate matter to chase the CO2 bogeyman.

A recent EPA ruling (EPA-420-F-10-007, February 2010, [ ]) is mandating the use of 36 billion gallons of “renewable fuels” by 2022.

Health Effects

“The increased use of renewable fuels will also impact emissions with some emissions such as hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NOx), acetaldehyde and ethanol expected to increase and others such as carbon monoxide (CO) and benzene expected to decrease. However, the impacts of these emissions on criteria air pollutants are highly variable from region to region. Overall the emission changes are projected to lead to increases in population-weighted annual average ambient PM [particulate matter] and ozone concentrations, which in turn are anticipated to lead to up to 245 cases of adult premature mortality.

Trading non-toxic CO2 for airborne particulate matter is not a good idea. (Global Warming Science)


Democratic Climate Revolt - A bipartisan effort to stop the EPA's anticarbon crusade.

The Obama Administration has been moving full-speed ahead on anticarbon regulation, never mind waiting for Congress to pass a bill. But now opposition is building among senior Democrats, with two powerful committee Chairmen introducing a bill last week to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from declaring that carbon is a dangerous pollutant.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is busy writing new rules that would let her drive a tax-and-regulation bulldozer through the U.S. economy under laws never meant to apply to greenhouse gases. Ms. Jackson is expected to issue new anticarbon regulations for cars and trucks next month before moving on to power plants and other industries.

This is all too much for Missouri's Ike Skelton and Minnesota's Collin Peterson, the Chairmen of the House Armed Services and Agriculture Committees, respectively. Along with Missouri Republican Jo Ann Emerson, they are pushing a two-page bill that would amend the Clean Air Act to restore Congress's original intent and strip CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the statutory language.

This is bipartisanship we can believe in. Such legislation would vaporize the EPA's "endangerment finding" for carbon and thus require the Administration to use democratic debate and persuasion if it really wants to reshape the energy markets and impose huge new costs on American consumers. What a thought.

"If Congress doesn't do something soon, the EPA is going to cram these regulations through all on their own," Mr. Peterson said. "I have no confidence that EPA can regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without severe harm to all taxpayers."

Added Mr. Skelton: "Simply put, we cannot tolerate turning over the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions to unelected bureaucrats at EPA. America's energy and environmental policies should be set by Congress." Yes, they should be. (WSJ)


Still trying to ration your energy: Senate offers some hope for legislation to combat climate change

CLIMATE CHANGE legislation, according to conventional wisdom, is all but dead for the year. It fell victim to Senate gridlock, yawning gaps between lawmakers over how and even whether to tackle the issue and President Obama's decision last year to place it third on his list of priorities, after the stimulus and health care. The president himself seemed to admit at least temporary defeat last week; at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Mr. Obama cited speculations that the Senate might pass only a modest energy bill. Such a bill inevitably would contain expensive subsidies and research programs, but it would not place a price on carbon. (Washington Post)


Safety Valves and Rabbit Holes

You have heard much talk about various schemes devised by members of Congress to ensure that the energy tax masquerading as a rationing scheme — the cap-and-trade wonder that President Obama insists will cause your electricity prices to "necessarily skyrocket" and "bankrupt" key industries — won't cost you anything. And yet it will still lead you to use far less energy, result in the invention of pixie dust, and otherwise do all those things that Europe's scheme failed to do.

From Europe today comes yet another admission that, unless the thing hurts — bad, it won't do anything emissions-wise (nor climate-wise, given that the overwhelming majority of the world's nations say fuggedaboudit). (Chris Horner, NRO)


New York Times on IPCC's and Pachauri's scandals

As I have mentioned several times, most of the revelations about the U.N. climate panel and its boss, Rajendra Pachauri, were first published in the British newspapers, especially The Telegraph and The Times. A more limited coverage has been available to the readers and viewers of FoxNews.

But the gospel may finally be coming to the U.S. mainstream media, too. Elizabeth Rosenthal named her article

U.N. Climate Panel and Chief Face Credibility Siege
Although it includes some bizarre alarmist comments such as
"The general consensus among mainstream scientists is that the errors are in any case minor and do not undermine the report’s conclusions,"
it actually says enough true stuff about the GlacierGate and especially various conflicts of interest of the IPCC boss. I feel that they find it easier to sacrifice particular individuals, such as Pachauri, than the core elements of the orthodoxy. That's an explanation why the financial interests are being given so much space while the discussion of the errors and sub-par references in the 2007 report remains limited to the GlacierGate and is not too detailed, anyway.

» Don't Stop Reading » (The Reference Frame)


All the News That Fit the Foreign Press Last Month

Today the New York Times finally gets round to covering the scandals roiling the International Panel on Climate Change and its controversial head, high-flying railroad engineer and soft-porn novelist Dr. Rajendra Pachauri. It's a front-page story but incredibly dully written, as if its object is to depress interest in the subject. In its way, it's a textbook example of why the Times is doomed.

The first thing you notice is that the NYT is not investigating the scandals itself but merely commenting on stories reported by the Times of London and my old colleagues at Britain's Telegraph. Jay Currie asks:

Perhaps the New York Times has become a blog.

Not quite. If so, they'd include links to the Brit originals. I will make just one observation, relating to the reporter's dogged attempts to exonerate Dr. Pachauri from charges of conflict of interest. Elisabeth Rosenthal says it's all hunky-dory because the money the IPCC chair gets as a paid consultant to private companies goes to help poor children in rural India or something. She adds:

Dr. Pachauri, 69, said the only work income he received was a salary from the Energy and Resources Institute: about $49,000, according to his 2009 Indian tax return, which he provided to The New York Times. The return also lists $16,000 in other income, most of it interest on accounts in Indian banks.

But the most casual glance at Dr. Pachauri suggests that this is not a man with a $65,000 lifestyle. For example, within the space of a week he made two round-trips from New York to Delhi, in each case staying a day and then flying back to the U.S. — the first time for a cricket practice, the second for the actual match. First-class airfare for those two trips alone would be about a third of his pre-tax income.

So who paid for them? The U.N.? Or one of his consulting clients? Or more likely that institute of his for helping upcountry villagers? He was, after all, playing for his Institute's amateur cricket team. So, when Deutsche Bank pay Dr. Pachauri's consulting fees to his Institute, are they in fact funding his remarkably lavish lifestyle?

Let's take another example: The launch festivities for his warmographic novel (in which he demonstrates an obsession with bosomly swell on a par with noted breast man Andrew Sullivan) were paid for by BP. Curious. Big Oil sponsoring Big Breasts for Big Climate.

Dr. Pachauri is in the happy position of so many people one encounters in "public service" who rarely if ever have cause to write a personal check. But why is the New York Times reporter assigned to this story so ill-informed that she doesn't even ask him about the cricket and the breast-book party and all the other stuff?

As I said, the Times coverage only makes sense if your object is to bore readers away. (Mark Steyn, NRO)


Hansen's colleague eviscerates AR4 Chapter 9

While perusing some of the review comments to the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, I came across the contributions of Andrew Lacis, a colleague of James Hansen's at GISS. Lacis's is not a name I've come across before but some of what he has to say about Chapter 9 of the IPCC's report is simply breathtaking.

Chapter 9 is possibly the most important one in the whole IPCC report - it's the one where they decide that global warming is manmade. This is the one where the headlines are made.

Remember, this guy is mainstream, not a sceptic, and you may need to remind yourself of that fact several times as you read through his comment on the executive summary of the chapter:

There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department. The points being made are made arbitrarily with legal sounding caveats without having established any foundation or basis in fact. The Executive Summary seems to be a political statement that is only designed to annoy greenhouse skeptics. Wasn't the IPCC Assessment Report intended to be a scientific document that would merit solid backing from the climate science community - instead of forcing many climate scientists into having to agree with greenhouse skeptic criticisms that this is indeed a report with a clear and obvious political agenda. Attribution can not happen until understanding has been clearly demonstrated. Once the facts of climate change have been established and understood, attribution will become self-evident to all. The Executive Summary as it stands is beyond redemption and should simply be deleted.

I'm speechless. The chapter authors, however weren't. This was their reply (all of it):

Rejected. [Executive Summary] summarizes Ch 9, which is based on the peer reviewed literature.

Simply astonishing. This is a consensus? (Bishop Hill)


Freddy tries a clean up: Victory for openness as IPCC climate scientist opens up lab doors

Ben Santer had a change of heart about data transparency despite being hectored and abused by rabid climate sceptics ( Fred Pearce, The Guardian)


Climate Group Admits Mistakes - Some IPCC Officials Say the U.N.-Sponsored Group Must Improve Procedures for Reviewing Reports

Some top officials of a Nobel Prize-winning climate-science organization are acknowledging the panel made some mistakes amid a string of recent revelations questioning the accuracy of some of the information in its influential reports.

Officials of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations-sponsored network of scientists whose reports strongly influence global policy on greenhouse-gas emissions, initially played down some of the allegations and criticized those who called them important. Increasingly, however, they are acknowledging the panel's mistakes and saying it needs to tighten its procedures.

"This has not increased the credibility of the IPCC," said Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist who is co-chairing one of the main sections of the IPCC's next big climate-change report, due out in 2013 and 2014. "There is some room for improvement." (WSJ)


Passing sentence

It being the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society, celebrations by the new Greenie proprietors are only natural. The Telegraph has a page largely dominated by President Martin Rees with an article entitled The unstoppable spirit of enquiry. Rees is a notorious serial scaremonger, through doom-laden books and articles. One wonders, however, whether many readers paused to consider the import of one particular paragraph that occurs in the middle of this piece:

Traditional journals survive as guarantors of quality, but they are supplemented by a blogosphere of widely varying quality. The latter cries out for an informal system of quality control, indicated by the approbation by discerning readers, by blogs or by commentaries.

There are those of us, who have long ago published in some of these traditional journals, who might question whether some of them still act as guarantors of quality. It is the second sentence, however, that for all its vagueness and understatement carries an implied threat. Who are these discerning readers, blogs and commentators? While no one can argue that most of what is on the internet is not irredeemable nonsense, it still has the overarching merit that it is uncensored. Readers are able to make their own judgement. The implication of this statement is that there are those who are more qualified to decide what hoi polloi are allowed to read. So far the internet has been free of the self-censorship observed by the establishment media, which has allowed ludicrous and costly theories to reign, and it is only recently that the establishment has come to realise that upstarts out there are pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. The neo-Marxists who are the backbone of the new Greenie establishment would dearly love to extend their censorship to the internet. Be warned! (Number Watch)


NOAA's Ministry Of Propaganda

Despite failures at Copenhagen, the fraud of the IPCC and the farce of Climate-gate, the administration wants an agency to monitor climate change. Why must we fund one-stop shopping for climate charlatans?

As the climate freezes, there's no freeze on federal employment that will grow even more with the establishment of a new agency, the Climate Service office. The new agency was announced Monday by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This ministry of climate change propaganda will operate in tandem with NOAA's National Weather Service and National Ocean Service. "Whether we like it or not, climate change represents a real threat," Lubchenco said at a press conference as snow measured in feet blanketed the Eastern seaboard. This new agency represents a threat to real climate science.

Lubchenco also announced a NOAA climate portal on the Internet to collect climate data from NOAA and other sources. It will be "one-stop shopping into a world of climate information."

That portal will be more like Alice's rabbit hole, leading to a world of disinformation where climate data will mean whatever Locke and Lubchenco want it to mean. (IBD)


Response from Coleman's Corner

Richard Somerville, Ph.D. is a distinguished professor emeritus and research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He has told San Diego "City Beat" that KUSI promised to present his full statement on-air but didn’t. He was talking about my January 14th hour long program "Global Warming: The Other Side". KUSI contacted Scripps seeking a response to the program for our 10 PM newscast that night. Scripps referred our Producer to Somerville. The Producer who had that assignment assures me that no "promise" was made. But according to the nasty City Beat editorial that slam-bams the program, Somerville said the station didn't run his written statement and included only a couple of “garbled” sentences from a lengthy interview during a 10 p.m. newscast. He called KUSI and me "unethical."

I object to his remarks to "City Beat" and take particular exception to being called unethical. (KUSI)


Let’s pick apart this politics of doom

‘Climategate’ confirms what many of us already knew: that claims of future catastrophe are political, not scientific. (Ben Pile, spiked)


Comments On The New National Climate Service

The federal government of the United States has announced the establishment of a National Climate Service; e.g. see the NY Times article by Lauren Morello titled Agency Will Create National Climate Service to Spur Adaptation.

The article includes the text

“The Obama administration announced plans yesterday to create a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service…..

Lubchenco [NOAA Administrator] said her agency already receives millions of requests each year for the type of information the proposed climate service would provide, “and we fully expect requests for information to grow explosively.”

“There is no question about the critical need for this service,” she said. “Climate change is real. It’s happening now in our own backyards and around the globe, and it’s beginning to touch nearly every aspect of our lives.”

The NOAA chief said climate change is already raising sea levels, lengthening growing seasons, prompting earlier spring snowmelts and shifts in river flows, causing more intense drought and increasing the incidence of extreme weather….

NCDC head Thomas Karl will serve as the climate service’s transitional director. NOAA also plans to create new positions for six regional climate service directors.”

The statements by Jane Lubchenco and the appointment of Tom Karl as the transitional director, assures that policymakers will continue to receive an inappropriately narrow view of our actual knowledge with respect to climate science. I have documented the biases of Tom Karl in a number of reports and weblog posts; e.g. see

Comment On Tom Karl’s Interview In The Washington Post

Erroneous Climate Science Statement By Tom Karl, Director Of The National Climate Data Center And President Of The American Meteorological Society

E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Surface Temperature Trends

The NOAA Administrator, in making the appointment of Tom Karl, has apparently not learned that the climate science community has a broader view of the issues and less confidence in the skill of the multi-decadal global and regional climate predictions than she does.  By selecting Tom Karl, she has assured that this narrow viewpoint will be perpetuated within the new National Climate Service. (Climate Science)


Sir David King: Half Right on the IPCC and Global Warming Policies, Despite Bad Logic

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany David King, erstwhile Chief Scientific Adviser to Her Majesty’s Government, famous for his claim that “climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today—more serious even than the threat of terr