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Archives - March 2007

March 30, 2007

"Sperm Count Beef?" - "Consumers were frightened this week by media reports about a new study claiming to link mothers’ consumption of beef with reduced sperm counts in their sons. But the study amounts to nothing more than a transparent effort to resurrect an already debunked 1990s-era health scare with appalling science and sensational headlines." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Hunger: Where Is The Scorn?" - "Food Security: There's never a shortage of dictators to hurl abuse at the U.S. for its food policies. But they have no right to do it. Marxism, not freedom, is the world's foremost creator of hunger.

The blame-America-first crowd often zeroes in on U.S. plenty, calling our lack of want 'excess' and our great food productivity an ecological evil.

There's been a malevolent new wave of this lately as more news of failed Marxist regimes and the hunger they create comes out." (IBD)

"Environmentalism As Bad As Communism" - "BUDAPEST - Czech President Vaclav Klaus has offered fresh warnings that environmentalism and measures to curb climate change are a threat to human freedom." (IPS)

"A New Paper Which Demonstrates The Importance of Land Surface Heat Storage Within The Climate System" - "I want to thank Jos de Laat of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) for alerting me to a new peer reviewed paper on land surface heat storage. It is a very important research contribution as it adopts the appropriate unit of Joules to assess climate system heat changes." (Climate Science)

"Now I've Seen Everything" - "NASA's Jim Hansen has discovered STS (science and technology studies, i.e., social scientists who study science), and he is using it to justify why the IPCC is wrong and he, and he alone, is correct on predictions of future sea level rise and as well on calls for certain political actions, like campaign finance reform." (Prometheus)

"Warm winter also in the Arctic" - "Central Europe is not the only place where the past, warm winter has caused record temperatures. Unusually mild temperatures also prevented ice formation in the Arctic, specifically in the region around Spitsbergen. This is the conclusion drawn by scientists of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). Both institutes are members of the Helmholtz Association of German research centres. They aim to span the Helmholtz-network to observe environmental changes. Measurement activities of the recent expedition were part of the project ICESAR, and accomplished in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA)." (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research)

S'pose this is 'global warming' too? "Winter overstays welcome: Heavy snow, chilly north winds stall spring" - "Feeling bitter when you scrape the ice off your car? Parka weighing you down? Think you're caught in a forever-winter version of "Groundhog Day?" It's not you. It's the weather. Winter has officially overstayed its welcome. We have a foot and a half more snow on the ground than usual, and it's not melting. March will likely tie for the fourth coldest on record, according to the National Weather Service. And there's no end in sight. "We're about 12 degrees below normal," said John Stepetin, Weather Service specialist." (Anchorage Daily News)

"Vessels freed from Bering Sea ice blockade" - "ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Five vessels spent at least 12 hours trapped by Bering Sea ice offshore of a remote Alaska island before forging a narrow escape through the giant floes early Thursday. The 365-foot crab processor Independence, three crab boats and a freighter finally broke free early Thursday morning from the ice choking the mouth of the harbor in the tiny island village of Saint Paul." (Associated Press)

Doubt they'll blame 'global warming' for this: "Fair weather brings strong profit for Lloyds of London" - "LONDON: Lloyd's of London, the world's biggest insurance market, on Thursday reported a pretax profit of 3.66 billion pounds (€5.4 billion, US$7.2 billion) in 2006, a year of few global catastrophes.

That reversed Lloyd's 2005 result of a loss of 103 million pounds (€152 million, US$202 million) because of hurricane damage claims.

"During the year, we benefited from strong underlying conditions and an exceptionally low level of catastrophes," said Lord Levene, Lloyd's chairman. "However, it would be unrealistic to expect such a favorable claims experience this year." (Associated Press)

and surprised they didn't blame it for this: "Boy finds watch buried in North Pole" - "COPENHAGEN, Denmark --A wristwatch buried in the ice at the North Pole three years ago was found by a boy more than 1,800 miles away after it floated ashore on the Faeroe Islands." (Associated Press)

Wow! Reuters noticed and reported: "California Being Warmed by Urbanization" - "LOS ANGELES - Average temperatures across California rose slightly from 1950 to 2000, with the greatest warming coming in the state's big cities and mostly caused by urbanization -- not greenhouse gases -- authors of a study released on Wednesday said." (Reuters)

Time's at it again: "On the Front Lines Of Climate Change" - "With his curly, salt-and-pepper hair and thoughtful demeanor, Chris West looks like just another mid-career professor as he crosses the streets of Oxford University. But West, trained as a zoologist, is more an activist than an academic these days. From his cramped office around the corner from Balliol College, he directs the government's UK Climate Impacts Program, which educates individuals and businesses in Britain about the risks they face from climate change and the ways to cope with it." (Time Magazine) | Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala | Olafur Grimsson | A Plan of Action [at least they admit it starts with their art department rather than trying to claim it has anything to do with science]

"Global warming skeptic praised, criticized at UVM" - "One of the leading dissenters on the theory of human-caused global warming spoke to a large audience in Ira Allen Chapel on Wednesday night, meeting a mixed crowd that included like-minded thinkers as well as those who disagreed with him.

S. Fred Singer, who holds a doctorate in physics, is widely published and has received many scientific awards, discussed the conclusion he has come to from data collected on climate change -- that a natural warming and cooling cycle, not greenhouse gas emissions, is what is causing a rise in global temperatures." (Free Press)

"Cashing In" - "At least one IPCC lead author appears to be trying to cash in on concern over climate change. With the help of several University of Arizona faculty members, including one prominent IPCC contributor, a company called Climate Appraisal, LLC is selling address specific climate predictions looking out as far as the next 100 years. Call me a skeptic or a cynic but I'm pretty sure that the science of climate change hasn't advanced to the point of providing such place-specific information. In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest that if such information were credible and available, it'd already be in the IPCC. The path from global consensus to snake oil seems pretty short. I wouldn't deny anyone the chance to make a buck, but can this be good for the credibility of the IPCC?" (Prometheus)

What credibility?

"IPCC and Data Access" - "One of the most important IPCC representations is the supposedly tremendous quality control of its review process. I’ve mentioned in passing on a number of occasions that, when I sought to obtain supporting data for then unpublished articles, IPCC threatened to expel me as a reviewer.

I’ve had a few requests to recount my experience with trying to get data from IPCC for unpublished studies. So here’s a short summary of my correspondence with IPCC." (Steve McIntyre. Climate Audit)

"Borehole climate reconstructions & hockey stick revolution in 1998" - "Borehole climate reconstructions are based on the assumption that if you drill a very deep hole and measure the temperature profile i.e. the dependence of temperature on the z-coordinate - the depth - you will be able to reconstruct how the surface temperature looked like in the past. That's because you can simulate the propagation of heat by partial differential equations and it's very slow. When you're finished, you assume that the reconstructed surface temperature is correlated with the air temperature." (The Reference Frame)

"Food, Water Security Threatened by Warming, UN Panel Chief Says" - "March 28 -- The loss of food and water security is one of the most immediate threats posed by global warming, the head of a United Nations panel said before publication of the most detailed report ever on the subject.

The greatest risks include ``irreversible'' and ``abrupt'' changes such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and an interruption of the ocean circulation that drives the Gulf Stream, Rajendra Pachauri, who leads the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said late yesterday in an interview from New Delhi. Those are ``highly unlikely but very high-impact events,'' he said." (Bloomberg)

"Scientists predict dire societal results of global warming" - "When a UN-backed panel releases section two of a global climate report next week, one thing will be certain: scientists have grown increasingly confident of global warming's dire impact on human life." (DPA)

"Climate change threatens Far North health" - "Global warming could deliver new diseases, more contaminants, crushing stress and dangerous temperature extremes to rural Alaska and other small communities across the Arctic, according to a panel of Alaskans involved with assessing climate impact on health." (Alaska Report)

"Changes sought to prevent heat deaths" - "OTTAWA–Worsening heat waves could kill thousands of people in North American cities unless governments put in place better warning systems and other protective measures, says a major United Nations report on climate change.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won't be released until next month, but its contents were described by Gordon McBean, a scientist who has seen it." (Canadian Press)

"Five Biggest Myths about Global Warming" - "Washington – With Al Gore getting so much mileage from his fame as both a former vice president and now Oscar winner to advance his ideological (if not personal) agenda of getting people to use less energy, it’s worth reviewing the global warming debate to clarify a few misconceptions." (Iain Murray, The Washington Examiner)

"Al Gore's Hearing: Missed Opportunities" - "On March 21, 2007, former Vice President Al Gore was invited to speak to a joint meeting of the United States House and Senate about global warming. Gore had recently won an Oscar in Hollywood for his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”.

This documentary is now being shown in classrooms around the world. Talk about a publicity machine. The documentary is not entirely truthful, downplays large uncertainties, lacks historical climate context (its always changing), and is loaded with half-truths, which is troubling to many in science. Given that it is being portrayed as the last word in climatology to the youth of the world, it also has long-range ominous impacts if the public is so badly misled." (Michael R. Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

Oh boy... "End of oil heralds climate pain" - "Many people think that running out of oil, or "peak oil", would be good for the climate. In his new book The Last Oil Shock, David Strahan begs to differ; he suggests it may bring catastrophe." (David Strahan, BBC)

"Is This Really a Bright Idea?" - "Banning incandescent light bulbs seems to be all the rage these days, Australia's gone first, the European Union seems to want to do so and there are various state laws being mulled over at present (see the how many legislators does it take to change a light bulb? bill in California, for example). The assumption is that by banning the incandescents everyone will simply switch over to the compact flourescents and thus Gaia will be appeased and the planet saved." (Tim Worstall, TCS Daily)

"California Eyes Joining EU Emissions Trading Scheme" - "BRUSSELS - California hopes to link its planned emissions trading system to the European Union's market, boosting efforts to build a global mechanism to fight climate change, aides to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Alan Oxley: Forests have a friend in the PM -- There's a fine balance between environmental and social sustainability" - "THE Howard Government is to be congratulated for developing another practical approach to climate change, this time in the Global Initiative on Forests and Climate which commits $200 million to promote sustainable forestry and preservation in developing countries.

Like the six-country Asian-Pacific Climate Change Partnership, the initiative advances measures that will reduce emissions without proposing regulation of energy or unachievable targets for reductions of emissions as outlined in the Kyoto protocol.

Forestry is an important industry for supporting growth in developing countries. The techniques for making forestry sustainable can be improved in developing countries and produce a double gain in better economic returns and durable carbon sinks." (The Australian)

"US Sees Ample Room to Bury CO2 But Costs Unknown" - "NEW YORK - The United States and Canada have enough storage capacity deep underground to bury greenhouse gas from power plants for 900 years, but the costs are not yet known, an office of the US Department of Energy said." (Reuters)

<chuckle> "Anger as UK's carbon dioxide emissions reach 10-year high" - "A six-million-tonne question mark was placed over Britain's climate change strategy yesterday with the release of figures showing that UK greenhouse gas emissions, which the Government has pledged to cut radically, are actually soaring." | Michael McCarthy: Brown's to blame: he failed to deliver green Budgets in the past 10 years (London Independent)

The Indy's upset that the UK is thriving.

"Canada Government Says Key Environment Bill in Trouble" - "OTTAWA - Canada's minority Conservative government is unhappy that opposition parliamentarians have totally rewritten its draft clean air legislation and will now consider what to do with the bill, Environment Minister John Baird said on Thursday." (Reuters)

Why? "Developing Nations Act to Slow Warming - UNEP" - "OSLO - Developing countries are doing almost as much as rich nations to slow global warming, often as a side-effect of curbs on rising energy use, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Thursday. Achim Steiner said countries such as China, Brazil or South Africa should get more credit for tougher fuel efficiency for cars or curbs on deforestation. Such measures might be building blocks for a global deal to fight climate change beyond 2012." (Reuters)

"China to Unveil Climate Plan Next Month" - "BEIJING - China will unveil its national plan to tackle global warming next month, including concrete measures to cut carbon dioxide emissions, a top climate change official said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"'Greener' Buildings Could Slow Global Warming - UNEP" - "OSLO - Better architecture and energy savings in buildings could do more to fight global warming than all curbs on greenhouse gases agreed under the UN's Kyoto Protocol, a UN study showed on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Premier supports burning garbage" - "Premier Dalton McGuinty has plunged into the contentious debate about burning garbage, saying new technologies being used are good for the economy.

Despite McGuinty's claims, environmentalists attacked the science behind the new technologies and questioned whether incinerators would kill the province's incentive to get serious about recycling." (Toronto Star)

"Britain Sees US Imports as Threat to UK Biofuels" - "LONDON - Britain is looking for a way to tackle imports of biofuels from the United States which it believes will undermine the commercial case for European production, UK transport minister Stephen Ladyman said. "People who are being subsidised to produce renewable fuels in the United States are now planning to export that fuel to Europe where they hope to get a second subsidy when it is sold in Europe," he said." (Reuters)

"Greenpeace urges energy revolution in India against climate change" - " Dadri / New Delhi: Greenpeace activists beamed huge slides on to the cooling tower of the National Thermal Power Corporation's (NTPC) power plant, that supplies electricity to Indian capital New Delhi, to brand the culprits of climate change. The message Stop Climate Change – Energy (r)evolution now! is for the Indian government to rethink its energy strategy before climate change starts affecting economic development of the country.

This activity was preceded by similar activities at the Ennore Thermal Power Station, Chennai and the State owned Raichur Thermal Power Plant in Karnataka, last week to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change." (One World South Asia)

"EPA Tells 20 US States Cut Air Pollution by '08" - "WASHINGTON - The US Environmental Protection Agency Thursday finalized rules directing 20 US states to slash levels of tiny particles spewed by power plants, cars and other sources by 2010." (Reuters)

"High Cost Key Roadblock to New US Nuclear Plants" - "NEW YORK - The biggest obstacle the US nuclear industry must overcome to build new reactors is financing the construction costs, nuclear experts said at a Manhattan Institute conference in New York Wednesday, the 28th anniversary of the Three Mile Island accident." (Reuters)

"As Sharks Vanish, Chaotic New Order Emerges" - "BROOKLIN, Canada - Major declines in large sharks along the U.S. coast have in turn triggered declines in shellfish and reduced water quality, proof that the ocean's food web is collapsing, a groundbreaking new study reveals." (IPS)

"Tiny Blind Animal Halts Billion Dollar Aussie Mine" - "SYDNEY - A blind spider-like animal has stopped development of a multi-billion-dollar iron ore mine in Australia after an environmental body rejected the project for fear the tiny cave-dweller would become extinct." (Reuters)

"Judges learn about science behind courtroom cases" - "BERKELEY, Calif. - Some of the country's top judges are spending this week at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory with some of the country's top scientists to bone up on the science behind some of the complex issues they encounter in the courtroom.

The judges, mostly from Maryland and Ohio, got a crash course in nanotechnology, synthetic biology and environmental biotechnology - all subjects they may have to tangle with in highly technical cases." (MCT)

"Green-tinted spectacles" - "GM agriculture is part of the solution, not part of the problem." (The Guardian)

"Three years later, no GMOs likely here" - "Inspectors have been looking out for them. According to a report from biotechnology advocacy group, a record number of genetically modified organisms, or biotech crops, were planted last year. But, in Mendocino County, the numbers are virtually nonexistent, thanks to both a lack of interest and a 2004 county ordinance banning their use in unincorporated areas." (Daily Journal)

March 29, 2007

You can make an impact for free speech on our nations campuses by visiting www.IndoctrinateU.com and signing up to request a screening of Indoctrinate U in your home town.

Links for trailers: http://www.indoctrinate-u.com/intro/
Award-winning filmmaker Evan Coyne Maloney's new documentary film, Indoctrinate U, reveals the ugly truths about academia that you won't see in glossy admissions brochures.  Speech codes. Censorship. Sensitivity training. Enforced political conformity. Intolerance.  Hostility to religion. Violations of freedom of speech and conscience. Kangaroo courts.  We usually associate such things with the repressive regimes of North Korea, China, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union.  But instead, this assault on free thought is taking place all over America--right now--on our nation's campuses. Produced by On The Fence Films with the support of the Moving Picture Institute (MPI), the film's trailer and website can be viewed at www.IndoctrinateU.com.

To date, the site has received over 100,000 unique visitors and almost 10,000 have signed up to request a screening in their communities. By visiting www.IndoctrinateU.com and signing up for a screening, you will help to ensure that the film is seen by a broad audience.
Hard-hitting and humorous, the film tells the story of how, in the name of education, schools from coast to coast ruthlessly compel conformity of thought.  Focusing on the experiences of students and faculty who risk harassment, censorship, and even their futures when they dissent, Indoctrinate U makes the campus culture wars--often treated as an abstract battle of ideas--intensely personal and unforgettably human.
At once a warning and a wake-up call, Indoctrinate U is bound to stir up controversy and to spark much-needed debate.  By exposing the dirty little secrets of higher education, this film has the potential to force the kind of change academics have long pretended they don't need to make.  You can help to bring about this change by visiting www.IndoctrinateU.com and signing up for a screening. www.advocacyink.com

"England says stop supersizing" - "British health regulators are encouraging snack makers to market smaller candy bars and chip packages to help residents slim down." (UPI)

"If we passed out grades for science" - "Americans were given poor marks this past week for not eating their fruits and vegetables, but the news got the story wrong. The “F” should have gone to the experts." (Junkfood Science)

Belatedly waking up to the tragedy of the commons? "To Save Fish, Offer Shares of the Catch - US Study" - "WASHINGTON - You can buy a share of a race horse, a luxury jet and of course a corporation. Now a new study indicates that offering shares of fisheries creates a safer, more profitable and environmentally sound way to fish." (Reuters)

With ownership and property rights comes responsibility and conservation -- why is it some people simply cannot see that socialism is anti-environment, anti-conservation and literally antisocial?

"Mercury in Energy-Saving Bulbs Worries Scientists" - "NEW YORK - There's an old joke about the number of people it takes to change a light bulb. But because the newer energy-efficient kinds contain tiny amounts of mercury, the hard part is getting rid of them when they burn out.

Mercury is poisonous, but it's also a necessary part of most compact fluorescent bulbs, the kind that environmentalists and some governments are pushing as a way to cut energy use." (Reuters)

Something else for which you can thank 'Ozone Man':  "New asthma inhaler propellant effective, but costlier" - "GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- A common asthma inhaler powered by a new propellant is safe and effective but could come at nearly triple the cost to consumers until a generic version hits the market, according to a review in today's (March 29) New England Journal of Medicine.

Conducted by two university professors and a director for the Food and Drug Administration, the review examines the consequences of switching to hydrofluoroalkane, which is replacing chlorofluorocarbon, or CFC, as a key ingredient in albuterol inhalers designed to relieve asthma. The FDA has ruled that U.S. sales of CFC albuterol inhalers be prohibited after 2008.

About 52 million prescriptions are filled for albuterol each year in the United States, with most containing a generic version of CFC. But because of rising global concerns about CFC's ozone-depleting effects, "medically essential" inhalers are finally joining a list of banned products that started in 1978." (University of Florida)

"Did dust bust the 2006 hurricane season forecasts?" - "A recent NASA study suggests that tiny dust particles may have foiled forecasts that the 2006 hurricane season would be another active one.

In June and July 2006, there were several significant dust storms over the Sahara Desert in Africa. As this dust traveled westward into the Atlantic, satellite data show that the particles blocked sunlight from reaching the ocean surface, causing ocean waters to cool. These cooler waters may have impeded some storminess since hurricanes rely on warm waters to form." (GSFC)

One to watch: "Did The Oceans Really Cool Between mid-2003 and mid-2005?" - "Climate Science has reported numerous times on the paper Lyman, J. M., J. K. Willis, and G. C. Johnson (2006), Recent cooling of the upper ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L18604, doi:10.1029/2006GL027033. We have been informed today, however, that a correction will be completed soon on this paper in which the recent cooling trend will be removed." (Climate Science)

"Thinning Antarctic ice needs improved monitoring to reduce uncertainty over sea-level rise" - "Ice experts conclude meeting at University of Texas at Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences with statement of consensus on Antarctic Ice Sheet's condition, steps to improve monitoring and reduce uncertainty over contributions to sea-level rise" (University of Texas at Austin)

"Scientists say Antarctic ice sheet is thinning" - "HOUSTON - A Texas-sized piece of the Antarctic ice sheet is thinning, possibly due to global warming, and could cause the world's oceans to rise significantly, polar ice experts said on Wednesday.

They said "surprisingly rapid changes" were occurring in Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, which faces the southern Pacific Ocean, but that more study was needed to know how fast it was melting and how much it could cause the sea level to rise.

The warning came in a joint statement issued at the end of a conference of U.S. and European polar ice experts at the University of Texas in Austin.

The scientists blamed the melting ice on changing winds around Antarctica that they said were causing warmer waters to flow beneath ice shelves.

The wind change, they said, appeared to be the result of several factors, including global warming, ozone depletion in the atmosphere and natural variability.

The thinning in the two-mile-(3.2-km)- thick ice shelf is being observed mostly from satellites, but it is not known how much ice has been lost because data is difficult to obtain on the remote ice shelves, they said." (Reuters) [em added]

Best fiction? "Al Gore to be honoured with Emmy" - "Former US vice president Al Gore is to receive an honorary International Emmy award for his work in broadcasting." (BBC)

"U.S. Thinks Gore Will Not Seek White House" - "Many adults in the United States believe a former vice-president will not launch a presidential bid in 2008, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 54 per cent of respondents think it is unlikely that Al Gore will run for president." (Angus Reid Global Monitor)

Maybe his presidential bid is showing AlGor[e] mortis.

“Some Fresh Air in the Climate Debate” - "On March 28, 2007 the #1 newspaper in Amsterdam De Volkskrant published the following op-ed by Hendrick Tennekes." (Climate Science)

Whoops! No 'global warming' here: "Golden State Heating Up, Study Finds" - "Average temperatures in California rose almost one degree Celsius (nearly two degrees Fahrenheit) during the second half of the 20th century, with urban areas blazing the way to warmer conditions, according to a new study by scientists at NASA and California State University, Los Angeles.

Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., teamed with Steve LaDochy of California State University, Los Angeles, and Richard Medina, now a doctoral candidate at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, to investigate California air temperature patterns from 1950 to 2000. They analyzed data from more than 330 state weather stations, looking for patterns of climate warming and cooling in each of the state's seven major climatic subregions. Their objective was to shed new insights into the relative roles humans and natural climate events play in affecting California regional temperatures.

Patzert said air temperatures were significantly influenced by fluctuations in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a basin-wide oceanic pattern similar to El Niño and La Niña but much larger, lasting many decades rather than just a few months. "During the positive, warm phase of the oscillation, from about 1977 to 1997, average air temperatures were higher," he said. "During the negative, cold phase, from 1950 to 1976, they were lower." Patzert and other scientists track Pacific Ocean patterns using NASA's Jason satellite altimeter.

Results of the study appeared in the journal Climate Research." (NASA) [em added]

Looks kinda like data point selection, huh?

California Heating Up, a new NASA/CSU study finds, but data questionable (Watt's Up With That)

"Greenhouse gas effect consistent over 420 million years" - "New calculations show that sensitivity of Earth's climate to changes in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) has been consistent for the last 420 million years, according to an article in Nature by geologists at Yale and Wesleyan Universities.

A popular predictor of future climate sensitivity is the change in global temperature produced by each doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. This study confirms that in the Earth's past 420 million years, each doubling of atmospheric CO2 translates to an average global temperature increase of about 3° Celsius, or 5° Fahrenheit." (Yale University)

Odd, the last great glaciation is supposed to have seen atmospheric CO2 levels descend to around 200 ppmv accompanied by a temperature change of around 5 °C, and recovered more or less concurrent with not a doubling (estimated above at ~3 °C) but less than 40% increase in atmospheric abundance of CO2 -- by their rough calculation there should only be ~2 °C difference between ice ages and interglacials. And if these reconstructions are anywhere close then there is very little relation between the two variables.

If there's such a direct correlation, why do empirical measures demonstrate equivalent warming pre- and post-Industrial Revolution? The linked record is from UNEP/GRID-Arendal, hardly a 'fossil fuel front group' surely, so why don't such records give pause to greenhouse hysterics? The split pre- and post-1850 is about 5 ppmv and 85 ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 and yet apparent warming associated with the date of ice break up is similar (1:1 pre- and post-1850) when the above rule-of-thumb says it should have been almost a 1:4 split with most warming (earlier break up) post-1850. And this is a far-northern Arctic location, where enhanced greenhouse should be among the most prevalent.

"Healthy coastal wetlands would adapt to rising oceans" - "Tidal marshes, which nurture marine life and reduce storm damage along many coastlines, should be able to adjust to rising sea levels and avoid being inundated and lost, if their vegetation isn't damaged and their supplies of upstream sediment aren't reduced, a new Duke University study suggests." (Duke University)

This shouldn't surprise anyone, after all, the marshes are here now and sea levels have hardly been static over the past 15,000 years. Unfortunately critical thinking seems to go out the window with any mention of the dread global warming and associated 'ills'.

"Retreating Himalayan icefields threatening drought in Bangladesh" - "Notorious for its annual floods, Bangladesh may seem the last place in the world to worry about a drying up of the rivers that flow from the Himalayas. But the country is as much at risk from drought as it is from flooding. Already farmers who used to grow rice have turned to farming prawns because the water in their fields has turned so salty nothing will grow there." (London Independent)

"Scientists weigh risks of climate 'techno-fixes'" - "Schemes from space mirrors to vast algal blooms have sparked debate over the ethics of geoengineering." (The Christian Science Monitor)

What they should be questioning is whether any genuine need exists and, since we can't tell the global mean temperature with an accuracy sufficient to determine whether warming is real or an artifact of temperature sampling, that is a very difficult question to answer in the affirmative.

"SOUTH AMERICA: A Cooler Way to Feed the World" - "BUENOS AIRES - The growth in exports of agricultural and livestock products from the countries of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) trade bloc poses an environmental dilemma, as half their greenhouse gases are emitted in rural areas." (IPS)

"How urban sprawl goes against the green: Province's dream of slashing emissions rests with where newcomers choose to live" - "VANCOUVER -- Within a quarter century, more than one million newcomers are expected to settle on B.C.'s south coast between Pemberton and Hope. How and where they live will make or break the B.C. government's new plan to tackle global warming." (Globe and Mail)

"China adapts to climate change at the local level" - "[BEIJING] China's provincial governments will take action to adapt to and reduce the effects of climate change with funds and technology provided by Norway and the UN.

"It is the first time China has pushed local governments to face the issues and take practical measures to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change," said Shen Yiyang, an expert from the UN Development Programme (UNDP)." (SciDev.Net)

"Finland Feels the Heat as Early Spring Hits Loggers" - "HELSINKI - Finland, renowned for its harsh Arctic winters, is struggling to collect enough timber from its forests to feed the country's paper mills as an early spring thaw makes the ground too soft for logging trucks." (Reuters)

"Australia urged to ratify Kyoto pact" - "CANBERRA: Australia needs to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and slash its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60 percent by 2050 to help fight global warming, the British economist Nicholas Stern said Wednesday." (Reuters)

And Stern urged to take a hike...

"Forest fund 'better than Kyoto'" - "THE Government's plan to stop regional deforestation would cut greenhouse gas emissions more than signing the Kyoto Protocol, Prime Minister John Howard said today." (AAP)

"The decarbonisation challenge - US and European perspectives" - "Peter Goldmark (Environmental Defence NGO) and Ernst-Ulrich von Weizsäcker (Dean of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California), in this paper for the Bertelsmann Stiftung think-tank, compare the measures taken so far by Europe and the US to reduce carbon emissions." (EurActiv)

"EU Urges Tax Incentives to Cut Carbon Emissions" - "BRUSSELS - Taxes on plastic bags, packaging or road congestion could become common in the European Union to help meet ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions, top officials said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

D'oh! "Emissions soar from UK generators" - "Carbon dioxide emissions from Britain's power stations have grown markedly in recent years, a report has concluded. Commissioned by the environmental group WWF from consultants IPA, it found that UK power sector emissions rose by nearly 30% between 1999 and 2006. As gas prices have risen faster than coal, generating companies have used more of the higher carbon fuel." (BBC)

"UK Plans to Cut Emissions by Felling More Trees" - "LONDON - Britain hopes to slash carbon emissions by burning more home-grown wood under a new government plan announced on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Shell Says Italy Should Ease Energy Permits Regime" - "RAVENNA, Italy - Italy should ease its permit regime for energy projects and boost domestic oil and gas exploration to diversify energy supplies, a senior executive at Royal Dutch Shell said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"World Biodiesel Output Growth May Slow - Licht" - "LONDON - Global biodiesel production rose sharply in 2006, but growth should slow in the coming year as new German taxes cut demand, analyst F.O. Licht said in a report on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Zero carbon cars are the future, says transport secretary" - "Britain must look at ways to ensure that by 2030 cars that emit zero, or very little, carbon are commonplace, the transport secretary, Douglas Alexander, said today. The minister also said the planned road pricing pilot schemes could be extended to "major towns and cities across England in the coming years". (Guardian Unlimited)

"Wildlife at Risk Under US Plan - Environmentalists" - "WASHINGTON - Bears, birds and other creatures could be put at greater risk under proposed Bush administration changes to the Endangered Species Act, according to a US government document released on Tuesday by environmentalists.

The proposed rewrite to the landmark law that protects American wildlife would weaken the act so much that about 80 percent of the 1,300 species now on the endangered list would lose protection, said Kieran Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity." (Reuters)

And someone has a problem with this?

"No need to thank dinosaur-killing asteroid for mammalian success" - "It is a natural history tale that every third grader knows: The dinosaurs ruled the Earth for hundreds of millions of years, until an asteroid struck the Yucatan Peninsula and triggered a mass extinction that allowed the ancestors of today’s mammals to thrive.

The asteroid part of the story may still hold true, but a new study published in the March 29 issue of the journal Nature challenges the prominent hypothesis that a mass extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago played a major role in the diversification of today’s mammals." (University of Georgia)

"Ewwwww! UCLA anthropologist studies evolution's disgusting side" - "Behind every wave of disgust that comes your way may be a biological imperative much greater than the urge to lose your lunch, according to a growing body of research by a UCLA anthropologist." (University of California - Los Angeles)

March 28, 2007

Shareholders urge Browne to stand down from Goldman Sachs - Lord Browne of Madingley, the outgoing chief executive of BP, came under fire from shareholders at Goldman Sachs at the bank's annual meeting. The peer has sat on the Goldman Sachs board since its flotation in 1999, but yesterday he faced calls for his resignation because of what some investors said was his poor management record at BP. (London Independent)

Wild allegation of the moment: "Beef hormones linked to infertility" - "Pregnant women who eat too much beef from cattle treated with growth-promoting hormones may be damaging the future fertility of their unborn sons, scientists suggested yesterday.

New research has shown that men from the United States whose mothers ate beef at least once a day are likely to have lower sperm concentrations than usual, potentially affecting their ability to have children.

Scientists behind the study said it indicated that anabolic steroids and other hormones widely given to American cattle to promote growth could be having an effect on the sexual development of unborn male foetuses." (London Times)

"Two Chemicals to be Added to Toxic Trade Blacklist" - "ROME - Two pesticides -- one used on crops, the other painted onto boats to keep them clean -- are to be added to a list of substances which are considered so harmful they can only be traded in special circumstances." (Reuters)

"Calories, not Chemicals, Make us Fat" - "The fatter we become the greater our desire to blame that fatness on something –anything – other than eating too much and moving too little. The entire gazillion-dollar diet book industry is based on this premise and people keep buying the nonsense it offers notwithstanding that no book has ever made a dent on the obesity epidemic." (Michael Fumento, The American Spectator Online)

"Strong Hurricanes to Hit US Gulf in 07 - Accuweather" - "NEW YORK - The US Gulf Coast, which is still rebuilding almost two years after Hurricane Katrina, faces a renewed threat of powerful storms this year, private forecaster AccuWeather said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Inhofe vows to put brakes on Gore’s ‘Live Earth’ concert at the Capitol" - "Fresh from his face-to-face tussle with former Vice President Al Gore, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is vowing to stall Gore’s hotly anticipated Capitol concert to draw attention to global warming." (The Hill)

"Good for Mitch McConnell" - "Senate Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stepped in to prevent global warming activists from using the Capitol grounds as part of their political crusade to make the energy use of Americans subject to limitations created in Washington (if we're "lucky"; they really want the United Nations to do it)." (National Center for Public Policy Research)

"Global Warming Affords Politicians Serious Talking Point" - "Global warming, a major talking point in today's political arena, is, according to Richard S. Lindzen, hardly cause for the alarm propagated by the likes of Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Lindzen, the endowed Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at MIT, spoke on the scientific basis for the IPCC's "iconic statement" Friday as part of the UConn Physics Colloquium.

This "iconic statement," he said, was the IPCC's claim that most observable global warming has been the direct result of human activities and greenhouse gas emissions. Lindzen said that the relationship between human emissions and atmospheric change is "neither simple nor well understood."

"Climate will change regardless of what we do," Lindzen said, citing the medieval warm period from about the tenth to the fourteenth century and warming on other planets as evidence of this." (Daily Campus)

"Impacts Of Land Use/Cover Classification Accuracy On Regional Climate - Another Paper That Documents The Major Role Of The Land Surface Within The Climate System" - "Another paper has appeared which further demonstrates the first order role of land surface processes within the climate system." (Climate Science)

"Wildfires: The Results of Cyclic Oceanic Variations or Global Warming?" - "One of the common images associated with global warming is that that of a blackened and burned forest. The voice-over with such images either directly or indirectly links those images of wildfire to a worsening climate that is undoubtedly caused by us (see here for example). And as we all know, the modern 24/7 media loves to splash photos and imagery of any massive wildfires. Take for example those that have recently happened in such diverse places as Malibu, California and eastern Australia. Other massive widespread wildfires have swept western North America many times in the recent past, such as during 1996, 2000, and 2002. The implication—again sometimes spoken and sometimes not—is that greenhouse climate change is somehow responsible for these horrible calamities." (WCR)

"Climate Change Issues and the Stern Review" - "The following text formed the basis for talks given in February and March 2007 in Australia and New Zealand." (David Henderson, CCNet)

"Domenici pledges to 'kill' warming bill absent China, India accord" (E&E Daily)

"Himalayan Glacier Melting Observed From Space" - "The Himalaya, the "Roof of the World", source of the seven largest rivers of Asia are, like other mountain chains, suffering the effects of global warming. To assess the extent of melting of its 33 000 km2 of glaciers, scientists have been using a process they have been pioneering for some years.

Satellite-imagery derived glacier surface topographies obtained at intervals of a few years were adjusted and compared. Calculations indicated that 915 km2 of Himalayan glaciers of the test region, Spiti/Lahaul (Himachal Pradesh, India) thinned by an annual average of 0.85 m between 1999 and 2004. The technique is still experimental, but it has been validated in the Alps and could prove highly effective for watching over all the Himalayan glacier systems. However, the procedure for achieving a reliable estimate must overcome a number of sources of error and approximation inherent in satellite-based observations." (SPX)

"James Hansen on scientific reticence" - "A preprint on the arXiv physics/0703220 (PDF) was written by Rev. James Hansen, the vice-prophet of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) denomination. He proves that the sea levels will rise more than 6 times (and probably 20 times) faster in the 21st century than they did in the last 50 years.

His proof is based on the concept of "scientific reticence". The existence of reticence is proven by his story from California. A lawyer noticed that Hansen was not a glaciologist and he wanted to know the name of at least one glaciologist who publicly agrees with Hansen's statement that the sea level will rise by more than one meter in the next century. Hansen couldn't name one which he uses as a proof that there is "scientific reticence"." (The Reference Frame)

"Could Global Warming Melt All Ice On Earth" - "If all ice on the earth melted, the level of the oceans would rise by 64 meters. Many coastal cities would be under water, and so would the Netherlands, a significant part of which lies below sea level. However, the Dutch and the rest of the planet may rest assured: this hypothetical catastrophe could not take place anytime within the next thousand years." (RIA Novosti)

"Cities at Risk of Rising Sea Levels" - "LONDON -- More than two-thirds of the world's large cities are in areas vulnerable to global warming and rising sea levels, and millions of people are at risk of being swamped by flooding and intense storms, according to a new study released Wednesday.

In all, 634 million people live in the threatened coastal areas worldwide -- defined as those lying at less than 33 feet above sea level -- and the number is growing, said the study published in the journal Environment and Urbanization." (Associated Press)

"Deconstructing Al - Gore Hurts Global Warming Cause" - "I have long suspected that Al Gore hurt the very cause - anthropogenic global warming - he is famous for espousing. Now I have some evidence of that in a new Rasmussen Poll saying only 24% percent of Americans consider the former veep a global warming expert. Furthermore, "just 36% of Americans say that Gore knows what he is talking about when it comes to the environment and Global Warming." (Roger L Simon)

"Pulling the wool" - "AFTER years of working for Rupert Murdoch, I'm coming clean.

You were right. I am being told what to write.

In fact, I've even been threatened with the law if I don't toe the line on global warming, which news outfits like ours now use to sell themselves to young readers.

"Perhaps there is a case for making climate change denial an offence - it is a crime against humanity, after all," mused a colleague, a Green.

But thankfully this threat came not from a Murdoch minion, but Margo Kingston, who is not my boss but merely an independent columnist with a fashionably totalitarian bent.

And it's indeed journalists like her, not media moguls, who have done most to bully and cajole colleagues into promoting the "right" views.

Murdoch, you see, has not once - in letter, conversation or wink - so much as hinted I should write this or that." (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Um... no: "We Need to Think Big to Reduce Carbon Dioxide" - "Last week, an MIT report called for $500 million in U.S. government subsidies to support promising new technologies that might reduce the emissions from coal-burning power plants. (See "The Precarious Future of Coal.") Worldwide, coal plants burn 5.4 billion tons of coal a year, accounting for a third of our planet's carbon-dioxide emissions. As a result of coal's cheapness and abundance, a frenzy of new plants are being built around the world." (David Ewing Duncan, TR blog) [em added]

According to the IPCC, total human perturbation of the carbon cycle from fossil fuel burning (including oil & gas, not just coal) plus cement production accounts for just 2.57% of Earth's carbon cycle, one-thirteenth of the above claim for coal alone.

"Protest to EU over cutback on CO2 allowances" - "Poland and the Czech Republic have threatened to sue the European Commission over its imposition of swingeing cuts in carbon dioxide allowances under the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS). The Commission yesterday ordered the Czech Republic to reduce its allocation from 101.9 million tonnes to 86.8 million tonnes, a 15 per cent cut. Poland will suffer a 27 per cent reduction from its original proposal of 284.6 million tonnes." (Carl Mortished, London Times)

"European Union's climate change goals will cost €1 trillion" - "The EU's new climate change goals will cost up to €1.1 trillion (£747bn) to implement over the next 14 years, according to a new study. The most comprehensive investigation on managing the economics of climate change paints a daunting picture of the EU's plan to decrease greenhouse gases by at least 20% by 2020." (The Guardian)

Oh boy: "Climate focus 'brings security'" - "Dealing with climate change would not only help the environment but bring a "peace dividend", Environment Secretary David Miliband has said." (BBC)

From CO2 Science this week:

Climate Model Predictions of CO 2 -Induced ENSO Changes: As perceptions of real-world ENSO behavior have changed over time, so too have climate model predictions changed.

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

Subject Index Summary:
Precipitation (Variability - Africa): Have African droughts and floods become more frequent or extreme now that the planet has recovered from the global chill of the Little Ice Age?

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: Manchurian Alder, Monarch Birch, Mongolian Oak, and Shantung Maple.

Journal Reviews:
Natural Climatic Variability: Northwest Europe: It's getting harder and harder to say that unusual temperature extremes are not natural, unless, of course, one turns a blind eye to real-world climatic history.

20th-Century Global Warming and Central African Climate: What has the former done for the latter?

Forest Growth Trends in Northwestern Russia: How did they vary over the latter part of the 20th century?

Earlier Quaternary vs. Present-Day Coral Growth Rates: How do they compare? ... and what does the answer imply?

Effects of Atmospheric CO 2 Enrichment on Spring Wheat Yields in a Semi-Arid Region of China: They are extremely powerful and pertinent. (co2science.org)

The real 'business case for global warming': "Contact's eco-plan targets rival" - "Contact Energy wants the electricity industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent within seven years - mainly by forcing the coal-fired Huntly power station owned by its competitor, Genesis, to close down.

It wants the Government to introduce a carbon charge that would make Huntly uneconomic to run." (New Zealand Herald)

"In corn belt, ethanol boom a bust for ranchers" - "The alternative energy source has turned around dying towns, but the high price of corn makes it hard to raise livestock." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"With cellulosic ethanol, there is no food vs. fuel debate according to MSU scientist" - "As more and more corn grain is diverted to make ethanol, there have been public concerns about food shortages. However, ethanol made from cellulosic materials instead of corn grain, renders the food vs. fuel debate moot, according to research by a Michigan State University ethanol expert." (MSU)

"Catch 22 for Hybrid Cars - Price Vs Volume" - "LONDON - Battery makers and suppliers of other key parts for hybrid, energy-saving vehicles have one overriding question: when will the market be big enough to justify their costs?" (Reuters)

"Removing a hydrogen fuel-cell roadblock" - "AMES, Iowa -- Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory are employing some modern day alchemy in an effort to find a material with properties of rare and high-priced palladium. If they’re successful, it could remove a major roadblock from the path of hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles.

Hydrogen fuel-cell technology sounds almost too good to be true. You combine cheap and plentiful hydrogen and oxygen gas, the fuel cell generates electricity and the by-product is simply water. But it’s a little more involved." (DOE/Ames Laboratory)

"Farm windmill generates tax puzzle" - "Assessment agency looking to finance ministry for answers on renewable-energy technologies and property tax increases" (Toronto Star)

"Speculators make uranium the latest commodity boom" - "LA SAL, Utah: Given its connotations, Pandora is an oddly appropriate name for an uranium mine.

But that doesn't seem to bother Denison Mines, the Canadian owner that recently reopened this mine about 30 miles, or 50 kilometers, southeast of Moab, Utah, along with several others nearby in western Colorado, after some quiet decades during which the United States shunned nuclear power.

The revival of uranium mining in the western United States, though, has less to do with renewed interest in nuclear power as an alternative to greenhouse gas-belching coal plants than with the convoluted economics and intense speculation that have pushed uranium prices up to levels not seen since the heyday of the industry in the mid-1970s." (IHT)

"US House Of Reps. OKs Bill to Cut Ship Pollution" - "WASHINGTON - The US House of Representatives approved legislation late on Monday to cut polluting emissions spewed by ships powered by diesel fuel." (Reuters)

"`Warm, fuzzy' climate goals backed" - "A plan to radically slash greenhouse gas emissions in the city of Toronto has been endorsed unanimously by city council's executive committee. But one committee member warned the tough choices are only beginning, while another said he still doesn't see a consensus about the problem or what needs to be done.

"We're at the warm and fuzzy stage," noted Councillor Howard Moscoe (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence). "Everyone likes to plant trees and save money by energy retro-fitting.

"But when you get to the tough decisions ... that basically say to people, `You can't bring your car downtown any more or you're going to have to pay' ... that's when the going gets tough. And that's when politicians start bailing out." (Toronto Star)

"Most Canadians Unwilling to Cut Driving by 50%" - "Many adults in Canada say they will implement changes in the way they use electricity at home, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 57 per cent of respondents will definitely use energy efficient light bulbs in their homes over the next year.

In addition, 40 per cent of respondents say they would spend less than five minutes in the shower and refrain from taking baths. Canadians were more reticent to embrace two proposals that deal with transportation. Only 19 per cent of respondents would definitely cut their driving in half, and just 17 per cent are certain to take public transit every day." (Angus Reid Global Monitor)

Eye-roller: "Green Labels May Transform Food Consumption -Tesco" - "LONDON - Green labelling of food to show the impact of its production on the environment could lead to major changes in consumption, Lucy Neville-Rolfe of British retailer Tesco said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Seedless Fruits Make Others Needless" - "A swarm of bees can get anyone worked up, although most people would not think to file a lawsuit in retaliation.

Last April, though, California's largest citrus grower threatened to sue beekeepers, accusing them of letting their insects "trespass" on mandarin groves.

The growers were not afraid of being stung; they were afraid that the bees would pollinate their trees, something farmers usually want bees to do. But these trees in the San Joaquin Valley were planted to bear seedless fruit, and pollination would create seeds.

This spring a citrus growers trade association will be lobbying the state legislature for a Seedless Mandarin Protection Act that would establish "no-fly zones" of two miles for hives around designated groves." (New York Times)

"Facing the Threat of GE Rice" - "BANGKOK, Mar 27 - With an eye to the future of rice farming in Thailand, a local grassroots organisation is bringing together youth in a north-eastern rice-growing province in a celebration of the diverse varieties of this staple grown in the traditional way." (IPS)

"'Doomed' mosquitos could cut dengue infection rates" - "Scientists say that genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes, whose young die early in development, could provide a powerful means for combating dengue fever and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Sterile insects have been used for over 50 years to control or eliminate pests or disease-carrying insects such as the tsetse fly. But methods to produce sterilisation, such as radiation, are inefficient.

In research published in the journal BMC Biology last week (20 March), researchers genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — which spread dengue and yellow fever virus — to carry genes that cause offspring to die either early in their development or at the later larval or pupal stages.

The researchers say that the gene causing death at the later stages of development was most effective at reducing the populations." (SciDev.Net)

March 27, 2007

"Forty years of perverse 'social responsibility'" - "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean," said Humpty Dumpty – "neither more nor less."

Lewis Carroll's "Looking Glass" logic often seems to be a guiding principle for environmental and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activists. They claim to be committed to people and planet, not just profits – and to honesty, transparency, accountability and human health. One would expect that such basic ethical standards would apply equally to for-profit companies and nonprofit advocacy corporations.

However, the activists who defined them routinely exempt themselves. For them, CSR standards are primarily another weapon for bludgeoning opponents, raising money and advancing political agendas. Their DDT and global warming campaigns are illustrative." (Paul Driessen, Townhall)

"Why we need the male mozzie" - "Using GM to help the male mosquito to dominate the blood-sucking female could be the key to fighting malaria, writes Roger Highfield" (London Telegraph)

"Multiple malaria infection inhibits spread of parasite" - "People who are frequently infected with malaria parasites can develop immunity against the gametocyte, the infectious stage. This immunity inhibits the spread of the parasite. Dutch researcher Mike van der Kolk discovered this during his research into malaria transmission under the inhabitants of Cameroon, Senegal and Indonesia. After just a few infections, people can develop immunity that inhibits transmission." (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)

"Dr. Santa Comes to Town" - "It is the curse of good intentions. Each day, 50,000 people, mostly women and children--18 million people a year--die from poverty-related causes such as dysentery and malnutrition. Although the statistics are devastating, the prognosis should be heartening. The explosion in philanthropy spearheaded by the mind-boggling $60 billion that has begun flowing out of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for healthcare has buoyed hopes in the developing world.

But here's the rub: while billions pour into high-profile drug-focused programs targeting malaria and Aids--in the US, 43% of foreign health assistance funds HIV efforts--less glamorous but more widespread problems such as maternal care and the public health infrastructure are overlooked." (Jon Entine, CFD)

"Science is so inconvenient to food scares" - "The Christian Broadcasting Network finally wrapped up its series on the oft-repeated health fears surrounding MSG (monosodium glutamate), adding a newer claim that it could be what’s making us all fat." (Junkfood Science)

"Pediatric Grand Rounds" - "Pediatric Grand Rounds have just been published at Musings of a Distractible Mind. Dr. Rob has given this edition a delightfully creative Tom and Jerry cartoon theme, honoring his little girl’s request. How did he manage to weave together the best thought-provoking articles on pediatric issues on the web using a cartoon? Brilliantly." (Junkfood Science)

"Study shows fruit juice/drink link to children's weight gain" - "Australian schoolchildren who drink fruit juices and fruit drinks are more likely to be overweight or obese than those who don't, Deakin researchers have found." (Research Australia)

"Got problems? Blame the Californians" - "Many residents of Western states blame all their ills on Golden Staters." (Associated Press)

"Global warming hits a raw nerve for some: 'Eco-anxiety' latest worry for Americans" - "Global warming, pesticides in food, nuclear waste — it's enough to keep a person up at night.

Indeed, a growing number of people have literally worried themselves sick over various environmental doomsday scenarios.

Their worry even has a name: eco-anxiety." (Rutland Herald)

"Gore's faith is bad science" - "Al Gore likes to present himself as a tribune of science, warning the world of imminent danger. But he is more like an Old Testament prophet, calling on us to bewail our wrongful conduct and to go and sin no more." (Michael Barone, Washington Times)

"150 Years of Global Warming and Cooling at the New York Times" - "As the Business & Media Institute reported last year, press reports of climate change have been going on since the 1800s.

Over the weekend, I was sent a list of New York Times articles dating back to 1855 addressing the global warming and cooling that has been happening on this planet for the past 150 years. I have taken the liberty of adding a few pieces that I discovered in the Times’ archives to further illustrate the point." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"‘Carbon dictatorship’ warning if world fails to act" - "If the world fails to tackle climate change, a “carbon dictatorship” might take over - backed by military force - to control emissions.

That was how Professor John Keane of Westminster University’s Centre for Study of Democracy characterised the views of Australian crusader Tim Flannery during a discussion in London this week.

Unless action was taken, Flannery foresaw “the darkest of dark ages”, leading to the establishment of an Earth Commission for Thermostatic Control, he said." (OneWorld UK)

"Why Did Global Warming Become a Moral Matter?" - "As a scientist, I find the current strategy of the global warming crusade to be fascinating. Particularly because I am a scientist, I also find it insulting. Everyone should find it very disturbing.

I am referring to the fact that the global warming issue is now regarded as a "moral" matter by its advocates. None other than The High Priest of Global Warming (Al Gore) has decreed it as such. Of course, there is some obvious humor in this because the liberals will also tell you that you "cannot legislate morality". Well, it does not take complicated logic to conclude that if global warming is indeed a moral matter and if it is true that you cannot legislate morality, then it should hold that you cannot legislate global warming." (Tim Thorstenson, American Thinker)

"Silenced -- 1,400 Times" - "Google the name "James Hansen" and you don't exactly draw a blank. There is the NASA climate scientist's biographical entry on Wikipedia, which runs to six printed pages. There is the segment that "60 Minutes" did with him in March 2006. There are his interviews with, well, just about everybody.

Naturally, Mr. Hansen claims he's being muzzled by the government.

The story came to a head last week at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in which Mr. Hansen testified that "for the sake of the taxpayers" he "shouldn't be required to parrot some company line." He complains that in December 2005 he was told by NASA bureaucrats that he would have to obtain official clearance before granting press interviews, giving public lectures or posting articles on the Web. More heinous still, a 23-year-old NASA spokesman rejected a request by National Public Radio to interview Mr. Hansen.

That would seem to make the climate scientist something of a martyr for truth, which in his case means the imminence of global warming doom. But as Republican Congressman Darrell Issa observed, the climate scientist managed to give 15 interviews that same month, and that's just a fraction of the 1,400 interviews he's granted in recent years. There's also the fact that all NASA scientists are required to obtain official permission before speaking to the press, a detail Mr. Hansen shrugs off as beneath his dignity.

The allegedly censorious spokesman has since lost his job. Mr. Hansen remains on the government payroll, his celebrity vastly burnished in the media fable as the man Dick Cheney failed to silence. The question we'd ask is, with all those interviews and public appearances, when does he have time to do his real job?" (Wall Street Journal)

"'Climate skeptic' questions conventional thinking" - "Fairbanks, Alaska - Syun-Ichi Akasofu's greatest successes in a career of studying the aurora came when he questioned the conventional ideas about the phenomenon. "I always become suspicious when many scientists agree on some interpretation," he said. Now in retirement, the 76-year-old former director of both UAF's Geophysical Institute and International Arctic Research Center is digging in on a new idea that runs contrary to popular beliefs-that today's global warming might be more due to the planet's natural recovery from its last cold period than from our pumping of greenhouse gases into the air. Akasofu recently gave a talk at the International Arctic Research Center in which he presented evidence for how the world has warmed in a steady fashion from well before the Industrial Revolution to the current day." (Alaska Report)

"Guest Weblog By Syun-Ichi Akasofu - Global Warming And The Little Ice Age" - "Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu has been the Director of the International Arctic Research Center of the University of Alaska Fairbanks since its establishment in 1998. He has been Professor of Geophysics since 1964. Dr. Akasofu has published more than 550 professional journal articles, authored and co-authored 10 books and has been the invited author of many encyclopedia articles. He has collaborated with numerous colleagues nationally and internationally, and has guided nine students to their Ph.D. degrees." (Climate Science)

"California Dreaming" - "The San Andreas Fault separates California from the rest of America, but politicians in the Golden State aren't waiting for the "Big One" to split from the rest of country. Last October, the General Assembly in Sacramento triggered a legislative earthquake by imposing draconian, state-wide limits on carbon dioxide production, the byproduct of human activity and purportedly one of the leading causes of global warming.

Assembly Bill 32, the "California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006," makes California the first state in the nation to broadly limit CO2 emissions. Cosponsored by radical groups like Environmental Defense and the Natural Resources Defense Council, AB 32 establishes an overall cap on the production of CO2 and a mandatory new reporting system to track emission levels across the state. This law will force California to ramp CO2 production back to 1990 levels by the year 2020." (Matt Kibbe, Wall Street Journal)

Uh... "Gravity Measurements Help Melt Ice Mysteries" - "Greenland is cold and hot. It's a deep freezer storing 10 percent of Earth's ice and a subject of fevered debate. If something should melt all that ice, global sea level could rise as much as 7 meters (23 feet). Greenland and Antarctica - Earth's two biggest icehouses - are important indicators of climate change and a high priority for research, as highlighted by the newly inaugurated International Polar Year." (JPL)

... not exactly. "Raw" GRACE measures show increasing ice mass but, with sufficient statistical torture via the appropriate models, are made to confess ice loss. Curiously, media never seem to wonder about the missing ocean in the same processed data (large regions of open ocean "lose" hundreds of cubic kilometers of volume -- essentially getting shorter by amounts greater than alleged ice loss -- GRACE needs a very long grace period for calibration and testing prior to any claims being made).

"Researchers link human skull size and climate" - "Humans grew bigger brains as the climate they lived in got cooler, according to researchers at the University at Albany, New York. The researchers concluded that humans got brainier because they had to adapt to a more challenging environment. They base this assertion on a plot of cranial capacity of 109 fossilised human skulls against the corresponding paleontological record of two million years of changing climate." (The Register)

"Global warming may create new climates, eliminate others" - "WASHINGTON — Some climates may disappear from Earth entirely, not just from their current locations, while new climates could develop if the planet continues to warm, a study says." (AP)

"Impact of global warming on extinction debated: Extinction, like climate change, is complicated" - "Extinction is a hotly debated, but poorly understood topic in science. The same goes for climate change. When scientists try to forecast the impact of global change on future biodiversity levels, the results are contentious, to say the least." (mongabay.com)

"Rising temperatures rattle Japan's forbidding north" - "Neither the tourists on board the ice-breaker Aurora, nor the eagle perched on a block of ice watching them, seem to be bothered by apocalyptic scenarios that rising water levels will one day submerge Japan's coast.

But little do they know that every winter the celebrated ice drift that washes onto Japan's northern coast from Siberia is getting thinner.

"Without dispute, global warming is reducing it. The sea ice is diminishing," said Masaaki Wakatsuchi, an expert on winter weather at Hokkaido University." (AFP)

"Province too timid on environment" - "One per cent of gross domestic product in Ontario is roughly $5.4 billion.

It's a lot of money, to be sure, and it's how much Ontario – all jurisdictions – should be spending in the fight against climate change. That is, if you endorse the wisdom of British economist Nicholas Stern, as the McGuinty government has on several occasions.

Whether you believe the amount is too high or too little, it at least offers us an economist's point of reference. So with the release of the Ontario budget last Thursday, Stern's 1 per cent goal makes the $125 million allotment of "green" funding appear, well, quite skimpy." (Toronto Star)

"Petrol and power prices would soar under Greens' plan" - "Petrol and electricity would cost more and the dairy sector would face a bill of hundreds of millions of dollars under Green Party policies to make emitters face the cost of gases blamed for global warming." (New Zealand Herald)

"Fighting for air: frontline of war on global warming" - "Progress comes at a high price for China and India, but there are grounds for hope" (The Guardian)

"EU Slashes Polish, Czech Emissions Plans" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission slashed Poland's proposed limit on carbon dioxide (CO2) emission permits for 2008-2012 by more than a quarter on Monday, setting up a battle with Warsaw over its plan to fight climate change." (Reuters)

"CAFE clash: Kiss your money and your safety goodbye" - "For a program that's more than 30 years old, the federal government's fuel economy standards for cars have become one hot topic. Global warming is now a 24/7 issue, and whenever politicians warn of global warming you can bet that tougher fuel standards are near the top of their to-do list." (Sam Kazman, The Rocky Mountain News)

"Britons Reject Additional Air Travel Tax" - "Many adults in Britain are opposed to extra levies for air travellers, according to a poll by ICM Research published in The Guardian. 62 per cent of respondents disapprove of additional taxes in this area to help protect the environment." (Angus Reid Global Monitor)

"Toronto Hydro seeks rate rise: Energy savings programs create revenue shortfall" - "Toronto residents and businesses have taken to the idea of saving electricity – so much so that Toronto Hydro-Electric System Ltd. is looking to raise rates to cover a $10.4 million decrease in revenue." (Toronto Star)

"The Hydrogen Hoax" - “Yes my friends, I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity of which coal is not capable.... When the deposits of coal are exhausted we shall heat and warm ourselves with water. Water will be the coal of the future.” – Jules Verne, The Mysterious Island (1874-5)" (Robert Zubrin, New Atlantis)

About as close as we get to agreeing with Moonbat: "If we want to save the planet, we need a five-year freeze on biofuels" - "Oil produced from plants sets up competition for food between cars and people. People - and the environment - will lose." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

Not the "save the planet" rhetoric but that biofuels aren't much chop.

"Taiwan Finds Huge Methane Hydrate Gas Reserves" - "TAIPEI - Taiwan has found massive deposits of gas hydrate off its southwestern coast that might be enough to meet the island's energy needs for the next 60 years, the chief scientist of the project said on Monday." (Reuters)

"EU Authorises GMO Rapeseed by Legal Rubberstamp" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union authorised German drugs and chemicals group Bayer on Monday to market various genetically modified (GMO) rapeseed types across the bloc for the next 10 years, the EU executive said." (Reuters)

March 26, 2007

"Now for the Good News: Mankind has never been healthier, wealthier or freer. Surprised?" - "Environmentalists and globalization foes are united in their fear that greater population and consumption of energy, materials, and chemicals accompanying economic growth, technological change and free trade—the mainstays of globalization—degrade human and environmental well-being.

Indeed, the 20th century saw the United States’ population multiply by four, income by seven, carbon dioxide emissions by nine, use of materials by 27, and use of chemicals by more than 100.

Yet life expectancy increased from 47 years to 77 years. Onset of major disease such as cancer, heart, and respiratory disease has been postponed between eight and eleven years in the past century. Heart disease and cancer rates have been in rapid decline over the last two decades, and total cancer deaths have actually declined the last two years, despite increases in population. Among the very young, infant mortality has declined from 100 deaths per 1,000 births in 1913 to just seven per 1,000 today." (Indur M. Goklany, Reason)

Buy this book and help JunkScience.com at the same time.

"Helping to protect children from a wrong diagnosis — How important is blood pressure?" - "With the media saturated in reports of an epidemic of childhood obesity that is purportedly a crisis because it’s led to skyrocketing health problems among our children, it’s not surprising that these two recent studies were not widely reported." (Junkfood Science)

"Drugging fat kids" - "A pediatric endocrinologist admitted to prescribing amphetamines for about 800 healthy children because they were overweight. The drugs were for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and not approved for use in weight loss." (Junkfood Science)

"Sunday Matinee: How do we come to know what we “know to be true?” - "Do we question what we hear, go to the original sources of the information and check the facts carefully, consider alternative viewpoints and think about it? That can be a scary thing to do today. Not knowing what the evidence might reveal, means we could find ourselves thinking outside the box. Or, in this case, left outside a circle of people we want to be a part of and who we’ve come believe know the truth. Popular beliefs have a natural way of growing into ideologies so big and strong, that it takes a brave soul to question them. Wagons circle around the belief and to be inside the folds, one must close one’s mind to other evidence." (Junkfood Science)

Applied skepticism: "Schoolgirls' study nabs food giant" - "A high school science experiment by two 14-year-old girls has embarrassed the world's second-largest food and pharmaceutical company." (New Zealand Herald)

"Cell phones unlikely to cause brain cancer: study" - "NEW YORK - Cell phone use does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of glioma -- the most common type of brain tumor, according to a new study. The story may be different, however, for intense use of cell phones over many years.

"Public concern has been expressed about the possible adverse health effects of mobile telephones, mainly related to (brain) tumors," Dr. Anna Lahkola, of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Helsinki, and colleagues explain in the International Journal of Cancer." (Reuters Health)

"Can You Trust the Toledo Blade to Judge a Health Risk?" - "Maybe not." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

This week's guess: "Salamanders dying due to common pesticide" - "Atrazine, one of the most widely used pesticides in the United States, may be killing salamanders, according to American biologists writing in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers say that while the impacts of atrazine may not show up in short-term studies, there should be concerns about its long-term effects." (mongabay.com)

"Al Gore Knows an Inconvenient Truth About Apple" - "As part of the Board of Directors for Apple Inc., Al Gore is in a unique position to help green the company. In fact, Greenpeace and 73 other groups have called on Gore to help make Apple an industry leader against the growing problem of electronic, or e-waste. So, when two shareholder proposals were recently introduced to Apple’s Board, calling for an elimination of toxic chemicals in Apple’s products, and a comprehensive take-back and recycling program, we were sure Al Gore would champion our cause.

We were wrong. According to Draft documents, the Board “unanimously” opposes both proposals, and is due to send out a statement recommending that stockholders vote against them both." ('peas)

Seemed to overstate? "Warming Up on Capitol Hill" - "Al Gore held his first hearing on global warming about 25 years ago, when he was a member of the House of Representatives, and a quarter century later Congress seems to be listening to him. Apart from the usual dinosaurs — James Inhofe, who took great glee in pointing out that Mr. Gore had a big house that used lots of energy, and Trent Lott, who dismissed the former vice president’s ideas as “garbage” — Mr. Gore received a strong welcome from the two Congressional committees that will frame any legislation to deal with the warming threat.

Legislating, of course, will be the hard part. But Mr. Gore’s efforts to raise both public and Congressional awareness are likely to make that easier. As is his habit, Mr. Gore spoke in dramatic, almost apocalyptic terms, at one point demanding an “immediate freeze” in carbon dioxide emissions. This certainly overestimates America’s capacity for rapid social and technological change in much the same way that his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” seemed on occasion to overstate how quickly we will see the consequences of climate change." (New York Times)

Let's get one thing straight -- possible global mean temperature change throughout the 20th Century is at the very limit of our ability to detect and we don't have an agreed determination method or even specification of what we are trying to measure.

Albert's no orphan, apparently: "Climate change envoy's carbon footprint is 30 times British average" - "The diplomat charged by the Government with lecturing the world on global warming has been revealed as one of the biggest contributors to it.

John Ashton, whose role is to persuade other countries to reduce CO2 emissions, has made so many foreign trips by air in his job that his carbon footprint is already 30 times bigger than the UK average." (Mail On Sunday)

"Use reasoning, not rhetoric" - "In a recent guest opinion, the point I attempted to make was that despite all the rhetoric and media blitz, hard, scientific facts are incongruent with the concept that CO2 is the cause of global warming over the past century. These facts speak for themselves but are being ignored in the rush to accept CO2 as the culprit, and I had hoped that calling attention to them would cause others to think more deeply before embracing what has become a true dogma.

The two letters of response that followed missed the point entirely (neither addressed any of the hard geologic facts), but serve as examples of the substitution of rhetoric for reasoning. This is not about opinions. It is about scientific facts. I would invite the letter writers and others to consider the geologic facts and what they mean." (Don Easterbrook, Mountain Express)

"British television’s convenient truth" - "SAN FRANCISCO - Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” has met its match: a devastating documentary recently shown on British television, which has also been viewed by millions of people on the Internet. In spite of its flamboyant title, “The Great Global Warming Swindle” is based on sound science by recording the statements of real climate scientists, including me. “An Inconvenient Truth” mainly records a politician." (S. Fred Singer, The Examiner)

"Keep politics out of science – and vice versa" - "Whether it is right or wrong, true or junk, science should never be prostituted for political ends" (Brendan O'Neill, sp!ked)

"Somebody should turn the lights on" - "Behind every good man, as the saying goes, there is a good woman.

Behind global warming guru Al Gore is global warming guru mastermind Maurice Strong.

Most folk knows that Gore and wife, Tipper live in a Tennessee mansion where nobody’s home but the lights are always on. But few are aware that the shadow cast by the former vice president is the shadow of United Nations mover and shaker Chairman Mo Strong. Indeed, Gore’s signature song could easily be Me and My Shadow." (CFP)

"A rather ordinary Nobel" - "Just how did Al Gore get nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize?" (Washington Times)

"Does Gore want to settle the score?" -"A close "friend" of Al Gore says it's only a matter of time before he throws his hat in the ring in the race for president of the United States.

"His time has come," says Dylan Malone. "We are pretty confident he will run."

Whatever the former vice-president decides, he was running yesterday -- from the Toronto media.

The man who won the popular vote for American presidency in 2000 was in Toronto for five hours but nobody saw him -- nobody but the people who paid $1,995 to see his famous Inconvenient Truth speech as part of the "private" 2007 Top Employer Summit at the Four Seasons Hotel. Gore managed to slip in and out without addressing reporters, which meant we were unable to question the Conservation Capitalist's speaking fee, his jet ride in and out to another environmental engagement in Montreal, or even the limo ride downtown from the airport." (Toronto Sun)

"Al Gore's Lightbulbs" - "Ever since Al Gore was elevated to celebrity with his movie "An Inconvenient Truth," the political world has been murmuring about a possible bid for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination. Those murmurs rose to a low roar on Wednesday, when he granted an audience to two Congressional panels on climate change.

Mr. Gore -- who, if his personal lifestyle matched his rhetoric, would be carrying his possessions in a hobo bindle and sleeping in a boxcar -- at least had the good sense to arrive at the Capitol in a hybrid. "The Goracle" was greeted by throngs of cheering fans and media adulation.

He began both his double-header testimonies by denouncing economic changes dating back to the Industrial Revolution. These, he said, had given rise to "a planetary emergency" -- and it's our duty to do something. Here is what he thinks we should do: an immediate freeze on CO2 emissions, with a 90% reduction by 2050, achieved through cap and trade and a tax on pollution; de facto Kyoto compliance; a moratorium on coal plants lacking carbon capture and sequestration; a prohibition of incandescent lightbulbs; and the establishment of a "carbon neutral mortgage association," or Connie Mae, to support the building of energy-efficient homes.

Perhaps that last one was meant ironically. More seriously, these "reforms" would cause significant economic pain, or worse. They are also politically infeasible, and wildly so, which is why no current candidates are proposing them. In the aftermath of the Congressional spectacle, some are suggesting that Mr. Gore tipped his hand on the "will he or won't he?" question. We tend to agree. He won't." (Wall Street Journal)

"The Goracle - The Final Al Gore" - "I have spent much of the day listening to Al Gore prattle on about methane, ice caps and precious carbon neutrality. Please, don’t weep for me. It is my responsibility to monitor such things so you don’t have to. Besides, the afternoon wasn’t wasted. After watching hours of the erstwhile Veep’s congressional testimony, I think I finally understand him. Ultimately, he is a tragic if unsympathetic figure. Has there ever been a man who so desperately hungered for greatness who was so thoroughly suffused with mediocrity?" (Dean Barnett, Townhall)

"Gore's Faith Is Bad Science" - "Al Gore likes to present himself as a tribune of science, warning the world of imminent danger. But he is more like an Old Testament prophet, calling on us to bewail our wrongful conduct and to go and sin no more.

He starts off with the science. The world's climate, he reports, is getting warmer. This accurate report is, however, not set in historic context. World climate has grown warmer and cooler at various times in history. Climate change is not some unique historic event. It is the way the world works." (Michael Barone, New York Sun)

"The Missing GW Link: New images shock scientists with view of suns power" - "Last week, on the same day Al Gore was giving testimony to congress on made-made CO2 being the sole cause of Global Warming, NASA called a press conference in Washington DC to announce some spectacular new findings about the sun. Of course everybody in the press was so busy covering Gore's big day, there was hardly any mention of what NASA announced." (Watt's Up With That?)

NS gets a slap: "Climate with care" - "The article and editorial about David Wasdell's review of the contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contain several wrong statements and false claims (10 March, p 10 and p 5). As coordinating lead authors (CLAs) of this report we wish to correct these. (From the co-ordinating lead authors of Working Group 1 of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, New Scientist)

The Week That Was March 17 , 2007 (SEPP)

Intelligence squared climate debate: audio (The Reference Frame)

Good luck fellas: "Riches Await as Earth's Icy North Melts" - "HAMMERFEST, Norway — Barren and uninhabited, Hans Island is very hard to find on a map. Yet these days the Frisbee-shaped rock in the Arctic is much in demand _ so much so that Canada and Denmark have both staked their claim to it with flags and warships. The reason: an international race for oil, fish, diamonds and shipping routes, accelerated by the impact of global warming on Earth's frozen north." (Associated Press)

Chances are good that the middle of this century will be cooler than now.

"BOLIVIA: El Niño Has Bigger Bite with Climate Change" - "LA PAZ - Bolivia is entering its fourth month of onslaught from El Niño, the climate phenomenon that has grown stronger, and threatens to return with even greater force." (Tierramérica)

Interestingly the current general consensus is that El Niño is over.

"Understanding Weather to Protect the Poor" - "BOGOTÁ - Climate phenomena like El Niño and global warming have a disproportionate effect on the poor. That is why meteorology has a crucial contribution to make in the fight against poverty, scientists say." (IPS)

"More Background Information On Diagnosing Global Warming and Cooling" - "The value of using the ocean heat budget to diagnose the radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere was originally presented in the seminal paper Ellis et al. 1978: The annual variation in the global heat balance of the Earth. J. Climate. 83, 1958-1962.

This was a motivation for the paper Pielke Sr., R.A., 2003: Heat storage within the Earth system. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 331-335.

In the Ellis et al paper on page 1961, the variation in the annual amplitude variation in the solar radiative forcing of 11.2 Watts per meter squared (due to the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the Sun) provides a perspective on global warming and cooling due to this “purely external driving mechanism”. While this heat imbalance sums to zero in an annual average, there clearly is global warming and cooling within each year. When all of the influences on the global heat budget are considered (see Figure 4), the variation across the year is on the order of 40 Watts per meter squared. This large variation in the value of global radiative imbalance within the year makes the accurate diagnosis of the multi-decadal trends in anthropogenic radiative forcing (the estimated 1.6 Watts per meter squared total net anthropogenic value of 1.6 Watts per meter squared) in Figure SPM-2 of the 2007 IPCC Statement for Policymakers a challenge.

This paper also confirms that dominate role of the oceans in the climate system response to the annual variation in solar insolation. They also express a particular interest in possible interannual variations from the average conditions reported in their paper. With the new ocean observing system (Argo), the plots of the estimated radiative imbalance should be prepared in near-real time on a monthly basis." (Climate Science)

"A Fingerprint Of Human Effects On Weather And Climate: Literally!" - "This blog frequently reports about human fingerprints on weather and climate. It is a topic that also has my attention as a scientist.

A few weeks ago there was a particular weather situation in my home country (the Netherlands) that nicely illustrates some effects of human activity on weather, and noted on the website from MeteoConsult, a Dutch commercial weather company. I noted this in an email to Roger, and he invited me to write a small guest-blog about this particular observations. So here we go." (Jos de Laat, Climate Science)

"China Seen Topping US Carbon Emissions in 2007" - "BEIJING/LONDON - China is on course to overtake the United States this year as the world's biggest carbon emitter, estimates based on Chinese energy data show, potentially pressuring Beijing to take more action on climate change." (Reuters)

"Tough Task as Britain Bids for Steep Carbon Cut" - "LONDON - Judging by past performance Britain will struggle to meet ambitious "green" targets of slicing a third off climate warming carbon dioxide emissions within 12 years, risking international embarrassment." (Reuters)

Gibberish of the moment: "Global Warming Creating Colder Winter Weather? 'Tis True" - "As Old Man Winter prepares to loosen his frigid grip on the nation once again to make way for spring, right-wing skeptics of global warming seize on some record cold temperatures and heavier-than-normal snowfall this winter to dispute what reputable scientists and thoughtful humans accept as fact." (Thomas Bonsell, OpEdNews)

"New evidence puts 'Snowball Earth' theory out in the cold" - "The theory that Earth once underwent a prolonged time of extreme global freezing has been dealt a blow by new evidence that periods of warmth occurred during this so-called 'Snowball Earth' era." (Imperial College London)

"Microfossils unravel climate history of tropical Africa" - "Scientists from the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research obtained for the first time a detailed temperature record for tropical central Africa over the past 25,000 years. They did this in cooperation with a German colleague from the University of Bremen, The scientists developed an entirely new method to reconstruct the history of land temperatures based on the molecular fossils of soil bacteria." (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)

"Global Warming May be Bad for Asthma Sufferers" - "OSLO - Global warming may be bad for asthma sufferers because of longer plant growing seasons and signs that weeds scattering vast amounts of pollen are conquering new territory, experts say. But higher temperatures might bring benefits for some sufferers because house mites and viruses that thrive in winter in centrally heated homes will not flourish if people do not need to use their heat systems." (Reuters)

"Younger generation sweats future" - "Global warming - Concerns about the effects of climate change resonate among many." (The Oregonian)

Socialists still pushing wealth transfer: "World Must Pay Poorer Nations to Keep Forests - Stern" - "JAKARTA - A major UN conference on global warming in December should target setting up a system to pay developing nations such as Indonesia and Brazil to keep their forests, an influential climate change expert said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Global Warming Makes Ice a Hot Topic at US Lab" - "HANOVER, N.H. - Global warming has made ice a hot topic, and one sizzling center of inquiry is in a warehouse-like complex in New England, where melting polar shores and shrinking glaciers are issues of urgent study." (Reuters)

"Antarctic Melting May Be Speeding Up - Scientists" - "HOBART - Rising sea levels and melting polar ice-sheets are at upper limits of projections, leaving some human population centres already unable to cope, top world scientists say as they analyse latest satellite data." (Reuters)

Except we have no comparable prior data -- it may be... but most likely is not and we will not know for decades or even centuries.

"INTERVIEW - Southern Ocean Current Faces Slowdown Threat" - "HOBART - The impact of global warming on the vast Southern Ocean around Antarctica is starting to pose a threat to ocean currents that distribute heat around the world, Australian scientists say, citing new deep-water data." (Reuters)

"Frequently asked questions about global warming" - "Are we facing 20-foot sea level rise because of global warming?" (Spero)

"Turf wars heat up: grass vs. synthetic" - "Global warming joins list of issues" (Boston Globe)

"Arkansas carbon trading scheme (burning fossil fuels are good for the environment edition)" - "This is a very good illustration of what environmental extremism can do to an economy. In a land where millions depend on natural gas for energy and home heating environkooks are burning methane as part of the carbon trading scheme instead of using it for energy." (Citizen's Journal)

Kyoto & poverty: "Millions in 'fuel poverty' trap" - "The number of households facing a choice between heating and eating has almost doubled in the past two years. Spiralling gas and electricity bills have left nearly 4m having to spend at least 10% of their disposable income on heating and lighting - the definition of 'fuel poverty'. This is an increase of more than 1.7m, according to an independent study. The research was commissioned by the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes - a group of 700 industry bodies concerned with domestic energy efficiency. It shows that the Government is hopelessly failing to hit its own targets to stamp out fuel poverty." (London Evening Standard)

"German Greens fight coal-fired power station plan" - "Efforts by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to put Europe at the forefront of cuts to greenhouse gases are being threatened by her own government's plan to build 26 coal-fired power stations.

A €30bn (£20bn) scheme for the construction of 26 new coal-fired power stations by 2020 has been approved by Ms Merkel's grand coalition, as the country moves to abandon nuclear power.

Some of the power stations, which aim to use cheap Polish and South African coal and highly polluting German lignite coal, have already been built and others are at an advanced planning stage. Thirteen of the new stations alone have been earmarked for Germany's most populous state of North Rhine Westphalia.

The project has infuriated environmentalists, who are already angered by Ms Merkel's lobbying to ensure tough new curbs on CO2 emissions are not imposed on European car makers." (London Independent)

"EU Biodiesel Slumps Despite Global Warming Fear" - "HAMBURG - The European Union biodiesel industry is working well under capacity despite top-level political moves to increase biofuels use to combat global warming, industry executives said." (Reuters)

"Report queries nuclear role in beating global warming" - "LONDON - The surge in political popularity of nuclear power as a quick-fix, zero-carbon solution to global warming is misguided and potentially highly dangerous, a group of academics and scientists said on Monday.

In its report "Secure energy, civil nuclear power, security and global warming", the Oxford Research Group said there was not enough uranium available and nuclear nations would therefore tend to opt for reprocessing spent fuel to obtain plutonium.

"A multiplication of reprocessing and the resulting international trade in weapons-useable materials would create more opportunities for states, criminal organisations or terrorists to acquire weapons-useable materials," it said." (Reuters)

"Waste not, want not, for new power" - "Energy from trash brings big hopes, also some worries" (Toronto Star)

"Turbines fan debate over wind energy" - "A plan to erect 50 windmills near a national monument spurs an outcry in the Palm Springs area." (LA Times)

"Anti-Hay Fever GMO Rice May Win Over Japanese Doubts" - "TOKYO - Something as simple as eating a bowl of rice could bring relief to millions of Japanese hay fever sufferers each year -- if that rice is ever allowed to hit the market." (Reuters)

"Monsanto Asks Court to Allow Sale of GMO Alfalfa" - "LOS ANGELES - Monsanto Co. has asked a San Francisco federal court to allow it to continue selling its genetically modified Roundup Ready Alfalfa while the USDA conducts a court-ordered environmental impact study." (Reuters)

March 23, 2007

"Al Gore's Congressional Lovefest" - "Al Gore unabashedly announced in Congress this week that he’s coming for our wallets." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Al's Warming Lies & The Real 'Inconvenient Truth'" - "Al Gore was born and spent most of his life in Washington, D.C. Yesterday, he returned to the fever swamp to show he's forgotten none of his old political tricks. Addressing the House and Senate on global warming, he put forth a litany of half-truths that he twisted into a morality tale. But the facts tell a different story. The former veep is a master politician, not a prophet or a planetary savior." (Iain Murray, New York Post)

"Gore’s Global Warming Plan: Energy Rationing, Taxes, Red Tape, and Pork-Barrel Spending" - "Washington, D.C., March 22, 2007— Former Vice President Al Gore dropped the pretense in testimony before the House and Senate yesterday that the global warming problem as he imagines it can be solved by changing light bulbs and buying hybrid autos. Instead, he laid out an agenda for the federal government to take over every aspect of energy use in the United States." (Richard Morrison, CEI)

"Gore’s global warming warning goes to extremes" - "Former Vice President Al Gore returned to Washington on Wednesday to whip up global warming hysteria, calling on Congress to cut greenhouse gases 90 percent by 2050 and impose new taxes on carbon emissions.

“I know the phrase sounds shrill,” was Gore’s own understated assessment of his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Shrill indeed.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, observed that Gore’s proposed remedy would “provide little benefit at a huge cost,” particularly to states producing and burning coal. Gore’s plan also would ban all new coal-burning power plants.

Members of Congress, however, didn’t have to wait long to hear a quite different story. “It’s not worth going down the road Al Gore suggests,” testified Bjorn Lomborg, Danish author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and a noted environmentalist who became a global warming critic." (Freedom Newspapers)

"We Can't Afford to Follow Al Gore" - "Now that Al Gore has won an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth, he headed to Capitol Hill to perform before an even more important crowd: lawmakers who could pass legislation that would make energy unaffordable for many Americans." (Marlo Lewis, Business & Media Institute)

"Gore's war: The ex-Veep lectures Congress" - "GLOBAL-WARMING sceptics, says Al Gore, are looking at a burning cradle and speculating that perhaps the baby is flame-resistant. Testifying before Congress on March 21st, the former vice-president was as cautious and understated as any other movie star. Mankind faces “a planetary emergency”, he said; “a crisis that threatens the survival of our civilisation and the habitability of the Earth.”

... Meanwhile, Mr Gore appears to be enjoying the limelight. He says he will not seek the presidency again, but many Democrats wish he would. Since he quit politics for advocacy, he has sounded more passionate and less calculating than Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. But still, only 7% of Americans think the environment or global warming should be the government's priority." (The Economist)

"Look past the preening pollie and take a broad view" - "Oh, let us never, never doubt/ What nobody is sure about/ ... AL Gore, Hollywood's choice as guru of climate change, would probably read into Hilaire Belloc's lines support for his glib and dangerous certainties." (Frank Devine, The Australian)

"Not Easy Being Green" - "It's not easy being green. Just ask former Vice President Al Gore.

While the newly anointed Oscar winner has made what Katie Couric called a "triumphant return" to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Gore was tripped up by a simple question from Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. Late into the hearing, Inhofe showed Gore a clip from his film, "An Inconvenient Truth." The clip challenged the audience with this question: "Are you ready to change the way you live?"

Simple enough. But Inhofe took this question a step further, by placing it right at the foot of the former vice president. Correctly noting that Gore is adored by hundreds of thousands for his green message, Inhofe asked the Tennessee Democrat if he'd be willing to pledge to "consume no more energy for use in your residence than the average American household by one year from today?"

It was a "gotcha" moment, and one that was not widely reported in the mainstream media. Gore refused to take the pledge, adding that, "we live a carbon-neutral life." (Terry Keenan, FoxNews.com)

"Gore on the Rocks" - "Consensus is reached: Gore’s global-warming alarmism is overblown." (Steven F. Hayward, NRO)

"Editorial: Al Gore's rough ride" - "The last month has not been kind to Al Gore. Instead of basking in the warm afterglow of winning an Oscar for his blockbuster documentary An Inconvenient Truth and being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the former U.S. vice-president turned global warming evangelist has had to spend much of his time fending off questions about his own personal impact on the environment. He has also had to ward off allegations from scientists — many of whom nonetheless support his views on climate change — that his movie (and his worldwide pitch tour that has accompanied it) contain substantial factual errors and exaggerations. Perhaps all this is why Mr. Gore violated U.S. Congressional rules Wednesday by refusing to provide members of the U.S. Congress with advanced copies of his testimony at two environmental hearings on Capitol Hill, and why he refused to take a “personal energy ethics pledge” to reduce his “carbon footprint.” (National Post)

"Changing ocean conditions led to decline in Alaska's sea lion population" - "A new study out of Alaska points out the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, and the need for increased research and stronger science based management to address future concerns.

Studies by a team of scientists at the North Pacific Universities Marine Mammal Research Consortium http://www.marinemammal.org/ revealed that a sudden ocean climate change 30 years ago changed today’s Alaska marine ecosystems, and may be a leading factor in the decline of Alaska’s endangered western stock of Steller sea lions.

Theories why the Steller sea lion population declined by more than 80 percent during the 1980s include pollution, commercial fishing, and subsistence harvesting. The new study points instead to a climate regime shift—a natural event in the ocean’s climatic cycle—in the late 1970s that may be responsible for current regional population of about 40,000, compared with 235,000 in the 1970s." (Marine Conservation Alliance)

Unlike Al, these guys are talking about the 1976 PDO phase shift, clearly evident in the Alaska temperature record.

"Plutonic Warming" - "Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto." (Fred Thompson, NRO)

"Dazzling new images reveal the 'impossible' on the Sun" - "The restless bubbling and frothing of the Sun's chaotic surface is astonishing astronomers who have been treated to detailed new images from a Japanese space telescope called Hinode.

The observatory will have as dramatic an impact on our understanding of the Sun as the Hubble Space Telescope has had on our view of the universe beyond, scientists told a NASA press conference in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday.

"Everything we thought we knew about X-ray images of the Sun is now out of date," says Leon Golub from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. "We've seen many new and unexpected things. For that reason alone, the mission is already a success." (NewScientist.com news service)

"Going against the green: Will Europe wise up on global warming?" - "LONDON -- If you could divide Europe's nations and regions into "red" and "blue" states on the American model, very few would be colored "red" -- Poland, some other East European countries, rural regions across the continent, etc. Most nations would be cheerfully "blue." But all Europe would be ''green.''

Green is the universal sign of conspicuous virtue, of concern for planet, of a new paganism that worships the goddess Gaia and treats the Earth as itself a single living organism.

Anyone who questions this newly fashionable faith is regarded as a dangerous heretic to be cast into the outer darkness. A minister in the British government suggested to the BBC that it should not allow air time to any scientists who doubted ''global warming'' (a minority of scientists but a distinguished group). Other high priests of the creed have called for "Nuremberg trials" of "climate change deniers."

In this overbearing moral atmosphere politicians are likely to salute any green flag that the environmentalists run up." (John O Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times)

"Pill stops cow burps and helps save the planet" - "Cut down on flying, sell the car and recycle your bottles. But if you really want to tackle global warming, you should stop your cow from burping.

According to scientific estimates, the methane gas produced by cows is responsible for 4% of greenhouse gas emissions. And now, German scientists have invented a pill to cut bovine burping.

The fist-sized plant-based pill, known as a bolus, combined with a special diet and strict feeding times, is meant to reduce the methane produced by cows." (The Guardian)

"Tourists cause global warming" - "Madrid - Holidaymakers may be ruining their favourite destinations through pollution and greenhouse gases, making the tourism industry one of the world's worst polluters, experts say.

A flight to that pristine beach and a few nights in an air-conditioned hotel room, when repeated on the mass scale of modern tourism, is all it takes to put the holiday business on a polluting par with heavy industries." (AFP)

"Tories having second thoughts on Kyoto" - "Could Stephen Harper learn to love Kyoto? The suggestion from this week’s budget is, if there was a sizeable voting population of Vikings in the country, he'd offer up a few villages in Newfoundland to plunder.

But backing the Kyoto protocol, which the Prime Minister has called "job-killing," "economy-destroying" and "a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations" would surely be too cynical a move, even for a Prime Minister with an almost lascivious desire for a majority government.

Don’t bet on it. There are rumblings that when the Conservatives bring out their new regulations on industrial emissions next month, the language will be decidedly softer on Kyoto." (John Ivison, National Post)

"Tony Juniper: We need a coherent strategy to tackle climate change" - "'It now seems unlikely that promises to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2010 will be met'" (London Independent)

"Climate change warning for cities" - "Scotland's cities will have to make major changes to meet climate change targets, according to a report. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Scotland said Glasgow may need hundreds of wind turbines or more nuclear power. It also said Edinburgh may have to remove a third of cars from its streets." (BBC)

"Congress Asks Purdue for Fusion Claim Findings" - "A Purdue scientist claimed in 2002 that he could generate temperatures hot enough for hydrogen atoms to meld and release energy using sound waves." (New York Times)

"Ex-communist Europe lagging behind West in green energy" - "Sun-baked Bulgaria, windy Poland and farm-rich Hungary have thousands of megawatts in untapped renewable energy that the European Union wants used to fight global warming.

But eastern Europe remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels, causing friction between older and newer EU members as the bloc pushes an ambitious plan to boost its reliance on green energy.

About 94 percent of the electricity for coal-rich Poland comes from coal-fired plants, a major source of the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming." (Associated Press)

"EU biodiesel firms blame politicians as demand falls" - "HAMBURG: The European Union biodiesel industry is operating well below capacity despite top-level political moves to increase the use of biofuels to combat global warming, according to industry executives.

Many new biodiesel plants have been built in recent years, but many of them have hardly any markets in which to sell, as several countries have been slow to implement promises to increase biofuel use.

"We have been promised a market but it is not yet there," said Raffaello Garofalo, secretary general of the European Biofuels Board, an industry association. "It will come, but in the short term we have to go through a desert." (Reuters)

They produce expensive "alternatives" no one really wants and then are upset no one gives them money for bad business decisions... Right.

"Storm-force winds exert less pull on ocean than expected: study" - "A snapshot of ocean conditions taken during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 has yielded new clues about the dynamics of storm surges that could help meteorologists make more accurate predictions, a study released Thursday said." (AFP)

"LSU researchers publish commentary on delta preservation with coastal science experts" - "BATON ROUGE -- The Mississippi River delta region is of huge economic importance to the nation. As a "working coast," much of the South’s major industries – particularly seafood and petroleum – are largely dependent on the health of the delta and its surrounding areas. After the 2005 hurricane season, however, experts are voicing growing concerns over how the Mississippi Deltaic Plain, or MDP, is being treated." (Louisiana State University)

"On The Trail Of A Cure: Reality And Rhetoric On Treating Malaria" - "New treatments for malaria were developed in response to a resurgence of the disease in the 1990s. Since then, funding for these treatments has increased significantly through bilateral and multilateral aid, corporate and private assistance, and national government programs in malarial countries. Yet problems in the drug purchase and delivery processes and threats to future treatments persist. These problems are relatively easy to solve, but the international community seems reluctant to tackle them, which means the funding is not being used as effectively as it should." (Medical News Today)

"Green-eyed fools should buzz off" - "Coming soon to a bedroom near you: the Good Mosquito? Scientists are reportedly trying to engineer a genetically modified bug , with green eyes or fluorescent testicles, to combat the spread of malaria. But beating a disease that kills almost 3,000 children a day will involve swatting other green pests who put their concerns before those of Africa.

Anti-malarial GM mosquitoes remain a distant prospect. Yet already The Times has to report that any such innovation “would prove controversial with environmental groups”. These same groups have crusaded for 30 years to stop people killing mosquitoes with dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) — with devastating results for Africans.

Last year the World Health Organisation finally conceded that indoor spraying with DDT is safe and effective. Better three decades late than never, some might say. Yet many still suffer DDT-denial. Eco-alarmists who claim that the science of global warming “proves” malaria is coming to Britain seem less keen to face the scientific case for DDT, instead of searching for any alternative." (Mick Hume, London Times)

"Yuppies playing at conservation ha." - "In her book “Rights Talk”, Mary Anne Glendon discusses the libertarian ideal of freedom, where the individual was completely free. She then traces the libertarian idea back to Rousseau and others, who waxed lyrically on that imaginary primitive man who lived off the land and was free of laws and customs and religious injunctions.

She then asks: But what they ignored in their discussion was how the primitive free woman and children were doing at the time.

The primitive woman, who was probably pregnant, was sewing the clothes and doing the cooking and cleaning for the “primitive savage” of course.

I am aghast at the excesses and wastage of upper class Americans, (or the rich Filipino families here) but as one who has lived much of her adult life in rural areas of the US, Africa and now Asia, seeing rich yuppies “pretending” to live poor is even more absurd. Do these people have any idea of how “primitive” people actually live? Does the phrase “nasty, brutish and short” have any meaning to them?" (Nancy Reyes, BNN)

"World must learn to share water to avoid war - FAO" - "ROME, March 22 - Countries must learn to share water fairly if they are to avoid warring over the vital resource as population growth and climate change make it ever more scarce, the head of the UN farming agency said on Thursday.

Farming consumes 70 percent of the fresh water taken from the world's lakes, rivers and aquifers and demand from farms is set to increase by 14 percent in the next 30 years, said Jacques Diouf, head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

"Water conflicts can arise in water stressed areas among local communities and between countries," he told a conference marking World Water Day." (Reuters)

"Key science Web sites buried in information avalanche" - "As more and more people are turning to the Internet to find information, important science websites are in danger of becoming buried in the sheer avalanche of facts now available online. Key science sites are failing to register in the top 30 Google search results.

New research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) clearly shows that anyone using the Web to make their information available must now pay attention not only to the quality of their sites but also how easy they are to find." (Economic & Social Research Council )

"France opens secret UFO files covering 50 years" - "France became the first country to open its files on UFOs Thursday when the national space agency unveiled a website documenting more than 1,600 sightings spanning five decades." (AFP)

"The Microbial Threat" - "For a physician, there is nothing more heartbreaking and frustrating than being unable to save a patient's life. Sadly, with the explosion of life-threatening, antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" and the simultaneous lack of new antibiotics to treat those bugs, this is becoming an increasingly common reality." (Henry Masur, Wall Street Journal)

"Gobbledygook" - "This past weekend, as I completed an accredited continuing education course, as required for my professional licensure, on women’s preventive health, I got to a section on complementary therapies. What had been an acceptable course with a greater focus on evidence-based science than is common for many nursing CE curriculums nowadays, disintegrated into gobbledygook. That’s why today’s story in the British newspapers caught my attention." (Junkfood Science)

"Doctors and patients on the same page" - "We recently looked at a tragic case of a woman who suffered for twelve years with a misdiagnosis and the impact of preconceived beliefs about fat people among healthcare professionals.

But rather than churn about the injustice of it all or point blame at each other, both doctors and patients can come away with something more beneficial: the realization that we can all play a role in helping to reduce medical errors and misdiagnoses." (Junkfood Science)

"Test finds manufactured nanoparticles don't harm soil ecology" - "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The first published study on the environmental impact of manufactured nanoparticles on ordinary soil showed no negative effects, which is contrary to concerns voiced by some that the microscopic particles could be harmful to organisms.

Scientists added both dry and water-based forms of manufactured fullerenes - nanosized particles also known as buckyballs - to soil. The nanoparticles didn't change how the soil and its microorganisms functioned, said Ron Turco, a Purdue University soil and environmental microbiologist.

Concerns surround the increased use of nanoparticles in everything from car bumpers, sunscreen and tennis balls to disease diagnosis and treatment. Questions have arisen about whether the microscopic materials could trigger diseases if they enter the soil or water through manufacturing processes or if medicines based on nanoparticles behave in unexpected ways in the body." (Purdue University)

"Are GM Crops Killing Bees?" - "A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. The consequences for agriculture and the economy could be enormous." (Der Spiegel)

"Keep modified cassava behind glass — regulators" - "CAPE TOWN — Government has turned down an application by the Agriculture Research Council to conduct field trials on genetically modified cassava, saying it wants scientists to first show the plants are stable in contained greenhouse experiments. The cassava has been engineered to improve its starch content for industrial purposes such as biofuel production, and is not intended for animal feed or human consumption." (Business Day)

"Brazil Delays Vote on Gene-Altered Crop Amid Protest" - "March 22 -- Brazil postponed a vote on whether to approve Bayer AG's gene-modified corn seeds after Greenpeace International protesters stormed the meeting.

Members of the environmental group entered the closed-door session held by the government's biotechnology council and demanded to participate in the talks, said Gabriele Vuolo, coordinator of Greenpeace's campaign against gene-altered seeds." (Bloomberg)

"California rice board wants end to modified plantings" - "SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Rice Commission last week called for a moratorium on experimental plantings of genetically modified rice in the state, saying federal controls meant to keep such varieties from contaminating commercial rice are inadequate." (McClatchy Newspapers)

March 22, 2007

"Al Gore Tells Congress to Tax Pollution and CO2 to Solve Global Warming Crisis" - "As most of you know, former Vice President and soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore spoke in front of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Science and Technology Wednesday about the dangers of anthropogenic global warming (video available here).

What you probably didn't know is that the global warmingest-in-chief actually recommended a tax on pollution to solve the problem.

I kid you not.

*****Update: Prepared text of Gore's testimony is available here." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

Whaddya mean 'hypocrite'? "Gore Refuses To Take Personal Energy Ethics Pledge" - "WASHINGTON, DC – Former Vice President Al Gore refused to take a “Personal Energy Ethics Pledge” today to consume no more energy than the average American household. The pledge was presented to Gore by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, during today’s global warming hearing." (EPW)

Video: Are you Ready to Change the Way you Live? (YouTube)

"Bjorn Lomborg and Al Gore: testimonies" - "Bjorn Lomborg is an interesting thinker but he is still a kind of environmentalist. In his testimony, he will calculate that if the mankind follows the Anti-Christ, it will lead to a genocide of millions of people.

He uncritically copies the numbers from environmental activists (IPCC) and compares them with the numbers created by radical environmental activists (such as Gore and Hansen). For example, IPCC predicts 3.5 centimeters of sea level ice from Greenland ice while Gore and Hansen predict 600 centimeters, almost 20,000 percent more. Lomborg will enumerate areas in which investment has much higher chances of being useful than the climate." (The Reference Frame)

"Global Warming Has Gone Hollywood" - "WASHINGTON -- Global warming has gone Hollywood, literally and figuratively. The script is plain. As Gore says, solutions are at hand. We can switch to renewable fuels and embrace energy-saving technologies, once the dark forces of doubt are defeated. It's smart and caring people against the stupid and selfish. Sooner or later, Americans will discover that this Hollywood version of global warming (largely mirrored in the media) is mostly make-believe.

Most of the many reports on global warming have a different plot. Despite variations, these studies reach similar conclusions. Regardless of how serious the threat, the available technologies promise at best a holding action against greenhouse gas emissions. Even massive gains in renewables (solar, wind, biomass) and more efficient vehicles and appliances would merely stabilize annual emissions near present levels by 2050. The reason: Economic growth, especially in poor countries, will sharply increase energy use and emissions." (Robert Samuelson, Real Clear Politics)

"Did Hollywood's Glare Heat Up Public Concern About Global Warming?" - "Concern about global warming is up slightly over past year" (Gallup News Service)

"A Winning Tactic?" - "On Wednesday March 14th a debate was held by the organization Intelligence Squared on the motion “Global Warming is Not a Crisis.” (WCR)

"An 80 Foot Sea Level Rise!!??" - "Here is a graphic that will make you stand up and take notice–especially if you have relatives who live in New York City. This image appeared in Vanity Fair magazine in May 2006 and shows how much of New York City would be under water if all of the ice on Greenland and the Antarctic were to melt causing sea levels to rise 80 feet. 80 feet! Where did they get that number? What a scare tactic. Not even Al Gore uses a number that high. Certainly the IPCC doesn’t." (Craig James, WOOD TV)

"Since When Do 1,400 Media Interviews = Muzzled?" - "Answer: When you're a NASA scientist who has repeatedly ignored policies you agreed to upon employment with said agency and you'd like to gain more headlines by claiming you've been silenced. Newspapers, magazines, and TV newscasts are lit up with Gore's senate testimony today...but the global warming hearing testimony actually began on Monday." (Jake Gontesky, News Busters)

Uh-huh... "Activists Feel Warming on Climate Change" - "A rally that called for action to reduce climate change, featuring speakers from Arctic villages who said their landscape is being transformed by rising temperatures, drew several hundred people to the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol yesterday.

The event, called a Climate Crisis Action Day, was billed in advance as Washington's largest demonstration ever on global warming. It was unclear whether that turned out to be accurate, but those attending said they sensed a powerful momentum building behind calls to limit greenhouse gas emissions." (Washington Post)

"Czech Leader Klaus Fights Global Warming 'Religion'" - "PRAGUE - Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Wednesday that fighting global warming has turned into a a "religion" that replaced the ideology of communism and threatens to clip basic freedoms." (Reuters)

"New efforts to predict when polar ice will melt" - "It has been disappearing since at least 1979, when satellite observation began, but scientists are split on the effects." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Meteorologists Say Sure Humans Cause Climate Change" - "MADRID - Some of the world's leading meteorologists said on Wednesday they had no doubt that humans were responsible for global warming." (Reuters)

"New Paper On The Important Role Of Vegetation Within the Climate System" - "Jos de Laat of the Royal Dutch Meterological Institute (KNMI) has provided to us yet another very relevant new research paper. This article is on the role of vegetation processes within the climate system." (Climate Science)

"INTERVIEW - UN Agency Urges "High Level" Global Warming Talks" - "OSLO - The UN climate agency called on Wednesday for a special summit to spur a fight against climate change but said high-level ministerial talks could fit the bill if world leaders resist." (Reuters)

"Effort Afoot to Start US Climate Registry" - "SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Thirty-three states have informally agreed to create a registry for companies and organizations to log early actions on cutting output of gases linked to global warming -- and possibly get credit for them if future limits on the gases are passed -- state officials said.

The log, known as The Climate Registry, could spawn a wider national registry and perhaps help pressure the federal government to regulate heat-trapping gases, the sources said." (Reuters)

"Powerful new tool to track carbon dioxide by source" - "Scientists from NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) announced today a new tool to monitor changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by region and source. The tool, called CarbonTracker, will enable its users to evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts to reduce or store carbon emissions." (NOAA)

Polluting? They're talking about dissolved organic carbon, for Heaven's sake! "Study: Fallen leaves found less polluting" - "U.S. government scientists say freshly fallen leaves contribute less to the levels of carbon in mineral soil than was previously believed." (UPI)

What a whopper! "Britain 'leading the way on climate change'" - "The landmark Stern Report on the economics of climate change is setting a framework for environmental action - combining a call for personal and social responsibility with European and international co-operation, Chancellor Gordon Brown told MPs today." (London Independent)

Gosh Gordon, even you gave Stern the flick following publication of that hysterical nonsense and now you're holding it up as some kind of benchmark? Oh puh-lease!

"Political correctness is killing our freedoms" - "Europe's citizens must be on their guard against political correctness and moralising politicians, says the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.

The former Portuguese premier and centre-Right politician is concerned that freedom can be the loser in European culture wars over climate change, cheap air travel, Islam and free speech." (London Telegraph)

"UK's climate change agenda 'is a turn-off'" - "Britain's mainstream political agenda on climate change risks intruding into people's lives, threatens individual freedom and could turn voters off the fight against global warming, Mr Barroso warns.

As the architect of EU proposals on fighting climate change and measures to set tough binding limits and reductions for CO2 emissions, the Commission President's intervention is a particular setback for ideas given high-profile personal backing by the Environment Secretary, David Miliband, and the Conservative leader, David Cameron.

Mr Barroso hails cheap air travel as "a great thing for our civilisation" and expresses grave concerns over fashionable plans, floated by Mr Miliband, for personal carbon rationing." (London Telegraph)

"Global boom in coal power – and emissions" - "A Monitor analysis shows the potential for an extra 1.2 billion tons of carbon released into the atmosphere per year." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Open skies pact 'will worsen climate change'" - "Plans to open up transatlantic aviation and generate an extra 26 million air passengers over five years will undermine Europe's push to combat climate change, campaigners warned yesterday.

An "open skies" agreement, due to be agreed by EU transport ministers today, is being hailed as a revolution by officials who say it will deliver more competition and lower fares.

But environmental groups say the increased air traffic generated by the measure will write off all the benefits expected from separate plans to "green" aviation by bringing airlines into the EU's carbon emissions trading scheme.

Coming just days after EU leaders announced ambitious plans to combat global warming, the row over "open skies" has prompted questions about the EU's commitment to the environment. Under the deal, any EU airline will be able to fly to the US from any part of Europe ushering in a dramatic change in the structure of transatlantic aviation." (London Independent)

Must be depressing for the true believers among enviros finding that politicians are, well, politicians and merely pay lip service to dopey enviro scares.

"UK Plans Contest to Build Big Carbon Capture Plant" - "LONDON - Britain is to hold a competition to build at least one full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) plant, the government said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Germany Plans Boom in Coal-Fired Power Plants -- Despite High Emissions" - "Everyone in Germany is talking about climate protection -- everyone, that is, except for energy companies. They're planning to build dozens of new coal-fired power plants -- with the support of the governing coalition in Berlin." (Der Spiegel)

"Canada Auto Emissions Incentives Seen Ineffective" - "TORONTO - A Canadian government plan to offer rebates for fuel-efficient vehicles and heavily tax gas-guzzlers will do little to change consumer buying habits and curb emissions, industry observers and environment groups said Tuesday." (Reuters)

Enviro-scares making things worse? Imagine that... "Biofuels Boom Spurring Deforestation" - "BROOKLIN, Canada, Mar 21 - Nearly 40,000 hectares of forest vanish every day, driven by the world's growing hunger for timber, pulp and paper, and ironically, new biofuels and carbon credits designed to protect the environment.

The irony here is that the growing eagerness to slow climate change by using biofuels and planting millions of trees for carbon credits has resulted in new major causes of deforestation, say activists. And that is making climate change worse because deforestation puts far more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire world's fleet of cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships combined.

"Biofuels are rapidly becoming the main cause of deforestation in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil," said Simone Lovera, managing coordinator of the Global Forest Coalition, an environmental NGO based in Asunción, Paraguay.

"We call it 'deforestation diesel'," Lovera told IPS." (IPS/IFEJ)

"In US Midwest, young farmers priced out of land" - "Ethanol demand has pushed Midwest farmland prices through the roof." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Turbine curbs put £40m wind farm at beauty spot in doubt" - "A £40 MILLION plan to build a wind farm in Midlothian has been put in doubt after council chiefs unveiled plans to clamp down on the number and height of turbines. Energy giant E.ON UK wants to build 18 wind turbines with a maximum height of 102 metres at the popular Auchencorth Moss beauty spot near Penicuik." (The Scotsman)

"MIT: Lack of fuel may limit US nuclear power expansion" - "CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Limited supplies of fuel for nuclear power plants may thwart the renewed and growing interest in nuclear energy in the United States and other nations, says an MIT expert on the industry.

Over the past 20 years, safety concerns dampened all aspects of development of nuclear energy: No new reactors were ordered and there was investment neither in new uranium mines nor in building facilities to produce fuel for existing reactors. Instead, the industry lived off commercial and government inventories, which are now nearly gone. worldwide, uranium production meets only about 65 percent of current reactor requirements." (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

"Kiss that light bulb goodbye" - "How many socialists does it take to change your light bulb?


All over the world – and right here in the U.S. – there is a movement afoot to ban the incandescent light bulb. It's one of the not-so-bright ideas put forward by Al Gore and his Oscar-winning pseudo-documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

If only people would replace incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs, we're told, we could cut down on energy use and "global warming."

Since socialists know that you are not smart enough to make good choices yourself, they have prepared to make them for you." (WND)

"Bill to Ban Regular Light Bulbs Introduced in House" - "A Democratic lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ban the sale of traditional incandescent light bulbs - which are less energy-efficient, prompting claims that they contribute to "global warming" - one day after a colleague told a press conference that legislating a ban would be a "last choice."

As Cybercast News Service reported last week, Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) held a news conference Wednesday calling for more efficient lighting options, and Manzullo said "the last thing we want to do is force legislation down people's throats."

One day later, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would set target dates for certain types of light bulbs to be prohibited for sale in the United States." (CNSNews.com)

"Planet Earth banning common light bulbs" - "They're unwanted in Cuba, Hugo Chavez is trying to kick them out of Venezuela, Australia and Canada are on timetables to get rid of them, the European Union says they soon simply won't be available and now the U.S. is considering new rules that effectively would ban the incandescent light bulb.

It's a global sweep so far, triggered by worries that the invention of Thomas Edison uses too much energy or generates too much heat for the earth to tolerate, despite the reports by WND that a member of a congressional committee is challenging the "facts" used by Al Gore in his "An Inconvenient Truth" movie, saying science just doesn't validate concerns that such factors are significant environmentally." (WND)

"Solar blast from the past dwarfed modern ozone destruction" - "A burst of protons from the Sun in 1859 destroyed several times more ozone in Earth's atmosphere than did a 1989 solar flare that was the strongest ever monitored by satellite, a new analysis finds. When energetic protons from the Sun penetrate Earth's stratosphere, they ionize and dissociate nitrogen and oxygen molecules, which then form ozone-depleting nitrogen oxides. Thomas et al. developed a scale factor between known nitrate enhancements from recent solar proton events. By using data on nitrate enhancements in Greenland ice cores following the September 1859 burst, they used the scale factor to determine that the total energy released by that solar proton event was 6.5 times larger than the amount released in the 1989 event. Models using this energy total showed that 3.5 times more ozone was destroyed in the 1859 episode than in that of 1989. Because ozone regulates the amount of harmful ultraviolet radiation reaching Earth, the authors emphasized that understanding intense solar proton events will be important to predicting potential damage to the biosphere." (AGU)

"Forecaster Sees Active Atlantic Hurricane Season" - "MIAMI - The Atlantic hurricane season will be exceptionally active this year, according to a British forecasting group, raising the possibility that killer storms like Hurricane Katrina could again threaten the United States." (Reuters)

"Signal vs. Noise in Atlantic Hurricanes" - "A just-published Comment and Reply exchange concerning the relationship between sea surface temperatures and the intensity of Atlantic hurricanes shows that there is just too much noise in the natural system (or at least in the observational record) at this time to clearly be able to identify a signal from sea surface temperatures on the maximum wind speed in major hurricanes." (WCR)

For which they should be eternally ashamed: "The CBS Report That Helped 'Silent Spring' Be Heard" - "Before global warming was hot and Al Gore was cool, there was Rachel Carson, the maverick marine biologist from Silver Spring who sounded an environmental-awareness alarm. Memories of her work return periodically to remind us how far we have come in making the world a safer place, and how far we have to go." (Linton Weeks, Washington Post)

 Check out Rachel's legacy of death here.

"Critical thinking has left the building" - "The UK news this week has been reporting that parents are to blame for childhood obesity and that excess weight in children is due to bad parenting. So, parents, beginning with those “from low-income backgrounds,” have been made the focus on a new Healthy Living Initiative, launched by health minister Caroline Flint “to help parents recognize the warning signs of childhood obesity and adopt healthier lifestyles.” (Junkfood Science)

"Second Thoughts on Breasts" - "The FDA banned silicone implants in 1992 despite a lack of evidence that they were unsafe. Now, the ban has been reversed Where’s the apology? asks Amity Shlaes. Where do the shareholders go to get their equity back?" (Amity Shlaes, American.com)

"Alternative medicine degrees 'anti-scientific'" - "A leading pharmacologist today condemns science degree courses in alternative and complementary medicine as pseudo scientific or even "anti-scientific".

Prof David Colquhoun of University College London says the rapid growth in "science degrees without the science" shows a sharp contrast with the closure of physics and chemistry courses at universities.

Homoeopathy has barely changed since the beginning of the 19th century and "is much more like religion than science", the professor says in the journal Nature.

"Worse still, many of the doctrines of CAM [complementary and alternative medicines] and quite a lot of its practitioners, are openly anti-science." (London Telegraph)

"John Edwards vs. Babies and Moms" - "John Edwards, being neither a woman nor a racial minority, isn't doing especially well in his campaign to become the Democratic Party's candidate for the U.S. presidency. Alas for him, if he were half as successful in campaigning for America's top job as he was as a trial lawyer, he might be sworn in tomorrow. Edwards won at least 94 cases, according to Lawyers Weekly, of which 54 netted more than $1 million each. Normally attorneys take a 40 percent cut of cases that go to trial. In his last year as a practicing attorney, 1997, he reported an adjusted gross income of $11.4 million. Of course, despite their slimy reputation, trial lawyers can be on the side of right. It just happens Edwards wasn't." (Michael Fumento, The American Spectator)

"Researchers find substantial amount of mercury entering the ocean through groundwater" - "Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found a new and substantial pathway for mercury pollution flowing into coastal waters. Marine chemists have detected much more dissolved mercury entering the ocean through groundwater than from atmospheric and river sources." (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Apparently Knut has the right to be protected from animal rights nutters: "Knut Will Live, Promises Berlin Zoo" - "Keep your paws off Knut, was the message from animal lovers across Germany in response to calls for Berlin's beloved polar bear cub to be put down. Now the Berlin Zoo has promised that Knut's life is not in danger." (Der Spiegel)

"Nasa grounds its ideas factory" - "In almost 20 years of research, it has been the home of some of the most daring ideas to aid exploration: space elevators, crops that could grow on Mars and a shield to protect our planet from global warming. But now Nasa's Institute for Advanced Concepts (Niac) has fallen victim to a very down-to-earth problem - a lack of money." (The Guardian)

Research or dopey dreaming? Anyone know of anything remotely useful to come out of NASA's Institute for Airheaded Claptrap?

"Europe’s Insane Agriculture Subsidies" - "American politicians have created a wretched system of agricultural subsidies, but it seems that Europe’s lawmakers win the prize for concocting the most perverse ways to squander tax money." (Cato)

"Researchers simplify synthetic production of potential pharmaceuticals" - "A team of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute has developed new techniques that dramatically reduce the time, complexity, and cost of synthesizing natural products with pharmaceutical potential. The work dislodges previously entrenched beliefs in the organic chemistry field about how such products must be produced, and could help to advance and expand the use of natural products in drug discovery programs." (Scripps Research Institute)

"Shock of the new" - "Scientists hope to release GM mosquitoes into the wild in an attempt to wipe out malaria. They should be extremely wary, says James Randerson - introducing new species has often proved disastrous." (The Guardian)

"Surprising secrets of Frankenstein farm" - "DOLLY the sheep, that mouse with an ear on its back, and the Incredible Hulk. Each of these have proven categorically that genetic modification is a Very Bad Thing. "We should not be messing around with God's handiwork," cry the naysayers. "That way lies damnation."

But according to Dr Olivia Judson in Animal Farm, GM is nothing to be scared of. Indeed, she persuasively argued that humanity has been tinkering with its natural environment for centuries, and all for the common good. Food critic Giles Coren, on the other hand, thought that nature could take care of itself, thank you very much, without the assistance of syringe-wielding Belgian scientists." (The Scotsman)

"Monsanto and BASF: Feeding world is aim of new duo" - "Monsanto Co. and BASF AG, a German competitor, on Wednesday promised to work together to deliver higher-yielding crops to meet increasing global demand.

The companies announced a $1.5 billion research and development collaboration that, over a decade or more, could deliver hundreds of varieties of genetically modified corn, soybeans, cotton and canola. The seeds would allow farmers to boost yields on limited cropland to meet the world's requirements for food, animal feed, fiber and renewable fuels." (St Louis Post-Dispatch)

March 21, 2007

"Gore on Climate Change" - "Former Vice President Al Gore appears before a House Energy Subcommittee hearing on Global Climate Change. He’s joined by Professor Bjorn Lomborg, author of a book titled, “The Skeptical Environmentalist.” Gore will also appear later today before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee." (C-Span) | Star in New Role, Gore Revisits Old Stage (New York Times) | Al Gore to preach to the choir (Washington Times) | Officials Urged to Grill Al Gore About His Rich-Get-Warmer, Poor-Get-Colder Global Warming Offset Proposals at House and Senate Hearings Wednesday: Climate Regulations and Carbon Offsets Would Harm Poor and Minority Households, Says Project 21 (Press Release)

"Al Gore Continues to Demand Special Treatment" - "From behind the scenes on Capitol Hill: Former Vice President Al Gore, despite being given major preferential treatment, has violated the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s (EPW) hearing rules." (EPW)

"The Real Inconvenient Truth" - "When the old gray lady says it's over, it's over.

The New York Times -- nearly a year late -- is finally recognizing the scientific reality regarding fears of a man-made climate catastrophe. On March 13, a landmark article stated "scientists argue that some of (former Vice President Al) Gore's central points are exaggerated and erroneous."

It appears we are all skeptics now." (Senator James Inhofe, Politico)

"Global warming bigger than Gore" - "Al Gore doesn't always practice what he preaches about reducing the use of fossil fuels to combat global warming. The former vice president travels in commercial airliners that emit greenhouse gases.

Gore lives in a mansion that reportedly generates four-figure monthly utility bills, leading detractors to question how he can credibly lecture less affluent households about using comparatively modest amounts of electricity.

It's a legitimate question. And while Gore does try to offset his personal carbon emissions by buying carbon "credits" — generated by planting trees and other steps to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere — critics belittle that approach as the moral equivalent of a wealthy sinner seeking to buy absolution on the cheap without ever truly repenting.

Ideally, anyone who purports to lead a popular movement ought to make the kind of sacrifices such responsibility demands, thereby inspiring others to do likewise." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Makes the same old mistakes of confusing anthropogenic and net contributions to the global carbon cycle -- humans collectively are not responsible for 4% of the total, so how could the United States be emitting 25%? What they really mean is calculated by energy use the US could emit almost one-fourth of fossil fuel combustion carbon but that still doesn't take into account reforestation and net North American carbon sinks (more carbon blows onshore with ocean winds than blows offshore), meaning the US is actually "mopping up" European and Asian emissions. Time for a complete do-over with "global warming" because there are precious few facts in the wilderness of myth and nonsense constantly regurgitated by media and activists.

"Gore plan will harm us all" - "Now that Al Gore has won an Oscar for "An Inconvenient Truth," he's headed to Capitol Hill today to perform before an even more important crowd: lawmakers who could pass legislation that would make energy unaffordable for many Americans.

Gore never considers the obvious moral objection to his agenda — its potentially catastrophic impacts on the world's poor. Stabilizing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is not even remotely possible unless China, India and other developing countries restrict their use of carbon-based energy.

Carbon dioxide, which Gore demagogically calls "global warming pollution" (it's plant food, after all), is the inescapable byproduct of most of the energy that fuels the world's economy.

The Kyoto Protocol's advocates view the treaty as just a "first step" in a long march toward a de-carbonized future. But the global economy is moving in exactly the opposite direction. Demand for fossil energy is growing, especially in developing countries.

The real inconvenient truth is that nobody knows how to meet current, much less future, global energy needs with low- and non-emitting technologies." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

"Books by skeptics outstripping Gore on NYT Bestseller List" - "Is there finally some hope that the public square debate and the reasoning mind may be "warming" to a higher degree of logic?

Well the latest evidence from the New York Times Bestseller List (Paperback non-fiction section) suggest it may be so. Avery and Singer's Unstoppable Global Warming (at no 18) and Chris Horner's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (at no 20) - see my 'Key Books' page for reference - are both outstripping sales of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth (at no 29). (Paperback non-fiction section)" (Global Warming Hysteria (cooled))

"Global Baloney" - "Congress will soon begin "debating" global warming. Nancy Pelosi announced in February that the House would pass global warming legislation by this coming July. "For 12 years," said Pelosi, "the leadership in the House of Representatives has stifled all discussion and debate of global warming. That long rejection of reality is over."

Now let’s see… Congress will soon "debate" global warming, however "reality" will no longer be ignored and legislation will be passed. What happened to the "debate"? Let’s face it: Congress is anti-science.

I do not make such statements lightly. However, we must be clear; little things such as "facts" do not dissuade a political juggernaut once momentum occurs. I remind you all of a study known as NAPAP." (Rob Blackstock, Lew Rockwell)

"Edwards Claims His Mega-Mansion is Carbon Neutral" - "Presidential candidate promotes carbon caps for business, but carbon 'offsets' for himself." (Dan Gainor, Business & Media Institute)

"More on the global warming front" - "Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who has not distinguished herself in any way since her original election has come onto the world stage and declared, "The debate about global warming is over, and we have won!" Won what? Who elected Boxer to oversee a scientific debate in the first place? Boxer must have an ego about the size of Jupiter (and a brain the size of Pluto) to make that kind of declaration.

The only thing settled in this debate is an agreement some "warming" is taking place. The debate is about human activity and the role we have played in the process. It's still going on and not even Boxer's declaration can put an end to it.

Boxer is owned by the environmental movement, which has raised millions to keep her in office. So far, she has not distinguished herself in any manner on the national stage." (Dick Little, Paradise Post)

"Scientific sacrilege: is global warming just a con?" - "Our weary environmental specialist John Sheard, who has been recording various scientific fads for more decades than he cares to remember, ponders the international hysteria about global warming and comes up with the unthinkable: is it just a load of hot air?" (Daelnet)

"Prediction Time" - "Global-warming "truths" are not as certain as some claim them to be." (Jim Manzi, NRO)

"Ex-Sierra Club Member: Global Warming Regulations Kill" - "In an exclusive interview with NewsMax, Paul Driessen, a senior fellow with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, reveals the lethal side of the regulations the global warming swindlers would impose on those least able to cope with them.

The Committee is nonprofit public policy institutes that focus on energy, the environment, economic development, and international affairs.

Driessen has been a tireless critic of global warming stringent regulations. Over the past 25 years, He has worked for the United States Senate, the Department of the Interior, and an energy trade association and has spoken and written frequently on energy and environmental policy, global climate change, corporate social responsibility, and other topics." (NewsMax.com)

Indefatigable, this Stott fellow: "Tenant farmers told to not believe the hype, be sceptical on climate change" - "Worried about your carbon footprint? Maybe you shouldn’t be. In the week the Government unveiled its Climate Change Bill seeking huge CO2 emissions cuts, the Tenant Farmers’ Association annual meeting heard from a scientist who claims current climate change thinking is ‘nonsense’. ALISTAIR DRIVER heard him go down a storm at the Farmers Club." (Farmers Guardian)

"Flowers, Animals Signal Spring Arrived Long Ago" - "OSLO - Early flowers, migrating swallows and sleepless bears are among signs that spring has arrived long ago in the northern hemisphere even as a record mild winter formally ends on Tuesday with a rare chill." (Reuters)

"'Stranded Polar Bear' Photo Taken Out of Context Says Photographer" - "The "stranded polar bear" photo continues to grab headlines, even after yet another thorough debunking. In what has become the furry, cuddly symbol of all that is wrong with the climate change debate, the now ubiquitous photo was splashed across news pages worldwide." (News Busters)

"NASA Finds Sun-Climate Connection in Old Nile Records" - "Long-term climate records are a key to understanding how Earth's climate changed in the past and how it may change in the future. Direct measurements of light energy emitted by the sun, taken by satellites and other modern scientific techniques, suggest variations in the sun's activity influence Earth's long-term climate. However, there were no measured climate records of this type until the relatively recent scientific past.

Scientists have traditionally relied upon indirect data gathering methods to study climate in the Earth's past, such as drilling ice cores in Greenland and Antarctica. Such samples of accumulated snow and ice drilled from deep within ice sheets or glaciers contain trapped air bubbles whose composition can provide a picture of past climate conditions. Now, however, a group of NASA and university scientists has found a convincing link between long-term solar and climate variability in a unique and unexpected source: directly measured ancient water level records of the Nile, Earth's longest river." (JPL)

"An Excellent Summary Analysis Of Extreme Temperatures In the United States" - "Record high and low temperature records are of particular interest due to the major impacts they have on society and the environment. Bruce Hall has completed an analysis of record temperatures on his website Hall of Record that is a very valuable resource for this climate metric. Similar analyses for elsewhere in the world should be a high priority." (Climate Science)

"What Do We Know About Clouds?" - "Proponents of the catastrophic effects of global warming on the Earth’s climate often point (somewhat contradictorily) to either heat-related clear-sky drought or evidence of increased heavy rains when discussing global warming. Both of these phenomena would undoubtedly be closely linked to variations in cloudiness around world—either marked increases or marked decreases. The rather obvious question one might ask, based on these statements, is simply: “Have we actually observed changes in cloudiness around the world?” If so, we might have a relatively clear indicator of climate change. “Are there changes in cloudiness” would seem to be a rather simple question that can be answered in a straightforward manner.

Not so fast, say the authors of a recent 2007 study published in the respected science journal Geophysical Research Letters." (WCR)

"INTERVIEW - Spread of Desert 'May Cause Mediterranean Exodus'" - "ATHENS - Parched land could trigger a mass exodus north from the Mediterranean if the long-term effects of climate change, construction and farming are not checked, a Greek environmental official warned on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Rising CO2 levels 'put shellfish in danger'" - "Oysters and mussels, two pearls of France's gastronomic heritage, are in danger of dying out because of rising greenhouse gas levels in seawater, say scientists.

French and Dutch researchers found that rapidly rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in seawater is having potentially devastating effects on the lifecycles of both types of shellfish, slowing down their growth and weakening their shells, leaving them vulnerable to predators.

This is the first time this effect has been shown on shellfish, the researchers say." (London Telegraph)

Funny how they never mention these critters evolved with much higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels than those found today or anticipated for any time in the next few thousand years.

"First greenhouse gas animations produced using Envisat SCIAMACHY data" - "Based on three years of observations from the SCIAMACHY instrument aboard ESA’s Envisat, scientists have produced the first movies showing the global distribution of the most important greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide and methane – that contribute to global warming." (ESA)

Very pretty -- what do they mean? One thing unlikely to be highlighted is that emission plots do not agree with models (big surprise, huh?) and that forests are significant ghg emitters (uh-oh...).

Bull spit! "Emissions trading: like foreign aid, but better" - "Greenhouse gases are the ultimate global pollutant. A tonne of emissions anywhere in the world has virtually the same impact on the climate. That is why the countries of the world decided to include international emissions trading as an integral part of the Kyoto Protocol." (Globe and Mail)

Carbon dioxide is an essential trace gas, not a pollutant.

You've been warned: "Carbon the currency of a new world order" - "Britain's initiative on climate change has set the challenge for Australia's leaders, writes editor-at-large Paul Kelly." (The Australian)

"High hopes" - "Last week, the European Union declared that it had practically saved the planet. In reality, the measures agreed will do little to halt climate change." (Björn Lomborg, The Guardian)

D'oh! "Climate action useless without global support" - "EU leaders have agreed to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by up to 30% within 13 years but the real battle will be in convincing the world's other big polluters to follow suit, according to business leaders." (EurActiv)

"Green groups warn of backlash against speech" - "Green groups were already saying last night they were disappointed by the leaks of Gordon Brown's final Budget today for failing to rise to the challenge of climate change. The Green Party called on the Chancellor to "put his money where his mouth is" in curbing global warming. And Friends of the Earth said the mooted increase in vehicle excise duty to £400 a year on 4x4s from next April was not enough and should be £2,000. He was also facing a backlash from green campaigners for rejecting the Tory proposals for a hike in taxes on aviation. Mr Brown will tell the Commons today that he will lead international action by seeking to put aviation into the European carbon trading scheme." (London Independent)

"Environmentalism as Religion" - "Thus far, despite the apparent falseness of their beliefs, environmentalists have been extremely successful in achieving their goals. They have convinced the American people to sacrifice at the altar of Mother Gaia, and they have turned the already ignoble state into an even uglier beast – their church, the effecter of their religious goals. If allowed to continue, they will destroy the American economy and doom billions of people in developing countries to perpetual poverty. Secularists are quick to call for a wall of separation between church and state. It is time that environmentalism be held to the same standard." (John M. Ostrowski, Lew Rockwell)

"Scientists uncover prehistoric hurricane activity" - "Hurricanes Katrina and Rita focused the international spotlight on the vulnerability of the U.S. coastline. Fears that a "super-hurricane" could make a direct hit on a major city and cause even more staggering losses of life, land and economy triggered an outpouring of studies directed at every facet of this ferocious weather phenomenon. Now, an LSU professor takes us one step closer to predicting the future by drilling holes into the past." (Louisiana State University)

From CO2 Science this week:

The Tenacity of Greenland Ice: High CO 2 concentrations and warm temperatures are by no means an iron-clad recipe for the disappearance of Greenland's massive ice sheet.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Dae-Am San Moor, Korean Peninsula. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Range Expansion (Woody Plants: Arctic): Rising air temperatures and atmospheric CO 2 concentrations since the end of the Little Ice Age have been allowing bushes, shrubs and trees to push poleward in a phenomenon destined to reestablish the ecosystems that characterized the region during the Medieval Warm Period.

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: Eastern Cottonwood, Monterey Pine, Rangiora, and a Small Bushy Tree.

Journal Reviews:
No Consensus on Hurricanes and Global Warming: Even among experts in the field, the battle rages on.

A Tale of Two Cultures and Their Changing Climates: The fortunes of the Tang Dynasty of China and the Mayan Civilization of Central America rose and fell together with similar and concurrent climatic changes on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

The Modeling of Global Soil Wetness: How important is the task? ... and how well are state-of-the-art models performing it?

The Impact of Recent Warming on Global Crop Yields: How to make way too much out of way too little and convey an erroneous message in the process.

Effects of Elevated CO 2 on a Nitrogen-Fixing Tree: How can they help entire forests? (co2science.org)

"Utility Chiefs Wary of Emission Limits" - "Top executives of some of the country's largest electric utilities gave guarded support Tuesday - or at least said they were not opposed - to mandatory carbon emission limits to deal with global warming. Still, the executives expressed concern over the potential for huge electricity cost increases, depending on how such emission limits are imposed." (Associated Press)

"Australian Utilities Gear up for CO2 Trading" - "SYDNEY - Australia's biggest power firms launched carbon trading and green-energy investment ventures this week as they brace for possible pollution limits that could be imposed as soon as the end of this decade." (Reuters)

"Canada to End Oil Sands Aid, Add Green-Car Rebates" - "OTTAWA - Canada's minority Conservative government, pressured to do more on the environment, will phase out some oil sands tax incentives, introduce rebates for hybrid vehicles, tax gas guzzlers and subsidize renewable fuels." (Reuters)

"Canada: Gas guzzlers could cost up to $4,000 more" - "People who buy or lease fuel-efficient vehicles could benefit from rebates of up to $2,000 and motorists who buy gas guzzlers could see the price tag increase by $1,000 to $4,000 because of a new "green levy on fuel-inefficient vehicles." (CanWest News Service)

"EU Car Emission Limits Unrealistic - Industry Body" - "BRUSSELS - The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) criticised on Tuesday the European Commission's new limits on carbon dioxide emissions from cars as prohibitively expensive and unrealistic." (Reuters)

"Cleaner Fuel for Ships May Raise CO2 Emissions - Exec" - "LONDON - Switching the world's merchant fleet to cleaner-burning distillate fuels could unwittingly raise CO2 emissions, a top ship industry executive said on Monday." (Reuters)

Yielding to extortion -- bad idea: "Sierra Club Drops Coal Unit Complaints in CO2 Deal" - "NEW YORK - A US environmental group said Tuesday it will drop legal complaints against a new Midwest coal-fired power unit that agreed to offset its greenhouse emissions by investing in conservation and clean energy." (Reuters)

"EU Opens Tender to Distil Wine Lakes Into Biofuel" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union has opened a tender to sell unwanted wine lakes in four countries for use in making bioethanol, its Official Journal said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Wind Power Demand Drives Vestas to Profit" - "COPENHAGEN - Denmark's Vestas, the world's top wind turbine maker, swung back to a full-year profit last year as global warming concerns boosted demand for wind, wave and solar power." (Reuters)

Green energy? Bad Iceland, bad! "Environmentalists in uproar as Iceland pays the price for green energy push" - "Europe's largest wilderness is paying the price of Iceland's decision to market cheap, "green", renewable electricity to the world, as a massive new smelter nears completion." (London Independent)

"Israel Develops System to Neutralize Nuclear Waste" - "Israel has developed a new technology that is supposed to safely dispose of radioactive waste.

The system was developed by Environmental Energy Resources (EER), an Israeli company that helped clean up after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and is based on plasma gasification melting (PMG) technology. The toxic waste is turned into a highly ionized gas, broken down, solidified, melted and vitrified - forming a solid glassy environmentally benign material when cooled." (IsraelNN.com)

"No tomorrows" - "A program to reverse childhood obesity in America, created by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint project of the William J. Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association, was just given the nation’s most prestigious health care quality award at a black tie gala in Washington, DC." (Junkfood Science)

"What would Einstein say?" - "It only took 15 years, but Singapore Health Ministers have finally chucked their “Trim and Fit” program." (Junkfood Science)

"Suicide: unexpected coral killer" - "A mysterious disease is causing the corals of the Great Barrier Reef to kill themselves - and scientists are battling to find out why." (University of Queensland)

"American Croc No Longer Near Extinction" - "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declassified the American crocodile as an endangered species Tuesday, saying the animal has rebounded from the edge of extinction." (Associated Press)

"France Adopts Disputed EU Laws on GMO Crop Growing" - "PARIS - France said on Tuesday it had brought its national legislation into line with European Union laws on growing genetically modified (GMO) crops, hoping to end a legal battle with Europe's top court." (Reuters)

"Genetically Modified Fluorescent Fish Illegally Smuggled into Germany" - "German authorities are concerned that genetically modified fluorescent fish are being smuggled into the country. Even though the fish are legal in the US, dealers here face fines of €50,000 or five years in jail.

There has been widespread concern in Europe about genetically modified organisms, with protesters warning of the dangers of "Frankenstein foods." Now glow-in-the-dark Frankenstein fish have been smuggled into Germany -- and the authorities are concerned about the illegal trade." (Der Spiegel)

March 20, 2007

"World Bank head praises DDT use against malaria" - "World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz has praised South Africa's malaria control programme, saying the country's use of indoor residual spraying has reduced malaria episodes.

Wolfowitz visited the village of Mamitwa in South Africa's northern Limpopo province ― a region of high malaria incidence ― last week (15 March).

"One of the reasons why I wanted to come here is that this area has achieved one of the most dramatic resolutions in malaria prevalence of any area I know," he told the South African Press Association.

South Africa has stopped using the recommended insecticide-treated mosquito nets, in favour of indoor spraying of the previously banned chemical Dichloro Diphenyl Trichloroethane (DDT)." (SciDev.Net)

For not meeting their standards? "Knut Should Be Killed, Say Some Animal Activists" - "Berlin's polar bear cub Knut is more famous than ever. Even star photographer Annie Leibovitz has been to take his picture. But not everyone loves the little bear. Animal rights activists want him put to sleep because he has been raised on a bottle." (Der Spiegel)

"Parents or Plastics Responsible for Obesity Epidemic?" - "Two radically different “causes” of obesity caught the media’s attention on both sides of the Atlantic, but one of them was far from proven." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Couch potatoes costing NHS £1bn a year, say researchers" - "Britain's couch potato tendency is costing the NHS £1bn a year as diseases linked to physical inactivity rise, according to research published today. Our sluggishness causes both disease and death, says the report by experts at Oxford University's department of public health. They estimate that in 2003-04 more than 35,000 deaths could have been avoided if Britons had enjoyed a more active lifestyle." (The Guardian)

"Preventing obesity in children -- research highlights physical activity levels" - "A British study, involving 5,500 children and published in the latest issue of PLoS Medicine, used accurate methods to measure the ‘fat mass’ of the children and the amount of physical activity they were taking. The researchers, based at the University of Bristol, concluded that low levels of activity, particularly moderate and vigorous activity, play an important role in the development of obesity." (Public Library of Science)

"The answer to childhood obesity could be as simple as encouraging kids to kick a football around for 15 minutes a day" - "ALSPAC The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (also known as Children of the 90s) is a unique ongoing research project based in the University of Bristol. It enrolled 14,000 mothers during pregnancy in 1991-2 and has followed most of the children and parents in minute detail ever since." (University of Bristol)

The Improving State of the World: Why We're Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet by Indur Goklany

Relying on a wealth of data, Goklany shows how innovation, increases in affluence, and key institutions have combined to address environmental degradation that sometimes results from growth. The evidence on the use of cropland, trends in air pollution, and diverse experiences in water usage counters the gloomy outlook of some environmentalists. Goklany explains why the state of the world is improving and offers a realistic assessment of the sustainability of the human enterprise, setting priorities for dealing with such challenges as climate change.

Buy this book and help JunkScience.com at the same time.

"Changed Climate on Warming" - "WASHINGTON -- Rep. John Dingell once dismissed global warming as a "theory." Lately, the Democratic lawmaker from Michigan has had a change of heart. "The science on this question," he said recently, "has been settled."

Mr. Dingell's conversion, as much as anything, underscores the changed atmosphere on Capitol Hill on the issue of climate change. It also explains why the chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee is playing host this week to Al Gore, the former vice president who took on the issue of global warming long before Mr. Dingell or others in the political establishment embraced it.

The planned appearance by Mr. Gore, whose film on climate change, "An Inconvenient Truth," won an Oscar for best documentary, is part of a series of hearings that Mr. Dingell said will set the stage for legislation later this year to control greenhouse-gas emissions, which are believed to contribute to global warming." (Wall Street Journal)

"Al Gore Challenged to Climate Debate" - "Al Gore has been challenged to an internationally televised debate on "climate change" by Lord Christopher Monckton, a policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during her leadership of the United Kingdom. In a formal press release from the Center for Science and Public Policy, Lord Monckton has thrown down the gauntlet to challenge Gore to what he terms "the Second Great Debate," an internationally televised, head-to-head, nation-unto-nation confrontation on the question, "That our effect on climate is not dangerous." (Watts Up With That?) | Al Gore Challenged to International TV Debate on Global Warming (Center for Science and Public Policy)

"Details Of Al Gore’s Upcoming Trip To Chile Revealed" - "(March 19, 2007) Former U.S. Vice President and newly turned global-warming celebrity Al Gore will visit Chile on May 11 to promote the fight against global warming. But Gore’s stay will be brief. After his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” took home an Oscar, the speaker and activist’s schedule has been so packed that the former veep will remain in the country for only hours.

Arriving to Santiago around noon on a flight from Buenos Aires, Gore will give a speech at Santiago’s CasaPierda complex at 6:00 p.m. sharp and will then get on a plane back to his native Tennessee that evening.

For the few hours he spends in Chile, Gore will take home around US$200,000, the fee he is charging companies that sponsored his visit, including the environmental NGO Oikos, Chilevisíon, and the El Mercurio news daily." (Santiago Times)

"Taking closer look at Al Gore's truth" - "The post-Oscar attacks on Al Gore for living in a mansion that consumes 20 times as much energy as the average American house were enjoyable, but unfair. Gore's consumption of fossil fuels has nothing to do with the arguments he has been advancing about climate change. After all, his thesis is empirical, not subjective. It doesn't matter a lick whether Al Gore is a hypocrite. What matters is whether or not he is right." (Jonathan Last, Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Gore Climate Change Swindle Exposed on European Tour" - "I'm proud to be an adviser to the U.K. Government," Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, boasted in an interview with U.TV in London March 12. During his recent tour of Europe, which took Gore to Denmark, Belgium, England, and Scotland, he has been trading on his status as a hireling of British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown—the man who has presided over the explosion of the huge London-centered derivatives, real estate, and personal debt bubble—the biggest in British history—during his ten years in the Labour government.

Brown named Gore as "Special Adviser to the Government on Climate Change" in October 2006. A more accurate title would be: Adviser on how to generate the next speculative "locust" funds out of the "global warming" Big Lie. On March 14, Gore showed up in Edinburgh in his capacity as government Special Adviser and Chairman of the "Blood and Gore" hedge fund Generation Management, to tell Britain's National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) to risk the nation's pensions in the "carbon trading" bubble which he, Gordon Brown, and the City of London are desperately trying to get off the ground before the whole financial system crashes. With the U.S. housing bubble about to tip over into the abyss, they have little chance of making it.

Gore's real mission, as his speeches in Copenhagen and Edinburgh showed, is to let the London locusts loose on what remains of the U.S. economy. The next Presidential administration, he claims, will be "committed" to the global warming hoax. The real agenda of what can only be called climate "terrorism," will be using this hoax to impose the kind of "state of emergency" used when the Nazis took power in Germany, as the German newspaper Die Welt has just warned. This crew is not only after everyone's pension; they are using green propaganda to target a generation of children, as Godzilla was used to frighten young Baby Boomers about the atomic age." | See the Film That Pops Gore's Bubble (Mary Burdman, Executive Intelligence Review)

The Net Climate Feedbacks Must Be A Negative Effect On The Global Average Radiative Imbalance If The IPCC Conclusion Of Net Anthropogenic Radiative Forcings Is Correct (Climate Science)

Here's Jim, at it again: "Climate change expert slates US 'interference' in research" - "The Bush administration's interference in climate change science has revealed "flaws that have developed in the functioning of our democracy", according to a leading US climate scientist." (Guardian Unlimited)

but "Climate scientist sees cover-up" - "A NASA scientist who said the Bush administration muzzled him because of his belief in global warming yesterday acknowledged to Congress that he'd done more than 1,400 on-the-job interviews in recent years." (Eric Pfeiffer, Washington Times)

1,400 interviews and this is when he's on the clock -- you're paying his wages to give interviews claiming he's being "muzzled" and doing the self-promotion that garners $250,000 "awards" from the Ketchup Queen's misanthropy fund. And the media fall for this?

"Former White House official defends editing of climate papers" - "WASHINGTON – A former White House official accused of improperly editing reports on global warming defended his editing changes Monday, saying they reflected views in a 2001 report by the National Academy of Sciences." (AP)

"Answers to questions from the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress, Committee on Energy and Commerce, on the issue of mankind’s contribution to global warming and climate change" (.pdf) (Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic) | Original Letter to President Vaclav Klaus (.pdf) (CEC)

"A new mechanism for producing cosmic gamma rays from starlight is proposed" - "In 2002, when astronomers first detected cosmic gamma rays – the most energetic form of light known – coming from the constellation Cygnus they were surprised and perplexed. The region lacked the extreme electromagnetic fields that they thought were required to produce such energetic rays. But now a team of theoretical physicists propose a mechanism that can explain this mystery and may also help account for another type of cosmic ray, the high-energy nuclei that rain down on Earth in the billions." (Vanderbilt University)

"Lightning and Climate Change" - "Nitrogen oxides, the reactive gases that contribute to smog near the ground and help regulate ozone far above it, are not made by cars and industry alone. A lot of NOx, as the various gases are collectively known, is made by lightning." (New York Times)

"Natural Disasters Will Increase - UN Meteorologists" - "MADRID - Global warming is likely to bring more tidal waves, floods and hurricanes, leading meteorologists said on Monday." (Reuters)

"SOUTH AMERICA: Climate Change Fuels Spread of Dengue Fever" - "BUENOS AIRES - Climate change, which has resulted, for example, in heavier and more persistent rains in South America, is forcing countries to take more proactive measures to prevent the spread of diseases like dengue fever." (IPS)

"Climate guru warns of ‘trouble coming’" - "Scientists have a pretty good picture of global climate changes, but the snapshot for Hawaii is not clear, says one of the world's leading climate researchers.

Richard Alley, chairman of the Committee on Abrupt Climate Change for the National Research Council, is one of the authors of the fourth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "The IPCC's output is probably not good enough about what Hawaii is going to do," he said in an interview here last week, suggesting serious work is needed on numerical models to forecast the impact of climate changes in Hawaii." (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

"Global Warming Action Could Curb Nightmare Impacts" - "OSLO - Cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases can mute the worst impacts of global warming, such as water shortages for billions of people or extinction of almost half of Amazonian tree species, a draft UN report shows." (Reuters)

Provided "global warming action" = "development" + "wealth generation" we'd tend to agree.

"Climate Campaign Is a Diversion; Real Danger Is Financial Meltdown" - "The population is currently being conditioned with a dramatic fear-campaign, to get them to accept a massive shrinking of their living standards and civil rights—and ultimately a different world order. Governments, the media, and "objective" scientists are speaking as if in lockstep, since the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on Feb. 7 provided the opening shot for the coordinated campaign for a paradigm-shift: to address the man-made climate catastrophe, the poor polar bears, who are swimming all alone toward the last ice floes in a warmed-up North Sea, and the "fact" that our "planet only has 13 years left." And Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel tries with some success to appear as weighty as Al Gore, and, according to Welt online, demands a "leader of the world." (Helga Zepp-LaRouche, EIR)

"The Global Warming Theory and the Loss of Integrity" - "The practice of science has historically been driven by positing a hypothesis, making observations of the real world, then determining whether the hypothesis explains the observations. The practice obviously needs experimental replication by independent observers, establishment of limits of the hypothesis, and peer review. As Nobel laureate Richard Feynman has stated, the failure of these tests of the hypothesis means the hypothesis is false, period." (Michael R. Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

"US Must Act on Climate Change - Ex-CIA Chief" - "BRUSSELS - The United States must act to cap its emissions of greenhouse gases and join the fight against climate change or risk losing global leadership, a former CIA director said in a report released on Monday." (Reuters)

"EU to Use Taxation to Protect the Environment" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission will soon come up with ideas for 'green taxes' to save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, officials said on Monday." (Reuters)

"UK Government Accused of Timidity on Climate Change" - "LONDON - The British government is failing to get to grips with global warming, imposing inadequate green taxes and setting unambitious carbon cutting goals, a parliamentary committee said on Monday." (Reuters)

"MPs pour scorn on Chancellor's green claims as pollution tax falls" - "GORDON Brown's environmental credentials have been dealt a heavy blow by an all-party committee of MPs on the eve of what the Chancellor hopes to present as a green Budget tomorrow. The Commons environmental audit committee yesterday passed a withering verdict on Mr Brown's record, accusing the Chancellor of breaking his own promises to impose "green taxes" on pollution." (The Scotsman)

:) "It's OK, MPs are recycling hot air" - "As one of our foremost advisers on matters green, Wallace Arnold advises how to turn nuclear waste into wind turbines." (London Telegraph)

More exploitation of gullible Westerners: "Russia Eyes the Clean Way" - "MOSCOW - Foreign institutions are stepping in to help Russia cut emissions within its commitments to the Kyoto Protocol." (IPS)

"Canadian PM's home blocked by Greenpeace activists" - "OTTAWA - Five Greenpeace activists blockaded the main gates at Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's residence on Monday, in protest of his failure to support the Kyoto protocol on climate change. The five, carrying a placard branding Harper a "climate criminal," attached a bicycle lock to the gates of Harper's official residence and then chained themselves to the gate." (Reuters)

"A profitable environment" - "There's one reason why big business is keen on wind energy in the Catskill mountains: lucrative tax breaks." (Mark Seddon, The Guardian)

"Cooking smoke killing 1.6 million poor a year" - "NEW DELHI - More than 1.6 million people are dying every year from the effects of breathing in poisonous smoke from animal dung, wood and coal used for cooking, experts said on Monday.

More than three billion people -- half the world's population -- rely on the burning of solid fuels to prepare their meals because they cannot afford cleaner alternatives or don't have access to electricity.

Environmental experts said in New Delhi the cooking smoke was killing women and children in India, China, Africa and elsewhere." (Reuters)

"Car makers' court challenge delayed" - "BURLINGTON, Vt. --Wrestling with the competing demands of maintaining public access while keeping trade secrets secret, a federal judge Monday postponed the trial of a suit brought by auto makers and dealers who say Vermont doesn't have the authority to regulate vehicle emissions. The trial, which was to start Thursday, will begin April 9 instead." (Associated Press)

"Biofuels Coalition Announces 1st Project" - "DENVER — Colorado's biofuels research coalition announced its first major project on Monday, a public-private partnership that will work to create new transportation fuels and other products from crops." (Associated Press)

"Mozambique, China in Talks on Hydro-Power Project" - "MAPUTO - Mozambique is close to a deal with China that would pave the way for a US$300 million hydro-electric dam in Maputo, Public Works and Housing Minister Felicio Zacarias said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Key Development Goals Stagnating" - "UNITED NATIONS - Halfway to 2015, the year when the globally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are supposed to be reached, the crisis in water and sanitation as well as in water resources management remains among the great human development and environmental challenges." (IPS)

"U.S. experts warn that Lake Michigan's water levels will drop further this year" - 'The lake is reportedly an inch lower than it was at this time last year, and 17 inches below its long-term average, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Lake Superior and Lake Huron are also below their average levels, the newspaper said. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not deny that they accidentally dug a hole in the bottom of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in the early 1960s when they dredged a shipping channel in the St. Clair River. A new study is expected to focus on the lower water levels to determine if the problem is entirely man-made." (United Press International)

"Researcher to determine why oil still remains from Exxon Valdez" - "Some 18 years after the Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound, the oil continues to cause environmental problems along some of Alaska's shoreline. To help determine why the oil continues to linger long after experts predicted it would disappear, Temple University has been awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council." (Temple University)

"Mother Nature Still a Rich Source of New Drugs" - "CHICAGO - At least 70 percent of all new drugs introduced in the United States in the past 25 years come from nature despite the use of sophisticated techniques to design products in the lab, researchers reported on Monday." (Reuters)

"Malaria-Resistant Mosquito Developed" - "Researchers have developed a malaria-resistant mosquito, a step that might one day help block the spread of an illness that has claimed millions of lives around the world." (AP) | A Glowing Recommendation (London Times) | Malaria: GM mosquitoes offer new hope for millions (The Guardian)

March 19, 2007

‘Inconvenient’ Questions Senators Should Ask Al Gore at Global Warming Hearing on March 21 - Washington, DC (March 19) – The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee should ask Al Gore the following “inconvenient’ questions about global warming when Mr. Gore testifies before the Committee on March 21. The questions for Mr. Gore were drafted by JunkScience.com.

"Whose Ox Is Gored?" - "The media discover the former vice president's environmental exaggerations and hypocrisy." (John Fund, Opinion Journal)

"Gore Gets Signatures for Climate Change" - "NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Former Vice President Al Gore has collected nearly 300,000 electronic signatures asking Congress to take action on global warming, Gore said in an entry on his Web site Friday. Gore said the signatures demonstrate "that hundreds of thousands of people share my sense of urgency" on climate change. Gore is scheduled to testify before Congress about the issue Wednesday." (AP)

According to the CIA World Factbook, there are roughly 300 million US citizens and Gore is crowing about collecting 300 thousand electronic signatures (0.1% of the population), even permitting inevitable zealot multiple sign ups as individuals -- talk about disinterested.

D'oh! "Another Inconvenient Truth" - "Behind the feel-good hype of carbon offsets, some of the deals don't deliver." (Business Week)

Here's some more inconvenient truth -- none of them ever can.

"The global-warmers were bound to attack, but why are they so feeble?" - "'The Great Global Warming Swindle', broadcast by Channel 4, put the case for scepticism about man-made climate change. The programme sparked a heated debate and charges of scientific inaccuracy. Here, its director, Martin Durkin, responds to the critics." (London Telegraph)

"Scientific Smackdown: Skeptics Voted The Clear Winners Against Global Warming Believers in Heated NYC Debate" - "Just days before former Vice President Al Gore’s scheduled visit to testify about global warming before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, a high profile climate debate between prominent scientists Wednesday evening ended with global warming skeptics being voted the clear winner by a tough New York City audience of hundreds of people." (EPW) | The climate's just perfect for a debate (Ellis Henican, Newsday) | Debate Transcript (.pdf)

"Global Warming Debate in New York Won by 'Skeptics'" (.pdf) - "On March 14, Intelligence² US held a debate on the proposition "Global warming is not a crisis." After the debate, the audience voted 46% to 42% in favor of the motion." (Marshall Institute)

"A climate of fear" - "Apocalyptic talk about global warming has stirred the sediment of old fears - the mushroom cloud has returned to haunt us. But, Thornton McCamish writes, the last great fright was a little different from the new one." (The Age)

The establishment (Number Watch)

Global warming: Ungrateful greens beat up on the New York Times (Chris Reed, Union-Tribune)

In The Observer, no less: "Don't exaggerate climate dangers, scientists warn" - "Leading climate change experts have warned of the 'Hollywoodisation' of global warning and criticised American scientists for exaggerating the message of global warming.

Professors Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier of the Royal Meteorolgical Society said scientists, campaign groups, politicians and the media were all guilty of making out that catastrophic events were likely when this could not be proved.

They also criticised the tendency to say individual extreme events - such as the Birmingham typhoon and the Boscastle floods - were evidence of climate change.

They singled out for criticism a report last month by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which said intensification of droughts, heatwaves, floods, wild fires and storms were 'early warning signs of even more devastating damage to come'. 'It's certainly a very strong statement,' said Collier, warning that it was a bit too early to 'make the blanket assumption that all extreme weather events are increasing.'

Media reporting of the recent study written by the UN International Panel on Climate Change, was also criticised, especially for the use of words such as 'catastrophic', 'terrifying' and 'devastating' that were not in the report." (The Observer) | Climate change fear 'overplayed' (Press Association) | Caution urged on climate 'risks' (BBC)

And Houghton goes postal: "Global warming is a 'weapon of mass destruction'" - "Global warming is a "weapon of mass destruction", one of Britain and the world's top climatologists said yesterday.

Sir John Houghton, former director-general of the Meteorological Office and chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, entered the debate over the seriousness of climate change after two meteorologists were reported as saying that "some scientists have been guilty of overplaying the available evidence". He said he agreed with the Government's chief scientist, Professor Sir David King, that it posed a greater threat than terrorism." (London Independent)

"We Have to Take Away People's Fear of Climate Change" - "Hans von Storch is one of Germany's leading researchers on climate change. DER SPIEGEL spoke with him about why fears of global warming are exaggerated and the doom-mongering tendencies of German scientists." (Der Spiegel)

"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." (Civilization Watch)

"US scuppers hope of limits on emissions" - "The US on Friday poured scorn on hopes that it would be pushed into adopting binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions by the new international political momentum on curbing climate change.

Stephen Johnson, head of the US government’s environmental protection agency dismissed as “rhetoric” targets to reduce carbon emissions, such as the European Union’s pledge last week on cutting emissions by a fifth from 1990 levels." (Financial Times)

"G8 Climate Consensus Emerging, US Odd Man Out" - "POTSDAM, Germany - A consensus on the need to protect the world's environment is emerging among rich and developing nations, but the United States remains at odds with other countries on key points, Germany said on Saturday." (Reuters)

"Ministers Meet Generates Only Hot Air" - "POTSDAM, Germany - Renewed U.S. opposition to an international deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions meant that an environment ministers meeting on the weekend produced nothing more than hot air." (IPS)

Oh boy... "Statistical Analysis Debunks Climate Change Naysayers" - "Despite the fact that the hundreds of scientists and reviewers on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced February 2nd in Paris that global warming is "very likely" caused by human activity, governments and other policy-makers may still justify inaction because of naysayers like Danish weather scientist Henrik Svensmark, who maintains that global climate change can be attributed to the proportion of cosmic rays in our atmosphere.

Another naysayer is atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer, who asserts that "The whole question of anthropogenic, or human-caused, global warming is central to setting any policy of climate mitigation and therefore warrants closer examination."

"These arguments are moot," says Peter Tsigaris, an economist at Thompson Rivers University, in Kamloops, BC, Canada. He continues: "The important question is the cost of these opinions being wrong relative to the cost of the IPCC report being wrong in its assessment." (SPX)

... never mind that statistics never prove anything but merely provide possible indicators such analyses are completely dependent on the assumptions used by the statistician. What is the correct valuation for the loss of development wrought by diverting societal effort and funds to fighting the phantom menace of "global warming"? We would suggest $1 diverted from a useful task (third world poverty reduction, water reticulation, electricity provision, sanitation...) to the absurd notion of tweaking the global thermostat is an horrendous cost, completely unaffordable and absolutely out of the question but you can bet AGW advocates have loaded the assumptions completely to the other end of the scale. Absolute nonsense.

"Two Papers On The Urban Heat Island Effect On Temperatures" - "Thanks to Charles Muller, he has alerted us to two new papers on the urban heat island effect on temperature trends." (Climate Science)

The dishonor roll of those seeking mandated profit -- at your expense: "Investors to Press US Congress on Global Warming" - "NEW YORK - Joining a rising corporate chorus itching to sink money into clean energy projects, big investors will press the US Congress Monday to pass laws attempting to tackle global warming. The dozens of investors include Merrill Lynch, The Capital Group, which manages US$850 billion in mutual funds, and the California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest US pension fund, said a source at Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors and environmentalists. "Investors are seeking strong legislation with tangible greenhouse gas reduction targets," said the source." (Reuters)

"Global Warming Boosts Arctic Shipping, Oil - Report" - "HANOVER, N.H. - Global warming, blamed for melting polar bears' icy Arctic habitat, could be a boon to the shipping and oil industries in the far north, according to a new US report. The dramatic decrease in sea ice above the Arctic Circle means formerly impenetrable shipping routes are now or soon could be open for much of the year, the US Arctic Research Commission said in a report released last week at a summit of Arctic scientists in Hanover." (Reuters)

Wouldn't bet heavily on this -- we just don't have data on Arctic cycles and consequently no idea of what is likely.

"Military activity leads to melting of Siachen glaciers" - "RAWALPINDI, March 17: The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has launched a study on “melting of Himalaya glaciers, particularly Siachen, to human intervention” keeping in view the facts that mountain warfare, pollution and global warming have put the life of glacier under threat." (Dawn)

"The Coming Global Cooling?" - "An article has appeared in a recent issue of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics with a curious title “Multi-scale analysis of global temperature changes and trend of a drop in temperature in the next 20 years.” Wow, that’s a mouthful! Imagine publishing a paper in a respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal in which you predict global cooling over the next few decades? Apparently, the authors were not moved by the 46.6 million websites found when doing a quick search of the internet for “global warming.” (WCR)

Not that this will likely quiet an increasingly hysterical Hansen: "Ice sheet complexity leaves sea level rise uncertain" - "Ice shed from the giant sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland is responsible for just 12% of the current rate of global sea level rise, according to a new review.

The authors emphasise that it is now clear that the ice caps are losing ice faster than it is being replenished by snowfall. But exactly why this is happening remains unknown, making it difficult to predict the extent of future sea level rises.

The remaining 88% of the current rise is due to the expansion of water as it warms, and melting from mountain glaciers and ice caps outside Greenland and Antarctica." (NewScientist.com news service)

Bizarrely Hansen recently claimed looming sea level rises 20 times greater than the IPCC's eyebrow-raising claims.

Hmm... "Global Warming Cuts US$5 Billion in Grain Crops - Study" - "NEW YORK - Global warming has cut about US$5 billion worth of the world's most commonly grown grains over 20 years, according to a new study." (Reuters) | Crops feel the heat as the world warms (Carnegie Institution)

... haven't seen this one but suspect you need very selective terms of reference to reach such a conclusion. France suffered significant hunger-driven civil unrest during the Little Ice Age partly because they did not adopt potato as a crop during the colder, wetter period rather than trying to stick with traditional cereal growing -- this is failure to adapt to change rather than change itself. Did this study allow for crop changes with varying conditions or simply net output from given regions? Did it take into account increased growing seasons for northern marginal lands (significant areas that could be useful cropping country if warm enough)? Dubious.

"Rebels of the sun" - "The science of how global warming occurs has become crucial to our economy. So why are dissenting explanations of the sun's influence on our fate being pushed aside, asks environment writer Matthew Warren." (The Australian)

"Sun's pulse 'pointing to rain'" - "DROUGHT-BREAKING rains across eastern Australia have been predicted in new modelling by a scientist who believes massive pulses in the sun's magnetic field are helping to drive the Earth's climate systems.

If proven, the research will make the prediction of floods and droughts in Australia far more reliable and influence models projecting future climate change.

Robert Baker, from the University of New England, claims to have found a strong relationship between the rhythmic pulsing of the sun's magnetic field and weather systems, particularly in the southern hemisphere." (The Australian)

As if it wasn't hard enough for skeptics to be heard -- Global Warming Skeptics has just suffered a major meltdown, hacked and destroyed, apparently. Shame about the loss of past articles but web master Steve LeMaster assures us they will not be silenced -- good for them! Why not drop by and see how their reconstruction is going?

"Interfaith group braves storm in climate change trek" - "NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- As the world's warmest winter on record drew to an end with a weekend snow storm, a group of religious leaders started walking across the state Friday to bring attention to global warming.

"People have been asking me what happens if it snows," said the Rev. Fred Small of the First Church Unitarian in Littleton. "I tell them: 'we walk.'"

The nine-day haul from downtown Northampton to Copley Square in Boston was planned far before forecasts called for a weekend of snow and sleet just a few days before the start of spring.

"It was windy and cold. I was walking on the front of the line and I felt like I was bow of a ship with the wind just coming into my face," said the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas of the Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst, where the group warmed up on bowls of lentil and minestrone soup after walking eight miles in deep snow from Northampton to Amherst." (Associated Press)

"NOAA Says U.S. Winter Temperature Near Average" - "March 15, 2007 — The December 2006-February 2007 U.S. winter season had an overall temperature that was near average, according to scientists at the NOAA National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Precipitation was above average in much of the center of the nation, while large sections of the East, Southeast and West were drier than average. The global average temperature was the warmest on record for the December-February period." (NOAA News)

The crone's fixation: "Taming Fossil Fuels" - "Each day seems to bring news of another prominent convert to the cause of requiring mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Each day also seems to bring news of technological advances that would make it possible to achieve those reductions without serious economic damage. Put all these glad tidings together, and Congress has all the reasons it needs to move quickly to regulate global warming emissions here at home, thus setting an example for the world." (New York Times)

We have to wonder why NYT has so adopted its misanthropic anti-energy, anti-technology advocacy -- only media hysteria is holding together the dodgy enhanced greenhouse scare. Why don't they do something useful and concentrate on real problems -- they're the only kind we can actually solve.

"We should be scared stiff" - "Renowned scientist James Lovelock thinks mainland Europe will soon be desert - and millions of people will start moving north to Britain. Stuart Jeffries meets him" (The Guardian)

"Beat Up" - "There's an article in this issue of the Chico Beat about my views on global warming. You can read it here: http://www.chicobeat.com/?q=in_denial

I knew going into it that they'd probably be critical of my views, but that's what honest debate is all about. My tipoff was Josh Indar's comment to me that "I'm surprised that you returned my call". I learned a long time ago that even if you don't like what the press is going to write about you, you should always be available and up front." (Watts Up With That?)

"EU's Piebalgs Wants Global Emissions Deal in 2009" - "BRUSSELS - The international community should seek to reach a deal in 2009 on cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Canada Says to Move Toward Kyoto Target" - "OTTAWA - Canada's government, criticized by environmentalists for saying its Kyoto target on greenhouse gases is unreachable, said on Saturday it would nonetheless move substantially towards that goal." (Reuters)

Yielding to extortion: "Tories look abroad for emission cuts" - "The Conservative government might let Canadian polluters meet greenhouse gas emission targets by investing in foreign projects, Environment Minister John Baird suggested yesterday. No decision has been made, Baird said in a telephone news conference after meeting in Potsdam, Germany, with counterparts from the G-8 industrialized nations, China, India and three other "emerging economies" to discuss climate change. He said the government is considering a policy reversal that would allow investments in what the Kyoto Protocol calls the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)." (Toronto Star)

"Cut CO2 or Pay, Canada Liberals Demand of Industry" - "OTTAWA - Canada's energy industry would have to cut its carbon emissions by up to 46 percent or pay billions of dollars a year in penalties under a climate change plan by the opposition Liberal Party." (Reuters)

"Dion touts deep emission cuts" - "Environment groups praise new Liberal green plan; industry warns of possible costs." (Toronto Star)

"Baird dismisses Liberal climate change plan" - "POTSDAM, Germany - Environment Minister John Baird dismisses the Liberal's party's newly announced climate change plan as a money grab and a weak effort. He says it's the fifth plan announced by Stephane Dion and the Liberals, but it's no better than the other four." (CP)

"Scientists: Trying to change earth's climate is tricky" - "WASHINGTON -- When climate scientist Andrew Weaver considers the idea of tinkering with Earth's air, water or sunlight to fight global warming, he remembers the lessons of a favorite children's book.

In the book, a cheese-loving king's castle is infested with mice. So the king brings in cats to get rid of the mice. Then the castle's overrun with cats, so he brings in dogs to get rid of them, then lions to get rid of the dogs, elephants to get rid of the lions, and finally, mice to get rid of the elephants.

That scenario in "The King, the Mice and the Cheese," by Nancy and Eric Gurney, should give scientists pause before taking extreme measures to mess with Mother Nature, says Weaver of the University of Victoria.

However, in recent months, several scientists are considering doing just that." (AP)

Rightly: "Green critics locked out of budget lock-up" - "OTTAWA–Environmental groups that have been critical of the Conservatives say they are no longer being afforded the privilege of going over the federal budget before it's released publicly.

Climate Action Network, Friends of the Earth and others have not been invited to a budget "lock-up" being held by the federal finance department to give interest groups a chance to familiarize themselves with the complex document so they can comment knowledgably as soon as it becomes public.

"It's the first time we have had such a cold shoulder," said Beatrice Olivastri, chief executive officer of Friends of the Earth. The group has been critical of the Harper government's environmental approach and "its intention not to comply with" climate-change reduction requirements under the Kyoto Protocol, she said.

La Presse said Greenpeace and Equiterre were also not invited to the preview." (Toronto Star)

"Cameron Attacked Over Green Policies" - "NOTTINGHAM - Conservative leader David Cameron hit back at critics of his plans to levy green taxes on air travellers on Sunday as a newspaper accused him of failing to follow basic waste recycling rules at home." (Reuters)

"Battle for the planet" - "Locked in a struggle for control of the environmental agenda, Britain's political leaders have committed the nation, and its taxpayers, to stringent new carbon-cutting policies. But, reveals Richard Gray, they are facing tough questions over how much gain there will be for the pain." (London Telegraph)

"German Car Industry Not Doing Its Part, Say Critics" - "BERLIN - The German automotive industry, which exported 3.9 million cars in 2006 -- a large portion to Latin America -- is coming under criticism for its inability to produce engines with lower carbon dioxide emissions and for its refusal to accept ambitious environmental targets." (IPS)

"Germany Automakers' Hybrid Efforts Plagued by Technical Problems" - "German automakers will introduce hybrid cars into the market later than planned. Carmakers underestimated the difficulty of developing the sophisticated, environmentally friendly technology." (Der Spiegel)

"Deep sea treasures of Gulf Stream attracting researchers, interest in Congress" - "WASHINGTON – Off the shores of Dania Beach, a team of researchers is designing giant underwater turbines to harness the swift currents of the Gulf Stream and turn them into a powerful new source of electricity.

This futuristic energy platform is one of many promising ocean ventures -- from reef preservation to biomedical harvesting -- all along the South Florida coast pressing for federal funding.

Suddenly, ocean research is the hot topic in scientific circles and a high priority in Washington." (Sun-Sentinel)

Another brilliant newspaper campaign: "Cannabis: An apology" - "In 1997, this newspaper launched a campaign to decriminalise the drug. If only we had known then what we can reveal today..." (London Independent) -- h/t Benny Peiser, CCNet.

"Obesity Paradox #4" - "Many seem to be doing their best to convince us that the human race is doomed by poorer health and that obesity is killing us. Savvy consumers aren’t buying it.

We can simply look around and see the truth: our contemporary lives have never been better, we’re blessed with more people having enough to eat and not suffering malnutrition, we’ve never had such a glorious variety of safe food to eat and water to drink, our air is cleaner to breathe, more of our children are getting immunized and living healthfully through childhood, fewer women are dying in childbirth, educational attainment has never been higher, and everyone is living longer lives than ever. To actually believe all of the doom and gloom, we not only have to suspend reality, but also ignore over 50 years of government health statistics that show heart disease and cancer deaths rates are down. We’re living long enough to develop things associated with even older ages, such as Altzheimer’s. Rather than constructively focus energies and resources on actual issues and disparities in our culture, they’re being directed towards our appearances.

We’re bigger, although the actual changes in our weights and heights over generations are not nearly as great as we’re supposed to believe. Still, the evidence has proven a quandary for those who want us to believe that being fat is deadly. So much so, a special term has emerged to describe it: the “obesity paradox.” (Junkfood Science)

"MIA — All sides of “healthy” physical activity" - "The benefits of enjoying activities we love have a compelling body of supportive clinical evidence, as discussed here. The problem is, the message most people are getting is that this means we all have to “exercise.” And with today’s frenzied fixation on health and youth, it’s also believed that if a little is good, then more must be better, and that age needn’t slow us down or moderate our activities." (Junkfood Science)

"News-mercials: Don’t trust that dial!" - "It’s highly unlikely that your local television station independently researched, wrote and produced the “health news” segments you watch every day. Increasingly being aired are prepackaged stories fed to stations through health news services, produced by hospitals and special interests. It’s the latest brilliant form of advertising masquerading as news." (Junkfood Science)

Deservedly so: "Thinking bloggers" - "Wow, Dr. Rob, who writes a great blog called Distractible Mind, has sort of tagged me for the Thinking Blogger Award. Thank you so much. I am sincerely humbled and most appreciative of the honor. While I'm relatively new to blogging, I've already become convinced that there's lots better information, thinking and analysis available in the blog world than most mainstream media. To be among such good company has been my privilege." (Junkfood Science)

"£20bn added to bill for 1.5m new homes" - "The hidden cost of the government's housing plans for south-east England was yesterday estimated to be at least £20bn. The sum, calculated by the Environment Agency in response to Labour's intention to build nearly 1.5m new homes in the region, includes new flood defences, sewage plants and waste tips for communities, but not providing water for developments in drought-prone areas." (The Guardian)

Almost as irrelevant as "global warming": "Salt consumption falling but still 50 per cent higher than advised" - "Salt consumption in Britain has dropped but is still on average 50 per cent higher than the recommended amount, new research claims. Tests on 1,287 adults showed their average salt intake was 9g per day compared to 9.5g when tests were done in 2001." (London Independent)

"Why Do Cattle Die Eating Bt Cotton Plants Only In The Telengana Region Of Andhra Pradesh In India?" - "For a month now, reports of dead cattle have occupied the centre stage in the Warangal, Khammam and Adilabad Districts of the Telengana area of Andhra Pradesh in India (Deccan Herald, February 7, 2007, The Hindu, March 2, 2007, GM Watch, March 4, 2007). None of the reports showed that Bt protein in the Bt cotton plants was the real culprit, but the purveyors of these reports would like the world to believe that there is something wrong with Bt cotton plants that cause these alleged animal deaths and so Bt transgenics should be banned." (Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education)

Why? "Cost to label genetic food is overblown" - "Just $28 million a year: Quebec study. 87% want to know if food contains GMOs." (The Gazette)

Why would we want to pay any price to know there's domesticated foodstuffs within? Much simpler and cheaper to tell those particularly concerned their package contains only weeds and/or wildlife (all other foods having been altered by the hand of man).

March 16, 2007

"Must-See Global Warming TV" - "As Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” becomes mandatory viewing for many U.S. school children and nears becoming the “official truth” about global warming, it comes as most welcome news that an absolutely gripping film rebuttal has made its international debut, much to the chagrin of true believers in man-made climate change." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Unsettled science" - "Carl Wunsch, professor of physical oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been wronged. In The Great Global Warming Swindle, a no-holds-barred documentary that aired last week in the United Kingdom and will soon be coming to TV sets in North America, he was cast as a partisan in the climate-change debate. That he is not.

He was also cast as impugning the motives of scientists who employ complex computer models to predict the climate 50 or 100 years into the future. That he also did not do. Neither does he subscribe to the theory, championed in the documentary, that the sun and not carbon dioxide explains climate change

Director Martin Durkin's documentary -- the rival of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth for brash claims, selective presentations of the facts, and disdain for the opposing side's views -- is destined to raise a storm of controversy in the climate-change debate, with Dr. Wunsch destined to be uncomfortably at its centre.

Yet despite the untoward liberties taken by the documentary producers, there is little at dispute of substance. Here, in detail, is the documentary's sole misrepresentation of fact involving Dr. Wunsch." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

Replies to Moonbat: "Debate hots up over climate-change dissidents" - "I share George Monbiot's view that science needs dissent and debate (Comment, March 13). That's why I commissioned The Great Global Warming Swindle: to reflect the views of the significant minority of respected scientists who do not agree with the prevailing consensus on climate change. The response to the film has been lively and opinionated, but some clarification is needed.

With regard to reports that one contributor says he was "misled" by the programme and "misrepresented" within it, Channel 4 has a detailed correspondence which shows this is not the case. The view that Professor Egil Friss-Cristensen, head of the Danish Space Centre, "incorrectly handled data" and used "faulty methods" in his research is contested in his response, and he has demonstrated a good correlation between solar-cycle length and temperature. Professor John Christy, head of the Earth System Science Centre at the University of Alabama, also disputes the claim that he has been "proved wrong", and his most recent (2005) data on the heating of the lower atmosphere have not been challenged. There were many other voices in the film that present a powerful argument.

Director Martin Durkin and his production company have made numerous well-received factual programmes for broadcasters in the UK and internationally. It would be dishonest of Channel 4 to refuse to commission him because he is "discredited", as he is not.

The debate the film has started is to be welcomed and the range of opinions it has generated is reflected in Channel 4's output on the subject of the environment. This year we are presenting a range of programmes on the environment, many of which have as their premise the influence of CO2 as a driver of climate change. In the same week that The Great Global Warming Swindle aired, George Monbiot presented a compelling investigation into government strategy for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
Hamish Mykura
Head of science, Channel 4

George Monbiot is guilty of the sins of those wedded to orthodoxy down the ages. He links those who believe the sun's activity affects climate change with those who think Aids is not caused by HIV, and with conspiracy theories like the World Trade Centre being deliberately blown up. This is scientifically irrelevant and proves nothing. Whatever our ignorance about the Earth's complex climate systems, the fact is that our sun's active behaviour is atypical when viewed over thousand-year timescales. When the sun was less active, as in the 17th century, the Earth chilled. Agatha Christie put it nicely: "Any coincidence is worth investigating," said Miss Marple, "then you can always discount it if it is just a coincidence."
Dr David Whitehouse" (The Guardian)

"Gore brings green message to Brown and Cameron" - "Al Gore, the failed contender for the US Presidency who reinvented himself as a campaigner against global warming, heaped praise evenly yesterday on Gordon Brown and David Cameron for the "leadership" they have shown in dealing with environmental problems.

Mr Gore had a private meeting with the Conservative shadow cabinet before seeing Mr Brown in Downing Street. He said that the UK could be proud of the "healthy political dialogue" in this country about climate change. He said he wished the debate in the US over climate change was as healthy." (London Independent)

They like him? They can keep him.

"A Skeptic’s Primer on Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth: One-Sided, Misleading, Exaggerated, Speculative, Wrong" - "Former Vice President Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) and its companion book purport to be a non-partisan, non-ideological exposition of climate science. In reality, the film is a computer-enhanced lawyer’s brief for global warming alarmism and energy rationing. The only facts and studies Gore considers are those convenient to his scare-them-green agenda. And in numerous instances, he distorts the evidence he cites." (Marlo Lewis, Jr.. CEI)

"Why has “global warming” become such a passionate subject? Let’s not lose our cool" (.pdf, 93Kb) - "The new IPCC Report (2007) states, on page 10, “Most observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” Their great effort in making progress in climate change science is certainly commended.

The media in the world is paying great attention mostly to the term “very likely,” meaning the confidence level of more than 90%. However, I, as a scientist, am more concerned about the term “most,” because the IPCC Report does not demonstrate the basis for the term “most.”" (Syun Akasofu, International Arctic Research Center)

"Is the Earth still recovering from the “Little Ice Age”? A possible cause of global warming" (.pdf, 7.9Mb) "Abstract: There seems to be a roughly linear increase of the temperature from about 1800, or even much earlier, to the present. This warming trend is likely to be a natural change; a rapid increase of CO2 began in about 1940. This trend should be subtracted from the temperature data during the last 100 years. Thus, there is a possibility that only a fraction of the present warming trend may be attributed to the greenhouse effect resulting from human activities. This conclusion is contrary to the IPCC (2007) Report, which states that “most” of the present warming is due to the greenhouse effect. One possible cause of the linear increase may be that the Earth is still recovering from the Little Ice Age. It is urgent that natural changes be correctly identified and removed accurately from the presently on-going changes in order to find the contribution of the greenhouse effect." (International Arctic Research Center)

"Scientist Calls Global Warming Theories 'Bunk,' Cites Errors of Logic" - "Just as Galileo and Einstein transcended the "consensus" of their day, so too will a growing body of scientific evidence eventually vindicate non-alarmist views on global warming, predicts environmental scientist Fred Singer.

The very notion of consensus on global warming is a "laughable" proposition, Singer said during a talk at the Heritage Foundation this week.

Proponents of man-made global warming theories, such as former Vice President Al Gore, claim there is scientific consensus on a link between human activity and rising temperatures.

Singer said he sees "bunk" and "misinformation" at work in the debate.

In a new book he co-authored with Dennis Avery entitled "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years," Singer writes, "It is sheer fantasy to suggest that a huge number of scientists with expertise in global climate change endorse an alarming interpretation of the recent climate data." (CNSNews.com)

Buy this book and help JunkScience.com at the same time.

"Winter Warmest on Record Worldwide" - "This winter was the warmest on record worldwide, the government said Thursday in the latest worrisome report focusing on changing climate. The report comes just over a month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said global warming is very likely caused by human actions and is so severe it will continue for centuries." (AP)

Actually there has been a small warming recently (as in, since the turn of the millennium) and January did show a brief spike in temperature but the pattern of warming does not fit any expectation of enhanced greenhouse. The recent step warming is a little more obvious in the lower troposphere record. Some people tell us warming would be obvious if only we'd use the "correct" version of MSU temperatures from RSS rather than the "wrong" data from UAH -- good luck with that.

"Sceptics turn the heat on climate change cataclysmists" - "CLIMATE change predictors really need to acquire a few social graces. Otherwise they will get our backs up and incline us to doubt their predictions, possibly to our disadvantage.

The use of "climate change deniers" to describe people who challenge computer- generated predictions of man-made catastrophe is particularly crass.

A grotesquely contrived link to those who deny that the Holocaust occurred, it constitutes an attempt to make simple folk ashamed of themselves for daring to question the experts.

David Henderson, former head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's economics and statistics department and now a lucid and urbane climate change sceptic, included two classic examples of ill-mannered hectoring in a paper he has delivered at various venues in Australia during the past few weeks." (Frank Devine, The Australian)

"World May Get Greener, Then Wilt, Due Warming" - "OSLO - Global warming is expected to turn the planet a bit greener by spurring plant growth but crops and forests may wilt beyond mid-century if temperatures keep rising, according to a draft UN report." (Reuters)

Watch out! There's a clear sky about! "Global 'sunscreen' has likely thinned, report NASA scientists" - "A new NASA study has found that an important counter-balance to the warming of our planet by greenhouse gases – sunlight blocked by dust, pollution and other aerosol particles – appears to have lost ground." (NASA/GSFC)

"How one number touched off big climate-change fight at UW"  -"The number is eye-popping, and it was repeated so often it became gospel.

The snowpack in the Cascades, it was said, shrank by 50 percent in the last half-century. It's been presented as glaring evidence of the cost exacted by global warming — the drying up of a vital water source.

That statistic has been repeated in a government report, on environmental-advocacy Web sites and in media coverage. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels recently mentioned it in a guest column in The Seattle Times.

Here's the problem: The number is dead wrong.

The debunking of this statistic, and the question of just how much the state's snowpack shrank, is stirring up a heated debate among the region's climate scientists." (Seattle Times)

"Global warming blamed for extreme weather in Qinghai-Tibet" - "Beijing, March 15.: Unusually heavy snow in March in the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan plateau has prompted Chinese meteorologists to believe global warming is responsible for the extreme weather in the fragile Himalayan region." (PTI)

"Arctic Climate Change - An Assessment By The Inuit and the Cree in Arctic Canada" - "There is an article in the journal Isuma which summarizes recent climate and other environmental trends in the Canadian Arctic. It provides a different perspective than what has typically been reported in the media and in the climate assessments such as the IPCC and the 2005 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) report." (Climate Science)

In [some] virtual worlds: "North Pole could be ice free by 2100, researchers say" - "A review of existing computer climate models suggests that global warming could transform the North Pole into an ice-free expanse of open ocean at the end of each summer by 2100, scientists reported today.

The researchers said that of the 15 models they looked at, about half forecast that the sea-ice cover--a continent-sized expanse that shrinks and regrows with the seasons--would seasonally vanish by the turn of the century." (LA Times)

"Arctic Sea Ice Decline May Trigger Climate Change Cascade" - "Arctic sea ice that has been dwindling for several decades may have reached a tipping point that could trigger a cascade of climate change reaching into Earth's temperate regions, says a new University of Colorado at Boulder study." (University of Colorado at Boulder)

"Ocean heat blamed for the mysterious disappearance of glaciers" - "A mysterious phenomenon is causing four major glaciers in the Antarctic to shrink in unison, causing a significant increase in sea levels, scientists have found.

The rise in atmospheric temperatures caused by global warming cannot account for the relatively rapid movement of the glaciers into the sea, but scientists suspect that warmer oceans may be playing a role.

"There is a possibility that heat from the ocean is somehow flowing in underneath these glaciers, but it is not related to global warming," said glaciologist Duncan Wingham of University College London. "Something has changed that is causing these glaciers to shrink.

"At this rate the glaciers will all be afloat in 150 years or so." (London Independent)

"Warming oceans threaten Antarctic glaciers" - "Scientists have identified four Antarctic glaciers that pose a threat to future sea levels using satellite observations, according to a study published in the journal Science." (University of Edinburgh)

Just don't ask them whether it'll rain tomorrow: "Climate Change Will Heat Switzerland Swiftly" - "Switzerland will suffer regular heatwaves and drought by 2050 as average temperatures rise swiftly and disrupt living patterns in the heart of Europe, a report predicted Wednesday. The report commissioned by the interior and environment ministries forecast that average temperatures in the Alpine country would rise by at least 2.0 degrees Celsius in summer and 3.0 degrees C in winter by 2050." (AFP)

More from Seth Boringtheme and his wacky planeteers: "Could Crazy Technology Save the Planet?" - "Crazy-sounding ideas for saving the planet are getting a serious look from top scientists, a sign of their fears about global warming and the desire for an insurance policy in case things get worse. How crazy?" (AP)

"Danish scientist: Global warming is a myth" - "COPENHAGEN, Denmark, March 15 -- A Danish scientist said the idea of a "global temperature" and global warming is more political than scientific." (UPI) | Global temperature -- politics or science? (University of Copenhagen)

A question of temperature (Number Watch)

Can't say I blame her: "Eco-warrior Trudie prefers helicopter to an 80-mile train ride" - "It's one rule for them, and another for the rest of us. Trudie Styler, wife of Sting and self-styled eco-warrior, recently took a helicopter to travel 80 miles from Wiltshire to Devon, a journey that would have taken less than two hours by train. The actress and film producer is forever harping on about saving the environment, having set up the Rainforest Campaign in the late 1980s with her pop star husband." (Evening Standard)

And hypocrisy is hardly new among the eco crowd.

"A hot topic gets hotter" - "Politicians are competing to see who can be most eco-friendly, but the public may not be as enthusiastic as they suppose." (The Economist)

"Brave Dave v Cautious Gordon" - "Climate change is helping David Cameron re-brand his party. But at what risk?" (The Economist)

"INTERVIEW - Britain Aims to Lead on Adapting to Climate Change" - "LONDON - Britain, which is pioneering legislation for binding cuts in greenhouse gases, also hopes to lead the way with practical measures to help people adapt to global warming, climate change minister Ian Pearson said." (Reuters)

"Warning to homeowners as the green vision is unveiled" - "Homeowners who refuse to make their properties energy efficient will face financial penalties under drastic government plans to transform Britain into the world's first 'green' economy." (Daily Mail)

"A New Golden Age: Russia Looks Forward to Global Warming" - "Fertile fields where there was once barren tundra; the Arctic free of ice; unhindered access to mineral resources -- in Russia, there is increasing hope that the country will emerge as a winner from the catastrophe of climate change. For the northern giant with millions of cubic kilometers of permafrost soil, global warming could bring enormous national benefit. The other countries around the North Pole are likewise beginning to imagine the coming of a new Golden Age. On this view, a Union of Nordic Nations might be the strategic alliance of the future, which thanks to the warming climate could keep pace with China and India in global competition." (World Politics Watch)

Oops... "Scientists Study True Colors of Amazon Rainforests" - "Using NASA satellite data, Boston University scientist Ranga Myneni studied the amount and dynamics of green leaf area of Amazon rainforests. The study found a 25 percent increase in leaf area during the dry season when skies are relatively clear demonstrating that the forests are not evergreen and are more dependent on light than rain. The greener forests gradually humidify the atmosphere helping to trigger the onset of the wet season." (Boston University)

"Alberta’s climate change plans costly, warns minister" - "EDMONTON -- Alberta’s climate change plans will produce higher energy costs for consumers and could see the government cough up billions of dollars to capture and pump carbon dioxide underground, Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner said Wednesday. But before the government officially unveils an updated climate change blueprint, it is seeking Albertans’ input and will hold 10 public consultation meetings across Alberta between late March and late April." (CanWest News Service)

"Climate control" - "The European Union thinks it can be a model for the world on climate change. Can it?" (The Economist)

"3,000,000,000,000 Euros for the Climate" - "A new study indicates that the price tag of global warming could be steep for Germany. But are the numbers being inflated just to attract attention? German commentators think they are." (Der Spiegel)

Mad Margot: "EU charter should enshrine climate change" - "BRUSSELS - A new European Union treaty to replace a rejected draft constitution should call for fighting climate change and for EU countries to share energy resources in emergencies, a senior EU official said on Thursday. EU Institutional Relations Commissioner Margot Wallstrom said the new charter should include ideas which meet citizens' main concerns." (Reuters)

"Time Running Out for Post-Kyoto Climate Deal - Germany" - "BERLIN - Germany's environment minister said on Thursday that governments around the world must agree before the end of the year on a plan to negotiate an extension of the Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters)


Oh dear... "Carbon footprint of products to be displayed on label package" - "The Carbon Trust is launching a green equivalent to the Fairtrade label - a consumer label which details the carbon footprint of a product and a commitment by its producer to reduce it." (London Independent)

"Ripping off would-be greens?" - "A rapidly growing market is attracting some timely scrutiny." (The Economist)

"ECB Could Handle CO2 Emissions Trading - Germany" - "BERLIN - Germany's environment minister suggested on Thursday that the European Central Bank (ECB) could take over the trading of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions certificates in Europe." (Reuters)

"Traders Left Guessing at Future Carbon Prices" - "LONDON - Permits to emit greenhouse gases could be the hottest new commodity among city traders, speculators and investment bankers -- if only someone knew what they were worth." (Reuters)

Really worth? Absolutely nothing.

"OPEC Frets Over Climate, Looks to Carbon Capture" - "VIENNA - OPEC is concerned about climate change and hopes that new technology to capture and store carbon will succeed in helping to secure energy supplies and clean up the environment, the group's president said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Green Energy Enthusiasts Are Also Betting on Fossil Fuels" - "Some technology investors that portray themselves as green-friendly are inconsistent with their marketing message." (New York Times)

"Automakers Fight Calls to Boost US Fuel Efficiency" - "WASHINGTON - A sharp increase in auto fuel efficiency standards will not result in a meaningful drop in US oil consumption and would add billions in costs, chief executives of the world's top car companies said Wednesday." (Reuters)

"A Milestone of a Mistake: Inconvenient CAFE Truths" - "Demands for tighter auto fuel-economy standards are a major part of the global-warming bandwagon, and the newly unveiled Markey-Platts bill on auto fuel economy is being touted by environmentalists as a “bipartisan milestone” on the issue. Unfortunately, it’s a milestone of a mistake. It continues a central tradition of proponents of this program, known as CAFE (for corporate average fuel economy)—namely, never admit that CAFE has any impact on auto safety." (Sam Kazman, NRO)

"BMW gears up for fight with Brussels over limits on CO2" - "The head of BMW has mounted a strong attack on European Commission proposals to cap emissions on new cars in a further sign that German vehicle manufacturers and politicians are on course for a showdown with Brussels." (London Telegraph)

"Britain Looks to Boost Wind, Wave and Tidal Power" - "LONDON - Britain published new plans on Thursday to streamline the development of offshore wind, wave and tidal power projects, while still protecting wildlife, as part of the fight against global warming." (Reuters)

"Ethanol shifts the debate on farm subsidies" - "As one veteran observer of Washington farm politics put it recently: commodity prices are high, ethanol is boosting demand and farmers are happy, so there has never been a better time to reform agricultural subsidies. Then again, commodity prices are high, ethanol is boosting demand and farmers are happy, so there has never been a worse time to reform farm subsidies." (Financial Times)

"Siemens fights cuts to low-power bulb prices" - "While Europe's leaders were last week urging householders to fit energy-efficient light bulbs, several governments were busy attempting to block moves to cut their price." (Financial Times)

"British MPs urge scale-up of $3 bln malaria fight" - "LONDON, March 15 - British legislators called on Thursday for more cash and fresh initiatives to fight malaria, including a possible global subsidy scheme to help cut the cost of a new generation of medicines in Africa.

The All-Party Parliamentary Malaria Group -- whose report is being launched simultaneously in Johannesburg by World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz -- said $3 billion a year was needed to help pay for drugs and prevention measures.

"There is now a greater recognition that tackling malaria is a prize the world can grasp, but we need to scale up resources," group chairman Stephen O'Brien said." (Reuters)

"World Bank says money alone cannot fight malaria" - "MAWITWA, South Africa - The World Bank president urged donors on Thursday to step up the fight against Malaria -- one of the world's deadliest diseases -- but cautioned funds should not be thrown at a problem plagued by corruption." (Reuters)

"SA's malaria controls impress World Bank" - "Paul Wolfowitz, the World Bank president, has given SA's malaria control programme the thumbs up. Speaking at the launch of the malaria control programme for Africa, Wolfowitz says the country's usage of Indoor Residual Spraying and DDT has dramatically reduced malaria." (SABC)

"Are journal rankings distorting science?" - "This week’s BMJ raises concerns over whether journal rankings (known as impact factors) are distorting publishing and science.

The impact factor is a measure of the citations to papers in scientific journals. It was developed as a simple measure of quality and has become a proxy for the importance of a journal to its field.

But a report by the BMJ this week warns that the popularity of this ranking is distorting the fundamental character of journals, forcing them to focus more and more on citations and less on readers." (BMJ-British Medical Journal)

"Skeptics' Circle" - "The latest edition of Skeptics' Circle is up at Scientia Natura: Evolution and Rationality. Shalini, the host, chose a timely theme: the credulity all around us. She winced at the way the media presents science on the idiot box and the blatant distortions of statistics and all of the pseudoscience." (Junkfood Science)

"Teflon Pan Scare Comes with Sales Pitch" - "Popular wellness doctor, Dr. Joseph Mercola pitches his own line of cookware to save you from a non-existent threat." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS) | Cooking up fears (Junkfood Science)

"EU Agency Urges New Safety Guides for Pesticides" - "MILAN - New safety guidelines should be applied for some of the pesticides used in the European Union to protect consumers, the EU food safety agency said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Researchers find heart disease in a marathon runner -- is too much exercise a bad thing?" - "Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center had a mystery on their hands. A 51-year-old physician colleague who looked the picture of health—no cardiovascular risks, a marathon runner who had exercised vigorously each day for 30 years—had just flunked a calcium screening scan of his heart. The patient had expected a score indicating a healthy cardiovascular system. Instead, the images indicated a high score: a build-up of calcium in his coronary arteries put him at high risk for blocked blood vessels and a possible heart attack." (University of Maryland Medical Center)

"Cold is hot in evolution -- Researchers debunk belief species evolve faster in tropics" - "University of British Columbia researchers have discovered that contrary to common belief, species do not evolve faster in warmer climates." (University of British Columbia)

"EU to Study Ban on Seal Fur Trade" - "STRASBOURG, France - Further studies are needed before the European Union can decide whether to ban seal fur trade, a top official said on Thursday, turning down calls for a temporary bar until the studies are completed." (Reuters)

Shouldn't be debated... "Debate swirls over raw versus processed milk" - "Dairy farmer Donald Dell opened the lid of his 2,000-gallon milk tank, peering at the creamy white liquid inside. The tank is kept full by tubes that run to the nearby pumping station, where his 150 Holstein cows come to be milked. The Dells drink nothing but raw, unprocessed milk, straight from the tank. The family thinks that consumers should have the right to buy and drink nonpasteurized milk, too, and that the idea could help revive the state's ailing dairy industry, which has lost half of its milk producers in the last 15 years." (Baltimore Sun)

... raw milk is banned for your protection.

"FDA: Biotech Knockoffs Earn Lower Status" - "WASHINGTON -- Copycat versions of pricey biotech drugs may be relegated to a status below that of generic versions of traditional chemical drugs, the head of the Food and Drug Administration suggested Thursday.

Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach told pharmaceutical executives that such knockoffs would be considered only ''similar'' to brand-name drugs. The FDA commissioner later told The Associated Press that would mean knockoffs would not be interchangeable, or able to be substituted.

That definition mirrors one used by the European Medicines Agency, the FDA's European counterpart. It would draw a distinction between biotech knockoffs, which the FDA says it still lacks the legal and scientific frameworks to approve, and the generic versions of traditional drugs already available." (AP)

March 15, 2007

"LA Times Uncovers Conflict of Interest in Federal Safety Review" - "Was a federal risk assessment compromised by a conflict of interest involving the chemical industry, or was the paper spun by a vested interest?" (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"A case of mistaken identity for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker?" - "Video evidence that an extinct woodpecker is alive and well in Arkansas, USA may prove to be a case of mistaken identity. Research published today in the open access journal BMC Biology shows how fleeting images thought to be the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Campephilus principalis could be another native woodpecker species." (BioMed Central)

Well, gosh! "Zogby Poll: Voters Believe Media Bias is Very Real" - "Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet/Zogby Poll shows American voters are skeptical political motivation may be behind blogs run by mainstream news organizations.

The vast majority of American voters believe media bias is alive and well – 83% of likely voters said the media is biased in one direction or another, while just 11% believe the media doesn’t take political sides, a recent IPDI/Zogby Interactive poll shows.

The Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet is based at George Washington University in Washington D.C.

Nearly two-thirds of those online respondents who detected bias in the media (64%) said the media leans left, while slightly more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they see a conservative bias on their TV sets and in their column inches." (ZI)

"Coalition urges limits on perilous refrigerant" - "HONG KONG: An unusual coalition of industrialized and developing countries began pushing Wednesday for stringent limits on the world's most popular refrigerant for air conditioners in response to growing evidence that the refrigerant poses a serious problem for global warming and for the Earth's ozone layer." (IHT)

"Giant Cold Water Eddy Off Sydney Lowers Sea Level" - "SYDNEY - Australian oceanographers have discovered a giant cold water eddy off Sydney which has lowered sea levels almost one metre and impacted a major ocean current." (Reuters)

"Cold-water eddy 'monsters' mighty current off Sydney" - "Oceanographers have identified a huge, dense mass of cold water off Sydney but know very little about what causes it or the influence it has in the Tasman Sea ecosystem. "What we do know is that this is a very powerful natural feature which tends to push everything else aside – even the mighty East Australian Current," says CSIRO’s Dr David Griffin." (CSIRO Australia)

"Philippines Says El Nino Over, Watching for La Nina" - "MANILA - The drought-causing El Nino weather pattern has receded, but its flip side, La Nina, might return and affect the Philippines, a senior meteorologist said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"History of life shaped by great catastrophes" - "WASHINGTON - Tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis: Mother Nature seems to have it in for our world these days. In a way, though, we live in a relatively peaceful time. While it's no comfort to those hurting or grieving now, Earth saw far greater catastrophes in its long and troubled past. The planet has been frozen, roasted, smothered, battered, shaken, half-drowned. Entire species have been obliterated; so far, fortunately, that doesn't include Homo sapiens, but we've had a close call. And these are all natural calamities, not those caused by humans, such as war, terrorism or the Holocaust. "The history of life may have been shaped by major catastrophes to a far greater extent than previously realized," Trevor Palmer, a biologist at Britain's Nottingham Trent University, wrote in his 2003 book, "Perilous Planet Earth." Some disasters struck in recent centuries and are well recorded. Others occurred thousands or millions of years ago, but their scars litter the Earth. Memories of them may survive in myth and story, such as the lost city of Atlantis or Noah's flood. Palmer thinks that myths are "possible recollections of catastrophes in ancient times." (McClatchy Newspapers)

"So are pandas saved now?" - "Climate change dominates the agenda now, but what happened to the environmental cause celebres of the 1970s, 80s and 90s - have these all been resolved now?" (Finlo Rohrer, BBC News Magazine)

Unlicensed Engineers, Part 3 By Hendrik Tennekes (Climate Science)

"Global Warming False Alarms (web publication)" - "In the twenty-fifth IEA Current Controversies Paper, Russell Lewis, former Director of the Conservative Political Centre and former Acting General Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, argues that there are good reasons to challenge the case for political intervention to reduce carbon emissions.

The author suggests that the government claim that global warming is more threatening than terrorism is alarmist and unwarranted. It is also suspect as an excuse for mounting taxes and controls. It is strikingly similar to the dire predictions of 40 years ago of an imminent ice age and to other past doom forecasts due to alleged overpopulation, depletion of food and fuel supplies, and chemical pollution.

There are serious doubts about the measurements, assumptions and predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with regard to global CO2 growth, temperature and the role of clouds. Indeed there is a strong case that the IPCC has overstated the effect of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on the climate and downplayed the influence of natural factors such as variations in solar output, El Niños and volcanic activity.

The empirical evidence used to support the global warming hypothesis has often been misleading, with ‘scare stories’ promoted in the media that are distortions of scientific reality. The high salience of the climate change issue reflects the fact that many special interests have much to gain from policies designed to reduce emissions through increased government intervention and world energy planning." (Russell Lewis, Institute of Economic Affairs)

"Gas Attack" - "They’re getting warmer . . . how the penny dropped for politicians...

How many mistakes and failures of logic can one expert make in one report? He fails to spot that the "signals" of warming say nothing about the cause, any theory that predicts warming will be "proven" by the same signals, whether it is CO2, Sun spots or Elephant Farts. The IPCC, whose latest report wasn't a report but a policy summary, still fails to provide the simple linkage between Anthropogenic CO2 and the warming record. Their historic figures are questioned; the effect of increasing CO2 in spectrum absorption, a simple enough scientific enquiry is absent as are other "hard" scientific proofs ; the modelling is bizarre and the forecasts are so flimsy any results can be claimed as proving them. The links are leaps of faith, not science.

But leave that all to one side, the political actions being demanded are votive offerings rather logical responses. The conclusion from Stern and the IPCC is that we should go for growth so we can afford adaption rather than unilaterally retreat to the stone age. Any chance any politician can get a grip?" (An Englishman's Castle)

"The ‘post-normal’ science of climate change" - "From the horse’s mouth — climate change theory has nothing to do with the truth. In a remarkable column in today’s Guardian Mike Hulme, professor in the school of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia and the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research — a key figure in the promulgation of climate change theory but who a short while ago warned that exaggerated forecasts of global apocalypse were in danger of destroying the case altogether — writes that scientific truth is the wrong tool to establish the, er, truth of global warming. Instead, we need a perspective of what he calls ‘post-normal’ science:" (Melanie Phillips's Diary)

If They're Wrong About Gore-bal Warming, So What? (Larry Elder, Townhall)

"Lower Mortality Thanks to Global Warming?" - "The the release of the Summary for Policymakers of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sent the media into a global warming frenzy. Headlines were literally predicting “climate chaos” in the coming decades, humanity and every specie on the planet are in deep peril, and according to an international group of celebrities (the “Global Cool” crowd), we have “10 years to save the planet.”

Among the usual claims, we learn that many humans will die as the temperature of the Earth increases, and that the elderly, the children, and the poorest among us are most at risk. Throw in a few pictures of Paris during the 2003 European heat wave, claim tens of thousands died in that event, and the icing is on the cake. A Google search of “Global Warming and Mortality” will lead you to 723,000 different sites – we sampled a dozen or so, and according to these sites, you will be lucky to survive much longer if temperatures continue to rise." (WCR)

"500,000 years of climate history stored year by year: Turkey's Lake Van provides a uniquely precise insight into Eurasia's climate history" - "The bottom of Turkey’s Lake Van is covered by a layer of mud several hundreds of metres deep. For climatologists this unprepossessing slime is worth its weight in gold: summer by summer pollen has been deposited from times long past. From it they can detect right down to a specific year what climatic conditions prevailed at the time of the Neanderthals, for example. These archives may go back as much as half a million years. An international team of researchers headed by the University of Bonn now wants to tap this treasure. Preliminary investigations have been a complete success: the researchers were able to prove that the climate has occasionally changed quite suddenly – sometimes within ten or twenty years.

Every summer an inch-thick layer of lime – calcium carbonate – trickles down to find its final resting place at the bottom of Lake Van. Day by day during this period millions and millions of pollen grains float down to the depths. Together with lime they form a light-coloured layer of sediment, what is known as the summer sediment." (University of Bonn)

"Rekindle Blitz spirit to combat climate change says historian" - "Wartime rationing policies should be revived in order to stave off catastrophic climate change, a new History & Policy paper published today will argue.

Historian Dr Mark Roodhouse, of the University of York, calls for individual carbon rationing modelled on the experience of the two World Wars, and warns that 'green taxes' will not achieve the dramatic reduction in consumption that is needed.

Dr Roodhouse shows how the current debate about proposals for increased air taxes and individual tradable carbon allowances echoes the debates over rationing policies during and after the First and Second World Wars. Using these past lessons, he argues that consumers should be given an equal ration of carbon points, which can be bought, sold or traded, to spend on fuel, gas and electricity." (Exduco)

"A host of plastic daffodils" - "William Wordsworth's host of golden daffodils is being replaced with plastic fakes because of global warming. For 200 years, visitors have chosen Easter to visit the Lake District and walk amid the poet's favourite blooms. But the mild winter means that the daffodils are likely to have budded and wilted by the time they arrive. Now, gardeners at the South Lakeland Parks holiday site, at Bowness-on-Windermere, are filling their flower beds with daffodils made from plastic and silk." (London Telegraph)

"Al Gore's Carbon Solution Won't Stop Climate Change" - "These days, everyone thinks that carbon trading is the solution to our climate crisis -- from Congress members to Al Gore to the folks organizing the Oscars." (David Morris, AlterNet)

Morris is right in one respect, the carbon farce will do nothing to adjust the planetary thermostat. The "what we should do", however, is get on with our lives and stop obsessing over small and diminishing effects like carbon dioxide-induced enhanced greenhouse.

How rapidly is the effect diminishing? We're glad you asked: the first half of pre-industrial greenhouse effect (warming) from atmospheric carbon dioxide occurs with less than 20 parts per million (ppmv) while doubling that (to achieve pre-Industrial Revolution greenhouse effect) required the addition of more than a dozen times the CO2 to greater than 270 ppmv (+ ~255 ppmv) while adding the same effect again requires adding a further ~4,900 ppmv (doubling pre-IR greenhouse effect through the addition of CO2 would require taking levels to a staggering 90,000 ppmv although you'd never see it because CO2 becomes toxic to humans ~6,000 ppmv -- don't worry though, there is absolutely no prospect of human emissions ever approaching this level).

To all practical intent and purpose, enhanced greenhouse from CO2 emission has run its course -- even the extreme sensitivity suggested by Charnock & Shine still only calculates to a remaining 0.8 kelvin from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide and these are the guys whose numbers say the world should have warmed 4 times more than even the IPCC estimates of CO2-driven warming since 1750.

"Ernst-Georg Beck's paper 180 Years accurate CO2 Gas analysis of Air by Chemical Methods" - "Thanks to a reader I now have a copy of Ernst-Georg Beck's paper 180 Years accurate CO2 Gas analysis of Air by Chemical Methods (Short version) which argues that the IPCC reliance of Ice Core CO2 figures is wrong - It is only 10 pages long so I urge you to read it yourself." (An Englishman's Castle)

Unusual for a geologist to be so cavalier: "Global warming: a matter of geological history" - "Global warming is a matter geological history, a University of Utah geologist says. David Chapman, who is dean of the U's geology graduate school, told the Governor's Advisory Panel on Climate Change Tuesday that, "there is little room for argument over whether the world has warmed significantly." (Salt Lake Tribune)

As in "warmed relative to what, exactly?" How about "contemporaneous rise of CO2 does not indicate causation"? In fact increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide have not preceded increases in temperature and mid-troposphere temperatures are pretty much nowhere despite apparent rise in CO2. For the sticklers the same pattern is evident regardless of who analyses the MSU data.

"Global Warming Swindle" - "The British Broadcasting Corporation has produced a devastating documentary titled "The Great Global Warming Swindle." It has apparently not been broadcast by any of the networks in the United States. But, fortunately, it is available on the Internet. Distinguished scientists specializing in climate and climate-related fields talk in plain English and present readily understood graphs showing what a crock the current global warming hysteria is." (Thomas Sowell, Townhall)

"Carl Wunsch: I should never have trusted Channel 4" - "Our credibility as scientists rests on being protective of our authority and expertise." (London Independent)

On the Carl Wunch yes, no, maybe so... Time For A Bullshit Alert! The following articles pegged the bullshit meter all the way off the scale. For the purpose of this topic, this thread reads from top to bottom, the most recent articles at the bottom. Climate scientist 'duped to deny global warming' ... (Global Warming Hyperbole)

"NASA Studies How Airborne Particles Affect Climate Change" - "MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - A recent NASA study links natural and human-made aerosol particles to how much Earth warms or cools. Earth's atmosphere acts as a protective shield that regulates how much solar energy the planet absorbs or deflects. The Intercontinental Chemical Transport Experiment studied how chemicals and pollution affect that protective shield by measuring air flowing from North America and across the Atlantic Ocean." (Ames Research Center)

"Transported black carbon a significant player in Pacific Ocean climate" - "More than three-quarters of the particulate pollution known as black carbon transported at high altitudes over the West Coast during spring is from Asian sources, according to a research team led by Professor V. Ramanathan at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Though the transported black carbon, most of which is soot, is an extremely small component of air pollution at land surface levels, the phenomenon has a significant heating effect on the atmosphere at altitudes above two kilometers (6,562 feet).

As the soot heats the atmosphere, however, it also dims the surface of the ocean by absorbing solar radiation, said Ramanathan, a climate scientist at Scripps, and Odelle Hadley, a graduate student at the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at Scripps. The two are lead authors of a research paper appearing in the March 14 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research.

The dual effect carries consequences for the Pacific Ocean region that drives much of Earth's climate.

"That's the primary concern we have with these aerosols," said Hadley. "They can really affect global climate." (University of California - San Diego)

"Britain's heaths and moors hold the key to reducing carbon emissions" - "The heather moorlands of Britain are considered by scientists to be a vital weapon in the struggle against climate change, removing carbon from the air as they grow and storing it in their wet, peaty terrain. But scientists at York University's Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) warned yesterday that the moorlands had become a "timebomb" in the fight against global warming as the combination of a warming climate and bad land management are drying them out, releasing carbon on an industrial scale." (London Independent)

"Sneak preview of big report: Change is 'already showing up'" - "The second report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts massive humanitarian crises." (Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science Monitor)

Brad's getting his stories from Seth Boringtheme.

Oops, another one caught up in the hype: "Forecasters say sorry for blossom bloomer" - "Japan's meteorological agency was left red-faced after admitting that computer error led it to wrongly predict an early start to the all-important cherry blossom season." (London Telegraph)

"A Fiend Hid in a Cloud" - "Some 200 years ago, William Blake, an obscure and eccentric London engraver, wrote and illustrated "Milton: A Poem." In its preface, later adapted to become a popular hymn, he evoked the ancient legend that Jesus Christ once visited England, and called for a new Jerusalem to be built "in England's green and pleasant land." The phrase, as simple as it was apt, has stuck in the national memory.

But Blake could not have foreseen how two centuries later an alliance of fanatical activists and political opportunists would conspire to give an entirely new meaning to "green" — one which now threatens the liberty and prosperity that used to make England such a pleasant land. Indeed, Britons are witnessing a bizarre bidding war between politicians, each desperate to prove that he is the greenest of them all." (Daniel Johnson, New York Sun)

"Global warming story hits critical mass" - "KEYSTONE — Global warming is the hottest story of our time, and it will get even bigger as the full implications of melting ice caps and rising sea levels percolate through the media pipeline and into general public awareness, a panel of journalists said last weekend during the American Bar Association's environmental law conference.

The discussion was focused on how the media has covered the story and whether or not public perception of global warming has changed in recent months and years. Among the questions the panelists tried to answer is why it has taken so long for the story to reach critical mass." (Summit Daily News)

Poor ol' Moonbat... "The target wreckers" - "Two ministries appear to be set on scuppering the government's plans to combat global warming" (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

... George never has figured out that this is pure political showmanship -- no one really intends to commit economic suicide for the pretend problem of "global warming."

Now here's a sensible move: "Tories disband Environment Canada climate-change group and reassign employees" - "OTTAWA - The Conservative government has eliminated a section of Environment Canada that played a key role in shaping climate-change policies now being announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, The Canadian Press has learned.

Frustrated bureaucrats said the move is an example of the government's zeal to wrest control from public servants over an increasingly politicized issue.

A memo sent to Environment Canada officials this month announced a new organizational structure for the department - and it no longer includes the Climate Change Policy Directorate." (Alexander Panetta, Canadian Press)

"Arctic Impact on Global Warming Lures Scientists" - "HANOVER, New Hampshire - A polar bear swimming amid melting Arctic sea ice may be one image of global warming's impact. But it could just as well be a California wildfire, a European heat wave or a Caribbean hurricane." (Reuters)

"Global warming impacting European seas" - "European scientists say global warming is having a significant impact on European marine and coastal environments." (UPI)

"Climate Change to Cost Germany €800 Billion" - "A new report predicts that climate change will cost Germany a staggering €800 billion by 2050 -- with higher energy costs, declining tourism, increased insurance costs and damage caused by extreme weather." (Der Spiegel)

"Light bulbs and Eco-Fascism" - "Today's Daily Mail carries a long op-ed from Booker setting out the case against the ban on incandescent light bulbs which was requested by the leaders of the 27 member states at the European Council last week." (EU Referendum)

"Pension Funds Must Heed Climate Change - Gore" - "EDINBURGH - Former US vice-president Al Gore told a pensions conference on Wednesday that trustees must include the "greatest challenge to mankind" in their thinking -- global warming." (Reuters)

And it just happens that Albert has an investment vehicle to suit... (at least it's a small improvement over selling famous bridges)

Scam promotion: "Make Money and Save The Planet, Carbon Traders Say" - "COPENHAGEN - Trade in permits to emit greenhouse gases is booming, doubling to more than 20 billion euros (US$26 billion) last year and throwing a spotlight on the role big business can play in fighting climate change." (Reuters)

"EU Says Kyoto Carbon Trades Months Off Completion" - "COPENHAGEN - Completion of European deals to trade carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol will have to wait several more months as countries do not yet have UN approval to trade, a European Commission official said on Wednesday." (Reuters)\

"Italy to Launch CO2 Emissions Exchange in April" - "MILAN - Italy will launch a long-awaited national market for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions trading in April as the country seeks to catch up with Europe's efforts to fight climate change, Italian ministries said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"SAS Follows BA to Offset Greenhouse Gas Emissions" - "OSLO - Scandinavian airline SAS said on Wednesday it would let passengers offset greenhouse emissions from their flights by investing in renewable energy. SAS was the second airline after British Airways to introduce the scheme." (Reuters)

"Brazil Calls for Ethanol Production by Others" - "TOKYO - Ethanol must be produced by a number of countries if it is to be internationally accepted as a commodity, a development that Brazil hopes will be achieved, the country's agriculture minister said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"India, Biofuels Will Help Palm Oil Sizzle" - "KUALA LUMPUR - Palm oil prices are set to jump more than 20 percent by year-end as global oilseed stocks get depleted and demand from the food and fuel sectors surges, industry officials said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"US Senate Bill Would Allow More Drilling Off Florida" - "WASHINGTON - A bipartisan pair of US senators will unveil a package of energy legislation Wednesday that includes provisions that would roll back a decades-old ban on drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico." (Reuters)

"Report: Burying greenhouses gases will be key" - "To halt catastrophic climate change, the US has less than a decade learn how to capture and store carbon dioxide." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Catastrophic climate change is always on the cards but it has nothing to do with humans and fossil fuel use -- too silly for words.

"Study: Coal industry could face bleak future in global warming fight" - "WASHINGTON – The coal industry faces a bleak future unless ways are developed on a commercial scale to capture and store carbon dioxide in the campaign against global warming, according to a study released Wednesday. The report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says coal, which accounts for half of the country's electricity production, will remain the fuel of choice to produce electricity in the United States because it is relatively cheap and abundant. But if carbon limits are imposed to address climate change, that could change unless the government and industry develop a program to capture and store the tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide that now spew from coal-burning smokestacks into the atmosphere." (AP)

"In a Test of Capturing Carbon Dioxide, Perhaps a Way to Temper Global Warming" - "American Electric Power is planning the largest demonstration yet of capturing carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power plant and pumping it deep underground." (New York Times)

"Mike Steketee: Cutting carbon emissions easier said than done" - "Switching to clean coal is an enormous commitment that neither the Government nor the Opposition should underestimate" (The Australian)

"EU may miss 'invisible revolution' because of biotech policy" - "The European Union operates an effective ban on new gene-engineered seeds and risks missing out on the 'invisible revolution' that's developing crops for cleaner fuels or washing detergents, the industry says." (Budapest Business Journal)

March 14, 2007

"Losing more than expected" - "If you blinked, you may have missed this story in the news and its significance. Of the few papers and networks that did report on this latest study, the full scoop and decades of supportive medical literature weren’t included. Instead, by judicious choices of words and carefully selecting sources to quote, most reinforced popular misconceptions." (Junkfood Science)

"Diets an unhealthy fix for teen weight concerns" - "NEW YORK - Teens who go on diets to drop some pounds are more likely to skip breakfast and binge eat -- which may at least partly explain why they put on more weight over time than their peers who don't diet, a new study shows.

The researchers set out to uncover the reasons why dieting by adolescents has been shown in previous studies to predict later weight gain.

The behaviors they identified, however, don't entirely answer the question, Dr. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.

It's possible, she explained, that people who are at greater risk of becoming overweight are also more likely to be dieters, although their initial weight was taken into account in the study's analysis." (Reuters Health)

“It doesn’t work ... so let’s throw more money at it!” - "There has not been a peep in our news about this story, nor about the results of a number of recent clinical trials in Britain that have tested childhood obesity prevention programs based on increasing activity levels in children. The results are not surprising to those who understand the physiology of the development of body sizes, but probably sound unbelievable to anyone who’s relied on mainstream media for their information." (Junkfood Science)

"UK: Ga-ga government" - "The gurgling of a young baby brings joy to parents everywhere. But even that blissful sound is no longer safe from Whitehall intrusion as newborns become ensnared in this Government's obsession with targets. Babies are to be assessed on their ability to coo, cry and make eye contact, while being encouraged - naturally - to develop a "positive sense of their own identity and culture". There are no fewer than 69 "early learning goals" that children must attain in this latest eruption of box-ticking fatuity.

As we agonise about putting children under too much pressure too young, how absurd to expect them to jump through such hoops before they can either talk or walk. And what exactly does the Government plan to do if a child chooses neither to gurgle nor to coo when the inspector calls? This really is the nanny state gone mad." (London Telegraph)

"GALLUP: Most Americans Taking Global Warming In Stride" - "NEW YORK A new Gallup Poll reveals an "inconvenient truth" for advocates of taking a strong immediate position to halt global warming: Most of the American public is in no rush. While they are concerned, they see the problems a long way off -- and few place global warming near the top of environmental priorities." (E&P)

'Memory hole' Al? "Al Gore Seeks Earlier Start to Kyoto Pact Successor" - "COPENHAGEN - Former US Vice-President Al Gore called on Tuesday for Kyoto countries to bring forward by two years the start date of a new global warming treaty, to 2010, given the urgency of the global warming problem.

The Kyoto Protocol ties some 35 industrialised countries to 5 percent emissions cuts from 1990 levels by 2012, and the signatories to the pact are currently negotiating a successor.

The United States pulled out of the pact on the basis of the possible costs and job losses, but climate change campaigner Al Gore said the next US president, to be installed in 2009, could push for the country's inclusion in a new treaty." (Reuters)

Despite activist attempts to rewrite history the simple fact is Al never even got pal Slick Willy to submit the Kyoto Protocol for ratification (although it's true Bush was the only one honest enough to bluntly say 'not doin' it!') -- the US was never 'in it' to be 'pulled out'. In reality Ozone Al planted a worthless scrawl on a treaty appendage that Byrd-Hagel (Senate Resolution 98) ensured could never be presented to the Senate for ratification expressly because no caps were proposed for emerging economies. 95-0 is not a Republican thing but a bipartisan "No!". Kyoto has always been a dog that just won't hunt.

"Science of The Smear" - "AS Tim Flannery shamefully proves, the pet weapon of global warming alarmists is now, The Smear. See a scientist who dares to doubt that the world is frying so fast we'll all die? Then don't answer his arguments with facts and reason. Smear him instead. Claim he's been bought off by Big Oil. Once worked for Big Coal. Spoke at a conservative think tank. Anything to make him seem evil. To have . . . a vested interest." (Andrew Bolt, Herald sun)

"The appliance of science" - "Politicians and the public look to scientists to explain the causes of climate change and whether it can be tackled - and they are queuing up to deliver. But, asks Mike Hulme, are we being given the whole picture?" (The Guardian)

Mike Hulme, a player in the global warming industry and founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (which we call the Tyndall Centre for Global Warming Propaganda) doesn't seem to like this book. You can judge for yourselves, buy this book through Amazon and help JunkScience.com at the same time.

Poor naïf: "Carbon confusion: Buying emission offsets is a challenge for consumers" - "BARNET, VT. -- Sara Demetry thought she had found a way to atone for her personal contribution to global warming.

The psychotherapist clicked on a website that helped her calculate how much heat-trapping carbon dioxide she and her fiance emitted each year, mostly by driving and heating their home. Then she paid $150 to e-BlueHorizons.com, a company that promises to offset emissions.

But Demetry's money did not make as much difference as she thought it would. While half of it went to plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide, the other half went to a Bethlehem, N.H., facility that destroys methane -- a gas that contributes to global warming. The facility has been operating since 2001 -- years before the company began selling offsets -- and Demetry's money did not lead the company to destroy any more methane than it would have anyway.

Moreover, the project received a "dirty dozen" award from a New England environmental group in 2004 because it burns the methane as fuel to incinerate contaminated water from the landfill, emitting tons of pollution each year in the process. This method of destroying methane can emit more pollution than other burning methods." (Boston Globe)

Carbon offsets are a scam, pure and simple.

"Canada Emissions Trade Seen Worth C$12 Bln - CIBC" - "TORONTO - A Canadian interprovincial emissions market, seen as part of a wider plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions, could be worth as much as C$12 billion (US$10.3 billion) a year, CIBC World Markets said Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Carbon wars may pit province against province" - "A get-tough strategy to combat global warming could produce multibillion-dollar transfers from coal-fired provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan to provinces like Quebec and Manitoba that rely on hydroelectric power, says a new study from CIBC World Markets Inc.

Jeffrey Rubin, chief economist with CIBC World Markets, said he expects Canada will have to adopt an effective emissions credit market that includes strict limits on carbon dioxide emissions and large fines for companies that exceed those limits.

Mr. Rubin said Tuesday that governments in Ottawa and Alberta are pursuing a minimalist policy that will actually lead to significantly higher greenhouse gas emissions. Eventually, he said, Canada will have to get tougher, prodded by a growing movement in the United States to combat global warming." (Globe and Mail)

On the suicide of the street (Number Watch)

image for Bush approves global warming bill that makes it illegal for cows to belch
Accused of causing the greenhouse effect, the cow had no comment.

:) "Bush approves global warming bill that makes it illegal for cows to belch"  -"In an attempt to fight the "greenhouse effect," Pres. George W. Bush today passed into law a global warming bill that makes it illegal for American cows and sheep to belch.

"If my liberal counterparts can ask us to do our part by not using so much fossilized fuel," Pres. Bush said, "then the cows can be held accountable for doing their part too."

Research has shown that some animal emissions release methane gas into the air, which helps create the "greenhouse effect," in which gasses are trapped within the earth's atmosphere, Bush said in a prepared statement." (The Spoof)

"AP Global Warming Writer Over the Top - Again" - "Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press has written another truly frightening little sci-fi piece entitled Warming Report to Warn of Coming Drought. The article, which claims to have scooped the findings of the IPCC 4th Assessment Working Group 2 (WG2), and predicts a coming eco-apocalypse, has created quite a stir since being published last Saturday. This, despite the fact that the very same author made similar predictions last month regarding the findings of another IPCC group - predictions which proved to be baloney." (Marc Sheppard, American Thinker)

"Britain unveils 'global first' bill to cut CO2 emissions" - "It plans to cut greenhouse emissions by up to 32 percent by 2020, but scientists say it may not be enough." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Enough for what? Adjust planetary mean temperature? It certainly won't do that -- even complete cessation of all human contribution won't have any measurable effect.

"Global warming: The climate has changed" - "The Government has become the first in the world to commit itself to legally binding reductions in carbon dioxide emissions but will come under strong pressure to agree to bigger cuts when its landmark Climate Change Bill goes though Parliament.

In a draft Bill published yesterday, ministers promised to enshrine into law their commitment to cut emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. Opposition parties and Labour MPs joined forces in calling for an 80 per cent reduction." (London Independent)

"Britain sets toughest carbon targets to beat climate change" - "Britain is to enact the toughest laws on carbon emission in the world to reduce its impact on global warming, the Government announced yesterday." (London Times)

"The EU steps up on climate change" - "The European Union last week claimed global leadership in the fight against climate change. At a Brussels summit, the 27-nation bloc agreed to binding targets that would cut greenhouse-gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and encourage the use of renewable energy sources. If the policies are implemented, then the EU will be in a position to push other countries to follow their lead. It is a big "if": The deal reached last weekend does not have "teeth" -- legally binding targets. The policies will differentiate between a real attempt to halt climate change and mere posturing." (Japan Times)

"New EU Targets 'Deceptive'" - "BERLIN, Mar 13 - The new EU commitment to reducing greenhouse gases emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020 relative to 1990 levels is deceptive, leading German scientists say.

The aims announced at the spring summit of European Union (EU) heads of state last week were claimed to be a milestone in global environmental policy. Some experts say the figures are not as good as they sound.

"Just the winding up of large parts of industry in the Eastern European countries, which are new members of the EU, will considerably reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions," Hans- Joachim Luhmann, researcher at the German Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy told IPS.

"For the EU as a whole, these reductions will represent 15 percent less carbon dioxide in 2012 compared to the emissions levels of 1990. That means that the EU has agreed to actually reduce its emissions by only five percent. Such an objective is not really ambitious. This agreement is deceptive." (IPS)

"How to Survive a Sea Level Uprising" - "The problems climate change may worsen are mostly caused by other factors, a new study has found. We should focus on adapting to a hotter world." (Henry Miller, American.com)

"Why Skepticism Is Sound" - "... As to the human factor, here the skeptics are often concerned about what may be dubbed (following a book by that title by Jonathan R. T. Hughes) the governmental habit-if global warming were unrelated to human activity, there isn’t a lot that politicians and bureaucrats could promise to do about it. Or, alternatively, if the best approach to encouraging responsible human conduct would be to leave politicians out of the picture and simply deploy various measures banning or containing what economists call negative externalities-bad side effects from normal productive processes-that, too, would leave the politicians out of the picture. And then what would they do, how would they gain the power most of them hunger for? There is, then, a strong probability that Doomsday scenarios will be projected by government officials and all those who work for them-get financial support, appointments to prestigious committees, invited to plush conferences, etc., etc.

So when one puts together the lack of solid science and technology behind the claim that global warming is imminent and that human conduct significantly contributes to the probable global warming, the attitude of skepticism is most reasonable. Or, to put it differently, how reasonable is it to trust politicians about their need for increased powers over the rest of us?" (Tibor R. Machan, FMNN)

"The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism)" - "Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Christopher C. Horner, an attorney in Washington D.C. specializing in environmental policy and regulation, particularly international agreements and "global warming". He is affiliated with classical liberal think tanks in Washington and Europe, in which capacity he has testified before U.S. Senate committees and spoken on numerous occasions in the European Parliament and before policy leaders in numerous EU capitals from Madrid to Warsaw. These activities have made him a "climate criminal" according to environmentalist groups, one of which (Greenpeace) has actually taken his weekly garbage on a regular basis. He is the author of the new book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism)." (Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine.com)

Purchase this book and help JunkScience.com.

"Tim Ball, DeSmogBlog & Me" - "I owe a debt of gratitude to the anti-skeptic environmental attack website DeSmogBlog." (Amy Ridenour, National Center)

Uh-huh... "Ready the rice wine: Global warming has Japanese anticipating early cherry blossoms" - "TOKYO: When the cherry trees come alive in their explosion of pink blossoms, millions of Japanese will hit the parks and riversides for one of this country's biggest annual outpourings of merrymaking. They will sing and eat and drink themselves silly.

So, Japanese are impatiently asking, when will it all start?

Very soon, officials say. And the nation can thank global warming for what is expected to be one of its earliest cherry seasons ever, they say.

According to predictions released by Japan's Meteorological Agency, the trees are expected to bloom as early as this weekend in Japan's capital area, where about a quarter of all Japanese live.

That would be 10 days earlier than average and the second earliest since the agency started compiling data in 1953. The earliest on record for Tokyo is March 16, 2002." (Associated Press)

... 2nd earliest since 1953 eh? And this is in spite of Tokyo's famous urban heat island creating its own regional weather? Wow! Must be global warming then. Oh, uh... when was the last time cherry blossom bloomed later than average? 2005, actually.

"US Industry Must Contribute to Climate Fix - Dingell" - "WASHINGTON - Auto companies, utilities, mining and other industries will have to contribute to any climate change legislation drafted by a leading committee in the House , the panel's chairman said Tuesday." (Reuters)

But it ain't broke!

More Evidence On the Issue Of Glacier Retreat and Advance (Climate Science)

Oops, another prop kicked from beneath the dendro-temperature history myth: "Radial growth response of coniferous forest trees in an inner Alpine environment to heat-wave in 2003" - "Abstract: The record-breaking heat-wave in summer 2003 was expected to have a strong impact on tree growth, especially where trees occur at their ecological limits. We studied radial growth response of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) exposed to dry inner Alpine climate (Tyrol, Austria) to extreme hot and dry conditions in 2003. Tree ring chronologies from two stands comprising different social status, i.e. dominant, co-dominant and suppressed trees, on a south- and north-facing slope, which represent xeric and dry-mesic site conditions, respectively, were analysed. Growth–climate relationships were explored using response function analysis and Pearson correlation coefficients. Major findings of our study were: (i) radial growth in 2003 was strongest reduced in suppressed P. sylvestris growing on a xeric site and in dominant Picea abies growing on the dry-mesic site, (ii) median reductions in annual increments reached 35% compared to previous years (1998–2002) and were caused by early stop of cambial activity as indicated by pronounced decrease in latewood width and (iii) April through June precipitation was the environmental factor most strongly associated with growth of both species. Ring width of P. sylvestris and Picea abies was additionally limited by hot late spring and hot late spring/summer months, respectively. The minor impact of the 2003 summer heat-wave on growth of drought exposed forest trees might find its explanation in strong dependency of radial stem growth on precipitation during late spring and preconditioning of tree vigor in previous years. Results demonstrate that impact of climate extremes on radial tree growth can vary within site and canopy position and strongly depend on species-specific response to climate factors." (Forest Ecology and Management)

In the virtual realm: "Global warming may kill off oak and bluebell" - "British gardeners could be left tending pomegranates and figs instead of apples and runner beans if climate change continues at the current rate, according to an academic model of likely conditions by 2050.

Traditional seasons will merge into a constant, largely warm climate by the middle of the century, says the study from the University of East Anglia, which also foresees year-round weeds, giant wasps and an end to the bluebell." (The Guardian)

Ever more ludicrous: "FACTBOX - Regional Impacts of Climate Change - UN Draft" - "Following are some of the projected regional impacts of global warming in a draft UN report by the world's top climate scientists. The report will be presented in Brussels on April 6 after a final review:" (Reuters)

From CO2 Science this week:

Larch Budmoth Outbreaks in Forests of the European Alps: How has the voracious insect pest's level of activity recently changed? Why has it changed? And what are the ramifications of the change?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Chesapeake Bay, USA. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Storms (Europe): How might their characteristics change if global temperatures continue to rise?

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: Florida Hopbush, Holly-Leaved Daisybush, Indian Hawthorn, and Mexican Yellow Pine.

Journal Reviews:
Atmospheric Methane: The Good-News Trend Continues: The atmospheric concentration of the important greenhouse gas has apparently reached its apogee and could well begin to decline in the not-too-distant future.

A 1250-Year History of Summer Temperature in the European Alps: What does it reveal about the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and Current Warm Period?

Two Decades of Northern Hemispheric Greening: What phenomena have we to thank for the widespread increase in terrestrial plant productivity?

Urban CO 2 Fluxes in Melbourne, Australia: How do they jibe with what has been learned from CO 2 concentration measurements in other parts of the world?

Marine Phytoplankton and Clouds: How are they related? ... and what are the ramifications of the relationship? (co2science.org)

"Our Green ICE Age" - "All environmentalists should be singing the praises of the internal combustion engine (ICE) instead of damning it for polluting the environment. The environmental advantages of the internal combustion engine have been obvious for a long time. But a recent story in the British newspaper, "The Independent," on the methane from livestock flatulence makes the advantages of internal combustion even more obvious. According to "The Independent," a recent study by the Food and Agricultural Organization finds that "livestock are responsible for 18 percent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together."

Global warming became a concern, however, long after the internal combustion engine began improving the environment. In 1900 most of the horsepower we had available really was horse power -- or mule power, or oxen power. As reliance on the internal combustion engine increased in the early 1900s, we began replacing the emissions that came out of the tailpipes of animals with those coming out of the tailpipes of cars and trucks. And the latter emissions were a lot less harmful than the former." (Dwight R. Lee, TCS Daily)

"Dingell, Markey at odds on climate change" - "A House committee today will hold its fourth hearing on climate change, this one starring auto-industry chief executives, but prospects for congressional action on the issue seem as cloudy as ever.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told reporters in a preview of the hearing that he doesn’t support increasing fuel-efficiency standards, known as CAFE, to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions.

“I think we have carried fuel efficiency about as far as we can,” he said." (The Hill)

"Auto industry leaders to discuss climate change with Congress" - "WASHINGTON - Amid calls for higher gas mileage standards and worries about global warming, U.S. auto industry leaders plan to highlight their work to develop alternative vehicles and raise questions about the costs of a proposed fuel economy hike." (AP)

"Foreign, U.S. carmakers join labor in fighting fuel economy rules" - "WASHINGTON — Domestic and foreign, management and labor, the U.S. auto industry will present a rare united front to Congress today in its battle against sharply higher fuel efficiency rules for cars and trucks.

In what appears to be a first, the leaders of General Motors (GM), Ford Motor (F), Chrysler Group (DCX), the U.S. arm of Toyota (TM) and the United Auto Workers will testify before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee." (Detroit Free Press)

"Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage" - "The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care. Unfortunately for them, their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer." (Chris Demorro, The Recorder)

"New research provides model for improving alternative energy source" - "ATHENS, Ohio (March 13, 2007) -- In the debate over alternative energy resources, geothermal technology has received scant media attention. Advocates call it one of the cleanest, sustainable energy resources available. However, steep construction, equipment and drilling costs have prevented more widespread development of geothermal technology. An Ohio University hydrothermal systems expert is working to change that." (Geologist troubleshoots silica problem at geothermal plants)

Looking to pad the bottom line: "Go green or pay: Direct Energy CEO" - "Says people won't conserve till they pay true cost of energy and get incentives." (Toronto Star)

"The Never-Ending Energy Conspiracy" - "The evil oil companies are at it again. The price of a gallon of gas has jumped by more than 30 cents in the past month. The gasoline gougers are busy reaping windfall profits.

It's time for a congressional investigation! New legislation must be introduced! The administration must confront corporate thieves!

No, wait. That all happened last summer. As gas prices rose, customers blamed gas station owners and oil producers alike. Politicians moved from somnolence to frenzy at record speed. Never mind that there were many reasons for rising prices: Officeholders and candidates alike campaigned to stem energy costs.

Even supposedly pro-business Republicans joined the parade. House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-Ill.) and Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) wrote the president to demand investigation and prosecution of "anyone who is trying to take advantage" of the tightening world energy market. President George W. Bush agreed, explaining: "The first thing is to make sure that nobody is getting cheated."

Congress targeted gasoline prices, company profits, corporate taxes, federal royalties, and industry investments. State Attorneys General opened another front.

But prices soon fell dramatically, and remain well below their peak, when a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline ran about $3.00. The price of crude oil dropped by 35 percent from its high. If the energy producers controlled prices, why did prices decline?" (Doug Bandow, The American Spectator)

"Mitsubishi Heavy Gets $4-5 Bln TXU Reactor Deal-Source" - "TOKYO - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd  has received an order for two nuclear reactors from U.S. power plant operator TXU Corp. worth 500 billion to 600 billion yen ($4.3 billion to $5.2 billion), a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Such an order would mark the first time a Japanese-made reactor has been exported, and also the first time a Japanese manufacturer of nuclear reactors has won an order on its own to build a U.S. power plant.

The order is for two 1.7 million-kilowatt advanced pressurised-water reactors, which would likely come on line some time around 2015, the source said." (Reuters)

"FEATURE - European Businesses Go Green Fast" - "LONDON - In a change of position, European light bulb makers like Philips and Osram are lobbying governments to promote low-energy light bulbs over traditional incandescent bulbs. The companies have realized that a mass switch to the more expensive bulbs, following a similar push in Australia, not only would help cut global warming, but also could also boost their profits." (Reuters)

That everyone except consumers will profit by forcing more expensive goods is likely true but it will not do anything with reference to global mean temperature.

"Biofuel bus to nowhere" - "This the story of Three Men in a Bus. They boarded at Downing Street, which seemed a bit odd, not least because the bus was pointing towards a dead end. The bus had no driver, there was no bus stop and the three had no tickets. Since the bus was going nowhere, it probably didn’t matter, but on real buses I have seen people thrown out into moving traffic for less." (Ann Treneman, London Times)

"Efficient Methods Could Bail Out Biofuels - Study" - "CHICAGO - A new, more efficient method for manufacturing biofuels could generate enough fuel to supply the entire US transportation sector while sharply reducing the amount of raw material required to make it, researchers said on Monday.

By recycling the carbon dioxide wasted in current manufacturing methods, scientists at Purdue University in Indiana believe they could reduce the amount of plant and plant-derived material required to make biofuels.

Such a method is still theoretical but once developed it could help address some of the recent backlash against grain-derived biofuels, which are blamed for raising the wholesale price of corn and ultimately boosting the cost of food." (Reuters)

"Ethanol Liberation Movement" - "President Bush and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva struck a blow last week against the forces of intolerance, obscurantism and parochialism. We refer to the U.S. farm lobby, not that amalgam of hostile states and Islamic crazies who presumably benefit from the U.S. oil "addiction."

It would be feckless to tell ourselves that ethanol is a cure for terrorism or Islam's difficulties with modernity or the challenges of global interdependence. But as Churchill observed long ago, the best kind of energy security is a diversity of suppliers. Hence the significance of Mr. Bush's Brazilian holiday. Washington has come to an important crossroads: Will we double-down on the mistakes of the past, using subsidies and protectionism to foster the domestic ethanol industry and its confluence of interest groups that, ever afterward, will insist on maintenance of its subsidies and protection?

Or will we support a free global market in biofuels, which would genuinely improve U.S. energy security? Far more quickly than many imagine, it would also help to cut down to size a new generation of petrodollar dictators.

Administration officials have been generous with assurances to the farm lobby that last week's Brazil agreement is no prelude to repealing America's egregious 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on most imported ethanol. Washington simply wants to help Brazil export its technology so other nations can become low-cost producers of ethanol. But the U.S. isn't looking to welcome all this cheap motor fuel into its own market. Banish the thought!" (Wall Street Journal)

"World's Forests Disappearing But at Slower Rate" - "ROME - An area of forest twice the size of Paris disappears every day although the rate of global deforestation has started to slow, according to a United Nations report issued on Tuesday." (Reuters)

and The Indy spin: "Destruction of forests in developing world 'out of control'" - "Progress in forest management in the industrial world is being overwhelmed by accelerating deforestation in the developing world, a global report from the United Nations has revealed." (London Independent)

"Alien predators are more dangerous than native predators" - "Introduced predators such as foxes and cats are twice as deadly as native predators to Australia’s unique native animals, a new study has found. The new finding, published this week in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the first confirmation of what has been a long-held hypothesis among scientists. It also highlights the heavy continuing impact of these predators long after their introduction and that Australia's fauna has been among the hardest hit in the world." (University of New South Wales)

"Despite buzz on bees, experts disagree on seriousness of problem" - "SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Bees are dying by the billions. Nobody knows why. And the crops they pollinate - California almonds especially - are at risk.

Or at least that's been the buzz.

In the past month, the new and mysterious honeybee ailment known as "colony collapse disorder," which seems to cause entire hives of bees to leave home and never return, has made the front page of newspapers from Sacramento to New York. Fox News and National Public Radio aired reports. A "CBS Evening News" crew spent weeks following a bee-disease investigator around the nation. Even Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert took up the issue, urging investors to hoard bees. "The fewer there are, the more they're worth," Colbert said.

Yet despite all the attention, there's little solid data on the severity of the problem.

"I'm not convinced that it's so much worse than what we saw in 2004 and 2005," said Eric Mussen, a bee specialist with the University of California, Davis.

While bees are undoubtedly in trouble this year, Mussen said, there's little evidence so far that it's anything other than the continuation of their long struggle with disease, environmental stress and the hardship of being hauled cross-country in midwinter to pollinate crops in California.

"This time the media just became much more involved in it," he said." (McClatchy Newspapers)

"Biologists develop large gene dataset for rice plant" - "Scientists have reported development of a large dataset of gene sequences in rice. The information will lead to an increased understanding of how genes work in rice, an essential food for much of the world's population." (National Science Foundation)

"Greenpeace Raises Questions About Monsanto GMO Corn" - "PARIS - Environmental group Greenpeace launched a fresh attack on genetically modified maize developed by US biotech giant Monsanto, saying on Tuesday that rats fed on one version developed liver and kidney problems." (Reuters)

March 13, 2007

Book: "Edison the inventor, Edison the showman" - "This article was adapted from "The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World," by Randall Stross, a contributor to The New York Times. The book, to be published on Tuesday by Crown Publishers, examines the reality and the myths surrounding the Edison legacy." (Randall Stross, New York Times)

Purchase The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World and help support JunkScience.com at the same time.

"Food giants agree to phase out fats" - "FAST-FOOD and baked goods giants have agreed to phase out dangerous trans-fatty acids from their products amid rising concern they may be contributing to the burden of heart disease." (The Australian)

About time! "KFC owner sticks by its cooking oil" - "A LEADING fast-food company has refused to bow to the Federal Government's demand it remove harmful fats from its products.

The Assistant Health Minister, Chris Pyne, hosted a meeting of industry leaders in Sydney yesterday but failed to secure unanimous support from fast-food groups for healthier cooking.

Yum! Restaurants said in a statement released after the meeting that KFC Australia had been using palm oil - which is 52 per cent saturated fat - "for many years" and had no intention of converting to a healthier cooking oil. "Palm oil has less than 1 per cent trans fats, and as a result our chicken and chips all contain less than 0.1 per cent trans fat," the statement said. "As these levels are already extremely low, we have no plans to change our recipes or processes from this." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Some spine demonstrated by a company at last. Nanny governments of all stripes should plain butt out.

"DVT risk for office workers" - "OFFICE workers glued to computer screens are at greater risk of deadly blood clots forming in their legs than long-distance air travellers, the author of a New Zealand study on thrombosis said today." (The Australian)

"Obesity surgery can lead to memory loss, other problems" - "ST. PAUL, Minn -- Weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass surgery, can lead to a vitamin deficiency that can cause memory loss and confusion, inability to coordinate movement, and other problems, according to a study published in the March 13, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology." (American Academy of Neurology)

Happens every so often... "Giant Australian Salt Lake Springs to Life" - "CANBERRA - Floodwaters flowed into the world's largest ephemeral lake in outback Australia on Monday, triggering a once-in-a-decade explosion of bird and fish life in place of arid salt flats." (Reuters)

... and with a few cyclones and signs of a good monsoon there's a good chance for Australia's 'dead' center to explode in one of its irregular wildflower spectaculars -- worth seeing, if you get the chance.

Oh boy... "On Screens Soon, Abused Earth Gets Its Revenge" - "LOS ANGELES, March 11 — Tired of abuse by mankind, the earth is angry. Worse, the planet is out to even the score.

Audiences can expect a story along those lines when M. Night Shyamalan’s film “The Happening” reaches screens in the next year. The project, to which 20th Century Fox signed on last week, imagines a planet that is starting to act like the vigilante Travis Bickle from “Taxi Driver.”

“The Happening” will not be the only big-budget studio film to test a new kind of villainy, in which the real victim is the environment, and, whatever the plot variations, the enemy is all of us. Beginning this summer and for months after, movies as diverse as the “The Simpsons Movie,” “Transformers,” a remake of “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” and James Cameron’s “Avatar” will take on environmental themes." (New York Times)

"CryoSat-2 on the road to recovery" - "Building a satellite in just three years is without doubt an ambitious undertaking. Nevertheless, the decision to rebuild CryoSat and recover the mission includes just that goal. A year on and the mission is now well on the way to recovery, with a design that incorporates no less than 85 separate improvements." (European Space Agency)

Hello? "From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype" - "Hollywood has a thing for Al Gore and his three-alarm film on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth,” which won an Academy Award for best documentary. So do many environmentalists, who praise him as a visionary, and many scientists, who laud him for raising public awareness of climate change.

But part of his scientific audience is uneasy. In talks, articles and blog entries that have appeared since his film and accompanying book came out last year, these scientists argue that some of Mr. Gore’s central points are exaggerated and erroneous. They are alarmed, some say, at what they call his alarmism." (New York Times)

Reminder: "Intelligence Squared U.S. Announces Panel for 'Global Warming Is Not a Crisis' Debate: Sixth Debate in Series To Take Place on March 14th in New York City" - "NEW YORK, March 6 -- Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2 US), an Oxford-style three-on-three debating series sponsored by The Rosenkranz Foundation, today announced the panel for its Wednesday, March 14th debate on the motion "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis" at Asia Society and Museum in New York City." (PRNewswire)

"INTERVIEW - Icy Nordics Doubt Net Gains From Global Warming" - "OSLO - Global warming could mean Scandinavia's farmers will be able to grow sweeter fruit but the consequences for herring fishermen could be dire, Norway's environment minister said." (Reuters)

All this based on implausible computer-generated warming -- we doubt they gain much either, simply because the warming is highly unlikely, if not impossible.

Maybe no one told them the Arctic was like, cold? "Frostbite, equipment damage end latest Bancroft-Arnesen trek" - "MINNEAPOLIS - A North Pole expedition meant to bring attention to global warming was called off after one of the explorers got frostbite. The explorers, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, on Saturday called off what was intended to be a 530-mile trek across the Arctic Ocean after Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold temperatures drained the batteries in some of their electronic equipment." (Associated Press) | Frostbite brings attention to global warming (The Reference Frame)

"Setting Up For A Big Freeze!" - "The National Arbor Day Foundation has recently completed an extensive updating of U.S. Hardiness Zones based upon data from 5,000 National Climatic Data Center cooperative stations across the continental United States. These changes in the hardiness zones use differences between 2006 and 1990 [thanks to Dev Niyogi for alerting us to this!], and are intended to “reflect warmer climate”.

To base changes in landscaping your home based on such a short period of record is very risky. This is the type of ill advised decision that people will make because of the acceptance of the IPCC information as predictions, rather than just a subset of views on what the climate could be in the coming decades. A linear decrease in the likelihood of violating the temperature values assumed in the revised hardiness zone is likely going to be a failed forecast, based on our knowledge of the nonlinearity of the climate system, which is not captured by the IPCC Assessment." (Climate Science)

"Smithsonian scientists report new carbon dioxide study: Increased atmospheric CO2 stimulates soils to release, not store, CO2" - "Researchers at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center report the results of a six-year experiment in which doubling the atmospheric greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) in a scrub oak ecosystem caused a reduction in carbon storage in the soil.

The scientists said this response suggests a limited capacity of Earth’s ecosystems to stabilize atmospheric CO2 and slow global warming. These findings add a new perspective and a measure of caution suggesting that elevated CO2, by altering microbial communities, may turn a potential carbon sink into a carbon source.

Previous studies have shown that plants will respond to higher CO2 by increasing growth and taking up much of the excess carbon. This has led some to speculate that plants may be able to mitigate increases in atmospheric CO2 and that soils, which represent the largest and most stable terrestrial carbon pool, also may serve as a sink for excess carbon.

During the course of their study, Smithsonian scientists saw a consistent loss in soil carbon under high CO2 conditions. The CO2 loss from soils offset about 52 percent of the additional carbon that had accumulated in the plants above ground and in the roots." (Smithsonian)

Hmm... see the "Carbon Sequestration" section here.

"Bright sun, warm Earth. Coincidence?" - "Mars's ice caps are melting, and Jupiter is developing a second giant red spot, an enormous hurricane-like storm.

The existing Great Red Spot is 300 years old and twice the size of Earth. The new storm -- Red Spot Jr. -- is thought to be the result of a sudden warming on our solar system's largest planet. Dr. Imke de Pater of Berkeley University says some parts of Jupiter are now as much as six degrees Celsius warmer than just a few years ago.

Neptune's moon, Triton, studied in 1989 after the unmanned Voyageur probe flew past, seems to have heated up significantly since then. Parts of its frozen nitrogen surface have begun melting and turning to gas, making Triton's atmosphere denser.

Even Pluto has warmed slightly in recent years, if you can call -230C instead of -233C "warmer."

And I swear, I haven't left my SUV idling on any of those planets or moons. Honest, I haven't.

Is there something all these heavenly bodies have in common? Some one thing they all share that could be causing them to warm in unison?" (Lorne Gunter, National Post)

"Global Warming or Just Hot Air? A Dozen Different Views" - "Earth's temperature has increased by about 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.56 degrees Celsius) in the last century. Most of the warming in the last 50 years is attributed to human activities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

However, climate change has gone from being a scientific actuality to a political wedge issue, used as a cudgel by parties of all persuasions to point fingers and score points. Consequently, many people, including scientists and politicians, can’t seem to arrive at agreement on the issue.

LiveScience recently reached out to several experts and visionaries for their views on this controversial topic and dug up published comments of others." (LiveScience)

"Global Warming: The Convenient Truth" - "In October, British Prime Minister Tony Blair called for "radical international measures" to curtail greenhouse-gas emissions, and fast. "We can't wait the five years it took to negotiate Kyoto," he said. Apparently, 2012 is too late. In hopes of taking stronger steps, however, many U.S. environmentalists want to defer any legislation until President Bush is out of office. Apparently 2007 and 2008 are too early. That gives us precisely three years -- 2009, 2010, and 2011 -- to save the planet.

All right, that was a cheap shot. I couldn't help myself. Something about the global-warming debate encourages overheated rhetoric. To listen to Blair, former Vice President Gore, and many other political figures and environmental activists, you would conclude that global warming is an onrushing cataclysm and that prevention requires all of us to take radical steps right away.

A fairer assessment would be many degrees cooler. It would hold that climate change is real and deserves action, but that the problem is nowhere near as overwhelming as the rhetoric commonly suggests, and the solutions nowhere near as difficult. As problems go, in fact, climate change appears to be one of the most convenient that humankind has ever faced." (Jonathan Rauch, National Journal)

Whether there is anything to be gained depends on having blind faith in models and modelers, which obviously we do not.

Moonbattery: "Don't let truth stand in the way of a red-hot debunking of climate change" - "The science might be bunkum, the research discredited. But all that counts for Channel 4 is generating controversy." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

'sup George? Worried about your income stream if people find out what a crock global warming hysteria really is?

On the Carl Wunch yes, no, maybe so... Time For A Bullshit Alert! The following articles pegged the bullshit meter all the way off the scale. For the purpose of this topic, this thread reads from top to bottom, the most recent articles at the bottom. Climate scientist 'duped to deny global warming' ... (Global Warming Hyperbole)

Nope: "Is Global Warming a Hot New Litigation Frontier? Complex lawsuits involving greenhouse gas emissions are anticipated" - "Global warming is an increasingly important subject of public discussion and debate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently issued a highly publicized report concluding that the existence of global warming is "unequivocal" and that there is a 90 percent probability that it has been caused primarily by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases generated by human activity." (Stuart M. Feinblatt and Monique Cofer, New Jersey Law Journal)

These speculative pieces would be a lot more credible if they could manage even the most basic facts, like the fact the cited "report" will not actually appear until May.

Harrumph... "INTERVIEW - Scientist Says Sea Level Rise Could Accelerate" - "HOBART, Australia - Data from satellites is showing that sea-level rises and polar ice-melting might be worse than earlier thought, a leading oceanographer said on Monday." (Reuters)

... critters from space might invade, too, but I doubt it.

Silly buggers: "Labour to set legal limit on UK carbon emissions" - "Tony Blair and Gordon Brown will today announce plans to introduce legally binding limits on carbon emissions that will be set at five-year intervals. The new green law will also place a duty on ministers to report every year on the progress being made and the action being taken to ensure the UK stays on track." (The Guardian)

"Brown wants 'new world order' to fight global warming" - "LONDON - Gordon Brown, likely to be the next prime minister, will deliver a speech calling for a "new world order" to combat global warming on Monday. According to excerpts released by the finance ministry, Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown will also say the United Nations should make the fight against global warming a core "pillar" of its international mission." (AFP)

"Gas-Guzzlers May Face Big Tax Hike in UK Budget" - "LONDON - Big gas-guzzling cars look set to face much higher taxes in Britain when finance minister Gordon Brown presents his 11th budget next week as "green" issues rise to the top of the political agenda." (Reuters)

"Voters do care, but they prefer the carrot to the stick" - "Gordon Brown’s carrot may amount to a shrewder reading of public opinion than David Cameron’s stick. Voters are now green in principle, but only ambiguously so in practice. Most want to save the planet, but are dubious about paying higher taxes." (London Times)

Oops: "Redwood speaks of global warming 'benefits'" - "Former Welsh secretary John Redwood added his voice to the debate on the environment, listing what he said were the benefits of global warming. The Wokingham MP, who is chairman of the Tory's Economic Competitiveness Policy Group, wrote in his online diary - or "blog" - that global warming had benefits as well as disadvantages. He wrote: "We will benefit from the better weather for tourism, agriculture and outdoor sports. Fewer people will die of the cold and from snow and ice in the winter." But he said that he was "sceptical" about the scientific theory of global warming, but acknowledged that the world's climate did appear to be getting hotter." (24Dash)

"Ethanol Undergoes Evolution as Political Issue" - "What's the closest thing in politics to a religious experience? The ethanol conversion." (Washington Post)

"Quote of the Year" - "The year is young, but an early contender for candid business quote of the year has got to be the one in Friday's Journal from Ron White. The Texas oil man is investing big money in Trinidad, from which it is possible to exploit an exemption in America's 54-cent-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. "Avoiding the tariff -- that's the economics of our business," said Mr. White.

What a beauty, that. Most investors are looking to create new value with some product or service. Mr. White admits he's pouring money into the Caribbean to game a government tax on a product the politicians claim to love as long as it's not imported. We don't blame Mr. White. He's merely using his ingenuity and capital to evade an insane law put on the books by politicians doing favors for their pals. Millions of Americans do this with the wacky U.S. tax code every year.

The folks to blame are the corn-ethanol lobby, led by Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, who sounds like Senator Cornpone but is craftier than a highwayman. He's blocking repeal of the tariff because repeal would mostly benefit sugar-based ethanol, while his voters and campaign contributors make ethanol from corn. Corn is less efficient as an ethanol feed stock because as a starch it first has to be turned into sugar before it can be turned into fuel.

No surprise, then, that Senator Grassley is now lobbying his mates on Capitol Hill to close the Caribbean ethanol-tariff loophole: How dare anyone try to out-con his Big Corn Con. As for the rest of us, we have a case study in the way tariffs distort markets, creating "business models" designed for no other purpose than evading government rules." (Wall Street Journal)

Now this corn ethanol thing has gone too far! "Corn prices making Coke gulp" - "CHICAGO -- Coca-Cola may investigate alternatives to high fructose corn syrup, its main sweetener in the U.S. market, because of high corn prices, a company executive said Monday. "The price increases that we're seeing for corn and high fructose corn syrup are unlike we've seen in many a year. We're clearly feeling the pinch and it's been tough," said Scott Young, a food service division executive at the company." (Reuters)

"Oil boffins go nuclear" - "Driving a nuclear-powered car may sound a bit like something out of Thunderbirds, but it could soon be a reality if the oil industry's nuclear overtures come to anything. That's one prediction in Trading Climate Change, JP Morgan's latest contribution to the City's voluminous output on the impact of global warming.

Chris Rogers, the utilities analyst at JP Morgan, believes nuclear-fuelled hydrogen could be "the ethanol of 2017" as the industry enjoys a new lease of life. The resurgence of nuclear, he believes, is a key element in the global drive to reduce carbon emissions from power generation and create the zero-emissions hydrogen transport of the future." (London Telegraph)

"India's Coal Demand May Quadruple by 2031 - Minister" - "MUMBAI - India's demand for coal may exceed two billion tonnes a year by 2031-32, up from about 460 million tonnes a year now according to the country's minister for coal, Dasari Rao." (Reuters)

"Ireland Sets 33 Pct Green Electricity Goal by 2020" - "DUBLIN - A third of electricity used in Ireland will come from renewable sources by 2020, the government said on Monday as it unveiled plans to reduce dependence on imported fuels and protect itself against supply disruptions." (Reuters)

"PacifiCorp finds errors in dam-removal analysis" - "GRANTS PASS, Ore. — PacifiCorp told federal dam regulators Monday that it might actually save money by upgrading four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River to protect salmon, contrary to a widely circulated report that estimated it made economic sense to remove the dams.

In a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Portland-based utility said it had commissioned a review of a report done for the California Energy Commission by M. Cubed consultants of Davis, Calif., which had found PacifiCorp could save $101 million by removing the dams and buying replacement power.

Christensen Associates Energy Consulting, LLC, of Madison, Wis., found problems with the economic model used to make the initial estimate, as well the data fed into the model." (AP)

"Climate deal 'not enough', says environment commissioner" - "EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas has said that the climate change deal agreed by member states on Friday is not enough and that individual citizens should also be more environmentally aware." (EUobserver)

"EU leaders to make Europe change lightbulbs" - "BRUSSELS - European homes, offices and streets will have to use energy-efficient lighting by the end of the decade, EU leaders decided on Friday. The decision to order a massive switchover that will affect the lives of all the European Union's 490 million citizens came at a summit of the 27-nation bloc as part of an ambitious green energy policy to fight climate change." (Reuters)

"No limit to outrage over curbs on life in the fast lane" - "Motorists in Germany, where unrestricted driving is regarded as a birthright, are furious at calls from the European Environment Minister to impose a general speed limit on motorways for environmental reasons." (London Times)

"Researchers address developing countries' water and sanitation needs" - "Worldwide, more than one billion people lack access to an improved water source, such as a rainwater collection or dug well, and two billion still need access to basic sanitation facilities, such as a latrine. By 2015, the international community hopes to reduce by half the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation." (Georgia Institute of Technology Research News)

"Color analysis rapidly predicts carbon content of soil" - "Scientists at Iowa Sate University recently discovered that simply looking at soil color is reasonably as accurate as time-consuming and expensive laboratory tests. Soil color can be used as a simple, inexpensive method to predict measurements of soil organic content (SOC). These measurements provide a lens through which researchers can assess soil quality and better understand global carbon cycles. Proper modeling of global carbon cycles and monitoring of carbon sequestration require wide-spread, accurate assessments of soil carbon contents." (American Society of Agronomy)

"Smithsonian study concludes Caribbean extinctions occurred 2M years after apparent cause" - "Smithsonian scientists and colleagues report a new study that may shake up the way paleontologists think about how environmental change shapes life on Earth. The researchers summarized the environmental, ecological and evolutionary consequences for Caribbean shallow-water marine communities when the Isthmus of Panama was formed. They concluded that extinctions resulting when one ocean became two were delayed by 2 million years." (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute)

"Federal judge halts planting of genetically engineered alfalfa" - "SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge on Monday temporarily halted the planting of genetically engineered alfalfa across the country in response to a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farmers who already have purchased the herbicide-resistant alfalfa seed must plant it by March 30. No new sales of the seed will be allowed, according to U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer's preliminary injunction order.

Last month, Breyer ruled federal authorities had failed to fully consider the public health, economic and environmental consequences before allowing the sale of Roundup Ready alfalfa. The Center for Food Safety had sued on behalf of farmers who complained the genetically engineered seed could contaminate organic and conventional alfalfa.

"Roundup Ready alfalfa poses threats to farmers, to our export markets and to the environment," said Will Rostov, spokesman for the Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group." (Associated Press)

"New technologies coming too fast for Indian farmers" - "The arrival of genetically modified crops has added another level of complexity to farming in the developing world, says a sociocultural anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis." (Washington University in St. Louis)

"GM: A healthy debate" - "The development of genetically modified crops to improve human health could be the golden ticket for advocates to persuade the wary public that GM is not a wholly nefarious idea after all. But will a new, healthy spin be enough to counter deep-rooted fears that genetic modification, by its very nature, poses an equal and opposite threat to human health?" (Food Production Daily)

March 12, 2007

"'Planet Killer' Not in the Stars, Asteroid Research Indicates" - "The risk that an asteroid capable of wiping out humanity will crash into Earth is minuscule, new calculations suggest, but the chances of a smaller one destroying a city or setting off a catastrophic tsunami remain unclear and may be higher than previous estimates. The calculations were presented at a four-day meeting in Washington this week, leading scores of scientists present to conclude that NASA needs to move aggressively to meet a congressional deadline for identifying most of the potentially hazardous smaller asteroids and to develop ways to deflect them if they home in on Earth. But in a report released to Congress yesterday, the space agency said it does not have the funds to do the precautionary work, called for in its 2005 authorization bill." (Washington Post)

Certainly a greater risk than "global warming" but not by much -- and "not much greater than zero" is not really worth the waste of either effort or funds since the chance of detecting, much less "addressing" a high-speed mini-bus prior to atmosphere penetration is, well, zero, close enough. Since the number that arrive over periods of millions of years is trivial and the chance of one inconveniently arriving over a population center much smaller (only a tiny portion of Earth actually hosts human population concentrations -- more than 70% is uninhabited ocean surface over which a Tunguska-style air blast would merely be interesting, then there's the sparsely or completely uninhabited frigid zones making target areas significantly smaller...) there really is no downside to simply ignoring such a remote possibility.

"Needed From the FDA: Not Perfection, Just Consistency" - "FDA regulators need to balance patients' access to therapies with ensuring the safety of drugs. The consequences of poor decisions can be grim: Promote access at the expense of safety, and a dangerous product can cause incalculable harm; over-emphasize safety at the expense of access, and patients suffer from the absence of life-saving, life-enhancing medications." (Dr. Henry I. Miller, TCS Daily)

"Hair-raising fears — When “high” isn’t really high" - "The evidence and misconceptions behind many of the scares about the safety of our fish due to methylmercury were recently examined. Now women are being increasingly frightened by claims of “high levels” of mercury found in their hair." (Junkfood Science)

"Washington Post Skews Story on Chemical Obesity Risk" - "Limitations in scientist’s research not addressed, contrasting risk evaluations by Harvard, others ignored." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"The Sweet N' Lowdown, Thirty Years On" - "Thirty years ago this week -- on March 9, 1977 -- the Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to ban what was then the only artificial sweetener, saccharin. The ban was prompted by a Canadian study suggesting that saccharin caused bladder cancer in rats. The FDA was following the dictates of the so-called "Delaney Clause," which prohibits the use of food additives that cause cancer in laboratory animals.

There have been many food-chemical cancer scares over the years -- including the Great Cranberry Scare of 1959, the red dye #2 kerfuffle of 1976, and the Alar extravaganza of 1989 (with many others in between). But the saccharin scare generated a decidedly different public response." (Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, TCS Daily)

All diets work (wait for the punchline)... (Junkfood Science)

"Eating-disorder education shows unintended effects" - "NEW YORK - Teaching teenagers about eating disorders can make them more knowledgeable about the problem, but it may also have some inadvertant effects, a new study suggests.

Yale University researchers found that when they presented female high school students with videos on eating disorders, it met the intended goal of boosting their knowledge about anorexia and bulimia.

However, the team saw that the students didn't necessarily find the results of eating disorders unappealing. Teens who watched a video featuring a woman recovering from an eating disorder became more likely to view girls with eating disorders as "very pretty," and some thought it would be "nice to look like" the woman in the video.

The findings suggest that more research should go into the unintended effects of eating disorder education before such programs are widely used, the researchers conclude in their article in the International Journal of Eating Disorders." (Reuters Health)

Junkfood Science Weekend Special: Fears about early puberty in girls — Are they about fat or hype? (Junkfood Science)

UV? Climate change? All the old myths thrown into the mix in this one: "LATIN AMERICA: Frogs Fading Into Silence" - "TORONTO - Frogs and other amphibians are rapidly becoming extinct around the world and in Latin American countries in particular. In the Caribbean as many as 80 percent of these species are endangered, while in Colombia there are 209 and in Mexico 198 amphibians may soon disappear." (Tierramérica)

"Czech Pres: Environmentalism is a religion" - "WASHINGTON, March 9 -- Environmentalism is a religion that is based more on political ambitions than science, the president of the Czech Republic warned Friday.

Speaking at the Cato Institute, a public policy think-tank, President Vaclav Klaus said that environmentalists who clamor for policy change to combat global warming "only pretend" to be promoting environmental protection, and are actually being driven by a political agenda.

"Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences," much like the idea of communism or other "-isms" such as feminism, Klaus said, adding that "environmentalism is a religion" that seeks to reorganize the world order as well as social behavior and value systems worldwide." (UPI)

and religion as environmentalism: "Drought blamed on lack of faith" - "A LEADING Muslim cleric has blamed the devastating drought, climate change and pollution on Australians' lack of faith in Allah. Radical sheik Mohammed Omran told followers at his Brunswick mosque that out-of-control secular scientific values had caused environmental disaster." (Sunday Herald Sun)

Kerry does a Gore: "Kerry's new book hails everyday people saving the environment" - "WASHINGTON --Sen. John Kerry was dealt a bitter loss in 2004, but he also found inspiration for a new book during the long, grueling presidential campaign. In town after town, he was deeply moved by the energy and enthusiasm he discovered among everyday citizens who were fighting to save the environment, Kerry said." (Associated Press)

Still on the indoctrination trail: "'An Inconvenient Truth' — for kids" - "Lisa Shimizu's 8-year-old daughter, Aya, used to think mom was just nagging when Shimizu told her to turn off lights and keep clean clothes out of the laundry pile. Now, after seeing her mom's kid version of Al Gore's global-warming slide show, the Bellevue third-grader is on board to save the planet — and even reminds her mom not to forget the cloth bags when they go grocery shopping." (Seattle Times)

"Green tax won't help the planet or Tories" - "The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published last month, gave the impression that the debate about the reality of global warming and its man-made causes is over: the earth is heating up, and increased CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are to blame.

That impression is false, however, or at least misleading: there are still many uncertainties in climate science and prediction, and there are many reputable scientists who do not accept that the ever-increasing amounts of CO2 human beings are pumping into the atmosphere are responsible for whatever changes in planetary temperature are happening.

Some of those dissenting voices were on display in The Great Global Warming Swindle, a powerful programme broadcast last week. Channel 4 is to be congratulated for not being intimidated or bullied out of transmitting the documentary: it is difficult to imagine today's BBC having the courage to assault a doctrine so entrenched in politically correct opinion." (Sunday Telegraph)

Predictably: "Climate change: An inconvenient truth... for C4" - "It was the television programme that set out to show that most of the world's climate scientists are misleading us when they say humanity is heating up the Earth by emitting carbon dioxide. And The Great Global Warming Swindle, screened by Channel 4 on Thursday night, convinced many viewers that it is indeed untrue that the gas is to blame for global warming.

But now the programme - and the channel - is facing a serious challenge to its own credibility after one of the most distinguished scientists that it featured said his views had been "grossly distorted" by the film, and made it clear that he believed human pollution did warm the climate.

Professor Carl Wunsch, professor of physical oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said he had been "completely misrepresented" by the programme, and "totally misled" on its content. He added that he is considering making a formal complaint." (London Independent) | Climate scientist 'duped to deny global warming' (The Observer)

‘Apocalypse my arse’ - "Martin Durkin, director of The Great Global Warming Swindle, on green intolerance, soft censorship and his ‘dodgy’ Marxist background." (sp!ked) | See The Great Global Warming Swindle (Google Video)

"The heat's in the sun" - "We live in extraordinarily hot times, says Sami Solanki of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany. In 2004, he led a team of scientists that, for the first time, quantitatively reconstructed the sun's activity since the last Ice Age, some 11,400 years ago. Earth hasn't been this hot in 8,000 years and, he predicts, the hot spell will carry on for a few more decades before the sun turns down the heat." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"Political Corruption of the IPCC Report?" - "Changes in the Final Text of the "Summary for Policy Makers" (Meridian)

"How Many Climate Scientists Were Involved With Writing the 2007 IPCC Statement For Policymakers?" - "The media is in error when it states that, “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change –made up of thousands of scientists from around the world — reported earlier this month they are more certain than ever that humans are heating earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels….” Are there really “thousands of scientists” who wrote this report? Hardly. The IPCC is actually led and written by just a few dozen scientists." (Climate Science)

Scitizen Column Published Entitled “Scientific Errors With the IPCC Statement for Policymakers” (Climate Science)

"Scientists threatened for 'climate denial'" - "Scientists who questioned mankind's impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community. They say the debate on global warming has been "hijacked" by a powerful alliance of politicians, scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions." (Sunday Telegraph)

"Global Warming Is A Crisis" - "Gavin Schmidt is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies." (ABC News blogs)

"Global Warming Is Not a Crisis" - "Philip Stott is an Emeritus Professor from the University of London, UK." (ABC News blogs)

There's an online vote, too.

The crone, still clueless: "Another Warning on Warming" - "If President Bush requires any more proof that he sits on the wrong side of the global warming debate, he should listen to his own scientists. An internal draft of a report the administration will soon forward to the United Nations shows that his program of voluntary reductions has done little to stop the rise in greenhouse gases generated in this country.

There is no sign that this report will alter Mr. Bush’s thinking; he contemptuously dismissed a similar report five years ago as bureaucratic boilerplate. But we are hopeful that it will add momentum to the bills circulating in Congress that would impose mandatory limits on these gases, a course Mr. Bush has opposed since renouncing his own 2000 campaign pledge to do just that." (New York Times)

With incredible stupidity: "Politicians bid for the green vote" - "A frantic race to play the winning "green card" will take place in Westminster this week, as Britain's three main political parties focus on the environment and global warming as the main battleground of the next general election." (London Independent)

"Miliband in green clash with Brown" - "Gordon Brown has watered down a landmark bill on climate change to be published this week and clashed with David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, who is being touted as a potential future leader.

The Chancellor, who will pre-empt the bill with his own major speech on green issues tomorrow, is understood to have objected to attempts to earmark revenues raised through carbon taxes for purely green causes. 'David is having quite a dispute with the Treasury about all of this and Gordon is being very difficult about it,' said a close ally of the Environment Secretary. 'Any mention of hypothecation [earmarking taxes or revenue for a particular cause] and you are finished as far as the Treasury is concerned.'" (The Observer)

"Climate Change Is Biggest Threat To Our Future Economy" - "Environment Secretary David Miliband today outlines his vision to put Britain at the forefront of the war on global warming. In an exclusive interview with Sunday Mirror Political Editor VINCENT MOSS, the Environment Secretary - seen by many as a possible future Prime Minister - explains why we have to act now before it's too late..." (Sunday Mirror)

"Don't Panic! It's Just Politics" -"HERE, environmental expert PHILIP STOTT, Professor of Biogeography at the University of London, explains why we shouldn't panic - and why he believes global warming is just another political bandwagon:" (Sunday Mirror)

"Weekends really are wetter than Mondays" - "If weekend sunshine seems a rare treat - that's because it is. Clouds and rain really do tend to arrive with the weekend, to be replaced by better weather on a Monday as most of us head back to work, a study has shown.

Analysing 14 years of weather data from 12 sites, researchers found that the weather is colder, wetter and less sunny at the weekend on average.

Monday and Tuesday are the sunniest days, statistically, while Saturday is the most humid and least sunny. Scientists found this to be the case in industrially developed regions, and have blamed it on "aerosols" - tiny particles from traffic and industry suspended in the air.

The particles, which reflect sunlight back into space and increase cloud production, build up during the main working days and affect the weekend weather.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research in Karlsruhe, Germany. They said the findings offered more evidence that human actions could be affecting the climate." (Sunday Telegraph)

"Climate Shifts And The Probability Of Randomness" - "Severe climate changes during the last ice-age could have been caused by random chaotic variations on Earth and not governed by external periodic influences from the Sun. This has been shown in new calculations by a researcher at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University." (SPX)

Reader comment of the moment: "the meat industry is the largest contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions"

In that case, I believe we owe a debt of gratitude to the buffalo hunters, who staved off early global warming over 125 years ago, by killing off vast numbers of buffalo. The buffalo herds were estimated to number in the millions at that time, all of them emitting large volumes of greenhouse gases. Just imagine how hot it would be now, if they had not culled these enormous beasts. In addition, the ivory-poachers of Africa, and the whalers, have also done their part in reducing the quantities of very large mammals who are responsible for this reprehensible behavior. Bashing a few thousand baby seals every year probably also does some good, as each of those seals would grow into a large gaseous creature. -- h/t Janice A.

Hmm... "Angry Charles attacks Channel 4 claims that he is unfit to be King" - "The Prince of Wales yesterday launched an unprecedented and pre-emptive assault on claims in a TV documentary suggesting he is "unfit to rule" as his aides stressed he would carry out his role as King in a completely different way to his role as heir-in-waiting.

In a detailed dossier his most senior official set about systematically demolishing controversial claims in a Channel 4 programme to be aired tonight that Prince Charles's political "meddling" and "abuse" of power threatened the future of the monarchy.

The robust rebuttal - which runs to 21 pages excluding appendices - was released in advance of the Dispatches documentary Charles - The Meddling Prince.

... as an Aussie what can I say but Long may She reign (with any luck Her Royal Highness will outlive Charlie -- if not Australia can always become a republic). Every time the Prince of Wails opens his foolish mouth we end up having to rebut his stupid claims about climate, genetic modification, organics, alternative medicine (read: superstitious claptrap) and anything else the vacuous twit rambles on about. His one saving grace being that he's the best pal (and strongest case) the Australian republican movement's got.

The Week That Was March 3, 2007 (SEPP)

"Saharan Dust: Savior of the Amazon Rainforests?" - "One of the most common images linked to global warming is that of an arid, dusty, cracked soil complete with the skeleton of a dead cow resting on it. One would get the impression that a dusty plain is consequently one of the worst environments imaginable. Certainly one would not expect such a visually hostile environment to be absolutely vital in accomplishing something good for one of the globe’s more visually appealing biomes—such as the Amazon rainforest, right?" (WCR)

What a crock! "Rains helping cool Barrier Reef " - "Recent torrential rain and monsoons in northern Queensland have provided some rare relief for the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The poor conditions have significantly reduced ocean temperatures, making them the coolest for up to five years. It has been a blessing for the corals - usually in the summer they are at risk of serious scorching and bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living organism, stretching over more than 345,000 sq km." (BBC)

The same coral species thrive around New Guinea, where water temperatures are significantly higher than along the GBR. This has been a pretty miserable 'summer' in Queensland, taking until the 2nd week in March to record a decent summer's day, otherwise it's been pretty cool and a bit dismal.

The latest from Seth Boringtheme: "Warming Report to Warn of Coming Drought" - "WASHINGTON - The harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people won't have enough water, top scientists will say next month at a meeting in Belgium.

At the same time, tens of millions of others will be flooded out of their homes each year as the Earth reels from rising temperatures and sea levels, according to portions of a draft of an international scientific report obtained by The Associated Press.

Tropical diseases like malaria will spread. By 2050, polar bears will mostly be found in zoos, their habitats gone. Pests like fire ants will thrive." (AP)

Laughable: "To the end of the earth" - "This is our future - famous cities are submerged, a third of the world is desert, the rest struggling for food and fresh water. Richard Girling investigates the reality behind the science of climate change." (Sunday Times)

They blame 'global warming' for this, too: "Kitten boom litters shelters" - "Mild weather in early winter meant more cats outdoors, more frisky antics, and a population explosion in the GTA." (Toronto Star)

Which we guess is just another way of saying warmer is life-friendly, colder is not.

"With friends like Erin..." - "This week the legendary anti-chemical campaigner Erin Brockovich was paraded before Sydney by a new political group seeking our votes. The Climate Change Coalition thinks Brockovich's views on the environment are worth our attention. But once you know the facts about Brockovich and the movie that was made about her, you might wonder." (Michael Duffy, Sydney Morning Herald)

"Pelosi Reveals Who's Who On Global Warming Panel" - "The best-kept secret on the Hill -- the full membership of the new committee on global warming -- is no longer secret. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has announced the 15 members of the committee, formally known as the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming." (Washington Post)

"Sensenbrenner: 'Let’s Be Responsible’" - "As noted below, Congressman James Sensenbrenner, R-WI, will serve as ranking Republican on the new House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Appointed by House Minority Leader John Boehner, Sensenbrenner has been a voice of reason and economic reality on the topic of climate change. His office today issued a news release on the appointment. Good stuff from the Congressman:" (NAM)

Right... "Climate Change Dimension Added to International Women's Day" - "GLAND, Switzerland, March 8, 2007 - The world's largest conservation organization added a new component today to the annual celebration of International Women’s Day. For the first time, IUCN-The World Conservation Union is incorporating gender equality into the battle against global warming." (ENS)

"Canada, Alberta to Study Greenhouse Gas Capture" - "CALGARY, Alberta - A new task force funded by the Canadian government and the province of Alberta will study ways to capture and store greenhouse gases emitted by the province's massive oil sands projects, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday." (Reuters)

"Paying a Price to Conserve Energy" - "Many people are predicting disruptions and surprises at "springing ahead" before the start of spring." (New York Times)

"Study: Extending Daylight Saving Time is an unlikely energy saver" - "As the United States readies to launch Daylight Saving Time (DST) this Sunday (March 11) - three weeks earlier than previous years - residents can count on more sunshine later in the day, but not on saving energy, advise two University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. students." (University of California, Berkeley)

Twaddle... "NZ: Climate change a cash cow" - "Why should we bother as a nation to do anything about climate change when we're only 0.06 per cent of the world's population? And why should we make ourselves uncompetitive by acting on climate change when we produce only 0.2 per cent of greenhouse gases? After all, bigger emitters like the US and Australia refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol. These are the bedrock arguments used by those, particularly farming leaders, opposed to New Zealand responding to the responsibilities and opportunities of climate change." (Sunday Star Times)

... these aren't bedrock arguments" at all. The simple fact is that Kyoto and similar hair brained schemes are all pain for no gain -- we don't even know if a warmer world would be on balance a better or worse place for people and critters and we sure can't make predictable changes to the temperature by tweaking a few minor variables like carbon dioxide emissions. Too silly for words really.

"Two Scientists, One From NZ & One From USA Answer Questions From BBC Environment Correspondent" - "This pdf file contains detailed responses by Dr Vincent Gray, of New Zealand, and Douglas V Hoyt, of USA, to a questionnaire circulated to leading world climatologists by Richard Black, environment correspondent for BBC Interactive News." (Climate Science NZ)

Dozy blighters... "Climate Change Pushes 'African' Diseases North - Expert" - "NAIROBI - Global warming is pushing northwards diseases more commonly found in developing countries, posing a risk to the financial and physical health of rich nations, the head of a livestock herders' charity said." (Reuters)

... these diseases are of international significance because of travel and transport -- "global warming" is irrelevant.

More speculative nonsense: "The Real Riddle of Changing Weather: How Safe Is My Home?" - "Parts of New York City will most certainly face more storms, and water damage, in the next decades." (New York Times)

"China Says No Carbon Exchange Plan, UN Still Keen" - "BEIJING - China's climate change office has denied the country plans to set up an emissions exchange, but a United Nations official said he was still working with Chinese officials and academics to draw up such a blueprint." (Reuters)

Envy? "High-earning men blamed over climate changing emissions" - "Working men earning more than £40,000 a year are responsible for the lion's share of climate change emissions from personal travel, according to a Oxford University survey. It found that one in five people are responsible for 61% of climate change emissions from private transport and that most of these are well-off men." (The Guardian)

"Another false EU summit" - "MAKE no mistake. This EU summit is a milestone. It "marks a sea change in European thinking"... provides "new impetus"... "an ambitious agenda..." "the route to solving Europe's problem..."

No, not last week's epochal summit setting binding targets on renewable energy and cutting carbon dioxide emissions, championed by no less than Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, but the epochal EU summit in Lisbon in 2000. This was to create, I quote, "the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world" by 2010. The champion of Lisbon was no less than... Jose Manuel Barroso." (The Scotsman)

"Europe Takes the Lead in Fighting Climate Change" - "The EU has reached what is being described as an historic agreement on climate protection. But the devil will be in the details of the implementation." (Der Spiegel)

Really? "EU's 2020 Emissions Target to Boost Carbon Markets" - "LONDON - The decision by European Union leaders on Friday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a fifth by 2020 strengthens the future of carbon markets both in Europe and under the Kyoto Protocol." (Reuters)

but it's optional: "Poland accepts EU compromise on renewable energy, carbon dioxide emissions - Polish president" - "At first reading of the initial proposal, it would seem that each EU country would need to have 20% of renewable energy sources and to cut emission by 20%, also cutting energy consumption," Kaczynski told a press conference in Brussels. "It is now apparent that every country may adopt tasks that are compliant with its own point of departure."

Poland refused to support EU plans of increasing the share of renewable source in the Polish energy production to 20%, since its current share is at just 5.5%, according to President Kaczynski. The president said the targets set by the EU leaders apply to the entire bloc and not to individual countries.

"Also, no country will be forced to adopt measures in this field without its consent," Kaczynski also said." (Interfax)

"Why Doesn't Europe Just Cut Its Greenhouse Emissions?" - "Why doesn’t Europe put up or shut up on reducing CO2 emissions? If the threat of global warming is so desperate, why don’t they just go ahead and show us how easy and profitable it is to switch from coal and oil to “renewable” fuels? They keep telling us we don’t need fossil fuels or nuclear power to live well, but they haven’t had the courage to live Green." (CGFI)

"UK debates 'green' incentives versus penalties" - "LONDON - British finance minister Gordon Brown will call on Monday for international action to tackle global warming and argue the best way to change people's behavior is through education and incentives, not taxation.

In what aides are billing as major speech on the environment just months before he is widely expected to take over from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Brown will set out his thinking on what is turning into a key battleground for the next election, expected in 2009.

And with just over a week to go until his annual budget, Brown looks unlikely to sanction any big rises in so-called "green" taxes." (Reuters)

"Tories reveal plans for green tax hike on air travel" - "Millions of people who fly abroad every year are to be taxed on the number of miles they travel, under audacious Conservative plans to seize the initiative over climate change. Passengers would be issued with a 'green miles' allowance and forced to pay more if they took extra flights, under the proposals from shadow Chancellor George Osborne. In an interview with The Observer he said that other options included putting VAT or fuel duty on flights within the UK, or a per-flight tax on airlines." (The Observer)

"Airlines shoot down Tory 'tax on fun'" - "The Tory Party will unveil radical proposals for a set of new environmental taxes intended to curb air travel today - but their plans are already facing a backlash from airlines." (Sunday Telegraph)

"Airlines oppose Tory tax proposal" - "Airlines have criticised Conservative plans for new environmental taxes on flights to combat climate change. Virgin said the taxes would damage the UK economy, and British Airways called them an "extremely blunt instrument" to tackle carbon emissions." (BBC)

"Green lobby must not stifle the debate" - "The Tories are on about airfares yet again. This week, David Cameron and Gordon Brown will conduct a Dutch auction in how much to penalise you for environmental crimes. There is something oddly familiar about all this. Perhaps I am sceptical about the climate change campaign because its exponents remind me so much of the people I knew years ago on the Marxist Left: repressive, self-righteous, and inherently totalitarian." (Janet Daley, London Telegraph)

More eco-toff nitwittery: "Cameron recruits green warrior Gore" - "On paper it is an unlikely friendship. Al Gore, the former Democratic presidential candidate, and David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, are, given their political persuasions, surprising bedfellows.

Yet this week, Mr Gore will cross not only the Atlantic but also the historic leaning of the Tories towards the Republican Party, by forming an alliance on climate change." (Sunday Telegraph)

"Climate change activists feel heat" - "CLIMATE change activists are asking global warming fence-sitters not to be put off by figures that show losses related to natural disasters fell in 2006. Swiss Re, the world's largest reinsurer, said insured losses were $US15.9 billion($A20.46 billion) last year. Accounting for inflation, only 1997 and 1988 have been cheaper." (The Age)

"Europe agrees to embrace nuclear option in battle to save the planet" - "The role of nuclear power in Europe received an unexpected boost yesterday as EU leaders hailed a landmark climate change deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and switch to renewable fuels.

Environmentalists complained that an ambitious headline goal to cut Europe’s CO emissions by a fifth by 2020 had been weakened by concessions to the main nuclear nations and the biggest polluters in Eastern Europe." (London Times)

"Nuclear Power Industry Wins First Site Approval in 30 Years" - "WASHINGTON, DC, March 9, 2007 - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Thursday approved the first Early Site Permit for a nuclear power plant - demonstrating a new and previously untested licensing process for locating new nuclear plants in the United States. Critics say new nuclear plants are not needed if energy conservation is implemented." (ENS)

"Strapped for Energy, Chile Looks at Nuclear Option" - "SANTIAGO - Burgeoning demand for electricity and steeper prices for natural gas imports are prompting Chile to consider nuclear power to address an energy shortfall that seems certain to intensify." (Reuters)

"Electricity from the sea" - "Dreams of converting ocean energy into electricity move closer to commercial reality." (LA Times)

"Fire down below: South-East Asia could have power to spare" - "EARTHQUAKES, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions are the price that more than 300m Indonesians and Filipinos must pay for living in the Pacific ocean's “ring of fire”, the world’s most seismically active zone.

But there are benefits, too. One is that the grinding of tectonic plates over the æons has left valuable metal ores near the surface. Another is that, where the earth’s crust is thin or cracked in such regions, huge amounts of electricity can be generated from super-hot rocks lying not far underground." (Economist.com)

"BP plan brings warnings about biofuel technology" - "Biofuel research is worth doing and may be one of many essential tools to limit damage from future climate change, but there are big environmental and social risks if it's pushed too hard and too fast.

That's the warning from some experts familiar with the history of biofuels and the outlines of UC Berkeley's controversial $500 million energy research pact with oil industry giant BP to create a research center at Berkeley to be named the Energy Biosciences Institute.

The institute's primary goal will be facilitating the production of biofuels on a scale large enough to result in a net drop of carbon emissions linked to vehicles -- potentially a huge step in society's response to a changing climate

"This is an exciting prospect and a real opportunity," said John Harte, a UC Berkeley professor of energy and resources, "but we're going to blow it if we don't get the whole project off the ground at the beginning in a way that's compatible with good research on the social, economic and environmental consequences." (SF Chronicle)

"Palm-oil frenzy taking toll" - "WASHINGTON — America's drive for energy independence and clean air could threaten orangutans, Sumatran tigers, elephants, rhinoceroses and the world's largest butterflies. All could be hurt as the rainforests of Southeast Asia are cleared to produce palm oil for use in biodiesel.

It's the downside of the crash effort to rein in global warming.

And the owners of what will be the largest biodiesel plant in the nation — at a deepwater port on Washington state's coast — are well aware of the environmental consequences of logging and burning some of the most biologically diverse forests in the world to provide the prime ingredient for a much-in-demand clean fuel." (McClatchy Newspapers)

"US Farm Group Slams US-Brazil Ethanol Cooperation" - "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush's plan to join hands with Brazil in boosting alternative fuels would deal a serious blow to American farmers, ranchers and taxpayers, a US farm group said on Friday." (Reuters)

"EU suggests speed limit for German autobahns" - "BERLIN - The EU's environment commissioner has called for a maximum speed limit on German highways to slow down the notoriously swift traffic on the car-loving nation's autobahns, a newspaper reported today. "There are so many areas in which we senselessly waste energy and harm the climate," European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas was quoted as saying in an interview with Bild am Sonntag newspaper." (Reuters)

"Swedes eye fowl as power-plant fuel" - "UMEA, Sweden, March 10 -- A Swedish firm's proposal to use dead chickens to generate electricity probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind in terms of alternative energy. But Umea Energi is ready to move forward with a proposal that would use chicken carcasses from egg farms as fuel for a power-generating furnace." (UPI)

Telling Tesco to stuff it! "We are not obliged to cut carbon emissions" - "The United Nations Climate Change Convention and its Kyoto Protocol state clearly who has and who does not have obligation to reduce greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions.

Industrialised countries have an obligation to reduce these emissions, which include carbon dioxide. Developing countries have no commitment to do so.

It was the 1992 Climate Change Convention that first stated that developed countries should commit themselves to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. It was subsequently realised that developed countries needed emissions reduction targets and in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was agreed to.

Under the protocol, developed countries undertook quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments, to 5 per cent below their 1990 levels by 2012.

Up to now, developed countries have not met their ghg reduction commitments. It is baffling that companies such as Tesco of the United Kingdom now want to impose ghg reduction conditionalities on those countries with neither Convention nor Protocol commitments to reduce their ghg." (Grace Akumu, East African Standard)

Joining the scam... "How do investors factor climate change into their stock-picking equation?" - "Corporations are catching on to the risks and opportunities of global warming." (The Christian Science Monitor)

... but it will all end in tears. While there was apparently a small step warming with the new millennium there's no evidence it can be sustained and no similarity to steady increase in atmospheric trace gas constituents (actually the reverse of expected since the most potent of relatively prolific greenhouse gases, methane, stopped rising having reached approximate atmospheric equilibrium over a decade ago).

How terrible... "Tread carefully in the green investment jungle" - "Some 'ethical' funds enforce far looser environmental standards than others - some invest in oil and tobacco companies, warns Emma Simon." (London Telegraph)

... they invest in some investment performers too!

Hey lookit! They've finally noticed the carbon scams: "Offsetting your carbon footprint takes decades" - "SCHEMES used by environmentally conscious consumers to cut their “carbon footprint” could take up to a century to deliver the promised benefits, a study has suggested.

Researchers found it takes that length of time for “carbon offsetting” — which often involves the planting of trees in the developing world — to absorb the greenhouse gases emitted by a single flight.

Dozens of fortunes have been made in recent years by entrepreneurs offering people and businesses the chance to neutralise their carbon emissions for a fee.

The new research, carried out by scientists at the Tyndall Centre, based at the University of East Anglia, and Sweden’s Lund University, suggests that such schemes may, in fact, do little more than salve the consciences of those paying for them.

“What we are seeing here is the emergence of a new and completely unregulated financial market,” said Lund’s Professor Stefan Gossling, who led the study." (Sunday Times)

"White House Seeks to Boost Aquaculture" - "The Bush administration wants to allow ocean farming for shellfish, salmon and saltwater species in federal waters for the first time, hoping to grab a greater share of the $70 billion aquaculture market." (Associated Press)

"No grisly food details, please." - "LONDON - British consumers increasingly take animal welfare into account in food purchases, but they don't want to know the gory details, a report said on Tuesday.

"We are a nation of animal lovers and concerns over welfare standards are helping to shape the content of our shopping baskets," Julie Starck, senior consultant with international food and grocery research body IGD, said in a statement.

The IGD's report showed that 64 percent of consumers have considered animal welfare when buying food, although only 10 percent claimed they buy all higher welfare foods.

The research found increased interest among consumers in the food they eat and how it was produced, a trend that also has sparked rising demand for organic and fairtrade products." (Reuters)

"Fast-food industry's vulnerable underbelly" - "After an E. coli outbreak led to steps to make meat safer, illness from the germ is linked increasingly to fresh produce." (LA Times)

Could be time people realized "fresh is best" is only an advertising slogan.

"A Year Later, Organic Just Mild, Not Hot" - "CHICAGO - Organic was expected to be the next big food trend after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and others threw their weight behind the products, but many executives said this week that overall, consumers are not yet clamoring for such fare.

"It was a big push a year ago," Alan Jope, Global Food Group Vice President at Unilever Plc, said at the Reuters Food Summit in Chicago this week. "Wal-Mart asked everyone for organic (food). At the end of the day consumers buy benefits and it's not exactly clear what the benefits are from organic. They might end up being niche propositions." (Reuters)

"Deadly Organic Spinach" - "Organic food activists are being served a heaping platter of organic crow now that we finally learn last fall’s outbreak of deadly E. coli O157:H7 was caused by organically grown spinach." (CGFI)

"Sustainability, not organic, should be goal" - "Environmental Defense has released a new publication, “A dozen fresh ideas for farm and food policy.” Many of its ideas have some degree of practicality — as its particular brand of environmentalism goes — such as the push to reward carbon sequestration in the soil and slowing urban sprawl.

But one idea clearly illustrates the difficulty that non-farmers have understanding how modern agriculture works. It states, “Farm and food policies should help farmers make the transition to organic food and fiber production to boost farm profitability, provide healthier food choices and help the environment.”

This stubborn fixation for all things organic just won’t go away will it?" (Elton Robinson, Farm Press)

"Could genetically modified crops be killing bees?" - "With reports coming in about a scourge affecting honeybees, researchers are launching a drive to find the cause of the destruction. The reasons for rapid colony collapse are not clear. Old diseases, parasites and new diseases are being looked at.

Over the past 100 or so years, beekeepers have experienced colony losses from bacterial agents (foulbrood), mites (varroa and tracheal) and other parasites and pathogens. Beekeepers have dealt with these problems by using antibiotics, miticides or integrated pest management.

While losses, particularly in overwintering, are a chronic condition, most beekeepers have learned to limit their losses by staying on top of new advice from entomologists. Unlike the more common problems, this new die-off has been virtually instantaneous throughout the country, not spreading at the slower pace of conventional classical disease.

As an interested beekeeper with some background in biology, I think it might be fruitful to investigate the role of genetically modified or transgenic farm crops. Although we are assured by nearly every bit of research that these manipulations of the crop genome are safe for both human consumption and the environment, looking more closely at what is involved here might raise questions about those assumptions." (John McDonald, SF Chronicle)

"Omega-3 enriched biotech soybeans being developed" - "A pair of local companies are developing omega-3 enriched soybeans that they hope will have consumers not just accepting, but demanding, biotech food.

Monsanto Co. and Solae Co. said Wednesday that they are teaming up to produce the first genetically modified food product with a benefit for consumers, rather than farmers. So far, all GM crops are designed to survive pests or herbicides.

The omega-3 enriched products, ranging from cooking oils and baked goods to mayonnaise and processed meats, could be on store shelves early next decade." (St Louis Post-Dispatch)

"Remote sheep population resists genetic drift" - "A whimsical attempt to establish a herd of mouflon for sport hunting on a remote island in the Indian Ocean 50 years ago has inadvertently created a laboratory for genetic researchers and led to a surprising discovery.

A mouflon population, bred over dozens of generations from a single male and female pair transplanted to Haute Island from a Parisian zoo, has maintained the genetic diversity of its founding parents. This finding challenges the widely accepted theory of genetic drift, which states the genetic diversity of an inbred population will decrease over time.

"What is amazing is that models of genetic drift predict the genetic diversity of these animals should have been lost over time, but we've found that it has been maintained," said Dr. David Coltman, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Alberta.

"We think this has happened because natural selection is more important to the evolutionary process than is commonly believed," he added." (University of Alberta)

March 9, 2007

"Al Gore's Inconvenient Electric Bill" - "The March 1863 Enrollment Act permitted wealthy men to legally dodge the Civil War draft by paying a $300 commutation fee to the U.S. Government. This controversial loophole fueled public perception of a "rich man's war, but a poor man’s fight."

The sight of well-dressed men during the 1863 New York City draft riots prompted angry crowds to derisively call out, "There goes a $300-man."

It is, therefore, somewhat odd that Al Gore has ventured to become a latter-day $300-man in his crusade against global warming, especially since he touts himself as courageously leading the charge for wide-spread personal sacrifice." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Czech President to Discuss Global Warming Alarmism at Cato" - "WASHINGTON, March 7 -- This Friday, March 9, the Cato Institute will host Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, who will discuss global warming at the policy forum "Facing a Challenge of the Current Era: Environmentalism." The forum will begin at 4 p.m. in the F.A. Hayek Auditorium, and will be followed by a reception for attendees." (PRNewswire-USNewswire)

"Sixth Debate in Series To Take Place on March 14th in New York City" - "NEW YORK, March 6 -- Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2 US), an Oxford-style three-on-three debating series sponsored by The Rosenkranz Foundation, today announced the panel for its Wednesday, March 14th debate on the motion "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis" at Asia Society and Museum in New York City." (PRNewswire)

"Here Comes 'Climate Crisis Action Day'" - " Environmental activists and liberal politicians will join forces in Washington, D.C., on March 20 for the first "Climate Crisis Action Day," which is billed as a "carbon-neutral global warming event." (CNSNews.com)

Global warming: the bogus religion of our age (Richard Lindzen, Daily Mail)

The Great Global Warming Swindle (Channel 4)

"Global warming: Nature goes against Science" - "When science mags go tabloid, they damage faith in science itself, says Robert Matthews" (First Post)

"Polar bears 'thriving as the Arctic warms up'" - "Pictures of a polar bear floating precariously on a tiny iceberg have become the defining image of global warming but may be misleading, according to a new study. A survey of the animals' numbers in Canada's eastern Arctic has revealed that they are thriving, not declining, because of mankind's interference in the environment. In the Davis Strait area, a 140,000-square kilometre region, the polar bear population has grown from 850 in the mid-1980s to 2,100 today. "There aren't just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears," said Mitch Taylor, a polar bear biologist who has spent 20 years studying the animals. His findings back the claims of Inuit hunters who have long claimed that they were seeing more bears." (London Telegraph)

"Protocol Is Cited in Limiting Scientists’ Talks on Climate" - "The director of the Fish and Wildlife Service defended the agency requirement that two employees going to international meetings on the Arctic not discuss climate change." (New York Times)

Oh boy... The Heat Is Rising: What You Need to Know About Climate Change and Public Health (JHCPHP)

... 'preparedness' based on hysterical prognostications of fear mongers and fruit loops -- marvelous!

"Sports Illustrated: Climatologists?" - "It’s like a game…which mainstream media outlet will jump on the global warming alarmist bandwagon next?" (Notes in the Margin)

Sports Illustrated precipitates 'Gore Effect': Snowy Iowa weather again plays havoc with area sports || PA Baseball Games Cancelled Due to Winter Weather || Snowfall wipes local California sports slate clean || Canadian Hockey Games Postponed Due to Winter Weather || Mother Nature wins: Hockey, Volleyball & Basketball Games Cancelled in Michigan Due to Snow || Baseball Games in Missouri postponed by snow || Swimsuit Issue Becomes Winter Coat Fashion Show || February Temperatures were below normal, 34th coolest in 113 || Eastern U.S. Bracing for Record Cold

"SI Cites 'Gators Fan'" - "Via Matt Drudge: It seems that no aspect of our daily lives is regarded as off-limits as an opportunity to spread global warming hysteria. First, it was sex, and now it's spectator sports, of all things." (Gus Van Horn)

There's money in BS, apparently: "'Inconvenient Truth' coming to a Gammage near you" - "First Bill Clinton, then Nancy Pelosi, and soon Al Gore. Starting today, ASU students can buy tickets to see Al Gore when he comes to campus April 2. The former vice president will be presenting the slide show on global warming that is featured in the Academy Award winning film, "An Inconvenient Truth," at Gammage Auditorium. Undergraduate Student Government is sponsoring the event, said James Quinn, USG premier events coordinator. Bringing Gore to campus started after Quinn and friends saw the movie last summer, he said. "Afterwards we said, 'Wouldn't it be really great if we could get Al Gore here?'" Quinn said. Gore will be paid $100,000 plus expenses for the event, Quinn said." (ASU Web Devil) [em added]

However, viewers are tiring of the overhyped BS: "Australia: Viewers keen to save planet, but not during favourite show" - "TEN NETWORK's programmers are baffled. With so much attention on climate change and consumer research indicating viewers were keenly interested in a 2½ hour feast of practical advice on how they might save the planet, Ten's ratings for the Cool Aid blockbuster on Sunday night were still a disaster.

Viewing numbers peaked at 618,000, compared with more than 1.6 million each for Grey's Anatomy and CSI on Seven and Nine respectively, and averaged just 464,000 people across the country.

"Truthfully, we're confused," says Ten's network head of programming, Beverley McGarvey. "They didn't come. It's not like they came to the show, sampled it and went away. They didn't come.

"We had study guides in schools, we had the full support of the print media, both editorially and with advertising, and an extensive [Ten Network] on-air campaign with a number of different creative treatments and different stances.

"We spent a fortune to get the audience there and it didn't work. We've talked about it quite a lot internally. We're disappointed." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Hollywood climatologist: "DiCaprio Heats up Global Warming with New Film Documentary" - "Leo puts his money where his mouth is by writing and producing feature-length documentary called “11th Hour” (Hollywood Today)

An admission at last: "Rain and Snow: Scientists Don't Know How Much Falls" - "With constant weather forecasts on TV and the Internet and all the precise storm totals that are reported, you might think scientists had a firm grasp of how much rain and snow falls around the planet. And you'd be wrong.

"It's amazing how much we don't know about global patterns of rain and snow," said Walt Petersen, an atmospheric scientist with the National Space Science and Technology Center and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Meteorologists don't know how much snow falls each day and where it lands. They also don't know how much rain comes down, nor how much is heavy downpours versus light drizzles. (LiveScience)

"Pollution shown cutting rainfall in hilly areas" - "Jerusalem, March 7, 2007 -- Manmade climate change due to pollution seriously inhibits precipitation over hills in semi-arid regions, a phenomenon with dire consequences for water resources in the Middle east and many other parts of the world, a study by a Chinese-Israeli research team, led by Prof. Daniel Rosenfeld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has shown.

The Chinese and Israeli researchers showed that the average precipitation on Mount Hua near Xian in central China has decreased by 20 percent along with increasing levels of manmade air pollution during the last 50 years. The precipitation loss was doubled on days that had the poorest visibility due to pollution particles in the air. This explains the widely observed trends of decrease in mountain precipitation relative to the rainfall in nearby densely populated lowlands, which until now had not been directly ascribed to air pollution." (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Hysteria is contagious: "FEATURE - Climate is Big Issue for US Hunters, Anglers" - "CULEBRA CREEK, Colo - As the snow melts from the towering peaks in the distance, Culebra Creek runs fast and the trout are biting. But Van Beecham, a fourth generation fishing guide, is uneasy. "When I was a kid we never had regular run-off from the mountains in February or March. This is global warming," Beecham said." (Reuters)

"Despite warm weather scare, cherry blossoms to peak on time" - "WASHINGTON - After an unusually warm December rattled the nerves of anyone eagerly anticipating Washington's grand ushering in of spring, the National Park Service predicts the cherry blossoms will, in fact, bloom on time - during the two-week National Cherry Blossom Festival. A majority of the 3,700 trees lining the Tidal Basin will be in bloom from April 1-7 "barring the advent of an ice age or rapid acceleration of global warming," Robert DeFeo, the park service's chief horticulturist, said Thursday." (Associated Press)

"Mich. congressman challenges Schwarzenegger on fuel efficiency" - "WASHINGTON - A Michigan congressman is defending the U.S. auto industry against fuel efficiency increases by criticizing a famous foe of global warming: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Republican Rep. Joe Knollenberg's re-election campaign placed a billboard along a busy interstate in metropolitan Detroit that reads, "Arnold to Michigan: Drop Dead!" It shows a grim-looking picture of the actor-turned-politician and draws attention to a Web site." (Associated Press)

The land of fruits and not quite so nuts? "Sleight of hand: Greenhouse-gas law not quite what it seems" - "California's first-in-the-nation law to curb greenhouse-gas emissions is developing behind the scenes differently than the Schwarzenegger administration's public pronouncements would suggest, with as much emphasis given to corporate economics as to scrubbing the air.

That focus was not contained in the original law that ordered cuts in carbon emissions--a law that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed last year to international acclaim.

Rather, it was part of the executive order he signed three weeks later that rearranged the chain of command over emission regulation; ordered a new, high-level advisory panel to develop a marketing scheme in which the polluters themselves determine emission reductions, and at least partly usurped the authority of the Air Resources Board. It dismantled key pieces of the very law he touted and, critics say, reneged on critical elements reached through lengthy negotiations by requiring the business-friendly market system to be set up along with the ARB regulations." (Capitol Weekly)

Eye roller: "House creates new committee to study global warming, show new emphasis on climate change" - "WASHINGTON: Democrats in the House of Representatives, intent on making climate change a marquee issue, created a special panel Thursday to study and offer recommendations on how to deal with global warming.

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, advanced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat, was approved on a vote of 269-150. A majority of Republicans voted against it, arguing that the committee was unnecessary or that its budget could be used better by the ethics committee." (Associated Press)

"Taxing Us for Breathing" - "Last week, the New York Times published an extraordinary editorial complaining that "Right now, everyone is using the atmosphere like a municipal dump, depositing carbon dioxide free." The Times editors suggested that the government "start charging for the privilege" by imposing a "carbon tax."

We all knew it would eventually come to this: the New York Times thinks the government should tax us for breathing." (Robert Tracinski, Real Clear Politics)

More 'if, might, could maybe, perhaps': "Scientists uncover link between ocean's chemical processes and microscopic floating plants" - "Scientists have discovered that increased levels of ocean acidity and carbon dioxide concentrations have resulted in unexpected changes in oceanic chemical processes. Their research results are published in the March 7, 2007, issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters." (National Science Foundation)

"Let’s Be Policy Driven, Not Politically Driven, in Energy and Climate Change" (.pdf) - "Today, as Congress considers new incentives and subsidies to encourage the public and private sectors to work together to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (without sacrificing economic prosperity), the public is well-advised to reconsider the recently passed legislation that established a viable climate policy for the United States." (Dr. Eric P. Loewen, Marshall Institute Fellow)

"Irrigation - Another Unresolved Feature In The Current IPCC Assessment by Dev Niyogi" - "There is a news summary in this weeks ScienceNow on a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters that highlights the role of cooling due to agriculture / irrigation as an important and unresolved feature in the climate models. The study is authored by Kueppers, L. M., M. A. Snyder, and L. C. Sloan. 2007. Irrigation cooling effect: Regional climate forcing by land-use change, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L03703, doi:10.1029/2006GL028679." (Climate Science)

"NSF Sponsored Workshop on Climate to be held in Boulder- August 27-29 2007" - "There will be a NSF Funded Workshop on Detecting the Atmospheric Response to the Changing Face of the Earth: A Focus on Human-Caused Regional Climate Forcings, Land-Cover/Land-Use Change, and Data Monitoring August 27-29, 2007 in Boulder, Colorado." (Climate Science)

This again... "Regardless of global warming, rising CO2 levels threaten marine life" - "CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Like a piece of chalk dissolving in vinegar, marine life with hard shells is in danger of being dissolved by increasing acidity in the oceans.

Ocean acidity is rising as sea water absorbs more carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from power plants and automobiles. The higher acidity threatens marine life, including corals and shellfish, which may become extinct later this century from the chemical effects of carbon dioxide, even if the planet warms less than expected." (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

... funny how shelled critters developed when CO2 levels were much higher than current or anticipated levels.

"Scientists investigate impact of climate change on India's monsoon season" - "Scientists at the University of Liverpool are investigating the anticipated effects of climate change on India's monsoon season and the impact that alterations in India's water cycle will have on the country's people, agriculture and wildlife. Changes to India's annual monsoon are expected to result in severe droughts and intense flooding in parts of India. Scientists predict that by the end of the century the country will experience a 3 to 5˚C temperature increase and a 20% rise in all summer monsoon rainfall." (University of Liverpool)

"Leicester researcher to lead global team tackling carbon 'time-bomb'" - "A leading environmental researcher at the University of Leicester is to head an international team to protect an area that stores up to 70 billion tonnes of carbon. Dr Susan Page, of the Department of Geography, has been awarded 458,000 Euros funding from the European Commission for the international project involving partners from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Holland, Finland and the UK. The CARBOPEAT project will investigate the Carbon-Climate-Human Relationships of Tropical Peatlands." (University of Leicester)

"Norway Plans Carbon Trade System "Tougher" Than EU" - "OSLO - Norway plans a carbon dioxide (CO2) quota trading system for 2008-12 that the government said on Thursday would be "much tougher" in fighting climate change than the European Union's scheme." (Reuters)

D'oh! "Green homebuilding slowed by costs: Buyers balk at premiums on earth-friendly features" - "NEW YORK - Green building as a cause has united disparate parties from environmental groups to big business to policymakers, but one key industry has struggled to react to the change in public sentiment.

The major homebuilders, who account for 80 percent of all homebuilding activity in the nation, face a unique challenge in implementing green building on a widespread scale. Many have added energy-saving features and experimented with environmentally friendly materials but have not yet been able to sign on a critical mass of buyers willing to pay more for them." (Associated Press)

"Only Moonlight for Vermont? A tiny state's quixotic tizzy over global warming." - "It probably came as no big surprise to the citizens of Burlington, Vt., this week that their city finished first among 379 metropolitan areas in a "Best Green Places" survey conducted by Country Home magazine. If Burlington hadn't won the contest, it might have led to an emergency session of the state Legislature, investigations and, who knows, even special prosecutors. The Green Mountain State is seriously green. It is also seriously small. Its population of some 600,000 is about equal to that of Charlotte, N.C. Its signature export is maple syrup. None would mistake it for a player on the world stage. Still, the Vermont Legislature has lately been engaged--to the exclusion of just about all other matters--in a discussion of how it might lead the world in the mortally serious fight against global warming." (Geoffrey Norman, Opinion Journal)

"Carbon-capture technology touted by prime minister and premier" - "Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Ed Stelmach hailed carbon-capture technology as a solution to climate change Thursday. They announced a $155.9-million federal grant and a joint task force to plan a large-scale pipeline and storage network. The technique pumps carbon dioxide underground or into aging oilfields instead of into the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming." (Edmonton Journal)

"EU Wants Top Spot in Tackling Climate Change" - "BRUSSELS - European Union leaders sought on Thursday to agree ambitious new rules on curbing greenhouse gases and using clean fuels in their bid to project the bloc as the world's leader in tackling climate change." (Reuters)

Verily, they are welcome to whatever position they desire on such a Quixotic quest.

"NZ: Too much hot air over climate change" - "The debate over how farmers and foresters contribute to battling climate change is generating more heat than light." (Dominion Post)

"Canada: Economists favour global warming tax" - "OTTAWA–Economists from one of Canada's big banks have thrown their support behind taxing industries and consumers who contribute to global warming, saying government needs to attach a cost to pollution if any fundamental progress is to be made." (Canadian Press)

"Global disaster bill declines in 2006: Swiss Re" - "Natural and man-made disasters caused a relatively light 48.8 billion dollars (37.2 billion euros) in economic losses last year, one-third of which was covered by insurance, the reinsurer Swiss Re said Thursday. The world's largest reinsurance firm said in a study that the overall economic losses were below the long term trend. Property insurers suffered their third lowest losses for the past 20 years, as insurance firms as a whole paid out 15.9 billion dollars in catastrophe- related claims in 2006. However, insurance companies have adjusted their modelling to account for steeper losses in the future, partly due to global warming, the study added." (AP)

"US Insurers Seen as Lagging on Global Warming" - "NEW YORK - When 100 of the world's leading companies joined together to endorse an initiative to fight global warming last month, European insurers Munich Re, Swiss Re and Allianz were on the front line. Conspicuously on the fringes were US insurers. Only insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. signed the measure calling for limits on greenhouse gas emissions. "It's a conundrum, why US insurers are so slow to act," said Andrew Logan, a director at Ceres. The coalition of institutional investors and environmentalists has spent three years prodding US insurers." (Reuters)

No, not a conundrum, US insurers are well aware that scams are always unearthed and that there are consequences when exposed -- "global warming" will inevitably become "global cooling" again and then damages will increase (cold is always an unhappy time for life on Earth).

"Global Energy Rationing" - "Media hysteria and propaganda promoting "human-caused global warming" have hit a new high this month, just as the previously most successful campaign of world technological genocide – the demonization of DDT – is passing from the scene. After eradicating malaria from the entire developed world, DDT was banned by the United States, the United Nations, and their retainers. The result has been the deaths of more than 50 million children, mostly African, and chronic ongoing illness from malaria for more than 500 million adults – 10% of the human race." (Arthur Robinson, Lew Rockwell)

"With Coal Plans Cut Back, Texas Faces Energy Gap" - "TXU Corporation’s decision to scrap plans for eight new coal-fired plants could leave Texas with a shortfall in energy." (New York Times)

Why? "Coal giant to generate a tenth of its electricity from crops" - "Drax, Britain's biggest coal-fired electricity generator, is planning to cover an area one-fifth the size of Wales with biofuel crops to meet its ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions from the station. The company, which generates 8 per cent of the UK's electricity, said yesterday that 10 per cent of its output would come from burning energy crops such as rape- seed and elephant grass by 2009, saving 2 million tonnes of CO2 a year." (London Independent)

"In Europe, Germany May Have to Take the Wheel in Going Green" - "In getting European automakers to adhere to new limits on carbon dioxide emissions, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany will have to take on the industry at home." (New York Times)

"INTERVIEW - Czechs Will Not Veto Strict EU Green Energy Targets" - "PRAGUE - The Czech Republic is against setting a binding target for the European Union to make 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 but will not veto such a plan, Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Challenge for EU as leaders split on how to achieve environmental targets" - "European leaders hope to reach agreement on an historic post-Kyoto target for cutting greenhouse gases at their two-day summit starting today, but remain deeply divided about exactly how to achieve it. A headline reduction in CO2 emissions across the 27-member European Union of 20 per cent by 2020 is likely to be agreed at the annual spring gathering in Brussels. The leaders are also likely to give approval for their negotiators to offer a higher EU target of 30 per cent in talks with other global powers if it helps persuade them to follow suit in establishing a successor to the Kyoto protocol which expires in 2012. But France is among a dozen nations leading opposition to a call by the European Commission that 20 per cent of all EU energy comes from renewable sources like wind and solar energy by 2020." (London Times)

"Chirac - EU Renewables Goal Must Include Nuclear" - "BRUSSELS - Any binding European Union target for renewable energy sources must take account of the role of nuclear power and clean coal in national energy mixes, French President Jacques Chirac told EU leaders on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Split on nuclear power threatens agreement on global warming" - "Divisions over nuclear power and renewable energy threatened to derail the EU's campaign to assume a global leadership role in the fight against climate change at the bloc's spring summit which began last night. Warning that "it is closer to five past midnight than five to midnight" for international measures to combat global warming, Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel, chairing the meeting, urged EU leaders to "deliver results for our grandchildren" by making Europe the world's first low-carbon economy via a unilateral 20% cut in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020." (The Guardian)

"EU ministers deadlocked on binding target for green power" - "Europe's bid for an historic deal to limit the impact of climate change hit a series of obstacles last night as the EU came under pressure to water down ambitious CO2 reduction targets. A summit in Brussels began with dire warnings over the threat from global warming as Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, argued: "It's not five minutes to midnight, it's five minutes after midnight." (London Independent)

"Europe Divided over How to Reach Climate Goals" - "European Union leaders are gathered in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to talk about the future of the climate. But not all are looking into the same crystal ball." (Der Spiegel)

“The next time a headline declares something is bad for you, read the small print.” - "Shinga at Breath Spa for Kids just posted a followup to Dr. Peter Austin’s talk at February’s American Association for the Advancement of Science conference, discussed here in Seeing patterns where none exists." (Junkfood Science)

Recycling mercury hysteria: "Mercury contamination of fish warrants worldwide public warning" - "MADISON -The health risks posed by mercury contaminated fish is sufficient to warrant issuing a worldwide general warning to the public — especially children and women of childbearing age-to be careful about how much and which fish they eat. That is one of the key findings comprising "The Madison Declaration on Mercury Pollution" published today in a special issue of the international science journal Ambio." (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

"1984 is now" - "This heart-stopping article isn’t specifically health-oriented, but could most certainly have an impact on our well-being and is worth reading. Achim Schmillen of the Competitive Enterprise Institute writes: Don’t let Uncle Sam become a computer hacker and identity thief's best friend" (Junkfood Science)

"Wikipedia's sticky wicket: An academic ban and an editor's false credentials put a spotlight on the website's claim to truth." - "Students in history classes at Middlebury College this spring may have to change the way they do research for papers or tests. Although they can consult the online encyclopedia Wikipedia for background, they are not allowed to cite it as a source." (The Christian Science Monitor)

With good reason -- you'd need to be desperate to consult Wiki for anything beyond suggestions for real sources, surely.

"Farmed salmon could become an invasive species in forest streams" - "PORTLAND, Ore. March 7, 2007. Ever since the Norwegians expanded commercial farming of salmon in the 1960s, the industry has continued to rapidly grow worldwide. It has expanded to such a degree that prices for farmed salmon have plummeted and, there is concern that farmed fish may become the next invasive species." (USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station)

"EU to look at cloned meat safety" - "Europe's food watchdog is to assess whether meat and dairy products from cloned animals are safe to eat." (BBC)

"EU Set to Rubberstamp GMO Rapeseed, Flower Approval" - "BRUSSELS - German drugs and chemicals group Bayer should win EU approval next week to import genetically modified (GMO) rapeseed types into EU markets under a 10-year authorisation, officials said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Study: Modified crops help reduce greenhouse gases" - "The global use of genetically modified crops, which allows farmers to plant using less herbicide and without tilling the soil, is significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study." (St Louis Post-Dispatch)

"GM fears a myth" - "Australia’s traditional export markets for canola accept genetically modified (GM) canola just as readily as conventional canola – and pay a similar price for both.

Welcoming the release today of the ABARE report Market acceptance of GM canola, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the report found that GM canola was being accepted in markets throughout the world and non-GM canola did not appear to be attracting a price premium.

“Fears about GM canola have proved unfounded and consumers around the world now accept it to be a safe food ingredient. As a result of this, Australian growers of non-GM canola are not receiving any overall premium,” Mr McGauran said.

“The analysis conducted by ABARE concludes there is nothing to support the concerns that unintended presence of GM canola in other grain exports, particularly wheat and barley, would adversely impact on trade.

“As well as debunking the myths of price premiums and the disruption to wheat and barley trade, ABARE has shown there is no basis to the fears expressed that products derived from animals fed GM feed would suffer in the marketplace.

“The report also confirms that Australia, like many other countries including those within the European Union, is already a large consumer of GM products.” (Press Release)

"Plants' management of nutrient suggests environmental remedies" - "DURHAM, N.C. -- A new understanding of how plants manage their internal calcium levels could potentially lead to genetically engineering plants to avoid damage from acid rain, which robs soil of much of its calcium." (Duke University)

March 8, 2007

"Global Health, China's Pride On Line in Malaria Clash" - "Kunming Pharmaceutical Corp. of China makes a potent drug to fight malaria, a disease that kills more than a million people a year. Business is brisk. Yet the World Health Organization calls the sale of the drug a major threat to global health. It is demanding that Kunming and makers of similar pills desist." (Wall Street Journal)

Surprising to whom? "Study finds antibiotic resistance in poultry even when antibiotics were not used" - "Athens, Ga. – A surprising finding by a team of University of Georgia scientists suggests that curbing the use of antibiotics on poultry farms will do little – if anything – to reduce rates of antibiotic resistant bacteria that have the potential to threaten human health.

Dr. Margie Lee, professor in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, and her colleagues have found that chickens raised on antibiotic-free farms and even those raised under pristine laboratory conditions have high levels of bacteria that are resistant to common antibiotics. Her findings, published in the March issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, suggest that poultry come to the farm harboring resistant bacteria, possibly acquired as they were developing in their eggs.

"The resistances don't necessarily come from antibiotic use in the birds that we eat," Lee said, "so banning antibiotic use on the farm isn't going to help. You have to put in some work before that." (University of Georgia)

This is probably the most reassuring publication in years... "Fish contaminated with mercury 'pose worldwide threat to health'" - "A worldwide warning about the risks of eating mercury-contaminated fish is to be issued by an international group of scientists today." (London Independent)

... for rational people, anyway. Why? Well, if it's in The Indy you know it's a crock, of course!

"Hard to tell the players without a score card" - “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle!”

How often have we heard that one? Regardless of what they're called, the adage “diets don’t work” is more than a saying. Even the FTC’s scientific expert committee recently acknowledged that no weight loss method has ever been proven to be effective long-term and that virtually all weight is regained within five years. It’s the rule, not the exception." (Junkfood Science)

"Obesity and environmental chemicals -- New research probes potential link" - "DURHAM, N.H. -- A team of researchers at the University of New Hampshire is investigating whether the increasing ubiquity of chemical flame retardants found in foam furniture, carpeting, microwaves and computers might be related to the climbing rate of obesity in the United States." (University of New Hampshire)

"Is That Plastic Bottle Making Me Fat?" - "The Economist reports on a “revolution in environmental health sciences,” but did it drink at little too much Kool Aid?" (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Bacterium could treat PCBs without the need for dredging" - "Troy, N.Y. -- Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered a tiny bacterium that could one day transform the way we remove polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from our environment. The organism could be the key to developing methods that help detoxify commercial PCB compounds on site — without the need for dredging." (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

"Do shopping lists promote or prevent healthy choices?" - "A new study from the Journal of Consumer Research reveals an unexpected situation when you may opt for a sinful dessert like cheesecake over a healthy alternative like a fruit salad. Comparing memory-based and stimulus-based decision making, researchers from Duke, UCLA, and the University of Florida found that trying to recall what options are available – such as when making a shopping list at home – uses mental resources that might otherwise be used to counter impulsive choices." (University of Chicago Press Journals)

"San Francisco considers banning plastic grocery bags" - "SAN FRANCISCO - The generation-old checkout counter question of paper or plastic could get a bit more complicated if city lawmakers ban plastic grocery bags. Angered by what they see as a weak effort by supermarkets to cut down on the use of plastic bags, six local lawmakers want the city to prohibit grocers from giving out the ubiquitous sacks blamed for eating up fossil fuel, littering streets and choking wildlife." (Associated Press)

March 12: Congressional Staff Climate Seminar Series: What is the Real truth about Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth? (CSPP) .pdf

"Solar System Warming?" - "Global warming on Neptune’s moon Triton as well as Jupiter and Pluto, and now Mars has some scratching their heads over what could possibly be in common with the warming of all these planets." (Strata-Sphere)

"Cosmoclimatology: a new theory emerges" (.pdf) - "Henrik Svensmark draws attention to an overlooked mechanism of climate change: clouds seeded by cosmic rays." (A&G, February 2007, Vol. 48)

"Documentary refutes greenhouse theory" - "LONDON, March 6 -- A television documentary airing this week in Britain claims the greenhouse theory on global warming is a scam." (UPI)

"Global warming putting polar bears at risk, Inslee says" - "WASHINGTON, D.C. — Calling the polar bear a victim of global warming, a Democratic congressman Monday called on the U.S. government to protect "the beloved American icon" from the effects of the melting Arctic. "We cannot talk about this species without talking about global warming and its effect on the Arctic," Rep. Jay Inslee, D- Bainbridge Island, said in remarks prepared for a public hearing Monday night." (Associated Press)

"Polar bear numbers up, but rescue continues" - "Their status ranges from a "vulnerable" to "endangered" and could be declared "threatened" if the U.S. decides the polar bear is collateral damage of climate change.

Nobody talks about "overpopulated" when discussing the bears' outlook.

Yet despite the Canadian government 's $150-million commitment last week to fund 44 International Polar Year research projects, a key question is not up for detailed scientific assessment: If the polar bear is the 650-kilogram canary in the climate change coal mine, why are its numbers INCREASING?" (Don Martin, National Post)

"Born to die: Climate change disrupting life cycles with fatal results" - "The behaviour of Britain's wildlife is raising alarm about the seriousness of climate change as animals' breeding patterns are thrown into confusion." (London Independent)

"Carbon dioxide and the ocean" - "VIRGINIA KEY, FLA. -- The buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere and oceans continues to provoke changes in the natural environment that scientists have been working to measure for decades. Global increases in temperature are just one facet of a much larger issue that scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science are dedicated to uncovering. "The Marine Inorganic Carbon Cycle," a paper recently published in the journal Chemical Reviews, attempts to quantify over 60 years of research, reviewing a vast array of science that brings into question the Earth’s natural ability to rebound from the increase in inorganic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans." (University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science)

More wild guesses about the regional weather outlook: "Baltic Sea Region to Warm Sharply in 21st Century" - "OSLO - The Baltic Sea region is likely to warm faster than the world average this century because of climate change, disrupting fisheries and extending crop growing seasons, a report said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Unlicensed Engineers, Part 2" - "My central theme today is that we can learn from our mistakes if we’re capable and willing. This is Petroski’s failure paradigm. Henry Petroski, a civil engineering professor at Duke University, has written a number of books that ought to be required reading in all engineering curricula. Let me introduce a few of my favorites, including other writers of interest." (Hendrik Tennekes, Climate Science)

"Gore Says EU Leadership on Climate Change Vital" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union has a vital leadership role to play in fighting climate change, former US Vice President Al Gore said on Wednesday on the eve of an EU summit set to adopt new targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters)

Why Al? Are they more gullible than Americans?

So, Ozone Man doesn't even pay for the 'carbon offsets' himself: "Gore's Company Says He's Not Profiting from 'Carbon Offsets'" - "Al Gore is not profiting from his crusade against global warming, a spokesman for an investment firm co-founded by the former vice president said Tuesday." (CNSNews.com)

"Can We Atone for Our Energy Sins?" - "Media fawn over celebrities' 'carbon offsets' and fail to examine cost of carbon-trading programs." (Julia A. Seymour, Business & Media Institute)

Even the anti-meat flakes have to get into the act: "PETA TO AL GORE: YOU CAN’T BE A MEAT-EATING ENVIRONMENTALIST" - "Norfolk, Va. — This morning, PETA sent a letter to former vice president Al Gore explaining to him that the best way to fight global warming is to go vegetarian and offering to cook him faux "fried chicken" as an introduction to meat-free meals. In its letter, PETA points out that Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth—which starkly outlines the potentially catastrophic effects of global warming and just won the Academy Award for "Best Documentary"—has failed to address the fact that the meat industry is the largest contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions." (Press Release)

"Czech PM wants to deal with climate changes sooner than left" - "Brussels, March 6 - The problems of climatic changes must be taken up before the left-wing takes the initiative, Czech PM Mirek Topolanek said in Brussels today at a conference of the Movement for European Reform (MER), established by Topolanek's Civic Democrats (ODS) and the British Conservatives of David Cameron.

Global warming was one of the three major conference topics.

"This topic exists and it must be taken up in time before the Socialists do so and start allocating very valuable public resources in a wrong way," said Topolanek.

He added that climate protection had already become "big business" and a centre-right party must be involved in it." (Prague Daily Monitor)

Eye-roller du jour: "Climate change bad for health" - "CHILDREN in rural Australia will face health problems as climate change starts to bite, and the impact on adults will go much further than the depression that is already affecting some drought-hit farming communities." (Adam Cresswell, The Australian) | A cost of climate change that can't be counted in dollars - survival (Tony McMichael, Sydney Morning Herald)

II: "Going, Going Green" - "As global warming changes the planet, it is changing the sports world. To counter the looming environmental crisis, surprising and innovative ideas are already helping sports adapt" (Sports Illustrated)

Even worse: "Britain puts climate change on UN agenda" - "Britain is trying to push climate change on to the agenda of the UN Security Council for the first time.

British diplomats have begun lobbying for an unprecedented public debate on climate change when Britain takes over the presidency of the council next month. Items placed on the council’s agenda must represent a threat to international peace and security." (London Times)

"Miliband to make new emissions pledge" - "David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, will try to restore Britain's place as world leader in the battle against climate change next week, with undertakings to cut the country's carbon output by the year 2020." (London Independent)

"EU climate meeting foreshadows German G8 push" - "BRUSSELS - European Union leaders will put their weight behind ambitious goals to fight climate change on Thursday in a move Germany hopes will spur similar action from the United States and other big polluters worldwide.

Leaders from the EU's 27 nations are set to back a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming by 20 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, shifting to up to 30 percent if industrialized and big developing countries join in." (Reuters)

"Researchers 'sniff out' emissions from feedyards" - "AMARILLO -- Setting up an air quality trailer in the midst of cattle pens at a feedlot will help measure gaseous emissions, said a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher. Dr. Ken Casey, Experiment Station air quality engineer in Amarillo, wants to measure ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions from feedyards." (Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications)

D'oh! "Green energy deals 'mislead customers'" - "Britain's biggest energy companies have been investigated by the regulator Ofgem over the way they operate "green" schemes that offer the public the chance to be supplied with wind, wave and solar power.

Ofgem has told The Independent it is concerned that customers may be being misled about the actual impact of the so-called "green tariffs" on the generation of renewable energy. Instead of offering additional clean power, the companies have merely been selling green customers the renewables they are forced to buy by law anyway, often at a premium." (London Independent)

"UK business skirt EU carbon windfall issue" - "LONDON - A joint British government and business statement listed on Tuesday steps needed to improve the European carbon market, but avoided the most contentious issue of how to curb utility windfall profits. British parliamentarians last week cited research estimating that UK power companies, the highest polluting business sector, would earn 800 million pounds ($1.54 billion) a year as a result of participation in the first phase of the scheme from 2005-07." (Reuters)

"China: Carbon trading not in the cards" - "There are no plans to set up a carbon-credit exchange in China like those in London and Chicago, according to a circular recently issued by the country's top office on climate change to correct some inaccurate reports." (People's Daily)

"China: Energy use 'no threat' to the world" - "Don't see China's development as an energy threat to the world because not only is its per capita consumption very small, but also it's working hard to save energy, the country's top planner Ma Kai said yesterday." (People's Daily)

"China Abandons Annual Energy Saving Targets" - "BEIJING - China has abandoned annual energy saving targets because not all its efforts to boost efficiency will bear fruit immediately, but it is still sticking to a five-year goal, a top official said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Skyway robbery" - "Gordon Brown's claim that he's doubled air passenger duty to help the environment is a sham. This is a £1bn tax grab, pure and simple." (Michael O'Leary, The Guardian)

"Czechs, Slovaks Urge EU to Debate Nuclear Energy" - "BRUSSELS - The Czech Republic and Slovakia will use the European Union's summit this week to try to revive a debate on the merits of nuclear energy, diplomats said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Biofuels: An advisable strategy?" - "Biofuels have been an increasingly hot topic on the discussion table in the last few years. In 2003 the European Union introduced a Directive suggesting that Member states should increase the share of biofuels in the energy used for transport to 2% by 2005 and 5.75% by 2010. In 2005 the target was not reached and it will probably not be reached in 2010 either (we are in 2006 at approximately 0.8%), but anyway the Directive showed the great interest that the European Commission places on biofuels as a way to solve many problems at once. The new European energy strategy, presented on 10th January 2007, establishes that biofuels should represent at least 10% of the energy used for transport." (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

"As Biofuels Boom, Will More Go Hungry?" - "LONDON - Using plants to feed our fuel needs may be a great idea, and the biofuel goldrush could be a moneyspinner for several poor countries, but some experts warn people may go hungry as food prices rise." (Reuters)

"Gene sequencing advance will aid in biomass-to-biofuels conversion" - "MADISON - A collaborative research project between the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) and the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute has advanced the quest for efficient conversion of plant biomass to fuels and chemicals." (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

"Organic food 'can add to allergies'" - "Parental trust in organic food could be a reason more children are suffering from allergies, an academic has suggested.

Jonathan O'B Hourihane, a professor of paediatrics, told peers yesterday that nearly half the population is now prone to allergies. But while many follow the accepted advice to eat a varied and fresh diet, it is the sheer variety of fresh foods now available that may be to blame for the prevalence of allergies.

"The impression that organic or exotic fresh food is better for children may by linked to the appearance of allergies to foods that would have appeared bizarre to previous generations," Prof O'B Hourihane said." (London Telegraph)

"Colombia approves GM corn" - "[BOGOTÁ] Colombia has allowed genetically modified (GM) corn to enter its borders for the first time, and will authorise plantations of other GM products later in the year." (SciDev.Net)

March 7, 2007

"Hypertension experts clash over TROPHY study results" - "When the results of a major long-term, multicenter study, the Trial of Preventing Hypertension (TROPHY), were called into question in two editorials published in the November 2006 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension (AJH), it was inevitable that an exchange of views between the study's supporters and detractors would occur. The essential issue is whether the TROPHY data support the conclusions reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. The March issue of the American Journal of Hypertension publishes a response from TROPHY study investigators Stevo Julius, MD, ScD, Brent M. Egan, MD, and M. Anthony Schork, PhD, defending the work, while authors of the original AJH editorials, Dr. Stephen Persell, Dr. David W. Baker and Dr. Jay I. Meltzer provide further information to support their earlier observations and indicate that their original criticisms remain unaddressed." (Elsevier Health Sciences)

"Flip-flopping headlines — Part Two" - "The body of evidence: Women have been eating fish and delivering healthy babies for ages. The findings in the latest Lancet study were not at all surprising, despite the confusing, tentative and unclear media reports." (Junkfood Science)

"In obesity, brain becomes 'unaware' of fat" - "Critical portions of the brain in those who are obese don’t really know they are overweight, researchers have reported in the March issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, published by Cell Press. These findings in obese mice show that a sensor in the brain that normally detects a critical fat hormone—causing a cascade of events that keeps energy balance in check—fails to engage. Meanwhile, the rest of the metabolic pathway remains ready to respond.

“Obesity is not a failure of will power, it is a biological failure,” said Michael Cowley of Oregon Health & Science University of his group’s findings in the mice. “The brain is not aware that the body is obese.”

If the same is true in humans, he added, people may be consciously aware that they are overweight, but “that’s different from the homeostatic circuitry being aware.” (Cell Press)

"Trans Fat Fight Claims Butter as a Victim" - "Some bakers are being forced to substitute processed fats for real butter because of the small amounts of natural trans fat butter contains." (New York Times)

"Stanford diet study tips scale in favor of Atkins plan" - "STANFORD, Calif. -- The case for low-carbohydrate diets is gaining weight. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have completed the largest and longest-ever comparison of four popular diets, and the lowest-carbohydrate Atkins diet came out on top.

Of the more than 300 women in the study, those randomly assigned to follow the Atkins diet for a year not only lost more weight than the other participants, but also experienced the most benefits in terms of cholesterol and blood pressure.

"Many health professionals, including us, have either dismissed the value of very-low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss or been very skeptical of them," said lead researcher Christopher Gardner, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. "But it seems to be a viable alternative for dieters." (Stanford University Medical Center) | Comparison of 4 diet plans shows better outcomes for diet with lowest carbohydrate intake (JAMA and Archives Journals)

"British Animal Rights Activists Jailed" - "LONDON - Three British animal rights activist were jailed on Tuesday for a total of more than seven years for their part in a campaign of intimidation to stop companies dealing with a firm conducting animal experiments." (Reuters)

"A 220-Year Hurricane Record?" - "A very interesting article was published in a recent issue of the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the results are of considerable interest in the debate about tropical cyclones and global warming." (WCR)

"A Balanced News Article by Andrew Forster “Everyone’s Clamouring To Cut CO2 But What Does The Science Say?" - "There is, unfortunately, a sparcity of balanced news article on the climate change issue. Andrew Forster in the 15 February -28 February 2007 issue of LTT has written such an article entitled Everyone’s clamouring to cut CO2 but what does the science say? It is worth reading." (Climate Science)

"How Gore's massive energy consumption saves the world" - "Stop me if you've heard this before, but the other day the Rev. Al Gore declared that "climate change" was "the most important moral, ethical, spiritual and political issue humankind has ever faced.'' Ever. I believe that was the same day it was revealed that George W. Bush's ranch in Texas is more environmentally friendly than the Gore mansion in Tennessee. According to the Nashville Electric Service, the Eco-Messiah's house uses 20 times more electricity than the average American home. The average household consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours. In 2006, the Gores wolfed down nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours." (Mark Steyn, Sun-Times)

"Al Gore's Remission of Sin" - "Some neuro-scientists see evidence that man is genetically hard-wired to be disposed to religious conviction. If this is so, it might explain why amongst even the French -- the most secular culture on Earth -- only 25 percent claim to be atheists, and a full 60 percent believe in a spiritual component to life. It might also explain why the environmental movement tends to veer toward a religious, rather than a scientific, sensibility.

This oft-observed aspect to environmentalism in general, and global warmingism in particular, has been shrewdly analyzed in a new book, "The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction," by former University College London professor Dr. David Orrell. Among other things, Dr. Orrell focuses on the similarity between global warming advocates' powerful predictive urge and the inherent prophetic nature of the religious instinct." (Tony Blankley, Townhall)

"‘Hannity’ Gives More Than 70 Reasons to Chill Warming Hype" - "If you hear Al Gore, Time magazine or the rest of the media echo chamber, then the global warming debate is done. “Case closed,” as the supposedly neutral journalists at Time put it.

Last night, Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes” reopened the case – in a big way. ‘Hannity’ showcased Dr. Timothy Ball, one of the climatologists in the new documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” (News Busters)

"EU Faces Test in Fight to Curb Climate Change" - "BRUSSELS - European Union leaders will seek to make history this week with a new pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but a row over renewable energy threatens to taint the bloc's credentials in fighting climate change." (Reuters)

"EU Commission chief calls on EU nations to turn words on climate change into action" - "BRUSSELS, Belgium: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called on EU leaders Tuesday to turn words into actions and set mandatory targets for generating more renewable energy — even as diplomats said nations are still split ahead of this week's summit." (Associated Press)

"Chancellor lays out roadmap on climate change" - "Germany's decision to put climate change at the top of its agenda for this week's European summit came somewhat late in the day, having graduated from a mere afterthought as recently as last summer. Yet Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is no recent convert to the cause." (Financial Times)

"Verheugen warns against climate 'hysteria'" - "EU industry commissioner Guenter Verheugen has warned against hysteria in the climate change debate as the bloc considers setting stringent new caps for greenhouse gas emissions at a summit later this week.

Sounding a dissonant note amid calls to make the EU a global leader in emissions cutting over the coming decade, Mr Verheugen told Germany's Bild am Sonntag that while climate change ought to be fought on all fronts, the EU "should not descend into hysterical

The German commissioner also went on to speak about "strange trends" in public debate saying "two years ago, it was all 'jobs, jobs, jobs' now it's 'climate, climate, climate.'" | EU economy 20 years behind US, study says (EUobserver)

"Cameron worlds apart from Czech ally" - "David Cameron, Britain’s Conservative leader, put the fight against climate change at the heart of his new European political movement on Tuesday but found to his discomfort that his Czech allies do not share his zeal.

Mr Cameron joined forces with the ruling centre-right Czech ODS party in Brussels to launch a Movement for European Reform, listing the environment as one of its three main priorities.

But the tensions within the movement became obvious when Czech journalists pointed out that Vaclav Klaus, the Czech president and ODS founder, recently described climate change as a “false myth.” (Financial Times)

"Government departments fail to meet basic green targets, says watchdog" - "The government's environmental credentials are destroyed today by a scathing report from its own green watchdog. The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) says that while ministers have been urging the public, companies and foreign leaders to adopt more environmentally friendly behaviour their own departments are failing to meet basic targets on carbon emissions, water and waste.

Government operations across Whitehall are "simply not good enough" the report says, and ministers and senior civil servants are failing to set the right example. Sir Jonathan Porritt, head of the commission, said: "I have no doubt that people will see this as hypocrisy on their part." (The Guardian)

Insofar as anyone paying any attention to the Porritt then we'd agree, silly ministers pontificating about warming and "sustainable development" (stupid term, all development is sustainable while lack of same is not) differ from Ozone Man only by degree by all are monumentally hypocritical.

Minor update on the old 'kangaroo feather' scam -- Aussies will sell you anything: "New Weapon Against Warming: "Flatulence Cards" Offset Dog, Human Emissions" - "While global warming is nothing to laugh at, an Australian company is providing some comic relief, selling carbon credits for flatulent pets and people." (National Geographic News)

They are not in the race when it comes to the Canadians though: "Love-making gets green light from adult stores" - "You've heard of green cars, green tourism and green weddings. Now Canadians should ready themselves for green sex." (CanWest News Service)

"Climate change part of nature, scientist says" - "NEW LONDON -- Climate change is overblown and is part of a political agenda, according to a scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Richard Lindzen spoke Monday night to a group of Coast Guard Academy cadets, staff and citizens at the academy." (Norwich Bulletin)

"Texas A&M study proves pollution from China And India affecting world's weather" - "COLLEGE STATION – Severe pollution from the Far East is almost certainly affecting the weather near you, says a Texas A&M University researcher who has studied the problem and has published a landmark paper on the topic in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." (Texas A&M University)

Like statistics, computer models merely offer hints -- they never provide proof of anything. Check out Useless Arithmetic on why you shouldn't have faith in modeling nature.

From CO2 Science this week:

Sustainable Well-Being and Atmospheric CO 2 Enrichment: According to the chairman of the IPCC, the two concepts are incompatible. Real-world data, however, suggest just the opposite.

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

Subject Index Summary:
Soil (Erosion): Will the soils of a warmer and CO 2 -enriched world of the future be more or less susceptible to erosion than they are today?

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: Karaka Nut, New Zealand Privet, Puahou, and Viburnum Marisii.

Journal Reviews:
A 900-Year Record of δ 18 O Data from the Pacific's California Current: What does it reveal about natural long-term climate change?

The Climate of the Karakoram and Hindu Kush Mountains of India: What's the climate doing there? ... and what's it doing to the region's large glaciers?

A 119-Year History of Icelandic Sea Surface Temperatures: What does it reveal about the nature of the warming of the past quarter-century or so?

Real-World CO 2 -Induced Growth Enhancements of Oak and Pine Trees in Missouri, USA: How large and sustained have been their growth responses to the historical rise in the air's CO 2 content?

The Productivity of China's Temperate Grasslands: How did it vary over the last two decades of the 20th century? (co2science.org)

"Automakers seek to toss out California global warming suit" - "SAN FRANCISCO – The world's six largest automakers on Tuesday asked a judge to toss out a novel federal lawsuit filed by California that seeks untold millions for future damage caused to the state by global warming." (AP)

"ANALYSIS - Success Derails Biofuels Bandwagon" - "LONDON/PARIS - A global, government policy-fuelled rush to produce biofuels is backfiring as it pushes up costs and makes the environmentally-friendly alternative fuel far less competitive." (Reuters)

"Venture Capitalists Want to Put Some Algae in Your Tank" - "Investors are now searching for a holy grail that symbolizes wealth in both profits and what’s good for the environment." (New York Times)

"Industries Urge EU to Reconsider Renewables Policy" - "AMSTERDAM - European margarine, paper, wood, furniture and some chemical industries urged the European Union on Tuesday not to adopt a plan to introduce binding targets for renewable energy and biofuels.

The industries are concerned about the potential impact "of current shortages and price increases of their raw material, as a result of the European Commission's narrow focus on targets for renewable energies," they said in a joint statement." (Reuters)

D'oh! "Wind turbines save '£10 a year'" - "Many people would save just £10 a year on their electricity bill by installing a wind turbine on their roof, according to a leading turbine technology firm. This means that it would take 150 years for turbines- costing £1,500 - to save enough money to pay for themselves." (BBC)

"Automakers fear tougher fuel standard" - "OTTAWA–The Conservative government is considering a fuel-efficiency plan for automobiles that would see Canada adopt standards more rigorous than those in the United States, the Toronto Star has learned.

Car manufacturers have urged the Tories to align whatever fuel-efficiency regulations they adopt with those in the U.S., where many Canadian-made vehicles are shipped and sold. But top government officials appear to be considering a departure from that advice.

This has sparked concern among Canada's carmakers, who say that having different Canadian and U.S. efficiency standards could hurt Ontario's vehicle manufacturing sector, costing jobs and risking investment." (Toronto Star)

"How green is nuclear power?" - "Some call it a carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels, but others point to significant environmental costs." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Revealed: how cars cause urban floods" - "Why on earth would increased car ownership in urban areas lead to flash flooding? Because towns and cities are complex systems of cause and effect - and the Government needs to start thinking about that, according to a new report.

The link between more cars and more flooding may not be immediately obvious to most of us, but it is vividly illustrated in a diagram in the report, entitled The Urban Environment, published yesterday by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.

Increased car ownership and use leads to demands for more roads and parking, the diagram explains. That then leads to an increase in hard, impermeable surfaces which cannot soak up rain - which in turn leads to more polluted surface water running off into drains, and in real downpours, a much higher risk of a flash flood. These sort of complex interactions are not being addressed by the Government in policy and planning, says the report, calling for the development of an over-arching policy on the urban environment." (London Independent)

"Missing Bird Species Rediscovered After 140 Years" - "LONDON - A bird species that has not been seen since the remains of one were found in India 140 years ago is alive and living in Thailand, scientists said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Crucial wheat experiment saved" - "A world-first CSIRO wheat research program worth billions of dollars to Australia's economy narrowly escaped destruction during the violent thunderstorm that swept across the centre of Canberra last week.

Experimental plantings of a new variety of drought-resistant wheat, bred to combat widespread crop losses caused by climate change, were feared lost as hailstones battered more than 40 glasshouses at CSIRO's division of plant industry at Black Mountain." (Canberra Times)

"Scientists genetically engineer tomatoes with enhanced folate content" - "Leafy greens and beans aren't the only foods that pack a punch of folate, the vitamin essential for a healthy start to pregnancy. Researchers now have used genetic engineering--manipulating an organism's genes--to make tomatoes with a full day's worth of the nutrient in a single serving. The scientists published their results in this week's online edition of the journal PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." (National Science Foundation)

"USDA Bars Planting of Rice Suspected of GMO Taint" - "WASHINGTON - The US Agriculture Department ordered seed dealers on Monday not to sell a long-grain rice seed that may contain a genetic modification not approved for planting." (Reuters)

"Monsanto, DuPont May Win Seed Approval in Brazil" - "March 6 -- Monsanto Co. and DuPont Co., the world's leading developers of genetically modified seeds, may win faster approval to sell their products in Brazil under new biotech regulations, analysts said." (Bloomberg)

"GM crops need rethink: Heffernan" - "Australia needs to review its attitude to genetically modified (GM) crops so the Top End can be transformed into the nation's food bowl, Liberal senator Bill Heffernan says. Senator Heffernan told Fairfax newspapers that GM crops such as cotton were more environmentally friendly because they were more water efficient and required less chemical pesticides." (AAP)

"Brazil prosecutors to probe use of genetically modified soy by Cargill, Bunge" - "SAO PAULO, Brazil: The Sao Paulo state prosecutors office said Tuesday it has opened opened an investigation into Greenpeace charges that Cargill Inc. and Bunge Ltd. produce cooking oil with genetically modified soy without telling their clients in Brazil." (Associated Press)

March 6, 2007

"Malaria Pills Without Profit" - "It came as especially welcome news that Sanofi-Aventis, the world’s fourth-largest drug company, will soon introduce a cheap and easy-to-use pill to combat malaria in sub-Saharan Africa." (New York Times)

"Global Concerns Over Malaria Clash" - "A dispute between the Chinese maker of a malaria drug and the World Health Organization touches on money, national pride and medical conundrums about how to treat infectious diseases." (Wall Street Journal)

"MMR, chicken pox vaccines work for preemies" - "Vaccines for measles-mumps-rubella and varicella, or chicken pox, are effective in extremely preterm infants, even though preemies' immune systems are not as developed as full-term babies. This confirms a long-held assumption by pediatricians and neonatologists across the country." (University of Rochester Medical Center)

"The Ailing — or Wailing — Baby Boomers" - "Are baby boomers really in bad physical shape? Or are we just providing more evidence that we’re the Whiniest Generation?" (John Tierney, New York Times)

"Flip-flopping headlines — Part One" - "The latest study A recent study published in the British medical journal Lancet has elicited headlining stories claiming so many different things that consumers and healthcare professionals may be left more confused than ever. The problem is, not a single story gave an accurate presentation of what the study and body of science has actually shown. Sadly, consumers don’t realize that they’ve been caught in the middle of, not a medical debate, but a political situation with upwards of $162 billion at stake. [That’s with a “b.”]" (Junkfood Science)

"Warning: This Column Might Give You Something to Think About" - "A new book of real-life product labels reveals that the possibility of satire is, alas, vanishing." (American.com)

Support JunkScience.com by purchasing this book through Amazon.com

You can help support JunkScience.com by doing all your online shopping through Amazon.com

They don't say? "BMI not accurate indicator of body fat" - "Body mass index, or BMI, long considered the standard for measuring the amount of fat in a person's body, may not be as accurate as originally thought, according to new research." (Michigan State University)

"Obesity Surgery Triples Among U.S. Teens" - "CHICAGO -- The number of U.S. children having obesity surgery has tripled in recent years, surging at a pace that could mean more than 1,000 such operations this year, new research suggests. While the procedure is still far more common in adults, it appears to be slightly less risky in teens, according to an analysis of data on 12- to 19-year-olds who had obesity surgery from 1996 through 2003." (AP)

"NZ: Fatty food may get hidden away in shops" - "Full-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt will be tucked away on the lower shelves of supermarkets in a proposed trial to change food consumption patterns and curb skyrocketing obesity rates.

The Counties Manukau District Health Board, fresh from a successful trial to replace full-sugar Sprite with artificially-sweetened Sprite Zero in McDonald's outlets, has now set its sights on dairy foods.

Board spokeswoman Amanda Dunlop said the project was still in its infancy but would look at aspects such as the availability and placement of low-fat dairy products on supermarket shelves, as well as its pricing compared with its fuller-fat cousins." (New Zealand Herald)

"To illustrate...." - "Appearing in the Fresno Bee:" (Junkfood Science)

"FEATURE - Mulberry Trees Bring Misery to Pakistani City" - "ISLAMABAD - Spring has arrived in the Pakistani capital bringing clear skies and balmy weather but for many residents of Islamabad, spring heralds weeks of suffering and for some, it could mean death." (Reuters)

The trees are planted, not indigenous but that doesn't stop greenies from getting court injunctions to stop their removal, regardless of the misery they cause.

Right... "Ozone ban has been more effective in fighting global warming than Kyoto Protocol" - "The 1987 Montreal Protocol, which restricted the use of ozone-depleting substances, has helped slow the rate of global warming in addition to protecting the ozone layer, report scientists writing in a paper published online in the early edition of PNAS." (mongabay.com)

... but wait, there's more!

"Demand exploding in India, China for air conditioners that use chemicals being banned here" - "MUMBAI–Until recently, it looked like the depleted ozone layer protecting the Earth from harmful solar rays was on its way to being healed.

But thanks in part to an explosion of demand for air conditioners in hot places like India and southern China – mostly relying on refrigerants already banned in Europe and in the process of being phased out in North America – the ozone layer is proving very hard to repair.

Four months ago, scientists discovered that the "hole" created by the world's use of ozone-depleting gases – in aerosol spray cans, aging refrigerators and old air conditioners – had expanded again, stretching once more to the record size of 2001." (New York Times)

In fact, there remains precisely zero proof CFCs ever were or will be a problem. You can't fix what ain't broke and all indications are that the conceptual "ozone layer" completely ignores human endeavor.

So! Al 'I invented the internet' Gore is to blame! "Data Center Electricity Bills Double" - "The energy consumed by data center servers, cooling equipment, and related infrastructure more than doubled in the United States and worldwide between 2000 and 2005, according to a new study.

A jump in the number of servers--especially lower-end servers costing less than $25,000--accounts for 90% of the additional power consumption, says the study's author, Jonathan Koomey, a consulting professor at Stanford University and a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The study was commissioned by Advanced Micro Devices, which is touting its energy-efficient processors. Only 5% to 8% of the increase in data center electricity consumption is attributed to power use per unit.

Driving the server proliferation is the insatiable appetite for Web content, such as video on demand, music downloads, and Internet telephony, Koomey says." (Environmental Valuation & Cost-Benefit News)

"Gore's Crusade Ends at His Front Door" - "Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," was billed as "a passionate and inspirational look at one man's fervent crusade to halt global warming's deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it." But right after the movie won an Oscar for best documentary, America learned that Gore's crusade ends at his front door." (Debra Saunders, Real Clear Politics)

"The Political Economy of Alternative Energy" - "Suppose that a friend of yours is trying to lose weight, and he tells you, "If I eat this salad, it will be good for me. So then I can have cake for dessert." What would you tell your friend?

Al Gore is trying to say that by investing in alternative forms of energy, he is "offsetting" the heavy use of conventional electricity for his home. This is like saying that eating salad entitles a dieter to enjoy cake for dessert." (Arnold Kling, TCS Daily)

"Rap Star In Gore Climate Concert Lineup Flies Dinner Across The Atlantic" - "How is Al Gore going to explain this one? Multi-platinum-selling rapper Kanye West, who infamously said during the Katrina telethon, "George Bush doesn't care about black people" has something else to explain. The AP reports that Kanye asked a restaurant in Cardiff, Wales to fly a chef and a meal across the Atlantic ocean to a Manhattan business meeting this Wednesday for about $4000 "plus travel and accommodation for the restaurant's head chef" and the addition of lots of Earth-killing greenhouse gases. OK, that seems typical for the music biz, after all, Bono did have a forgotten favorite hat flown first class from London to Italy for about $1700, but people are now paying attention to celebrity hypocrisy more closely. Kanye is signed up for Al Gore's Live Earth, which is designed to raise money for and awareness of human-caused global climate change and is the latest giant concert that will save the world. (AP didn't connect the political dots.)" (News Busters)

"Warming to Failure" - "A certifiable paranoiac would have a high old time tracing out the patterns behind the global warming campaign of the past month. The effort has the feel of something long planned, well scripted, and worked out to the final detail. It's hard to avoid thoughts of conspiracy when contemplating the activities of the Greens.

Not that it's necessary to believe any such thing. (In analyzing cases like this, I apply Dunn's First Law: With enough idiots, you don't need a conspiracy.) It's part of the natural order -- birds flock, insects swarm, and Greens campaign. But the actual point is, whether carefully-hatched scheme, herd instinct, or sheer accident, it's clear at this juncture that the effort has failed." (J.R. Dunn, American Thinker)

Despite celebrity and political hysteria the planet's doing fine... "Ban Ki-moon calls on new generation to take better care of Planet Earth than his own" - " United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the world’s younger generation to take better care of Planet Earth in the face of global warming than his own.

“We are all complicit in the process of global warming. Unsustainable practices are deeply entrenched in our everyday lives. But in the absence of decisive measures, the true cost of our actions will be borne by succeeding generations, starting with yours,” Mr. Ban told a UN International School conference in the General Assembly Hall in New York.

“That would be an unconscionable legacy; one which we must all join hands to avert. As it stands, the damage already inflicted on our ecosystem will take decades, perhaps centuries, to reverse – if we act now." (UN News)

... and no, we don't favor Ban's stated goal that: "the world needed a more coherent system of international environmental governance in order to tackle global warming beyond the expiry of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012" -- we don't fancy the UN's desired global order at all.

"An Error In The 2007 IPCC Statement For Policymakers On The 2005 Global-Average Radiative Forcing" - "The 2007 IPCC Statement for Policymakers has a significant error that I have yet to see discussed." (Climate Science)

"Pollution in Asia causes stronger thunderstorms, may worsen global warming" - "Growing levels of pollution in Asia are altering the chemistry of the atmosphere and causing a change in Pacific storm patterns according to researchers writing in the online early edition of PNAS.

Noting that sulfate and soot emissions have risen significantly in Asia since the 1970s as a result of increased coal burning from rapid industrialization, Renyi Zhang of Texas A&M University and colleagues analyzed cloud measurement data spanning 1984-2005 and found that the rise in pollution generated stronger thunderstorms. Their research showed a 20-50% increase in the formation of deep convective clouds (DCC) between 1984-1994 and 1994-2005." (mongabay.com)

And whether this constitutes some part of a normal cycle is completely unknown because there is no data to compare it with...

"Climate change threat played down" - "Former chancellor Lord Lawson has downplayed the threat of climate change and attacked attempts to deal with it." (ePolitix)

"Scientific `consensus' on global warming doesn't exist" - "The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change summary, released Feb. 2, states that it is ``very likely'' that changes in climate are due to human influence. More recent comments in various media outlets have focused on a scientific consensus which supports the panel's conclusions. Those who question this consensus have been compared to Holocaust deniers, and some have been threatened with job dismissal. This is no longer science, but scientific socialism. I do not agree with all of the IPCC conclusions and know through peer discussions that the idea of a consensus in the meteorological community is false." (Robert Cohen, Mercury News)

"End the chill" - "Who are the global warming deniers, those scientists who downplay the human cause of climate change, who claim that manmade climate change, if it's occurring at all, may have modest costs or even bring benefits, who claim that the science is not settled on climate change? To discover whether these deniers are crackpots from the fringes of academia, as their detractors so often claim, I decided to investigate scientists at odds with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, the official body organizing the great bulk of the climate research that dominates the public airwaves.

After writing 10 columns on the subject, one for each "denier" and his theories, one fact is undeniable: The science is not settled. Not on man's role in causing the warming we've seen this century. Not on the consequences of this warming. Certainly not on the extent of warming -- or cooling-- to come." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"Clouded research" - "Jasper Kirkby is a superb scientist, but he has been a lousy politician. In 1998, anticipating he'd be leading a path-breaking experiment into the sun's role in global warming, he made the mistake of stating that the sun and cosmic rays "will probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole of the increase in the Earth's temperature that we have seen in the last century." Global warming, he theorized, may be part of a natural cycle in the Earth's temperature.

Dr. Kirkby was immediately condemned by climate scientists for minimizing the role of human beings in global warming. Stories in the media disparaged Dr. Kirkby by citing scientists who feared oil-industry lobbyists would use his statements to discredit the greenhouse effect. And the funding approval for Dr. Kirkby's path-breaking experiment -- seemingly a sure thing when he first announced his proposal-- was put on ice.

Dr. Kirkby was stunned, and not just because the experiment he was about to run had support within his scientific institute, and was widely expected to have profound significance. Dr. Kirkby was also stunned because his institute is CERN, and science performed at CERN had never before seemed so vulnerable to whims of government funders." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"Allegre's second thoughts" - "Claude Allegre, one of France's leading socialists and among her most celebrated scientists, was among the first to sound the alarm about the dangers of global warming....

With a wealth of data now in, Dr. Allegre has recanted his views. To his surprise, the many climate models and studies failed dismally in establishing a man-made cause of catastrophic global warming. Meanwhile, increasing evidence indicates that most of the warming comes of natural phenomena. Dr. Allegre now sees global warming as over-hyped and an environmental concern of second rank.

His break with what he now sees as environmental cant on climate change came in September, in an article entitled "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" in l' Express, the French weekly. His article cited evidence that Antarctica is gaining ice and that Kilimanjaro's retreating snow caps, among other global-warming concerns, come from natural causes. "The cause of this climate change is unknown," he states matter of factly. There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the "science is settled." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"Uncertainty over weakening circulation" - "Barbara Goss Levi's Search and Discovery story (PHYSICS TODAY, April 2006, page 26) discusses evidence of weakening ocean circulation and its possible connection to global warming. The Atlantic Ocean circulation across 25° N latitude has been used as a benchmark for characterizing the mass and heat transport from the tropics to the northern latitudes. The upper portion of this transport includes the Gulf Stream, which is at least partially responsible for a moderate climate in Europe. A weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and of the Gulf Stream might have the unpleasant consequence of cooling Europe's climate.

The PHYSICS TODAY piece is based on analysis of work by Harry Bryden, Hannah Longworth, and Stuart Cunningham,1 which concluded that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation slowed by about 30% between 1957 and 2004. Their work inspired speculations that the anthropogenic increase in carbon dioxide may be responsible for the weakening of heat transport from the tropics, and that such an effect has now been detected.

The conclusion that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation has decreased by 30% does not follow from the data presented by Bryden and coauthors, but is based on an incorrect treatment of measurement errors." (Physics Today)

Hmm... "Tundra disappearing at rapid rate" - "Forests of spruce trees and shrubs in parts of northern Canada are taking over what were once tundra landscapes--forcing out the species that lived there. This shift can happen at a much faster speed than scientists originally thought, according to a new University of Alberta study that adds to the growing body of evidence on the effects of climate change." (University of Alberta)

... will the media notice "They found that a rapid change in response to climate warming during the early mid 20th century was observed at all locations", we wonder? The early mid 20th Century predates the majority of atmospheric greenhouse gas enrichment and warming in the first half (hence until 1976 since planetary means are believed to have been cooling in the 1950s through 1970s) is thought to be almost purely "natural". No AGW evidence here.

"A Roadmap For Climate Change" - "Despite a recent plunge into the deep freeze, much of the U.S. East Coast and Midwest have been going through an extraordinarily warm winter with temperatures running 10 to 20 degrees higher than normal in many places. This unusually warm weather, coupled with severe droughts and downpours worldwide, demonstrate how climate change may be one of the greatest environmental threats for humanity." (UPI)

Since we can't predict future climate states globally, regionally or locally these twits destroy their own credibility and that of honest scientists too.

Breathless blurt over a fragment of data: "NASA detects trends in rainfall traits from drizzles to downpours" - "Breaking news in recent years has been swamped with stories of extreme weather -- flash floods in East Asia, prolonged drought in Africa, destructive hurricanes like Hurricane Katrina, heavy monsoon rainfall in South Asia, and an historic heat wave in Europe. The effects of these weather crises have been devastating, and their frequency seemingly on the rise. With an understanding that the societal effect of increased rainfall is huge, researchers have had a key question at the center of a debate among them: Are rain-producing weather events increasing worldwide, and if so, what is the relationship, if any, between their growth and climate change?" (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

Unfortunately, a couple of dozen years "trend" tells us virtually nothing about longer term cycles, trends, patterns, causation... -- a little more data is always nice but not really worthy of a news release.

"Heatwave On The Top Of The World" - "The French Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC (sic), or GIEC in French) has just announced the conclusions of its 4th report, which restates that global warming has increased the average temperature by 0.74C over the last century. However, there is very little information about some parts of the planet, such as central Asia." (SPX)

"Giant barriers proposed to protect Dublin from sea" - "Dublin City Council is to examine the possibility of building three giant barriers in Dublin Bay to protect the city from flooding due to global warming. City engineers have begun an initial study into the feasibility of the tidal barrages as a long-term option to protect the city against rising sea levels predicted due to climate change." (Irish Times)

"Adaptation and sustainable development will yield greater benefits than Kyoto Protocol targets" - "Toronto, ON - Governments need to further develop policies to reduce human vulnerability to climate-sensitive threats such as malaria, hunger, water shortages, flooding, and habitat loss, in addition to seeking cost-effective methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, says a new study released by The Fraser Institute, an independent research organization." (Fraser Institute)

"Greenhouse gas brainstorming: Energy, climate experts to converge on capital to attack the problem." - "The stiffest restrictions under California's new greenhouse-gas reduction bill don't take effect until 2012, but state regulators already are hurrying to draw up a list of strategies to slash emissions much sooner than that. For the next three days, energy and climate change experts from around the world will convene in Sacramento to discuss the best ways for the state to quickly shrink its carbon footprint." (Sacramento Bee)

"Experts: Bulb plan no simple switch" - "The compact fluorescent models may save energy but don't always work as well as incandescents." (Sacramento Bee)

"Battle of the bulbs" - "The spirit of Thomas Edison, perhaps stirred by Australia's decision to ban the incandescent light technology he first commercialized, isn't going down without a fight. You see, the American inventor may be dead, but his determination lives on in the company he founded 115 years ago: the mighty General Electric Co. Three days after Australia announced its plan to phase out the incandescent bulb by 2010, GE put out a press release with the following headline: "GE Announces Advancement in Incandescent Technology; New High-Efficiency Lamps Targeted for Market by 2010." The well-timed release added advancements and "new materials" will make the trusty incandescent comparable to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) in energy efficiency. The new bulbs will replace traditional 40- to 100-watt household bulbs, said GE, adding that initial production will be twice as efficient as today's incandescent bulbs and will eventually be four times as efficient – comparable to CFLs." (Toronto Star)

Featured scam: "The Urban Tree Certification System (UTCS) and Green Energy Resources' "Carbon Offsets" Can Combat Climate Change by Planting Millions of Trees a Year in Our Cities" - "NEW YORK, NY -- March 05, 2007 -- Green Energy Resources launches "Carbon Offset" credits sales. The company's goal is to remove a million tons of carbon annually from the atmosphere. Green Energy Resources plans to sell the carbon offset credits in Blocks of 100 tons known as carbon financial instruments (CFIs). The price will most resemble the European Trading Scheme at around $30 per ton. Carbon offsets are open to the public, businesses and the investment community." (MARKET WIRE)

ETS is currently trading at ~$3/ton, not $30 and why would you need someone to come along and certify that the thing growing out of the patch of soil where the sidewalk should be is, in fact, a tree?

"The Carbon Folly" - "Policymakers have settled on 'emissions trading' as their favorite global-warming fix. But it isn't working." (Emily Flynn Vencat, Newsweek International)

"Merkel Wants Radical Plan on CO2 Cuts at EU Summit" - "Germany's Angela Merkel wants Europe to commit to the most specific climate protection plan in its history at a summit this week. But her call for binding CO2 cuts faces resistance. Can the EU lead the way?" (Der Spiegel)

"Why Should We Germans Save The World Alone?" - "Germany in its capacity as president of the European Union and G8 is leading a drive to slash CO2 emissions. But German media commentators want to know why their country should take the leading role while the world's biggest polluters, the United States and China, stand idly by." (Der Spiegel)

Because you're gullible enough to fall for the greenhouse hype... oh, that was a rhetorical question?

"China about to pass U.S. as world's top generator of greenhouse gases" - "Far more than previously acknowledged, the battle against global warming will be won or lost in China, even more so than in the West, new data show.

A report released last week by Beijing authorities indicated that as its economy continues to expand at a red-hot pace, China is highly likely to overtake the United States this year or in 2008 as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

This information, along with data from the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based alliance of oil importing nations, also revealed that China's greenhouse gas emissions have recently been growing by a total amount much greater than that of all industrialized nations put together." (SF Chronicle)

"Top CEOs announce task force on climate change" - "OTTAWA - Canada's top CEOs announced Monday that they are creating a task force on climate change, but environmentalists are skeptical.

Thomas d'Aquino, president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said the task force will be made up of 25 chief executives from businesses ranging from oil to major manufacturing. He said major corporations want to make Canada a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting clean technologies, and fostering sustainable economic development." (CP)

"Transport rule changes vital for green EU, says Miliband" - "The environment secretary, David Miliband, tonight urged the European Union to become the "Environmental Union" to put an end to the continent's dependence on oil." (Guardian Unlimited)

"'Carbon allowance' plan for drivers" - "Motorists could find themselves facing a ceiling on the amount of carbon they are allowed to emit under proposals being considered in Whitehall. One option would see drivers buying and selling their personal carbon allowances if the Government succeeds in persuading the European Union to extend the emissions trading scheme to the roads. The idea was floated in a speech by David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, last night. Addressing an audience in Cambridge he said: "We need to consider whether surface transport could become part of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme." (London Telegraph)

Juniper... "Target practice" - "In order to deliver a sufficient reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, we need to start making cuts on an annual basis now." (Tony Juniper, The Guardian)

"Renewable mandate alone is no CO2 fix: WoodMack" - "NEW YORK - Any U.S. law requiring renewable power sources to provide a greater portion of the country's total electricity would not be enough to plug a rapid rise in emissions of the main gas linked to global warming, according to a new report.

Amid rising concerns about fossil fuel supplies and emissions of greenhouse gases, several recently proposed U.S. bills called for a national renewable portfolio standard, a requirement that renewable energy sources, like wind, solar and small hydro, provide about 15 percent of U.S. power in about 20 years. Nearly half of U.S. states have passed their own renewable portfolio mandates.

But if the country enacted such a law -- without mandates that also cut power demand -- U.S. carbon dioxide emissions would still rise 18 percent above current levels by 2026, according to the Wood MacKenzie report, titled "The Impact of a Federal Renewable Portfolio Standard." (Reuters)

"CO2 output from shipping twice as much as airlines" - "Carbon dioxide emissions from shipping are double those of aviation and increasing at an alarming rate which will have a serious impact on global warming, according to research by the industry and European academics.

Separate studies suggest that maritime carbon dioxide emissions are not only higher than previously thought, but could rise by as much as 75% in the next 15 to 20 years if world trade continues to grow and no action is taken. The figures from the oil giant BP, which owns 50 tankers, and researchers at the Institute for Physics and Atmosphere in Wessling, Germany reveal that annual emissions from shipping range between 600 and 800m tonnes of carbon dioxide, or up to 5% of the global total. This is nearly double Britain's total emissions and more than all African countries combined." (The Guardian)

"Post Declares Bias; Still Writes Almost 3,000 Words" - "Company's quest to build power lines and avoid blackouts depicted as 'mighty corporates' against opponents who value 'ideas and images.'" (Dan Gainor, Business & Media Institute)

"EU Seeks to Narrow Differences on Climate Plan" - "BRUSSELS - EU ministers will seek to narrow differences on Monday over energy policy ahead of a summit due to adopt an ambitious plan to fight climate change. But foreign ministers from the 27 EU states meeting in Brussels are unlikely to resolve the most contentious issue of whether to set binding targets for renewable sources of energy before their leaders meet on Thursday, diplomats said." (Reuters)

"EU Still Stuck on Green Fuels Target" - "BRUSSELS - European Union foreign ministers failed to agree on Monday whether to set binding targets for the use of green renewable energy sources, setting up a potential clash when the bloc's leaders meet this week." (Reuters)

"Ethanol may not ease global warming: UN" - "It's too soon to say whether the biofuel ethanol will help slow global warming, the head of the United Nations Environment Program says. UNEP director Achim Steiner made the comments ahead of a meeting by the world's two biggest ethanol producers to discuss building a world market in the biofuel." (Reuters)

"China close to deal on French reactors" - "Nation turns to atomic energy to cut pollution and reliance on oil." (Bloomberg News)

"Research identifies causes contributing to poor development of over 200 million children worldwide" - "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Inadequate intellectual stimulation and poor nutrition, especially iodine and iron deficiencies, are likely to blame for hindering more than 200 million children in developing countries from meeting their full potential, says a Purdue University researcher." (Purdue University)

"New success in engineering plant oils: Technique could yield materials to replace petrochemicals and more nutritious edible oils" - "UPTON, NY -- Using genetic manipulation to modify the activity of a plant enzyme, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have converted an unsaturated oil in the seeds of a temperate plant to the more saturated kind usually found in tropical plants. The research will be published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of March 5, 2007.

While conversion of an unsaturated oil to an oil with increased saturated fatty acid levels may not sound like a boon to those conscious about consuming unsaturated fats, "the development of new plant seed oils has several potential biotechnological applications," said Brookhaven biochemist John Shanklin, lead author on the paper." (DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory)

March 5, 2007

New Book: Fighting the Diseases of Poverty - Edited by Philip Stevens (CFD)

"A novel idea: Not wasting money on things that don’t work" - "Suzanne Bohan writes an unusually daring and hard-hitting column looking at how charitable organizations waste government grant and donation moneys towards feel-good causes that do nothing to really help the poor, children or problems in the community. “Poverty pimps” is what one attorney calls them." (Junkfood Science)

"Junkfood Science Special: Anti-aging diets" - "For our February look at diets in the news, one deserves a special note.

The RealAge diet and lifestyle has been endorsed by a celebrity with her own television show. Not just any celebrity. Oprah Winfrey. As USA Today reported, within days of the diet doctors appearing on her talk show, their latest book and dvd, YOU: On a Diet, and their earlier book, YOU: The Owner’s Manual, sat in the top three spots on the best seller list of Amazon. Their most recent book remains on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Many of us believe that a celebrity or a doctor with an impressive medical career lends credibility and that we can take their dietary advice as gospel. That would be false." (Junkfood Science)

"Diet drug update: “But the other kids get to do it” - "A major diet drug company admitted that their intense direct-to-consumer advertising campaign was to generate consumer awareness and played a key role in their sales. Without DTC, their predicted sales would fall." (Junkfood Science)

“The fat group” - "The Salt Lake Tribune’s Special Report is an in-depth examination of the pressures for a perfect body and eating disorders among gymnastics. They also look at what’s changed over the past decade as awareness has increased. Parents of young girls entering gymnastics and healthcare professionals may find this Special worthwhile reading." (Junkfood Science)

"Is school PE really the answer to “childhood obesity?” - "Virtually every person who was a fat child recalls the humiliation and torment of school gym class. For fat children who may not enjoy or excel at athletics, PE class is a place to learn that their bodies are inadequate; bodies that are already subject to bullying and merciless ridicule in and out of school.

But this is more than about simply anecdotes and haunting childhood memories. There is evidence deserving of attention of why PE class is a miserable experience for many children." (Junkfood Science)

"Childhood obesity in girls can lead to early onset of puberty, study suggests" - "Girls who are obese at the age of four are significantly more likely to hit puberty before their 10th birthday, according to research which predicts that puberty will come earlier in the UK as the child obesity crisis worsens. The study is the first to track children from when they were toddlers to aged 12, and to establish a firm link between childhood obesity and early onset puberty." (The Guardian)

"Active Hurricane Season Risk Grows - Meteorologists" - "HOUSTON - The likelihood of an above-average Atlantic hurricane season is growing as a Pacific Ocean El Nino system, which drove storms away from the Gulf Coast in 2006, ended in the past few weeks, meteorologists said on Thursday. Even worse for oil and natural gas interests along the U.S. Gulf Coast is the possible formation of a La Nina system in the Pacific. More than normal Atlantic hurricanes are usually seen during La Nina events, meteorologists said." (Reuters)

"Dieting? Buy Calorie Credits!" - "Recently it was revealed that Al Gore has a large “carbon footprint” and that he setup a corporation and as CEO that allows him to assuage guilt over that large footprint by purchasing carbon credits from himself. He later invests that money in green technology companies and the profits from those stocks return to his company.

I planned to write a harsh rebuttal but as I was eating breakfast I realized something; the man is a genius. No wonder columnist Maureen Dowd calls him the “Goreacle”." (Watts Up With That?)

Cute! Al Gore exposed - buys his carbon offsets from himself (Citizens Journal)

"Gore's 'carbon offsets' paid to firm he owns" - "Critics say justification for energy-rich lifestyle serves as way for former VP to profit" (WorldNetDaily.com) | The Gore-Milken Connection: Global-Warming Junk Bonds? (Doug Ross @ Journal)

"Media Ignore Al Gore’s Financial Ties to Global Warming" - "As NewsBusters reported here, here, and here, there are huge dollars to be made from global warming alarmism. However, conceivably no one is better positioned to financially benefit from this scam than Dr. Global Warming himself, former Vice President Al Gore, a fact that the media will surely not share with Americans any time soon." (News Busters)

"Gored again: Inconvenient news" - "The news of Reverend Gore's global warming hypocrisy roiled this blog last week. But it was of no interest to The New York Times. The Times completely ignored reports of Gore's energy-guzzling home (not to mention subsequent news that Gore was purchasing his "carbon offsets" for the house from. . . himself! The trading firm, Generation Investment Management LLP, is his own company. See here).

Instead, the paper reserved its Saturday front page to plug Gore's "cautionary documentary" and attack the Bush Administration's global warming policy." (Henry Payne, Detroit News)

"Goldstein: Emission implausible" - "I'm having trouble following these carbon footprints" (Sun Media)

"Gore global warming ‘Truth’ reaching DODDS classrooms" - "Many students in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe system are more likely to recognize Al Gore as someone from that Oscar-winning environmental film than as a failed presidential candidate.

That’s partly because the former U.S. vice president ran for the top office in 2000, a long time ago for those attending elementary school. And partly because “An Inconvenient Truth” is making its way around science classrooms as part of a discussion on the world’s climate." (Stars and Stripes)

"Global warming: An inconvenient truth or hot air?" - "Everyone agrees global warming is a terrible fact of life. Right? Wrong. A film to be screened this week ridicules the Al Gore orthodoxy. Geoffrey Lean reports on the green war" (London Independent)

The Great Global Warming Swindle (Channel 4)

"Dominic Lawson: Here is another inconvenient truth (but this one will infuriate the Green lobby)" - "He emits the laugh of a true scientist at the idiocy and hysteria of the world's media and politicians." (London Independent)

Might be worth watching -- it upset Robbie McKie: "Why Channel 4 has got it wrong over climate change" - "Our science editor condemns television's latest foray into the debate on global warming" (Robin McKie, The Observer)

"The Rain Forest News Crunch" - "Environment: Whatever happened to the rain forest? The virtuous cause seems to have become an endangered species with the totemic rise of global warming. Maybe that's the lesson." (IBD)

"Climate change claims a victim" - "Global warming may soon claim its first Northwest casualty, and it isn't an endangered butterfly or threatened flower.

The victim-in-waiting is George Taylor, the Oregon state climatologist. Taylor is an agnostic in a world of climate-change dogma. He has not adopted the official state-sanctioned line that man is the primary cause of the warming trends the world's climate has been undergoing. Instead, he believes that natural warming and cooling trends are the cause.

It's not that Taylor denies that the climate is changing; it's just that he hasn't bought into the theory - taken as fact by many - that man is either causing or accelerating the rate of change." (Capital Press)

Rightly: "Alaska governor questions science of polar bear listing" - "ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Officially, the state of Alaska has not decided whether to back a federal proposal to list polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. But speaking at a federal hearing, Gov. Sarah Palin's point person on polar bears stopped just short of saying it was a lousy idea." (Associated Press)

Meanwhile, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are busily drumming up support on marine mammal newslists etc., complete with a distributed Q&A promotion. This document exposes what they are really about:

(8) If the threat to polar bears is primarily greenhouse gas emissions and other factors affecting Arctic warming, then why bother with Endangered Species Act listing?

We believe that the protections provided by the Endangered Species Act will help address anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. because a large percentage of such emissions are the result of activities regulated or authorized by federal agencies. Such agencies will be required to analyze the impacts of those emissions on polar bears, and take steps to avoid or mitigate the emissions in order to avoid jeopardizing the species. Additionally, Endangered Species Act listing will provide additional protections relating to other factors, such as habitat disturbance, toxic pollution, and other threats which may be exacerbated by climate change.

Don't really give a rat's about the bears but it sure could be a dandy way of clobbering the US and its citizen's energy use...

"Critics Take Aim at Polar Bear Listing" - "ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A marked decline in sea ice off Alaska's coast is not enough to take the drastic step of listing polar bears - a species dependent on ice - as threatened, critics said Thursday at the first of three public hearings on the proposal.

Restrictions that could kick in with a listing under the Endangered Species Act due to global warming would be too burdensome, given the unknowns about the future of polar bears, such as the extent of the loss of Arctic sea ice in the next 100 years and whether the animals would face extinction, according to opponents." (Associated Press)

"Thirty-year warming trend may be coming to an end" - "I think we could do with a lot more (or a lot less) of global warming, depending on how you look at it. All the pieces were in place last summer for a severe winter. This one was just a little late in arriving.

NASA satellites, scanning the northern Pacific, were showing water temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska below what they had been for much of the previous decade. Climate experts, observing this development, suggested we might be close to turning the corner in this latest period of warming and about to reverse a 30-year trend. Their observations went unheeded in the media preoccupied with another El Nino. That fading El Nino was to play a role at the beginning of the upcoming winter." (Buffalo News)

Not global warming? "A Pattern of Normal Drought" - "Climatologists have found a surprisingly detailed record of weather patterns that raises questions about how water is being used in the Southwest." (New York Times)

Senator Inhofe Speaks at CPAC on Global Warming (EPW)

"Missed Opportunity By The IPCC" - "A new contribution to the website Scitizen was posted on February 19, 2007. The title is “Missed Opportunity By The IPCC” The abstract reads, “The new IPCC Statement for Policymakers report has missed an opportunity to provide policymakers and the public with an accurate assessment of the diversity of human climate forcings. The narrow perspective of the IPCC perpetuates the perspective that they are more interested in changing energy policy and than in providing policymakers with the information needed to make effective climate policy.” (Climate Science)

"Evangelical Leaders Warn Against Christian Involvement in “Climate Change” Hysteria -- Urge separating legitimate environment concerns from extremists’ anti-human direction" - "WASHINGTON, March 2, 2007 – A group of Evangelical Christian leaders in the US, including Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson, has published a letter urging Evangelicals not to commit themselves to a single interpretation of “climate change”, the term commonly used now in place of “global warming” during the cold, snowy winter.

“Global warming is not a consensus issue,” the letter says, “and our love for the Creator and respect for His creation does not require us to take a position. We are evangelicals and we care about God’s creation.” (LifeSiteNews.com)

"Climate Change Impact More Extensive than Thought" - "Global climate change is happening faster than previously believed and its impact is worse than expected, information from an as-yet unpublished draft of the long-awaited second part of a United Nations report obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE reveals. No region of the planet will be spared and some will be hit especially hard." (Der Spiegel)

We don't have access to Working Groups II, III or the synthesis report -- if anyone has some or all of the draft documentation archived we'd really like to hear from you.

All the anecdotes fit to fill a few column inches? Cloudy, With a Chance of Climate Change (New York Times)

"True Lies, The Sequel" - "Climate Change: Five Western governors have joined forces to fight global warming by limiting carbon dioxide emissions. But all they'll be limiting will be the economies of their states and the free speech of skeptics." (IBD)

"McClaughry responds to ire of 'global warmers'" - "The mere suggestion that the human race has very little to do with global climate change is enough to set off the enviro harpies, as evidenced by the six responses to my letter published here on January 28.

These people will admit to no honorable disagreement over the science of climate change. If you don't share their fanatic views, you are peddling evil potions, bogus facts and outright lies, doubtless financed by the oil and coal interests.

Dr. Alan Betts, in an indignant rebuttal three times as long as my letter, denounces me as "deliberately deceptive," a peddler of disinformation and without any scientific credibility. Well, let's see." (Times Argus)

"U.S. Predicting Steady Increase for Emissions" - "The Bush administration estimates that emissions by the United States of gases that contribute to global warming will grow nearly as fast through the next decade as they did the previous decade, according to a long-delayed report being completed for the United Nations." (New York Times)

"Irish emissions rise" - "Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has described an increase in the country's annual greenhouse gas emissions as "disappointing." (Edie)

"Cap and Charade: The political and business self-interest behind carbon limits" - "The idea of a cap-and-trade system for limiting carbon-dioxide emissions in the U.S. has become all the rage. Earlier this year, 10 big American companies formed the Climate Action Partnership to lobby for government action on climate change. And this week the private-equity consortium that is bidding to take over Texas utility TXU announced that, as part of the buyout, it would join the forces lobbying for a cap on carbon emissions.

But this is not, as Lenin once said, a case of capitalists selling the rope to hang themselves with. In most cases, it is good old-fashioned rent-seeking with a climate-change patina." (Opinion Journal)

Really bad headline: "Greenhouse effect is a myth, say scientists" - "Research said to prove that greenhouse gases cause climate change has been condemned as a sham by scientists. A United Nations report earlier this year said humans are very likely to be to blame for global warming and there is "virtually no doubt" it is linked to man's use of fossil fuels. But other climate experts say there is little scientific evidence to support the theory." (Evening Standard)

In fact we know of no serious scientist in any appropriate field who considers the greenhouse effect a myth -- after all, downwelling radiation is what keeps some of this planet's surface a habitable temperature. What they mean is that carbon dioxide-enhanced greenhouse is not a plausible driver of catastrophic global warming -- not the same thing at all.

"Warm Winters Upset Rhythms of Maple Sugar" - "Warmer-than-usual winters are stoking fears for the survival of New England’s maple forests." (New York Times)

"Sex lives of grey seals boosted by warming climate" - "It's an ill climate change that blows nobody any good, or so seals have been discovering. For global warming has been making them hot in more senses than one. Research shows that warmer temperatures and reduced rainfall have dramatically improved their sex lives, strengthening them genetically and thus improving their prospects as a species." (London Independent)

Eye-roller: "How climate change may just alter your shopping this weekend" - "WHEN they walk past boarded-up windows, shoppers could be forgiven for blaming competition from out-of-town stores, supermarkets or the internet. But they are unlikely to know that one of the biggest challenges facing traders is not the threat from rival retailers but a much more unpredictable concern: global warming." (The Scotsman)

II: "Welcome to Scotland 2080: land of dengue fever and Vin d'Ecosse" - "THERE isn't a cloud in the sky, the thermometer's soaring and the vineyards are thriving. Unfortunately, the skiing industry is long extinct, golf courses are shut through water shortages and mosquitoes are spreading dengue fever. Welcome to Scotland 2080, as seen by the Scottish Executive. Apocalyptic portraits of life north of the Border should we fail to tackle climate change are not uncommon, but the government's official predictions make particularly grim reading." (The Scotsman)

"In Canada, The Liberal's Big Kyoto Problem" - "The Golden Rule in politics is never promise something you can't or are unwilling to deliver. In 1997 Canada signed the Kyoto Protocol and committed to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12, yet emissions today are now more than 30% above the target. Last week, it was claimed by Eddie Goldenberg, a former top party policy advisor, that at the time, Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretian committed the country to Kyoto fully expecting to fall short of the targets." (Matthew C. Nisbet, Framing Science)

D'oh! "U.N. Climate Talks Stagnate Despite Public Worries" - "OSLO - Governments are making scant progress towards extending a U.N. pact to fight global warming despite mounting public concern about climate change and U.N. warnings it poses a threat as great as war, experts say.

"We're not seeing governments saying 'yes, we'll make new commitments'," one U.N. official said of negotiations sponsored by the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn." (Reuters)

"NZ: The Kyoto chainsaw massacre" - "As Prime Minister Helen Clark was outlining the Government's goal for "carbon neutrality" at Parliament last month, her message was being drowned out by trees coming down in the central North Island and on the Canterbury plains." (Dominion Post)

"EU green targets 'too expensive,' OECD energy official warns" - "VOULIAGMENI, Greece -- The head of a global energy agency warned Wednesday that ambitious European Union targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions would require cheaper green energy alternatives to avoid a heavy financial cost.

Last week, EU nations announced plans to cut emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 -- a target which must be approved at an EU summit next month.

But Claude Mandil, head of the 26-member International Energy Agency, said the aim could be very costly unless environmentally friendly energy production costs become significantly reduced.

"The real challenge is an economic one. Most existing renewables are far too expensive and rely on (subsidies)," Mandil said in an interview.

"Governments feel compelled to have very ambitious targets, which can only be fulfilled at enormous cost," he said." (AP)

"Miliband: 'Time for a green industrial revolution'" - "Britain needs a new industrial revolution to transform itself into the low carbon economy needed to make radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, will say today." (London Independent)

"UK plans to cut CO2 doomed to fail - scientists" - "An independent scientific audit of the UK's climate change policies predicts that the government will fall well below its target of a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 - which means that the country will not reach its 2020 milestone until 2050.

The report condemns government forecasts on greenhouse gas emissions as "very optimistic" and projects that the true reduction will be between 12 and 17%, making little difference to current CO2 emission levels." (The Guardian)

"Norway Says to Form State CO2 Storage Company" - "OSLO - Norway said on Friday that it would establish a state-owned company to manage the government's interests in carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage projects, like one planned for the Mongstad refinery on the west coast." (Reuters)

"EU Summit Set to Agree Carbon Capture Projects" - "LONDON - European Union leaders will approve a series of carbon capture and storage projects at a summit next week in the search for quick solutions to the global warming crisis, an official said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Germany's VW, Porsche Defend Environmental Efforts" - "FRANKFURT - Germany's Volkswagen and Porsche have said they are committed to making environmentally-friendly cars, despite a report showing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of newly-registered cars in the country fell only 0.5 percent in 2006." (Reuters)

"FEATURE - US Coal-Fired Power Plant Plans up in Smoke?" - "NEW YORK - The future of coal-fired power plants is seen so tied up by legal challenges from green groups, that it could slow, or even thwart, plans to use America's abundant coal supplies to generate its growing electricity needs." (Reuters)

"Environmentalist Groups Feud Over Terms of the TXU Buyout" - " Just days after two of the nation's leading environmental groups blessed an investor plan to buy TXU Corp. and take the controversial Texas utility in a new and "greener" direction, a battle has broken out in the environmental community over the terms of the deal.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense claimed victory Monday when a holding company formed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Texas Pacific Group and other investors announced the biggest buyout in history, a plan to take over TXU for $32 billion plus the assumption of around $12 billion in debt. The environmental groups, two of the most powerful and best-funded in the U.S., said they had extracted a pledge from the investors to cancel a slew of coal-fired power plants, cut emissions and back federal global-warming legislation.

But now, opponents of the deal, in a blizzard of emails and Internet posts, have put the two organizations on the defensive by accusing them of settling for too little. The critics, who encompass a broad range of smaller environmental groups and individuals, say TXU should have been forced to give up all, not just some, of its future plans involving coal-fired power plants. The plants release substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas blamed in part for climate change.

Even worse, some believe that the environmental interests were snookered. Since the buyout was announced, it has become apparent that some of the concessions involve projects that TXU was already planning to shelve for a variety of reasons. And TXU has fueled the skepticism further in recent days by outlining new loopholes in the pledge." (Wall Street Journal)

"Oil Innovations Pump New Life Into Old Wells" - "BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern River oil field, discovered in 1899, was revived when Chevron engineers here started injecting high-pressured steam to pump out more oil. The field, whose production had slumped to 10,000 barrels a day in the 1960s, now has a daily output of 85,000 barrels.

In Indonesia, Chevron has applied the same technology to the giant Duri oil field, discovered in 1941, boosting production there to more than 200,000 barrels a day, up from 65,000 barrels in the mid-1980s.

And in Texas, Exxon Mobil expects to double the amount of oil it extracts from its Means field, which dates back to the 1930s. Exxon, like Chevron, will use three-dimensional imaging of the underground field and the injection of a gas — in this case, carbon dioxide — to flush out the oil.

Within the last decade, technology advances have made it possible to unlock more oil from old fields, and, at the same time, higher oil prices have made it economical for companies to go after reserves that are harder to reach. With plenty of oil still left in familiar locations, forecasts that the world’s reserves are drying out have given way to predictions that more oil can be found than ever before." (New York Times)

"MPs urge new rules to force cuts in oil sands emissions" - "Committee report might not be tabled in Commons until after government releases targets" (Toronto Star)

"INTERVIEW - Canadian Oil Sands Nuclear Plant Seen for 2016" - "OTTAWA - The first in a series of nuclear power plants planned for the oil-rich tar sands of Western Canada should be operating by 2016, the head of the project said Thursday." (Reuters)

"MEXICO: Farmers and Scientists See Risks in Wind Energy" - "MEXICO CITY - With the blessing of development agencies, transnational corporations and environmentalists, the Mexican government is breaking ground for a big wind energy project. But peasant farmers and bird experts aren't too happy about it." (IPS)

"Editorial: Warnings on road to biofuels" - "Soaring demand and rising prices for feedstocks associated with the biofuels buzz must force up the price of food. This has obvious implications for living standards. So, too, does the possibility that biofuels could be symptomatic of a range of ill-conceived responses to climate change. With public sentiment on the side of the environmentalists, the clarion call will be to do ever more, especially if the first initiatives do not deliver the intended benefits. Too often, there could be too little attention to complexity and consequence, and living standards could, increasingly, be imperilled." (New Zealand Herald)

"U.S. and Brazil Seek to Promote Ethanol in West" - "President Bush is preparing to finish an agreement with Brazil to promote the production and use of ethanol throughout Latin America and the Caribbean." (New York Times)

"Leading article: A switch to biofuels will not save the planet" - "On the face of it, it's most encouraging that biofuels will be at the top of the agenda when George Bush touches down in Sao Paolo on Thursday to meet his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. For years, environmentalists have complained of the industrialised world's "addiction to oil", to use Mr Bush's own words. The US President has now clearly grasped the message that his gas-guzzling compatriots need to wean themselves off fossil fuels - and not simply because the oil-rich Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is so hostile to America. Mr Bush understands that, with or without Mr Chavez, to continue consuming fossil fuels at the present breakneck speed is not an option." (London Independent)

"Major Oil Consumers Warm to Biofuels" - "UNITED NATIONS - Despite their diverse -- and sometimes sharply conflicting -- political and economic interests, the world's major powers seem to be getting closer to each other in their quest to develop clean alternative sources of energy." (IPS)

"The Big Green Fuel Lie" - "George Bush says that ethanol will save the world. But there is evidence that biofuels may bring new problems for the planet." (London Independent)

"U.S./LATIN AMERICA: An OPEC for Ethanol?" - "CARACAS - U.S. President George W. Bush will visit Latin America next week seeking a strategic alliance with Brazil to develop biofuels -- and Venezuela, the region's main oil exporter, is taking this as a warning sign." (IPS)

"U.S. Proposes Rules to Cut Train, Ship Emissions" - "NEWARK, New Jersey - The United States proposed new regulations Friday that would slash diesel particulate emissions, linked to lung cancer, from trains and ships by 90 percent over the next several years." (Reuters)

"Spinach Contamination Confirmed As Organic" - "Last summer’s outbreak of E. coli contamination in packaged spinach that killed at least three people and sickened more than 200 others has now been confirmed to have come from a 50-acre organic farm in California’s San Benito County. According to the Associated Press, at a legislative hearing in Sacramento on Tuesday, California Department of Health Services officials said that “investigators identified the grower who was farming that plot, which was in the second year of a three-year transition to organic production.” (Greg Conko, Open Market)

:) "Aliens refuse to make circles in GM crops" - "Health-conscious ETs steer clear of genetically modified plants" (Weekly World Inquisitor)

"Scare story on GM potatoes translates cysts into cancers" - "In 1998 researcher Arpad Pusztai claimed on television and in the media that GM potatoes stunted rats' growth and damaged their immune system. When the research was published, over a year later, it turned out to be significantly flawed. But during the two days after the GM "Frankenstein foods" story broke, on the back of an article in this newspaper, not one of the news articles, opinion pieces or editorials on the subject - in any British newspaper - was written by a science journalist, and because the work was unpublished, no one could comment on the science anyway. It was the turning point in public opinion against GM crops.

And now we have "Suppressed report shows cancer link to GM potatoes" by the deputy political editor of the Independent, about cancers and tumours in rats fed a genetically modified potato in Russia. According to the article the Russian report was released by Welsh anti-GM campaigners, after a battle to obtain it from the biotech industry." (Ben Goldacre, The Guardian)

"Genetically modified rice project nears approval in Kansas" - "WASHINGTON - In a month or two, genetically altered rice could be planted on over three-thousand acres in Kansas. The Agriculture Department has given preliminary approval, despite objections from environmentalists and some food groups." (AP)

"Monsanto biotech alfalfa lawsuit ratchets up" - "KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 2 - Biotech crop critics said they were asking for a permanent injunction to stop the planting of Monsanto Co.'s genetically modified alfalfa after failing to negotiate a settlement with U.S. regulators by a court-imposed deadline on Friday." (Reuters)

March 2, 2007

"The Mega-Vitamin Mega-Myth" - "Another nutrition myth went down the drain this week. It seems that antioxidant vitamins don’t quite live up to their hype." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Low-Cost Antimalaria Pill Available" - "A new, cheap, easy-to-take pill to treat malaria is being introduced today, the first product of an innovative partnership between an international drug company and a medical charity.

The medicine, called ASAQ, is a pill combining artemisinin, invented in China using sweet wormwood and hailed as a miracle malaria drug, with amodiaquine, an older drug that still works in many malarial areas.

A treatment will cost less than $1 for adults and less than 50 cents for children. Adults with malaria will take only two pills a day for three days, and the pill will come in three smaller once-a-day sizes for infants, toddlers and youngsters." (AFM)

"Oh George, what will we do when you’re gone?" - "Somewhere, deep down, tucked away underneath their loathing for George Bush, in a secret place where the lights of smart dinner-party conversation and clever debating-society repartee never shine, the growing hordes of America-bashers must dread the moment he leaves office.

When President Bush goes into the Texas sunset, and especially if he is replaced by an enlightened, world-embracing Democrat, their one excuse, their sole explanation for all human suffering in the world will disappear too. And they may just find that the world is not as simple as they thought it was." (Gerard Baker, London Times)

"Yellowstone's quiet power" - "A 17-year University of Utah study of ground movements shows that the power of the huge volcanic hotspot beneath Yellowstone National Park is much greater than previously thought during times when the giant volcano is slumbering." (University of Utah)

"NASA data link Indonesian wildfire flare-up to recent El Nino" - "Scientists using NASA satellite and rainfall data have linked the recent El Nino to the greatest rise in wildfire activity in Indonesia since the record-breaking 1997-98 El Nino. El Nino is an abnormal warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern tropical Pacific, which often brings significant shifts in global weather patterns." (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

"U.N. chief urges United States to take leadership role in combatting climate change" - "UNITED NATIONS: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed hope Thursday that the "active debate" in the U.S. administration and Congress on global warming will spur the United States to take a leadership role in combatting climate change.

The U.N. chief was addressing a student conference on global warming that brought hundreds of high school students from around the world to the U.N. General Assembly hall." (Associated Press)

Oh... "Climate Change as Dangerous as War - UN Chief Ban" - "UNITED NATIONS - Climate change poses as much danger to the world as war, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday as he urged the United States to take the lead in the fight against global warming." (Reuters)

... we suspect he means AGW although a cooling climate, say from an estimated mean of about 288 K down to 286 K would create severe hardship, famine and a really tough time generally but a trivial warming from about 288 K to maybe 290 K (unlikely) would really only represent an extension of tropical and temperate zones polewards and make feeding and sheltering the population a little easier.

"UN Covertly Corrects IPCC Errors After Publication + Uncorrected Errors By Al Gore" (.pdf) - "Shortly after the launch of the IPCC's latest Summary for Policymakers, Viscount Monckton sent the UN a list of 31 errors and exaggerations. The IPCC did not reply, but substantially rewrote the report so as to remove some of the errors." (CSPP)

"Role of global warming in extinction may be overestimated" - "Extinction is a hotly debated, but poorly understood topic in science. The same goes for climate change. When you bring the two together to forecast the impact of global change on biodiversity, chaos reigns. While many ecologists argue that climate change could well doom many more species to extinction, others say that the threat is overstated." (mongabay.com)

"Improved predictions of warming-induced extinctions sought: Researchers say species persist more than models assume" - "In the March 2007 issue of BioScience, an international team of 19 researchers calls for better forecasting of the effects of global warming on extinction rates. The researchers, led by Daniel B. Botkin, note that although current mathematical models indicate that many species could be at risk from global warming, surprisingly few species became extinct during the past 2.5 million years, a period encompassing several ice ages. They suggest that this "Quaternary conundrum" arises because the models fail to take adequate account of the mechanisms by which species persist in adverse conditions. Consequently, the researchers "believe that current projections of extinction rates are overestimates." A critical review of the four types of model now in common use leads the team to identify various simplifying assumptions in the models that can lead to biases." (American Institute of Biological Sciences)

"Global Warming on Mars & Cosmic Ray Research Are Shattering Media Driven 'Consensus’" - "Two new developments in climate science are rocking the media driven "consensus" on global warming. National Geographic has an article from February 28, 2007 entitled, "Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says," and a February 26, 2007 release from the Danish National Space Center announced "A new theory of climate change", detailing the "remarkable results of research on cosmic rays and climate." (EPW)

"Numerical Models, Integrated Circuits and Global Warming Theory" - "Global warming theory is a prediction based on complex mathematical models developed to explain the dynamics of the atmosphere. These models must account for a myriad of factors, and the resultant equations are so complex they cannot be solved explicitly or "analytically" but rather their solutions must be approximated "numerically" with computers. The mathematics of global warming should not be compared with the explicit calculus used, for example, by Edmund Halley to calculate the orbit of his eponymous comet and predict its return 76 years later.

Although based on scientific "first principles", complex numerical models inevitably require simplifications, judgment calls, and correction factors. These subjective measures may be entirely acceptable so long as the model matches the available data -- acceptable because the model is not intended to be internally consistent with all the laws of physics and chemistry, but rather to serve as an expedient means to anticipate behavior of the system in the future. However, problems can arise when R&D funding mechanisms inevitably "reward" exaggerated and alarming claims for the accuracy and implications of these models." (Jerome J. Schmitt, American Thinker)

Well D U H ! "Build inland, UN climate report warns" - "An international panel of scientists has proposed that all countries cease building on coastal land that is less than a metre above high tide so as to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change." (The Guardian)

Climate change or no it's good practice to keep some freeboard.

"Climate clues rock science" - "Jena, Germany - Samples of rock drilled out of the Antarctic seabed show there has been a surprisingly wide variation in the world's climate over the past 3.5 million years, a German geo- scientist said on Tuesday.

"It's blown away the prevailing wisdom that we had a steady cold phase during this era," said Lothar Viereck-Goette, a professor at the University of Jena who is examining rock raised by the four-nation Antarctic Geological Drilling (Andrill) project.

"That means that climate variation is something normal, not out of the ordinary," he said." (Sapa-DPA)

"Understanding Climate Change in Drake Passage" - "BUENOS AIRES - Infamous for its storms and shipwrecks, Drake Passage, which separates South America from Antarctica, will now be the focus of a multidisciplinary study by scientific researchers from nine countries, with the aim of assessing the impact of climate change on the ecosystem." (IPS)

Here's a headline... "The mild winter of 2007" - "The meteorological winter of 2007 (December 2006, January and February 2007) had an average temperature of 6,6°C in De Bilt, the Netherlands. This makes it the mildest winter since regular temperature observations were started in The Netherlands in 1706. The normal winter temperature is 3,3°C (1971-2000 average). This winter is 0,6°C warmer than the previous record holder, 1990, and more than one degree warmer than the mildest winter in 1706-1900 (1737, 5,3°C). Since summer last year there has been a spate of warm records and autumn 2006 was by far the warmest on record in large parts of Europe. The predominantly southwesterly flow and global warming appear to explain most of the extraordinarily warm temperatures. These factors may even be interconnected." (KNMI)

... the least harsh winter recorded since the recovery from the Little Ice Age began (c.1650). What can we do? Who can we telephone?

"Tokyo has first snowless winter" - "THE Japanese capital Tokyo has ended winter without snow for the first time on record, the weather agency said today, amid rising global concern about climate change. The Japan Meteorological Agency recorded no snow in central Tokyo by February 28, which it defines as the last day of winter, for the first time since records began in 1876. "We believe El Nino can be one factor. Another theory is that the seasonal southward movement of cold air from the Arctic region was not sustained and weak," an agency official said. "It's a bit of a stretch to link this directly to global warming. But the winter was very warm, for sure." (Reuters)

"Monitoring Lake Ice - Another Valuable Climate Metric" - "Lake ice is a useful climate metric as it provides a measure of the time integrated period of freezing temperatures at a location. The claim of the 2007 IPCC Statement for Policymakers (SPM) that “Cold days, cold nights and frost have become less frequent…” can be assessed for the winter in those locations where ice cover on lakes occurs. One useful web site for this information is the Ice Watch. For those lakes that have data up until the last few years, there clearly is a diversity of recent freeze/melt times for the lakes, but there is no obvious demonstration of a systematic later freeze/earlier melts which supports the claim in the IPCC SPM." (Climate Science)

"Sediment wedge key to glacial environmental stability" - "A wedge of sediment, pushed up by glacial movement, may be a buffer against moderate sea level rise, pointing to ocean temperature rise as the key factor in glacial retreat, according to two papers published today (March 1) in Science Express.

"Sediment beneath ice shelves helps stabilize ice sheets against retreat in response to rise in relative sea level of at least several meters," says Richard Alley, the Evan Pugh professor of geosciences, Penn State. "Large sea level rise, such as the more than 325 feet at the end of the last ice age, may overwhelm the stabilizing feedback from sedimentation, but smaller sea-level changes are unlikely to do the same." (Penn State)

Eye-roller: "Arctic residents tell panel U.S. carbon emissions violate their human rights" - "WASHINGTON – Northern Canadians told an international commission Thursday that carbon emissions from the United States have contributed so much to global warming that they should be considered a human rights violation. One activist said temperatures have climbed so much that Arctic residents need air conditioners. The case was pressed by the Inuit community before the 34-nation Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In a petition, the group asked the commission's assistance “in obtaining relief” from the impact of global warming, and makes specific reference to the United States as the country most responsible for the phenomenon. The commission, however, lacks the legal authority to compel the United States to take action." (Associated Press)

"Congress needs a Marshall Plan in climate-change debate" - "The recent report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the consequences of increasing greenhouse gases (GHG) is a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate in understanding climate science. However, policymakers need to have a clear understanding of the likely economic impacts of alternative approaches to slowing the growth or reducing the level of greenhouse gas emissions." (Margo Thorning, The Hill)

"Miliband faces calls for tougher carbon target" - "David Miliband, the environment secretary, may have to strengthen his proposed target of a 60% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050 in his imminent climate change bill. He is being told by MPs that the target may not be ambitious enough, due to the evidence of quickening climate change." (The Guardian)

"Merkel Urges Bold EU Climate Moves" - "BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel urged EU leaders to approve bold steps to combat climate change at a summit next week, but said Germany was not prepared to shoulder the same heavy burden of emissions cuts as it has in the past." (Reuters)

Germany's past "burden" is basically composed of reunification of East & West Germany and the closure of inefficient East German industry with emission reduction the accidental byproduct thereof.

"Pope is warned of a green Antichrist" - "An arch-conservative cardinal chosen by the Pope to deliver this year’s Lenten meditations to the Vatican hierarchy has caused consternation by giving warning of an Antichrist who is “a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist”.

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, 78, who retired as Archbishop of Bologna three years ago, quoted Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900), the Russian philosopher and mystic, as predicting that the Antichrist “will convoke an ecumenical council and seek the consensus of all the Christian confessions”.

The “masses” would follow the Antichrist, “with the exception of small groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants” who would fight to prevent the watering down and ultimate destruction of the faith, he said." (London Times)

On that note: "The Color of Money" - "Tennessee blogger Bill Hobbs picks up the story of Al Gore's voracious household energy use, which we noted Tuesday:" (James Taranto, Opinion Journal)

"Industry lines up to cash in on carbon-trading deals" - "Ukrainian enterprises continue to try to cash in on carbon emissions trading under the international Kyoto agreement, with an eye also on the other benefits of improving energy efficiency at their industrial production facilities." (Kyiv Post)

"Carbon Credit — The Latest Greenie Trend" - "Carbon credits" are latest trend being pushed by global warming bullies, but what are they really, and how are they supposed to help the environment?" (E. Ralph Hostetter, NewsMax)

"Pennsylvania Priest Mocks 'Carbon Offsets' By Offering 'Moral Offsets' To Allow you to 'Sin with Confidence'" - "The latest blast of hot air from those perpetuating the global warming fraud is the idea of commercially available “carbon offsets.” The theory behind this new entrepreneurial opportunity goes something like this: Everybody has a “carbon footprint” resulting from all the things he or she does which damages the planet - things like driving cars, flying planes, burning garbage, burning electric lights, heating the home, eating beans, detonating thermonuclear devices, breathing and the like. The size of your carbon footprint - and, according to global warming’s true believers, the blackness of your soul - is determined by how many and how much of these evil things you do. But fear not. If you’re rich enough, you can buy your environmental soul clean again by purchasing carbon offsets. For example, if you breath more than the guy next door, or your SUV is bigger, or you pass more gas, or your thermonuclear device has a greater yield than his, then you can buy from him the unused portion of his carbon footprint to make up for it. Of course, you just can’t arrange to buy these offsets privately with your neighbor because that’s too unregulated; you have to go to a Sierra Club endorsed carbon offset broker, who buys up the unused portion of your neighbors carbon footprint, and sells it to you for a markup - the markup being necessary to support their altruistic and self-sacrificing efforts on behalf of the planet.

Well, here at St. Michael and Ss. Peter & Paul, we pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge. So, here’s our pitch:" (Parish Priest Father J. Michael Venditti, "Priestly Pugilist")

"It's a joke, right!" - "ANY day now, global warming will change from the world's biggest scare to the world's biggest joke." (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

"Global warming scare begets horrifying 'green taxes, fees'" - "Without the help of another Florida recount, "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's documentary on global warming, captured an Oscar as expected last Sunday night.

Gore's movie title is actually a misnomer. So many of us fear global warming is a long-term threat to our planet, the Oscar-winning film should really be called "A Convenient Truth."

The environmentalist brigade has been driven into a frenzy by the liberals-gone-wild mainstream media. You're a pariah by not agreeing that the world will come to a messy end if we don't combat an allegedly permanent greenhouse effect.

There's little point in trying to argue that global warming is a natural atmospheric cycle that will turn cold again in a few hundred thousand years. The minds of environmental prophets of doom are already set in stone." (John Herbert, Hernando Today)

"Green energy industry attacks government rationing of grants" - "Britain's renewable energy industry last night accused the government of presiding over a farce after a scramble for heavily rationed grants for solar panels and wind turbines led to one month's allocation being snapped up in little more than an hour." (The Guardian)

Ah yes, fuel contaminated with ethanol: "UK: Thousands of vehicles stalled by rogue fuel" - "Thousands of cars have broken down, prompting trading standards officers to launch an investigation last night into claims that garages are selling contaminated petrol. Increasing numbers of motorists have been affected by the petrol - which was causing vehicles to judder, misfire and lose power. It was allegedly sold on supermarket forecourts and reports last night suggested the problem was spreading from the south of England across the country. The investigation was launched after complaints that some service stations, including some at supermarkets, had been selling the fuel contaminated with ethanol without telling customers." (The Guardian)

"Reuters Summit - Easing Oil Prices Tame Demand for Green Products" - "NEW YORK - Having changed its tune on global warming, Corporate America is increasingly banging the green drum of energy efficiency. But with oil prices easing off last summer's record high near US$80 a barrel, some executives say customers' ardor for power-saving equipment has eased." (Reuters)

"Coal in cars: great fuel or climate foe?" - "A key problem is that liquid from coal emits twice as much carbon as gasoline. Still, Washington likes the idea." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Britain to Take Grind out of Roof-Top Wind Turbines" - "LONDON - Britain will later this year remove the red tape from putting rooftop wind turbines on homes in an effort to cut global warming greenhouse gas emissions, Environment Secretary David Miliband said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"UK Must Act to Stem Rising Gas Dependency - IEA" - "LONDON - Britain risks becoming too dependent on natural gas unless it builds more nuclear power stations, boosts renewable resources and improves energy efficiency, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday. Claude Mandil, executive director of the IEA, said UK energy policy had created one of the most liberalised energy markets in the world but warned over rising reliance on gas for power generation." (Reuters)

"Nuclear industry sees fertile ground in green Europe" - "It is redoubling efforts to promote its product as a climate-friendly alternative to fossil fuels." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Splitting atoms to cool the planet" - "Before building more nuclear plants to curb global warming, we need a reality check on safety regulation." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Not bad... "Australia's First Wave Power Plant Ready to Roll" - "PORT KEMBLA, Australia - Australia's cities are drought-parched and its desert outback drenched by floods, but climate change has not yet killed the country's famed surf beaches, or their promise of clean eco-power." (Reuters)

... for a tiny prototype, perhaps -- 500kW hours and 500 gallons of water is not really much of a daily output.

"France Digs Heels in on EU Renewables Target" - "BRUSSELS - France dug its heels in on Thursday against setting a binding target for renewable energy sources in the European Union, setting up a potential summit clash with its closest ally Germany next week." (Reuters)

"Car-Addicted Italians Lag Europe on Environment" - "ROME - Italians' love of cars and their reluctance to switch from carbon fuels for energy needs means their country is one of the worst environmental performers in Europe, one of Italy's main green groups said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"I won't force through road pricing, says Blair" - "Tony Blair today admitted introducing national road pricing could be "kamikaze politics" in the wake of the 1.8 million-strong public petition against it. In an interview with the Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond, the PM insisted he was not "closing the door" on the scheme, but made his most sceptical noises so far. Mr Blair likened the road-pricing scheme, still a decade away but with pilot schemes coming up, to Margaret Thatcher's poll tax." (Guardian Unlimited)

"Monochloramine treatment not as effective in protecting drinking water" - "WASHINGTON, DC – March 1, 2007 -- The results of what may be the most extensive comparison of two common disinfectants used by municipal water systems suggest that, from a security standpoint, traditional chlorination may be more effective than treatment with monochloramine." (American Society for Microbiology)

"Plant genome key to second green revolution" - "LUCKNOW: "Up to 20% to 40% children in Africa are undernourished. Their number in India is between 40% to 60%. Apparently every second child in India is malnourished. One feasible way for fight the problem is genetically designed crops." (Times of India)

"Group OKs GMO peanut research" - "ALBANY, Georgia--A leading U.S. peanut industry group has given scientists the go-ahead to build genetically engineered peanuts that could be safer, more nutritious and easier to grow than their conventional version." (AP)

"Growers fight plan to hold GM potato crop trial in region" - "CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight attempts to hold a genetically modified potato trial in East Yorkshire. Crop development business BASF Plant Science wants to carry out a five-year trial of a potato modified to resist the devastating fungal disease late blight at a farm in the Hedon/Preston area, after a Derbyshire farm pulled out." (Yorkshire Post)

March 1, 2007

"New Parasite Insight Could Aid Anti-Malaria Fight" - "WASHINGTON - Scientists have achieved a greater understanding of the internal workings of the deadly malaria parasite with an eye toward developing better drugs to fight the disease, a study published on Wednesday stated." (Reuters)

"Pop Quiz" - “If someone came into your house and offered you a cocktail of butanol, iso amyl alcohol, hexanol, phenyl ethanol, tannin, benzyl alcohol, caffeine, geraniol, quercetin, 3-galloyl epicatechin, 3-galloyl epigallocatchin and inorganic salts, would you take it?” (STATS)

"Is non-evidenced based medical care any different from alternative modalities?" - "Dr. R. W. Donnell recently exposed the promotion of pseudoscience among medical students and, as was also written here, financial benefits can be powerful incentives for mainstream medical professionals to put out shingles selling diets, supplements and alternative modalities. He just posted a poignant rebuttal to assertions that alternative woo is no worse than non-evidence-based conventional medicine.' (Junkfood Science)

These dipsticks are still at it: "Warning over danger of salt in bread" - "Bread sold in some shops is so salty it kills 7,000 people a year, campaigners claim." (London Independent)

"Study Finds Kids Gain Weight Over Summer" - "The nation's schools, under fire for unhealthy school lunches, well-stocked vending machines and phys ed cuts, may actually do a better job than parents in keeping children fit and trim. A study found that 5- and 6-year-olds gained more weight over the summer than during the school year, casting doubt on the assumption that kids are more active during summer vacation." (AP)

"Medical backlash over health foods" - "Two of the most popular products in Britain’s vast health food industry come under attack today, as scientists cast doubts on the benefits of vitamin supplements and low-fat dairy products. Research published today suggests that regular consumption of a wide range of vitamin pills, taken by more than ten million people in the UK, may actually increase the risk of dying, while eating low-fat dairy products could make it harder for some women to conceive." (London Times)

"A liberal dose of gloom" - "Ask 100 thinkers to consider the future and what do you get? Utter pessimism." (David Goodhart, The Guardian)

"Demand exploding in India, China for air conditioners that use chemicals being banned here" - "MUMBAI–Until recently, it looked like the depleted ozone layer protecting the Earth from harmful solar rays was on its way to being healed.

But thanks in part to an explosion of demand for air conditioners in hot places like India and southern China – mostly relying on refrigerants already banned in Europe and in the process of being phased out in North America – the ozone layer is proving very hard to repair.

Four months ago, scientists discovered that the "hole" created by the world's use of ozone-depleting gases – in aerosol spray cans, aging refrigerators and old air conditioners – had expanded again, stretching once more to the record size of 2001." (New York Times)

You can't fix what ain't broke.

Eek! Global cooling! "La Nina's Brewing, Forecasters Warn" - "Forecasters warned Tuesday that a La Nina weather pattern - the nasty flip side of El Nino - is brewing, bringing with it the threat of more hurricanes for the Atlantic." (AP)

"La Nina May Bring More Hurricanes Than Normal - NOAA" - "WASHINGTON - The return of a La Nina weather pattern this year could trigger a higher-than-normal number of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, US government weather forecasters said Tuesday." (Reuters)

Say what? "New evidence that global warming fuels stronger Atlantic hurricanes" - "Atmospheric scientists have uncovered fresh evidence to support the hotly debated theory that global warming has contributed to the emergence of stronger hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean." (PhysOrg)

That's not what Kossin et al's study said at all.

More from Prometheus: "Spinning Science" - "We have had a lot of discussion here about the process of producing press releases. Last month, I participated in a congressional hearing in which several scientists argued strongly that official press releases should be faithful to the science being reported. A press release put out by the University of Wisconsin today is a case of a press release completely misrepresenting the science in the paper that it is presenting. I am going to speculate that because the press release errs on the side of emphasizing a global warming connection where there is in fact none indicated in the paper that there will be little concern expressed by the scientific community about its inaccuracies." (Prometheus)

"Iron in Northwest rivers fuels phytoplankton, fish populations" - "CORVALLIS, Ore. -- A new study suggests that the iron-rich winter runoff from Pacific Northwest streams and rivers, combined with the wide continental shelf, form a potent mechanism for fertilizing the nearshore Pacific Ocean, leading to robust phytoplankton production and fisheries." (Oregon State University)

"A new theory of climate change" - "Remarkable results of research on cosmic rays and climate at the Danish National Space Center are summarized this month in a review for the Royal Astronomical Society in London." (Danish National Space Center)

Dr Svensmark has also written a plain-language book on the same theme, jointly with the British science writer Nigel Calder. Entitled The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, buy through this link and support JunkScience.com at the same time.

All this hysteria... "Fighting Warming Key to Anti-Poverty Goals" - "UNITED NATIONS, Feb 27 - Driven by increased concerns and mounting evidence of the threats posed by global warming, some of the world's most eminent scientists are telling policymakers to get their act together before it is too late to avoid a doomsday scenario." (IPS)

... driven by climate models not worth a pinch of poop when it comes to guesstimating future climate states.

"Unlicensed Engineers, Part 1" - "In the series of Weblogs I am now starting, I will lay the foundations for a theory of climate software development. I am of the opinion that most scientists engaged in the design, development, and tuning of climate models are in fact software engineers. They are unlicensed, hence unqualified to sell their products to society. In all regular engineering professions, there exists a licensing authority. If such an authority existed in climate research, I contend, the vast majority of climate modelers would vainly attempt certification. Also, they would be unable to obtain insurance against professional liability.

I am an unlicensed engineer. I was an engineering professor for many years, but I never needed to be certified as a Professional Engineer. One advantage of my University position at Penn State was that I did not need to purchase any liability insurance, which would have absorbed a sizable chunk of my modest salary." (Hendrik Tennekes, Climate Science)

"Kyoto 'cap and trade': A very 21st-century Ponzi scheme?" - "As the 1920s began, Charles Ponzi offered customers returns on their investments of 20% in a matter of weeks. He managed to pay out the promised returns by financing it with the capital from new investors . . . for awhile, till it all came crashing down." (Western Standard)

"DuPont's Actions Compared to Enron" - "DuPont claims it joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) to support global warming cap-and-trade legislation out of concern for the Earth’s climate." (EPW)

Not much if you say it quick enough... "Study puts cost of meeting Kyoto climate-change targets at $100 billion" - "OTTAWA - It would cost $100 billion over four years for Canada to meet its Kyoto targets under a plan by Friends of the Earth and Corporate Knights magazine, one of the first attempts to put a price tag on addressing climate change.

Although the cost sounds staggering, it amounts to only $20 a week for the typical family, says Beatrice Olivastri, CEO of Friends of the Earth. Based on the polluter-pays principle, the proposal would tax carbon fuels such as gasoline and coal, and redirect the money to new green technologies. It would include international emissions trading and the funding of emissions-cutting projects in the developing world." (CP)

... they only want to tax you an extra $20 per week to do nothing measurable about global climate.

Way to waste resources, guys! "Australia: Gore's Inconvenient Truth in every letterbox" - "AL Gore's Oscar winning message from An Inconvenient Truth is coming soon to a letterbox near you. A leaflet instructing people on ways to save the planet and their wallet, based around the award winning movie, will be distributed to five million homes from today." (AAP)

Pretty much exactly what the world doesn't need, a crockumentary about Al.

"An Inconvenient Pool" - "There is an irresistible quality to the story about Al Gore's energy-hungry Tennessee home, replete with a heated poolhouse that burns more natural gas -- $500 a month worth -- than most of us can afford to use while heating houses that shelter people, as opposed to swimming lanes. Did you know that Mr. Gore's house uses more electricity in a month than the average household does in a year?" (Wall Street Journal)

"Gore Blasts 'Balance as Bias' in Global Warming Reporting" - "Fresh off his Oscar coronation, Al Gore is stepping up his jihad against global warming skeptics by continuing his campaign to stop the media from covering their viewpoint at all." (News Busters)

Watch out Al, someone beat you to this one... "UFO science key to halting climate change: former Canadian defense minister" - "A former Canadian defense minister is demanding governments worldwide disclose and use secret alien technologies obtained in alleged UFO crashes to stem climate change, a local paper said Wednesday." (PhysOrg)

... quick, hop aboard before Hillary takes your seat!

Pretty much says it all about the "global warming" scare, doesn't it?

Solved! :) "Bristol academics claim Branson's prize" - "LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - Scientists at the University of Bristol have cracked climate change. Less than a month into Richard Branson's five-year competition, academics will take their winning idea to Virgin Earth and walk away with a cool $25 million.

The solution, published online by The Journal of Unlikely Science, is remarkably simple, requiring no technological wizardry or financial investment. It is quite simply, stop breathing; or at least breathe less.

The authors of the study say those who exercise a lot could be doing no end of damage to the Earth's atmosphere by breathing too much. "All that time that the super-fitties among us spend exercising, they're guzzling extra oxygen and belching out tonnes of CO2."

Undertaking strenuous exercise causes an individual's metabolic rate to increase by at least 50%, leading to increased amounts of carbon dioxide produced in the body and expelled during breathing. At a rough estimate, the average person exercising at the recommended level of thirty minutes five times a week could be adding as much as 1.3kg of extra carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year. Multiplied across a global population of 6.5 million, this equates to a lung-busting 14 million tonnes.

Research has failed to show any clear cut difference between the metabolic rates of the "super-fit" and less active members of the population when resting. Therefore, claim the authors, contrary to earlier studies that hold the obese accountable for global warming, those who eat more and exercise less are actually doing the world a favour." (CCNMatthews)

"The Union of Concerned Scientists: Its Jihad against Climate Skeptics" (.pdf) - "Among the activist groups seeking to stifle dissent in the global warming debate, none has been more vocal—or more effective at attracting media attention—than the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). But UCS is a master of political tactics, not an advocate for the scientific community." (Myron Ebell, Iain Murray, and Ivan Osorio, Capital Research Center's Organization Trends)

"Climate change sceptics get a warm reception" - "A GATHERING of climate change sceptics in Parliament House yesterday drew politicians from both major parties, including Finance Minister Nick Minchin and Labor MP Martin Ferguson. Yet while the sceptics vehemently denied that greenhouse gas emissions were causing global warming — suggesting the world could instead be heading towards "global cooling" — the politicians remained tight-lipped on their personal convictions." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Blast at hype over climate change" - "ONE of the seminal figures of the Australian mining industry, Arvi Parbo, has launched a stinging attack on climate-change fundamentalism, singling out Australian of the Year Tim Flannery and Greens senator Bob Brown.

The former chairman of Western Mining yesterday attacked Professor Flannery and Senator Brown for calling for the eventual shutting down of the national coal industry.

Sir Arvi's speech, at the launch of a book criticising the assumptions behind aggressive calls to fight carbon emissions, came as an Australian National University academic warned that the coal industry could suffer if clean coal technologies were not developed.

Speaking to an audience at Parliament House that included Finance Minister Nick Minchin and senior Labor figures Martin Ferguson and Craig Emerson, Sir Arvi attacked the "social agendas, ideology and even a semi-religious fervour that have come to overshadow it and dominate the public debate." (The Australian) | Climate change 'a campaign of alarmism' (AAP) | Comments at Launch of Nine Facts About Climate Change by Sir Arvi Parbo and by Ray Evans | Nine Facts About Climate Change (Lavoisier Group) .pdf

Finally making press: "A cool finding on global warming" - "The growth of methane -- one of the most potent global warming gases -- has stalled after rapidly rising in the Earth's atmosphere for more than a century, Oregon scientists say.

In the most detailed look at methane measurements, researchers at Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University find that the buildup of methane in the atmosphere has been slowing for nearly a quarter of a century. And the Oregon scientists don't foresee methane emissions increasing again anytime soon because of human activities.

"It's good news because you have one global-warming gas that's not increasing very rapidly, or at all," said Aslam Khalil, an atmospheric physicist at PSU." (The Oregonian)

"Lileks: Another empty symbolic gesture" - "If environmentalism is the new religion, the Oscar ceremony was the High Holy Mass.

Of course, if the Academy — a remarkable name for people who paint their faces and pretend they're secret agents or royalty — were truly serious about imminent global warming, it would have asked everyone to turn off their TVs and receive the results by some low-impact Earth-friendly means, such as carrier pigeon. Perhaps such drastic measures will be used in 2008, by which time the oceans will have risen 37 feet and everyone east of Cleveland will be clustered on the roof.

Does that seem like an extreme prediction? You're part of the problem, then. The debate is over! Stop Questioning Authority! Oh, perhaps you think it's wise to conserve and recycle; perhaps you think it's common sense to explore alternative energies. Perhaps you've come to suspect that the climate is changing. That is, after all, what climates do. You might believe all these things — and still be a heretic." (Newhouse News Service)

"All those scientists may still be wrong" - "On Sunday, Al Gore's film about climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, won two Oscars. Today, the Royal Society starts a two-day event showcasing the science of climate change according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Both the film and conference are based on an understanding that the science is settled. It isn't. But, in the meantime, the environmental bandwagon rolls on, and no self-respecting politician wants to be left without a seat." (Martin Livermore, London Telegraph)

"Despite Warnings, Ocean Circulation Not Slowing Down" - "Scientific evidence and Hollywood's "The Day After Tomorrow" have fueled fears that global warming could disrupt the Atlantic Ocean’s main circulation system and drastically alter global weather patterns, but there is no firm evidence that shows this is actually happening, says a prominent oceanographer." (LiveScience)

Um... "Scientists start polar study amid global warming" - "OSLO - More than 60 nations launch the broadest scientific investigation yet of the Arctic and Antarctic on Thursday to chart polar regions on the front lines of global warming.

About 3,000 children will build snowmen in Oslo, top scientists will meet in Paris and researchers will gather on a polar research vessel in Cape Town harbor in South Africa as part of ceremonies starting International Polar Year (IPY)." (Reuters)

... just how are "about 3,000 children" building snowmen in Oslo part of the science of IPY?

<chuckle> "Gov.'s Tree Plan And Global Warming" - "To compensate for every pollution-spewing private jet ride he takes, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to plant or protect trees. He is beginning his effort with the Fred M. van Eck Forest Foundation, which has 2,100 acres in Humboldt County. This "off-set" is designed to make Schwarzenegger carbon neutral - it effectively reduces the amount of global warming gases his travel is producing. See earlier post.

But he might want to read a report by the Carnegie Institution and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. They found that planting and protecting forests in subarctic Boreal zones may actual contribute to global warming. And they documented "little or no climate benefit when trees are planted" in temperate zones, such as California. Instead, tropical forests should be protected because they absorb carbon dioxide and produce clouds that cool the planet. By the year 2100, forests in mid and high latitudes will make some places up to 10 degrees warmer than if the forests did not exist, the report found." (LA Times blog)

That's great... "ANALYSIS - Merkel Grabs Climate Change Baton From Blair" - "BERLIN - Angela Merkel has pushed global warming to the top of her international agenda in a bet that rising public awareness and her close ties to Washington can help deliver results that have proved elusive in past years." (Reuters)

... except that no measurable climate result (good or bad) is available from carbon caps -- plain silly.

"British lawmakers query 60 per cent carbon cut target" - "LONDON: Britain is having difficulty meeting its voluntary goal of cutting carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2010, raising doubts over its legal target of a 60 per cent carbon dioxide cut by 2050. In its second report on the European Union's carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS), the all-party House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee called on the government to limit the emissions permits that could be bought from abroad. "The difficulties experienced in meeting the 2010 target. . . raises further concerns about the government's target for reducing UK CO2 by 60 per cent by 2050," it said." (Reuters)

"Blair backs EU renewable energy targets" - "Tony Blair will next week complete a British U-turn over green energy and support an ambitious 20 per cent mandatory target for renewable power as a share of European generation capacity. The British prime minister has overruled his industry minister and will argue at an EU summit that Europe needs binding targets for renewables to show it is serious in fighting climate change." (Financial Times)

Ever wondered why outgoing politicians seem obsessed with wreaking the maximum possible havoc upon the populace as their final public acts? Maybe it's to make their successors less effective and therefore a poorer comparison on the competitive and highly lucrative has-been speaking circuit?

"House panel touts fresh approach on fuel economy" - "WASHINGTON - A new approach is needed for setting fuel economy standards, lawmakers said Wednesday as they considered changes amid concerns about global warming and the problems of struggling U.S. automakers." (Associated Press)

"Norsk Hydro Finds Oil and Gas in Barents Sea" - "OSLO - Norway's Norsk Hydro has struck oil and gas at its Nucula prospect in the Arctic Barents Sea but the company said on Wednesday that more analysis was needed to determine the commercial viability of the find. The find, touted by the local press as possibly the biggest oil discovery ever in the Norwegian Arctic, lies northeast from the promising Goliat prospect." (Reuters)

"Toward tapping the potential of 'stranded' natural gas" - "Newly discovered chemical catalysts may be an answer to the century-long search for economical ways of using natural gas now burned or "flared" as waste in huge quantities, scientists in the United States and Germany report. Their study is scheduled for the March 7 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society." (PhysOrg)

"INTERVIEW - Hydropower Project Seen Easing Uganda Woes" - "KAMPALA - A proposed hydroelectric dam in Uganda will double output from the Nile river, easing a power crisis that takes 1 percent off GDP a year, the International Finance Corporation, which backs the dam, said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Mysterious alga threatens rivers" - "'Didymo' is perplexing scientists as invasive, ruglike blooms of the stuff snarl waterways in both hemispheres." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Disease Causing Irish Potato Famine Came From South America, Scientist Says" - "Scientists at North Carolina State University have discovered that the fungus-like pathogen that caused the 1840s Irish potato famine originally came from the Andes of South America." (PhysOrg)

"Brazil senate approves resolution to hasten GMO approval" - "SAO PAULO -- Brazil's Senate Tuesday approved a resolution that would cut the number of votes needed for the approval of genetically modified organisms - a move that could have widespread implications for multinational makers of transgenic seeds. The resolution, however, still must gain the signature of Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva before it passes into law." (MarketWatch)