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Archives - July 2007

July 31, 2007

"Antioxidants not a proven savior" - "Whether organic fruits and vegetables have more of the purportedly cancer-fighting compounds may not really matter" (Dennis Avery and Alex Avery, Orange County Register)

"Avandia Vote a Rebuke to Media Alarmism" - "Critics of diabetes drug hyped by media find their data dismissed." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Research fails to detect short-term harm from mobile phone masts" - "Mobile phone masts do not cause harmful short-term health effects, according to a study of people who say they experience symptoms when they are close to them. The study deals another blow to the notion that low-level electromagnetic fields from cellphones or base stations are dangerous." (The Guardian)

"Printers pose serious health risks: study" - "The humble office printer could be posing as much danger to the lungs as a drag on a cigarette, according to air quality tests by Australian scientists.

An investigation of dozens of laser printers revealed that almost 30 per cent emit potentially dangerous levels of tiny toner-like material into the air.

These ultra-fine particles are capable of infiltrating the lungs and causing lasting damage on the scale of inhaled cigarette smoke, said researcher Professor Lidia Morawska, from the Queensland University of Technology." (AAP)

"'Arctic Tale': On thin ice" - "A new film about a polar bear and a walrus facing global warming treads a slippery line between fact and fantasy" (Brian D. Johnson, McLeans)

"Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt" - "Ilulissat, Greenland – The July 27-29 2007 U.S. Senate trip to Greenland to investigate fears of a glacier meltdown revealed an Arctic land where current climatic conditions are neither alarming nor linked to a rise in man-made carbon dioxide emissions, according to many of the latest peer-reviewed scientific findings. Recent research has found that Greenland has been warming since the 1880’s, but since 1955, temperature averages at Greenland stations have been colder than the period between 1881-1955.

A recent study concluded Greenland was as warm or warmer in the 1930’s and 40’s and the rate of warming from 1920-1930 was about 50% higher than the warming from 1995-2005. One 2005 study found Greenland gaining ice in the interior higher elevations and thinning ice at the lower elevations. In addition, the often media promoted fears of Greenland’s ice completely melting and a subsequent catastrophic sea level rise are directly at odds with the latest scientific studies. These studies suggest that the biggest perceived threat to Greenland’s glaciers may be contained in unproven computer models predicting a future catastrophic melt." (Marc Morano, EPW)

Oh boy... "Megaflood: The recent deluge could be just a taste of things to come" - "As the flood waters recede and Britain faces a £5billion clean-up operation, a new film predicts what would happen if the Thames Barrier was overwhelmed by an immense flood surge in the year 2030. Flood, based on a book by Richard Doyle, paints a terrifying picture of a superflood hitting Britain. Here, CHRISTOPHER HUDSON imagines the horrific consequences of the deluge." (Daily Mail)

II: "Floods show global warming is here" - "As Britain counts the costs of the worst floods in 200 years, Charles Clover argues the signs of global warming are now impossible to ignore" (Charles Clover, London Telegraph)

"New Research Paper On Landscape History In the Eastern Half Of The United States" - "A truly exceptional research paper is in press for the Journal of Geophysical Research. It is Steyaert, L. T., and R. G. Knox (2007), Reconstructed Historical Land Cover and Biophysical Parameters for Studies of Land-Atmosphere Interactions within the Eastern United States, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2006JD008277, in press. [those of you with AGU subscriptions can view the entire paper (see)]." (Climate Science)

Promoting a proselytizer: "Into the Limelight, and the Politics of Global Warming" - "Heidi Cullen is the only climatologist with a Ph.D. in the country who has her own weekly show, a half-hour-long video-magazine focused on climate and the environment." (New York Times)

"Forest Service worries about bigger fires, climate change" - "Last year’s Tripod Fire, the largest in Washington in more than a century, smoldered through the winter, and several small spot fires have kicked up this summer. Peterson and other scientists say the Tripod Fire could be a sign of things to come in the Western forests. Rising temperatures brought on by global warming add stress to trees, making them more susceptible to bugs and disease and stimulating the growth of underbrush and other fuels. Some studies suggest the number of acres scorched by wildfire could increase fivefold by the end of the century." (News Tribune)

"Coal could pay to save forests" - "THE HIGH-level conference on global deforestation held in Sydney a few days ago, co-hosted by the Australian ministers for environment and foreign affairs, attracted large numbers of ministers, diplomats and officials from about 70 countries and international development agencies.

This impressive turnout demonstrated, if nothing else, that the subject of large-scale loss of natural forests is a matter of considerable global interest, as well it should be.

Apart from the local environmental impacts of forest loss, in global terms deforestation is generally believed to contribute at least 20 per cent of all human-sourced greenhouse gas emissions." (Canberra Times)

Carts & horses... "'Ferrari' of probes to check Earth gravity" - "Scientists unveiled a new weapon in the battle against global warming last week: a 16ft torpedo-shaped probe that will swoop over the atmosphere to measure Earth's gravity with unprecedented accuracy.

The Gravity and Ocean Circulation Explorer, or Goce, has been dubbed the Ferrari of space probes because of its elegant design and will be launched early next year on a Russian SS-19 missile. Scientists say its data on Earth's gravitational field will be vital in understanding how ocean currents react to the heating of our planet over the next few decades.

'Gravity is the force that drives the circulation of the oceans,' said Dr Mark Drinkwater, Goce's project scientist. 'Until we understand its exact role we cannot predict how the seas - and planet - will behave as the climate gets warmer. That is why Goce is being launched.'" (The Observer)

... since we can't even determine the planet's current temperature, let alone whether it will become warmer or cooler in the near to mid term.

"MPs warn climate policy is becoming 'incoherent'" - "THE government's policy for tackling climate change is becoming "incoherent", MPs warn today. The Commons Environmental Audit Committee said that the government's target for cutting damaging greenhouse gas emissions had failed to keep up with the latest scientific evidence. The committee also criticised ministers for failing to include emissions from international aviation and shipping in the targets set out in the draft Climate Change Bill. The Bill currently includes a legally binding target for the UK to cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. However, the committee said that the latest scientific research suggested that this was now "very unlikely" to be consistent with the government's overall aim to stabilise the rise in global temperature at 2C." (The Scotsman)

"Earth too warm? Bury the CO2" - "Texas alone could hold 40 years' worth of US emissions." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Great, just don't expect it to make any measurable difference to Earth's temperature, which it can not.

"Another challenge: capturing gases to be buried" - "Companies and cities are pushing to build coal-fired power plants that emit no greenhouse gases." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Carbot credits: below one European dime" - "Last time, we dedicated a special article to the price of carbon indulgences when the price dropped below one euro. Today, the 2007 allowance price closed at 9 eurocents." (The Reference Frame)

"Carbon greenwash by companies" - "NO extra trees were planted in a dozen carbon-offset programs despite being marketed to Australian consumers as a way to counter global warming.

An ever-increasing range of companies, from car makers to airlines, are promising consumers they will plant trees to offset the carbon impact of their goods or services.

But the Federal Government has identified up to 12 programs in the past year where, despite companies telling consumers they would plant trees, no seedlings were planted." (Herald Sun)

"Mittal says EU emission cap will limit growth" - "Arcelor Mittal, the world's biggest steel company, has warned that a blitz of planned investments in Europe to meet booming demand is threatened by strict new EU caps on greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change.

At the opening of the group's new $381m (£188m) hot strip mill in Krakow, Michel Wurth, board member in charge of flat products in Europe, said: "By cutting the allocation of CO2 quotas, the European commission will limit our growth possibilities in Europe and encourage a surge of imports from countries unaffected by such controls." (The Guardian)

Don't care what it is, they're agin it: "Sea Shepherd to intercept/block Planktos ship" - "Paul Watson has recently stated that the Sea Shepherd society opposes the plan by the Planktos group to experimentally enrich a region of the subtropical open-ocean with iron in order to enhance phytoplankton growth, which could theoretically bring capture carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. They claim that the ecosystem impacts are unexplored and that this is not legitimately planned by the global community." (Bay Area Indy)

"Pelosi looks for unity on energy bill" - "WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to solidify Democratic support Monday behind her energy package and head off a rebellion among some oil-patch Democrats who argue the legislation would hurt U.S. energy production.

Pelosi was said to have agreed to make some changes to satisfy some of the disgruntled Democrats, who were particularly concerned about measures that would tighten the permit process for oil and gas on federal land. The provisions would reverse action by Congress two years ago that sought to streamline the permit process.

"The speaker has sought to bring about Democratic unity" on the energy package, said a Pelosi spokesman, Drew Hammill. He said some changes have been made in the oil and gas sections of the bill." (Associated Press)

"Energy Bill Aids the Expansion Plans of Atomic Power Plants" - "A provision buried in a recent Senate bill could make new nuclear plants eligible for tens of billions of dollars in government loan guarantees." (New York Times)

"Al-Gae Gore" - "Environmentalists want us to use corn to run our cars. But the effort to keep the seas from rising may be killing the life in them from Chesapeake Bay to the Gulf of Mexico." (IBD)

"Floods may give added urgency to Severn barrage project" - "The case for a Severn barrage, first proposed 150 years ago and currently under review by the government, could receive a boost from the recent flooding, it emerged yesterday.

Ministers want experts to analyse whether the £15bn proposal to create a 10-mile concrete boom across the Severn could help to reduce the risk of floods as well as generating power equivalent to the output of two nuclear power stations.

The Sustainable Development Commission is due to report this autumn on the environmental implications of the project, following complaints from green campaigners that it would do irreversible damage to wildlife in the estuary." (The Guardian)

"Exxon Says Gas from Cepu Block Contains High CO2" - "JAKARTA - Natural gas from Indonesia's Cepu block contains high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) that will increase production costs from the field, an Exxon Mobil Indonesia official said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Indonesia Sees Slower Palm Oil Expansion from 2010" - "MEDAN, Indonesia - Indonesia expects palm oil output to grow sharply in the next two years but stricter forest protection may then slow expansion, a senior industry official said on Monday. Indonesia is set to take over from Malaysia as the world's top palm oil producer this year because of rapid expansion in the last five years." (Reuters)

"Biotech vs. Peanut Allergies" - "Many Americans suffer from food allergies. More than half blame a lack of information or inaccurate information -- such as misleading ingredient labels -- for an allergic reaction at some point in their lives. This problem may soon become a thing of the past." (Krystal Wilson, ACSH)

"Diabetes Insulin delivered by Pills - Researchers developing Plant Grown Insulin from genetically modified Lettuce" - "Researchers from the University of Central Florida have studied the effects of genetically altered tobacco plants that make plant insulin that showed promising results in diabetic mice. This UCF study received $2 million in funding from The National Institutes of Health. The study was first reported in the July issue of Plant Biotechnology Journal.

The researchers were able to take freeze dried plant cells from the modified tobacco plant and give it to five-week-old diabetic mice as a powder for over an eight week period of time. At the end of the eight weeks the diabetic mice had achieved normal blood and urine sugar levels and the mice were also having their own cells produce normal levels of insulin." (Best Syndication)

July 30, 2007

"JAY AMBROSE: Biased Reporting on DDT, Stem Cells" - "The religious right is wrong. That's an assumption of the press in America, and it's one reason you will see numerous big-type headlines about the opposition of some Christian conservatives to federally sponsored stem-cell research.

Environmentalists are one of the best things that ever happened to this land of ours. That's another assumption of the mainstream press, and it's the reason you will see so few headlines of any size about the consequences of green opposition to using DDT to combat malaria in poor countries." (Kitsap Sun)

Actually the DDT raptor extirpation thing is a myth and Ambrose is lazily perpetuating it, very sad.

Guest feature: DDT: Myths And Realities by DR. TIRTHANKAR BASU

"Environmental Hazards Kill 4 Million Children a Year - WHO" - "GENEVA - Four million children under the age of five die every year due to environmental hazards including polluted air or water, or exposure to chemicals, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

Poisonings, acute respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases and malaria carried by mosquitoes which thrive in dirty water account for most of the toll, the United Nations agency said in a technical report." (Reuters)

Note that the vast majority of these 'environmental' casualties are due to inadequate development (lack of potable water and affordable electricity) and inadequate vector control. The cure for these 'environmental conditions' is development and deployment of pesticides.

"Measures designed for prejudice" - "A fascinating study released this month received absolutely no media notice, perhaps because its myth-shattering findings might be too uncomfortable to acknowledge. It demonstrated one reason why more poor women in developed countries are labeled “obese” than women of privilege." (Junkfood Science)

The joys of socialized medicine & PC standards: "How she spent her holiday" - "This isn’t what most of us might think of as summer tourism, but for this woman in the UK, it changed her life." (Junkfood Science)

"Are Vogue Editors Sniffing Too Much Nail Polish?" - "Um, boys don't produce semen until they reach puberty - and even the most precocious male is not going to reach puberty before leaving the womb..." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"New York Times Cherry Picks Data, Sources to Smear Avandia in Advance of FDA Hearing" - "A misreading of the FDA briefing paper" (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"High-school math: highest correlation with college science achievements" - "According to some research published in Science, the amount of maths taken by high school students is more tightly correlated with successes in college sciences than the amount of biology, chemistry, and physics taken at high school." (The Reference Frame)

The Herding Aspect of Global Warming (Demand Debate News Page)

Oh boy... "Worry about bread, not oil" - "The great demographer and economist Thomas Malthus was 23-years-old the last time a British summer was this rain-soaked, which was back in 1789. The consequences of excessive rainfall in the late 18th century were predictable.

Crops would fail, the harvest would be dismal, food prices would rise and some people would starve. It was no coincidence that the French Revolution broke out the same year.

The price of a loaf of bread rose by 88 per cent in 1789 as a consequence of similar lousy weather. Historians of the Left like Georges Lefebvre used to see this as a prime cause of Louis XVI's downfall." (Niall Ferguson, London Telegraph)

... what lesson should be drawn from history? How about global cooling and the strife caused by chilly, soggy summers? Malthus was a misanthropic twit but ignorance and the prejudices of the day provide some excuse -- what excuse can be offered for today's eco-worshippers and the rest of the kill-off-people crowd? The Little Ice Age was particularly bad for people, which is probably why the natur über alles crowd are so infatuated with such a miserable climatic period -- it is most certainly not a life-friendly ideal to which we should aspire.

"Ground-Level Ozone Trends: Facts vs. Fantasy" - "Growing plants absorb some of the carbon dioxide emitted by human burning of fossil fuels for energy. However, according to a new study in the journal Nature, ground-level ozone (AKA “smog”) will rise during the 21st Century and stunt plant growth. This will reduce CO2 uptake by vegetation, exacerbating CO2-induced greenhouse warming.

The study, which was performed by Stephen Sitch and colleagues from England’s Hadley Centre for Climate Change Research, is based on computer modeling of current and future ozone levels. To project future emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, Sitch et al. relied upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) A2 scenario. The scenario includes projections of population, economic activity, energy use, and other factors that determined future emissions.

Unfortunately, comparison of Sitch et al.’s model results with actual trends in ozone and ozone-forming pollutants show that their study has nothing to do with reality." (WCR)

Frightening... "No more climate distractions" - "It's time to move beyond squabbles over science as espoused by The Great Global Warming Swindle documentary, and move on to tackling the government policies needed to address climate change." (Joëlle Gergis, Cosmos Online)

... in its bombastic ignorance.

Now you know why we call it populist pap... "Polls find global warming generating heat" - "Attorney General Jerry Brown, who has set out on a legal crusade to force local government agencies in California to reduce greenhouse gases through better land use planning, was upstaged recently by a talking snowman.

The former governor and national political figure made a YouTube video for last Monday's CNN Democratic presidential debate, asking the candidates what they will do about "climate disruption and global warming."

But Brown didn't make the cut. Instead, millions of viewers for days watched repeated plays of a video -- created by two Minneapolis men -- depicting a forlorn snowman and his frosty sidekick." (Sacramento Bee)

... with voters herded by a video of a talking snowman.

"An inconvenient opponent: A new British film comes out swinging against Al Gore's climate-change blockbuster" - "It's a movie being billed as the "definitive response to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth."

But from the moment it hit the airwaves on a British television station on March 8, The Great Global Warming Swindle has generated praise and outrage because of its theory that scientists, politicians and the media have conspired to scare people into believing that humans are causing climate change.

The new film takes direct aim at the Oscar-winning production that featured Mr. Gore's famous slide-show presentation on global warming and the consequences of rising greenhouse-gas emissions from human activity. Global-warming skeptics have turned the movie into a new rallying cry against politicians, climate-change experts and environmentalists.

But the new movie's content and theories have exposed its producer, British filmmaker Martin Durkin, to the wrath of thousands of critics who have been publicly dissecting his work in a series of hostile interviews, aggressive letters, detailed complaints, legal threats and live television broadcasts.

"Obviously, most journalists are quite keen on global warming theory, and they're just not friendly to the film, or the argument or me," Mr. Durkin said in an interview. "So they're just waiting for me to take my hands away from my crotch so that they can give me another kick in it." | Highlights of controversial theories advanced in both films (Mike De Souza, The Ottawa Citizen)

Uh-huh... "Study blames climate change for rise in hurricanes" - "MIAMI, July 29 - The number of Atlantic hurricanes in an average season has doubled in the last century due in part to warmer seas and changing wind patterns caused by global warming, according to a study released on Sunday.

Hurricane researchers have debated for years whether climate change caused by greenhouse gases from cars, factories and other human activity is resulting in more, and more intense, tropical storms and hurricanes.

The new study, published online in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, said the increased numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes in the last 100 years is closely related to a 1.3-degree Fahrenheit rise in sea surface temperatures." (Reuters)

... and how many satellites were observing the total number of storms in the first half of the 20th Century?

"In the eye of the storm over global warming" - "He's called the world's most famous hurricane expert, not because he likes to fly into hurricanes to experience them up close -- which he does -- but because of what he's learned from them, up there, buffeted by the fury of nature. William Gray has developed an intuitive sense when it comes to understanding the atmosphere in its infinite complexity. This intuition rooted in experience allowed him to pioneer the science of hurricane forecasting more than two decades ago, and subsequently to practice his craft with an unprecedented precision that he keeps refining year after year. He and his colleagues have now reached a 95% accuracy rate in predicting the number of major storms and hurricanes that will occur next season. Insurance companies set their premiums, and government emergency-preparedness authorities set their budgets, on the basis of his pioneering work.

How has Dr. Gray adapted his methods of prediction in light of global warming, to maintain his accuracy rate? He hasn't. Dr. Gray views recent climate-change science as meaningless "mush," the product of simplistic computer models that crudely track a handful of factors and ignore the myriad others that influence the weather. Climate is not a contraption with a set number of easily manipulated variables, as you might find in a child's science construct. Those who try to reduce the climate to suit the rudiments of computer models, he believes, accomplish nothing but the debasing of science. The models, he has demonstrated time and again, are utter failures, incapable even of explaining the past." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"2007: another weak hurricane season so far" - "The climate fearmongers were excited during a strong hurricane season of 2005. It was enough for them to merely suggest that global warming could be behind the storms because fear and superstitions are their closest allies. Many people have constructed quasi-scientific, quasi-religious arguments that the number and strength of the tropical storms has been increasing and should be increasing." (The Reference Frame)

"Carbon dioxide exonerated?" - "There has been a deal of correspondence about a new paper, Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics, with requests for an opinion, a bit of a tall order for one whose physics is rusty with lack of use. The paper certainly is a blockbuster, 113 pages of verbiage and equations. It appears to belong to what might be called the “kitchen sink” school of science writing. Is it just Teutonic thoroughness, or is there an element of obfuscation? The trouble with having endured a lifetime of refereeing and examination is that you are deprived of the pleasure of being lulled into the secure comfort of a long and soothing argument of persuasive intent. When you see an equation you ask yourself “Why is it here? Is it used later? Does it lend force to the thesis?” When there are well over a hundred equations your progress tends to stutter somewhat." (Number Watch)

Model consistency: Summer 2007 forecast - Temperature: The forecast issued on 30 May indicated a high probability that the UK mean summer temperatures would be above the 1971-2000 long-term average. The forecast also stated that weather patterns of the type that bring particularly hot weather to the UK were likely to be fewer than in some recent hot summers (e.g. 2003 and 2006).

The UK mean summer temperature so far stands at 0.4 °C warmer than the 1971-2000 average. The UK average daily maximum temperature has been close to average. Also, sunshine has been generally near or a little below normal though eastern Scotland has been particularly dull. Less than normal sunshine is consistent with a forecast for fewer hot weather types than in recent hot summers.

Precipitation: The forecast issued on 30 May indicated that rainfall would be more likely to be average or below average in southern UK; and more likely average or above average in northern UK.

The characteristic feature of the summer so far has been the exceptionally high rainfall experienced in many regions. For England and Wales as a whole the summer so far is the wettest since 1839. Parts of north-west Scotland however have been drier than normal.

Extremely high amounts of rainfall, such as those experienced in many regions this summer, are not currently predictable at the long ranges addressed by seasonal forecasts. Within the bounds of the broad three-category classification used for seasonal forecasts (below, near, above normal), the rainfall forecast for the north is currently consistent with observed conditions. However, the outcome we considered more likely for the south (average or below average) is at odds with the above-normal amounts experienced. (UK Met Office)

"First line of flood defence" - "It is true that the rain was unprecedented. It is true that even the most elaborate flood defences would not have prevented all the devastation.

And it is true that no one was to blame for the precipitation. "For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth his rain on the just and the unjust".

Yet the consequences might have been greatly ameliorated by improved flood defences, better dredging and the modernisation of our Victorian drainage system. Imagine the difference had the flood-mark been just a foot lower: how many houses would still be habitable, how many possessions saved, how many people spared exile from their homes.

The Environment Agency has behaved as quangos always do in these situations, combining hyper-sensitivity with arrogance. Its chief concern has been to convince us that it did nothing wrong, rather than to analyse its failings as a first step toward correcting them." (London Telegraph)

Hmm... at time of writing the comments were instructive -- respondents not at all impressed by claims of "climate change" and lack of precedent.

"Powerpoint Presentations From The 2007 Pittsburgh Tripartite Symposium — Realities And Challenges Of Global Warming/Global Dimming" - "I was invited by Manny Miller (thanks Manny!) who was the coordinator to an excellent set of presentation at the April 23, 2007 Tripartite Symposium — Realities And Challenges Of Global Warming/Global Dimming held in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania. The meeting was sponsored by the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh (www.sacp.org ), Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (www.ssp-pgh.org) and the American Chemical Society – Pgh Section (http://membership.acs.org/P/Pitt/).

The presentations were:

Dr. M. Granger Morgan-Carnegie Mellon Univ, Why Climate is Changing and What We Can Do About It?

Dr. Beate Liepert - Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, The Dilemma of Anthropogenic Impact on Climate: Global Dimming and Global Warming

Dr. Roger A. Pielke Sr.-Univ. of Colorado, The Human Impact on the Weather and Climate

Mr. John Quigley-PA DCNR, Director of Legislation and Strategic Initiatives, Pennsylvania Perspectives, Federal Uncertainty

Those who read Climate Science, will of course, be aware of the perspective that I presented at the meeting. However, the other three talks provide important insight by others, including the emphasis on CO2 as the dominate environmental issue of the coming decades. Climate Science disagrees with this assessment, but recommends readers review the powerpoint talks to learn what is being proposed." (Climate Science)

Václav Klaus: An interview in die Weltwoche - Translated from German (The Reference Frame)

Oh really? "Dams and levees heighten flood danger in a warming world" - "Floods are the most destructive, most frequent and most costly natural disasters on Earth. And they're getting worse. Large parts of central and western England are underwater in the worst flooding in 60 years. Insurers estimate the damage could reach $6 billion -- on top of the $3 billion in flood losses suffered in northern England in June.

Over the past two months, the monsoon season in Bangladesh, China, India and Pakistan has, conservatively, claimed hundreds of lives. Texas has suffered major flood damage, as have Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and North Carolina. Although California's primary water worry right now is drought, increasingly serious floods lie in store for us, too.

Flood damages have soared around the world in recent decades for a variety of reasons. Global warming is worsening storms; we've deforested and paved over watersheds; and more people are living and working on floodplains (there are few better examples of this than the fast-sprawling cities of California's Central Valley). But a key factor behind the spiraling flood damages is the very flood-control measures supposed to protect us. Flood damages soar when engineering projects reduce the capacity of river channels, block natural drainage, increase the speed of floodwaters and cause the subsidence of deltas and coastal erosion. In addition, "hard path" flood control based on dams and levees can ruin the ecological health of rivers and estuaries." (Patrick McCully, SF Chronicle)

What evidence is there of increasing storms?

Stupid forecasting of the moment: "Don't expect a sudden heatwave" - "Sun-lovers should not build up hopes that the UK will see a late heatwave, according to BBC weather forecaster Darren Bett. After scrutinising different weather models used in France, Germany and the US he has found no evidence to suggest an Indian summer is on its way. The best he could say was that the weather could settle down in the UK over the next few weeks with a slight improvement for the south. He also said another extreme rain event was unlikely given the UK has seen two in quick succession, but could not rule it out." (BBC)

Uh, Darren? If conditions are conducive to extreme rainfall events in the UK, as recently they have demonstrably been, then the likelihood of another such event is higher than 'normal' rather than lower.

"Is something fishy going on?" - "Bookmakers banned him because whenever he bet on the weather he would clean up.

Shropshire-bred weather expert Piers Corbyn isn’t lucky - when it comes to predicting what’s going to fall out of the sky and how many layers of waterproof clothing to wear, he’s just more right than most other people.

“I went to William Hill for 12 years and bet £600 a month on the weather,” he says, “and I was winning back 30 to 40 per cent, which was about £20,000 or something.

“Then they stopped it - they refused to do it any more.”

The weather is a British obsession and with the term “global warming” used to explain every freak climate change from the hottest April on record to the wettest June ever and the disastrous July floods, everyone is suddenly an expert.

However, Piers, a former student of Adams Grammar School in Newport and now a long-range weather forecaster for Weather Action in London, remains at odds with the views of international scientists and is sceptical about carbon dioxide as a key driver of climate change.

He wants nothing to do with what he describes as “the promotion of hysteria” and says changes in world climate have nothing to do with man, the emissions pumped from the exhaust pipe of his BMW, or the size of his so-called carbon footprint." (Shropshire Star)

"Surfacestations.uk" - "There is sterling work going on in the USA by Citizen Journalists auditing the temperature recording network at www.surfacestations.org. Some unbelievably badly sited or maintained stations are being used to feed data into the system - see for instance Detroit Lakes.

So what about the UK?" (An Englishman's Castle)

"Worried About the Weather, and the Land" - "Summer has brought another rash of extreme weather around the world: relentless rain has caused flooding in Britain, India and Texas, and record-breaking heat has led to wildfires in Greece and in Utah — demonstrating, once again, how severe weather and climate change can quickly alter the landscape. But slower alterations in the earth’s natural features are happening, too, as a result of human activity, and some of these are far more drastic and lasting. The Op-Ed page asked four writers to report on how the environment is faring in their parts of the globe. Here are their dispatches." (New York Times)

"UN Aims To Set Example in Carbon Neutral Push" - "LONDON - The United Nations wants to make up for lagging behind others' initiatives by setting a high standard in plans to go carbon neutral within a few years, a UN official said on Friday." (Reuters)

Heck, there's an easy way to make the UN much more useful and carbon-neutral besides -- shut the shameless scamathon down!

"Panel Recommends Climate Change Market" - "SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As California begins mapping out its strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions, how industries will be forced to comply is emerging as one of the most complex aspects of the debate.

A key component of the state's plan to implement last year's far-reaching global warming law was submitted Friday to California air regulators. The state Air Resources Board received a 107-page report -- commissioned last year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- that endorses a market-trading program.

Under such a program, power plants, refineries, cement plants and other industries that produce greenhouse gases can buy and sell credits for their emissions. That allows businesses that cannot cut their greenhouse gas releases -- because of cost or technological hurdles -- to essentially buy the right to pollute from other, cleaner companies.

The idea is that a so-called carbon market will lead to a reduction in overall emissions because it provides a financial incentive for the cleaner companies to get even cleaner. Yet the issue has proved contentious." (Associated Press)

"EPA to regulate breathing" - "Supreme Court Legislates from the bench. Again.

Well folks, be prepared to monitor your breathing. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Massachusetts regarding the question on whether the EPA has to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as a “pollutant” in the terms of the Clean Air Act. But humans may be contributing more by breathing than any other source." (ECOstrive)

"Team calls climate change target too weak" - "LONDON - Draft plans to curb the nation's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 60 percent by 2050 were too weak, an environment committee of parliamentarians said on Monday.

Britain became in March the first country to propose binding legislation to cut emissions of the gas most blamed for causing global warming.

The proposals would help reverse a recent rise in carbon emissions which have put Britain well behind its 2010 domestic emissions target, but didn't go far enough, the report said." (Reuters)

"How Hips inspectors got it all wrong" - "When the introduction of compulsory energy assessments for homes was announced, ministers insisted that they would be an essential tool in the fight against global warming.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), however, are so limited in their scope that they are incapable of delivering accurate results, a Sunday Telegraph investigation has found." (Miles Goslett, Sunday Telegraph)

"Nottingham center to help UK to meet its carbon targets" - "Cutting-edge technology that ‘captures’ polluting carbon dioxide and stores it permanently inside rocks will be developed at a new £1.1m research centre at The University of Nottingham.

Dr Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Associate Professor and Reader in Energy Technology, has won £1.1m for a new centre that is set to play a crucial role in the fight against climate change.

The Centre for Innovation in Carbon Capture and Storage (CICCS) — due to open in October 2007 — will develop novel technologies to trap and store greenhouse gases permanently and safely, so they are not released into the atmosphere." (University of Nottingham)

"Beetle-killed forests cited as possible climate change factor" - "Warm winters help insects spread and may lead to even warmer winters, scientist says" (Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun)

As dumb as it gets: "CFMEU launches climate change campaign" - "The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has launched a million dollar ad campaign calling for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and a 60 per cent cut in carbon emissions.

CFMEU national president Tony Maher said on Sunday reducing carbon emissions and adopting a clean energy target were essential to tackling global warming and ensuring the coal industry remained viable." (AAP)

"Who is policing Carbon Cops?" - "Imagine the scandal if ABC TV ran a series promoting a controversial point of view that was partly funded by an advocacy organisation. We'd never hear the end of it, would we? Well, it all depends on the point of view.

This is what the ABC is doing with its Tuesday night prime-time series Carbon Cops. This is a politically correct version of a home makeover program, where the presenters turn up and tell you the planet is doomed unless you change your house and your lifestyle.

Carbon Cops is produced in association with the ABC by FremantleMedia and December Films. December Films received $350,000 towards the series from Sustainability Victoria. This is a state government agency involved in advocacy and action, whose website claims: "Everything we do is dedicated to changing the way Victorians supply and use resources."

There is no mention of this funding arrangement in the Carbon Cops program or on its website, apart from a very brief acknowledgement that the program is produced with "the assistance" of Sustainability Victoria.

Carbon Cops is at the cutting edge of global warming hysteria. It starts with this piece of emotional blackmail on the ABC website: "If you are at all concerned about your children's future … then Carbon Cops is a must-see." (Michael Duffy, Sydney Morning Herald)

Today's eye-roller: "Tiny Tuvalu Fights for Its Literal Survival" - "VIENNA, Jul 27 - The second smallest nation on Earth hopes to turn itself into an example of sustainable development that others can emulate.

But the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu and its 10,500 people may only have 50 years or less to set that example before it is swept away by rising sea levels due to climate change." (IPS/IFEJ)

"Just Drill, Baby: Congress's energy policies would hinder America's economy" - "America's domestic oil production is declining, importation of oil is rising, and gasoline is more expensive. The government's Energy Information Administration reports that U.S. crude oil field production declined to 1.9 billion barrels in 2005 from 3.5 billion in 1970, and the share of our oil that is imported has increased to 60% from 27% in 1985. The price of gasoline has risen to $3.02 this month from $2 in today's dollars in 1985.

Washington politicians will tell you this is an "energy crisis," but America's energy challenges are far more political than substantive.

First, we are not running out of oil. In 1920 it was estimated that the world supply of oil was 60 billion barrels. By 1950 it was up to 600 billion, and by 1990 to two trillion. In 2000 the world supply of oil was estimated to be three trillion barrels." (Pete du Pont, Wall Street Journal)

"Exxon extends Bass Strait oil life" - "EXXONMOBIL, operator of the Bass Strait oil and gas fields, yesterday fired a shot across the bows of those pushing for carbon sequestration in depleted reservoirs in the Gippsland Basin, announcing that production could continue for another 20 to 30 years." (The Australian)

"Toiling in the Dark: Africa’s Power Crisis" - "Crippling electricity shortages in sub-Saharan Africa have begun to hamper the region’s development." (New York Times)

"Biofuels Pushing Up Food Aid Prices" - "WASHINGTON - A dramatic increase in the production of biofuels has led to rising food prices with serious implications for developing countries reliant on food aid to combat famine." (IPS)

"Creating A Biomess" - "Renewable energy has been rammed down our throats for so long that it's now widely accepted as a viable alternative. But a self-identified green scholar believes renewables violate nature." (IBD)

"German Environmentalists Wage War on Gas-Guzzlers" - "BERLIN - Radical enviromentalists in Germany have declared war on sport utility vehicles and luxury cars, deflating the tyres of more than 80 fuel-guzzlers in less than a week, a Berlin police spokesman said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Hog lagoons bubbling with energy possibilities" - "CLINTON --At a factory farm that houses more than 10,000 hogs, a black plastic tarp covering part of a hog waste pond swells with untapped opportunity. Captured beneath the cover is methane gas, which rises off the pond as manure decomposes. It is a potent greenhouse gas trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere. But methane can also fuel an incinerator or drive a turbine to produce electricity. The prospect of using the combustible gas to cut greenhouse gas emissions and produce revenue is drawing interest from entrepreneurs and agricultural companies." (News & Observer)

"Not-So-Elementary Bee Mystery" - "Detectives sift clues in the case of the missing insects" (Science News)

"Without U.S. Rules, Biotech Food Lacks Investors" - "As U.S. officials get serious about drafting industry rules, big investors may finally be willing to put up money." (New York Times)

"It takes a gene genie to feed a village" - "We are suspicious of genetic engineering, but bio-sciences are about to become the new industrial revolution. It’s not just about GM crops: soon we’ll be designing our own pets and tackling global poverty." (The Sunday Times)

July 27, 2007

"A Green Sings the Renewable Energy Blues" - "Rockefeller University’s Jesse Ausubel introduced his new article on renewable energy by openly worrying about “hereticide” — the all-to-common historical phenomenon of putting heretics to death." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Oh what a tangled web we weave — Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)" - "I wasn’t even going to write on this “study” because it elicited nothing more than thinly veiled hate speech and was such junk science I was certain no one would take it seriously.

I was wrong." (Junkfood Science)

Editor's note: I included this rubbish in yesterday's collation, thinking it worthy on the grounds that laughter really is the best medicine -- given the e-mails this has generated I now know this was a mistake. People, there are so many ways body image could influence self-selection, inclusion in and exclusion from social networks that the piece has all the hallmarks of an intentional joke. Being married to Arnold Schwarzenegger won't make Maria Shriver into Mr. Universe and social contact with an overweight person will not make you obese.

"Learning the hard way" - "Massachusetts is seeing another problem that can happen when public healthcare policies are based on feel good politics, rather than careful examinations of the facts and correctly defining the problems they profess to hope to solve. We could have predicted this...and, in fact, did less than two months ago." (Junkfood Science)

"Healthcare Privacy Update: Critical news today" - "Did you know that federal agencies are in the midst of deciding who will own and control our personal health information? Under a new proposal, a federal agency would be empowered to establish health privacy rights and how our private healthcare information is disclosed and used. Their proposed new national data collection entity would “nationalize ownership and control of private patient data,” said Twila Brase, RN, PHN, president of Citizens’ Council on Health Care." (Junkfood Science)

Oops! "New clues to ozone depletion" - "Large quantities of [natural] ozone-depleting chemicals have been discovered in the Antarctic atmosphere by researchers from the University of Leeds, the University of East Anglia, and the British Antarctic Survey." (University of Leeds)

"Isoprene emission from plants -- a volatile answer to heat stress" - "Isoprene is a hydrocarbon volatile compound emitted in high quantities by many woody plant species, with significant impact on atmospheric chemistry. The Australian Blue Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Eastern United States are so called because of the spectral properties of the huge amounts of isoprenes emitted from the trees growing there." (Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)

Yes, global warming really is man-made (Number Watch)

"How not to measure temperature, part 25" - "This picture, taken by www.surfacestations.org volunteer Don Kostuch is the Detroit Lakes, MN USHCN climate station of record. The Stevenson Screen is sinking into the swamp and the MMTS sensor is kept at a comfortable temperature thanks to the nearby A/C units." (Watt's Up With That?)

“The slow collapse of this 116-year old network has been documented”

From open letter to the U.S. Congress from the American Association of State Climatologists

"The slow collapse of this 116-year old network has been documented in numerous professional reports during the past two decades. This network faces extinction because the data still are manually acquired, much like in 1890, by volunteer observers using equipment that is either obsolete or obsolescent. It has proven almost impossible to replace aging observers. Data quality continues to diminish, access to the data (recorded on paper) remains arduous, and the corps of maintenance professionals has been decimated because federal personnel have been shifted to other duties”. (Icecap)

"Comments On The Second Web Posting By Kevin Trenberth on “Climate Feedback - The Climate Change Blog”" - "Kevin Trenberth has followed up his weblog on the Nature site Climate Feedback - The Climate Change Blog entitled “Predictions of climate” with a weblog on the subject of climate prediction. This new posting is entitled Global Warming and Forecasts of Climate Change.

Unfortunately, this new post lacks the candor that is in the original Nature weblog by Kevin Trenberth on this subject (as discussed on Climate Science).

The current weblog makes several misleading statements with respect to the ability to “project” climate change with the multi-decadal global climate models." (Climate Science)

"New Paper On The Biogeochemical Forcing of Elevated CO2" - "Thanks to Sallie Sprague for alerting me (through an Long Term Ecological Research - LTER project I am on) to an interesting new paper that has been published in the April 2007 issue of New Phytologist." (Climate Science)

"EPA Chief Vows to Probe E-mail Threatening to ‘Destroy’ Career of Climate Skeptic" - "During today’s hearing, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, confronted Stephen Johnson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with a threatening e-mail from a group of which EPA is currently a member. The e-mail threatens to “destroy” the career of a climate skeptic. Michael T. Eckhart, president of the environmental group the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), wrote in an email on July 13, 2007 to Marlo Lewis, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI):

“It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on."

In a July 16, Washington Times article, Eckhart confirmed that he did indeed write the email." (EPW)

Right... "UK Forecasters See More Deluges in Years To Come" - "LONDON - Rising global temperatures mean Britain is likely to face more deluges in years to come, government forecasters said on Thursday.

While Britain would normally expect wetter winters and drier summers from global warming, Stott said rising temperatures could also make storms much worse when they did hit.

"The overall signal is generally for a drying trend but nevertheless within that drying trend when it rains it can rain harder," Stott said." (Reuters)

  ... it'll be wetter when it's not drier.

"Floods, Heat Hit Europe, But Is It Global Warming?" - "LONDON - Computer simulations may soon be able to show how likely it is that extreme weather events such as the floods and heatwaves that swept Europe this week were caused by climate change, scientists say." (Reuters)

"Soggy excuse for global warming" - "HOW handy global warming is for the battling politician." (Herald Sun)

"Water Experts Find Earth's Warming, Rainfall Linked to Sun" - "A team of water experts says the pattern of droughts and floods in South Africa shows our global warming was triggered by the variability of the sun’s irradiance rather than by human-emitted CO2. They say variations in South African rainfall patterns are keyed to periodic reversals of the sun’s magnetic field—and to the constantly changing distance between the sun and the earth as both move through space.

In South Africa, alternate 11-year sunspot cycles produce opposite rainfall results. One complete “double sun cycle” occurs every 20.8 years: the “first” cycle brings a big flood, followed by a small drought; the next brings a big drought, followed by a small flood.

Lead author Will Alexander used the double sunspot cycle to publicly predict the end of major South African droughts in both 1995 and 2006. He notes that South African droughts have often been broken at 11-year intervals by severe floods associated with sunspot maxima—as in 1822, 1841, 1863, 1874 and 1885. The research summary appears in the June 2007 issue of the Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering." (CGFI)

Jimmy & the Nude Socialist: "Huge sea level rises are coming – unless we act now" - "I find it almost inconceivable that "business as usual" climate change will not result in a rise in sea level measured in metres within a century. Am I the only scientist who thinks so?

Last year I testified in a case brought by car manufacturers to challenge California's new laws on vehicle emissions. Under questioning from the lawyer, I conceded that I was not a glaciologist. The lawyer then asked me to identify glaciologists who agreed publicly with my assertion that sea level is likely to rise more than a metre this century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow: "Name one!" (NewScientist.com news service)

"Melting glaciers will dominate sea-level rise" - "Ice melt from small glaciers and ice caps will be the dominant cause of sea-level rise this century, according to new research. Scientists have previously suggested that the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland would be most responsible for rises as the Earth warms, as they hold the overwhelming majority of the world's frozen water.

Now an international team led by Mark Meier at the University of Colorado in Boulder, US, has found that glacial melt and the "calving" of icebergs into the ocean will account for 60% of all sea-level rise attributed to melting ice (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1143906). That is equivalent to an estimated 10 to 25 centimetre rise by 2100." (NewScientist.com news service)

Considering sea levels are believed to have been rising roughly 8 inches (20cm) per century for millennia guessing a range of 4-10 inches as above is not particularly adventurous, is it? Given that the North Polar ice cap is floating (and thus can't contribute to sea level rise), the sign of Greenland mass balance is uncertain (and therefore likely small, lacking obvious trend) and the South Polar ice cap appears to be gaining mass, Jimmy's wild gesticulations and hand wringing above seems even more ludicrous.

"'Arctic Tale' 'Documentary' Scripted; Tricks Kids Into Worrying About Global Warming" - "Environmentalists are targeting kids and using deception to get their message out. Anthropogenic global warming evangelists and wildlife filmmakers, Sarah Robertson and Adam Ravetch, made the upcoming live action “Arctic Tale” because as Robertson told the LA Times, "Global warming to a lot of people is statistics...What we wanted to do was put a face on climate change." (Lynn Davidson, News Busters)

"NYT Offers Two Glowing Reviews of Kristin Gore’s Global Warming Film" - "In the past four days, the New York Times published two reviews of "Arctic Tale," a new film about polar bears threatened by - wait for it! - global warming.

Makes one wonder whether the need for two reviews versus the normal one was due to the Times's desire to advance alarmism concerning the great, liberal bogeyman of climate change, or that the screenplay was co-written by soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore's daughter Kristin.

Whatever the reason, both articles were certainly chock-full of scary global warming references like the following from Andrew C. Revkin's piece from Sunday." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

Nonsense: "Development in poor nations adds to threat of climate change" - "CLIMATE change has for too long been viewed as largely an environmental or scientific problem, when it is just as much an issue of development.

While rapid economic development in places like China and India is helping to improve the lives of millions of the world's poor it is also exacerbating the peril facing low-lying Pacific island nations that do not have the resources or skills to meet the threat posed by climate change.

As a result, climate change needs to be at the core of Australia's aid program because the economic development that is helping to drag millions out of poverty paradoxically increases the threat posed by global warming to many of the poorest and most vulnerable in our region." (Matthew Clarke, Canberra Times)

People don't live in 'puter models and that is the only realm in which catastrophic AGW exists.

"We need fewer people to halt global warming" - "Charles Clover meets the new head of the Science Museum and hears his controversial views on tackling global warming." (London Telegraph)

"Carbon Cap and Trade" - "Nearly a decade ago, now Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi pushed the Central Intelligence Agency to move our satellites to monitor environmental problems rather than other threats -- such as terrorism -- she deemed less worrisome after the end of the Cold War. In particularly, she wanted to spend more time looking at global warming, a sentiment shared, according to former DCI Tenet’s recent book, by the then Vice President Al Gore.

Global warming alarmists are now pushing a scheme that will transfer money to the rich from the poor, dramatically increase energy prices, increase taxes, cause actual harm to the environment, eliminate Americans jobs and assist America’s strategic adversaries to build more energy production facilities. Large investment banks are adopting it. Brokers are seeking to cash in of what some suggest will be a $72 billion market by 2010.

It’s called “carbon cap and trade”. (Peter Huessy, Human Events)

"Environment Chief Draws Fire on Global Warming" - "WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's environment chief drew fire on Thursday from Democratic senators for delaying a decision on whether to let California regulate global warming emissions from cars and light trucks.

Stephen Johnson, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, has said the government will decide this question by year's end, two years after California's first request to set state air quality standards stricter than national rules.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat who heads the Environment and Public Works Committee, told Johnson at a hearing she found the delay incomprehensible.

"I fail to understand why it should take the agency until December, a total of two years, to decide this waiver request. In 30 years, EPA has granted over 50 waiver requests and has never denied one," Boxer said."

High time they did start denying them, then.

"Nuclear waste is hardly a worry when the climate change threat is so urgent" - "Atomic power is crucial in the fight against global warming. When we need to deal with the leftovers, we'll have the technology." (The Guardian)

Granted, nuclear waste is a vastly overblown non-problem. Then again, so is 'climate change'. One neither justifies nor requires the other.

"Europeans cling to cars despite growing worry over climate change" - "BRUSSELS, Belgium - Even environment-friendly Europeans find it hard to give up their cars for cleaner forms of transport despite growing concern over climate change, according to a European Union survey published Thursday." (AP)

"Shoppers pay lip service to green ideals, says Reckitt Benckiser boss" - "The head of one of the world's biggest cleaning products companies hit out yesterday at consumers who claimed to care about the environment but were not prepared to change their spending habits.

Bart Becht, chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, said the business was doing its fair share to help the environment but consumers had to pull their weight too.

He said: "If you ask me, would a consumer buy a product that is more carbon neutral than others? The answer is no." (The Guardian)

Everybody's got to get into the act: "US Launches Program To Offset Carbon With Trees" - "NEW YORK - US consumers who see planting trees as a way to fight global warming can now sprout them without getting out the garden tools." (Reuters)

"Navajos and Environmentalists Split on Power Plant" - "The struggle over a proposal for a huge coal-fired power plant on a Navajo reservation is a homegrown version of the global debate on climate change." (New York Times)

"BRAZIL: In Search of Sustainable Ethanol" - "PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil - To curb international criticism of its cane alcohol industry, the Brazilian government announced that it will ban new sugarcane fields in the Amazon region and in the vast Pantanal wetland." (IPS)

"Dead Zone grows in Gulf: Ethanol push's effects hurt Texas, Louisiana seafood industry" - "The crop that's bringing prosperity to farmers is making it harder for commercial fishermen in Louisiana to make a living.

This spring, U.S. farmers planted the most acreage with corn since 1944, after demand for ethanol pushed the grain's price to a 10-year high in February. Scientists blame farm waste flowing into the Mississippi River basin for creating a pocket along the Louisiana coast where shrimp and other sea life can't survive." (Bloomberg News)

"FDA Says No New Labeling For Nanotech Products" - "CHICAGO - The US Food and Drug Administration Wednesday said the rising number of cosmetics, drugs and other products made using nanotechnology do not require special regulations or labeling." (Reuters)

July 26, 2007

"He Only Saved a Billion People" - "July 30, 2007 issue - It's a trifecta much bigger and rarer than an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony. Only five people in history have ever won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal: Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel ... and Norman Borlaug." (Jonathan Alter, Newsweek)

"Polluting minds" - "There is something horribly familiar about the west's attacks on China for daring to develop: it's called racism." (Brendan O'Neill, The Guardian)

"Soggy Lunches Could Soon Be on City Menu" - "SAN FRANCISCO — This city, long known for being on the culinary cutting edge, is now exporting a more ignominious dining trend that could soon make its way to New York: the soggy lunch.

Last month, San Francisco banned the Styrofoam-type boxes that are ubiquitous at takeout counters across the country. Most restaurants replaced the so-called clamshell boxes with biodegradable substitutes. However, the substitute boxes start the composting process as soon as they are exposed to heat and moisture, which means diners can unexpectedly end up with a lapful of pad thai or a messy bagful of barbecued beef." (News York Sun)

Imagine that... "Britons Reject 'Green' Taxes" - "LONDON - Half of British consumers are not prepared to pay more tax to help the environment, according to a poll." (Reuters)

"'Wildways' Would Bridge a Fractured Continent" - "NEW YORK - Before deforestation and sprawl fragmented North America's wilderness into isolated islands of bio-homogeneity, the largest of carnivores and smallest of rodents roamed the expansive continent at will." (IPS)

"GE issues credit card aimed to cut emissions" - "NEW YORK - General Electric Co. issued a credit card on Wednesday it says will be the first to cut help U.S. cardholders voluntarily cut emissions linked to global warming.

The card, called GE Money Earth Rewards Platinum Mastercard, allows users the option of automatically contributing up to one percent of their card purchases to buy greenhouse emissions offsets." (Reuters)

"GPs antibiotic prescribing practices are still contributing to resistance" - "GPs are still prescribing antibiotics for up to 80% of cases of sore throat, otitis media, upper respiratory tract infections, and sinusitis, despite the fact that official guidance warns against this practice, according to an analysis of the world’s largest primary care database of consultations and prescriptions, published this week in a supplement to the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

Although prescriptions of antibiotics for respiratory tract infections declined during the 1990s, GPs still continue to prescribe antibiotics for a high proportion of infections even if the causes of the symptoms are likely to be viral. And this practice is hindering efforts to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance - whereby disease-causing bacteria become unresponsive to the most commonly used drug treatments." (Oxford University Press)

"Tiny Town Demands Justice in Dioxin Poisoning" - "BOSTON - A U.S. health agency has made research subjects of people in tiny Mossville, Louisiana by repeatedly monitoring dangerously high levels of dioxin in their blood while doing nothing to get the community out of harm's way, residents say." (IPS)

Whilst it is easy to feel sympathy for these people we simply can't pretend there's any evidence dioxin is making them ill. Dioxin loads might make a useful marker for total exposure to potentially hazardous substances (plausible) but chloracne is the only demonstrated human response to even quite significant dioxin exposure. Finding levels "two or three times above normal" (presumably for people with access to base load electricity and modern appliances) is certainly not the same as "dangerously high" (compare levels in developed world denizens with those reliant on wood and dung cooking/heating fuels for an idea of just how silly is wealthy ecochondria -- go back to 'nature' and really rack up some dioxin exposure).

"Air pollution link to clogged arteries" - "Should we be watching our exposure to airborne pollution as well as our cholesterol levels" Research now indicates that air pollution has a role to play in atherosclerosis (artery hardening), which can contribute to heart attacks or strokes. Findings published in the open access journal, Genome Biology, show how the fats that clog arteries work together with air pollution particles, triggering the genes behind inflammation." (BioMed Central)

That's great... what a pity there's no evidence cholesterol levels are in any way indicative of cardiovascular health.

"Taking advantage of parents' fears" - "Two terribly sad stories of loss are worthy of note. Another child has died after being given chelation therapy. His parents, desperately seeking for ways to help their autistic son, had been led to believe that he had “high” mercury levels and that chelation could help him." (Junkfood Science)

"Thinking inside the box again" - "That didn’t take long. Texas didn’t even wait for the Fitnessgram results to come in before following other states in “doing something about” the numbers of “unfit” children." (Junkfood Science)

"Obesity is 'socially contagious'" - "Are your friends making you fat" Or keeping you slender" According to new research from Harvard and the University of California, San Diego, the short answer on both counts is "yes." (University of California - San Diego)

"Worst of Atlantic Hurricane Season Still to Come" - "MIAMI - Nearly eight weeks have passed since the last tropical storm in the Atlantic-Caribbean region faded away, but banish any notion the 2007 hurricane season has been unusually slow and beware the coming months, experts say.

The peak of the six-month season is just around the corner and forecasters are still predicting a busy one.

"There's absolutely nothing out of the ordinary," Gerry Bell, a hurricane forecaster for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said of the Atlantic season's first two months. "It's not slow. It's not fast." (Reuters)

"Hurricanes and Hot Air" - "Though the 2007 hurricane season is off to a slow start, my colleague Phil Klotzbach and I will be updating our seasonal Atlantic Basin Hurricane Activity Forecast on Aug 3. We still anticipate another active season -- an above-average number of major hurricanes with maximum sustained winds in excess of 110 mph.

Since 1995, the Atlantic basin has experienced a significant increase in major hurricanes, with 47 major storms in the last 12 years. During the prior 25-year period, 1970 to 1994, there were only 38 major hurricanes, or, on an annual basis, slightly less than 40% as many. On a long period normalized basis, major hurricanes account for about 80% to 85% of all U.S. tropical cyclone-related destruction.

Some scientists, journalists and activists see a direct link between the post-1995 upswing in Atlantic hurricanes and global warming brought on by human-induced greenhouse gas increases. This belief, however, is unsupported by long-term Atlantic and global observations." (William M Gray, Wall Street Journal)

"Forecaster cuts 2007 hurricane outlook" - "NEW YORK -The 2007 hurricane season may be less severe than forecast due to cooler-than-expected water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, private forecaster WSI Corp said on Tuesday.

The season will bring 14 named storms, of which six will become hurricanes and three will become major hurricanes, WSI said in its revised outlook. WSI had previously expected 15 named storms of which eight would become hurricanes and four would become major hurricanes.

"Because the ocean temperatures have not yet rebounded from the significant drop in late spring, we have decided to reduce our forecast numbers slightly," said Todd Crawford, a WSI seasonal forecaster." (Reuters)

"Tempest In A Teapot" - "Global Warming: A private firm's downgrade of its hurricane forecast raises an obvious question: If scientists can't get near-future projections in a limited area right, how can they predict the climate decades from now?" (IBD)

"The GLORIA Program - Monitoring High Altitude Vegetation" - "Michael Gottfried alerted me to a very important climate monitoring program in which high altitude vegeation is monitored for its long term changes (such as movement of plant species up or down slope. This type of monitoring complements the phenology monitoring that has been discussed on Climate Science." (Climate Science)

"Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics" (.pdf) - "By Gerhard Gerlich, Institute ur Mathematische Physik, Federal Republic of Germany

The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea that authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861 and Arrhenius 1896 and is still supported in global climatology essentially describes a fictitious mechanism in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist.

Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientific foundation. In this paper the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarified. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric greenhouse effects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned difference of 33 C is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsified." (Icecap)

From the rubber room: "War on Terra, Climate Criminals" - "TERRA – our Planet, the Earth - is under acute threat from Climate Criminals threatening the Third World with Climate Genocide and the Biosphere with Terracide (the killing of our Planet). Words are failing to persuade people to act urgently to save the Planet in a Bush-ite Western world in a morass of Mainstream media lying and spin. As one alternative approach to convince people to act I have painted a huge painting (1.3 x 2.9 meters) called “Terra” that attempts to show the beauty of the Earth and its uniqueness in the solar system and, maybe, the Universe." (MWC)

"Meet Blackle - (not to be outdone by Crapple)" - "Meet Blackle (I'm sure they love me giving them free press) - an energy saving google search engine.

According to their website

Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. "Image displayed is primarily a function of the user's color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen."


Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year

Wow that's impressive. Nice work. Their webpage currently has them at saving 112,427.811 Watt hours. So they've saved just over a tenth of a megawatt. Good stuff.

So what does this all mean?" (Gust of Hot Air)

"Kyoto Anniversary: What it Means Today" - "Ten years ago today the U.S. Senate did something that at the time seemed significant and now seems remarkably foresightful. By a vote of 95 to 0, the Senate voted in favor of the Byrd-Hagel resolution, which expressed the Sense of the Senate on the upcoming global warming negotiations in Kyoto, Japan." (Myron Ebell, Human Events)

"Happy Decennial, Byrd-Hagel" - "It seems like only yesterday that the U.S. Senate struggled to be heard – pursuant to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution which requires that treaties be made with their “advice” – by an administration not overly interested in consulting on whether to join a “binding” global warming treaty. In fact, it was ten years ago today that the Senate unanimously instructed the Clinton-Gore administration to not go to Kyoto and agree to that pact, or anything else that met certain proscribed characteristics which happen to describe Kyoto to a Tee.

This became known as the “Byrd-Hagel” resolution, most of whose terms have found their way into subsequent resolutions. In short, nothing has changed on this front in a decade – despite desperate claims that, by so repeating these conditions, the Senate rejected them – except that we’ve learned how George W. Bush helped make the world hate us by agreeing with the Senate." (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Uh-huh... "US EPA Sees Little Economic Impact from CO2 Cuts" - "WASHINGTON - A Senate proposal to cap and eventually reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions would stunt economic growth by no more than 1.6 percent by 2030, the US Environmental Protection Agency found Tuesday." (Reuters)

... this from the organization that brought us estimates of 8-32 trillion dollars benefit from reduced skin cancers by phasing out CFCs and 'protecting the ozone' (no mention of increased cost from skin cancers when it comes to lower tropospheric ozone requirements, even though ozone at 10 feet altitude is as protective against incoming UV as ozone at 10 miles altitude). The EPA is a bunch of agenda-driven zealots who wouldn't recognize a genuine cost-benefit analysis if it was wearing a sign bearing 6-inch lettering.

"Ozone Cuts Plant Growth, Spurs Global Warming - Study" - "WASHINGTON - The affects of greenhouse gas ozone, which has been increasing near Earth's surface since 1850, could seriously cut into crop yields and spur global warming this century, scientists reported on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Orange Blossom Madness" - "The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a large cloud of dust containing such delicacies as man-made sulfates, smog, industrial fumes, carbon grit, and nitrates is crossing the Pacific from Asia and aims to set up over California.

Journal science writer Robert Lee Holtz says these "rivers of polluted air can be wider than the Amazon and deeper than the Grand Canyon." He says on some days one third of the air over Los Angeles and San Francisco "can be traced directly to Asia."

With this news fresh in our minds, it's a good time to reflect on the sheer futility of American governors, and the federals, adopting laws and regulations restricting energy use in the name of saving us from global warming. Even if it were established that continued warming of our planet would lead to a list of horribles as harsh as God visited on Old Pharaoh -- and the evidence for this has to be believed to be seen -- or that somehow men could decide what the Earth's temperature ought to be and somehow bring that temperature about -- hubris gone to town -- there would still be the fact that the folks running the expanding economies of China and India are not about to give up their shot at the good life in order to make Western environmentalists happy. These countries will soon be the world's major polluters, including the biggest producers of greenhouse gasses." (Larry Thornberry, TAS)

"New Hampshire experts debate how global warming is measured" - "Have Northeast winters grown dramatically warmer in the last 30 years? A researcher for the Union of Concerned Scientists says yes, emphatically. UNH researcher Dr. Cameron Wake's findings of a four-degree increase from 1970 to 2000 have been cited in a congressional global warming hearing and contributed to UCS reports last year and this month that predicted huge changes ahead.

But a retired Boston meteorologist says the finding is the product of biased data selection. It is something the scientists group has been accused of before." (Union Leader)

UCS? Who cares?

"How Britannia rues the waves" - "THEY are scenes the likes of which the country has never before seen. Towns and villages stranded in the middle of newly formed lakes, houses under feet of floodwater, a huge relief operation to reach the hundreds of thousands left without electricity and fresh-water supplies. Livestock drowned, homes ruined, boats swept from their moorings, cherished photographs lost forever.

Thousands upon thousands of people are counting the cost of unprecedented havoc wreaked by severe floods across the southern shires of England. But this may be the summer weather we will all have to learn to live with." (The Scotsman)

"It's flood sweat and 60 years" - "RIVERS are bursting their banks, homes are inundated and there seems no end to the misery. It sounds like the summer of 2007 — but this description in fact comes from the Great Flood of 1947. The devastation caused 60 years ago affected almost every river in the South, Midlands and North East. More than 100,000 homes were flooded, 700,000 acres of land submerged and most of the crops wiped out. This year’s flood is widely attributed to global warming. In contrast the Great Flood was caused by an unusually cold spell." (The Sun)

"Is extreme weather due to climate change?" - "With parts of Europe baking in a heatwave, while parts of England are experiencing their worst flooding for 60 years, it is tempting to ascribe this extreme weather to climate change. But climate scientists are reluctant to make this link." (BBC)

"Environmental Group Gives Patio Heater Warning" - "LONDON - The use of domestic patio heaters, accused of contributing to global warming through their carbon dioxide emissions, is set to double in Britain in the coming year, an environment group said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Study: Nevada has big temperature gains" - "RENO, Nev. — Nevada is among the states with the most dramatic increase in average temperatures the last 30 years, according to a new study that examines the impact of global warming across the country." (AP)

And they know this because a bunch of greenies said so. US PIRG... sheesh!

"Can 'green chic' save the planet?" - "Ecofriendly buying choices alone can't sustain America's lifestyle, experts warn – unless 'looking green' becomes 'voting green.'" (The Christian Science Monitor)

"MRS. CARBON SASQUATCH" - "Climate scold Laurie David is living it up with a new guy, enjoying sustainable water-skiing jaunts and the like (hope that boat’s a hybrid!). A neighbour of the wealthy eco-tyrant isn’t amused:" (Tim Blair)

"New Federal Bureaucracy Proposed to Deal With Carbon Emissions" - "Just how far is all this global warming nonsense going?

Well, on Tuesday, four senators proposed a bill that would create a new federal bureaucracy to oversee the growing multi-billion dollar carbon trading market.

Just what we need, right? Another monolithic bureaucracy, this one designed to help solve a problem the existence of which is greatly questioned." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"Tell Governor Crist To Stop Pandering to Radical Environmentalists!" - "As you may know already, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has made a deal with radical environmentalists. Armey’s Axiom is “If you make a deal with the devil you are the junior partner.”

Under pressure from Al Gore and his liberal buddies in Hollywood, Governor Crist has issued three executive orders that would: force reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, impose California-style carbon dioxide motor vehicle standards and force appliances to meet certain “efficiency” standards. Crist is also “warming” up to the Europeans, inviting British and German officials to “discuss and promote initiatives that broaden the Kyoto Protocol and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases beyond 2012.” (Freedom Works)

"A dark side to the ethanol boom?" - "A backlash to fuel made from corn is emerging among environmentalists, economists, and antipoverty activists." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Juicing down for global warming" - "More electric utilities need to install 'smart' meters that show real-time costs and reduce power demand." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Renewable energy could 'rape' nature" - "Ramping up the use of renewable energy would lead to the "rape of nature", meaning nuclear power should be developed instead. So argues noted conservation biologist and climate change researcher Jesse Ausubel in an opinion piece based on his and others' research.

Ausubel says the key renewable energy sources, including sun, wind, and biomass, would all require vast amounts of land if developed up to large scale production – unlike nuclear power. That land would be far better left alone, he says.

Renewables are "boutique fuels" says Ausubel, of Rockefeller University in New York, US. "They look attractive when they are quite small. But if we start producing renewable energy on a large scale, the fallout is going to be horrible." (NewScientist.com news service)

"FDA sees nanotech challenges in every product category it regulates" - "WASHINGTON, DC—According to Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Director David Rejeski, “Today, FDA took a step forward in fulfilling its responsibilities for nanotechnology oversight. If nanotechnology regulation was a baseball game, FDA has scored the first run in the first inning. But the agency must act rapidly to adopt and fully implement the Nanotechnology Task Force’s recommendations. Without moving quickly and building on the recommendations in the Task Force report, FDA will not be able to keep pace with today’s rapidly developing nanotechnology market or engender consumer and investor confidence in emerging products.” (Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies)

"Cyprus Greens Angry at GMO Law Shelved" - "NICOSIA - Environmental campaigners in Cyprus accused the government of yielding to American influence on Wednesday by refusing to endorse ground-breaking legislation forcing retailers to segregate GMO food." (Reuters)

July 25, 2007

Column of the Day: "Prius Politics" - "... Prius politics is a delusional exercise in public relations that, while not helping the environment, might hurt the economy. " (Robert Samuelson, Washington Post)

"New model for autism suggests women carry the disorder and explains age as a risk factor" - "A new model for understanding how autism is acquired has been developed by a team of researchers led by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Autism is a developmental disorder, characterized by language impairments, social deficits, and repetitive behaviors." (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)

"Booster shots with mercury?" - "It’s time for another critical thinking booster shot... for the media. No matter how many times science injects a dose of reality to refute hair-raising claims, the shots last only a short while before the media is trying to scare us again — using the exact same claims! Saddest of all, the scares needlessly target young parents who are naturally concerned for the welfare of their babies and children.

Here we go again with headlines reporting on “high” mercury levels that aren’t really high." (Junkfood Science)

Uh-huh... "Another human civilization may live inside Earth's hollows" - "Since ancient times the exploration of the North was of immense interest to humans. It was an attraction for adventurers and researchers seeking mysterious land and unexplored islands there.

Legends say that an entry to the underground realms was located somewhere in the North, and legendary ancient tribes living on the planet centuries ago used the entries to have a good shelter under the Earth's surface. Mystics believe that the entry to the legendary Hyperborea, Shambala and Plutonia is carefully concealed from outsiders somewhere close to the North Pole. Recently, a reliable edition reported that UFOs coming to this planet start not from space but burst out from huge holes under the surface in the North Pole." (Pravda.Ru)

... Al's next calling?

"St. John's mayor calls Suzuki, Gore 'junk scientists'" - "Andy Wells, the outspoken Mayor of St. John's, has outraged Canadian environmentalists and physicians with his comments that David Suzuki and Al Gore are "junk scientists," and that herbicides in small amounts are safe." (CanWest News Service)

"The Sun Loses its Spots" - "While sidewalks crackle in the summer heat, NASA scientists are keeping a close eye on the sun. It is almost spotless, a sign that the Sun may have reached solar minimum. Scientists are now watching for the first spot of the new solar cycle to appear." (NASA)

Moonbat said it: "Ethical shopping is just another way of showing how rich you are" - " It wasn't meant to happen like this. The climate scientists told us that our winters would become wetter and our summers drier. So I can't claim that these floods were caused by climate change, or are even consistent with the models." (George Monbiot, The Guardian) [ em added]

"Global warming? No, just an old-style British summer" - "It was devastating. In only two hours, three times the average monthly rainfall drilled into swaths of southern England, moving north and wreaking havoc.

On Friday, the South West, Midlands and Yorkshire were hit by the second such downpour this month. It had been predicted but, to those caught up in them, the torrents that ran through the streets and flooded the countryside were no less catastrophic for that.

To many, the black skies and fierce rains must have seemed an ominous portent of things to come: symptomatic of the environmental ravages of global warming.

But, however extreme the weather we have experienced over the past few days, its significance in meteorological terms is likely to be more prosaic.

This year's apparently extraordinary weather is no more sinister than a typical British summer of old and a reminder of why Mediterranean holidays first became so attractive to us more than 40 years ago." (Daily Mail)

Seems like just yesterday we had: Hot summer on the way, predicts Met.

"Shocking news: Britain’s a wet country" - "What on earth is going on with our weather? Three months’ worth of rain fell in a few places last week, Britain is drowning under floods of biblical proportions and nothing like it has been seen since Noah got his sea legs. In a wave of hysteria, the cry goes out for millions of sandbags, better drains and more flood defences. And fingers of blame are pointing at global warming.

But a simple fact has been overlooked: Britain is a wet country. Yes, it comes as a shock. Over the past few years we’ve become so used to years of scorching, Mediterranean-like summers, when hosepipe bans were the norm, vines were bursting with vintage grapes and water diviners were doing big business. But the truth is that our summers are supposed to be wet: it’s our climate.

The accoutrements of the British summer holiday were thick pullovers and waterproofs. You expected to shiver on wet promenades, “Rain stopped play” was the national mantra and sunblock cream was something for film stars and models. That is why the August Bank Holiday was shunted to the end of the month, because the beginning of August was so awful." (Paul Simons, London Times)

"Michael Moore causes global warming" - "Backreaction rationally analyzes an article in Nude Socialist that argues that "it is becoming clear that obese people are having a direct impact on the climate". Bee has some comments about the actual flow of energy in this context." (The Reference Frame)

Because lots of people sent this link... "All in a Good Cause" - "Here's a story you haven't heard, and you should have.

An intelligence source, working for a government agency. He's not a spy, he's an analyst. He uses computers to crunch numbers and at the end of his work, out pops the truth that was hiding in the original data. Let's call him "Mann."

The trouble with Mann is, he has an ideology. He knows what he wants his results to be. And the original numbers aren't giving him that data. So the agency he works for won't be able to persuade people to fight the war he wants to fight.

Well, that's not acceptable." (Orson Scott Card, Meridian Magazine)

... it's actually a reprint but well worth running again.

"Article On The Documentation Of Uncertainties And Biases Associated With Surface Temperature Measurement Sites For Climate Change Assessment Has Been Published" - "Pielke Sr., R.A. J. Nielsen-Gammon, C. Davey, J. Angel, O. Bliss, M. Cai, N. Doesken, S. Fall, D. Niyogi, K. Gallo, R. Hale, K.G. Hubbard, X. Lin, H. Li, and S. Raman, 2007: Documentation of uncertainties and biases associated with surface temperature measurement sites for climate change assessment. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 913-928.

The full paper is available directly from the American Meteorological Society’s Open Access Content source." (Climate Science)

"Study: Rising Temperatures Pose Danger" - "Rising temperatures in eastern Canada are making it more dangerous for the native Inuit population in the province of Quebec to travel and hunt by snowmobile, and a new study recommends that they return to using the traditional dogsled." (AP)

"Greenland Ice Reveals Evidence of Global Warming" - "Periods of global warming and cooling have caused the terrain of Greenland to change over time -- part of the natural process of the Earth's evolution. But as VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports, scientists who work in Greenland are concerned that evidence they are finding today in the ice indicates that mankind could be causing a change in Greenland's natural evolution -- for the worse.

Greenland is the fastest-warming location on the planet. The average temperature here is four degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was a decade ago." (VOA News)

Fastest warming location on the planet, eh? So, working from the GHCN Land Surface Data Set with an area bound of Longitude: 75 to 15W; Latitude: 85 to 60N, we expect to find most warm years to have occurred recently, no? Well, how many of the top 20 warm years have occurred in the 20-year period 1987-2006? Answer: 7, same as the number ranked from 21-50 and just one more than failed to make even that 'warm' list.

In fact, if you take a look at the 20th Century plot, the only warming really worth talking about occurred in the 1920s.

"Global Kellogging" - "Watching Albert Arnold Gore Jr., Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr., and their fellow juniors consistently duck the tough questions about the scientific shortcomings of their elaborate phantasm of global warming, carbon footprints, hybrid automobiles, fluorescent light bulbs, greenhouse gases, toxic emissions, shrinking icecaps, melting glaciers, homeless polar bears and boring documentaries, it suddenly hit me: if it ducks like a quack, it must be a quack." (Jay D. Homnick, American Spectator)

"Cold Or Hot, it's always our fault" - "If you haven't been following Lawrence Solomon's brilliant, reader-friendly Financial Post series on the scientists who are skeptical of the coming global warming crisis, you really must check it out. It's called Climate change: The Deniers, and there is a link to the 29 profiles he as written so far on the National Post's homepage. (Go to www.nationalpost.com, and scroll down to the "Current Features" section.)" (Lorne Gunter, National Post)

"U.S. Lawmakers Eye European Carbon ‘Cap-and-Trade’ Fiasco" - "Washington, D.C., July 24, 2007—U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman and John Warner are poised to introduce legislation to impose on Americans a costly, harmful European-style cap-and-trade scheme aimed at reducing carbon emissions." (CEI)

Opening Statement: Hearing on “Economic and International Issues in Global Warming Policy” - Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection  Hearing on "Economic and International Issues in Global Warming Policy" (Senator Inhofe, EPW)

"Proposed Climate Bills Fail To Meet Senate Test" - "The United States Senate has passed two similar resolutions establishing a standard for passing global warming legislation. In 1997, the Byrd-Hagel Sense of the Senate, which passed 95 – 0, resolved that the U.S. should not be a signatory to any international agreement that would result in serious harm to the U.S. economy or did not mandate reductions from the developing world. Similarly, the Bingaman Sense of the Senate, passed in 2005, resolved that the U.S. should address global warming as long as it will not significantly harm the United States economy and encourages comparable action by other nations that are major trading partners and key contributors to global emissions." (EPW)

"Climate change crystal ball clouds over" - "One of the main clubs with which the very vocal pro-greenhouse camp repeatedly beat their opponents is the assertion that there is a “consensus” of scientific opinion that temperatures are set to increase dramatically in coming decades.

This club is wielded again and again in response to almost every counter argument. Pro-greenhousers repeatedly state that “every scientist” agrees or that there is a “steady accumulation of scientific evidence” in favour of warming, and so on.

Some of this is due to public confusion over the object of the debate. There is no doubt that temperatures have increased by about a degree or so since 1860, but greenhousers seem to be arguing as if the sceptics are questioning that basic point. In fact, the sceptics are usually questioning the value of the temperature forecasts made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is most certainly up for debate." (Mark S. Lawson, Online Opinion)

"Latvia Considers Legal Action Over EU Carbon Quota" - "RIGA - Latvia is considering taking the European Commission to court after it rejected the country's carbon dioxide (CO2) quota application, its environment minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday." (Reuters)

From CO2 Science this week:

North American Droughts: How have they responded to the supposedly unprecedented warming of the 20th century?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2), Central Greenland. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Sea Level (The Role of Greenland): What do we know about past and present relationships between global warming and mass wastage of the Greenland Ice Sheet and their implications for global sea level change?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Alfalfa, Paper Birch, Sweet Potato, and Thrift Seapink.

Journal Reviews:
On Deriving a History of Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Numbers: How good are the existing data? ... and what type of bias might they contain?

A 1200-Year Reconstruction of Glacier Mass Balance in the Polar Urals: What does it suggest about Al Gore's characterization of the current state of earth's climate?

Dimethylsulfide Production in the North Pacific Ocean: How did it vary over the last three decades of the 20th century? And why is the result of significance to the global warming debate?

Antarctic Moss Responses to Atmospheric CO 2 Enrichment: If air temperature and atmospheric CO 2 concentration continue to rise, what will happen to Antarctica's mosses?

Growth of Komatsuna and Radish in Japan: CO 2 vs. O 3 : Ozone can take a big bite out of vegetable production in Japan. Can elevated CO 2 reduce the loss?

Tularosa, NM Temperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Tularosa, NM. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Tularosa's mean annual temperature has cooled by 2.40 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Polar Bears: Times is on their side" - "The New York Times sets the stage for a new movie, scheduled to open in the coming weeks, called “Arctic Tale” – a fictitious account of the struggle of polar bears and walruses against a changing climate. In his July 23, 2007 article “Cooking Up a Fable on Melting Ice” Andy Revkin describes how, using footage filmed over the course of several years, filmmakers Adam Ravetch and Sarah Robertson, assembled a story “exploring challenges facing polar bears and walruses, two familiar denizens of the icy, but warming, seas at the top of the world.” (WCR)

"Renewable energy wrecks environment, scientist claims" - "Renewable does not mean green. That is the claim of Jesse Ausubel of the Rockefeller University in New York. Writing in Inderscience's International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology, Ausubel explains that building enough wind farms, damming enough rivers, and growing enough biomass to meet global energy demands will wreck the environment." (Inderscience Publishers)

"Green Groups Sue US Government to Stop Coal Plant" - "NEW YORK - Green groups said they filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to stop a government office from funding the building of a coal-fired power station until it discloses the global warming impacts of the plant." (Reuters)

"Japan Says Nuclear Closure Could Affect CO2 Target" - "TOKYO - Japan's plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions under the Kyoto Protocol could be affected if an earthquake-hit nuclear power plant is closed for a long time, the country's trade minister said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

July 24, 2007

"DDT And Global Swarming" - "The Los Angeles Times hypes an alleged link between global warming and a rise in malaria in parts of Africa. It so happens those areas don't use a cure that the Times doesn't mention — DDT." (IBD)

"An African's plea: No more 'saviors'" - "Africa doesn't want to be saved. With fair partnerships, it is capable of unprecedented growth." (Uzodinma Iweala, The Christian Science Monitor)

From the 'so what?' file: "Something fishy: 1 in 4 New Yorkers has elevated blood mercury" - "NEW YORK -- A quarter of adults in the city have elevated levels of mercury in their blood, linked to how much fish they eat, according to survey results released Monday by the health department.

Rates were higher among more affluent residents compared to those in lower income groups and were high among Asians, who eat more fish, the survey showed.

While mercury at the levels found in New Yorkers doesn't really pose a risk for most adults, the city suggested that children under 6 years old and pregnant and breast-feeding women avoid fish with high mercury contents over concerns that it increases the risk of cognitive problems in children.

"It's not bad for the average adult who isn't reproducing," said Daniel Kass, assistant commissioner for environmental surveillance and policy at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "For a brief period of life, during pregnancy, while breast-feeding, it would be best to keep mercury levels down." (Associated Press)

"Childhood sun exposure may lower risk of MS" - "People who spent more time in the sun as children may have a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than people who had less sun exposure during childhood, according to a study published in the July 24, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology." (American Academy of Neurology)

"Study finds association between low cholesterol levels and cancer" - "Millions of Americans take statins to lower their cholesterol, but how low should you go" Many scientific studies support the benefits of lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and achieving low LDL cholesterol levels is one of the most important steps in preventing heart disease. New research, however, provides evidence for an association between low LDL levels and cancer risk." (American College of Cardiology)

From the 'might/may/could/not likely' file: "Diet Or Not, Soda May Increase Heart Risks" - "Drinking a daily soft drink increases risk factors associated with heart disease, whether you drink diet soda or regular, researchers said." (KOCO)

"Not bound by age" - "Many of those struggling with disordered eating don’t fit the popular image of a teenage girl. A sufferer may be a young man, fat woman, elementary school child, babyboomer or grandmother. In fact, eating disorder treatment centers across the country are reporting that they’re seeing more older Americans...notably more:" (Junkfood Science)

60 years, eh? "Water Levels Reaching 60-Year Highs" - "GLOUCESTER, England - Flood waters across huge swathes of England rose to 60-year highs on Monday, submerging vast tracts of land and leaving thousands of people without running water or electricity." (Reuters)

No points for the obvious question, although it doesn't seem to have occurred to the AGW cheer squad.

"Human activity changing global rains" - "A STUDY has yielded the first confirmation that global warming is already affecting the world's rainfall patterns, bringing more precipitation to northern Europe, Canada and northern Russia but less to swathes of sub-Saharan Africa, southern India and Southeast Asia.

The changes "may have already had significant effects on ecosystems, agriculture and human regions that are sensitive to changes in precipitation, such as the Sahel'', warns the paper released today by Nature, the British science journal.

Scientists have long said that global warming is bound to interfere with snow and rainfall patterns, because air and sea temperatures and sea-level atmospheric pressure - the underlying forces behind these patterns - are already changing.

But, until now, evidence that the interference was already happening existed anecdotally or in computer models, rather than from observation." (Agence France-Presse)

Actually Africa has been drying much longer than that -- check out the American Meteorological Society's Monthly Weather Review article: The Desiccation of Africa, there's a link to the .pdf but no abstracts are available for reprints from The Geographical Journal, Feb., 1919, vol. 53, pp. 122-123.

See Climate change - there is no need for concern, Prof WJR Alexander, Science in Africa

See also: Climate and desertification in Southern Africa; Precipitation (Variability - Africa) -- Summary

but, according to The Indy: "England under water: scientists confirm global warming link to increased rain" - "It's official: the heavier rainfall in Britain is being caused by climate change, a major new scientific study will reveal this week, as the country reels from summer downpours of unprecedented ferocity.

More intense rainstorms across parts of the northern hemisphere are being generated by man-made global warming, the study has established for the first time an effect which has long been predicted but never before proved." (London Independent)

but wait, there's more! "A 21st century catastrophe" - "Flood-ravaged Britain is suffering from a wholly new type of civil emergency, it is clear today: a disaster caused by 21st-century weather." (London Independent)

"Shining More Light on the Solar Factor- A Critical Review of the Lockwood and Frolich Paper" - "Just recently, with the release in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of the paper “Recent Oppositely Directed Trends In Solar Climate Forcings And The Global Mean Surface Air Temperature” by Mike Lockwood and Claus Frohlich, the global warmers declared victory and went home." (Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP)

Wha...? "Cold finishes off barra" - "IT'S enough to make any barramundi fanatic reach for a hanky. Thousands of dead tropical fish – some more than a metre long – floating to the surface of Lake Moondarra, Mount Isa's main water supply. Authorities are blaming Queensland's big chill on the mass fish deaths, which have local anglers fearing the worst." (Courier-Mail)

"Authorities are blaming Queensland's big chill on the mass fish deaths" So, um, mass fish deaths cause massive cooling -- who knew fish were a warming influence?

"Comment On Why Climate Science Is Presenting Evidence Of Glacier Advance or Near-Stationary Positions In Some Areas" - "The question has been raised as to why Climate Science is seeking evidence for regions with glacier retreat. It has already been mentioned that the impression that glaciers are retreating almost everywhere worldwide has been expressed in media reports. This web posting provides a clear reason why the summary of papers and other evidence on glacier retreat is needed, since the 2007 IPCC chapter on this subject (Chapter 4) does not completely report on this subject." (Climate Science)

"Republican Governors Who Wilt" - "Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford have largely conservative support (a few say they are moderates). Regardless, why have both signed deals with an environmental advocacy group to administer their respective states' programs to confront global warming?" (Paul Chesser, American Spectator)

"Warner quietly emerges as pivotal on Senate climate change legislation" - "Sen. John Warner has quietly reshaped Senate efforts to curb global warming, despite being immersed in Washington’s rancorous debate over Iraq.

The senior Virginia Republican, who holds the balance of power on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made a surprising decision last month to back controls on greenhouse gas emissions across every industrial sector.

This has added momentum to Democratic efforts to approve a climate-change bill, and given hope to advocates that Warner could help forge agreement with the dozen or so Republicans who support some form of cap on emissions.

“Warner is probably the single most important senator at this point,” said Frank O’Donnell, head of the advocacy group Clean Air Watch. “If Warner blesses it, that’s going to carry enormous weight.” (The Hill)

The long twilight is almost over: "British teach less Churchill, more global warming" - "Starting next year British teenagers will face an exotic range of new disciplines designed to equip them with more practical skills." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Australia Seeks Global Backing for Forest Programme" - "SYDNEY - Australia, criticised as a Kyoto Protocol holdout, called on Monday for global support for a plan to use satellite technology to track deforestation, which it argues is key to cutting greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters)

"Carbon Offsetting Needs Code of Practice - UK Report" - "LONDON - Carbon offsetting has a role to play in fighting climate change but urgently needs a code of practice, an environment committee of British parliamentarians said on Monday.

Voluntary offsetting involves individuals and companies paying others to cut greenhouse gas emissions on their behalf. It is unregulated, and so distinct from a mandatory international scheme under the Kyoto Protocol.

"Without transparency, consumers will have little confidence in purchasing or otherwise dealing in offsets," the report by the House of Commons Environment Audit Committee said." (Reuters)

"China Silences Green GDP Study, Report Says" - "BEIJING - China has stopped the public release of an official study putting a cost to the nation's environmental damage, a government researcher told a Chinese newspaper, blaming official reluctance to confront pollution.

The Beijing News reported on Monday that the release of a "green GDP" report computing the cost of pollution and ecological degradation in 2005 had been "indefinitely postponed". (Reuters)

"Green vs growth battle in Beijing" - "A FIERCE battle is being waged between leading Chinese government bodies about the introduction of a "green GDP." (The Australian)

"American Acceptance of Nuclear Power Grows - Survey" - "BOSTON - As the price of oil rises, so has the number of Americans who believe nuclear energy is an acceptable source of power, although the pro-nuclear camp is still a minority, a study showed on Monday." (Reuters)

"NIGERIA: Rich in Oil, Dependent on Firewood" - "LAGOS - It is a paradox of note: the fact that while Nigerians live in the world's sixth-largest oil producer, most of them still rely on wood for their fuel." (IPS)

"A Genetically Modified Potato, Not for Eating, Is Stirring Some Opposition in Europe" - "Amflora potatoes have become the unlikely lightning rod in the angry debate over genetically modified crops in Europe." (New York Times)

"Nerve gas antidote made by goats" - "Scientists have genetically modified goats to make a drug in their milk that protects against deadly nerve agents such as sarin and VX." (BBC)

July 23, 2007

"House backs taxpayer-funded research access" - "Washington, D.C. – July 20, 2007 – In what advocates hailed as a major advance for scientific communication, the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved a measure directing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide free public online access to agency-funded research findings within 12 months of their publication in a peer-reviewed journal. With broad bipartisan support, the House passed the provision as part of the FY2008 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill." (SPARC)

"Water Worries: Does an EPA Expert Need a Chemistry Lesson?" - "Or did US News and World Report screw up its facts?" (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Magical fruits and vegetables: Does “healthy eating” improve breast cancer outcomes?" - "Sadly, our culture loves to blame victims of illnesses for failing to follow virtuous diets and lifestyles, and many victims feel guilty when a health problem befalls them, believing they are at fault for failing to do something right. The blame game is mostly based on pop science. Time and again what seems intuitively correct, looks promising in the laboratory, or appears right in observational studies, doesn’t prove to be true when it’s actually tested in a well-designed clinical trial on real people." (Junkfood Science)

"'Maniacal' focus on trans fat hurts KFC" - "Forget about trans fat. When it comes to promoting fast food, stick to cheap and tasty. That's the lesson one of Canada's largest operators of fast-food restaurants says it learned after a campaign to eliminate trans fats from its menu failed to bring in more customers." (Toronto Star)

"Advocacy for whom?" - "You’ve seen the recent news shows telling us of an epidemic of childhood obesity. The urgency of this problem cannot be overestimated, say advocates, as pictures of exceedingly fat, headless children scroll across the television screen. These drastic images are meant to horrify us and lead us to believe they accurately depict the crisis of “childhood obesity.”

That’s our first clue that we’re witnessing marketing, rather than factual reporting. Using innocent fat children is bad enough, but the more realistic vision of most children who’ve crossed the arbitrary BMI cutoffs to be labeled “overweight and obese” today wouldn’t have nearly the same shock value:" (Junkfood Science)

"More psuedo-advocacy" - "Patient advocacy and support groups used to lobby for special interests aren’t just common in the weight loss and bariatric industries. In a nearly identically titled post, Dr. Roy M. Poses, M.D., writes of another nonprofit disease organization funded by special interests. Not only is caution important when we hear information and advice from biased sources, but their lobbying is often effective, which means we pay the price:" (Junkfood Science)

"The real tragedy" - "Eating disorder experts are increasingly recognizing that the panic about child "obesity" is having a dangerous effect on young people. Dr. Jenny O’Dea, of the University of Sydney and internationally-recognized eating disorder researcher, reported on her research finding that the rate of disordered eating among teenage girls has doubled just since 2000." (Junkfood Science)

"U.S. Agency May Reverse 8 Decisions on Wildlife" - "The Interior Department plans to review and probably overturn decisions made by a political appointee found to have improperly favored industry." (New York Times)

Wonder what's the proper way to favor industry?

They noticed... "A sense of crisis is imperative for recycling efforts to work" - "Media attention on the impact individuals have on the environment has never been as focussed as it is as present. As terms such as ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘climate change’ become ever part of our lives, recycling, too, is receiving much attention in the press.

A forthcoming paper in Historical Research argues that recycling can only ever succeed if a sense of crisis is linked to it. Looking at the historical context of disposal, from the 1800’s to the modern day, this research argues that a sense of patriotism and urgency are inherent to increased refuse efforts and that, without these, recycling faces too many challenges, not least because it is often far from profitable on its own account." (Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)

... motivating people to behave in irrational, misanthropic ways requires constant cries of alarm and general panic -- who knew?

"Are we falling for the great green con?" - "Planting a tree to 'offset' your holiday flight. Recycling the old banger for a new car. Eating organic food. Is this REALLY helping save the planet." (Daily Mail)

"Weak La Nina Event Likely to Develop in 2007 - WMO" - "GENEVA - La Nina, the cooling of sea surfaces in the Pacific Ocean which can wreak havoc with weather patterns, is likely to develop by the end of the year, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said on Friday.

In its latest update on ocean temperatures, the United Nations weather agency also said it was "very unlikely" that an El Nino event, where Pacific water become abnormally warm, would occur in the rest of 2007.

WMO expert Rupa Kumar Kolli said a typical La Nina lasts nine to 12 months, and that Pacific cooling has been unsteady to date.

"We are now in the development phase and it is likely to peak around the (northern) winter season," Kolli told a news briefing. "But it is likely (to be) a weak event rather than a strong event." (Reuters)

Even without La Niña: "Australian Monthly Climate Summary: June 2007" - "June 2007 was the coldest June recorded in Australia in the post−1950 period. It was also a notably wet month in most of northern Australia, as well as along many parts of the east coast. A number of unseasonable cloudbands affected the tropics, and the month was also notable for four major east coast lows forming off the coast of New South Wales and eastern Victoria during the month, bringing heavy rain to much of the region.

Maximum temperatures were particularly low in the tropics due to the influence of increased cloud cover, with both Queensland (anomaly −3.01°C) and the Northern Territory (anomaly −3.40°C) breaking regional records by substantial margins. There was an especially exceptional cold episode from 17−22 June which saw vast areas of tropical Queensland and the NT experienced their coldest day on record, with single-digit maxima as far north as Tennant Creek (8.0°C) and Mount Isa (9.4°C). It was also unusually cold further south in Queensland with a state record low maximum for June (4.9°C) set at Applethorpe.

While anomalies were less extreme in other states, maximum temperatures were still in the lowest ten years on record in all states except Western Australia..." (Bureau of Meteorology)

?!! "Floods force many to face climate change reality" - "BRIESKOW-FINKENHEERD, Germany - Fisherman Peter Schneider knows the floods come each year and says they are good for business -- but few other people see any benefit as experts warn of more high water to come.

"We fishermen have always lived with that. We're happy when the floods come, because it can only be good for the fish," he said in his village close to the Oder river that forms the border between Germany and Poland.

Schneider's business almost went belly-up 10 years ago, when the river gushed through the dykes protecting a low-lying swath of land in this former East German region and immersed the building where he keeps his boats and nets.

The catastrophe forced thousands from their homes in Germany and elsewhere, and experts now say climate change may cause more disasters in Europe and across the world, with evidence increasing that global temperatures are rising." (Reuters)

"Worldwide Floods Show Lessons Still Need Learning" - "LONDON - As communities around the world battle the worst floods in living memory, experts warn such events may become more frequent due to climate change and that lessons still need to be learnt to limit losses." (Reuters)

"We must face up to the flooding, not flee to the sun" - "The turbulent weather we've seen is a warning of what lies ahead for us. Only a new politics can address climate change." (The Guardian)

"Worcester Flood Levels" - "Beside the Watergate to Worcester Cathedral is this flood depth indicator. The highest recorded flood was in 1770, the plaque high on the wall marks this. Just below this to the left is 1947. The highest recent flood is marked on the right and was in November 2000. Although most of the recorded floods are in December to March, summer flooding in May and June have been very high." (An Englishman's Castle)

Scientific reality (Number Watch)

"How not to measure temperature #24 - Worst Station Ever" - "Warren Meyer, one of the first surfacestations.org volunteers, delivered Tucson for us Saturday. It was discovered during an analysis of climate stations around the USA on the Climate Audit blog that Tucson had the greatest positive temperature trend for any USHCN station after the TOBS adjustment was applied. The TOBS adjustment corrects for differences in local times of observation of temperature by the observer. The picture says it all:" (Watt's Up With That?)

Audio comment : "Turbo Bias" - "Warren Meyers, who got the pictures of Tucson’s asphalt climate station, went to another USHCN station today." (Anthony Watts, Climate Audit)

"Why Pictures Matter" - "There have been some claims on the blogosphere of limited or no value to the taking of pictures for the www.surfacestations.org project. This is my view of why pictures are vitally important to an assessment of the accuracy of the near surface temperature record gathered by USHCN and other weather stations, where the data gathered is used in climate studies." (Watt's Up With That?)

Documentation Of IPCC WG1 Bias by Roger A. Pielke Sr. and Dallas Staley - Part II (Climate Science)

"Boundary Layer Halogens in Coastal Antarctica" - "Halogens influence the oxidizing capacity of Earth's troposphere, and iodine oxides form ultrafine aerosols, which may have an impact on climate. We report year-round measurements of boundary layer iodine oxide and bromine oxide at the near-coastal site of Halley Station, Antarctica. Surprisingly, both species are present throughout the sunlit period and exhibit similar seasonal cycles and concentrations. The springtime peak of iodine oxide (20 parts per trillion) is the highest concentration recorded anywhere in the atmosphere. These levels of halogens cause substantial ozone depletion, as well as the rapid oxidation of dimethyl sulfide and mercury in the Antarctic boundary layer." (Science)

"Huge Dust Plumes From China Cause Changes in Climate" - "One tainted export from China can't be avoided in North America -- air.

An outpouring of dust layered with man-made sulfates, smog, industrial fumes, carbon grit and nitrates is crossing the Pacific Ocean on prevailing winds from booming Asian economies in plumes so vast they alter the climate. These rivers of polluted air can be wider than the Amazon and deeper than the Grand Canyon." (Wall Street Journal)

"A Presentation Entitled “Aerosols and Land Use Interactions” by Irina N. Sokolik At The NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Program Meeting On April 4-6" - "There an original presentation by Irina N. Sokolik entitled “Aerosols and Land Use Interactions” at the NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Program meeting on April 4-6 2007 [hosted by Garik Gutman and Chris Justice]." (Climate Science)

"Another New Paper On The First-Order Climate Forcing Of Land Surface Processes" - "An excellent new paper has appeared that provides further evidence on the important role of land surface processes within the climate system; it is Lawrence, P. J., and T. N. Chase (2007), Representing a new MODIS consistent land surface in the Community Land Model (CLM 3.0), J. Geophys. Res., 112, G01023, doi:10.1029/2006JG000168." (Climate Science)

"Lost in Space" - "As Al Gore continues his global warming crusade, he apparently is finding it necessary to invent scarier and scarier scenarios (no doubt to keep the press and his audience interested) and in doing so, does not feel limited to reality.

For instance, Al Gore’s latest theme is that anthropogenically-induced climate change will threaten the very existence of the human species. Wow. What can be more frightful than that!? (Maybe Gore is going after his next Academy Award in the horror category)." (WCR)

Shrek IV? "Gore and Diaz team up for climate contest" - "Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz is teaming up with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore to host a TV contest about saving the planet." (WENN)

"Could climate change herald mass migration?"  -"Concerns raised as the U. S. Southwest grapples with historic drought, water supply depletion and the creeping sense that things can only get worse." (Toronto Star)

"Drought - What Is Its History? Are We More Vulnerable Today If Historical- Or Paleo-Droughts reoccur?" - "There are two books (with one a two volume set) that provide an excellent summary of the threat of drought that we face even in the absence of human intervention in the climate system. Indeed, it is unlikely that mitigation of CO2 emissions alone would have much of an effect on our risk, since we are i) only effecting one aspect of the climate system by CO2 increases, and ii) the increased levels of atmospheric CO2 could be just as easily be moving us away from drought conditions, since there is no skill in year or longer time scales in predicting this climate regime." (Climate Science)

"Warming concerns Congress" - "Thus far in Greenland, where the temperature is about 50 degrees, Inglis said he's learned that the melting ice is a major point of concern, as it changes whale patterns and salmon breeding patterns. Species that aren't Arctic species are even showing up in Greenland, he said.

"That's evidence that something's happening. It's fairly clear that phenomenon is related to an increase in greenhouses gases," he said." (Spartanburg Herald-Journal)

Right... so what about this then?

An interesting history of the Greenland climate from the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Until around 4500 BC, the remains of the mighty ice cap which had been left over from the last ice age covered parts of Arctic Canada and blocked the way to Greenland. The first people arrived in the northernmost part of Greenland in around 2500 BC, and in the course of a few hundred years the ice-free part of the island became home to an Arctic tribe of hunters known as the palaeo-Eskimos. The warmer climate which appeared once the ice had gone allowed the population to increase rapidly.

Towards the end of the 10th century the climate became warmer, and the change affected all those living in the northern hemisphere. Much of the ice in the seas around the Canadian archipelago disappeared, and baleen whales moved into the area to search for food. Eskimo whalers from northern Alaska sailed east in their large, skin-covered boats and reached Greenland in the 12th century.

To see the massive significance, check out this map of the Arctic: http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm

These "large skin covered boats" were not ice-breakers, but yet they came from Northern Alaska to Greenland.

During the Viking Age, people from Northern Europe began to move west in the North Atlantic, and in 985 the Icelander Erik the Red began to colonise Greenland. The Norse community was based on agriculture and sealing and was economically dependent on contact with Europe. The society was organised as a free state controlled by the big farmers. There are signs of formal trade with the Eskimo population, and it is known that the ivory from walrus and narwhal tusks was highly valued, particularly when paying tithes to the church. (What would WWF say?)

During the following centuries, conditions gradually deteriorated for the population of Greenland because of the island’s limited economic importance for Norway, the over-exploitation of the limited resources and the notable change in climate."

The Danes are obviously in the pay of Exxon-Mobil -- Background research and reporting: Dennis A.

"How Hot Is Global Warming? A Review of the Polls" - "In the run-up to Earth Day each year, pollsters take the public's temperature on a variety of environmental issues. This year, pollsters added many new questions on global warming. Their findings provide some clues about how Americans see the problem and what they are willing to do about it." (Karlyn Bowman, AEI)

"Truth or Swindle?" - "Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) and Martin Durkin’s The Great Global Warming Swindle (TGGWS) are two documentaries presenting two very different perspectives on the current level of the scientific understanding of the Earth’s complex climate system.

AIT presents the science as being settled and computer models as being reliable. Everything bad in the world is caused by man-made CO2, from more intense hurricanes, tornados, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, floods, droughts, heat waves, and disease, to drowning polar bears.

The main thrust of TGGWS is that the science isn’t settled and there is an alternative explanation. The “enhanced greenhouse effect” isn't behaving as climate models suggest that it should, and climate change is being used as a vehicle for an anti-human, anti-capitalist, anti-mobility agenda by groups masquerading as “green.” Others are making a living by perpetuating the global warming industry, while bandwagon politicians seek to raise “green” taxes, control enterprise, mobility, and lifestyles via energy policy." (Paul Biggs, Online Opinion)

"Up against the warming zealots" - "Martin Durkin says his British documentary rejecting the idea of human-caused global warming has survived last week's roasting by the ABC." (The Australian)

"Nir Shaviv: Why is Lockwood and Fröhlich meaningless?" - "One of the newest articles at RealClimate.org contains a link to the full text of a recent article by Lockwood and Fröhlich who argue that "all" potential aspects of the Sun in the last 20 years that could be responsible for warming in that period went the wrong way. Well, there are many questions: for example, was there a warming that one should talk about? There wasn't one in the last ten years.

A more important question is whether their whole article is correct. I haven't quantitatively verified Nir Shaviv's answer below but I feel that the view of this Israeli expert is way more relevant than the childish comments about coffins by the RealClimate.org zealots and it surely makes sense qualitatively, so let me reprint it. The text below is from Nir." (The Reference Frame)

"Fred Ward: Don't worry about vanishing maple syrup farms just yet" - "IN JUNE THE New Hampshire Union Leader published a story "At mount (Cannon), talk is about global warming." This article quoted some participants making statements like "winters with less snow and more rain," without specific dates and data. It's difficult to check fuzzy comments like that.

However, there was one data set quoted, "the average winter temperatures in the Northeast have increased 4.4 degrees since 1970," which was a checkable piece of information. These same erroneous data were quoted in the Keene Sentinel last August, but in the context of a 4.4 degree increase in winter temperatures in New England. The Sentinel published my response stating that the actual change in winter temperature in New England, based on all 11 first-order National Weather Service stations in New England, from the early 1970s to the early 2000s, was a whopping two tenths of one degree!

Now we have the very same erroneous number quoted for the Northeast, and it's just as wrong this year as it was last year." (Fred Ward, Union-Leader)

"Science chief: cut birthrate to save Earth" - "New museum head says lower population would cut CO2 at a fraction of renewable energy cost." (The Observer)

"Climate Extremism: the Real Threat to Civilization" - "There is nothing particularly unusual about current weather and climate change – it is generally well within long-term normal patterns. However, the public believes otherwise due to a combination of the way in which people have been taught to view nature, political exploitation of science and the hidden motives of environmental extremists. How did this happen and where are we headed if climate change hysteria continues unchecked?" (Timothy Ball and Tom Harris, CFP)

"Shallow breaths, save planet" - "IN A wonderful act of subversion, the Sydney Morning Herald's splendidly-named Stephanie Peatling this week managed to sneak a comic gem past her vigilant editors: "The greenhouse gas cuts Australia must achieve to prevent dangerous climate change may be substantially higher than thought, with modelling to be released today suggesting it should be as much as 95 per cent by 2020." (Tim Blair, Daily Telegraph)

Check out the newly renovated Global Warming Skeptics site

"Veteran House Democrat Guards Turf on Energy" - "Democrats planning a hefty increase in auto fuel economy face opposition from one of their own in John D. Dingell." (New York Times)

"Gas Prices Rise on Refineries’ Record Failures" - "A third of the country’s oil refineries have reported disruptions like fires, power failures, leaks, spills and breakdowns this year." (New York Times)

"Ordered to Suspend Arctic Offshore Drilling" - "ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A US federal appeals court has ordered Royal Dutch Shell Plc to suspend oil exploration operations in the Beaufort Sea off the north coast of Alaska pending a legal challenge being brought by environmental activists and Alaska native groups." (Reuters)

"Governors address climate change" - "Joe Manchin III, the Democratic governor of West Virginia, said the nation could not afford to stop using the coal his state produces, even though it's a leading source of greenhouse gases. Americans are on a pace to double coal consumption by 2030, he said.

"It can't be one energy pitted against the other," Manchin said. "Whether it's natural gas or oil or coal or wind or solar or whatever, it's going to take every bit of this mix to make this country energy independent." (Associated Press)

"Cap & Trade is the Wrong Policy to Curb Greenhouse Gases for the United States" - "The Marshall Institute released its new study, Cap & Trade is the Wrong Policy to Curb Greenhouse Gasses for the United States, authored by Dr. Michael Canes. Dr. Canes analyzes the burdens of implementing a Cap and Trade (C&T) system and concludes that strengthening a goals-based approach presents a more attractive policy option." (Marshall Institute)

"Airlines must try harder on carbon offsetting, say MPs" - "The airline industry has been sharply criticised for its unsatisfactory attitude to carbon offsetting in a report from MPs published today.

British Airways' efforts towards compensating for the impact of pollution on global warming were described as risible by the Commons environmental audit committee, although it said the airline recognises the shortcomings. The committee found that airlines should make it easier for passengers to purchase offsets as it can play a part in mitigating CO2 emissions. The committee took evidence from BA, Virgin Atlantic and the all-business class carrier Silverjet." (The Guardian)

"Climate change fears reach even F1" - "Talking about climate change at a Formula One race might at first glance seem like praising celibacy in a brothel.

The world's top motor sport competition is for many the epitome of gas-guzzling wastefulness with powerful engines burning nearly a litre of fossil fuel per kilometre while a vast entourage of people and machines jets to races round the world.

But green winds of change are blowing through one of the world's most popular sports, and a growing number of team bosses say they want to make Formula One a high-tech pioneer and leader in fighting climate change rather than a whipping post." (Reuters)

They don't say... "Home energy audits flawed" - "The federal government's new program to evaluate the energy efficiency of Canadian homes and recommend upgrades has major flaws that will take months to fix, a Star investigation has learned.

After auditing the same Toronto house, four companies came up with four different energy ratings – ranging from 37 to 46 out of 100 – and called for renovations ranging from $3,000 to $25,000.

And while they all said replacing the old, wheezing furnace with a smaller high-efficiency model was a priority, as well as patching cracks that leak heat, other recommendations varied, from upgrading the fireplace to replacing three exterior doors. One auditor incorrectly stated the basement lacked insulation.

That means homeowners could spend big money on ill-advised retrofits and waste as much as $10,000 in grant money from the federal and provincial governments." (Toronto Star)

"Solar heating not an easy switch" - "YOU only have to glance at solar hot water systems in some parts of Australia these days and a conga line of eager politicians will try to thrust wads of cash in your pocket. The Howard Government's new $1000 per unit rebate sits on top of a regime of generous state and local government rebates and subsidies. In some suburbs it may soon be possible to install a solar hot water system for free. This burst of generosity has been driven by a policy response on climate change that is only now beginning to shift from populist politics and symbolism to substantial action." (The Australian)

"Warning, State Threat: Inhofe Rips EPA Ozone Proposal" - "WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe increased his own alert Wednesday on an ozone proposal, warning "virtually the entire state" of Oklahoma would fail to meet new air quality standards suggested by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Last month, the Oklahoma Republican's initial warning covered only Tulsa and a dozen other Oklahoma counties.

Inhofe announced his broader assessment at a subcommittee hearing on the proposed smog regulations whose witnesses included EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson.

In his opening remarks, he directed Johnson's attention to a map showing the "tremendous progress" Oklahoma has made in cleaning up its air.

"Not a single county in Oklahoma is in violation of the ozone standards. Not a single one, Mr. Administrator," Inhofe said.

"Yet your proposal will put virtually the entire state into nonattainment. How is it that EPA last year considered states like Oklahoma to have clean air that was healthy to breathe, yet next year it will consider the air unhealthy, even as their pollution levels continue to plummet?" (Tulsa World)

"Families face stark choice ... pay more for food or go GM" - "CONSUMER resistance to the idea of genetically modified foods must be overcome if there is be a solution to the growing problem of food inflation, scientists have said.

Horror stories about the dangers of so-called "Frankenstein foods" prompted a backlash in the UK against the use of more intensive farming technology.

But with the price of staple goods - including milk, cereals and vegetables - soaring well above inflation, a growing number of experts are concluding that consumers will soon have to choose between expensive food and cheaper GM.

Economists say climate change and growing global demand could leave Britain facing a "food-security" crisis for the first time since the end of rationing in July 1954." (The Scotsman)

"Help! I’m food confused" - "Organic, free range, fair trade – arghhh! The weekly shop has turned into a nightmare for the conscientious consumer. Lucas Hollwegtries to make sense of it all." (Sunday Times)

Why? Either you & those you cater for like the food or they don't...

"Environmental concerns boost support for GM food crops" - "Public support for genetically modified food crops rose dramatically to 73 percent in 2007, up from 46 percent in 2005, due to perceptions about the role they can play in countering drought and pollution. Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, says a Biotechnology Australia report, released today, shows a major change in public attitudes towards biotechnology in all areas." (QBR)

July 20, 2007

"Carbon Offsets -- Buyer Beware" - "Congress began investigating the carbon offset industry this week. The inquiry could produce some "inconvenient truths" for Al Gore and the nascent offset industry." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Skeptics' Circle" - "The newest edition of Skeptics’ Circle is up at Dr. Steven Novella’s Neurologica and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Join a class on a tour through the Museum of Skepticism." (Junkfood Science)

"Obesity tipped to top 40pc" - "WASHINGTON: If people keep putting on weight at the present rate, fat will be the norm by 2015, with 75 per cent of US adults overweight and 41 per cent obese." (Reuters)

"Teens' fear of fat fuels eating disorders" - "PANIC over childhood obesity has contributed to a dramatic rise in the number of teenage girls starving themselves, vomiting, abusing laxatives and smoking in an effort to shed weight, the author of a national study released today said." (Sydney Morning Herald)

<chuckle> "Seagulls fat, 'infertile' from fast food" - "SEAGULLS gorging themselves on greasy junk food in Hobart are so fat it is affecting their reproduction. University of Tasmania researcher Heidi Auman has found that silver gulls feeding on fatty scraps being thrown to them from seaside cafes has caused them to become overweight." (AAP)

More PC twaddle -- what did this PhD candidate expect with avian piscivores on a superabundant omnivorous diet?

"Environmental Extremists Likely to Attack, Says NIE" - "The most dangerous domestic terrorists in the United States may have nothing to do with Islam or Iraq but may be little-known extremists who regard violence against animals as akin to violence against people, according to FBI officials.

This week, a declassified portion of the latest National Intelligence Estimate for the United States warned that Americans can expect attacks from these groups within the next three years.

The estimate refers to "single issue" groups that, according to law enforcement, often include radical environmentalist organizations. Among the most visible: the Animal Liberation Front and allied Earth Liberation Front, and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC).

"When they hear 'terrorism' a lot of times people just think al-Qaeda and some of the international extremist groups that pose the real serious risks in national security, and that is not always the case when you're talking about terrorism," said FBI Spokesperson Paul Bresson." (CNSNews.com)

"Animal Rights Activists Have 'No Choice' but Violence, Spokesman Says" - "Radical animal rights activists will likely use "any means necessary" to stop what they consider the torture of animals, according to one of the movement's most prominent spokespeople.

"Nothing else works, and these people are torturing animals to death, and they should be stopped," said Dr. Jerry Vlasak, a press officer with the North American Animal Liberation Press Office. "If they won't stop after using every other [peaceful means], they should be stopped using any means necessary."

In what would represent a major departure from the movement's traditional ban on violence against individuals, Vlasak said Americans can expect to see more violence done against "animal abusers," including university scientists who participate in animal testing." (CNSNews.com)

"Live Earth – Dead Africans?" - "The recent Live Earth concerts have been roundly criticized for the overheated rhetoric and hypocrisy of their rock star and political headliners, including former Vice President Al Gore. Far more relevant to the debate over catastrophic climate change, however, is this unavoidable fact: if the concerts cause more people to demand that Africa and other poor countries not develop the energy they so desperately need, the false global warming “solutions” could be disastrous for the world’s most impoverished citizens." (Paul Driessen, Web Commentary)

Book Review: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism - The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism written by Christopher Horner is reviewed below by Michael R. Fox Ph.D. (Hawaii Reporter)

Purchase this book through this link and help JunkScience.com at the same time.

"The Great Great Barrier Reef Swindle" - "Those of you who watched the ABC’s presentation of The Great Global Warming Swindle might not have been convinced by the arguments challenging the conventional wisdom that carbon dioxide is responsible for global warming. However, it should be apparent that scientists and politicians such as Al Gore, who have been telling us that the science is unquestionable on this issue, have been stretching the truth. It seems that there are some good reasons to believe that we may have been swindled." (Peter Ridd, Online Opinion)

"Beware Melting Glaciers This Century - Study" - "WASHINGTON - Don't worry too much, for now, about rising seas caused by melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica. The big threat this century could come from small thawing glaciers, researchers reported on Thursday." (Reuters)

"When Physics Trumps Hysteria in Global Warming" - "Studiously hidden from public view are some extraordinary findings in physics which are providing new understanding of our planetary history, as well as providing a much more plausible scientific understanding of global warming. Regrettably, the current hysteria about global warming is based much more on fear, political agendas, and computer models that don’t agree with each other or the climate, rather than hard-nosed evidence and science." (Michael R. Fox, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii)

From the propaganda ministry: Carbon emissions are rising, the planet is heating up. Carbon Detectives are urgently needed for a Challenging Mission to put the world right. (Department for Children Schools and Families)

Both wrong... "Ryanair's green claims criticised" - "Ryanair has been ordered not to repeat an advertisement that played down the impact of aviation on the environment. In a press campaign the airline claimed the airline industry "accounts for just 2% of carbon dioxide emissions". The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) ruled it breached rules on truthfulness by not explaining the figure was based on global rather than UK emissions. Ryanair claimed the ASA was attempting to suppress an accurate statement, which it would continue to use. Ryanair's claim that aviation made up 2% of CO2 emissions was based on global carbon dioxide emissions, the ASA said." (BBC)

... because they count only anthropogenic emissions -- the true figure is much lower since something over 19 in 20 are 'natural' molecules (total anthropogenic emissions are significantly less than 5% of the global cycle) and aviation accounts for just 2% of those 'unnatural' emissions (<0.1% or something under 1 in every 1,000 emitted molecules).

"Future of New York congestion charge unclear" - "Plans to introduce a charge for motorists entering New York looked uncertain Thursday, when city and state authorities agreed to reduce traffic levels but failed to approve plans to introduce tolls. Under the deal, a commission will study the congestion charge, while also looking into other ways to reduce traffic on the city's bustling streets." (AFP)

"U.S. plug-in cars would cut greenhouse gases: report" - "NEW YORK - Electric hybrid cars that consumers would recharge overnight could dramatically cut U.S. greenhouse emissions, a new report said.

Plug-in electric hybrid vehicles in the United States could cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 450 million tonnes per year, according to the report by environmental group the Natural Resources Defense Council and industry research group Electric Power Research Institute.

That amount is the equivalent of removing 82.5 million, or about a third, of U.S. cars from the road, the report said." (Reuters)

"Keeping Our Motor Running" - "Energy: Experts inside the oil industry have assessed the situation, and their outlook for the future is rather bright. Unlike those on the outside, these are the people who know what they're talking about." (IBD)

"NASA researchers find satellite data can warn of famine" - "A NASA researcher has developed a new method to anticipate food shortages brought on by drought. Molly Brown of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and her colleagues created a model using data from satellite remote sensing of crop growth and food prices." (NASA/GSFC)

"Colby Cosh on the great Normam Borlaug and the coming Gene Revolution" - "When journalists write about the American agriculture scientist Norman Borlaug, they always say how incredible it is that he isn't more widely known. Collectively, we've done it so often that he may now be well-known for being unknown. Borlaug is the man whose researches into sturdy, disease-resistant, high-yield maize and wheat crops in Mexico led to what has been referred to as the "Green Revolution". In 1943 he had found it a land of subsistence farmers; by 1951 his work, conducted under the auspices of the Rockefeller Foundation, had transformed the country into a net grain exporter.

India and Pakistan borrowed the approach and the seed varieties, and both virtually doubled grain production between 1965 and 1970, ending the cycle of famine that had periodically devastated the subcontinent since time immemorial. Around the world, Borlaug's developments have made food cheaper for the very poorest, allowing families to accrue surplus funds, plan beyond the next harvest, and send their children to school. He is often said to have saved more people from premature death--perhaps as many as one billion--than any other person who has ever existed." (National Post)

"Mexico Takes a Step Backwards on Biotech" - "This week, ACSH friend and trustee, Dr. Norman Borlaug, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his unprecedented accomplishment of saving perhaps a billion lives with his scientific contributions to agriculture. Now, we can replicate at least some of Dr. Borlaug's achievements by the use of modern biotechnology -- an approach he enthusiastically endorses (see his Wall Street Journal piece, "Continuing the Green Revolution").

Unfortunately, despite the success of genetically modified crops, many so-called environmental activists insist on ignoring Dr. Borlaug's advice and fighting the introduction of biotech crops. Mexico, known for its corn crops, is preparing to finalize rules governing experimental planting of genetically-modified (GM) corn strains. It is sadly ironic that GM crops may be shunned in Mexico, the place where Dr. Borlaug got his start and currently advises the Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. Many large-scale Mexican farmers have pressed for GM crops as a way to improve their currently lagging crop yields. However, the voice of the environmental activists prevails, and the president of Mexico is in the midst of revising the final draft of rules for GM crops." (Krystal Wilson, ACSH)

"Biotech critics are playing God" - "20-July-2007: Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan always said he would become a farmer after leaving office. But one of his first acts as chairman of the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has been to respond to whether the alliance would promote the use of genetically-modified (GM) seed in African agriculture.

One of the most critical aspects of innovation policy is balancing between the expected benefits or new technologies and their unintended negative consequences.

Nowhere is this so vividly expressed as the debate over agricultural biotechnology. Arguments against the use of biotechnology in African agriculture have been conducted with unprecedented ferocity.

While critics of agricultural biotechnology claim to act on behalf of Africa’s interests, they are undermining the continent’s capacity to acquire the technological capacity needed to meet its agricultural and economic needs." (Calestous Juma, Business Daily Africa)

"French GMO Area May Keep Rising Sharply - Growers" - "PARIS - The French area sown with genetically modified maize could continue increasing fourfold annually because it resists insect attacks and boosts yields, growers said on Thursday." (Reuters)

July 19, 2007

"New insecticide created for mosquitoes" - "French scientists have developed an effective insecticide-repellent compound that can be used against mosquitoes resistant to current chemicals. The researchers at the Institute of Research for Development in Paris found that mosquitoes responsible for malaria transmission to humans are becoming resistant to pyrethroids used in spraying and to impregnate mosquito nets." (IPS)

There's another alternative too, it's called DDT.

"TRIPping up property rights" - "After years of campaigning, activists have narrowed the debate about health care in poor countries to a single premise: intellectual property rights restrict access to medicines. But this discussion takes energy away from the things that really matter: infrastructure, doctors, and nurses." (CFD)

"What he said.... " - "Dr. R. W. Donnell took the words right out of my mouth. An article in the Washington Post this week presented an uncritical look at why alternative modalities are “Earning a spot in the curriculum” of growing numbers of medical schools. Today, most of the major medical schools in our country are working to integrate alternatives into mainstream medicine “while maintaining Western standards of care,” according to the Post." (Junkfood Science)

"Money changes everything" - "How do pediatricians address “obesity” in children who come into their offices? Dr. Sarah Barlow, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues at Saint Louis University School of Public Health interviewed eight pediatricians in the St. Louis, Missouri, area and asked them to describe their experiences counseling children and their families about obesity. They wrote up the results of their interviews in the latest issue of Child: Care, Health and Development." (Junkfood Science)

"Weight bias may harm obese children" - "NEW YORK - The stigma that society attaches to obesity can cause children immediate, and possibly lasting, harm, according to a research review.

Overweight children and teens are commonly teased or ostracized by their peers, and sometimes treated differently by teachers and even parents. This, the review shows, can lead to low self-esteem, poor school performance, avoidance of physical activity and, in the most serious cases, depression and suicide." (Reuters Health)

"US food and drink companies will limit child ads" - "NEW YORK - Some of America's largest food and drink companies, such as Coca-Cola Co. and General Mills Inc., will adopt stricter controls on advertising aimed at children under 12, according to media reports on Wednesday.

Some companies have agreed to curb advertising ahead of a Federal Trade Commission hearing on Wednesday that is expected to exert pressure on food and drink makers for more responsible marketing plans as a means to help address childhood obesity problems, the New York Times and Associated Press reported." (Reuters)

"Scientists: Trout Not Endangered Species" - "Yellowstone cutthroat trout are "holding their own" in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming despite threats ranging from habitat loss and disease to hybridization with other species, state and federal fisheries biologists said Wednesday.

The biologists said their findings, in a new study described as the most sweeping assessment of the popular game fish to date, support a federal decision last year not to put the fish under Endangered Species Act protections. Environmental groups have pushed for such a listing on the argument that Yellowstone cutthroat are in the midst of a drastic population decline.

Wade Fredenberg with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the latest data refute that claim." (AP)

"Man As A Pest" - "Advocates of population stabilization — a euphemism for population reduction — are highly skilled at gaining attention for their cause. They're not so good, though, at dealing with the facts." (IBD)

"Environmentalism's Legal Legacy: A Quantitative Analysis of Legislative Activity"  -"Environmental activists, policy scholars, and others claim that the environmental movement is in decline, suffering from attacks on the right on Capitol Hill and from the White House in recent years. Yet given some distinctive attributes associated with this issue, the progressive environmental cause is uniquely situated to ensure that it receives considerable attention in Washington. The result has been an uncommon expansion of government activity in a single issue area. And despite claims to contrary, progressive environmental policy making has continued to gain ground even in recent times—even under Republican leadership." (Angela Logomasini, CEI)

"Metallica: The Very Loud Voice of Reason" - "James Hetfield, leader of the great heavy-metal band, Metallica, viewed the group's "Live Earth" performance as something less than a musical declaration against global warming." (NAM)

"Can This Be True?" - "I don’t know if you saw the articles over the weekend about a man by the name of Lewis Pugh who supposedly swam in 28 degree water at the North Pole to bring attention to global warming." (Craig James, WOOD TV)

Uh-huh... "Weeds shown to feed on rising carbon" - "Poison ivy and dandelions grow bigger and stronger as levels of CO2 increase, two studies find." (LA Times)

... plants generally grow better under higher than pre-Industrial revolution levels, that's true. Why do the media want to make that a problem by focusing on weeds and nuisance plants rather than pointing out how this effect has helped avoid a Malthusian disaster and preserved significant areas of wildlife habitat that would otherwise have needed to go under the plow in an effort to feed our growing population? It's a very strange outlook to view an enormously beneficial side-effect of development as a problem.

&^%$#@! gorebull warming! "Coldest day on record for Brisbane" - "The temperature at Brisbane Airport fell below zero this morning for the first time. Brisbane Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Geoff Douell said it fell to minus 0.1 degrees at 6.39am today - well below the previous coldest record of 1.6 degrees for the current recording station at Brisbane Airport. It dropped to 0.6 degrees at Brisbane Airport in 1971, but that was at a different location." (Brisbane Times)

"Cold Weather for 'Climate Change Believers' by Humphrey McQueen at Crikey" - "Snow on the Dandenongs and the heaviest falls on Mt Buller for seven years provide further proof of "Climate Change", if not of global warming. Keeping that distinction in mind is a precondition for not being swindled.

A second line of defence against mumbo-jumbo is to recall that the philosopher Karl Popper promoted falsifiability as essential to the logic of scientific enquiry. He reasoned that any hypothesis which is so structured as to be incapable of refutation is pseudo-science.

The "Climate-Change" band trumpets all data about rising temperatures as evidence to buttress their hypothesis. However, not so long ago they were perplexed by inconvenient truths such as the occasional severe winter. On the face of it, such cold snaps surely count against global warming? This is where the "Extreme Event" comes in handy." (Jennifer Marohasy)

"A new dawn for climate prediction" - "Scientists must develop new, more adaptive approaches to predicting and monitoring climate, say climate modellers from the University of Exeter. In a 'perspectives' article published in leading journal Science, Professor Peter Cox and Professor David Stephenson argue that new prediction tools are required to help us to limit and adapt to climate change." (University of Exeter)

What evidence have they that we will ever be able to predict climate?

From the [anti]-Australia Institute: "Emissions job will be even harder: institute" - "THE greenhouse gas cuts Australia must achieve to prevent dangerous climate change may be substantially higher than thought, with modelling to be released today suggesting it should be as much as 95 per cent by 2020." (Sydney Morning Herald)

The hazards of looming elections in a hysterical democracy: "Australia: We've always looked for climate solutions" - "OVER time, the scientific evidence that the climate is warming has become compelling. The link between emissions of greenhouse gases from human activity and higher temperatures is also convincing." (Prime Minister John Howard, Daily Telegraph)

but "A prudent conservative case for combating climate change" - "ALL the good intentions in the world are worthless if we wreck our economy for no environmental gain. With so much at stake, we must not confuse panic with virtue. Australia's climate change policy must be rational, far-sighted and sustainable. It needs to reflect our unique vulnerabilities and particular economic strengths. It needs to be global, regional, national and local. This challenge is best met by a blend of prudent conservatism and economic liberalism." (The Australian)

"EU-UN Carbon Market Link Decision Due Autumn - UK" - "LONDON - The decision when to link European and UN carbon trading schemes, to allow carbon credits to flow from developing countries into Europe, will be decided in the autumn, UK officials said on Wednesday.

Carbon trading allows countries and companies to pay others to cut on their behalf emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming." (Reuters)

<chuckle> "Flannery ignores climate change sceptics" - "BEING Australian of the Year has been no walk in the park for Professor Tim Flannery. Winning the accolade has given the country's best-known environmentalist a bigger platform to warn about the dangers of climate change. But it's also made him a bigger target for sceptics who accuse him of being an alarmist about global warming." (The Australian)

The only real problem is ol' Flim Flannery ignores climate facts.

Unbiased reporting... "Farmers remain divided on climate change" - "Bitter debate still rages among farmers about the reality of climate change despite a torrent of scientific evidence the globe is warming and humans are responsible for it. A leading farm lobbyist and one of Suncorp-Metway's treasury experts on Wednesday cast doubt on whether climate change was a reality. "The science is still contentious," Suncorp Metway treasury strategist Peter Pontikis told a farming conference in the Queensland cotton town of Goondiwindi. He was joined by well-known agri-lobbyist Peter Kenny, the president of Queensland farm lobby group AgForce. "Dry conditions in the bush have long been called drought. Now, dry conditions impacting on cities is called climate change," Mr Kenny said." (AAP)

"Bitter debate still rages among farmers about the reality of climate change despite a torrent of scientific evidence the globe is warming and humans are responsible for it." Um... there isn't even an agreement on what we are trying to measure, let alone how to derive a global mean temperature or even whether a global mean really constitutes a useful metric if we can consistently and accurately derive it. Stupid game...

Bizarre reporting: "Hummer Owner Gets Angry Message: Vandals Batter D.C. Man's SUV, Slash Its Tires and Scratch In an Eco Note" - "On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer that was too massive to fit in his garage.

So he parked the seven-foot-tall behemoth on the street in front of his house and smiled politely when his eco-friendly neighbors looked on in disapproval at his "dream car."

It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON." (Washington Post)

This guy didn't "get an angry message," a couple of nitwits vandalized his vehicle.

If you want to talk about environmental damage: "The Toyota Prius, the flagship car for the environmentally conscious, is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America, and takes more combined energy to produce than a Hummer, says the Recorder."

"Meat is murder on the environment" - "A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home." (NewScientist.com news service)

"Carbon credits fertile soil for farmers" - "FARMERS have been warned not to raise their hopes too high about making money from storing carbon in soils as part of an emissions trading scheme." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"German Companies Discover the Environment" - "In the name of increasing profits, of all things, more and more German companies are discovering climate protection. With increasingly stringent emissions laws and energy prices higher than they've been in years, sustainability has suddenly become a factor in economic growth. But can the new trend last?" (Der Spiegel)

Aha! "World first: Flying high on pond scum" - "Air New Zealand and airliner manufacturer Boeing are secretly working with Blenheim-based biofuel developer Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation to create the world's first environmentally friendly aviation fuel, made of wild algae." (Independent Financial Review)

Wonder if this means air travelers could go from being "scum" (in the eyes of enviros, anyway) to flying on it?

"Corn biofuel 'dangerously oversold' as green energy" - "Ethanol fuel made from corn may be being "dangerously oversold" as a green energy solution according to a new review of biofuels. The report concludes that the rapidly growing and heavily subsidised corn ethanol industry in the US will cause significant environmental damage without significantly reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuels." (NewScientist.com news service)

"Poor Maize Crop Could Dent S. African Biofuel Hopes" - "JOHANNESBURG - Two seasons ago, when a bumper harvest pushed South African maize prices to four-year lows, it seemed like a good idea to plough all that excess maize into biofuels -- energy tapped from crops like sugar and maize.

But for the second year in a row, South Africa faces a season of slim pickings after a drought slashed maize production, raising doubts about how a country with such a poor farming climate can produce crops to meet the government's ambitious green energy targets." (Reuters)

"Researchers develop inexpensive, easy process to produce solar panels" - "Researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology have developed an inexpensive solar cell that can be painted or printed on flexible plastic sheets." (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

"London to Get Desalination Plant in Climate Battle" - "LONDON - Britain gave the green light on Wednesday for a desalination plant on London's River Thames in an effort to cope with climate change and get clean water to the capital's booming population." (Reuters)

"Underground Lake May Bring Darfur Peace: Scientist" - "BOSTON - A newly found imprint of a vast, ancient underground lake in Sudan's Darfur could restore peace to the region by providing a potential water source to an area ravaged by drought, a US geologist says." (Reuters)

"EU Environment Chief Wants to Put a Price on Water" - "BRUSSELS - How much is a drop of water worth? That was the question posed on Wednesday by the European Union's environment chief as part of his plans to put a price on the liquid, which he said was becoming a scarce commodity.

As part of his strategy paper to prepare for possible droughts across the 27-nation bloc caused by climate change, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas wants water to be treated the same as energy resources such as oil, gas and electricity." (Reuters)

"Asian Parasite Killing Western Bees - Scientist" - "MADRID - A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries, says a Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon for years.

The culprit is a microscopic parasite called nosema ceranae said Mariano Higes, who leads a team of researchers at a government-funded apiculture centre in Guadalajara, the province east of Madrid that is the heartland of Spain's honey industry." (Reuters)

Why? "Genetically-modified tropical fish seized" - "Biosecurity New Zealand has seized and destroyed 300 genetically modified tropical fish. Concerned members of the public alerted authorities after seeing the zebra danio fish - popular with ornamental fish enthusiasts - for sale on the internet. Biosecurity incursion manager David Yard said the operation at four premises in Christchurch yesterday involved seizing and destroying the fish after genetic testing confirmed they had been genetically modified with a red fluorescent protein to make them a bright red/pink colour. The Ministry of Agriculture Quarantine Service had unwittingly allowed into the fish into New Zealand under the false impression they had been dyed." (NZPA)

"Government urged to reject 'dangerous' GM corn" - "Two leading scientists are calling for the Government to reject a new kind of genetically modified corn which they say could be linked to a variety of diseases.

Professor Garth Cooper of Auckland University and Associate Professor Jack Heinemann of Canterbury University want tougher testing of the corn, LY038, made by international seed company Monsanto.

The corn is designed to be a more nutritious feed for animals, but because of the risk of its accidentally entering the human food chain - which officials say is slight - it needs approval as a human food before it can be used.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand last year recommended approval by the nine food ministers from both countries, but New Zealand's Food Safety Minister, Annette King, in February sought a review.

After the review, the agency has again recommended approval, saying food derived from LY038 "is as safe as food derived from other corn varieties". (New Zealand Herald)

Hmm... is it me or are these complainants' names regularly seen in the "organic", "sustainability" and "bio-sanitary" waffle?

July 18, 2007

"He saved a billion lives"  -"Could there be a man alive today who is virtually unknown to the vast majority of Americans yet is described by those who know his work and accomplishments as "the greatest human being who ever lived"? So it is for Dr. Norman Borlaug.

As the result of multiple appeals to Congress by his friends and colleagues, yesterday at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington President Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bestowed upon Dr. Borlaug the highest civilian honor: the Congressional Gold Medal.

Dr. Borlaug has already received the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, being one of only five people in history to achieve all three honors (reason enough to think he should be better known than Paris Hilton)." (Elizabeth M. Whelan, Washington Times)

"Continuing the Green Revolution" - "Persistent poverty and environmental degradation in developing countries, changing global climatic patterns, and the use of food crops to produce biofuels, all pose new and unprecedented risks and opportunities for global agriculture in the years ahead.

Agricultural science and technology, including the indispensable tools of biotechnology, will be critical to meeting the growing demands for food, feed, fiber and biofuels. Plant breeders will be challenged to produce seeds that are equipped to better handle saline conditions, resist disease and insects, droughts and waterlogging, and that can protect or increase yields, whether in distressed climates or the breadbaskets of the world. This flourishing new branch of science extends to food crops, fuels, fibers, livestock and even forest products.

Over the millennia, farmers have practiced bringing together the best characteristics of individual plants and animals to make more vigorous and productive offspring. The early domesticators of our food and animal species -- most likely Neolithic women -- were also the first biotechnologists, as they selected more adaptable, durable and resilient plants and animals to provide food, clothing and shelter.

In the late 19th century the foundations for science-based crop improvement were laid by Darwin, Mendel, Pasteur and others. Pioneering plant breeders applied systematic cross-breeding of plants and selection of offspring with desirable traits to develop hybrid corn, the first great practical science-based products of genetic engineering.

Early crossbreeding experiments to select desirable characteristics took years to reach the desired developmental state of a plant or animal. Today, with the tools of biotechnology, such as molecular and marker-assisted selection, the ends are reached in a more organized and accelerated way. The result has been the advent of a "Gene" Revolution that stands to equal, if not exceed, the Green Revolution of the 20th century." (Norman E Borlaug, Wall Street Journal)

"Disease-free mosquito bred to disease-carrier can have all disease-free progeny" - "A decade ago, scientists announced the ability to introduce foreign genes into the mosquito genome. A year ago, scientists announced the successful use of an artificial gene that prevented a virus from replicating within mosquitoes. But how does one apply what can be done with a small number of mosquitoes in a lab to the tens of millions of mosquitoes that spread disease worldwide?" (Virginia Tech)

"The MMR story that wasn't" - "Whatever you think about Andrew Wakefield, the real villains of the MMR scandal are the media. Just one week before his GMC hearing, yet another factless "MMR causes autism" news story appeared: and even though it ran on the front page of our very own Observer, I am dismantling it on this page. We're all grown-ups around here.

The story made three key points: that new research has found an increase in the prevalence of autism to one in 58; that the lead academic on this study was so concerned he suggested raising the finding with public heath officials; and that two "leading researchers" on the team believe that the rise was due to MMR. Within a week the story had been recycled in several national newspapers, and the news pages of at least one academic journal.

Article continues

But where did the facts come from? I contacted the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge: the study the Observer reported is not finished, and not published. The data has been collected, but it has not been analysed. Unpublished data is the antithesis of what science is about: transparency, where anyone can appraise the methods, and the results, and draw their own conclusions." (Ben Goldacre, The Guardian)

"Marguerite Vogt, 94, Dies; Biologist and Researcher on Polio Virus" - "Dr. Marguerite Vogt was a biologist who helped shed light on the polio virus at a time when it was virulent in the United States, particularly among children." (New York Times)

Bloggers for Positive Global Change (Junkfood Science)

Why? "Ban new homes near power lines, say MPs" - "New homes and schools should not be built within 60 metres of high voltage power lines until the link with childhood cancers is better understood by scientists, according to a committee of MPs. They also recommend that home buyers should be provided with information on the level of electromagnetic fields within homes before they buy.

The committee says the science is still unclear and that any health effects are weak, but in the meantime it argues that the government should adopt a precautionary approach." (The Guardian)

"Calorie Labels May Clarify Options, Not Actions" - "Demand for calorie labels on restaurant food is sweeping the country but the real question is whether diners with more information will make wiser decisions." (New York Times)

"OECD Decries China Enforcement of Environment Rules" - "BEIJING - China's efforts at environmental protection have been ineffective and inefficient largely because the central government has been unable to implement its policies, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said." (Reuters)

"World Bank Death-By-Pollution Figures Baseless - China" - "BEIJING - World Bank estimates of hundreds of thousands of premature Chinese deaths each year from polluted air and water are baseless, a vice minister of China's State Environmental Protection Administration said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"An Interview With Nigel Calder" - "Nigel Calder, former editor of The New Scientist and author of innumerable books and articles on science, including The Chilling Stars, in conversation with Pan Pantziarka." (LBR)

See a review of this title here.

Help support JunkScience.com by purchasing this title through this link.

RealClimate puff piece? "Global Warming: How Do Scientists Know They're Not Wrong?"  -"From catastrophic sea level rise to jarring changes in local weather, humanity faces a potentially dangerous threat from the changes our own pollution has wrought on Earth’s climate. But since nothing in science can ever be proven with 100 percent certainty, how is it that scientists can be so sure that we are the cause of global warming?" (Andrea Thompson, LiveScience)

Another bizarre entry into the climate non-debate, recycling Oreskes, inter alia. Given the sterling efforts of Anthony Watts (What's Up With That?), currently appearing at Climate Audit, organizing a review of surface stations and the results obtained so far, you'd think claimants of catastrophic warming might keep something of a lower profile, no?

"What global warming, Australian skeptic asks" - "Bob Carter, a professor at James Cook University (Queensland) and the University of Adelaide (South Australia), is a paleontologist, a stratigrapher, and a marine geologist. He has been chair of the National Marine Science and Technologies Committee, director of the Australian Office of the Ocean Drilling Program, and chair of the Earth Sciences Discipline Panel of the Australian Research Council. And he is an outspoken global-warming skeptic." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"Global Warming now world's most boring topic: report" - "Global warming and the debate over whether man-made carbon gas emissions are having a detrimental influence on climate change has been ranked as the most boring topic of conversation on earth, according to a new report." (Jim Schembri, The Age)

"Action Needed on Climate Change - US Business Group" - "BOSTON - A major US industry body said on Tuesday that human activity is changing the Earth's climate and urged Washington to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions nationwide." (Reuters)

"Global Warming Debate Upside-Down: Antarctic Update" - "No presentation of global warming is complete without a visual of some gigantic block of ice moving away from Antarctica – throw in a few penguins looking at the disappearing ice and … it works every time. But is it all true? Is Antarctica warming and melting away? If you consult the latest report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), you would find statements on the subject in the summary including “Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show inter-annual variability and localized changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region” and “Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall.” Amazing – one would never suspect such conclusions given a cover story in National Geographic titled “THE BIG THAW.” (WCR)

"Howard: Carbon trading system for Australia by 2011" - "CANBERRA, Australia: Prime Minister John Howard announced some details of a planned carbon-trading trading scheme for Australia on Tuesday, but avoided setting targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Businesses and conservationists say setting such targets are vital to making any trading system work, but Howard warned that rushing into a scheme too soon would damage the economy.

He said the government would set reduction targets next year after the impact of various models had been tested, and set a deadline of 2011 for the carbon trading scheme.

"All the good intentions in the world are worthless if we wreck our economy for no environmental gain," Howard said in a speech in the southern city of Melbourne." (Associated Press)

From CO2 Science this week:

Abrupt Climate Change: Is it natural or unnatural?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Crête, Central Greenland. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Calcification (Other Marine Organisms): How will calcifying marine organisms other than corals be affected by the upward trend in the air's CO 2 content?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Buffel Grass, California Grassland, Rice, and Sea Plantain.

Journal Reviews:
Intense Landfalling Tropical Cyclones of Northeast Australia: How has their frequency of occurrence varied over the past eight centuries?

Millennial-Scale Climate Change in the Eastern Arabian Sea: How pervasive has it been, and how does it compare with what has been observed in the North Atlantic Ocean?

Surface and Bottom Water Temperatures of the North Atlantic Current off the Coast of Europe: How have they varied over the past two millennia?

Global Warming and Butterfly Species Richness in Canada: Has the former hurt the latter?

Spring Wheat Yields in Ireland: CO 2 vs. O 3 : Ozone can take a big bite out of spring wheat yields in Ireland. Can elevated CO 2 reduce the loss?

Beaver City, NE Temperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Beaver City, NE. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Beaver City's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.31 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"German Luxury Cars Damaged by Climate Activists" - "BERLIN - Berlin police said on Tuesday that the tyres of some 50 luxury cars were damaged overnight by unknown assailants who left leaflets with pro-environment messages on the cars' windscreens." (Reuters)

"Effort to Curb Climate Change May Hurt African Farms" - "LONDON - A bid to slow global warming by reducing the tonnes of food air freighted around the world ran up on Tuesday against the worries of poor African growers who fear it will hurt their business." (Reuters)

"Chatting with America's gas price survey maven" - "Trilby Lundberg is publisher of the Lundberg Survey, a national survey of gas prices quoted regularly by major news organizations, including CNN.

In an interview with CNN.com, Lundberg explained why gas prices soared this spring, decried the politics of global warming, and chastised the media for not taking the time to thoroughly report the complex, yet sometimes dry explanations behind fluctuations at the pump." (CNN)

"US report demands action on energy" - "The US should adopt the toughest possible fuel economy standards for motor vehicles and join a global framework for managing carbon dioxide emissions, according to a Bush administration-commissioned study of the energy industry, led by the former chairman of ExxonMobil.

The recommendations come in a report from the National Petroleum Council, the industry advisory body to the administration, entitled “Facing the Hard Truths about Energy”.

A draft of the report, seen by the Financial Times, makes five main recommendations for US energy policy, including slowing demand growth by increasing efficiency, expanding sources such as coal and nuclear power, and developing a legal framework for capturing and storing CO2 emissions.

The NPC was called on by the administration in 2005 to review the outlook for America’s oil and gas supplies." (Financial Times)

"Quake May Lead TEPCO to Use Thermal Power - Analysts" - "TOKYO - The unplanned closure of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s quake-hit nuclear plant during the peak season could force Asia's largest utility to restart fossil fuel power plants, leading to increased demand for non-nuclear fuel, analysts said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Setback for green power scheme" - "A green energy technology that has the potential to generate as much clean energy as a nuclear power station has been torpedoed by a Government U-turn.

Ofgem, the energy regulator, had approved Bath-based 2ºC, led by former Shell chairman Lord Oxburgh, as a renewable energy producer in December.

The firm, which plans to harness the pressure of natural gas flowing through pipes to generate electricity, then set up projects with BOC in Teeside and National Grid in London.

But in May, the Department of Trade and Industry rejected Ofgem's interpretation of the law, arguing that its eligibility under the renewables obligations credit scheme was "an anomaly in the legislation".

Andrew Mercer, 2ºC's chief executive, said the decision would kill off the technology. "This is probably the most outrageous example of non-joined up thinking you can get," he said.

"If it goes all the way quite frankly its horrendous. 2ºC will not continue with geo-pressure as geo-pressure does not work without that credit. I can't be blunter than that." (London Telegraph)

"Corn Fakes" - "While Gov. Schwarzenegger enlists Florida's Gov. Crist in his green army, California's flex-fuel fleet uses not a drop of ethanol. And actually running on ethanol would be worse." (IBD)

"EU Biodiesel Output May Fall in 2007 - EBB" - "MILAN - Output of biodiesel in the European Union, the world's biggest producer of the green fuel, may stagnate or even fall this year due to an inefficient market policy, the European Biodiesel Board (EBB) said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Derailed: Government's green promises on transport policy" - "Dramatic new evidence that car travel has become far cheaper while buses and trains have soared in cost led to renewed attacks on Labour's transport policy last night, as MPs said the Government was undermining its own battle against climate change.

According to newly disclosed statistics, the cost of car travel has fallen by 10 per cent over the past 30 years, while the price of bus and train tickets has risen by more than 50 per cent. The respective trends have continued throughout Labour's period in office.

Campaigners warned that the figures, revealed by the Department of Transport in a parliamentary answer yesterday, laid bare the huge disincentive for Britons to choose environmentally friendly forms of travel." (London Independent)

"Organic food 'air miles' are catastrophic" - "Food imported into Britain by air is an "absolute catastrophe" and should be stripped of any right to organic status, campaigners have claimed.
The proportion of organic food imported into Britain by air is less than one per cent of all imported food

Greenpeace and leading figures in the organic industry called on the Government to take action against "air freight", which they claim undermines the whole ethos of wholesome, sustainable agriculture.

But opponents pointed out that a ban would unfairly penalise poor farmers in developing countries and fail to make a meaningful impact on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions." (London Telegraph)

Just to annoy the anti-dairy brigade: "Dairy lovers show lower metabolic syndrome risk" - "NEW YORK - Men who regularly consume milk, cheese and yogurt may be less likely to develop a cluster of risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, a study suggests.

Researchers found that among nearly 2,400 middle-aged British men, those who drank at least a pint of milk per day were 62 percent less likely than men who rarely drank milk to have metabolic syndrome. A similar pattern emerged when the researchers looked at overall intake of milk, cheese and yogurt.

Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The components include high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, abdominal obesity, high blood levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) and low blood levels of "good" cholesterol.

The new findings point to an association between dairy foods and the odds of having metabolic syndrome, but do not confirm that consumption of these foods prevent the syndrome.

However, other research has tied regular milk drinking to lower blood pressure, which may help explain its connection to metabolic syndrome, lead study author Dr. Peter C. Elwood told Reuters Health.

Some other evidence, he added, links dairy foods to better weight control.

Another larger clinical trial found that dairy foods significantly protected against the development of the metabolic syndrome." (Reuters Health)

"Intensive diet doesn't prevent breast cancer: study" - "An intensive diet of fruit, vegetables and fiber does not prevent a recurrence of breast cancer, a US study released Tuesday found." (AFP)

"Bees Dying: Is It a Crisis or a Phase?" - "Some experts on insect biology say that without better monitoring, there is not enough information to know if anything new or calamitous is happening to honeybees." (New York Times)

"Decoding mushroom's secrets could combat carbon, find better biofuels, safer soils" - "Researchers at the University of Warwick are co-ordinating a global effort to sequence the genome of one of the World’s most important mushrooms - Agaricus bisporus. The secrets of its genetic make up could assist the creation of biofuels, support the effort to manage global carbon, and help remove heavy metals from contaminated soils." (University of Warwick)

"Indonesia Says to Use GMO to Boost Food Output" - "JAKARTA - Indonesia plans to use genetically modified crops to boost food staples such as rice, soybean and corn once a draft law is passed, an agriculture official said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Tortilla-Hungry Mexico Setting Rules on GMO Corn"  -"MEXICO CITY - Mexico, widely considered the birthplace of corn, is close to finalizing rules governing experimental planting of genetically modified corn strains, a senior biosecurity official said on Tuesday.

In Mexico, where tortillas made from corn are eaten with almost every meal, the government is determined to boost output in the next few years to offset rising prices driven by US demand for corn-based ethanol fuel." (Reuters)

July 17, 2007

Utter rubbish: "Soaring triumph: DDT ban brought eagles back, and it started in Wisconsin" - "He didn't celebrate or shout out loud or pump a fist in the air in triumph.

But Robert McConnell says he did experience a feeling of immense pride when he heard several weeks ago that the bald eagle is flourishing again -- to the point where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has removed it from its endangered and threatened species lists.

"I was very pleased. Obviously that's a milestone in recovery," says McConnell, who lives in rural Columbia County. "And to think that one-tenth of the bald eagle's nesting populations are in Wisconsin -- that's tremendous."

And yes, he adds, he felt "a sense of vindication" as well.

Which is hardly surprising considering that the 80-year-old McConnell, Wisconsin's first public intervenor, is regarded as one of the heroes in the highly publicized DDT hearings in Madison nearly four decades ago. Those hearings, which stretched on for six months, helped persuade the Wisconsin Legislature to ban the toxic pesticide in 1970. And that historic decision ultimately led to a national ban two years later that environmentalists say was the key factor in the national symbol's remarkable comeback." (Capital Times)

The recovery in raptor numbers began prior even to the introduction of DDT so, if we are to draw any conclusion from the correlation of DDT and bald eagle numbers it would have to be that DDT causes increase in eagle populations.

"Borlaug's Revolution" - "In 1944, when Norman Borlaug arrived in Mexico, the nation was in the grip of crop failure. Cereals like wheat are dietary staples. But in Mexico, an airborne fungus was causing an epidemic of "stem rust," and acreage once flush with golden wheat and maize yielded little more than sunbaked sallow weeds. Coupled with a population surge, famine seemed in the offing.

Dr. Borlaug left Mexico in 1963 with a harvest six times what it was when he arrived. From acres of arable land sprung a hyperactive strain of wheat engineered by the scientist in his laboratory, fertilized and nurtured according to his methods, and irrigated by systems he helped to design. Mexico's peasantry was not only fed -- it was selling wheat on the international market.

The reversal of the Mexican crop disaster was an early tiding of the Green Revolution. Over the next 30 years, Dr. Borlaug devoted himself to the undeveloped world, undoing crop failure in India and Pakistan, and rescuing rice in the Philippines, Indonesia and China. He has arguably saved more lives than anyone in history. Maybe one billion.

Dr. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, yet his name remains largely unknown. Today, at age 93, he receives the Congressional Gold Medal. Perhaps it will secure the fame he merits but never pursued. Then again, perhaps not. While Dr. Borlaug was expanding human possibility, his critics -- who held humanity to be profligate and the Earth's resources finite -- were receiving all the attention. They still are." (Wall Street Journal)

"Professor credited with influencing more lives than any person in history receives Congressional Gold Medal" - "DALLAS - Norman Borlaug's house is filled with awards. They rest in glass cases and china cabinets. They sit on desks, pedestals and mantles. In every room there is a national recognition, an honorary degree, a Big Ten wrestling award or a Nobel Peace Prize.

These days, Borlaug has more important things to do than rest on his laurels.

"I believe he appreciates [his awards] and is honored by them, but if he had his choice and his health was perfect, he would be in Africa or in any other developing nation in the fields with the scientists, with the farmers," granddaughter Julie Borlaug said.

Today, Borlaug joins the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison and Martin Luther King Jr. as a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal." (The Batt)

"Patient advocacy or something else?" - "When is it true patient advocacy and when is it manipulating us and trying to sell us something? It can be really hard to tell the difference." (Junkfood Science)

"Metabolic syndrome -- don't blame the belly fat" - "Abdominal fat, the spare tire that many of us carry, has long been implicated as a primary suspect in causing the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes the most dangerous heart attack risk factors: prediabetes, diabetes, high blood pressure, and changes in cholesterol.

But with the help of powerful new imaging technologies, a team of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers at Yale University School of Medicine has found that insulin resistance in skeletal muscle leads to alterations in energy storage that set the stage for the metabolic syndrome." (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

"Scientists Find Link Between Stress and Obesity" - "Medical researchers have been looking for what some people call a "magic bullet" (magic pill) in their hunt to fight rising obesity rates worldwide. In less than a decade, studies show, 75 percent of adults in the U.S. will be overweight. Medical researchers have yet to find any "magic" cure for obesity, but scientists at Georgetown University in Washington say they have may have something close. VOA's Carol Pearson explains." (VOA News)

"Doctor at centre of MMR controversy accused of paying children at party for blood samples" - "The doctor who linked the MMR jab to autism, prompting one of the biggest medical controversies of the past 10 years, paid children attending his son's birthday party to donate their blood for his research, it was alleged yesterday.

The charge is one of more than 40 laid against Andrew Wakefield, a surgeon who became a gastroenterologist, at the General Medical Council yesterday. Many of them related to giving children interventions such as lumbar punctures, barium meals and colonoscopies which allegedly they did not need.

Mr Wakefield is facing a GMC hearing which is expected to last 14 weeks with two colleagues from the Royal Free hospital, where he worked - Professor John Walker-Smith and Professor Simon Murch. All three deny serious professional misconduct." (The Guardian)

How long before we see "No Blood For Valentines" stickers? "Chocolate now fuels war in West Africa?" - "Government and rebel forces in Ivory Coast used the cocoa trade to fund war, says a new report." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Alarm bells as Himalayan glaciers melt" - "CHORABARI GLACIER, India: This is how a glacier retreats. At nearly 4,000 meters above sea level, in the shadow of a sharp Himalayan peak, a wall of black ice oozes in the sunshine. A tumbling stone breaks the silence of the mountains, or water gurgles under the ground, a sign that the glacier is melting from inside. Where it empties out - scientists call it the snout - a noisy, frothy stream rushes down to meet the River Ganges.

D. P. Dobhal, a glaciologist who has spent three years climbing and poking the Chorabari glacier, stands at the edge of the snout and points ahead. Three years ago, the snout was roughly 27 meters, or 90 feet, farther away. On a map drawn in 1962, it was plotted 262 meters from here. Dobhal marked the spot with a Stonehenge-like pile of rocks." (IHT)

"Status of the Siachen Glacier In The Himalayas" - "I thank Benny Peiser for alertng us to another excellent paper, and to the Geological Society of India for providing a copy of the paper on the status of the Siachen glacier in the Himalayas." (Climate Science)

<chuckle> "The battle against climate fatigue" - "Boulder scientists urge positive messages to spur action on global warming." (Daily Camera)

Constant unfulfilled promises of the Apocalypse beginning to wear thin? Imagine that...

"Al Gore's Whine: What Really Happened on the Mall" - "Now it's official. Global warming alarmism has indeed "jumped the shark", as revealed by the dismal failure of the Live Earth concerts to galvanize the general public. In particular, the puny turnout in Washington, DC, where Gore himself personally showed up, has proved an acute embarrassment." (John Berlau, American Thinker)

"UN's Ban Says Will Press Bush on Climate Change" - "UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday he would press US President George W. Bush over climate change when they meet in Washington on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Pop-sci rag SciAm let their advocacy show: Clarifying some important issues about climate change:

1) The relative magnitudes of solar versus anthropogenic forcing of the climate

There is now much better understanding of the relative roles of these forcing terms. For a start there are now decades-long, high-quality satellite solar measurements: These establish that there have been no significant changes in solar irradiance since 1979.

While it is true that solar activity has been at a kind of plateau since the 1980s it is also true that that is somewhat elevated: Solar Irradiance Reconstruction (Lean, 2000) See plot. Sun more active than for a millennium (New Scientist); Sunspots more frequent now than any time for 1000 years (New Scientist); The Sun is More Active Now than Over the Last 8000 Years (Max Planck Society).

In the longer term, reconstructions suggest a solar forcing since preindustrial times less than 10 percent that of the total human-induced forcing (Figure 2). In addition, the pattern of observed temperature changes-warming throughout the troposphere (the lowest 10 kilometers or so of the atmosphere), but cooling above that in the stratosphere-is inconsistent with solar-dominated forcing, but consistent with greenhouse gas (and other human-induced) forcing.

Actually not. There has been no statistically significant cooling of the stratosphere for at least a decade, despite alleged dramatic warming of the troposphere -- this is diametrically opposed to the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis. Additionally mid-tropospheric warming is barely discernable and southern hemisphere lower-tropospheric measures might (or might not) suggest a slight step warming (but not in the mid-troposphere), again totally at odds with anticipated greenhouse response. We've had a closer look at this silly claim before.

There have been some suggestions that cosmic rays could affect clouds. However, these have been based on correlations using limited records. These have generally not stood up when tested with additional data, and furthermore, their physical mechanisms remain only speculative.

Wrong again, this has been experimentally demonstrated, see here for much more.

2) Surface and tropospheric warming records

The third assessment report (2001) noted an apparent mismatch between the instrumental surface temperature record (which showed significant warming over recent decades, consistent with a human impact) and the balloon and satellite atmospheric record (which showed little of the expected warming). This discrepancy is now largely resolved-with consistent warming now found between surface and atmosphere-following several new studies of the satellite- and balloon-derived atmospheric temperature record. These have corrected some significant biases and errors in the record, such as that caused by the "decay" of satellite orbits with time.

Utter rubbish - see the trivial MSU adjustment here (we've highlighted the most significant portion because a lot of people missed it). Following are the breathless blurts of the day, along with our response:

"New observations and climate model data confirm recent warming of the tropical atmosphere" - "For the first time, new climate observations and computer models provide a consistent picture of recent warming of the tropical atmosphere." (DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Well, two out of three ain't bad.

Radiosonde Daytime Biases and Late-20th Century Warming by Sherwood, Lanzante and Meyer [Abstract] [PDF] [Supporting Online Material] is an interesting take on radiosonde data that suggests a plausible reason there's no trend evident in Angell's 850-300mb series - certainly worthy of serious attention. Whether the magnitude of the adjustment is reasonable is open to some conjecture. The estimated +0.14 °C/decade correction from 1979 -1997 for the tropics and +0.04 °C/decade for the northern hemisphere extratropics would bring Angell's radiosonde data back into near agreement with MSU Lower Troposphere data, providing yet more support for the apparently growing agreement that, should the trend last for a century (it didn't last century but you never know), then the globe will warm something less than the IPCC's low-end 'storyline' guesstimate of ~+1.5 °C over the next century.

UAHLTv5.1vsLT5.2.gif (33373 bytes) Mears and Wentz have presented The Effect of Diurnal Correction on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature [Abstract] [PDF] [Supporting Online Material] - this is not the work which resulted in adjustment of the UAH MSU LT dataset. (More information in California group's answer to climate puzzler improves the accuracy of global climate data from the team at UAH and a visual comparison of the 'old' and newly adjusted datasets is available by clicking the thumbnail at right. Arguing the toss over a few hundredths of a degree may seem like nitpicking but it is a worthwhile tweak.) This paper attempts to fit MSU measures to climate models and is basically about interpretation - it doesn't solve anything but will likely liven up the discussion over satellite data interpretation.

Finally, the usual suspects present Amplification of Surface Temperature Trends and Variability in the Tropical Atmosphere [Abstract] [PDF] [Supporting Online Material] (see at least the abstract for extensive author list). Faced with disagreement between models and empirical data Santer et al prefer their 'robust' models over everyone's lying eyes - their abstract says it all really:

"The month-to-month variability of tropical temperatures is larger in the troposphere than at the Earth's surface. This amplification behavior is similar in a range of observations and climate model simulations, and is consistent with basic theory. On multi-decadal timescales, tropospheric amplification of surface warming is a robust feature of model simulations, but occurs in only one observational dataset. Other observations show weak or even negative amplification. These results suggest that either different physical mechanisms control amplification processes on monthly and decadal timescales, and models fail to capture such behavior, or (more plausibly) that residual errors in several observational datasets used here affect their representation of long-term trends."

Santer et al prefer to believe the world is wrong rather than that their models fail to adequately capture its behaviour. Right... A maybe, a perhaps and an eye-roller. Like we said, two out of three ain't bad.

3) The role of water vapor in climate change

Although water vapor is the strongest greenhouse gas, direct human emissions are small, and its importance for climate change has long been known to arise from the way it responds to temperature changes. If forcing by another factor (such as CO2) produces a warmer atmosphere, this can hold more water vapor, further amplifying the warming. This feedback is critical in determining the overall magnitude of expected climate change. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)[FIRST REF] report reaffirms these essential aspects. In particular there are new observations showing recent water vapor increases along the lines expected from observed warming trends as well as new evidence suggesting that models are getting their water vapor responses to warming about right.

Oh boy... the water vapor feedback myth. See this page for the wild guesstimations made by climate models and a look at how neither annual temperature variation nor extreme events actually trigger a sustained water vapor feedback. Note that the northern hemisphere troposphere heats almost 10 kelvins January through July, an increase many times greater than that possible from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide and still can not sustain any of that warming into winter. So, which should we believe, the real world or their virtual worlds?

4) The heating that is now clearly identifiable in the ocean

Warming has been observed not only averaged over land stations but also over the ocean. This underscores that the urban "heat island" effect, although real, is only local, because it cannot be present in ocean data. Indeed, it is found to be negligible in hemispheric or global averages. Improved and expanded ocean data also demonstrateR that a large amount of heat is being taken up by the ocean. This demonstratesR[OR, TO VARY: indicates] that the planet's energy budget has been pushed out of balance in our warming world, just as expected due to increases in greenhouse gases.

Wrong again: while the oceans are apparently not cooling they aren't heating either.

5) The new assessment of future sea level rise.

Estimates of future sea level rise from thermal expansion [see main text] are now taken from climate models that include a much more realistic simulation of ocean circulation compared with the simpler models used in the previous report (2001). Notably, however, central estimates for total climate-related sea level rise remain within 10 percent of previous estimates (when adjusted for the same time period). The modeled range, however, is now smaller (at both upper and lower ends) because of new constraints on the contributions from melting glaciers and ice caps and a more careful consideration of correlations between uncertainties in different terms. Importantly, the report gives no cause for any reduction in concern about future sea level rise. Recent observations show evidence for faster than expected breakup of ice around the edges of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets indicating that some of the processes causing ice sheets to discharge into the ocean in a warmer world are not included in current models. Thus, whereas the uncertainties in what can be modeled have been reduced, this is offset by the emergence of an additional factor for which no quantitative estimates exist in the literature.

Meaningless hand-wringing since there is zero evidence of any change in the rate of sea level increase over the 20th Century.

The only thing SciAm managed to clarify with the above pseudo-science and misdirection is their position of pure advocacy. What a crock!

Another eye-roller: "Warming May Bring Hurricanes to Mediterranean" - "LONDON - Global warming could trigger hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, over the Mediterranean sea, threatening one of the world's most densely populated coastal regions, according to European scientists.

Hurricanes currently form out in the tropical Atlantic and rarely reach Europe, but a new study shows a 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in average temperatures could set them off in the enclosed Mediterranean in future." (Reuters)

There is no realistic expectation of a 3 kelvins rise in average temperature to start with and no expectation that models are capable if forecasting any regional effect even if it did.

"Australia spends $3.4bill to reduce temperature by 0.000025 degrees" - "John Howard, Australia's prime minister has just announced that they will be spending $627 million to combat climate change. He hopes to reduce Australia's emissions of greenhouse gases:

Mr Howard said today Australian action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 will prevent about 87 million tonnes of climate-changing carbon a year entering the atmosphere by 2010.

He said the $627 million would bring total government spending to tackle global warming since 1996 to about $3.4 billion.

So lets do the sums once again. If we assume that 100% of all recent warming is completely and only due to greenhouse gases (unlikely but hey), and Australia's greenhouse emissions is equal to 1.5% of the worlds, and that Australia produce on average 350 million tonnes a year, should Howard's goal come true, Australia will reduce its emissions by a quarter. Good stuff.

Hence their world wide contribution to limiting greenhouse gases would be at 0.375% (about 1/3rd of 1%). Therefore Australia will reduce the world wide temperature by 0.00225 degrees over 100 years or by about 0.000025 degrees per year." (Gust of Hot Air)

"Ignorance Is Strength, Dissent Is Treason" - "At last weekend’s Live Earth concert in New Jersey, Robert Kennedy, Jr., a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), charged ExxonMobil and Southern Company with treason." (Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI)

"Huge areas of Yorkshire needed for wind farms" - " Swathes of Yorkshire about the size of Leeds and Bradford combined will have to be carpeted over with wind farms if the region is to meet strict renewable energy targets, the Yorkshire Post can reveal.

About 34sq km (13sq miles) of Yorkshire's rolling countryside will need to be given up to the giant turbines in order to meet the region's target of producing 10 per cent of its energy by renewable means by 2010.

At present there are only four wind farms operating in Yorkshire, and only one has been built since 1993 – the seven-turbine scheme at Out Newton, near Hull.

With great public opposition to every wind farm application, few get past the planning permission stage. But all that will have to change if the region is to meet its targets, according to a new report by Yorkshire Futures." (Yorkshire Post)

"Oil Industry Reality Check" - "There are two American oil industries. One exists only in the minds of its critics, many of whom are politicians. When prices and profits rise, as happens in a cyclical business, the critics demand new antitrust and other legislation. When prices and profits inevitably fall? Silence.

The other American oil industry exists in the real world. It's intensely competitive, innovative and subject to more scrutiny and tougher antitrust enforcement than any other segment of the economy. And it's adept at meeting the diverse and dynamic needs of American consumers." (Wall Street Journal)

"Short on Storm Coverage" - "So long as hurricanes continue to sweep through Florida's landscape, Floridians will have to find ways to repair the damage. As the Sentinel showed in a recent article, however, many Florida school districts expect that someone else will pay the cleanup bills.

The Orange County School District, for example, carries only $20 million in insurance to protect nearly $5 billion worth of buildings. Other Central Florida school districts don't do much better.

The problem, in fact, extends far beyond schools: roads, bridges, airports and other vital infrastructure all remain either uninsured or enormously underinsured. School districts and other government entities believe that the federal government, via the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will pick up the bills for rebuilding.

They're probably wrong. While FEMA has provided plenty of grants and loans to repair these public works in the past, the gravy train has come to an end. Without much notice, the Bush administration gutted FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The agency has lost more than a third of its staff, most of its ongoing programs, and nearly all of its clout in Washington." (Eli Lehrer, Orlando Sentinel)

"Picking Berries Protects Rain Forests Best - Study" - "BRASILIA - Small community projects for picking fruits and nuts are the best way to alleviate poverty and protect the Amazon and other tropical forests, but are largely ignored by governments, a study showed on Monday.

Communities harvesting natural products generate more long-term income than many national parks or big timber companies, said a report by the International Tropical Timber Organization, or ITTO, released at a forestry conference in northeastern Brazil.

"Someone depending on a forest for income and habitat will look after it," said Andy White, one of the report's authors. "We need people in forests." (Reuters)

  At least they got one part right, excluding people is not a suitable option.

"Nothing Sweet about It" - “It’s an outrage!” That’s the usual cry of Washington politicians when they chastise the world outside their chambers for their profligate ways, which they then promise to “fix” by passing more laws. Now is the time for consumers and taxpayers to shout back at their legislators — and they should focus on proposals for the new 2007 farm bill, especially the bloated sugar program." (Frances Smith, National Review Online)

"What Excuse for the New Farm Bill?" - "The Congress is trying urgently to write a new farm bill—but it can’t think of an excuse for passing it. The cold reality, of course, is simply that half of the U.S. Senate is elected in states where the farm vote is significant, and neither party wants to lose an election because of a few unhappy farmers." (CGFI)

"Annan rules out use of GMOs in the war on hunger in Africa" - "In what is bound to stir controversy in agriculture and scientific circles, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has ruled out the use of Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) in the battle against food insecurity and poverty in Africa." (Business Daily)

"EU split over GM potato" - "EU farm ministers failed Monday to reach an agreement on allowing a new genetically modified potato on the market, leaving the decision by default to the European Commission, a diplomat said." (AFP)

"Descendants of Dolly" - "Scientists will have to work hard to persuade a cynical public to tuck in to the idea of cloned meat." (James Randerson, The Guardian)

July 16, 2007

"Pollution risks to people slip through net in tests on fish" - "A new class of organic pollutants in the environment which could pose risks to people's health has been identified by scientists." (The Guardian)

"Suffer the children who don’t fit the mold" - "Imagine having a daughter with a rare condition that is poorly understood and health authorities seem disinterested in helping to diagnose. It’s not that girls and boys just like your daughter haven’t been seen throughout history, but today she’s mocked and viewed as a freak and everyone is pointing the blame at you — so much so, that government officials have taken your daughter away and made her a ward of the state." (Junkfood Science)

"Can fat taxes prevent heart disease?" - "Two terms don’t always mean what we believe they do: “research” and “evidence-based.” Take the research just published in the Journal of Epidemiology Community Health entitled: “Evidence-based Public Health Policy and Practice: Could targeted food taxes improve health?” (Junkfood Science)

"Information management — News for fellow medical professionals" - "Whooah! Dr. Julie Gerberding, director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has called for government-run education for all doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals, as the first step to creating a national healthcare system. It seems that leaving medical education to state universities and private academic centers is a problem. [Resulting in too many of us not following the party line, perhaps?]" (Junkfood Science)

“Awareness is the first step to change” - "I’ve been meaning to share this thoughtful article with you. Dr. Manoj Jain, an infectious disease physician in Memphis, did some soul-searching about if his own prejudices influence how he sees patients, the assumptions he makes about their lifestyles and health, and the care he gives. He said his own complexion is Asian-Indian, which sets him apart and he wondered if his patients see him differently when he walks in the room. The raw honesty and perceptiveness makes his article worth reading in its entirety:" (Junkfood Science)

"Citizens arrest" - "Tackling climate change is now a worldwide crusade - so what's stopping campaigners driving its simplest solution?" (The Guardian)

Greenies first: "After We Are Gone: If humans were evacuated, the Earth would flourish." - "July 23, 2007 issue - The Second Coming may be the most widely anticipated apocalypse ever, but it's far from the only version of the end times. Environmentalists have their own eschatology—a vision of a world not consumed by holy fire but returned to ecological balance by the removal of the most disruptive species in history. That, of course, would be us, the 6 billion furiously metabolizing and reproducing human beings polluting its surface. There's even a group trying to bring it about, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, whose Web site calls on people to stop having children altogether. And now the journalist Alan Weisman has produced, if not a bible, at least a Book of Revelation, "The World Without Us," which conjures up a future something like ... well, like the area around Chernobyl, the Russian nuclear reactor that blew off a cloud of radioactive steam in 1986. In a radius of 30 kilometers, there are no human settlements—just forests that have begun reclaiming fields and towns, home to birds, deer, wild boar and moose." (Jerry Adler, Newsweek)

"No La Nina This Summer, NOAA Says" - "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted that La Nina - a cooling of Pacific Ocean waters that generally brings a more active Atlantic hurricane season - will be absent for the next two months." (AP)

Um, no... "Climate Change Debate Hinges On Economics: Lawmakers Doubt Voters Would Fund Big Carbon Cuts" - "Here's the good news about climate change: Energy and climate experts say the world already possesses the technological know-how for trimming greenhouse gas emissions enough to slow the perilous rise in the Earth's temperatures.

Here's the bad news: Because of the enormous cost of addressing global warming, the energy legislation considered by Congress so far will make barely a dent in the problem, while farther-reaching climate proposals stand a remote chance of passage." (Steven Mufson, Washington Post)

... the climate change debate actually hinges on whether carbon dioxide is a significant driver of the world's climate and, if so, what effect contemporary and anticipated change in levels of this trace gas might have.

"Presentation On Global Change and Climate Change By Jon Foley At The April 4-6, 2007 NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Change Meeting" - "Jon Foley presented an excellent talk at the NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Change Meeting April 4-6, 2007 in College Park, MD [hosted by Garik Gutman and Chris Justice] entitled “Planet Against the Grain” where he reports that about 40% of Earth’s land has been converted to agriculture. He thus states that today about 40% of the global photosynthesis is now in human hands. He concludes that agriculture has already altered the biosphere as much as projections of future climate change, but now they are happening together." (Climate Science)

"Researchers Explore Siberia's Role in Climate Change" - "German researchers have constructed a massive tower deep in the Siberian wilderness where, under the watchful eyes of the Russian intelligence service, the scientists are measuring levels of environmental toxins and greenhouse gases. Their goal is to determine if the forests are helping to slow global warming or if they are heating up the planet even further." (Der Spiegel)

"Fear of a global 'coldening'" - "LAST month Australians endured our coldest June since 1950. Imagine that; all those trillions of tonnes of evil carbon we've horked up into the atmosphere over six decades of rampant industrialisation, and we're still getting the same icy weather we got during the Cold War." (Tim Blair, Daily Telegraph)

"We've heard the sceptics. Now let's act on climate change" - "NEVER before has an environmental issue received greater media, political and business attention than climate change. In the past year it has moved from the environmental pages to the front pages. At last count, in the past 12 months five covers of The Economist magazine have focused on the climate problem." (Nick Rowley, The Age)

Um, Nick? Sticking your fingers in your ears and going "La, la, la, I'm not listening..." is not hearing the skeptics mate -- you actually have to pay attention and understand what they are telling you.

Bespoke research (Number Watch)

"The truth is, we can't ignore the sun" - "According to the headlines last week, the sun is not to blame for recent global warming: mankind and fossil fuels are. So Al Gore is correct when he said, "the scientific data is in. There is no more debate."

Of that the evangelical BBC had no doubt. There was an air of triumphalism in its coverage of the report by the Royal Society.

It was perhaps a reaction to the BBC Trust's recent criticism of the Corporation's bias when reporting climate change: but sadly, it only proved the point made by the Trust.

The BBC was enthusiastically one-sided, sloppy and confused on its website, using concepts such as the sun's power, output and magnetic field incorrectly and interchangeably, as well as not including any criticism of the research.

But there is a deeper and more worrying issue. Last week's research is a simple piece of science and fundamentally flawed. Nobody looked beyond the hype; if they had, they would have reached a different conclusion." (David Whitehouse, London Telegraph)

"Global warming and the 'debunkers' of Durkin" - "They fail to acknowledge that you cannot detect long term trends with short-term data." (Greenie Watch)

"My words were twisted in global warming documentary: expert" - "Transcript: LEIGH SALES: Well, as you may have seen earlier this evening, the ABC broadcast the controversial Martin Durkin documentary, The Great Global Warming Swindle.

Its central argument is that solar activity, not carbon dioxide, is the main cause of global warming. In other words, nature is causing climate change, not human activity.

Well, someone you wouldn't have heard from in that film is the American scientist Carl Wunsch, who was interviewed for the documentary, but whose remarks were eventually edited from the work.

The reason? He was so incensed at the way his views and opinions were represented, he asked to be removed from the documentary.

This is how the filmmaker, Martin Durkin, described the Carl Wunsch affair in his interview with Tony Jones, aired earlier tonight.

TONY JONES: Did you never consider that the protest be included in a polemic against his basic scientific beliefs?

MARTIN DURKIN: If you look at the full transcript of the interview with Carl Wunsch, we represent perfectly honestly and properly what he said.

I remember getting the call immediately after the program went out from Professor Wunsch saying, "My God, I've had several scientists on the phone berating me, absolutely attacking me for being in this program, this is absolutely awful, can you take me out, can you take me out?" And if he wants to back out now, well, I suppose that's up to him." (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A message from the President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (The Corner)

Q&A: "Climate Change Will Be Important for Years to Come": Interview with Charlie Crist, Governor of the U.S. State of Florida: - "MIAMI - This week, Florida's Republican governor announced that he would set a target of cutting the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2050, boost energy efficiency standards in new construction and require utilities to produce 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources." (IPS)

"Live Earth Vs. Africa" - "Few people in Africa got to see Al Gore and his troupe of rock-star ecologists strutting their stuff two weekends ago, because most have neither television nor electricity. That's just as well, because they would have been aghast at Live Earth's bizarre message.

In Africa, we have much more serious things to worry about than climate change. Indeed, if they achieve their objective the concerts will have done harm to the people of Africa." (Accra Mail)

"Deborah Coddington: Celebrities care about getting noticed" - "Climate change is the new Aids, and Al Gore is the new Princess Diana. Saving the planet from global warming has become the cause of choice for the guilty chic - and the analogies between climate change and Aids don't stop there.

Both have created marvellous opportunities for fading rock stars and passe politicians to revive their careers. Why should these B-listers be content with composting their kitchen scraps, recycling the wine bottles, growing their own lettuces or (gasp) catching a train when they can really prove they care by appearing live on telly before millions of suckers in an over-hyped, under-rated, cutely named concert?" (New Zealand Herald)

"Mt. Al Gore" - "Saving the planet and producing a 24-hour entertainment extravaganza on seven continents is really hard, sweaty work.

That could be one reason Al Gore looked a little less polar bear-like when he appeared on stage and on satellite at Live Earth concert sites around the world last weekend. Or maybe he’s shedding the pounds because he's decided to take a crack at the White House in 2008 after all.

After the often-derisive, critical bashing Live Earth received, Gore should seriously consider running for president again.

Live Earth -- which Gore dreamed up, organized and promoted to raise environmental consciousness about the world's supposed climate crisis -- was by all honest accounts an artistic and political dud that may have actually hurt the anti-global warming movement." (Bill Steigerwald, FrontPageMagazine.com)

There's a lot of money in it: "How much does algore cost?" - "Ever wonder what it takes to bring a former vice president of the United States to your event? You’ll have to provide a generous lecture fee and meet a lengthy list of contractual requirements, as the University at Buffalo learned this spring. Former veep and current environmentalist Al Gore spoke at UB in late April, and this prompted a few questions. How much does Gore cost? Does he have to be picked up from the airport in a hybrid limousine? Does he insist on a hotel that runs on solar power? UB gave the answers in response to a Freedom of Information Law request. First, he doesn’t come cheap. Gore received a $100,000 fee." (Nuke)

II: "Santa Cruz plans to hire global warming czar" - "If humanity is heating up the planet, Santa Cruz wants to help cool it off. The city has created the position of global warming coordinator at up to $80,000 a year to help prevent climate change, guide Santa Cruz in transportation and land-use decisions and get the community involved in the effort." (MediaNews)

III: "'Green' town halls spend millions on advisers" - "Council leaders are paying out £100 million to fund an army of 3,500 workers to tackle climate change, it can be disclosed. Despite continuing disputes within the scientific community over the causes of global warming, how profound its effects may be and even its very existence, a nationwide investigation has revealed massive spending on new local authority staff with job titles such as "carbon reduction advisors" and "climate change managers". (London Telegraph)

"Poll: Czechs want EU to deal with global warming" - "The European Union should urgently deal with global warming according to 91 percent of Czechs, according to a Eurobarometer survey released Thursday.

The survey showed that 88 percent of EU citizens share this opinion.

A vast majority of them also believe that the EU should introduce new measures to decrease greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus who rejects man's contribution to global warming and who considers all effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions said in reaction to the poll that he would recommend "these confused people" not to let themselves be misled by propaganda.

"I would only like to know whether the 88 percent of people rejoice at the EU going to fundamentally limit their freedom and regulate their lives," Klaus told CTK on his visit to Poland." (Prague Daily Monitor)

"India makes climate change move" - "India has taken the first steps towards developing a national plan on tackling the effects of climate change." (BBC)

"Australia: Put 10c a litre tax on drivers: Caltex" - "PETROL prices would rise by 10c a litre to cover the cost of carbon under a plan by Australia's biggest oil refiner as part of its response to the greenhouse debate.

Caltex wants the Howard Government to impose a $40-a-tonne carbon fuel tax on motorists rather than make the retail fuel industry adopt a complicated emissions-trading system.

By having the Government levy the carbon tax on motorists, the company would avoid the odium of being forced to raise prices to cover the cost of the permits that would be issued under the more complicated emissions trading scheme.

The 10c-a-litre carbon tax would avoid the petrol price fluctuations associated with the carbon pricing in emissions permits. In Europe, the cost of the permits has fluctuated wildly as the market in carbon rises and falls." (The Australian)

"ECUADOR: Doubts Surround Carbon Absorption Project Near Galápagos" - "PUERTO AYORA, Galápagos, Ecuador - Later this month a U.S. company, Planktos Inc., plans to dump 100 tonnes of iron dust into the ocean near Ecuador's Galápagos Islands, despite opposition from environmental groups and marine scientists." (IPS)

"SOUTH-EAST ASIA: Big Bucks Behind Forest Blaze, Haze" - "The annual phenomenon that is oddly called the ‘haze’ is back and beginning to blanket parts of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei in thick, acrid smoke from the forest fires in Indonesia, mainly from the Kalimantan and Sumatra islands.

Experts say the fact that the ‘haze’ has returned indicates that all the promises and plans announced by the ten-nation Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) last year to prevent forest fires and end the annual return of the haze have failed." (IPS)

"Kenyans furious with Britain at air-freight trade threat" - "In floppy hats and gumboots, Kenya's Kikuyu farmers are preparing for war with Britain. There isn't an AK-47 in sight, though there are plenty of organic cucumbers, carrots, french beans and cauliflowers.

It's a battle over who is to blame for climate change - poor African farmers who export their produce by air, or Western consumers who care about the environmental impact of "food miles". (Observer via New Zealand Herald)

"Solar Power Captures Imagination, Not Money" - "Some experts say that moving solar energy from niche to mainstream is unlikely without big breakthroughs." (New York Times)

"A recipe for inflation" - "A different look at the effects of large-scale biofuel production comes from The Times this morning, in a piece entitled, "Ice-cream makers frozen out as corn price rises".

It asks, "What's the connection between ethanol, the biofuel produced from corn, and a cherry vanilla ice-cream?", offering the answer that the first is responsible for pushing up the price of the other." (EU Referendum)

"UN warns it cannot afford to feed the world" - "Rising prices for food have led the United Nations programme fighting famine in Africa and other regions to warn that it can no longer afford to feed the 90m people it has helped for each of the past five years on its budget." (Financial Times)

"Maine may finally let Bt corn be grown, sold" - "Over the past decade, a particular type of genetically modified corn has taken the farming world by storm with a built-in pesticide that wards off bugs from seed to harvest. The exception has been Maine, the only state where corn engineered to produce the Bt toxin cannot be sold or grown. But that may change soon." (Press Herald)

"Ministers wary of hot GM potato" - "The European Union is expected to sidestep hostile public opinion by approving the cultivation of a genetically modified crop via the "back door" of a bureaucratic Brussels procedure.

Europe's farm ministers meet in Brussels today to consider a European Commission proposal to allow a new antibiotic-resistant GM potato, the first biotech crop released for planting since 1998.

EU officials predict that ministers, running scared of anti-GM public opinion across Europe, will fail to agree to either block or approve the potato. This will mean that the "proposed act shall be adopted by the Commission" via the obscure process of "comitology", allowing governments to pass the buck to unelected officials." (London Telegraph)

July 13, 2007

"Global Warming's Trillion Dollar Giveaway" - "Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced this week their "Low Carbon Economy Act" (LCEA) intended to combat global warming. The bill ought to be called the "The Trillion Dollar Giveaway and Wealth Redistribution Act." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

More Gore Effect? "Survey finds indifference in Europe and U.S. to climate change" - "LONDON: Fatalism and indifference about climate change is widespread in Europe and parts of the United States, while people in some developing economies in Asia and Latin America are far more optimistic that the problem can be tackled, according to a survey released Thursday by HSBC.

The findings were so striking that the bank is considering offering a range of "green" financial services in countries like India and Brazil first, rather than in Europe as originally planned, said Jon Williams, the head of group sustainable development for HSBC. Indifference to climate change in the developing world was "an absolute myth and that's what surprised us," Williams said.

New services HSBC could offer include loans to help consumers buy expensive renewable energy goods, like solar panels, and credit cards designed to help consumers offset their carbon emissions.

"We may have to be a bit more subtle to get over the green rejection we're seeing in Europe," Williams said." (IHT)

See also: "West 'less committed' to global warming fight" - "The survey also unearthed signs of 'green rejection' in the developed world - a rejection that climate change is a problem, of solutions to it and of the institutions proposing them. Green rejection is strongest in the UK and Germany, where people were among the least engaged and optimistic about the challenge." (London Telegraph)

"British PM will push through carbon-cutting policies" - "Recently appointed British PM Gordon Brown has stated that he'll push through a raft of new transport legislation designed to tackle climate change.

In a speech in the House of Commons yesterday, which highlighted key policy alterations under his government, Brown said that "Britain will be the first country in the world to introduce a legal framework for reducing carbon emissions." (Reuters)

"EU Likely to Lift Irish Carbon Cap Friday - Sources" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission will probably restore most of the carbon dioxide (CO2) allowances it has previously cut from Ireland's plan allocating emissions rights for 2008-2012, Irish sources said on Thursday.

The European Union executive is due to decide on amendments to five countries' CO2 plans on Friday, including Ireland's.

A move to restore a big chunk of Ireland's emissions would be the first time the Commission has changed one of its tough decisions on a country's emissions caps for 2008-2012." (Reuters)

"Estonia to Take EU Commission to Court Over Carbon" - "TALLINN - Estonia became the latest eastern European country on Thursday to decide to launch a legal challenge to the European Commission's rejection of its national carbon dioxide emissions plan." (Reuters)

As if anyone needed another reason to love PB&J:) "Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich: Who knew it was so easy to change the world?" - "The next time you pack this all-American sandwich for lunch, you're helping the environment and making a difference in animal welfare. You don't have to change your whole diet to change the world. Just start with lunch.

A PB&J will slow global warming: Next time you have one you'll reduce your carbon footprint by saving the equivalent of 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over an average animal-based lunch like a hamburger, a tuna sandwich, grilled cheese, or chicken nuggets. That's about forty percent of what you'd save driving around for the day in a hybrid instead of a standard sedan. If you were going to have a ham sandwich or a hamburger, you save the equivalent almost 3.5 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions." (The PB&J Campaign)

"How not to measure temperature, part 21" - "The recent photo submissions at surfacestations.org have demonstrated that many NOAA/NWS climate monitoring stations feature convenient close-by vehicle parking.

Not to be outdone, the Paso Robles USHCN Climate Station of Record features freeway on-ramp access to California's Highway 101. The weather station is just feet from the street, with the temperature sensor placed just high enough to catch full view of vehicles over the fence." (Watt's Up With That?)

"Central Park - The Differences Between the Global and US NCDC Data Bases" - "A few weeks back, we looked at July and January in Central Park at the version 1 variances from the raw observed data in a blog on Central Park Temperature Comparisons. Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit did the same with Central Park: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

We have discussed how the global data bases are contaminated by station dropout, missing data, poor coverage, inadequate urban adjustment and poor siting issues. NCDC in addition to the HCN maintains a global data base of stations which it uses to track climate change. I decided to compare Central Park in that GHCN data set (the latest V2) with the HCN data set relative to the raw data." (Joseph D’Aleo, Icecap)

No? Duh! "Barrier Reef 'can adapt' to warmer times" - "THE Great Barrier Reef may be much better suited to surviving climate change and warmer conditions than previously thought.

Researchers in north Queensland have found many corals contain microscopic algae that protect them from temperature fluctuations.

The study by the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville, which clashes with the work of many coral experts who have long claimed the reef is doomed by climate change, used DNA analysis to show many corals stored several types of algae that kicked in to provide nutrients when temperatures increased.

The future of the reef has become a touchstone for environmentalists, some of whom say the reef could be gone within 20 years. Last year, Nicholas Stern, the author of Britain's Stern Review into climate change, said the reef would die because of global warming." (The Australian)

"Can powerlines help frogs?" - "SCIENTISTS are trying to figure out if clearings created for powerlines through rainforests may be helping frogs survive a deadly disease." (Courier-Mail)

"Another Important New Paper On The Role Of Land Cover Change On The Climate System" - "Thanks to Geoff Smith for alerting us to this important new research paper on the role of land surface processes within the climate system." (Climate Science)

"BBC Report on Sun and Climate Change Contradicts Its Own 2004 Story" - "On Thursday, Jules Crittenden wondered if American media are lazy, stupid or willfully ignorant with how they’ve been reporting events in Iraq.

Given the BBC’s recent piece concerning the relationship between the sun and climate change which hysterically ignored an article it published almost three years ago with a completely diametric view, one might ask the same question of that British television network." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

Warmers trying hard: "Heat on Great Climate Swindle maker Martin Durkin" - "THE director of a controversial documentary about global warming which aired on ABC television last night was put on the spot over a simple graph which was to meant show how global warming was linked to sun spot activity.

In his documentary, The Great Climate Swindle, director Martin Durkin used a graph produced by acclaimed English climatologist Hubert Lamb to show that the Earth's temperatures for hundreds of years had risen and fallen in keeping with sun spot activity." (Denis Peters, The Australian)

"The ABC bias swindle" - "I’m sceptical about the supposed effect man’s behaviour has on the Earth’s climate. To hold such a view is to contradict the orthodoxy of our time. Indeed, in a recent article in The Age Peter Christoff likened such scepticism to Holocaust denial.

But, courtesy of the ABC, scepticism had an outing yesterday. Sort of.

Martin Durkin’s The Great Global Warming Swindle was screened by the ABC at 8.30pm. Commissioned by Channel 4 in the UK, it is unapologetically polemic, akin to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, in that it sets out to make an argument without any pretence at impartiality or effort to put the other side’s position.

The manner in which the ABC chose to present the piece is interesting. It had been trailed for some time prior to screening as “the controversial documentary” (and sometimes, for variety’s sake, “the very controversial documentary”) complete with menacing music and/or images of destruction. And indeed, that’s how the “contentious” show is advertised on the ABC’s website. Furthermore, immediately prior to screening, Tony Jones appeared on screen to state “I’m bound to say that this does not represent the views of the ABC”.

When documentaries and broadcasts are made which support the climate change orthodoxy, they don’t come with a health warning. They’re not advertised as “controversial”.

Following the screening of the piece, there followed a pre-recorded presentation which was little more than a remarkable hatchet job. Jones had flown to London to confront Durkin with various supposed flaws in the documentary (it is not known if he carbon offset his flight). Undoubtedly, there were some - though the fact that Jones was often harking back to mistakes that have been removed from the show and were not in the version we saw last night is pretty strange.

(The use of a completely inaccurate graphic in the original version of Swindle was bad and rightly attracted criticism at the time of the UK screening - but an apology was given at the time and it wasn’t in the show we had just seen!)" (Alexander Deane, Online Opinion)

"Global warming zealots are stifling scientific debate" - "TONIGHT'S airing of The Great Global Warming Swindle and the associated discussion on ABC TV should be a hoot. The ABC has structured the panel to try to get their preferred political position aired. The panel composition will minimise scientific discussion. It contains journalists, political pressure groups and those who will make a quid out of frightening us witless.

Three scientists with a more rational view to the doomsday hype were invited to appear on the panel and have now been uninvited as they do not dance to the drumbeat of disaster. There is a VIP section of the audience with loopy-left greens and social commentators. We have the Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (BAMOS), which was in such a hurry to publish a critique of The Great Global Warming Swindle that it contains schoolboy howlers and a lack of logic intertwined with politics.

What makes it even more amusing is that BAMOS did not criticise Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. If this Hollywood fiction film claims to be supported by science, then why did it perpetuate a well-documented scientific fraud?

There is no panel discussion when the ABC TV religiously promotes the popular political view on global warming. Why is there a panel for an alternative view?" (Ian Plimer, The Age)

Truth in advertising laws could make this fun: "Create-an-Ad Contest Aims to Push Climate Message" - "WASHINGTON, July 12 — Saving the planet is hard work, Al Gore says, and somebody has to sell the idea.

As a follow-up to last weekend’s Live Earth concerts he helped promote, Mr. Gore is sponsoring a competition to create a series of television and Internet ads to raise awareness on the issue of climate change." (New York Times)

"Did Live Earth’s Flop Reduce Media Interest in Global Warming?" - "A funny thing happened a few days after Al Gore’s concerts to draw attention to global warming concluded: a significant study out of England stating that changes in the sun’s output are not responsible for climate change went almost thoroughly ignored by America’s media." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"ENVIRONMENT-US: The Lessons of the Levees" - "MIAMI, Jul 12 - Despite mounting data that storms coming out of the Gulf of Mexico could bring catastrophic flooding to the U.S. Gulf Coast, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) failed to implement a proposed barrier plan in New Orleans that would have used floodgates to keep storm surge out of Lake Pontchartrain and the canals leading into the city.

A self-assessment released Wednesday by the USACE said that a long-term budget crunch, flawed levee design and shoddy construction materials all contributed to the disaster." (IPS/IFEJ)

"Katrina devastation not unrivaled, analysis finds" - "If the Great Storm of 1900 had hit Galveston two years ago, it would have inflicted $72 billion in damage, nearly as much as Hurricane Katrina, researchers say.

Already the country's deadliest hurricane with an estimated 8,000 deaths, the 1900 storm also would rank as the nation's third costliest, say hurricane scientists who sought to gauge the economic damage that historic storms would have caused if they had occurred in 2005.

Under the new analysis, which adjusted for inflation, population and coastal development, Hurricane Katrina and its $81 billion cost ranked second to the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, which caused damage estimated at almost $140 billion. Another Galveston hurricane, in 1915, ranked fourth with $57 billion in damage.

Put simply, the devastation wrought by Katrina in 2005 was not unprecedented.

That's significant in an era when some blame global warming for catastrophic hurricanes. The research concludes that economic damage from hurricanes, after being adjusted, has remained relatively constant during the last century." (Houston Chronicle)

"Experts Plan Rating System for El Nino" - "WASHINGTON -- Hurricanes and tornadoes have popular rating scales that help people understand their power. Now, weather experts are planning a similar way to measure the El Nino phenomena that affect climate worldwide.

The ratings are tentatively expected to begin in the fall, Wayne Higgins, director of the federal Climate Prediction Center said in a telephone interview.

Higgins said his forecasters also are planning watches and advisories, as is currently done with other severe weather.

A watch would be issued when conditions are right for potential development of an El Nino or La Nina within three to six months, he said. An advisory would mean the condition was under way." (AP)

Uh-huh... "New Study Suggests Climate Change Could Be The Root Of Armed Conflicts" - "Climate change, and the resulting shortage of ecological resources, could be to blame for armed conflicts in the future, according to David Zhang from the University of Hong Kong and colleagues. Their research, which highlights how temperature fluctuations and reduced agricultural production explain warfare frequency in eastern China in the past, has been published online in Springer's journal Human Ecology." (SPX)

... climate change is not a one way street -- there are winners as well as losers as some areas become more productive and others less so. While such change might increase some regional resource stress it may equally reduce other region resource stress, who's to say there's a net increase in human conflict overall?

"Bill Bryson's beauty: Unspoilt land is valuable, but not priceless" - "ALL of England should be a national park, says Bill Bryson, an author who takes office this week as president of a pressure group called the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). “It is preposterous really to say that some parts [of England] are better or more important than others,” Mr Bryson argues. “It's all lovely."

Perhaps Mr Bryson has not seen some of the less prepossessing parts of south London or the Fens―or he is trying to curry favour with any members unhappy to see an American take the reins of such a venerable English organisation. But his zeal does serve to illustrate the loose way in which activists and governments alike sometimes think about the costs and benefits of conservation." (Economist.com)

"Oil Is A Necessity, Not An 'Addiction'" - " The same week the International Energy Agency projects a global oil supply crisis is nigh, a prominent blog claims the U.S. is "addicted" to oil. The former is a compelling argument to drill more, the latter irrelevant." (IBD)

"Coal Fires- A Major Pollution Source" - “Scrapping all the cars, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks in America could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 2%. Extinguishing the fires that burn unchecked at coal deposits around the world could reduce emissions by 2-3% without the economic devastation.” (Jack W. Dini, Fact Or Fiction)

"Rail industry admits that it’s often greener for families to travel by car" - "It can be greener to drive than catch the train, according to a rail industry study which reveals that trains are losing their environmental advantage.

Modern diesel-powered trains are so polluting that a family of three or more would be responsible for at least double the carbon dioxide emissions on many routes when travelling by rail compared with driving in a typical medium-sized car." (The Times)

"Browne’s successor to strip red tape from BP" - "Chief executive Tony Hayward wants to refocus BP away from environment and back on profits." (The Times)

"Palm Oil Firms Burning Indonesia Forests - Greenpeace" - "JAKARTA - Palm oil companies are burning peat forests to clear land for plantations in Indonesia's Riau province, despite government pledges to end forest fires, environment group Greenpeace said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Guyana criticizes carbon credit scheme of Kyoto Protocol" - "Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday criticized the Kyoto Protocol on climate change for failing to allow countries like his nation with pristine unharvested forests to earn carbon credits." (AFP)

"White House treats malaria as a global 'human crisis'" - "The White House — along with many public and private partners — is stepping up efforts in the war against malaria, calling it "a genocide" on Africans." (Washington Times)

"Reading in the dark will make you go blind?" - "When the evidence is consistent and overwhelming, and the contrary evidence nonexistent, why does the media have so much trouble spitting it out?

Take the belief that our thinner twenty year old bodies are ideal throughout our lives and that the natural changes, and weight gain, that come as we grow older are all bad. Despite volumes of studies from every corner of the world showing that mortality rates among adults and seniors are lowest among those who are fat and highest among those who are thin, researchers in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society said the association remains controversial." (Junkfood Science)

"Full fat takes the cream" - "For years full-fat milk has been vilified by the nutrition police - but a new study suggests that it can actually boost your health. Xanthe Clay welcomes the gold top's return to flavour

In our obsession with healthy living and weight loss, have we thrown the baby out with the bathwater? Did we chuck out the goodness when we got rid of the fat? Recent studies suggest that, far from being the evil that we've been led to believe, dairy products are positively good for you.

In particular, some of the fats, proteins and vitamins in full-fat milk have previously unrecognised benefits for the metabolism, which can help keep pounds off, according to scientists at Cardiff University.

"DEVELOPMENT-WEST AFRICA: History Just Waiting to Repeat Itself" - "JOHANNESBURG, Jul 12 - Two years ago, several West African states found themselves in the grip of severe food shortages -- with some three million people affected in Niger alone. Children died, aid officials wrung their hands, people marched in Niger's capital, Niamey, to demand food…But were lessons learned -- really learned -- to ensure that the crisis does not recur?" (IPS)

"U.S. to mull changes to oversight of biotech crops" - "WASHINGTON - U.S. oversight of genetically modified crops, which critics charge is insufficient, may be overhauled following a series of proposed changes released on Thursday by the Agriculture Department." (Reuters)

"Corn-Genome Sequencing May Lead to Increased Global Production" - " Corn production, as well as the crop's resistance to disease, pests and drought, may increase within three years because researchers in Mexico have sequenced the grain's genome.

Scientists at the National Genomics for Biodiversity Laboratory, in Mexico City, made a rough blueprint of the genome of a Mexican variety of corn, the country's Agriculture Ministry said this week.

The breakthrough may lead to increased production because scientists can use the information to develop corn varieties resistant to bugs and diseases or capable of thriving when water is scarce. Farmers should have more-resistant corn within three years, seven years sooner than would have been possible without the research, Agriculture Minster Alberto Cardenas said." (Bloomberg)

July 12, 2007

"Statistical Meltdown Over Avandia" - "As another major scientific journal criticizes the methodology behind a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that prompted a nationwide panic over a popular diabetes drug, it turns out that the doctor who authored the study, Steven Nissen MD, delivered a blistering attack on those very methods seven years ago, when they were used by another researcher to argue that a different drug posed an equally significant health risk." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"The Bad Science Prize" - "In all fairness, I must report that the low point for science in the trial of Dr. William Hurwitz was not the debate over the meaning of 1,600 pills that were not taken by a patient. My Findings column dwells on that topic — and on the numerological obsessions of the prosecutors and the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration — because pill-count madness is a common problem in the trials of the trials of doctors who treat chronic pain.

But for sheer bad science and shameless prosecutorial tactics, the prize in the Hurwitz trial would have to go to the great Penicillin Peril. In its blend of factual inaccuracy, legal irrelevance and medical illiteracy, it was a spectacle that would make any doctor think twice before prescribing another opioid." (John Tierney, New York Times)

"Emerging science...isn’t" - "With growing numbers of people attributing near magical abilities of “healthy” foods to keep them youthful, prevent cancer and other diseases of aging, and ensure a longer life, scientists in the United States and Europe are starting to clamp down on claims about healthful properties in foods that don’t have credible evidence to support them." (Junkfood Science)

"Maternal, childhood factors affect obesity risk" - "NEW YORK - Factors ranging from her mother's body mass index to her own weight gain in early childhood influence the likelihood that a female child will grow up to become overweight, new research hints.

While the findings offer clues to how obesity prevention efforts might target certain time points in a person's life, they also underscore the importance of maintaining a healthy weight for life, Dr. Mary Beth Terry of Columbia University in New York City told Reuters Health.

Terry and her team studied a group of 261 women born between 1959 and 1965 with an eye toward figuring out which factors would independently predict their risk of obesity at age 20 and at age 40.

They found that the amount of weight a woman's mother gained during pregnancy influenced her risk of being overweight at age 20, with every 10-pound increase in weight gain associated with a 65 percent greater likelihood of being overweight.

But maternal pregnancy weight gain had no effect on whether or not a woman would be overweight at age 40, suggesting that current environmental factors had a greater influence." (Reuters Health)

"Play it again, Sam" - "Another study has examined the effectiveness of counseling to get people to eat healthier and exercise to lose weight. Guess what it found?" (Junkfood Science)

"'Fat' tax on food could prevent 3,000 heart attack and stroke deaths every year" - "Taxing certain foodstuffs in the UK could prevent up to 3200 deaths from heart attacks and stroke every year, suggests a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health." (BMJ Specialty Journals)

"EU Court Reimposes Ban on Paraquat Weedkiller" - "LUXEMBOURG - Europe's second highest court banned the weed killer paraquat on Wednesday, criticising the European Commission for poor health and safety assessments when it authorised the chemical in the EU in 2003." (Reuters)

"The Failure of the 2007 IPCC WG1 Report To Perfom A Spatial Analyses of Human Climate Forcings And Their Influence on Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations" - "On November 28, 2006 Climate Science posted a weblog entitled “Spatial Analyses of Climate Forcings And Their Influence on Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations - The IPCC Needs to Include This Subject In Their Upcoming Assessment” This November weblog was motivated by a comment by Gavin Schmidt in his Comment #1 on November 21 2006 which introduced us to very useful data that has been analyzed from the GISS model. The analyses are available under the heading “Datasets and Images - Efficacy of Climate Forcings”. The 2007 IPCC WG1 Report, however, failed to address this issue." (Climate Science)

You have to admire... "New analysis counters claims that solar activity is linked to global warming" - "James Hansen, a Nasa climate scientist who was once gagged by the Bush administration for speaking out on global warming, said the issue of whether the sun's activity is causing global warming had been dispensed with by most scientists long ago. "The reason [this paper] has value is that the proponents of the notion that the sun determines everything come up with various half-baked suggestions that the sun can somehow cause an indirect forcing that is not included in the measurements of radiation coming from the sun," he said. "These half-baked notions are usually supported by empirical correlations of climate with some solar index in the past. Thus, by showing that these correlations are not consistent with recent climate change, the half-baked notions can be dispensed with." (The Guardian)

... their tenacity, if nothing else. If they want to talk about "half-baked notions" and "somehow caus[ing] an indirect forcing not included in measurements" then why go past their perennial favorite? The whole CO2-driven enhanced greenhouse hypothesis perches precariously on a yet to be observed positive feedback of massive water vapor greenhouse effect being triggered by the insignificant possible carbon dioxide greenhouse effect. Even the most dedicated AGW promoters admit that greenhouse effect from increasing trace GHGs is logarithmic and that roughly three-fourths of the effect of doubling atmospheric CO2 has already occurred and that even if all estimated warming since the Industrial Revolution has been due to enhanced greenhouse (absurd, but never mind) then net warming is something less than three-fourths of one kelvin. This is why aerosol cooling is proposed as masking otherwise expected warming (despite no such observation being made nor experimental evidence that this is even possible in the real world).

So, the warmers' position is that unobserved water vapor greenhouse enhancement is occurring and that unobserved aerosol cooling is hiding it in the atmosphere (or alternately the oceans are storing it to spring upon us in some sudden, malevolent surprise). From this position they claim experimentally demonstrated solar/GCR/cloud enhancement mechanisms are "half-baked".

Cosmic rays and Earth's climate

Evidence for a physical linkage between galactic cosmic rays and regional climate time series

"Global Warming and Solar Radiation" - "Overview: Without the impact of solar radiation, the temperature on the earth would be about the same as the temperature of space, which is about -454 F. The amount of radiation reaching the earth is about 1,368 watts per square meter. This is a vast amount of energy, which would require the simultaneous output of 1.7 billion of our largest power plants to match. About 70 percent of this solar energy is absorbed and 30 percent is reflected. However, the amount of solar energy reaching the earth is not constant, but varies in several independent cycles of different degrees of magnitude, which may or may not reinforce each other." (D. Bruce Merrifield, American Thinker)

"Covert enviro strategy" - "The global warming alarmists' bell has been answered, but that is not good enough for environmentalists. State by state they not only are convincing elected officials to address climate change, but they are also placing their own advocates in positions that will push policies on a snoozing populace like smart growth, subsidies for renewable power sources, fuel surcharges, and higher taxes on electricity.

How? Through the savvy efforts of a nearly undetectable organization called the Center for Climate Strategies, which is developing plans for greenhouse gas reduction for several states. The "service" provided by CCS costs its client-states next to nothing, because liberal environmentalist foundations foot the bill instead.

The Harrisburg, Pa.-based group was created by another Keystone State nonprofit called the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. By its own description, PEC has advocated for ecological protections for more than 30 years.

CCS's model is effective and attractive for cash-strapped states. Typically, CCS representatives develop relationships with key decision makers in their target governments." (Paul Chesser, Washington Times)

"Australia: Minchin wants broader climate debate" - "AUSTRALIANS should not presume that there was one definitive view on climate change, but the Howard Government will press ahead with emissions trading after the next election, Finance Minister Nick Minchin said yesterday. Senator Minchin, who has expressed scepticism about the human's contribution to climate change in the past, said yesterday he looked forward to watching the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle on television tonight (Thursday). He insisted there were many scientists who were doubtful about man's contribution to global warming. ''I think it is vital that we all expose ourselves to all sides of this debate,'' he said yesterday." (The Australian)

Increasingly desperate to maintain the myth: "Scientist buckets climate program" - "ONE of Australia's top scientists has warned people not to bother watching a controversial climate change documentary to be aired on the ABC tomorrow because it was based on flawed science." (Sydney Morning Herald)

We'd agree the whole gorebull warming thing is based on flawed science but it is amusing to see the effort being made to stop people seeing even one dissenting viewpoint. Could it be they are finding the scare increasingly difficult to maintain?

"Now for some sensible talk" - "PHEW, Live Earth is over. The seven concerts on seven continents featuring a bunch of jet fuel-addicted rock stars summed up the problem with much of the talk about climate change. Hypocrisy aside, the climate change rockers and other zealots would have us believe there is no problem more uniquely modern than climate change. When it comes to mapping out solutions to this most 21st century of problems, history can teach us nothing. We are on our own. Right? Well, actually, no. Wrong. Dead wrong." (Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian)

<chuckle> "Grassroots Coalition Launches Campaign to Expose Fox Network's Consistent Pattern of Misinformation on Global Warming" - "July 10, 2007 -- A grassroots coalition of environmental, religious, and activist groups launched a campaign today to expose the Fox News network's consistent pattern of spreading misinformation about global warming. As part of the campaign, the coalition is urging Home Depot -- a company that says it cares about the environment -- to stop advertising on Fox." (Sierra Club)

The only real misinformation to worry about gorebull warming is that it is a catastrophic problem worthy of diverting effort and resources from real problems.

"Václav Klaus: Climatologists and economists" - "In the former Austrian-Hungarian monarchy, church bells were obliged to ring every summer to fight against lightnings and thunderstorms - a practice that was ultimately banned by the enlightened emperor Joseph II. During the first July's Saturday, hundreds of musicians across the world were playing against global warming." (The Reference Frame)

"Balmy Weather May Bench a Baseball Staple" - "In towns like Russell, Pa., the future of the ash tree is in doubt because of a beetle and a warming climate." (New York Times)

Wouldn't have anything to do with invasive pest critters? Nah, gorebull warming hates baseball, that's what it is!

Back to this: "CO2 hurts reef growth" - "Coral reefs are at risk of going soft, quite literally turning to mush as rising carbon dioxide levels prevent coral from forming tough skeletons, according to UQ research." (University of Queensland)

Oddly enough, these critters evolved under conditions of significantly higher atmospheric carbon dioxide and yet, they are here.

UCS? Oh puh-lease! "Study Paints Dire Picture of Warmer Northeast" - "By the end of this century, 100-year floods could hit New York City every 10 years, Long Island lobsters could disappear and New York apples could be hard to come by if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report released yesterday by a group of scientists and economists.

“The Northeast can anticipate substantial — and often unwelcome or dangerous — changes during the rest of this century,” concluded the report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which examined the impact of global warming on the region. “The very character of the Northeast is at stake.”" (New York Times)

"Changing climate will challenge Northeast agriculture" - "Farmers will be the first to feel the heat from global warming as they grapple with new and aggressive crop pests, summer heat stress and other sobering challenges that could strain family farms to the limit, warns David Wolfe, a Cornell expert on the effects of climate change on agriculture." (Cornell University News Service)

Um... it's as likely to be colder as warmer, although the amplitude of change is unknowable. Climate model output has no more demonstrated prognostic value than a table of random numbers.

"'Faux' gas tax tests resolve on global warming" - "Rep. John Dingell says he expects his proposal for a hefty 'carbon tax' on gasoline will prove Americans don't really want to change their energy-rich lifestyle." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Florida to Introduce Tough Greenhouse Gas Limits" - "MIAMI - Florida, the fourth most-populous US state, is expected to impose strict new air-pollution standards that aim to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050, according to draft regulations released on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Inside Messy Reality Of Cutting CO2 Output" - "NEW HAVEN, W.Va. -- The panoramic view from the roof of American Electric Power Co.'s Mountaineer power plant here sends a vivid message: Coal is king. Conveyor belts pull coal from a nearby mine, coal barges bob on the shimmering Ohio River and earth-moving equipment buries coal ash in a landfill.

With 25 big plants that burn coal, it's no wonder AEP is the No. 1 industrial emitter of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the U.S. in some years. The company acknowledges the problem, but says it faces a bind in solving it: New technologies to reduce CO2 emissions will cost billions and may take many years to develop. What's more, the company isn't sure it can recover its investment through higher electricity rates.

Places like Mountaineer are where reality collides with rhetoric about fighting global warming. Lacking any clear guidance from regulators, AEP is hedging its bets. It's working on some innovative technologies, but has yet to tackle the kind of top-to-bottom overhaul that many say will be required to make a serious dent in greenhouse gases.

Michael Morris, chairman and chief executive of the Columbus, Ohio-based utility, warns that strict emission curbs won't be cheap. "I think power prices could go up 50%, maybe more," he says. He doesn't think AEP can deliver significant carbon-dioxide reductions much before 2020." (Wall Street Journal)

"Biofuels Boom Results in Pricey Pasta" - "Italian pasta makers say bad harvests and competition from biofuel manufacturers have led to a durum disaster. Consumers will be paying for it by summer's end." (Der Spiegel)

"Brightly colored birds most affected by Chernobyl radiation" - "Brightly coloured birds are among the species most adversely affected by the high levels of radiation around the Chernobyl nuclear plant, ecologists have discovered. The findings – published online in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology – help explain why some species are harder hit by ionising radiation than others." (Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)

July 11, 2007

"Why big bad business needs to show its teeth: We must stop blaming Tesco or Ryanair for our own failings" - "Worried about climate change? Blame the budget airlines. Obese? It’s the fault of the food companies. Drunk last night? The brewers forced you to drink that extra pint.

There is no end to what we will blame companies for. But in truth, we know it’s not really their fault. We can’t blame them when we drive to the airport to fly to Málaga for 1p. We are aware that we have never had so much healthy food to choose from and that we really should do a bit more exercise. And we know we only have ourselves to blame if we have a drink too many and fall down the stairs.

But a scapegoat is a convenient thing. So if others are constantly telling us it is somehow Ryanair’s fault, Exxon’s fault, McDonald’s fault or Tesco’s fault, we will happily jump on that bandwagon when it suits. And there is no shortage of public issues that need scapegoats." (Andrew Griffin, The Times)

"EU bans mercury in barometers, thermometers" - "STRASBOURG, France - Tapping a barometer to check the weather may become a thing of the past after the European Parliament on Tuesday adopted new rules to scrap the use of mercury and protect the environment.

The European Union assembly agreed to ban the sale of non-electrical instruments containing the toxic heavy metal, such as thermometers for taking people's temperatures at home.

The ban, already endorsed by EU states, will apply to new devices only. Existing instruments or antiques can still be repaired or bought and sold second-hand." (Reuters)

Really? "Obesity rates continue to climb in the United States" - "The U.S. obesity prevalence increased from 13 percent to 32 percent between the 1960s and 2004, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Human Nutrition." (Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health)

And how much of this increase is due to moving the goalposts ('obesity' has been reclassified and redefined to such an extent that backward comparison is a somewhat fraught process)?

"How about that score?" - "From the “Studies the media forgot” file, come two new studies in the current issue of the American Heart Journal which examine the ability of traditional heart disease risk scores to estimate actual risks for heart disease and premature death among young and old men." (Junkfood Science)

"Potter Has Limited Effect on Reading Habits" - "Of all the magical powers wielded by Harry Potter, perhaps none has cast a stronger spell than his supposed ability to transform the reading habits of young people. In what has become near mythology about the wildly popular series by J. K. Rowling, many parents, teachers, librarians and booksellers have credited it with inspiring a generation of kids to read for pleasure in a world dominated by instant messaging and music downloads.

And so it has, for many children. But in keeping with the intricately plotted novels themselves, the truth about Harry Potter and reading is not quite so straightforward a success story. Indeed, as the series draws to a much-lamented close, federal statistics show that the percentage of youngsters who read for fun continues to drop significantly as children get older, at almost exactly the same rate as before Harry Potter came along." (New York Times)

"Study shows cane sugar, corn sweeteners have similar effects on appetite" - "A new study of sweetened beverages shows that cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup have similar effects on hunger, fullness, and food consumption at lunch." (University of Washington)

End of another myth? Don't count on it.

"Fires rip through West's wildlands" - "Fires roared across the West on Monday, scorching California pines and Utah sagebrush in a devastating reminder of how quickly flames can overrun the wildlands so many people call home.

Yet with more than 40 major blazes dotting the West, and national fire response ratcheted up to its second-highest level, the fires provided another sobering reminder: So far, this is an average year in number of acres burned.

And the threat of fires that routinely consume millions of acres adds urgency to calls for re-evaluating what should be allowed to burn and what should not." (Sacramento Bee)

"A New Paper On Glaciers in the Highest Altitudes In The Alps" - "At the recent International Symposium on “Landform - structure, evolution, process control”, University of Bonn, Germany, June 7-10, 2007, that I attended, there was evidence presented of the retreat of all of the glaciers in the Alps. However, thanks to CCNet and Benny Peiser for alerting me to a paper which provides evidence that one glacial area in these mountains is not retreating.

A theme that we have repeated several times on Climate Science, using recent glacier behavior in a number of locations around the world, is that this is a complex climate issue, and certainly cannot be described by as simple a metric as the global average surface temperature trend." (Climate Science)

Audio comment : "How not to measure temperature, part 20" - "Pictures have been coming in to www.surfacestations.org from many places. This one is from Fort Morgan, Colorado's USHCN climate station of record. Fort Morgan is in the eastern plains of Colorado, about 100 miles northeast of Denver.

In such a place, with all that open space, you'd think it would be an easy matter to place something as important as an official NOAA temperature sensor used to contribute measurements to the national climatic database in some of that open space.

No such luck. In fact, the sensor recording the wide open plains has four air conditioners near it!" (Watt's Up With That?)

"Global Warming - Is Carbon Dioxide Getting a Bad Rap?" - "With the prospect of climate change legislation that could cost American families up to $4,500 per year by 2015, and talk of using technology to sequester carbon through well drilling, which Michael Economides estimates could cost up to $7.2 trillion – or 60 times the current costs of drilling (Energy Tribune, June 2007) – it is ever more critical to determine whether we do in fact have a problem with carbon dioxide.

Despite the 90 percent certainty that man is behind recent global warming trends, the word “uncertainty” appears 494 times in the recent “Summary for Policymakers,” produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Though the actual research scientists generally did a commendable job, the more alarmist interpretation was provided by a smaller cadre of agenda-driven scientists and statesmen. Then the media took the most extreme of the messages to hype them further.

So what is the real story?" (Joseph D’Aleo, Energy Tribune)

Still trying... "Solar Variations Not Behind Global Warming - Study" - "LONDON - The sun's changing energy levels are not to blame for recent global warming and, if anything, solar variations over the past 20 years should have had a cooling effect, scientists said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

... to prop up a dying myth. Poor blighters probably thought they'd strike a more gullible audience following the gorebull warming extravaganza.

Greenies trying to poison the well... "Heat on great global swindle" - "I DEFEND the right of Martin Durkin to believe human activity is not changing the global climate. I could also defend his right to make a film reinforcing that view and combining some science with half-truths and lies." (Ian Lowe, The Australian)

... and yet these same magnanimous reviewers claim Al basically has his ridiculous slide show 'about right'. What a sorry state.

"Who is Misrepresenting Climate Science? Martin Durkin or Al Gore?" - "The Wag TV documentary ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ (TGGWS) is under predictable attack by the high priests of the man-made global warming religion, who continue to remain silent on the deep flaws and misrepresentations in Al Gore's movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and equally flaws in the processes and reports of the IPCC which are presented so as to allow the public to mislead itself into believing that these Reports are the unanimous views of 2500 scientists. In fact the reports (SPM) that make media headlines are produced by between 20 and 50 people, while scientific disagreement lies hidden in the Chapters of the main IPCC Assessment reports, alongside political interference.

Yet we face the bizarre situation in the UK that a political documentary is about to be sent to schools as though it were scientific fact, while there are calls for TGGWS to be censored under a spurious and invalid corruption of the principle of freedom of speech. The information needed to see the absurdity of this situation goes beyond media soundbites.

The main thrust of TGGWS is that the enhanced greenhouse effect isn't behaving as the climate models suggest that it should, climate change is being used as a vehicle for an anti-human, anti-capitalist, anti-mobility agenda by groups masquerading as 'green,' and others are making a living by perpetuating the global warming industry, whilst bandwagon politicians seek to raise 'green' taxes, control enterprise and mobility via energy policy, and exert control over lifestyles.

We examine some of the critical issues below, indicating the major uncertainties in the IPCC monopoly of counsel and in particular the Al Gore movie popularisation." (ABD)

"Climate Expert Questions Gore's Global Warming Campaign" - "This past weekend concerts took place around the world to focus attention on the problem of global warming, which former U.S. Vice President Al Gore says is the greatest single threat facing humankind today. Most of the world's scientists agree that it is a problem and that it is largely caused by human use of fossil fuels, which produce so-called greenhouse gases that trap the Earth's heat. Al Gore and scientists who wrote the United Nations report on climate change say the debate is over and the time has come to act. But some prominent climate scientists are objecting to that, claiming that the debate has yet to even begin. VOA's Greg Flakus recently spoke to one of them and filed this report from Fort Collins, Colorado." (VOA News)

"FORMER GREENHOUSE SCIENTIST CHALLENGES AGW HYPOTHESIS" - "Dr David Evans, formerly of the Australian Greenhouse Office has two challenges for "carbon blamers". (Climate Science NZ)

Just because :) "Episode 34: We Love Planet Earth" - "I'm still deep in debug mode when I pick the phone up. Any hope of keeping track of the problem disappears as soon as the Boss starts jabbering. 'They've move the whelp meeting a day forward,' he reports breathlessly. 'Whelp? What the…' He sounds exasperated. 'Don't tell me you've forgotten?' 'OK. I won't tell you.' 'So you've forgotten…' 'You said not to tell you.' 'Damn it, Joe,' he snaps. 'Saving planet Earth is no laughing matter.'" (Meet Joe Bloggs)

"Al Gore And NBC: Birds Of A Feather" - "Was what Al Gore called "the largest global entertainment event in all of human history" also the largest in-kind political contribution? And where's the Fairness Doctrine when you need it?" (IBD)

"Living Through Live Earth Or testing the limits of human awareness" - "In case you’ve been living under a rock, you likely didn’t miss the media orgy that accompanied Al Gore’s Live Earth festivities this past weekend. With Live Earth’s seven concerts on all seven continents on 7.07.07 available on dozens of TV stations, both satellite radio networks, terrestrial radio, and streaming live on the web, the world rocked for global warming.

Well, maybe not so much. To be fair, it was more like cleaning out the Augean stables of pop music in the service of some nebulous speculation about weather patterns. Originally, National Review Online thought that I might want to attend the North American concert and report directly, but I’m trying to keep my carbon footprint to a minimum. Besides, the irony of traveling to New Jersey to support an environmental cause is a tad dispiriting.

So I took advantage of the media torrent and stayed home to witness the cultural event of a generation, that way the only harm done by my personal emissions was to the couch. Nine hours passed. I have been to the mountaintop and seen its glaciers melting. I have willingly listened to more bad music than anyone the CIA isn’t trying to extract information from. I saw the best minds of a generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical… This is my story." (Mark Hemingway, NRO)

Why do they do it? Well... "Complaints after Live Earth concert" - "The show was a TV flop, drawing less than a third of the audience who tuned in last week for the Concert for Diana. Live Earth peaked with 4.5 million viewers in Britain, compared with 14.8 million for the Diana concert. But the Live Earth concerted prompted an upturn in sales of Madonna's music, retailers said on Monday.

The pop queen's headline act was followed by increased customer demand, according to Tesco and HMV. US band Foo Fighters, which preceded Madonna on the London stage, also enjoyed a sales lift.

Tesco said its combined download and in-store sales of Madonna's back catalogue albums yesterday increased by 420% on the previous week. The strongest demand was for her greatest hits collections and her last album Confessions on a Dance Floor. Sales of Foo Fighters music rose 60% on the previous week, Tesco said.

HMV said sales of Madonna's Immaculate Collection album had more than doubled at its stores yesterday compared to the previous Sunday. Sales of her downloads at hmvdigital.com also showed a "big increase", a spokesman for the retailer said." (AOL UK)

... sales and profits might have something to do with it.

Oh boy... "Can Psychiatric Approaches Help to Address Global Warming?" - "When I told my clergyman son that I may do a commentary on global warming, he asked why psychiatrists should be concerned. He rightly pointed out that the priority of physicians is their patients' health. Then I told him that our AMA ethical principles also cite responsibility to public health. Since global warming endangers health and seems mainly caused by human behavior, our call to duty is clear." (Medscape General Medicine)

"Compromise Measure Aims to Limit Global Warming" - "Influential senators from both parties will unveil a new global warming proposal that could form the basis of a climate change compromise that has eluded Congress." (New York Times)

From CO2 Science this week:

The Hybridization of Reef Corals: Is it a viable strategy for adapting to global warming?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Northeastern Portion of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Climate Oscillations (Millennial Variability - North America): What do they imply about 20th-century global warming?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Buffel Grass, California Grassland, Rice, and Sea Plantain.

Journal Reviews:
Solar Activity Signals in Chilean Tree Growth Data: How clear are they, and what do they imply?

Global Warming and Vertical Wind Shear: Effects on Hurricane Intensity: What do state-of-the-art climate models suggest about the ways in which these three parameters are related?

The Adaptability of Corals to Global Warming: Are they stretched to the limit on this one? ... or, have they not yet begun to fight?

The Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO 2 on the Growth and Freezing Tolerance of Alfalfa: What are they? ... and what are their implications?

Black Cottonwood Trees of Alberta, Canada: How "ready" (genetically speaking) are they to respond to potentially extreme global warming?

Henderson, NC Temperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Henderson, NC. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Henderson's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.14 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Cutting CO2 or a Sneak Attack on Porsche, Ferrari?: Doron Levin" - " If one of the more extreme responses to global warming comes true, driving a sports car anywhere but on a racetrack might be relegated to history's dustbin.

Fast, powerful cars within a few years may be outlawed in Europe, an idea that has been raised ostensibly because Ferraris and Porsches produce too much carbon dioxide. For those who abhor sports cars as vulgar symbols of affluence (along with vacation homes, furs and fancy jewelry), such a ban could be a two-fer: Saving the planet while cutting economic inequality.

Who are these people anyway who decide on behalf of everyone what car is proper to drive? In the U.S. they're members of Congress, which is considering fuel-efficiency standards that will affect vehicle size. In Europe, it's the ministers and parliamentarians of the European Union, which wants to limit how much CO2 cars can emit as a proxy for a fuel- consumption standard." (Bloomberg)

"Dingell's carbon tax is a shrewd stroke"  -"Rep. John Dingell is calling the bluff of his fellow lawmakers who love to pander, preen and posture in the name of environmentalism, just as long as it doesn't cost them anything.

The Dearborn Democrat is answering those who demand Congress "do something" about global warming and foreign oil dependence by saying, "Why just do something? Why not do everything?"

In a brilliant political counter move, Dingell is proposing a carbon tax on all industries that burn energy or produce energy-consuming goods, as well as on the consumers who use those products.

In doing so, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee is forcing his colleagues to prove they're serious about reducing greenhouse gases.

Dingell doesn't really want a widespread energy tax. But neither does he want the automobile industry to bear the full burden of reducing greenhouse gases, and that's the direction Congress has been going." (Detroit News)

"Truth in Global Warming: Mr. Dingell's inconvenient tax" - "This week's prize for honest liberalism goes to Michigan's John Dingell, who is having fun with his fellow Democrats while also making a useful point about the politics of global warming. The venerable Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee--first elected in 1955--has announced that he plans to introduce as early as this week a new tax on carbon emissions." (Opinion Journal)

D'oh! "Young drivers in the UK turn blind eye to green motoring" - "According to new research from Lloyds TSB personal loans, Britain’s young drivers are turning a blind eye to global warming, as seven out of ten motorists under 30 years old admit they don’t consider environmental factors when buying a car." (Auto Industry News)

'Veggie' describes this group pretty well: "‘Veggie’ is the way to prevent global warming: McCartney" - " Sir Paul McCartney says that global warming can be prevented if people across the world turn vegetarian." (Zee News)

"How to stop cows burping is the new field work on climate change" - "They have become the fashionable target for environmentalists, but four-wheel-drive vehicles may be less damaging to the environment than the cows and sheep essential to the rural economy." (The Times)

Misanthropy Inc.: "UK needs a two-child limit, says population report" - "Families should restrict themselves to having a maximum of two children to stabilise the effect on the environment of Britain's rapidly growing population, a thinktank warns today.

According to the Optimum Population Trust, Britain's rising birth rate, currently growing at the highest rate for nearly 30 years, should be considered an environmental liability." (John Vidal, The Guardian)

"Rice growers face the heat" - "Manila - Rising sea levels triggered by climate change pose an "ominous" threat to some of the world's most productive rice-growing areas, the International Rice Research Institute warned on Monday.

The Philippines-based institution is devoting fresh efforts to mitigating the coming threat, but senior climate scientist Reiner Wassman said adequate funding had yet to materialise.

"Some of Asia's most important rice-growing areas are located in low-lying deltas, which play a vital role in regional food security and supplying export markets," Wassman told the IRRI magazine Rice Today." (AFP)

"Seeds from plant said biodiesel source" - "While the seashore mallow might be handy for a quick snack, the sturdy plant has provided Gallagher food for thought in addressing a smorgasbord of environmental problems, from global warming to the disappearance of coastal farmland.

Gallagher, a marine biosciences professor, says the seeds are a promising source of biodiesel, with an oil composition similar to that of soybeans and cottonseed.

Unlike soybeans and corn, which require annual plantings to feed the growing appetite for biofuels, the pink-flowered seashore mallow is both a perennial and a halophyte, or salt-tolerant plant, that grows in areas where other crops can't.

"You don't have to divert land that is presently used for producing food and feed to the process of making biodiesel," said Gallagher, who runs the university's Halophyte Biotechnology Center with his wife and fellow researcher, Denise Seliskar." (Associated Press)

Uh-huh... "Organic Farming Yields as Good or Better - Study" - "WASHINGTON - Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming in developing countries, and holds its own against standard methods in rich countries, US researchers said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

... and why can it yield more than conventional farming (but only in developing regions)? Purely because they don't have infrastructure for efficient distribution nor funds for modern agricultural inputs. The giveaway is how expensive organic produce is (due to its labor-intensive production) for no yield increase in the developed world while producing what most consumers view as inferior product (blemished, bug-infested greens might be 'natural' but it doesn't do much for their desirability).

Here he goes again: "Dyer: World must face facts of final farewell to cheap food" - "The era of cheap food is over. The price of corn (maize) has doubled in a year and wheat futures are at their highest in a decade. The food price index in India has risen 11 percent in one year, and in Mexico in January there were riots after the price of corn flour (used in making tortillas, the staple of the poor) went up fourfold. Even in the developed countries food prices are going up and they are not going to come down again." (Gwynne Dyer, Salt Lake Tribune)

July 10, 2007

"New Way to Target and Kill Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Found" - "Putting bacteria on birth control could stop the spread of drug-resistant microbes, and researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found a way to do just that." (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

"The Wild West of online drugs" - "It is amazing what you can find on the internet, but some of the ploys are downright frightening.

Dr. Orac, a surgeon and scientist, wrote today of the scariest scam he had ever received: someone from India was selling low-cost chemotherapy drugs direct!

The most disturbing and slickest sales ruses I’ve encountered came by way of a legitimate-looking press release. It claimed to be launching a new website forum for users of the weight loss drug, Acomplia, to share information and their experiences with this drug and lend support to fellow dieters..." (Junkfood Science)

"No evidence for decline in reading" - "A three-year investigation by a team at The University of Manchester (UK) has shown that contrary to popular expectation, Brits spent more time reading in recent times than they did in the 1970s." (University of Manchester)

"Obese Survive Heart Attacks Better" - " While being fat increases your chances of a heart attack, some studies suggest a puzzling paradox: Obese people seem to have a better chance of surviving one. Scientists are stumped over why that seems to be the case and pose several theories." (AP)

"Florida Raises Ill-Fated Artificial Reefs" - "MIAMI - When people began dumping used tires in the ocean 40 years ago to create artificial reefs, they gave little thought to the potential environmental cost, or to how difficult it would be to pick them up." (Reuters)

"Invisible gases form most organic haze in urban, rural areas" - "A new study involving the University of Colorado at Boulder shows that invisible, reactive gases hovering over Earth's surface, not direct emissions of particulates, form the bulk of organic haze in both urban and rural areas around the world." (University of Colorado at Boulder)

"Environmental inequality study finds no direct links to segregation, income" - "In a study of the 61 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, University of Colorado at Boulder Assistant Professor Liam Downey found that in some cities Hispanics live in the most polluted neighborhoods, but in other cities it is blacks and in still other cities it is whites. Moreover, the degree to which each of these groups is exposed to pollution varies greatly.

The study was published in the May issue of Urban Studies, an international journal for research in urban and regional studies published at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

"The results may surprise people who think that environmental racial inequality is due solely to poverty and residential segregation," said Downey, a sociologist. "Instead, it seems likely that the role these factors play in shaping environmental inequality is highly contingent on local conditions." (University of Colorado at Boulder)

"Climate change reduces Queensland's bat numbers" - "A central eastern Queensland mine has turned up bat fossils which show climate change has had a negative impact on the state’s bat population." (Queensland University of Technology)

  Well, that is to say it did -- in the transition from Pleistocene to Holocene...

"Models trump measurements" - "We are doomed, say climate change scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body that is organizing most of the climate change research occurring in the world today. Carbon dioxide from man-made sources rises to the atmosphere and then stays there for 50, 100, or even 200 years. This unprecedented buildup of CO2 then traps heat that would otherwise escape our atmosphere, threatening us all.

"This is nonsense," says Tom V. Segalstad, head of the Geological Museum at the University of Oslo and formerly an expert reviewer with the same IPCC. He laments the paucity of geologic knowledge among IPCC scientists -- a knowledge that is central to understanding climate change, in his view, since geologic processes ultimately determine the level of atmospheric CO2.

"The IPCC needs a lesson in geology to avoid making fundamental mistakes," he says. "Most leading geologists, throughout the world, know that the IPCC's view of Earth processes are implausible if not impossible." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"Bob Carter: It's good sense to avoid consensus on global warming" - "Martin Durkin's The Great Global Warming Swindle demonstrates that no climate change concord exists and that the science is far from settled." (The Australian)

"Two New Articles Which Document The Limitations Of The Multi-Decadal Global Climate Model Predictions" - "There are new admissions on the limitations of the models that were used in the preparation of the 2007 IPCC WG1 Report (also see). This new information clearly documents that the confidence in the predictions of the multi-decadal global climate models has been oversold, which is a theme that is emphasized in our book Cotton, W.R. and R.A. Pielke, 2007: Human impacts on weather and climate, Cambridge University Press, 330 pp." (Climate Science)

Buy this book and help JunkScience.com at the same time!

"Air conditioning trends in the USA" - "Lately, it seems that I've been finding air conditioners juxtaposed with temperature sensors for USHCN climate stations of record all over the USA." (Watt's Up With That?)

Gore effect? "English wine crop is all washed up" - "English wine producers have a favourite joke. 'How do you make a small fortune? Start with a large fortune and then open a vineyard.' In recent years, a run of dry springs and hot summers has encouraged vintners to hope English wine was ceasing to be a laughing matter. Thanks to the recent rainstorms and cold snap, there are gloomy prospects for this year." (The Observer)

From the rubber room: "Mother Earth can't live without a Solartopian vision" - "At last our dying Mother Earth has taken center stage.

Thanks to Al Gore's global concert, the major media are finally filling with coverage of the climate crisis. It all comes with a dire dual realization: our economy will collapse, and we could all die, if something drastic is not done." (Harvey Wasserman)

"Bureaucrash and the "Demand Debate" Campaign Crash Live Earth New York: Activists Encourage the Public to Ask Tough Questions About Global Warming" - "Washington, D.C., July 9, 2007—This weekend pro-freedom activists from the Bureaucrash Activist Network teamed up with DemandDebate to infiltrate the New York Live Earth concert sponsored by former Vice President Al Gore. Armed with t-shirts, beach balls and airplane-towed banners, they encouraged the attendees to reject the so-called “consensus” on global warming policy, and demand a broader debate on government policies on climate change." (CEI)

Big bucks in scares & scams: "Gore gets the green, so can you" - "Love him or loathe him, call him an eco-hero or a pocket-lining opportunist, you've got to give Al Gore his due.

The former U.S. vice-president and author of An Inconvenient Truth knows how to get his message out, and how to make big bucks doing it.

Almost single-handedly, The Goracle has made climate change the top issue of our time. What's less well-known is that Gore is also a shrewd businessman. Aside from the six-figure fees he pockets off his many speaking gigs, he's made tens of millions of dollars in stock option profits from U.S. tech giants such as Google.

Gore is also co-founder (with a former Goldman Sachs exec) and chairman of a London-based investment fund that's focused on his favourite cause -- environmental sustainability -- and which now boasts roughly US$1-billion under management.

Fast Forward, a U.S. tech magazine, recently estimated Gore's net worth at US$100-million. Plenty for him to afford three homes, including a newly acquired multimillion-dollar condo in San Francisco.

Clearly, climate change is paying off big for Al Gore." (CanWest News Service)

but relatively few were sucked in: "Live Earth TV hopes fall flat" - "THE globe-spanning pop music extravaganza Live Earth fell flat for television viewers in the United States and Britain, drawing far smaller audiences than the Princess Diana tribute concert a week earlier.

And if international audience numbers are anything to go by, Australian audiences may have also reached for the TV remote, although it's difficult to say with Foxtel refusing to release its Live Earth audience numbers.

The main three hour American TV broadcast on NBC averaged a meagre 2.7 million viewers, ranking as the least-watched US program on Saturday night and falling below NBC's summer prime-time Saturday average, Nielsen Media Research reported today.

Even rival network ABC's rerun telecast of the animated film Monsters Inc garnered a bigger audience - 3.3 million viewers. The most watched show of the evening was the CBS news magazine 48 Hours with 6.5 million viewers.

By comparison, NBC averaged 8.8 million viewers with its hourlong broadcast of the memorial concert for the late Princess Diana the previous Sunday.

It was the same story in Britain, where BBC One coverage of the Live Earth climax at London's Wembley Stadium, leading up to Madonna's eagerly awaited finale, averaged 3.1 million viewers, compared with 11.4 million for the Diana tribute." (news.com.au)

"Jive Earth" - "If the rock stars who flew hundreds of thousands of miles in their jets to save the earth wanted to hug trees, they could have hugged the forest that once covered Greenland." (IBD)

"Why Live Earth was a dead loss" - "There was a moment at Live Earth when I knew for certain it was all going horribly wrong. There were 70,000 people in Wembley Stadium. The organisers had hoped for a television audience of two billion, to highlight the imminent dangers of global warming. On stage, Tom Chaplin from Keane vainly tried to lead a singalong. Behind him, a big screen boasted "We Called - You Answered", while the numbers who had responded to Live Earth's text message pledge were rolled out. The first line was "3,389 UK responses". Frankly, my local community signed up more people to protest against a phone mast, and our only celebrity was a voiceover actor for Bob the Builder." (London Telegraph)

Media finally getting it? "Sanders, McKibben and guests preach gospel of climate change" - "MONTPELIER, Vt. --With "Live Earth" over and a Statehouse vote on a climate change bill ahead, more than 250 people packed a high school cafeteria Sunday for a town meeting on global warming, with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and author Bill McKibben telling them the movement to curtail it is gaining ground but far from adequate." (Associated Press)

"Preaching the gospel of climate change" is the correct way to frame it, it's a belief rather than reality or even a serious possibility.

"NO EVIDENCE BY IPCC & STERN OF ADVERSE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING" - "Prof Will Alexander explains a major reason for IPCC’s failure to produce a final report 20 years after its establishment and the efforts of more than 2000 scientists." (Climate Science NZ)

"The confessions of a former global warmer" - "Dr. David Evans worked for the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005. He recently declared, “I used to believe that carbon emissions probably caused global warming.” Now he explains how he came to distrust the science and the political motives of those supporting claims of CO2 generated global warming. This short paper by Dr Evans is an awesome indictment of the whole anthropogenic CO2 charade. Please read it and tell me if you still believe Al Gore is right." (Russ Steele, NC Media Watch)

"Next stage of emission cuts" - "Speaking at the 13th International "Future of Asia" conference in Tokyo May 24, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a set of comprehensive strategies for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions." (Japan Times)

"Australia to Build Cross-Continent Climate Corridor" - "CANBERRA - Australia will create a wildlife corridor spanning the continent to allow animals and plants to flee the effects of global warming, scientists said on Monday. The 2,800-kilometer (1,740 mile) climate "spine", approved by state and national governments, will link the country's entire east coast, from the snow-capped Australian alps in the south to the tropical north -- the distance from London to Romania." (Reuters)

More wacky green nonsense! Australia is a vastly underdeveloped continent (one of the reasons frequent droughts are darned inconvenient) and we most assuredly do not need further impediments to developing the big empty.

"Gore Coal Pledge "Short-Sighted" - US Miners' Union" - "NEW YORK - America's main coal mining union said on Monday that former Vice President Al Gore's Live Earth concert pledge to fight for a ban on new coal-fired power plants was "short-sighted." (Reuters)

"Carbon trading 'will decimate exposed industries'" - "THE introduction of carbon trading to cut greenhouse gas emissions could "decimate" the economy if prices are set too high and trade-exposed industries such as steel, cement and aluminium are not protected." (The Australian)

No, we don't need more protectionism we all pay for. What we really need is a reality check and to stop "fighting" the phantom menace -- the popular concept of catastrophic anthropogenic "global warming/climate change" simply does not exist.

"Cows That Burp Less Seen Helping in Climate Fight" - "LONDON - Manners aside, getting cows to burp less can help reduce global warming. Using modern plant-breeding methods to find new diets for cows that make them belch less is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, scientists said on Monday." (Reuters)

More efficient feeding of ruminants? Great idea. Tying this research to gorebull warming? Too stupid for words!

"Australia fights jet-flight guilt over global warming" - "Australia's tourism authorities Tuesday launched a campaign to fight claims that long-distance air travel is a major cause of global warming.

With long-distance flights virtually the only way of reaching "Down Under", guilt over climate change is seen as a threat to the country's 75 billion dollar (62.7 billion US) tourism industry.

Negative press campaigns in major markets such as Britain had exaggerated the contribution of air travel to the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, Tourism Minister Fran Bailey said.

"I've seen ads that appear in the UK papers bagging long-haul aviation as a very large polluter. It's simply not true." (AFP)

?!! "Leading article: Local protests and a global climate emergency" - "Campaigners against the expansion of Britain's airports are flying high. As we report today, Manchester Airport's proposal to build a new car park on the Cheshire Green Belt has been killed off. This follows Luton Airport's announcement last week that it is abandoning its own ambitious expansion plan. Luton's Spanish owners, Abertis, cited cost as the reason. But it is also likely have had something to do with the high levels of local resistance. These twin victories will give heart to those thousands battling against the expansion of other British airports." (London Independent)

July 9, 2007

"Fighting a bigger foe" - "The number of malaria cases in SA has dropped dramatically over the past seven years, largely as the result of the widespread use of DDT. Despite its life saving properties certain groups continue to lobby for its removal from public health applications based on unfounded hypothetical risks." (Financial Mail)

"Is it possible to eliminate malaria in South Africa?" - "The debate over eradication versus control has been played out before and politicians hoping to hitch their wagons to the eradication star would do well to understand some of the important disease control history." (Free Market Foundation)

"More money than sense" - "Lack of money can no longer be blamed for the poor world's health problems." (The Economist)

"Let technology set you free" - "The techophobes of the New Left emerged victorious over the technophiles of the Cold War era. It is time we took them down." (James Heartfield, sp!ked)

"Junkfood Science Special: Trusting nurses with our lives" - "My state Nursing Association has become an official accredited approver of continuing educational courses for nurses to maintain their licenses. I just received this quarter’s educational offerings and I can receive 87.7 course hours of credit for classes on Chi Nei Tsang, Energy Medicine, Reiki certification, a Meditation specialty, and Homeopathy for the “whole” family.

In contrast, a mere six hours is offered for emergency medicine and 16 hours for neonatal perinatal medicine.

I don’t mean to scare patients and their families. It would be disturbing to be lying in an intensive care bed or about to be rolled into surgery and learn that this is the sort of education one’s nurse had received, let alone believed. But it is also important that the public understand what is happening and that we hear the voices of nurses who are concerned about the growing adoption into nursing practice of alternative modalities that have no scientifically valid theoretical underpinnings or proven medical efficacy.

Here’s a brief look at how nursing came to adopt these beliefs, the clinical evidence and what it means for us." (Junkfood Science)

"In Small Packages, Fewer Calories and More Profit" - "In three years, sales of 100-calorie snack packs have passed the $20-million-a-year mark, as consumers don’t seem to mind paying more for less." (New York Times)

"Childhood obesity task force extends study" - "WASHINGTON - A government task force examining the effect the media might have on childhood obesity delayed the release of its report Thursday.

Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, along with FCC chairman Kevin Martin, said they expect the committee to finish its work in the fall instead of midsummer as originally planned.

"The extension will allow for a more thorough examination of new initiatives that many of the food and beverage companies are coordinating, as well as a more comprehensive look at how all parties, especially media, can work together for the common good," Brownback and Harkin said in a joint statement." (Hollywood Reporter)

"Truth comes hard" - "How to explain away findings that don’t support the “obesity crisis” is an ongoing challenge for researchers. One of the more popular beliefs that continues to this day, despite having been disproven more than half a century ago, is that obesity causes heart disease and high blood pressure. This months’ journal Epidemiology published a 15-year study finding that as BMI (body mass indexes) significantly rose, the prevalence of hypertension decreased. So, how was it reported?" (Junkfood Science)

"Investigative Report: Danger builds in Tahoe tinderbox" - "It was strongly evident by the early 1990s that we were building up a large backlog of dead trees," said Bob Harris, the forest supervisor at Tahoe from 1988 to 1997.

Yet when a new home is proposed around Lake Tahoe, planners look at whether it is too tall, will create too much noise, whether it will contribute to soil erosion. They preach tree trimming and buffer zones, checking a box when a developer satisfies fire code regulations. But they never prohibit a new home simply because it stands in the midst of a tinderbox." (Sacramento Bee)

"Storm Center Staff Seeks to Remove Its Director" - "The director of the National Hurricane Center, who has for months traded barbs with his superiors at the National Weather Service headquarters in Maryland, now faces an insurrection from his staff in Miami.

On Thursday, 23 people, about half of the center’s staff members, signed a letter that calls for a new director and urges the Department of Commerce, which oversees the Weather Service, “to make this happen as quickly as possible.”

The letter continued, “The effective functioning of the National Hurricane Center is at stake.” (New York Times)

"Will Get Fooled Again" - " Will Al Gore's "Live Earth" concerts to remind us of the global warming bogeyman be acoustic affairs played without lights and amplification? No? Then why not call them the Live Hypocrisy concerts?" (IBD)

We might as well get it over with -- here's all the gorebull warbling:

"What on (Live) Earth is going on?" - "WHAT IS LIVE EARTH FOR? We don't know. And neither, it seems, does anyone else.

In principle, this weekend's global mega-concerts are designed to raise awareness of climate change. But if you want to know what happens to the money raised from the hundreds of thousands of £55 tickets, you'll be hard-pressed to find out.

We've been trying to get to the bottom of this for over a week. We still haven't found an answer. The organization's various spokespeople seem very confused:" (Intelligent Giving)

sp!ked's pre-gore blimey concert spread

"Live Earth concert: Was its message heard?" - "East Rutherford, N.J. - With an estimated broadcast audience of 2 billion from 130 countries, Saturday's Live Earth concerts may have been the largest media event ever. But for former Vice President Al Gore, the driving force behind Live Earth, the concerts are but the springboard for a three-year campaign to convince the world of the urgency of climate change.

"The planet doesn't have a PR agent," Mr. Gore said Saturday. "But now it will, because the Alliance for Climate Protection is going to use the modern techniques of messaging to get the scientific evidence in front of people all over the world." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Gosh, we sincerely hope so, Al -- with the actual science presented people can stop worrying about fighting the phantom menace and we can work on some real problems.

"Earth underwhelmed by environment pop extravaganza" - "LONDON - They rocked the world, but as the clean-up at nine climate change gigs around the globe begins, many wonder if the galaxy of pop stars did much to change it.

U.S. and British media were generally underwhelmed on Sunday by Live Earth, the mega-concert organized by former U.S. vice president and green campaigner Al Gore, which, though built on the model of Live Aid and Live 8, created a less positive buzz." (Reuters)

"Gore's green disciples get rockin’ all over the world" - "Yea, it was more than music, it was a biblical revelation." (Sunday Times)

"A Globe Divided? Reaction To Live Earth Is Decidedly Mixed" - "While throngs of thousands were coming together in a show of unity for Al Gore's Live Earth climate-awareness event on Saturday (July 7), reactions outside the concerts was decidedly mixed. Responding via MTV News' "You Tell Us" comments section and our new You R Here blog, some lauded the nobility of the cause, others offered constructive criticism — and more vehement readers accused organizers and artists of outright hypocrisy." (MTV)

"Skeptical of Performers’ Motives, Public Tunes Out Live Earth Event" - "The Live Earth concert promoted by former Vice President Al Gore received plenty of media coverage and hype, but most Americans tuned out. Just 22% said they followed news stories about the concert Somewhat or Very Closely. Seventy-five percent (75%) did not follow coverage of the event.

By way of comparison, eight-in-ten voters routinely said they were following news coverage of the recent Senate debate over immigration. Fifty-four percent (54%) said they followed news coverage of the President’s decision to commute Scooter Libby’s sentence.

Skepticism about the participants may have been a factor in creating this low level of interest. Most Americans (52%) believe the performers take part in such events because it is good for their image. Only 24% say the celebrities really believe in the cause while another 24% are not sure. One rock star who apparently shared that view is Matt Bellamy of the band Muse. Earlier in the week, he jokingly referred to Live Earth as "private jets for climate change."

Only 34% believe that events like Live Earth actually help the cause they are intended to serve. Forty-one percent (41%) disagree. Those figures include 10% who believe the events are Very Helpful and 20% who say they are Not at All Helfpul. Adding to the skepticism, an earlier survey found that just 24% of Americans consider Al Gore an expert on Global Warming.

Given a choice of four major issues before the United States today, 36% named the war in Iraq as most important. Twenty-five percent (25%) named immigration, 20% selected the economy and only 12% thought Global Warming was the top issue." (Rasmussen Reports)

"A giddy Gore discusses 'Live Earth'" - "Gore turned back criticism that the concert series lacked immediate goals beyond generally raising awareness about climate change. The concerts are just the first step in a three-year public relations campaign, he said.

"I've been trying to deliver this message for 30 years, and I know that it doesn't take in just one delivery," he said. "You've got to keep going."

The concerts will be followed by a global advertising campaign, with a particular focus on the United States." (Associated Press)

"Al Gore & Live Earth" - "Hundreds of musicians have demonstrated that there is much stronger consensus about global warming among rock musicians than among scientists: all of them want to look like saviors of the world while all of them want to live in the most expensive hotels and mansions and to fly in private jets. All of them may be used as textbook examples of hypocrites." (The Reference Frame)

"Shanghai hosts low-key Live Earth concert" - "China held a relatively low-key Live Earth concert attended by about 3000 people at an outdoor venue today in its most important economic centre, Shanghai." (DPA)

"80,000 choose Live Perth over Live Earth" - "CLAPPED-OUT buses groaning on the rock highways. Fast-food stalls blowing burger-sized holes in the ozone layer. Guitars cranked up to 11. Green fields turning into a giant mudbath. And the high-voltage static of thousands of shellsuits clubbing together into the queues for the loos.

Welcome to the alternative to the planet-saving platitudes of Live Earth - T in the Park." (Scotland on Sunday)

"Live Earth star Madonna linked to big polluters" - "MADONNA, who headlined London's Live Earth concert, has been accused of double standards after it was revealed she has financial links to some of the world's biggest polluters.

London's The Daily Telegraph reported that her Ray of Light Foundation, a charity fund she established to support a number of causes, held about $US4.2million ($4.8 million) worth of shares in companies long criticised by environmentalists.

They include US aluminium giant Alcoa, the Ford Motor Company and Weyerhaeuser, an international forest products company.

Alcoa was ranked No.9 on a list of all-time toxic companies drawn up by the University of Massachusetts's political research institute in 2002.

Other companies linked to the foundation include global defence and technology giant Northrop Grumman and health group Kimberly-Clark.

The disclosure was made by the Fox News network, which obtained the foundation's most recent tax returns for 2005.

News of Madonna's links to the companies are an embarrassment to Live Earth's organisers, who have also been forced to defend themselves against accusations that they had overstated the extent to which man has contributed towards climate change and that the organisation of the Wembley Stadium event was flawed." (The Australian)

Foundations invest in profitable companies? Well, blimey!

"$50 for beer? It was Livid Earth in Sydney" - "Thousands, deprived of the traditional rock 'n' roll accompaniment, went to a Coca-Cola stand, forgetting that its manufacturers had been under fire in India for allegedly creating water shortages and pollution around their bottling facilities.

Scores were seen leaving within the first two hours of the nine-hour festival, fed up with the lack of basic services, cutting their losses on a $99 ticket. Gate attendants were heard telling the human tide that they should complain to the promoter." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"LIVE EARTH JOHANNESBURG OFFICIALS BLAME CLIMATE CHANGE FOR POOR TURN-OUT" - "Officials at Live Earth Johannesburg have blamed the effects of climate change for poor audience attendance at Saturday's (07Jul07) South African event. Organiser John Langford believes extremely cold weather in the region - it snowed last week (ends06Jul07) for the first time in a quarter of a century - kept people away from the concert, which starred Joss Stone, UB40, Angelique Kidjo and Baaba Maal. Speaking before the event, Langford said, "We're expecting 10,000 here tonight. It's a bit chilly, and we've had a strange winter... is it climate change? We had snow in Jo'burg last week for the first time in 25 years." But critics have blamed poor publicity for the weak turn-out." (contactmusic.com)

"Al Gore's Live Earth: Has Global Warming Hysteria 'Jumped the Shark'" - "This weekend, rock stars will jet around the world, cars and buses will clog traffic, and elaborate sound stages will be set up to burn massive amounts of fuel to send the message to fans at home that they had better conserve their energy or face the allegedly dire threat of global warming." (John Berlau, American Thinker)

"Live Earth passes Brisbane by" - "Despite the city's reputed love of live music, Brisbane residents were more interested in classic cars than the worldwide Live Earth concert extravaganza today.

Only a tiny handful of people sat on the grass at South Bank Parklands to watch a live broadcast of nine rock concerts around the world protesting climate change." (Associated Press)

Crowds were noticeably absent during a screening of the Live Earth concerts in Brisbane on Sunday.
Photo: Georgina Robinson

"Gore gets down: Forget science, let's party!" - "Someone was missing from the lineup at Saturday's Live Earth concerts, created by Al Gore to raise alarm about global warming.

If only 1980s flash-in-the-pan Buster Poindexter had been there to perform his 1987 hit "Hot! Hot! Hot!", more people would have better understood the dire situation in which humanity finds itself.

If you think that's silly, consider the idea that we'll save the planet by having a worldwide pop concert. It worked so well with Africa, you know." (Union Leader)

"RICHARD WILL BE BACKSTAGE" - "Rock stars are so stupid they actually need someone to tell them their private jets burn more fuel than lesser means of transport:" (Tim Blair)

"Global Warming is So Yesterday" - "My very favorite excuse for low attendance at the much-ballyhooed worldwide Live Earth global warming concerts yesterday came from Johannesburg, where concert organizer John Langford "believes extremely cold weather... kept people away from the concert." Well I suppose that if you are trying to whip up fears about global warming, cold weather does tend to dampen enthusiasm somewhat.

Of course, the global warming enthusiasts have already tried repackaging their rhetoric of doom, so Langford found himself musing, "...we've had a strange winter... is it climate change?" The brilliant stroke claiming that any weather at all is evidence that something is very wrong works on idiots, ideologues, and children too young to remember every year it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. But evidence is accumulating that most normal people are fed up with being lectured about the need to conserve energy by people who fly in private jets and own multiple mansions. Fifty-six percent of the British public, for instance, believes that global warming fears are "exaggerated."

Repackaging is quite the order of the day when products flop in the marketplace. So we have the curious spectacle of morphing press coverage. For example, an early Reuters report bluntly described the extremely poor turnout for the free Live Earth concert in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach (on a "perfect" winter night - when tropical Rio is merely comfortably warm) as les than 100,000. Since the hype had it that over a million would come, and since Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones managed at least twice as many concert goers a year ago in the same location, it does look like an embarrassment." (Thomas Lifson, American Thinker)

"Blame the fat people" - "As if we need another example of how far removed from science the obesity hysteria has become. An article in New Scientist magazine accuses fat people of causing global warming and killing polar bears:" (Junkfood Science)

"SCIENCE Magazine Waffles on Warming" - "The American scientific establishment is starting to take baby steps away from taking sides in the politics of global warming. It's sad to have to read science articles for political spin, like some announcement by the Kremlin. But climate change has now become so politicized that SCIENCE magazine reflects at least as much politics as honest science. You have to read it for spin." (James Lewis, American Thinker)

"Chorus does not justify climate prophecies" - "The next week promises some excitement for those who believe global warming threatens our future. Today they can enjoy the Live Earth concert in Sydney. But on Thursday they will have to suffer ABC TV's showing of The Great Global Warming Swindle, a British documentary sceptical of the orthodoxy.

There's been criticism of the decision to show this program. Some critics have been at pains to stress they would welcome intelligent debate, but Swindle regrettably is full of errors, put forward by unreliable individuals who have no support from other scientists.

This might seem a reasonable argument, indeed a shocking indictment of ABC TV's decision to put the show to air. But in fact it's just the standard response to criticism that defenders of the orthodoxy always trot out." (Michael Duffy, Sydney Morning Herald)

That's about the size of it: "Some critics still attack climate change science" - "As scores of people around the world embraced the green-living spirit embodied by Live Earth festivities, one filmmaker couldn't help but voice his skepticism towards the environmental movement." (CTV.ca News)

  'scores of people' probably covers it pretty well :)

Back on the 'denier' trail again: "Climate change is another grim tale to be treated with respect" - "The ABC has to explain why it has bought a documentary that is bunkum." (Peter Christoff, The Age)

To save confusion here, Christoff actually means The Great Global Warming Swindle when he talks about a 'bunkum documentary' and not all the pro-AGW nonsense previously spewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corp., go figure!

Australia's ABC is soon to screen TGGWS -- here's your chance to vote on the question: "Do you think global warming is primarily caused by human activity?" [page down, right hand side]

"Hostages to a hoax" - "I COULD not have upset the soft-left, soft-green middle classes more if I had crept in their kitchens and snuck genetically modified tomatoes in their paninis. Why did I make the film The Great Global Warming Swindle? The head of science programs at Britain's Channel 4, Hamish Mykura (who has a PhD in environmental science), asked me to. He suspected the global warming alarm was not based on solid science. So did his predecessor, Sara Ramsden, who was also eager to make a film in this area. I was an experienced science documentary producer used to handling complex subjects.

So what was our conclusion, after months of research that involved talking to hundreds of scientists and wading through mountains of science papers? It's all codswallop. The notion of man-made global warming started life as a wild, eccentric theory and, despite throwing billions of dollars at it, scientists have failed to stand it up. Man-made global warming is unmitigated nonsense." (Martin Durkin, The Australian)

"Global Warming: it's not caused by greenhouse gases says academic" - "An Australian academic has spoken out against the popular view that global warming is caused by greenhouse gas emissions. He believes that global warming and climate change are caused by cycles in the sun's electro-magnetic radiation. He says scientists are taking a narrow view and politicians are making policy with the wrong information." (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

"Canadian climatologist says sun causing global warming" - "Another scientist has added his voice to the Global Warming debate. Canadian climatologist Tim Patterson says the sun drives the earth's climate changes—and Earth's current global warming is a direct result of a long, moderate 1,500-year cycle in the sun's irradiance.

Patterson says he learned of the 1,500-year climate cycle while studying cycles in fish numbers on Canada's West Coast. Since the Canadian West had no long-term written fishery records, Patterson's research team drilled sediment cores in the deep local fjords to get 5,000-year climate profiles from the mud. The mud showed the past climate conditions: Warm summers left layers thick with one-celled fossils and fish scales. Cold, wet periods showed dark sediments, mostly dirt washed from the surrounding land.

Patterson's fishing profiles clearly revealed the sun's 87 and 210-year solar cycles—and the longer, 1500-year Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles found since the 1980s in ice cores, tree rings, and fossil pollen." (Dennis T. Avery, ESR)

"Global Insanity Over Global Warming" - "Contrary to the propaganda you've been fed by the IPCC, Al Gore, and the dominant media, greenhouse gases in general and carbon dioxide from fossil fuels in particular are not significant contributors to climate change. Not surprisingly, the source of all warmth, our Sun, is emerging as the major contributor to climate change with atmospheric carbon dioxide being a minor player producing only marginal effects on temperature." (Bob Webster, WEBCommentary.com)

"NOAA and NCDC Restore data access" - "You may recall and entry about a week ago titled: NOAA/NCDC Throws a roadblack my way.

Good news! NCDC has decided to restore the access. I think this is a wise move on NCDC's part not only because their initial argument was unsupportable as I demonstrated dozens of pages in various NOAA websites showing not only observer names, but also photos of the observers, but more importantly the timing made them look like they were actively hampering a science activity. Data sharing is a hallmark of science so that independent study and confirmation of observations and theories can occur.

I'm pleased that NCDC has changed their position. Its the right thing to do. I agree with their current position that provides the name of the observers, but keeps addresses and telephone numbers private." (Watt's Up With That?)

"How not to measure temperature, part 19" - "In traveling around California and Nevada to look at NOAA USHCN climate monitoring weather stations I've seen some odd things. I've seen temperature sensors near asphalt and concrete, sensors placed within feet of buildings and cars, sensors placed near air conditioner exhausts, and sensors that had barbeque grills in the vicinity.

Last Friday June 6th, I traveled to Santa Rosa, CA to the Press Democrat Newspaper, a wholly owned subsidiary of the New York Times, which according to NOAA, has the climate station of record for Santa Rosa." (Watt's Up With That?)

"New Research - “Assessment of the Spatiotemporal Impacts of Land Use Land Cover Change on the Historical Climate Network Temperature Trends in Indiana”" - "A very important research study has been completed which illustrates why improved documentation of surface temperature observation sites (including photographs) is so valuable." (Climate Science)

"New Zealand and Norway Glaciers - Valuable New Research By Stefan Winkler" - "There is important new information on New Zealand and Norway glaciers that has appeared." (Climate Science)

"China Needs Better Emissions Measurements - Adviser" - "GENEVA - China needs to improve its measurements of carbon dioxide emissions before it can agree to quantitative targets, an academic and adviser to Beijing on climate change said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Counting on Failure, Energy Chairman Floats Carbon Tax" - "Representative John D. Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, plans to propose raising the cost of burning oil, gas and coal, in a move that could shake up the debate on global warming." (New York Times)

Dopey blighter: "New Jersey Governor Signs Toughest US Carbon Law" - "EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - New Jersey became on Friday the first US state to mandate sharp greenhouse gas reductions by 2050 to help fight climate change." (Reuters)

"Germany Eyes EU Emissions Trading With US" - "BERLIN - Germany is exploring ways to link up the European Union's carbon dioxide emissions trading scheme with the United States as it tries to broaden efforts to tackle climate change, officials said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Spaniards to Turn Down A/C to Fight Climate Change" - "MADRID - Spanish civil servants will turn down their air conditioning in summer to cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change, the government said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Emission-lowering schemes could be bad for the planet" - "MILLIONS of fans tuning in for today's Live Earth concerts to raise awareness of climate change will be urged to make seven green pledges to help save the planet. Among them will be the promise to become "carbon neutral" by spending hundreds of pounds offsetting their emissions. But environmentalists increasingly feel such schemes do nothing to aid the environment and may harm it." (The Scotsman)

"Climate ethics on Capitol Hill" - "Sarbanes-Oxley and the 2006 elections supposedly inaugurated a new congressional commitment to ethics, transparency, accountability and consumer protection. Something has been lost in translation.

The "energy" bill now wending its way through the legislative labyrinth dedicates $6 billion to goodies like more energy-efficient snowmobiles for ski resorts, outlaws "price gouging" at the gas pump, and sets new mileage standards that will likely make cars and light trucks less safe and cost more lives. It also provides subsidies and mandates for politically correct "alternative" energy projects that probably wouldn't survive without such aid.

But the bill doesn't increase the nation's energy supply by one drop of gasoline or one watt of electricity, says Congressman Jim McCrery (R-LA). It lifts no bans on oil and gas drilling, and does nothing to ease regulatory impediments to pipelines, transmission lines, refineries, or coal and nuclear generating plants. The only power it generates is expanded bureaucratic power over energy and economic decisions." (Paul Driessen, ESR)

"Building Coal Plants in Florida Proves Difficult" - "NEW YORK - A group of Florida utilities has halted plans to build a conventional coal-fired power plant, making it the second planned coal plant in the state to have the plug pulled in as many months amid concerns about global warming." (Reuters)

"Researcher: Feeding distiller's grains vital to future of livestock operation success" - "AMARILLO - There's no reason the cattle-feeding industry in Texas cannot remain strong and viable if it incorporates distiller's grains into rations, said a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher.

"Our concern has been 'Will there be enough feed"'," said Dr. Jim MacDonald, Experiment Station beef cattle nutritionist. "Assuming all the distiller's grains are available for livestock feed, clearly there will be."

But, MacDonald said, the ratio of corn being fed vs. distiller's grains could go from 11-to-1 today to 3-to-1 nationally in the next 10 years.

"So we'd better figure out how to feed distiller's grains," he said." (Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications)

"Elevated CO2 in atmosphere weakens defenses of soybeans to herbivores" - "In research to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists in Chicago (July 7-11, 2007), scientists will show that elevated CO2 may negatively impact the relationship between some plants and insects. Elevated CO2 is considered to be a serious catalyst of global change. Its effects can be felt throughout the ecosystem, including the insect-plant food chain link. Safeguarding highly-usable crops is of great importance to many local and national economies." (American Society of Plant Biologists)

What are they saying? That better nourished soybeans (those with increased access to aerial fertilization from enhanced CO2) deploy less-toxic, less-desperate defenses against against herbivores? And less-toxic food plants are... bad?

"First all-African produced genetically engineered maize is resistant to maize streak virus" - "Maize streak viruses (MSV), geminiviruses that can destroy most of a maize crop, are endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and adjacent Indian Ocean islands where they are transmitted by leafhoppers in the genus Cicadulina. Maize can supply 50% of the caloric intake in sub-Saharan Africa but, in certain years, a farmer’s entire crop can be wiped out. Now, scientists at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, along with colleagues at the South African seed company, PANNAR Pty Ltd, have developed a resistant variety of maize that they hope will help alleviate food shortages as well as promote the reputation of genetically engineered (GE) foods in Africa. Dr. Dionne Shepherd of the University of Cape Town will be presenting the results of her recent work and that of coauthors B. Owor, R. Edema, A. Varsani, D.P. Martin, J.A. Thomson and E.P. Rybicki, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists in Chicago (July 8, 11:20 AM) in a major symposium on Plant Biology in Sub-Saharan Africa organized by Debby Delmer of UC Davis." (American Society of Plant Biologists)

"Activists ruin GM potatoes" - "PROTESTERS have destroyed genetically modified potatoes being grown as part of a scientific trial in Cambridgeshire.

Campaigners scaled security fences in the early hours Saturday to get into the field between Girton and Histon, and pulled up the crop, which is being developed to be blight resistant by German-based company BASF." (Cambridge Evening News)

July 6, 2007

"Live Earth's Gross Groupies" - "Why is NBC airing Al Gore's Live Earth concert this weekend? Why are Democrats, who claim to support the Fairness Doctrine, not objecting to this outright gift of unequal broadcast time to just one side (theirs) of a controversial political issue? Those are the terrific questions asked by FOX News' John Gibson this week." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

AL GORE AND SON: WHY WAS AN INNOCENT MAN PROSECUTED? A Child's Tragedy, A Parent's Character - Al Gore's negligence caused severe injury to his son in 1989. So why was someone else prosecuted for it? (Steve Milloy, JunkScience.com)

"Live Earth puts celebrity lifestyles in eco-spotlight" - "Private jets for climate change!" joked the singer from British rock band Muse about Live Earth earlier this year, creating an awkward tag for the biggest ever series of "green" celebrity concerts." (AFP)

One of the few times we agree with Al: "Gore Slams US-Led Climate Pact as Sham" - "NEW YORK - Former US Vice President Al Gore slammed the United States and some other big polluters for forming what he called a sham global warming pact separate from the rest of the world." (Reuters)

Why this time? Because pretending we can control the globe's climate is a nonsense and all "climate pacts" are by definition shams.

"Greenpeace Slams DaimlerChryler Sponsorship" - "Greenpeace is furious at the decision to allow DaimlerChrysler to sponsor Saturday's string of Live Earth concerts. The group claims Daimler is an environmentally unfriendly organization that should not be affiliated with the concert. Meanwhile, poor ticket sales plague the Hamburg show." (Der Spiegel)

Granted DaimlerChrysler should have nothing to do with such a stupid enterprise but who cares about Greenpeace and what they think?

"China unable to commit on climate" - "China is not able "for the time being" to commit to binding agreements to cut carbon emissions, a government official has told British parliamentarians." (BBC)

"Climate forced atmospheric CO2 variability in the early Holocene: A stomatal frequency reconstruction" - "Abstract: The dynamic climate in the Northern Hemisphere during the early Holocene could be expected to have impacted on the global carbon cycle. Ice core studies however, show little variability in atmospheric CO2. Resolving any possible centennial to decadal CO2 changes is limited by gas diffusion through the firn layer during bubble enclosure. Here we apply the inverse relationship between stomatal index (measured on sub-fossil leaves) and atmospheric CO2 to complement ice core records between 11,230 and 10,330 cal. yr BP. High-resolution sampling and radiocarbon dating of lake sediments from the Faroe Islands reconstruct a distinct CO2 decrease centred on ca. 11,050 cal. yr BP, a consistent and steady decline between ca. 10,900 and 10,600 cal. yr BP and an increased instability after ca. 10,550 cal. yr BP. The earliest decline lasting ca. 150 yr is probably associated with the Preboreal Oscillation, an abrupt climatic cooling affecting much of the Northern Hemisphere a few hundred years after the end of the Younger Dryas. In the absence of known global climatic instability, the decline to ca. 10,600 cal. yr BP is possibly due to expanding vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere. The increasing instability in CO2 after 10,600 cal. yr BP occurs during a period of increasing cooling of surface waters in the North Atlantic and some increased variability in proxy climate indicators in the region.

The reconstructed CO2 changes also show a distinct similarity to indicators of changing solar activity. This may suggest that at least the Northern Hemisphere was particularly sensitive to changes in solar activity during this time and that atmospheric CO2 concentrations fluctuated via rapid responses in climate." (Global and Planetary Change Volume 57, Issues 3-4, June 2007, Pages 247-260)

"Solar resonant diffusion waves as a driver of terrestrial climate change" - "Abstract: A theory is described based on resonant thermal diffusion waves in the sun that explains many details of the paleotemperature record for the last 5.3 million years. These include the observed periodicities, the relative strengths of each observed cycle, and the sudden emergence in time for the 100 thousand year cycle. Other prior work suggesting a link between terrestrial paleoclimate and solar luminosity variations has not provided any specific mechanism. The particular mechanism described here has been demonstrated empirically, although not previously invoked in the solar context. The theory, while not without its own unresolved issues, also lacks most of the problems associated with Milankovitch cycle theory." (Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Volume 69, Issue 7, May 2007, Pages 759-766)

"Globally synchronous climate change 2800 years ago: Proxy data from peat in South America" - "Abstract: Initial findings from high-latitude ice-cores implied a relatively unvarying Holocene climate, in contrast to the major climate swings in the preceding late-Pleistocene. However, several climate archives from low latitudes imply a less than equable Holocene climate, as do recent studies on peat bogs in mainland north-west Europe, which indicate an abrupt climate cooling 2800 years ago, with parallels claimed in a range of climate archives elsewhere. A hypothesis that this claimed climate shift was global, and caused by reduced solar activity, has recently been disputed. Until now, no directly comparable data were available from the southern hemisphere to help resolve the dispute. Building on investigations of the vegetation history of an extensive mire in the Valle de Andorra, Tierra del Fuego, we took a further peat core from the bog to generate a high-resolution climate history through the use of determination of peat humification and quantitative leaf-count plant macrofossil analysis. Here, we present the new proxy-climate data from the bog in South America. The data are directly comparable with those in Europe, as they were produced using identical laboratory methods. They show that there was a major climate perturbation at the same time as in northwest European bogs. Its timing, nature and apparent global synchronicity lend support to the notion of solar forcing of past climate change, amplified by oceanic circulation. This finding of a similar response simultaneously in both hemispheres may help validate and improve global climate models. That reduced solar activity might cause a global climatic change suggests that attention be paid also to consideration of any global climate response to increases in solar activity. This has implications for interpreting the relative contribution of climate drivers of recent ‘global warming’." (Earth and Planetary Science Letters Volume 253, Issues 3-4, 30 January 2007, Pages 439-444)

"Has solar variability caused climate change that affected human culture?" - "Abstract: If solar variability affects human culture it most likely does so by changing the climate in which the culture operates. Variations in the solar radiative input to the Earth’s atmosphere have often been suggested as a cause of such climate change on time scales from decades to tens of millennia. In the last 20 years there has been enormous progress in our knowledge of the many fields of research that impinge on this problem; the history of the solar output, the effect of solar variability on the Earth’s mean climate and its regional patterns, the history of the Earth’s climate and the history of mankind and human culture. This new knowledge encourages revisiting the question asked in the title of this talk.

Several important historical events have been reliably related to climate change including the Little Ice Age in northern Europe and the collapse of the Classical Mayan civilization in the 9th century AD. In the first section of this paper we discus these historical events and review the evidence that they were caused by changes in the solar output.

Perhaps the most important event in the history of mankind was the development of agricultural societies. This began to occur almost 12,000 years ago when the climate changed from the Pleistocene to the modern climate of the Holocene. In the second section of the paper we will discuss the suggestion (Feynman and Ruzmaikin, 2007) that climate variability was the reason agriculture developed when it did and not before." (Advances in Space Research Article in Press, Corrected Proof)

"Comments On A Review Of The Book “Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can’t Predict The Future”" - "The May 22 2007 issue of EOS had a book review of the publication “Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can’t Predict The Future” by Orrin H. Pilkey and Linda Pilkey-Jarvis." (Climate Science)

Purchase this book and help JunkScience.com at the same time.

"Central Park: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?" - "Today, I’d like to discuss an interesting problem raised recently by Joe d’Aleo here - has the temperature of New York City increased in the past 50 years?" (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"WHY THE WORLD WILL COOL BETWEEN NOW AND 2030" - "David Archibald's paper to Lavoisier Group seminar showing evidence that the world will cool between now and 2030." (Climate Science NZ)

"IPCC AR4 WGI REVIEWERS FAR FROM UNANIMOUS" - "Analysis of IPCC expert reviewers responses to 4th assessment WG1 report shows they were far from the claimed unanimity." (Climate Science NZ)

"World smaller than we thought - researchers" - "THE world is smaller than first thought, according to German researchers at the University of Bonn. They took part in an international project to measure the diameter of the world that showed it is 5mm smaller than the last measurement made five years ago." (Agence France-Presse)

Not so easily perturbed: "Toba mega-eruption 70,000 years ago, not so catastrophic: study" - "One of the biggest eruptions in Earth's history some 70,000 years ago, the Toba volcano in Indonesia, was not as much a world climate catastrophe as first thought, a study said Thursday." (AFP)

"Scientists Find Clues to Ice Cap Longevity - Study" - "LONDON - Scientists using DNA extracted from ice buried deep below the surface have found evidence that a lush forest once existed in southern Greenland, a finding that sheds light on how climate change affects Earth's frozen areas." (Reuters) | Oldest DNA ever recovered suggests earth was warmer than previously believed (University of Alberta)

"Series of tornadoes caused by mass of cold polar air" - "Forget global warming. Nor is it another indication of climate change. Those frightening and dangerous tornadoes battering the North Island are being spawned by a mass of cold air sitting squarely over the South Island, according to one weather expert. A series of cold fronts moving across the Tasman Sea are feeding off big temperature differences from south to north, causing thunderstorms which are squeezing out tornadoes that cause havoc when they touch down on the land. "It's very cold air over the South Island, and the temperature difference is much stronger than normal," MetService spokesman Bob McDavitt told NZPA today. "The temperature difference is what's causing the problem. It's slowly unravelling, but its going to take a while." (NZPA)

"At Monsoon’s Mercy, a Prayer for Rain Despite a Deluge" - "Rains in India can destroy lives and livelihoods and send ripples through the economy." (New York Times)

"Spain Plants Trees to Offset its Greenhouse Gases" - "MADRID - Two of Spain's regional governments and its capital city plan to plant millions of trees to help offset the impact of the country's spiralling greenhouse gas emissions, environment officials said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"For some, it's comfort vs. global warming" - "Swedish drivers have a dilemma: Drive Volvos and Saabs built in their own backyard or combat global warming by driving something more environmentally friendly. Sweden has the cars with the highest pollution emissions in Western Europe, the most recent EU data show. Many offenders happen to be the roomier, high-horsepower Volvos and Saabs, models emitting a high count of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, The New York Times reported Thursday." (UPI)

"Huge Shell drilling programme heralds scramble for the Arctic" - "Shell is preparing its biggest exploration programme in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska for more than a decade, a move that could establish a new frontier for the oil and gas industry. The Anglo-Dutch energy giant expects to start a controversial three-year programme next month with a small armada of ships drilling a dozen wells in the Beaufort Sea 30 miles off the Alaskan coast." (London Times)

"Brazil Ethanol Industry Goes Green for the Money" - "SAO PAULO - Brazil's ethanol industry is cutting out the dirty habits that contribute to global warming and environmental degradation. But it's not just a noble effort -- it makes good financial sense, too." (Reuters)

"EU Seeks Biofuel Imports, Environment Standards Too" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union signalled on Thursday it was ready to ramp up imports of biofuels from countries such as Brazil but warned producers it expected strict environmental standards to be met." (Reuters)

"French Wind Power Potential Great - Industry Group" - "PARIS - France has potential to build 12 times its current wind power capacity, to help meet EU targets to fight global warming, but red tape and fast rising costs are obstacles, its renewable energy industry group said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Hydrogen fuel stations: Is this really the fuel of the future?" - "The Statoil petrol station in the Stavanger suburb of Forus is on first impressions unremarkable. But if you look carefully, you'll notice that on one side of the forecourt, away from the cars filling up with petrol, is a pump that stands seemingly unnoticed. If the forecasters prove correct, the gas this pump dispenses – hydrogen – is set to take centre stage in the global fight against climate change.

The only emission from the exhaust pipe of a hydrogen-powered car is water. There's no carbon dioxide, no particulates and no sulphur emissions. It's this clean-burn nature that's firing the interest of growing numbers of oil multinationals, car-makers and energy companies.

The hydrogen filling station at Forus, the first in Norway, was opened last August and will be joined by a further four on the main road that hugs the country's southern coast. Eventually these stations will form a 360-mile long "hydrogen highway" stretching from Stavanger to Oslo." (London Independent)

"AFM Commentary on UK POST's 'Tackling Malaria in Developing Countries'" - "The United Kingdom's Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) published a "Postnote" document recently titled "Tackling Malaria in Developing Countries". The document aims to explain the UK government's contributions to achieving the 6th Millennium Development Goal, namely to "halt and begin to reverse the spread of malaria and other major diseases".

The report provides a brief description of the disease and the scope of the problem for developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa. The report then goes on to describe the tools available to tackle malaria, the international response to the disease and the barriers to progress." (Africa Fighting Malaria)

"Stringent Government Rules Can Turn Deadly" - "Washington, D.C., July 5, 2007— Thirty years ago today Ralph Nader held a news conference to tout the Department of Transportation’s decision to require air bags in cars. He had an unbelted three-year-old girl pose in front of an air bag simulator to debunk auto industry contentions that air bags could be dangerous to children. But Nader turned out to be wrong—dead wrong. Today, on the thirtieth anniversary of that historic news conference, the Competitive Enterprise Institute is bringing up this event as Congress once again considers making another lethal regulation even deadlier—as it debates raising fuel economy standards." (CEI)

"1.5m wrongly told they risk heart disease" - "Thousands of people have been wrongly told they are in danger of developing life-threatening heart diseases because of flaws in the way doctors routinely calculate the risk, according to a study of more than a million people published today.

Current estimates of the number at risk of cardiovascular diseases are 1.5 million too high, the report says, suggesting the anti-cholesterol drugs statins are massively and needlessly over-prescribed, inflating the £2bn annual bill to the NHS.

The study in the British Medical Journal made a series of other significant discoveries. It found that white middle-aged men have a lower risk of heart disease than previously thought and women from poorer backgrounds have a significantly higher risk. It also found one in three women in their 60s are at risk of heart disease, a figure previously thought to be one in four." (The Guardian)

"After Lobbying, Wetlands Rules Are Narrowed" - "New federal guidelines will leave sensitive wetlands unprotected, according to environmental advocates." (New York Times)

"Schwarzenegger May Lose a Bit of His Eco-Luster" - "Arnold Schwarzenegger’s eco-friendly reputation may have taken a dent in a messy battle over the leadership of the California Air Resources Board." (New York Times)

Well said, that man! "Organic tomatoes have more antioxidants" - "Is organic food healthier for you, after all? A 10-year study comparing organic tomatoes with those grown conventionally suggests that it may be. It's the kind of evidence that pro-organic groups have been desperate to dig up, as most studies have suggested otherwise.

Previous research has found no differences between organic and conventional crops such as wheat or carrots. Meanwhile a study proclaiming that organic milk had higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids failed to convince the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA), which pointed out that these short-chained fatty acids do not have the health-promoting benefits offered by long-chained omega-3 oils.

This latest study does not prove that a healthy diet must be organic. The evidence of health benefits for flavonoids is conflicting, says Peter Bramley at Royal Holloway, University of London. And even if such benefits exist, higher flavonoid levels do not necessarily make organic food healthier, says John Krebs, former chair of the FSA and now at the University of Oxford. "This depends on the relevance of the differences to the human body," he says. " Tomato ketchup has higher levels of lycopene than either organic or conventional tomatoes. So if you wanted lots of lycopene you should eat ketchup." (NewScientist.com news service) [ em added]

"Saving the Banana" - " As the banana falls to a devastating fungus, Ugandan scientists launch tests on genetically modified varieties to save a food staple of 500 million people." (David Ewing Duncan, TR Blog)

July 5, 2007

"Anti-DDT Policies Are Deadly" - "Last year, one of our colleagues, his wife and their two children were diagnosed with malaria. In an instant, their lives were turned upside down, and all other priorities and plans were postponed. The new priority was getting better and simply staying alive.

For countless families in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, this horrible drama is repeated over and over, year after year. Over 300 million Africans get malaria and up to 1 million of our children die from it -- every year." (This Day)

"New report: A global Medical Research and Development Treaty: An answer to global health needs?" - "Some argue that too little is spent on developing new drugs for the diseases of poverty. The latest suggestion is for a binding, “Kyoto-style” international Medical Research and Development Treaty, through which R&D could be centrally directed towards perceived health priorities.

In this paper, Andrew Farlow of Oxford University discusses the many shortcomings of this proposal." (CFD)

"Africans to Bono: 'For God's sake please stop!'" - "It's time to let Africa imagine its own future." (Jennifer Brea, The American)

"What Michael Moore left on the cutting room floor" - "Michael Moore's denunciation of America's health-care system is about to hit the silver screen. In the film's trailer, a desk attendant at a British hospital smiles while explaining that in Britain's National Health Service, "everything is free." But for free hospital care, Britons pay an awfully high price." (CFD)

"Morality of healthy eating and fatness" - "In a disturbing and candid article, Matthias Heitmann, co-editor of the German magazine, Novo, describes the German government’s new health campaign focused on fat people. “Official exhortations to live healthily are not a new phenomenon,” he writes, but this national action plan has turned people’s weight “into a measure of their moral integrity.” (Junkfood Science)

"Kids are kids" - "The findings of this new study won’t be at all surprising to Junkfood Science readers, as it is another confirming fifty years of clinical and epidemiological research showing the same thing. Nor will it be at all surprising that the media has chosen to ignore it." (Junkfood Science)

"San Fran Mayor Bans Water Bottles for Containing Non-existent Chemical" - "Memo to mayor and media: There are no plasticizers in plastic water and soda bottles." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"All clean in the wash" - "A TRUCE has been called in the nappy war, and neither side won. For years, the environmental credentials of cloth nappies have been trumpeted, much to the despair of guilty parents using disposables. However, new research from Britain shows cloth and disposables have exactly the same impact on the environment." (Herald Sun)

"Environmentalism: the new death cult?" - "Forget fundamentalist Christianity or Islam: environmentalism is by far the most influential death cult in existence today. It is inculcating in the masses the idea that the end of the world is nigh; that we shall we punished for our sins; that penance is our earthly duty; and that anyone who says or thinks otherwise is a "heretic" or a "denier" who should be held up to public ridicule." (Brendan O'Neill, The Guardian)

"Scientists Solve Puzzle of Chile's Missing Lake" - "SANTIAGO - Scientists said that a lake in southern Chile that mysteriously disappeared last month developed a crack which allowed the water to drain away.

A buildup of water opened a crack in an ice wall along one side of the lake. Water flowed through the crack into a nearby fjord and from there into the sea, leaving behind a dry lake-bed littered with icebergs, scientists told Chilean state television on Tuesday.

"It looks like it's slowly filling up with water again," said Andres Rivera, a glacier expert who headed a team which recently flew over the lake in a bid to solve the mystery." (Reuters)

"Satellite images reveal link between urban growth and changing rainfall patterns" - "For the first time, scientists have used satellite images to demonstrate a link between rapid city growth and rainfall patterns, as well as to assess compliance with an international treaty to protect wetlands. The results have been published in two studies co-authored by Karen Seto, assistant professor of geological and environmental sciences and a fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University." (Stanford University)

"Lessons from a 5,000 Year Hurricane Record" - "Hurricane (or tropical cyclone) season is here again, and the internet is full of sites predicting an active year in 2007. The hurricane season of 2005 was a global warmers’ dream come true, but the Atlantic hurricane season of 2006 was a monumental dud. Therefore, according to many sites, 2007 will be a return to exactly what we’ve been warned will happen if we do not start reducing emissions of heat trapping greenhouse gases." (WCR)

"Study: Hurricanes May Aid Stressed Coral" - "Corals stressed by warming conditions may benefit from the passage of a hurricane - as long as it doesn't slam right into them. Bleaching of corals has been a growing problem in recent years with the loss of algae or reduction of pigment in the living corals that occurs when they are stressed by warming water." (AP)

"'Sundried tide' -- silent, natural disaster" - "Australian researchers have studied and documented the effect of the "sundried tide", a force of nature that can silently wipe out coral reefs." (James Cook University)

"Drilling could unearth global forecast" - "MCMURDO STATION, Antarctica -- Dropped down a hole melted through 267 feet of floating ice, a diamond-toothed drill had to travel another 2,776 feet through seawater before it reached the bottom of an offshore moat in Antarctica and pierced the ocean floor." (Chicago Tribune)

"Antarctic Temperatures Disagree With Climate Model Predictions" - "This news release appeared in February but it is clearly still relevant to communicate to readers of Climate Science. The article entitled “Antarctic Temperatures Disagree With Climate Model Predictions” was released on February 15 2007 and reads, “COLUMBUS , Ohio – A new report on climate over the world’s southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models." (Climate Science)

"Study Says Erosion Slicing Arctic Alaska Habitat" - "ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A swath of marshy, wildlife-rich coastal land in Arctic Alaska being eyed for oil drilling is eroding rapidly probably because of the disappearance of sea ice that used to protect it from the ocean waves, according to a study released on Monday." (Reuters)

What a shame we didn't have satellites providing data last time the Arctic was this warm, way back in the 1930s (we had a closer look at this non-issue a couple of years ago). Then we'd have some comparison to know whether this was even marginally unusual.

"Icy Bay glaciers get up and go" - "This column is provided as a public service by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in cooperation with the UAF research community. Ned Rozell is a science writer at the institute.
Until this spring, pilot Paul Claus would land a Supercub on a gravel bar in Icy Bay to give people an up-close look at a calving glacier. This year he can’t land there because a glacier has rumbled over the gravel bar. The main glaciers in Icy Bay crept forward up to one-third of a mile sometime between August 2006 and August 2007.

“At least three glaciers in the same bay have advanced in one year,” said Chris Larsen, a scientist at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, studying the ever-changing landscape of the area. “To have them advance right now is kind of weird.”

Icy Bay, located just west of Malaspina Glacier on Alaska’s dynamic southern coast, is like a smaller version of Glacier Bay. Like Glacier Bay, Icy Bay didn’t exist when captain George Vancouver sailed past in the late 1700s. Vancouver’s ship artist painted a portrait of an ice wall where the mouth of the bay is currently." (Science Forum)

"Fat People are Killing the Polar Bears" - "Two recent gems from New Scientist magazine..." (Climate Resistance)

"Americans Oppose Signing Kyoto Protocol" - "Many people in the United States would disagree with their government ratifying an international treaty seeking to reduce global pollution, according to a poll by Zogby Interactive released by UPI. 47.9 per cent of respondents think the U.S. should not sign the Kyoto Protocol (just 34.6% think they should)." (Angus Reid Global Monitor)

D'oh! "Scientists weigh new climate challenge" - "Scientists admit they need to find more effective ways of explaining climate change after a poll revealed the public believe the situation is not as serious as they and politicians often claim.

A spokesman for the UEA-based Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said the Ipsos Mori survey backed up its own findings and called on scientists to avoid catastrophic warnings and steer clear of hype to avoid alienating the public.

The poll shows Britons remains unconvinced about warnings that the climate is being affected by global warming.

There is also scepticism about “greenspin” and a feeling that the situation is being overstated in order to raise revenue rather than save the planet." (EDP 24) | Public 'in denial' about climate change (London Telegraph) | Voters haven't warmed to climate change (Daily Mail)

"56 Per Cent of You Are STUPID (Or is it Just Ipsos MORI?)" - "Ipsos Mori are about to publish some research they've done, Tipping Point Or Turning Point? Social Marketing & Climate Change" (Climate Resistance)

"If half the nation is in denial about the threats we face from climate change, what hope is there?" - "I was more depressed by the findings of a single public opinion survey on climate change than I've been by all the pessimistic stories about how little is being done by governments and individuals to combat global warming. An Ipsos Mori poll, published this week, found that 56% of more than 2,000 adults interviewed believed that scientists were still questioning the existence of climate change. This doesn't necessarily mean that the interviewees themselves, as distinct from the scientists, were still questioning, but it's evident that individual sceptics are prone to call in aid scientists who allegedly feel as they do; and those who believe in the dangers of global warming are likely to know that the scientists agree." (Marcel Berlins, The Guardian)

Actually Marcel, that at least half the nation has not succumbed to the absurd gorebull warming scam, despite massive media and even education system immersion, is a message of great hope.

"Live Earth: deaf to reality" - "A few cheap and simple measures could do far more good for the world than costly efforts to combat climate change." (Björn Lomborg, The Guardian)

"Al Gore: my favourite Martian" - "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids In fact it's cold as hell" --Elton John, Rocket Man

Elton John won't be performing at next Saturday's Live Earth series of concerts, reportedly the biggest "charitable" music event ever. However, like his Rocket Man, the concerts' main promoter, Al Gore, has invoked life -- or rather its absence -- on another planet as relevant to our situation on earth." (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

Dad's car? "Al Gore's son arrested on drug charges" - "Police in California have arrested former vice-president Al Gore's son, also named Albert Gore, after finding marijuana and narcotics in his low-emissions car." (AFP)

"Al Gore's inconvenient tax" - "What you probably won't hear at the Live Earth concert: a call for higher taxes on gasoline and fuel." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Smarter than Al: "Arctic Monkeys lash Live Earth 'hypocrites'" - "British rock group Arctic Monkeys have become the latest music industry stars to question whether the performers taking part in Live Earth on Saturday are suitable climate change activists.

"It's a bit patronising for us 21 year olds to try to start to change the world," said Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders, explaining why the group is not on the bill at any of Al Gore's charity concerts.

"Especially when we're using enough power for 10 houses just for (stage) lighting. It'd be a bit hypocritical," he said in an interview before a concert in Paris." (AFP)

"Live Earth's First Green Test: Clean Up Own Mess" - "OSLO - Live Earth concerts on Saturday meant to spur action to fight global warming must first tackle another environmental hazard -- mountains of trash and thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases caused by the events." (Reuters)

"Live Earth's toughest test: global yawning" - "It will be a 24-hour live music marathon, watched by two billion people. But, after Live 8, Glastonbury and the Diana show, how much enthusiasm is there for Saturday's Live Earth events? Our writers sent these reports about the eight cities hosting concerts." (London Telegraph)

"Rio May Cancel Live Earth Gig on Safety Worries" - "RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian organizers of the Rio de Janeiro leg of the Live Earth global concerts were trying to convince authorities on Wednesday not to cancel the Saturday show due to security concerns." (Reuters)

"It may be good for our lungs but will the smoking ban harm the planet?" - "Concerns are mounting that the smoking ban which came into effect across the whole of the UK this weekend could lead to an increase in carbon emissions as pubs, restaurants and workplaces invest in gas-fired patio heaters to keep warm smokers forced outside by the ban." (Business Green)

On planet Naomi: "The ethics of journalism don't work for science" - "The media and science often clash over published research, says Jonathan Wolff" (The Guardian)

From CO2 Science this week:

Growth Histories of Temperate Forest Lianas: What is the larger lesson we learn from them?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Dengloujao Reef, Leizhou Peninsula, China. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Greening of the Earth (Europe): How does the terrestrial vegetation of earth's natural ecosystems respond to increases in atmospheric temperature and CO 2 concentration? In the paragraphs that follow, we explore this question as it applies to Europe.

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Apricot, Carrot, Myrtle Oak, and Radish.

Journal Reviews:
A New History of Major Atlantic Hurricane Activity Over the Past 270 Years: What does it reveal about the impact of global warming on the frequency of occurrence of these destructive storms?

Globally Synchronous Cooling 2800 Years Ago: What does it suggest about current global warming?

The Mass Balance of Sweden's Storglaciaren: How has it responded to the historical increase in the air's CO 2 concentration?

Regional Warming and Mountaintop Biodiversity: How has the former affected the latter in the Scandes of west-central Sweden?

On Promoting Recovery from Coral Bleaching: What can be done to nurse severely decimated reefs back to good health?

Huntley, MT Temperature Record of the Week
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Huntley, MT. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Huntley's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.59 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Climate bill does not go far enough, say MPs" - "The government's flagship climate change bill does not go far enough in cutting emissions, a panel of MPs warned today.

The draft climate change legislation - the main achievement of the former environment secretary, David Miliband, before he was promoted to foreign secretary - called for at least a 60% cut in carbon emissions by 2050.

But the cross-party environment select committee, while calling the target "extremely ambitious", said it agreed with the "substantial amount" of evidence that it should be higher." (Guardian Unlimited)

You bad! "Hi-tech gadgets hit climate-change fight" - "RISING demand for consumer electronics is hampering the fight against climate change, a report warned yesterday." (The Scotsman)

"Russia warns against "hasty" moves on climate change" - "MOSCOW. July 2 - Russia on Monday played down the dangers of global warming and warned against "hasty selective actions" on climate change "that may ultimately inflict greater damage on the economy and environment than the national cataclysms that are forecast." (Interfax)

"Price difference between EU and UN carbon credits offers 'huge' profit opportunity" - "LONDON: The difference in price between European Union emission permits and United Nations credits offers EU industry a chance to make as much as $1 billion a year in profit, a Fortis analyst said.

Factories and power stations in Europe need a permit for each metric ton of carbon dioxide they emit, under the EU's carbon-emissions trading system, the world's largest. They can also use credits from United Nations-approved projects that curb emissions in developing nations.

The difference in price between the two is significant. Today, EU carbon dioxide permits for 2008 are trading at €21.45, or $29.22, a ton. That is 47 percent more than the price of €14.54 for 2008 UN credits, called certified emission reductions, according to the latest prices from the European Climate Exchange in Amsterdam and Nord Pool exchange in Lysaker, Norway." (Bloomberg News)

"Greenpeace Protests Over Poland's Carbon Output" - "WARSAW - Greenpeace activists climbed one of Europe's biggest power plants on Tuesday to demand that Poland's government do more to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions." (Reuters)

"Aussie Farmers Launch Tree-Felling Protest" - "CANBERRA - Hundreds of Australian farmers have begun cutting down protected trees on their properties to protest against strict land-clearing laws designed to help the country curb its rising greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters) | Farmers fell thousands of trees in mass protest over land-clearing laws (The Times)

Ah, but these are temperate zone trees, now thought to contribute to gorebull warming, so perhaps farmers should be required to remove the 'climate hazardous' vegetation.

"Blowup over global warming" - "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger played the part of global warming hero on magazine covers this spring, but carrying out that role is now proving more difficult than it once seemed." (Sacramento Bee)

"Merkel Rejects Call to Moderate Emissions Cuts" - "BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected industry criticism of her plans to cut Germany's greenhouse gas emissions by a third by 2020 and dashed its hopes of a deal to prolong the use of nuclear power." (Reuters)

"US, Russia Launch Nuclear Energy Initiative" - "WASHINGTON - The United States and Russia on Tuesday pledged to expand nuclear energy cooperation, make nuclear power available to other states and reduce their own strategic nuclear weapons to the lowest possible levels." (Reuters)

"EU Faces Policy Juggle in Push for Biofuels" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union is juggling policy priorities ranging from farming to trade as it prepares for a surge in the use of plant-based fuels, a cornerstone of the bloc's ambitious target for fighting climate change." (Reuters)

"UN Official Says Biofuels Raise Food Supply Risk" - "HAVANA - The head of the UN Environment Program said on Wednesday Cuban leader Fidel Castro and others are justified in raising concern about the potential for ethanol production to threaten food supplies for the poor." (Reuters)

"Beware the population alarmists" - "This week's U.N. "State of World Population" report recommends that we should slow down urbanisation by reducing birth rates. Nicholas Eberstadt argues that it provides no compelling reason for so doing." (CFD)

or maybe this'd help... if true, that is: "Common environmental chemicals in diet affect fetal ovarian development" - "Lyon, France: Exposing a developing female sheep fetus to low doses of chemicals commonly present in the environment can disturb the development of the ovary, a scientist told the 23rd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Wednesday 4 July). Dr. Paul Fowler, of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, said that this research would help to establish the importance of the effect of environmental chemicals for fertility.

Over recent decades there has been a dramatic increase in the production of industrial and agricultural chemicals and heavy metals, and this has coincided with widespread reports of breeding problems in wild animals. Fertility also appears to be declining among humans and there has also been a rise in reproductive defects observed in newborn babies." (European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology)

"UN Food Agencies Urge 'Green Revolution' in Africa" - "GENEVA - United Nations food agencies on Wednesday called for global backing for a "Green Revolution" in Africa to help the continent build stable agricultural systems and rescue tens of millions of people from poverty." (Reuters)

"Nebraska Research Safeguards Sustainable World Crop Yields" - "The journal Science editorialized on May 23rd that the world is becoming too dependent on Roundup-Ready biotech crops. It claimed agriculture had become as dependent on glyphosate for weed control as human medicine had become on antibiotics. The journal predicted: “There is going to be an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant weeds.”

In the very same issue, however, the University of Nebraska reported that it has developed crop tolerance for the herbicide dicamba, adding a new genetically engineered weed control option to our arsenal. This will permit continued expansion of sustainable, low-erosion, high-yield farming during the next 40 years of surging world crop demand." (CGFI)

July 3, 2007

"Bald Eagle No Longer Endangered - Malaria Victims Still Are" - "You've probably heard that the American bald eagle has just been removed from the federal list of protected species. While this comeback is certainly wonderful news for our revered national bird, those spreading the story are exploiting its opportunity to dust off moldy activist folklore." (Marc Sheppard, American Thinker)

"Key to tackling malaria may lie in bed nets for adults and older children" - "Protecting older children and adults with insecticide-treated bed nets may be an effective way to combat malaria, a study has shown. The research, published today in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, suggests that protecting half of all older children and adults would also protect the wider community from malaria, which kills over one million people each year.

Current international guidelines recommend providing subsidised bed nets for young children and pregnant women in order to achieve over 80% coverage in these high-risk groups. However, this strategy appears to overlook the benefits of protecting the rest of the population." (Wellcome Trust)

and this strategy overlooks the benefits of IRS, preferably with DDT.

"UK Army personnel involved in Iraqi invasion not at risk from depleted uranium" - "Army personnel involved in the Iraqi invasion of 2003 have not absorbed dangerous levels of depleted uranium, finds research published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine." (BMJ Specialty Journals)

"Uninsured — making a diagnosis" - "This past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an early release of its estimated findings from the 2006 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The report that’s received the most publicity has been the one citing the numbers of people in our country without health insurance.

As with all statistics used to create the perception of a national health crisis in need of government intervention — such as obesity — we’ve learned to look at them carefully. The CDC reported that 43.6 million Americans don’t have health insurance, but the devil is in the details." (Junkfood Science)

No? Duh! "Obesity link to high blood pressure has weakened" - "NEW YORK - It seems that the association between body mass index (BMI) and high blood pressure or hypertension has decreased since 1989, researchers say. The finding suggests that obesity may not have as much of an impact on heart-related disease as previously thought." (Reuters Health)

"“Just lose weight” — another story" - "Our local station just re-ran a June 15th episode of The View featuring an interview with Grace Anne Koppel, Ted Koppel’s wife. Her story illustrated the troubling persistence of fat prejudice among healthcare providers. If you are considered "overweight" and go to the doctor with a concern, regardless of how famous, beautiful or successful you are or aren't, you may be told to just lose weight." (Junkfood Science)

"Pay cuts for those who are aging, fat or have bad habits" - "As if we need another reason not to have our employer or the government in charge of our health or health insurance. No this isn’t another story from Europe, mandating screening and interventions for those who fail to measure up, this is from the United States:" (Junkfood Science)

"Reducing obesity statistics" - "New Zealand has a plan to keep its population obesity statistics down. Screen out fat immigrants." (Junkfood Science)

"The thought police?" - "How many parents realize what their children are being taught in school to believe and to fear? And is this education for their children’s benefit or to further some government social agenda? Most parents would never imagine such a story as this one in the news today. It’s worth reading in its entirely to catch all sides of the controversy:" (Junkfood Science)

"A Preventable Tragedy" - "Environmentalism run amok creates growing tinderbox" (Richard Carlson, SF Chronicle)

"Angst-Ridden Germans Turning To Backyard Bunkers" - "Amid growing angst about climate change and terrorism, backyard pre-fabricated "panic rooms" are all the rage in Germany this summer. The shelters can withstand attacks, as well as the increasingly violent weather." (Deutsche Welle)

Uh-huh... now we're 'overusing the sun': "Human greed takes lion's share of solar energy" - "HUMANS are just one of the millions of species on Earth, but we use up almost a quarter of the sun's energy captured by plants - the most of any species. The human dominance of this natural resource is affecting other species, reducing the amount of energy available to them by almost 10 per cent, scientists report. Researchers said the findings showed humans were using "a remarkable share" of the earth's plant productivity "to meet the needs and wants of one species". They also warned that the increased use of biofuels - such as ethanol and canola - should be viewed cautiously, given the potential for further pressure on ecosystems." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Climate mythology: The Gulf Stream, European climate and Abrupt Change" - "A few times a year the British media of all stripes goes into a tizzy of panic when one climate scientist or another states that there is a possibility that the North Atlantic ocean circulation, of which the Gulf Stream is a major part, will slow down in coming years or even stop. Whether the scientists statements are measured or inflammatory the media invariably warns that this will plunge Britain and Europe into a new ice age, pictures of the icy shores of Labrador are shown, created film of English Channel ferries making their way through sea ice are broadcast... And so the circus continues year after year." (Richard Seager, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University)

"Climate Science Responds to Real Climate’s Web Posting Of July 2 2007" - "Real Climate (specifically Gavin Schmidt) has chosen to respond to the approach to better document and assess multi-decadal land near-surface temperature trends by a set of argumentative statements (see the posting “No man is an (Urban Heat) Island”). Unfortunately, rather than engaging in a scientific discussion of the issues that are raised by the documentation of poor station siting by http://www.surfacestations.org, he has elected to communicate a defensive polemic on the subject on Real Climate.

Here are his highlighted points, and the Climate Science response:" (Climate Science)

"In the Dark of the Night – the Problem with the Diurnal Temperature Range and Climate Change by Richard T. McNider" - "This is a short essay on the role of nighttime temperatures in climate change from a boundary layer perspective spurred by a paper we recently had published in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) - Walters, J. T., R. T. McNider, X. Shi, W. B Norris, and J. R. Christy (2007): Positive surface temperature feedback in the stable nocturnal boundary layer, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L12709, doi:10.1029/2007GL029505." (Climate Science)

"Nonlinear Dynamics and Vulnerability In Ecology - A Framework That Needs To Be Adopted In Climate Science" - "At the recent June 2007 meeting in Bonn on Landforms, an outstanding presentation was given by Felix Mueller on the complexity of ecosystem dynamics." (Climate Science)

Sounds about right -- the daytime TV set... "Gore, Winfrey, Annan Seen as Climate Leaders - Poll" - "OSLO - Former US Vice President Al Gore, talk show host Oprah Winfrey and ex-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan are best suited to champion work to fight climate change, a 47-nation opinion poll said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Al Gore Confronted by Own Scientists - 'Confusion Between Hypothesis and Evidence'" - "CHICAGO, June 28 -- In a historic move, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the expert review comments and responses to its latest assessment of the science of climate change. The IPCC report is the primary source of data for Al Gore's movie and book titled "An Inconvenient Truth." Many of the comments by the reviewers are strongly critical of claims contained in the final report, and are directly at odds with the so-called "scientific consensus" touted by Gore and others calling for immediate government action." (PRNewswire-USNewswire)

"The Global Warming Myth" - "Am I worried about carbon induced global warming? The answer is no and yes. No because there has been no sign of global warming in New Zealand since 1955, this year snow has fallen in Portugal for the first time in 52 years and 3 US states are united by the fact that they have recorded their lowest temperatures ever. Yes because it has become a political football that has lost its foundations in real science.

What especially worries me is that if anyone dares to question the dogma of the global warming doomsters who repeatedly tell us that C not only stands for carbon but for climate catastrophe, we are immediately vilified as heretics or worse as deniers." (David Bellamy, Climate Science NZ)

Not so gullible? "'Scepticism' over climate claims" - "The public believes the effects of global warming on the climate are not as bad as politicians and scientists claim, a poll has suggested. The Ipsos Mori poll of 2,032 adults - interviewed between 14 and 20 June - found 56% believed scientists were still questioning climate change. There was a feeling the problem was exaggerated to make money, it found. The Royal Society said most climate scientists believed humans were having an "unprecedented" effect on climate. The survey suggested that terrorism, graffiti, crime and dog mess were all of more concern than climate change." (BBC) | Public 'in denial' about climate change (London Telegraph)

or maybe they've just got real problems to worry about:

"Most companies have no environment strategy: survey" - "BEIJING - Most companies in China, the United States, Canada and Britain have not laid out plans to improve their energy efficiency, despite growing concerns about global warming, a survey showed on Tuesday.

Nearly two-thirds of the 420 senior business executives surveyed in these four countries said no one in their organization had been tasked with overseeing the company's energy strategy, according to a report by Hill & Knowlton consultancy.

China led the pack with 82 percent saying there was no one responsible, followed by the U.S. at 70 percent.

But about half of British companies polled said there was someone in charge of environmental issues." (Reuters)

"Global warming controversy generates heat" - "Since it was reported this month by The Capital Times, Professor Emeritus Reid Bryson's anti-establishment position against man-made global warming has provoked floods of interest, great indignation and -- particularly among his fellow University of Wisconsin scientists -- no shortage of exasperation.

The story of Bryson's denial that industrially produced carbon dioxide is linked to climate change caught the attention of national outlets like the Drudge Report and drew more than 30,000 readers in the first 90 minutes after it was posted on this paper's Web site.

More than 100 have posted their reactions to it on The Capital Times online forum, dozens of others have written letters to the editor and almost two weeks later the story remains among the most viewed.

Statements by the global warming skeptic also stirred up controversy in scientific departments across the University of Wisconsin-Madison." (Capital Times)

"Why IPCC 'Projections' Are Not Predictions" - "IPCC "forecasts" are called "projections", but are dishonest, as they ignore part of their own definition that "projections" are "subject to substantial uncertainty" but they ascribe 90% probabilities to several "projections" and consider that some "projections" can be "virtually certain". (Dr Vincent Gray, Climate Science NZ)

"Responding to "Green Politics" - Part V" - "A recent report in Canada’s National Post reads “The polar ice cap is shrinking, laying bare deep gullies in the landscape and the climate is the warmest it has been in decades or perhaps centuries.” Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well it is if you’re a Martian! According to NASA, data collected from the Mars Odyssey mission reveals that Mars is also experiencing “global warming.” NASA scientist William Feldman said, “In some low-latitude areas, the ice has already dissipated.” Following a recent analysis of the first twelve months of data collected from Mars, scientists are accumulating evidence that climatic changes similar to Earth’s are also occurring on the only other planet in the solar system where climate is now being studied." (Michael Craven, Crosswalk)

"1,000-year-old Arctic ponds disappearing due to global warming" - "Research has uncovered alarming evidence that high Arctic ponds, many which have been permanent bodies of water for thousands of years, are completely drying out during the polar summer. These shallow ponds, which dot the Arctic landscape, are important indicators of environment change and are especially susceptible to the effects of climate change because of their low water volume." (University of Alberta)

Video: The Climate Change Case - 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS aired the 'Climate Change Case.' You can watch the entire show without commercials by pressing play on the video viewer to the right of the linked page. (KSTP)

"Global Warming Could Increase US Death Rate" - "NEW YORK - An increase in summertime heat waves from global warming could mean more deaths among Americans each year, a study by Harvard researchers suggests. It's well known that extreme temperatures, whether in the form of heat waves or cold snaps, can be deadly. However, the new findings suggest that any increase in heat-related deaths from global warming would not be offset by a drop in cold-related deaths." (Reuters Health)

"Do people listen to heat warnings?" - "Oppressive summertime heat claims more lives than all other weather-related disasters combined, including tornadoes and hurricanes. From 1999 to 2003, the Center for Disease Control reported 3,442 deaths resulting from exposure to extreme heat." (Kent State University)

"Newsweek Quiz: What Isn't Causing Global Warming?" - "Relying on the IPCC report and one-sided experts, the magazine lets the Sun off the hook for climate change." (Business & Media Institute)

"No One Really Knows on Global Warming, Oklahoma Weather Forecaster Says" - "A Small Report from One of the Founders of Doppler Radar" (Associated Content)

"Guest Blog on State Records in the 20th Century" - "Expanding on the work of Gary Hall in the “Hall of Fame” blog, I took a look at how the state temperature extremes compared when stratifying the data by whether or not the record was set during the first half of the last century (1900-1949) or during the second half of the last century (1950-1999)." (Peter McGurk, Icecap)

"Developing world must share responsibility on climate, poverty: UN chief" - "Developing countries must assume their share of "common responsibilities" in tackling climate change and cutting global poverty alongside wealthy nations, the head of the United Nations said on Monday." (AFP)

"Chance for livestock to breathe easy" - "Satellite images of greenhouse gas clouds over New Zealand suggests methane from livestock may not be as big a problem as first thought.

And the New Zealanders who found the satellite discrepancy believe that if their theory proves true, the find could have major implications on taxpayers and the country's Kyoto responsibilities." (New Zealand Herald)

?!! "Floods Show Threat to Farms of Climate Change - Benn" - "STONELEIGH, England - Britain's new farm minister Hilary Benn said on Monday that adapting to climate change was the key challenge for farmers as floods in England damaged and in some cases destroyed crops." (Reuters)

So, England's farmers have never experienced floods before and this is 'climate change' at work?

or not... "Floods are judgment on society, say bishops" - "The floods that have devastated swathes of the country are God's judgment on the immorality and greed of modern society, according to senior Church of England bishops." (Sunday Telegraph)

"So this is divine intervention?" - "Last summer we were told not to flush the loo, because of global warming. This summer we are told half of Yorkshire has been flushed down the pan – because of global warming. If the drought don’t get you, it seems, the deluge will.

As if the weather was not bad enough, we now have to endure a flood of intellectual silt about how overflowing rivers are retribution for rising man-made carbon levels. The notion that a flood is God’s punishment for our sins went out with, well, the Ark. But it has been revived by born-again believers in high places." (Mick Hume, The Times)

Right... "Qinghai Kokonor Lake to stop 'shrinking'" - "The country's largest inland lake, Qinghai Kokonor, will stop "shrinking" and start reverting to its former level within a decade, scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences said yesterday.

"The water level in the lake will stabilize by about 2016 and then it will start to rise," Li Shijie, a researcher from the Nanjing Institute of Geography & Limnology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, said.

It is expected to reach 24 m, its level in the 1970's, by 2030." (People's Daily)

... the lake is shrinking -- due to global warming but will refill soon due to... global warming.

"'Big Oil' in the real world" - "Fellow gas-guzzlers, rejoice.

ExxonMobil -- the world's best-run, most underappreciated and most foolishly hated energy company -- did exactly the right thing last week at its annual shareholders meeting in Dallas.

When climate cranks came to whine about ExxonMobil's alleged corporate irresponsibility and try to get the company to accept the Gospel of Global Climate Change according to Al Gore, the oil behemoth's bosses told them to go fly a kite in a wind farm." (Bill Steigerwald, Tribune-Review)

"Using carbon credits to make a difference" - "Consumers opt to pay the price for polluting or just being wasteful." (Toronto Star)

"How Can Carbon Trading Save Peatlands and Rainforests?" - "The UN is due to report on proposed carbon-trading schemes that would make it more rewarding for countries to preserve their forests rather than cut them down. The report on "Reduced Emissions from Deforestation" (RED) will be presented at a climate change meeting in Bali, Indonesia, in Dec. 2007." (Reuters)

"Green trading market could end up with investors seeing red" - "Carbon emissions trading sounds like the ideal way for savvy investors to make piles of dough in a new, rapidly growing market while doing their part for the environment - a perfect blend of opportunity and conscience.

But if you pull back the curtain a bit, you see a fragmented market distinctly lacking in oversight, credible analysis, safeguards or even a method to resolve disputes. It's a market that has only been existence for a few short years and owes its development largely to the United Nations, which isn't exactly a font of knowledge about how global financial markets work." (Brian Milner, Globe and Mail)

Says it all

"German government's environmental plans may cost 500,000 jobs - ThyssenKrupp CEO" - "FRANKFURT - ThyssenKrupp AG's chief executive Ekkehard Schulz said the German government's plans to reduce emissions and exit nuclear power production may result in up to 500,000 jobs being lost as energy-intensive industries relocate abroad, according to Sueddeutsche Zeitung." (Thomson Financial)

"Renewables Key to Meeting German CO2 Goals - BEE" - "BERLIN - Germany will only meet ambitious greenhouse gas-reduction targets with a major increase in renewable energy usage, a lobby group said on Monday ahead of a government meeting on energy issues on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Moonbat: "Stop doing the CBI's bidding, and we could be fossil fuel free in 20 years" - "Prospects for renewable power are promising. But it means nothing if the public interest is drowned by corporate power." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

"Governor's deeds on air quality contradict words" - "SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger exhorts countries to act quickly to reduce harmful gas emissions, his administration is helping California's construction industry stall tough new air-quality rules at home.

In public hearings and private negotiations, administration transportation officials are working to slow a planned crackdown by regulators on aging diesel construction equipment -- among the state's most noxious machinery and a major source of greenhouse gases.

The officials successfully lobbied a board appointed by the governor to delay voting on draft regulations for dealing with the polluters. The officials contended that the new rules, years in the making, were too tough on the construction industry -- which is a major Schwarzenegger donor.

Last week, the governor fired the board's chairman, who said he was let go after pushing ahead with aggressive pollution curbs. The administration said the chairman was fired because he wasn't tough enough -- a claim environmentalists find dubious. On Monday, the board's executive officer quit with a sharply worded criticism of the administration.

The departed air board officials said they were frustrated by administration meddling in both the diesel construction equipment crackdown and the implementation of landmark legislation the governor signed last year to curb global warming." (LA Times)

"EU Pesticide Rules May Force Out Small African Farmers" - "YORK, UK, Jun 29 - African farmers could soon find themselves forced out of the lucrative European market for agricultural products as retailers and government move towards a zero tolerance policy on chemical residues in food." (IPS)

"How to Get More Crop for the Drop" - "Biotechnology could conserve California’s water, if only the state’s green politicians would let it." (Henry I. Miller, The American)

July 2, 2007

Continuing the myth... "The Eagle Soars" - "The bald eagle, a symbol of majesty since the earliest days of the republic, was officially removed yesterday from the federal government’s list of endangered and threatened species. This is wonderful news for the bird. It is also a tribute to conservationists who have worked hard for the eagle’s survival and to the Endangered Species Act, which gave the bird the protections it needed. The act has been under assault in Congress and has far fewer friends than it should in the Bush administration." (New York Times)

... when in fact DDT has nothing to do with the decline or recovery of raptors, including the iconic bald eagle -- the following extract from Facts vs Fears: DDT:

Additionally, the evidence regarding the effect of DDT on eggshell thinning among wild birds is contradictory at best. The environmentalist literature claims that the birds threatened directly by the insecticide were laying eggs with thin shells. These shells, say the environmentalists, would eventually become so fragile that the eggs would break, causing a decline in bird populations, particularly among raptors (birds of prey).

In 1968 two researchers, Dr.s Joseph J. Hickey and Daniel W. Anderson, reported that high concentrations of DDT were found in the eggs of wild raptor populations. The two concluded that increased eggshell fragility in peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and ospreys was due to DDT exposure.9 Dr. Joel Bitman and associates at the U.S. Department of Agriculture likewise determined that Japanese quail fed DDT produced eggs with thinner shells and lower calcium content.10 In actuality, however, declines in bird populations either had occurred before DDT was present or had occurred years after DDT’s use. A comparison of the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Counts between 1941 (pre-DDT) and 1960 (after DDT’s use had waned) reveals that at least 26 different kinds of birds became more numerous during those decades, the period of greatest DDT usage. The Audubon counts document an overall increase in birds seen per observer from 1941 to 1960, and statistical analyses of the Audubon data confirm the perceived increases. For example, only 197 bald eagles were documented in 194111; the number had increased to 891 in 1960.12

At Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania, teams of ornithologists made daily counts of migrating raptors for over 40 years. The counts—published annually by the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association— reveal great increases in most kinds of hawks during the DDT years. The osprey counts increased as follows: in 1946, 191; in 1956, 288; in 1967, 457; and in 1972, 630.13 In 1942 Dr. Joseph Hickey—who in 1968 would blame DDT for bird population decline—reported that 70 percent of the eastern osprey population had been killed by pole traps around fish hatcheries.14 That same year, before DDT came into use, Hickey noted a decline in the population of peregrine falcons.15

Other observers also documented that the great peregrine decline in the eastern United States occurred long before any DDT was present in the environment.16,17 In Canada peregrines were observed to be “reproducing normally” in the 1960s even though their tissues contained 30 times more DDT than did the tissues of the Midwestern peregrines allegedly being extirpated by the chemical.18 And in Great Britain, in 1969, a three-year government study noted that the decline of peregrine falcons in Britain had ended in 1966 even though DDT levels were as abundant as ever. The British study concluded that “There is no close correlation between the decline in population of predatory birds, particularly the peregrine falcon and the sparrow hawk, and the use of DDT.”19

In addition, later research refuted the original studies that had pointed to DDT as a cause for eggshell thinning. After reassessing their findings using more modern methodology, Dr.s Hickey and Anderson admitted that the egg extracts they had studied contained little or no DDT and said they were now pursuing PCBs, chemicals used as capacitor insulators, as the culprit.20 When carefully reviewed, Dr. Bitman’s study revealed that the quail in the study were fed a diet with a calcium content of only 0.56 percent (a normal quail diet consists of 2.7 percent calcium). Calcium deficiency is a known cause of thin eggshells.21-23 After much criticism, Bitman repeated the test, this time with sufficient calcium levels. The birds produced eggs without thinned shells.24

After many years of carefully controlled feeding experiments, Dr. M. L. Scott and associates of the Department of Poultry Science at Cornell University “found no tremors, no mortality, no thinning of eggshells, and no interference with reproduction caused by levels of DDT which were as high as those reported to be present in most of the wild birds where ‘catastrophic’ decreases in shell quality and reproduction have been claimed.”23 In fact, thinning eggshells can have many causes, including season of the year, nutrition (in particular insufficient calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and manganese), temperature rise, type of soil, and breeding conditions (e.g., sunlight and crowding).25"

9 Hickey JJ, Anderson DW. Chlorinated hydrocarbons and eggshell changes in raptorial and fish-eating birds. Science. 1968; 162:271–273.
10 Bitman J, Cecil HC, Harris SJ, Gries GF. DDT induces a decrease in eggshell calcium. Nature. 1969;
11 The 42nd Annual Christmas Bird Census. Audubon Magazine. 1942; 44:1–75.
12 The 61st Annual Christmas Bird Census. Audubon Field Notes. 1961; 15(2):84–300.
13 Taylor JW. Summaries of Hawk Mountain migration of raptors, 1934 to 1970. Hawk Mtn Assn Newsletter. 1970; 42.
14 Hickey JJ. Guide to Bird Watching. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press; 1943.
15 Hickey JJ. Only 170 pairs of peregrines in eastern U.S. in 1940, before DDT. Auk. 1942; 59:176.
16 Beebe FL. The Myth of the Vanishing Peregrine. North Surrey, BC, Canada: Canadian Raptor Society Press; 1971.
17 Rice JN. Peregrine Falcon Populations. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press; 1969:155–164.
18 Enderson JH, Berger DD. Chlorinated hydrocarbons in peregrines from northern Canada. Condor. 1968; 70:149–153.
19 Wilson Report. Review of organochlorine pesticides in Britain. Report by Advisory Committee on Toxic Chemicals. Department of Education and Science; 1969.
20 Anderson DW, Hickey JJ, Risebrough RW, Hughes DF, Christensen RE. Significance of chlorinated hydrocarbon residues to breeding pelicans and cormorants. The Canadian Field-Naturalist. 1969; 83:91–112.
21 Greely F. Effects of calcium deficiency. J Wildlife Management. 1960; 70:149–153.
22 Romanoff AL, Romanoff AJ. The Avian Egg. New York: Wiley & Sons; 1949:154.
23 Scott ML, Zimmermann JR, Marinsky S, Mullenhoff PA. Effects of PCBs, DDT, and mercury compounds upon egg production, hatchability and shell quality in chickens and Japanese quail. Poultry Science. 1975; 54:350–368.
24 Cecil HC, Bitman J, Harris SJ. No effects on eggshells, if adequate calcium is in DDT diet. Poultry Science. 1971; 50:656–659.
25 The Avian Egg:152–156, 266.

"Why isn't there a cure?" - "Dr. Steven Novella, a neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine and Associate Editor of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, has a thoughtful article at NeuroLogica on why, with all of the money going towards research, have we not yet found a cure for cancer. He looks at the most common misconceptions about cancer and addresses theories that there is no incentive to find a cure. This information can help people from getting taken in by someone claiming to have a miracle cure or treatment." (Junkfood Science)

"Science on Trial" - "Autism awareness has spread throughout the globe. Societies that never had a word for autism are inventing them, and autism societies are being founded on every continent. But while there is considerable agreement about how to define the signs and symptoms of autism, every society has their own ideas and beliefs about what causes it and how to treat it.

Autism has been linked to witchcraft in Africa, to poor mothering in France and South Korea, to divine blessings among some communities in Israel and India, and to measles in the United Kingdom. In most places, there are competing, co-existing systems of thought about autism, and the United States is no exception." (Wall Street Journal)

"Be careful what we wish for" - "Sometimes, what sounds logical isn’t logical at all when we carry it forward. Worse, no matter how good it sounds at first blush, when it’s actually put into action, it might not really be what we ever wanted at all!

In this entertaining think piece, Mike Feehan takes off the masquerade and cuts to the chase at where we’re really heading with all of these efforts to make sure we're healthy and fit, have perfect children, and the highest life expectancy in the world. ..." (Junkfood Science)

"The costs of efforts to whip kids into shape" - "Public health officials widely believe that children are little adults. If kids aren’t engaging in 60 to 90 minutes of sustained adult-style exercise every day, they are deemed insufficiently active and labeled unhealthy couch potatoes." (Junkfood Science)

"Figure Flaws — Did this diet really work?" - "News services around the world have reported of a “Family-based weight program effective for children and teens.” Not surprisingly, the stories were all taken from the Yale University press release, announcing that its weight management program had been shown to be a success. But had it really?" (Junkfood Science)

"Say Good-bye to Acomplia...for now" - "We all remember last December when every story in the media was selling the wonders of the “Miracle Drug,” Acomplia. Meanwhile, Junkfood Science readers got the real scoop on the evidence from the clinical trials." (Junkfood Science)

"Stress 'makes us fat'" - "AUSTRALIAN scientists have discovered that chronic stress can make us fat by triggering the body's fat cells to grow and multiply. The link between stress and obesity has been known for more than a decade but these findings are the first to explain how exactly the connection works. The research by Australian, US and Slovakian scientists could lead to new therapies that shrink fat cells or make them die." (The Australian)

"Information firewall?" - "He who controls access to information controls “the truth.”

Two extraordinary developments have occurred this week that could make it difficult for those who use the internet regularly — and that’s most of us — to learn anything but what certain interests want us to know. Equally disturbing, is the information they’re gathering on us." (Junkfood Science)

Shame, Triumph and Triumphalism (Number Watch)

"Toward a new environmental movement: Time to kick out the corporate bastards" - "The environmental movement is on life support. Some would say it is already dead. Even though climate change and Al Gore are fast becoming the conversation du jour around the American dinner table, it also happens to be the rallying cry for do-gooder conservationists and corporations alike.

Call it the eco-economy. Virtually all major corporations now claim they are going “green.” Toyota dealerships cannot keep the hybrid Prius in stock. Apple, after heavy lobbying from Greenpeace and others, declares they are going to make their computers environmentally friendly. Genetically modified corn, which produces ethanol fuel, is being hawked by Monsanto as an alternative to petroleum based gasoline. Ethanol advocates are calling their program “Fuels for Profit,” while they sip McDonald’s organic coffee. The environmental movement has been corporatized.

Big green groups are not helping the situation. Their hands are tied by both the large foundations that pay their rent and the Democratic Party to which they are attached at the hip. They long ago gave up on challenging the system. Most groups today are little more than direct mailing outfits who have embraced a sordid neoliberal approach to saving the natural world. The true causes of planetary destruction are never mentioned. Industrial capitalism is not the problem, individuals are. Not the government’s inability to enforce its weak regulations. Not big oil companies, or coal fired plants. These neoliberal groups argue ordinary people are to blame for the impending environmental catastrophe, not those who profit from the Earth’s destruction." (Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank, Online Journal)

"NASA satellite captures first view of 'night-shining' clouds" - "WASHINGTON -- A NASA satellite has captured the first occurrence this summer of mysterious iridescent polar clouds that form 50 miles above Earth's surface.

The first observations of these clouds by the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite occurred above 70 degrees north on May 25. Observers on the ground began seeing the clouds on June 6 over northern Europe. AIM is the first satellite mission dedicated to the study of these unusual clouds.

These mystifying clouds are called Polar Mesospheric Clouds, or PMCs, when they are viewed from space and referred to as "night-shining" clouds, or noctilucent clouds, when viewed by observers on Earth. The clouds form during the Northern Hemisphere's summer season that begins in mid-May and extends through the end of August. They are being seen by AIM's instruments more frequently as the season progresses. The clouds also are seen in the high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere during the summer months." (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

"Early fire risk for mountains near Los Angeles" - "Researchers at the University of Utah and elsewhere have developed a new way to predict when vegetation dries to the point it is most vulnerable to large-scale fires in the Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles. And this year’s forecast says the highest-risk fire period will begin July 13 – weeks earlier than usual.

Despite that, the new study also shows that unlike other areas of the western United States, global warming has not caused any apparent long-term trend toward early fire seasons in the Santa Monicas." (University of Utah)

"Guest Weblog By Robert Maddox" - "Dr. Robert Maddox is internationally recognized as an expert on mesoscale cloud systems, who has worked at the National Severe Storms Lab in Norman Okalhoma, and is now at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His characterizations of mesoscale convective complexes (MCCs) was pioneering.

He has graciously agreed to write a guest weblog for Climate Science, as well as also post on his own website (madweather). Dr. Maddox’s weblog is important since it provides another example of the lack of consideration by NOAA on the need for proper siting of instrumentation that is required to monitor weather and climate." (Climate Science)

"Watts' up? Spotlight shines on local weatherman's latest research" - "A Chico meteorologist is garnering national attention for his latest project -- checking the condition and placement of hundreds of weather stations used to monitor the nation's climate.

So far, Watts and his volunteers have found and photographed 63 stations, all available on Watts' site surfacestations.org. Photos show some stations placed in parking lots near cars, buildings and cell phone antennas -- places the guidelines say are off limits.

Watts, and others, are concerned how objects near a station affect what thermometers record. Buildings, parking lots, air conditioners and sewage treatment plants near weather stations may emit heat and ultimately skew readings.

"The reliability of the whole surface temperature record is called into question," Watts said." (Mercury-Register)

"How not to measure temperature, part 15" - "The picture below comes to me via my website www.surfacestations.org from volunteer site surveyor Bob Meyer. It is the USHCN climate station of record for Waterville, Washington.

In addition to the now commonly seen attempts at measuring the temperature of parking lots, this station sports another new feature: volcanic cinder rock under the station to complement the tidy sidewalk. Note the convenient drive through teller window nearby so that you can cash your paycheck while on the way to the Post Office to mail in your COOP observer form to the National Climatic Data Center." (Watt's Up With That?)

"The future is wet. Summer was in April" - "The heavy rain that spoilt May and June looks set to stay for the rest of summer, Met Office research suggests. Cooler sea temperatures in the Pacific Ocean prompted by the La Niña weather system, sister to El Niño, have been identified as the likely cause of summer depressions sweeping across Northern Europe." (The Times)

"Klaus: Warming uproar reminds of communist campaigns" - "Prague, June 28 (CTK) - Czech President Vaclav Klaus again warned against the hysteria that he said surrounds the global warming issue at the presentation of the controversial British documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle in a Prague cinema today." (Prague Daily Monitor)

"Oral Testimony before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works" - "Thank you, Chairman Boxer and members of this committee for inviting me to testify today.

Jonah Goldberg, the columnist, notes that Earth warmed about 0.7 degrees Celsius in the 20th century while global GDP increased by some 1,800 percent. For the sake of argument, says Goldberg, let’s agree that all of the warming was anthropogenic—the result of economic activity. And let’s further stipulate that the warming produced no benefits, only harms. “That’s still an amazing bargain,” Goldberg remarks.

Average life expectancies doubled in the 20th century. The human population nearly quadrupled yet per capita food supply increased. Literacy, medicine, leisure and even in many respects the environment hugely improved, at least in the prosperous West." (Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI)

"Manmade Global Warming: The Real Assault on Reason" - "In the opening chapter of The Assault on Reason, its seldom reasonable author accuses the Bush administration of exploiting people's fears "to short-circuit debate and drive the public agenda without regard to the evidence, the facts, or the public interest."

Shamelessly abusing lingering September 11th and nascent Iraq anxieties, he argues that the roles of "reason, logic and truth" have been eroded from the American decision-making process. This lack of focus and clarity, charges Al Gore, is personified by an administration that ignores expert advice, circumvents analysis and debate, and suppresses evidence to promote predetermined, agenda driven policies.

What's most confounding about these stinging allegations is that they were penned by the very same man whose Oscar awarded fear-exploitation-film proclaimed - in a gross distortion of prevailing evidence and facts -- that:

"Humanity is sitting on a time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet's climate system into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced -- a catastrophe of our own making."

Indeed, Gore's cataclysmic forecasts of worldwide famine, rising sea-levels, vanishing species, et al, are themselves the very epitome of the same agenda-driven, illogical, expert advice cherry-picking, closed debate, unfounded fear-mongering he devotes the majority of his recent Bush-bashing book to deriding." (Marc Sheppard, American Thinker)

Gorebull warming: "Moving Beyond Kyoto" - "WE — the human species — have arrived at a moment of decision. It is unprecedented and even laughable for us to imagine that we could actually make a conscious choice as a species, but that is nevertheless the challenge that is before us.

Our home — Earth — is in danger. What is at risk of being destroyed is not the planet itself, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings.

Without realizing the consequences of our actions, we have begun to put so much carbon dioxide into the thin shell of air surrounding our world that we have literally changed the heat balance between Earth and the Sun. If we don’t stop doing this pretty quickly, the average temperature will increase to levels humans have never known and put an end to the favorable climate balance on which our civilization depends." (Al Gore, New York Times)

"Alarmist global warming claims melt under scientific scrutiny" - "In his new book, The Assault on Reason, Al Gore pleads, "We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public's ability to discern the truth." Gore repeatedly asks that science and reason displace cynical political posturing as the central focus of public discourse.

If Gore really means what he writes, he has an opportunity to make a difference by leading by example on the issue of global warming.

A cooperative and productive discussion of global warming must be open and honest regarding the science. Global warming threats ought to be studied and mitigated, and they should not be deliberately exaggerated as a means of building support for a desired political position.

Many of the assertions Gore makes in his movie, ''An Inconvenient Truth,'' have been refuted by science, both before and after he made them. Gore can show sincerity in his plea for scientific honesty by publicly acknowledging where science has rebutted his claims." (James M Taylor, Chicago Sun-Times)

Not gorebull warming? "China's Development is Costing the Himalayas - Activist" - "NEW DELHI - China's "irresponsible and reckless" development activities in Tibet have had a devastating impact on the Himalayas -- threatening glaciers, rivers and the lives of millions of people, an activist said on Friday." (Reuters)

The History of CO2 Gas Analysis of Air by Chemical Methods - presentation on my paper and upcoming monograph at Leiden (Netherlands) Meeting 26th June 2007 (Ernst-Georg Beck)

"China, now the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter, will play crucial climate role" - "NEW YORK: Last month, energy analysts announced that China's booming economy has propelled it past the United States as the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the atmospheric pollutant that is primarily responsible for global warming." (Associated Press)

"WHO urges Asia to prepare for climate change crises" - "KUALA LUMPUR - Asian nations must prepare to tackle disasters unleashed by global warming with the same urgency they now focus on fighting disease epidemics, the World Health Organization said on Monday." (Reuters)

"When Physics Trumps Hysteria in Global Warming" - "Studiously hidden from public view are some extraordinary findings in physics which are providing new understanding of our planetary history, as well as providing a much more plausible scientific understanding of Global Warming. Regrettably, the current hysteria about global warming is based much more on fear, political agendas, and computer models that don’t agree with each other or the climate, rather than hard-nosed evidence and science." (Michael R. Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

"EU Warns Citizens: Adapt to Climate Change Now" - "BRUSSELS - European Union nations must adapt to climate change by using water more efficiently, adjusting crops and farming methods, and caring for elderly people vulnerable to heat, the EU executive said on Friday." (Reuters)

"France Says to Push for Climate Change Deal in 2008" - "PARIS - France will use its term as president of the European Union next year to lead the push for a new treaty on climate change, Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Indonesia Wants Deforestation in New Climate Deal" - "JAKARTA - Indonesia is pushing to include deforestation in any agreement on combatting global warming during December's UN-led climate talks in Bali, the environment minister said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Carbon Offset Sector to Face a Glut of Rules" - "LONDON - A murky industry which sells carbon offsets to brand-conscious corporates and guilty consumers may soon face an unfamiliar problem: a glut of rules." (Reuters)

"Thieves Fall Out" - "My colleague Marlo Lewis testified at a painfully comic hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday on “examining global warming issues in the power plant sector”. Marlo’s testimony is well worth reading, as is the testimony of two other witnesses: Bob Murray, chairman and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, one of the biggest independent coal companies in the country: and Tom Borelli of the Free Enterprise Action Fund." (Myron Ebell, OpenMarket)

"US consumers pay highest energy bills in decades" - "High oil prices are dampening consumer confidence." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Carbon Backlash: Coal Divides Corporations" - "NEW YORK - US coal mining companies, which for years have been branded the bad guys of global warming, are fighting back. They are questioning not only the science but also the motives of some of the big-name corporations who have made well-publicized commitments to cleaning up their act." (Reuters)

"State's hitting red lights on emissions law" - "If state officials have their way, new motor vehicles sold in California will come equipped with engine accessories like variable flow turbochargers and dual cam phasers, designed to reduce global warming.

The improvements are supposed to begin late next year, with the arrival of the 2009 models and the implementation of Assembly Bill 1493, a state law requiring automakers to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The law rolls out gradually, with emissions to be slashed 30 percent by 2016.

But don't hold your breath. AB 1493, adopted in 2002 and conceived as California's first major shot in the war on global warming, is running into friction from automakers, the White House and members of Congress. Litigation, red tape and politics are threatening to delay, weaken or kill the law altogether." (Sacramento Bee)

"Tempers Flare on Nuclear Ahead of German Energy Talks" - "FRANKFURT - German power firms are frustrated that a government-organised meeting on energy issues next week is likely to avoid what they see as a key issue -- the future of nuclear power." (Reuters)

"Bolivia, Brazil Leaders Clash on Biofuels Issue" - "ASUNCION, Paraguay - Bolivia's president blasted ethanol production on Friday, saying it was "sinister to convert food into fuel" in a speech that disputed an earlier address by Brazil's leader, who said biofuels production can boost the regional economy." (Reuters)

"Biofuels May Wipe Out UK Wheat Exports" - "LONDON - Surging demand for British grain around 2010 as major bioethanol plants come on line will wipe out the UK's wheat exports unless there is a big jump in output by domestic farmers." (Reuters)

Now they done it! "Biofuel boom jacks up price of beer" - "AYING, Germany — Like most Germans, brewer Helmut Erdmann is all for the fight against global warming. Unless, that is, it drives up the price of his beer.

And that is exactly what is happening to Erdmann and other German brewers as farmers abandon barley — the raw material for the national beverage — to plant other, subsidized crops for sale as environmentally friendly biofuels." (Associated Press)

"Huge Sowings Ease Ethanol Crunch on US Corn" - "WASHINGTON - US farmers are on track to grow their biggest corn crop ever, an astonishing 12.8 billion bushels, a government report said on Friday, enough for livestock feeders and the booming fuel ethanol industry." (Reuters)

"Ethanol boom squeezes biodiesel supply" - "Washington, D.C. - Farmers saw high prices for corn this spring and planted even more than expected. That may help hold down food prices, but it's bad news for struggling biodiesel makers who depend on soybean oil." (Des Moines Register)

"Betting on biofuels" - "The industry is still in its infancy but evolving rapidly. Companies that hope to compete must devise their entry strategy now." (Petroleumworld News)

"The Energy Balance of Snake Oil" - "It's no secret that money is flooding into the alternative energy sector, but not all of this money comes from sophisticated, investors. Unsophisticated investment is a lighting rod for the scam artists. Because there is both an urgent need to deal with the the problems posed by global warming, energy security, and resource depletion, and the new money is rapidly accelerating the advance of technology in renewable energy, new innovations are very plausible.

There are many ways to lose money in alternative energy, even without being taken by a scam. The current emotional climate in the industry makes even the most solid companies' shares gyrate wildly." (Alt Energy)

"Call for a moratorium on EU agrofuel incentives" - "More than 30 civil society groups from around the world are calling for a moratorium to stop the EU rush for agrofuels, which are liquid fuels produced from biomass grown in large scale monocultures. The call is for the EU to stop incentivising these fuels through its proposed targets on their production, rather than promoting genuinely renewable energy sources." (Transnational Institute)

"Australia Wool Industry Claims Animals Rights Win" - "SYDNEY - After years of wrangling, Australia's wool industry has a claimed victory over US animals rights group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals over its campaign to stop the mulesing of sheep." (Reuters)

Where Reuters says "to discourage flies" they obviously have zero concept of fly strike. In Australia, lucinia cuprina, among others, evolved the ability to strike living sheep within about 50 years of sheep being introduced to the country (the fresh-hatched maggots first feed on the proteins leaking from urine/feces-scalded skin before spreading across the afflicted animal, often killing it unless promptly treated). Hairy maggot strike flies burrow directly into the sheep, invading vital organs and killing them within a couple of days. This is the charming alternative preferred by Peta to the mulesing (trimming of excess skin folds around the tails of wrinkly Merino sheep).

"Don’t Cry Over rBST Milk" - "MILK occupies a special place in our lives and language. It has been dubbed “nature’s most perfect food,” and we speak sentimentally of the “land of milk and honey” and the “milk of human kindness.”

But things are turning sour for consumers of milk. The average price of a gallon of milk nationwide is up 37 cents since January, to $3.47. Strong demand and limited ability to increase production quickly are expected to increase prices more, and experts have speculated that the price per gallon could reach a record $5 by year’s end. High feed costs associated with the ramping up of American corn-based ethanol production are making it difficult to produce more milk." (Henry I Miller, New York Times)

"Genetic Research on Insects Could Lead to Disease Prevention: Introduction in disease-prone areas a decade or more away" - "U.S. scientists have created a genetically modified malaria-resistant mosquito that one day could be introduced in natural settings, outbreed ordinary "wild-type" mosquitoes and reduce the spread of malaria in humans.

But potential human health benefits from this discovery, reported in the March 2007 journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, still might be several years away, perhaps 10 years to 20 years, said Jason Rasgon of Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute in Maryland. The institute is one of the world's leading malaria research centers.

Scientists also are studying how genetically modified insects might be able to hinder the transmission to humans of such deadly or debilitating diseases as dengue fever, found globally; sleeping sickness in Africa; and Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis), an illness transmitted by parasites that is prevalent in Latin America.

Yet limited public funding for biomedical science research is making it "more difficult" for scientists to make rapid strides in promising areas for research on genetically modified organisms, Rasgon told USINFO." (News Blaze)

"Europe set to lift ban on GM crops" - "The European commission is about to give the go-ahead to the first commercially grown genetically modified crops since a public outcry nine years ago halted their cultivation, writes Jonathan Leake." (Times Online)