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Archives - May 2007

May 28 -- June 1, 2007

Notice: there will be interruption to normal JunkScience.com service this week! We regret this hiatus, normal services will be resumed as soon as possible.

May 25, 2007

"Hot Air Study Melts Global Warming Theory" - "Global warming alarmists may want to expedite their efforts to hamstring the global economy with greenhouse gas regulation. A new study touted as showing that we're not sufficiently panicky about manmade carbon dioxide emissions actually supports the exact opposite conclusion." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Australia: Aunty catches cold" - "THE ABC's staff is in uproar. There's talk of mutiny, over furiously steaming mugs of herbal infusion.

The hotter-headed have even occupied the studios (what's new?) and now man hastily-erected barricades built entirely of sandals.

You see, an order has gone out. For the first time, ABC television will have to show a documentary in July that - gasp! - doubts man is heating the world to hell.

Yes, after showing endless reports telling you there's no doubting we'll burn in hell, the ABC is running a film that says: "Well, actually . . ."

It's naturally an imported British show - which ABC journalist would so dirty their hands? - and is modestly titled The Great Global Warming Swindle." (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Oh goody... "Good news: Paramount talking with director about “An Inconvenient Truth 2″" - "At this rate, in a few years high-school curricula will consist entirely of Al Gore movies.

Yes folks, An Inconvenient Truth Part 2 is on the way. It doesn’t mention whether former presidential candidate (and, many would argue, rightful winner) Al Gore will be involved again, but I would imagine he’d have to be. According to the Truth’s director, Davis Guggenheim, “I’m meeting with Paramount next week to talk about a sequel to Inconvenient Truth. Too early to talk about details.” Considering the extremely low-key nature of the original, it was churned out in a mere five months, and that quick turnaround could mean we’ll see the sequel in time for the 2008 presidential election.

Wasn’t the first one about the apocalyptic consequences if man continues to pursue the folly of driving SUVs? What’s left for the sequel, some sort of Mad Max scenario where the Goracle battles mutants weaned on genetically modified food?" (Hot Air)

"15-Year-Old Outsmarts U.N. Climate Panel, Predicts End of Australia's Drought" - "Last week, NewsBusters readers were introduced to Portland, Maine’s fabulous fifteen-year-old, Kristen Byrnes, whose website “Ponder the Maunder” marvelously takes on anthropogenic global warming myths including those being advanced by soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore.

As will be revealed post haste, this newest – and likely youngest – member of the growing list of folks skeptical about man’s role in climate change actually walks the walk better than she talks the talk." (Noel Sheppard, NewsBusters)

"La Nina May Rear its Head, Keep Farmers on Toes" - "SINGAPORE - La Nina, a weather phenomenon characterised by incessant rainfall, storms and flooding in most parts of Asia, may be emerging again this year, and farmers may have to brace themselves for a "wet" dry season." (Reuters)

"Statement by the President on the Decline of U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions for 2006" - "I was pleased to receive the Energy Information Administration's report today, which includes its "flash estimate" of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions for 2006. The report shows that emissions declined 78 million metric tons over 2005, or 1.3 percent, while our economy grew 3.3 percent. That means CO2 intensity decreased by 4.5 percent - the largest annual improvement since 1990 - putting us well ahead of what is needed annually to meet my greenhouse gas intensity reduction goal of 18% by 2012." (White House News)

Flashback: "Smoke alarm: EU shows carbon trading is not cutting emissions" - "Some US states want their own 'cap and trade' scheme but the evidence is proving that permits are so generous they fail to curb industry." (The Guardian)

"Japan Urges Global Target to Halve Emissions by 2050" - "TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed on Thursday a global target to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and said Japan would support developing countries committed to halting global warming with a new form of financial aid." (Reuters)

"Merkel Unsure G8 Will Clinch Climate Breakthrough" - "BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel urged developed nations on Thursday to slash greenhouse gas emissions but played down prospects that a G8 summit next month would produce a breakthrough in the fight against global warming." (Reuters)

"Targets Still Out, Bali Back in G8 Climate Draft" - "LONDON - Targets and timetables for carbon emission cuts are still out but a call for a major meeting in December to agree the way forward on global warming is back in the latest draft conclusions to be put to next month's G8 summit." (Reuters)

"Perspective Of Professor William R. Cotton On “Global Warming”" - "Recently, Professor William R. Cotton of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University was asked the question below, “I heard you are speaking out about global warming. Do you have a presentation you use that could help me understand your reasons?” Bill has okayed my posting of his answer which is given below." (Climate Science)

"JENNIFER MAROHASY : Cooling heels on global warming" - "THE United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a mandate to deliver a comprehensive assessment of human-induced climate change every few years. So, far this year it has delivered summaries of the first three parts of its Fourth Assessment Report, AR4. The latest summary report suggests agricultural practices that result in an increase in soil carbon content can help stop climate change." (Geelong Advertiser)

"Some Scientists See Link Between Global Warming, Spread of Infectious Disease" - "Microbiologists assembled in Toronto, Canada, Tuesday claimed that warmer temperatures, blamed on human activity, could spread infectious diseases like malaria and influenza - but other scientists have called that contention into question." (CNSNews.com)

"Cooling the Permafrost Scare" - "The global warming story is told over and over, and today every school child in America is aware that burning fossil fuels increases the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and they have learned that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that will warm the Earth as its concentration increases. Of course, the United States is largely responsible for this mess, and children are given terrific suggestions on how they can get their parents to stop global warming.

Should someone begin to look more into the global warming issue, they will uncover literally hundreds of additional gems in the greenhouse apocalypse – they will rather quickly discover that Arctic region permafrost is melting at an unprecedented rate, and somehow this will lead us to a runaway greenhouse effect that might warm the Earth far more than any of us ever feared. The melting of permafrost is a solid, never-weakening pillar, of the greenhouse – global warming story.

But all is not as it seems (or as Al Gore would have you believe)." (WCR)

Imagine that, d eveloping countries are developing a taste for dopey Western payments for hot air: "Extending CDM crediting period could threaten developing nation targets: analyst" - "One of the world's biggest greenhouse gas reduction projects has extended the period it hopes to sell carbon credits, a move which, if replicated, could lead to increased supply of credits from 2020 and undermine the willingness of developing nations to take on carbon targets, market observers suggest.

The HFC 23 Shangdong project in China has opted to extend its crediting period by 14 years to 2028, effectively multiplying the number of carbon credits, known as certified emission reductions (CERs) under the clean development mechanism (CDM), by 200 per cent.

The clean development mechanism allows greenhouse gas emission reduction projects in developing nations to produce CERs, and one observer says the Chinese company's extension of the crediting period could have a major impact on the supply of carbon credits

"As the project increases the duration of its crediting period by 14 years, it is likely to generate about 140 million more CERs than originally estimated. More projects that originally proposed a 10 year crediting period may follow suit, leading to a substantial increase of CER volumes in the period 2020-2030," said Axel Michaelowa, a consultant who analyses the CDM.

However, Michaelowa warned that the decision, if mirrored by other large projects, could have a detrimental effect on international negotiations to take on long-term Kyoto targets." (Point Carbon)

"Winter Sports Seek Congressional Protection from Global Warming" - "Testimony before Senate committee ignores summer sports and tourism, environmentalists' orders not to travel, and the costs of climate change legislation." (Julia A. Seymour, Business & Media Institute)

"Recreation Industry’s Gravest Threats Come from Global Warming “Solutions,” Senate Hearing Reveals" - "Today’s full committee hearing on "The Issue of the Potential Impacts of Global Warming on Recreation and the Recreation Industry" revealed that misguided government regulations may help steal part of the American way of life away from recreation seekers. Today’s hearing uncovered the dangers of so called global warming "solutions" as they may potentially impact the recreation industry." (EPW)

"SENATOR INHOFE OPENING STATEMENT: 'The Issue of the Potential Impacts of Global Warming on Recreation and the Recreation Industry'" - "Thank you for having this hearing today, Madam Chairman. I have to say, however, that we seem to have hearing after hearing after hearing on climate change – indeed, this is the Committee's second one this week alone – but we don’t seem to actually discuss legislation. While other Committees without jurisdiction on this issue attempt to write our nation’s global warming policies, this Committee sits idly by talking about tangential issues. I believe that if we do wrestle with actual legislation, then the folly of cap-and-trade carbon legislation will become apparent." (EPW)

"Global warming's boom town" - "A town in Greenland attracts rich green globetrotters." (The Economist)

"Who's been cheering for green taxes?" - "Is anyone going to offer proof that Canadians are ready to pay higher taxes to fight greenhouse gas emissions, or are we just supposed to accept this on blind faith?

David Suzuki and other environmentalists argue that, just as the debate over whether mankind is causing global warming is over, so is the one on whether we're ready to pay more to fight climate change.

But that's not what the polls suggest at all.

They indicate Canadians support fighting global warming, in theory.

But when you ask the big question -- are we willing to pay more personally to assist in that fight -- our responses go negative in a hurry." (Lorrie Goldstein, Winnipeg Sun)

"Pain in the Gas" - "Once upon a time, cars were hailed as the solution to an acute environmental hazard. A century ago in a city like Milwaukee, a quarter of a million lbs. of horse emissions fouled the streets each day. In Chicago, 10,000 dead horses had to be towed away in a single year. The flies and the pathogens in the manure dust aside, magazine writers compared the overall "horse cost of living" unfavorably with the cost of switching to cars. At the time, a gallon of gasoline cost 18¢, which today would be close to $4--exactly where some experts think we might be headed. But that was still a bargain compared with the oats and tack and stables needed to sustain what Thomas Edison called "the poorest motor ever built." (Nancy Gibbs, Time)

"Strangling Oil" - "Energy: As Americans get ever-angrier about soaring gasoline prices, Congress wants to do something, anything. So this week, the House passed a bill seeking to end "price-gouging." Fair enough — now, what is that?" (IBD)

"Inhofe Introduces Bill To Address Soaring Energy Prices" - "As Oklahoman and American families continue to face soaring energy prices... now is the time to provide serious solutions." (EPW)

"The 'Coal is filthy' advertising scam" - "Gas company ad campaign could impact US energy policies and consumers." (Paul Driessen, CFP)

"Extortion or global warming mitigation?" - "Ecuador looks for payments to leave oil in the ground." (mongabay.com)

Light finally comes on: "Stash of water to 'keep the lights on'" - "THE danger that electricity supplies across the national grid could be threatened as early as next year has prompted NSW to quarantine water supplies to make sure its power stations can operate.

State and federal energy ministers meeting in Melbourne today will receive a disturbing report from the national electricity regulator, NEMMCO, modelling the impact on power generation of a continuation of little or no rain.

The Australian has learned the report identifies the "potential for a loss of generating capacity" as soon as the end of next year under a low-rainfall scenario.

The report has caused NSW Premier Morris Iemma to launch pre-emptive action by quarantining 40 gigalitres of water that had been earmarked for environmental flows in the Hunter Valley.

If the drought holds, the water will be diverted to power stations." (The Australian)

Droughts are part of the Australian environment and 'environmental flows' are a human artifact -- actually they are a mischievous construct of misanthropic green nitwits and need to be permanently removed from the books.

"City plugs into hybrid car trend" - "Toronto to launch pilot project with cars that can be charged from any wall socket." (Toronto Star)

"Pointers to a low-carbon future" - "Three over-arching policy documents this week lay out the government's vision for a competitive, resource-efficient, low-carbon economy." (BBC)

"EU Crafting Biofuel Rules With Eye on Environment" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission plans new measures to ensure increased use of biofuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions, an EU official said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Drunk on ethanol" - "From preschool to planning funerals, green is in. Very in. But green policies and decisions need to be based on more than a vague desire to save the planet. The principles of the natural sciences and economics must play an essential role -- a part of policymaking that often eludes politicians.

The latest examples are the federal government's efforts to reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil (now more than 60 percent) by shifting a big share of the nation's largest crop, corn, to producing ethanol for fueling automobiles.

Good goal, bad policy. In fact, in the short- and medium-term, ethanol can do little to reduce the vast amount of oil imported, and federal ethanol policy will have widespread and profound ripple effects on other commodity markets. Corn farmers and ethanol refiners are ecstatic about the ethanol boom, of course, but it is already proving to be an expensive and dangerous experiment for the rest of us." (Colin A. Carter & Henry I. Miller, Washington Times)

At least the group is aptly named: "Climate change activists plan Heathrow camp" - "Climate change activists said yesterday that they expected more than 2,000 people from all over Britain to join west London residents in a mass direct action against plans to expand Heathrow airport.

The activists announced that they would set up a "high impact" climate camp near the airport between August 14-21.

"We are simply not going to sit by and let emissions from binge-flying make dangerous climate change become inevitable," said Leo Murray, a spokesman for the activist group Plane Stupid, one of the groups which is helping to organise the camp." (The Guardian)

"ELF arsonist gets 13 years in prison" - "EUGENE, Ore. --Declaring that fires set at a police station, an SUV dealership and a tree farm were acts of terrorism, a federal judge Wednesday sentenced a member of a radical environmental group to 13 years in prison." (Associated Press)

"Cell phone headaches all in the mind" - "NEW YORK - Exposure to the radio frequency fields generated by mobile phones does not cause head pain or increase blood pressure, according to a Norwegian study. Instead, people who experience such symptoms do so because they expect that they will occur, the findings suggest." (Reuters Health)

"Water, Water" - "It may be everywhere, but it’s scarce as well. How to use water most efficiently? Roger Bate finds the solution in a nation undergoing the worst drought in 1,000 years: Australia." (Roger Bat, The American)

"Survey shows 47pc would grow GM crops" - "JUST under half of the UK’s farmers would grow genetically modified crops, a new survey has found.

In a poll carried out by the British Grassland Society (BGS), 47 per cent of members said they were definitely in favour of cultivating GM plants on their farms.

As many as three-quarters of the UK’s farmers would grow genetically modified crops if there was consumer demand for such products.

However, the survey also found that at least 16 per cent were against growing GM crops, half of whom were producing organic foods.

In a similar survey carried out by the University of Gottingen, of 370 German farmers asked, 33 per cent were not opposed to GM crops, while 29 per cent rejected the idea." (Farmers Guardian)

May 24, 2007

"Rachel Carson: Dead Wrong On DDT Fears" - "As the world gets ready to celebrate the 100th birthday of environmental icon Rachel Carson this Sunday, policymakers are proposing bills to honor her legacy. Yet Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma stands largely alone in efforts to stop these measures — a position for which he deserves much credit. Coburn apparently recognizes that the conventional wisdom on Carson's legacy is wrong, as the results of following Carson's advice have been quite grim." (Angela Logomasini, IBD)

"Rachel Carson's Genocide" - "Carson's environmental ideology demands opposition to DDT despite the millions of malaria deaths its use could prevent." (Keith Lockitch, Ayn Rand Institute)

"Senator Coburn foils honor for Rachel Carson" - "Senate Democrats intend to submit a resolution honoring Rachel Carson author of the controversial book Silent Spring. Ms. Carson's book was used to spearhead the campaign to ban the use of certain pesticides, including DDT, that arguably led to millions of deaths and maimed millions more at the hands of that dreaded scourge of the tropics, malaria. Spring and every other season has been silent for those millions dead.

Today, the Washington Post reports that Senator Tom Coburn plans to place a hold on this resolution. Senator Coburn is a practicing doctor. He has made fighting worldwide malaria one of his centerpiece issues. Malaria is an especially pernicious disease because if doesn't kill you it usually leaves you profoundly disabled." (Christopher Alleva, American Thinker)

"The debate is far from over" - "“German psychologists have diagnosed ‘environmental angst’ and ‘ecochondria’ to describe the resulting migraines and depression, which are especially prevalent among the young” - Newsweek, December 2006.

Campaigning TV producers might not know much about kids, but they all know one thing: kids scare easily.

“When it comes to environmental manipulation,” reasons James Hirsen in Tales From The Left Coast, “Hollywood wouldn’t be so shortsighted as to leave out the kiddies. In September 1990 a show called Captain Planet and the Planeteers muscled its way into the minds of our little ones under the guise of a cartoon show.” Do we ever learn?" (Ben-Peter Terpstra, Online Opinion)

"Professor Andrew Spielman Discusses Malaria Control" - "Professor of Tropical Public Health, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard School of Public Health is one of the world's experts on vector born infections such as malaria and dengue which constitute a heavy and increasing burden on human health throughout much of the tropics." (AFM)

"Vaccine hope for malaria" - "One person dies of it every 30 seconds, it rivals HIV and tuberculosis as the world’s most deadly infection and the vast majority of its victims are under five years old. Now, just over 100 years since Britain’s Sir Ronald Ross was awarded the Nobel Prize for finally proving that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, researchers at The University of Nottingham believe they have made a significant breakthrough in the search for an effective vaccine." (University of Nottingham)

"Activist vs Scientist" - "A new study of potential environmental causes for breast cancer draws different interpretations." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"What’s a consumer to do?" - "You’ve no doubt been hearing the news reports about an analysis of clinical trials on the blood sugar drug, Avandia (rosiglitazone), finding an association with increased heart attacks and deaths. Consumers have become alarmed and caught in the middle of an inordinately fierce debate among various interests due to the obscene amounts of money — $3 billion in sales just last year — at stake." (Junkfood Science)

"Media's Warning This Memorial Day: Step Away from the Grill" - "If you were planning on a backyard barbeque this Memorial Day weekend, the media want you to cancel it. Unless of course, boiled tofu is on the menu. Grilling, steaks, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, not to mention most of the other fixins’ are just too bad for you or the environment according to journalists." (Julia A. Seymour, News Busters)

"Another wacky childhood obesity initiative" - "Piling on with alleged “disorders” associated with childhood obesity, is one so nutty it’s incredible that it was actually awarded $1.5 million." (Junkfood Science)

"'Supersize me' mice research offers grim warning for America's fast food consumers" - "It's research that may have you thinking twice before upgrading to the large size at your favorite fast food joint. Saint Louis University research presented this week in Washington, D.C., shows the dangers of high-fat food combined with high fructose corn syrup and a sedentary lifestyle – in other words, what may be becoming commonplace among Americans." (Saint Louis University)

There's a relationship between consumption, effort expended and weight gain? Just don't know how they do it...

"Doctors renew drive to ban NHS homeopathy" - "A group of senior doctors and scientists has stepped up its campaign to stop homeopathic treatment being funded on the NHS. In a letter to primary health care trusts, the seven argue that the evidence for a benefit from the complementary therapy "is equivocal at best, despite many years of research and hundreds of studies". (The Guardian)

"Who’s speaking out for the fat girls?" - "As readers can imagine, this story from London has fueled anger and concerns that it exemplifies the degree of prejudicial attitudes besieging fat girls today. In defending her client accused of being part of a gang rape of young teenage girls, a barrister actually argued that one of the young victims may have been glad for the attention since she was fat." (Junkfood Science)

"May young girls hear Rachel’s words" - "Rachel at Disordered Times reflects on a simple interaction between teen girls that is repeated countless times every single day. Their concerns are common place, but they don’t understand the reality of what they’re wishing for, she explains. This is a powerful post with a very important message from someone who has been there." (Junkfood Science)

Another problem for those drawing simplistic associations: "Killer Hurricanes Thrived In Cool Seas - Study" - "NEW YORK - Hurricanes over the past 5,000 years appear to have been controlled more by El Nino and an African monsoon than warm sea surface temperatures, such as those caused by global warming, researchers said on Wednesday.

The study, published in the journal Nature, adds to the debate on whether seas warmed by greenhouse gas emissions lead to more hurricanes, such as those that bashed the Gulf of Mexico in 2005." (Reuters) | El Niño and African monsoon have strongly influenced intense hurricane frequency in the past (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

"Global warming's impact on hurricanes more complex than thought" - "Weather events that occur in the distant Pacific and West Africa help determine the frequency of major hurricanes that strike the Caribbean and West Atlantic, according to research published on Thursday." (AFP)

"Coasts Brace for a Busy Hurricane Season" - "Government forecasters called for a busier than normal hurricane season Tuesday. National Weather Service forecasters said they expect 13 to 17 tropical storms, with seven to 10 of them becoming hurricanes." (AP)

"Hurricane risks higher than usual for most of US coasts" - "Much of the nation’s Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastlines face substantially higher-than-normal risks for hurricanes in 2007, according to an analysis by a University of Central Florida researcher and his Georgia colleague." (University of Central Florida)

"Did a comet hit the Great Lakes region and fragment human populations 12,900 years ago?" - "Multi-institutional 26-member team of researchers propose a startling new theory: that an extraterrestrial impact, possibly a comet, set off a 1,000-year-long cold spell and wiped out or fragmented the prehistoric Clovis culture and a variety of animal genera across North America almost 13,000 years ago." (University of Oregon)

"Dutch to Invest US$1 Bln to Shore Up Sea Defences" - "AMSTERDAM - After holding back the sea for 75 years, the 30 kilometre-long dike protecting much of the Netherlands from floods is due for a US$1 billion upgrade against mounting risks from rising sea levels and tsunamis." (Reuters)

"A Short Summary Of Why Skillful Climate Prediction Is Much More Difficult Than Skillful Weather Prediction" - "Climate Science has already weblogged on the claim in the 2007 IPCC WG1 report that,

“Projecting changes in climate due to changes in greenhouse gases 50 years from now is a very different and much more easily solved problem than forecasting weather patterns just weeks from now. To put it another way, long-term variations brought about by changes in the composition of the atmosphere are much more predictable than individual weather events.” [from page 105]

This weblog provides a short summary of why such a claim is absurd." (Climate Science)

Graphic demonstration of what's wrong with current climate hysteria: "CLIMATE CHANGE: U.N. Braces for New Breed of Refugees" - "UNITED NATIONS - As the international community continues to express fears over the potentially devastating impact of global warming worldwide, there is also growing concern over the steady increase in a new category of displaced persons: environmental refugees." (IPS)

Misdirecting resources and acting with misplaced surety exposes people in real need to greater hazard. Given humanity's propensity to apportion blame and litigious greed to profit from others' misfortune it is a racing certainty that those attempting to profit from the current scare will pay dearly when the inverted pyramid that is the AGW scam inevitably topples. While I have no problem with principal scammers such as Al Gore losing their ill-gotten loot I am troubled they will drag down pension funds and mom & pop investors as collateral damage when the 'ecomagination' froth is flushed away and reveals no substance remains to sustain invested capital.

"Brown takes emissions plea to Washington" - "WASHINGTON -- State Attorney General Jerry Brown appealed Tuesday to the Environmental Protection Agency for a waiver so California and 11 other states can impose rules on car and truck emissions more stringent than those permitted by the Clean Air Act in an effort to combat global warming.

Later, Brown took his message to Capitol Hill, telling the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that nothing is more essential now than for the United States to act boldly to curb carbon dioxide emissions that most scientists believe are causing the Earth to warm at a dangerous rate."

No one who knows what they are talking about actually believes "controlling" carbon dioxide emissions can or will make a measurable difference in global mean temperature, so why would you do so, urgently or otherwise?

"Pre-commencement address: New York City, Los Angeles, Houston could be overrun by water in our lifetimes" - "...oh yeah, and the bees may all die, crops will start dying, water will be an international commodity, the Gulf of Mexico reaching up to Missouri, flooding all along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, and locusts. OK, not locusts, but everything else was mentioned." (Patrick Ishmael, The News Buckit)

Moonbat rant: "Too much at stake to let climate-change sceptics bluff the world" - "Were it not for dissent, science, like politics, would have stayed in the Dark Ages. All the great heroes of the discipline - Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein - took tremendous risks in confronting mainstream opinion. Today's crank has often proved to be tomorrow's visionary." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

"Al Gore gets rock star treatment at national book tour kick off" - "BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Al Gore received rock star treatment when he launched his national book tour at an event that seemed more like a campaign stop than book signing." (AP)

"Fox News Tears Apart Al Gore’s New Book ‘Assault on Reason’" - "It goes without saying that one of the great things about being a beloved liberal is that when you write a new book, no one in the media will challenge any of the obvious falsehoods you present as facts.

Such has certainly been the case as newspapers, magazines, and television programs have gushed over former Vice President Al Gore and his new book “Assault on Reason.”

Fortunately, feeling that it doesn’t owe anyone such unwarranted sycophancy, Fox News “Special Report” on Tuesday chose to look at some of the statements made in Gore’s book, and see whether they pass the smell test." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"Fred Flintstone didn't drive a gas guzzler..." - "Has the old left discovered 'global warming' following the collapse of Communism simply to further their objectives of controlling people’s lives and undermining capitalism?" (Ruth Lea, New Statesman)

"WHAT WARMING? Both Hemispheres Report Unusual Cold and Snow" - "The media loves to seize on every warm winter day or summer heat wave as some kind of “proof” of man-made catastrophic global warming. But what the establishment media likes to conveniently ignore is periods of unusual cold or snow. (See Newsbusters.org post: “Hysterical Global Warming Hypocrisy From ABC Regarding Heat Waves and Cold Snaps”) Several nations on Earth are currently experiencing rather cold and snowy weather at the moment." (EPW)

"Help UCAR Find the Lost Cities of Chile" - "There’s something romantic about lost civilizations. Archaeologists have ventured all over the world looking for lost civilizations. Little did they know that some lost civilizations report their weather to UCAR, including the mysterious country of Chile whose existence has long been suspected. Here at last is conclusive evidence that the lost country of Chile exists, although its location remains unknown. Many CA readers are inveterate explorers and perhaps you can help UCAR find the lost cities of Chile (as well as the mysterious weather station known only as the “Bogus Station”)." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"Global Warming Blamed for Costa Rica Frog Die-Offs" - "SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - Global warming is the top suspect for the disappearance of 17 amphibian species from Costa Rican jungles, scientists said on Tuesday, warning monkey and reptile populations were also plummeting.

Five of the amphibian species were found only in Costa Rica, meaning their disappearance from the country's jungles spells extinction, said Alvaro Herrero, a biologist with Costa Rica's National Biodiversity Institute.

Among the now-extinct species is the Golden Toad, named for its shimmering yellow color, and two varieties of Harlequin frog, identified by their black and green stripes.

Scientists have yet to identify a precise mechanism for the disappearance of the amphibians, which began decades ago, but a prime suspect is a fatal fungus that has invaded their habitats, Herrero said.

"It is believed climate change is raising temperatures allowing a skin fungus to enter the places where the amphibians resided," he said." (Reuters)

Fashionable association but it has always failed on closer examination of actual temperature records and we expect this to founder on the same shoals. Granted, there does seem to have been an increase in chytridiomycosis in amphibian populations but this appears more strongly associated with entry by ecotourists and researchers into amphibian habitats porting the chytrid fungus to previously unexposed populations.

"Bacteria show promise in fending off global amphibian killer" - "First in a petri dish and now on live salamanders, probiotic bacteria seem to repel a deadly fungus being blamed for worldwide amphibian deaths and even extinctions. Though the research is in its early stages, scientists are encouraged by results that could lead the way to helping threatened species like mountain yellow-legged frogs of the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern California." (American Society for Microbiology)

"Market for carbon offsets raises questions" - "Growing industry has few standards; buyers need to beware" (MSNBC)

"US carbon-dioxide emissions fell 1.3 percent in 2006" - "US carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels fell by 1.3 percent in 2006, the federal government said Wednesday, citing weather conditions and higher energy prices as factors.

US emissions from the burning of oil, natural gas and coal typically increase by one percent a year, according to the average determined by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) for the period of 1990-2006.

The decline last year was the sharpest since 1990." (AFP)

"Britain Maps Out Clean, Secure Energy Future" - "LONDON - Britain on Wednesday set out plans to secure energy supplies and fight global warming, calling for new nuclear power plants, more renewable energy and greater efficiency." (Reuters)

"How to stop the lights going out in a dangerous world" - "Flicking a switch and the lights coming on is something that we take for granted. Yet we should not be lulled into a false sense of security. The assumptions we make about where our energy comes from, and how we use it, simply will not hold true in the future unless we plan for it." (Tony Blair, London Times)

Global Warming Podcast News 7 - Regular 5-minute podcast briefings on the 'global warming' news they don't want you to hear. Your host: Professor Philip Stott. This time: UK Energy White Paper.

"UK must tackle reliance on Russia" - "Two words you won't hear during ministerial announcements on today's Energy White Paper are Gazprom and Russia. But they are the proverbial elephants in the room that no one wants to discuss.

Britain needs the White Paper - urgently - to help resolve an energy shortage in the next decade. And which company is most likely to fill that gap? Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas producer.

In fact, getting supplies from the state-owned Russian giant is essential if Britain is to meet its needs until new nuclear power stations and renewable energy plants come on stream.

With North Sea oil and gas in decline, imports from Norway will pick up some of the slack, but in the longer term Britain and much of western Europe will become increasingly dependent on Russia." (London Telegraph)

"Groups call for removal of Exxon Mobil director, company said to ignore climate change" - "HOUSTON: A group of institutional investors and shareholder advocates is calling for the ouster of a member of Exxon Mobil Corp.'s board of directors, saying the oil giant is putting itself at financial risk by continuing to ignore global climate change.

The dissatisfied investors said Wednesday they'll again ask Exxon Mobil for specific greenhouse gas reduction goals and larger investments in renewable energy at Wednesday's shareholder meeting in Dallas — what's become a common occurrence at the annual get-together.

Their announcement came the same day Exxon Mobil released its 2006 Corporate Citizenship Report, which noted, among other things, the company's greenhouse gas emissions rose 5.4 percent last year from 2005 because of increased oil production in Africa and liquefied natural gas output in the Middle East. Still, the company — the world's largest publicly traded oil entity — said it was on target to improve energy efficiency by 10 percent at its global refining operations by 2012." (Associated Press)

"BP Abandons Plans to Build UK Carbon Capture Plant" - "LONDON - British oil company BP on Wednesday abandoned plans to build a carbon capture and storage plant in Scotland, after a government energy review delayed a subsidy award." (Reuters)

"The No-Drill Sergeants" - "Energy Policy: The House votes to sue OPEC for restricting production to raise prices. What about gasoline taxes and ethanol subsidies? And what about congressional restrictions on our own energy production?" (IBD)

"Get rid of stop signs on the road to energy independence" - "WASHINGTON - In January, President George W. Bush ended a presidential moratorium on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. On May 1, the U.S. Department of Interior unveiled a five-year plan to expand drilling on both the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelf, including the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska’s Bristol Bay and a 3-million-acre site 50 miles off the Virginia shoreline. To grasp how much new energy would become available, the Bristol Bay area — by far the smallest of the bunch — is estimated to have enough natural gas and oil to power 7.4 million homes and 1.6 million cars for 15 years. Now, it’s time for Congress to complete removal of the 25-year-old moratorium by approving Bush’s action and giving the green light to begin exploration and development." (The Washington DC Examiner)

"Oil Industry Says Biofuel Push May Keep Gas Prices Up" - "Some oil executives warn that current fuel shortages could become a long-term problem, leading to higher prices at the pump." (New York Times)

"China - New Promoter of Mega Dams" - "BEIJING, May 23 - China is emerging as a new backer of massive dam projects around the globe, giving rise to fears for pristine natural resources and the cultural heritage of river peoples. Already home to nearly half of the world's dams, China intends to more than double its hydropower generating capacity by 2020 by adding a series of new dams across the country. More significantly, in recent years, Beijing has been ambitious about financing and building dams, both close to home in Asia as well as in half-a-dozen African countries." (IPS)

Well, that's alright then... "Cool Hand Nuke: Paul Newman endorses power plant" - "WASHINGTON — Call him Cool Hand Nuke. Actor and salad dressing salesman Paul Newman weighed in Wednesday on the Indian Point nuclear power facility in the New York suburbs, pronouncing it safer than military bases he had visited." (AP)

"Hydrogen breakthrough could open the road to carbon-free cars" - "UK scientists have developed a compound of the element lithium which may make it practical to store enough hydrogen on-board fuel-cell-powered cars to enable them to drive over 300 miles before refuelling. Achieving this driving range is considered essential if a mass market for fuel cell cars is to develop in future years, but has not been possible using current hydrogen storage technologies." (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

"UK: Microchips in bins spy on 3m homes" - "More than three million UK households have rubbish bins equipped with "waste stealth tax" technology, it was claimed last night." (London Telegraph)

"Resistance genes in our food supply" - "Could the food we eat be contributing to the continuing rise of antibiotic-resistant infections? Harmless and even beneficial bacteria that exist in our food supply may also be carrying genes that code for antibiotic resistance. Once in our bodies, could they transmit the resistance genes to disease-causing bacteria?

"The data indicate that food could be an important avenue for antibiotic-resistant bacterial evolution and dissemination. The role of commensals, especially food-borne microbes, in transmitting resistance genes are becoming a concern to the scientific community," says Hua Wang of the Ohio State University, presenting May 23, 2007 at the 107th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in Toronto." (American Society for Microbiology)

"Another Revolution Needed For Biotech Medicines: New Study Makes the Case for Generic Biopharmaceuticals" - "Washington, D.C., May 23, 2007—Since the biotechnology revolution for pharmaceuticals began 25 years ago, nearly 325 million patients have been helped by these life-enhancing and life-saving advancements in medical technology. Now, the Competitive Enterprise Institute argues in a new study, Healthy Competition: The Case for Generic and Follow-On Biologics, that another “revolution” is needed to kick-start the approval process for generic versions of these products." (CEI)

"Bayer wins Brazil GM corn approval" - "[RIO DE JANEIRO] The Brazilian technical commission on biosecurity approved the genetically modified corn seed 'LibertyLink' last week (16 May), but environmental activists are accusing the commission of ignoring public safety concerns." (SciDev.Net)

May 23, 2007

"Silent Silver Spring" - "We challenge real environmentalists to find a better icon than Rachel Carson. The centennial of the late "Silent Spring" author's birthday is May 27. A celebration by the Rachel Carson Council is planned for today at her former Silver Spring home, as well as nature hikes through Montgomery County's Rachel Carson Conservation Park. The Rachel Carson Greenway in northern and eastern Montgomery County will soon be a reality. The Rachel Carson Elementary School in Gaithersburg already is. There is lots to admire about Carson, but there is also a dark side to her legacy that the movement will need to reckon with sooner or later. When it does, a better environmentalism will emerge.

We're talking about the campaign against the pesticide DDT and its effect upon the Developing World, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. However well intentioned, it was catastrophic. There, whatever danger DDT may pose to humans is outweighed by the millions and millions of malaria victims who suffer and perish from the disease. Their best hope is DDT, but in many countries, they cannot get it. "Silent Spring" changed public opinion in ways which ensured that." (Washington Times)

"Discussion on Long-lasting Insecticidal Net Availability" - "The World Health Organization Pesticide Evaluation Scheme has published an official response to AFM's Occasional Paper, "WHOPES and Its Impact on Long-lasting Insecticidal Net Availability", reaffirming the WHO's technical role in reviewing new LN technologies." (AFM)

"Vat On Mosquito Nets Affects Malaria Control" - "According to the Abuja Declaration of April 25, 2000 African heads of state were committed to "reduce or waive taxes and tariffs for mosquito nets and materials, insecticides . . . and other recommended goods and services that are needed for malaria control strategies". However, after seven years most countries continue to levy taxes and specifically VAT on these goods and services." (AFM)

"Whither Idol's Money?" - "American Idol's "Idol Gives Back" special on April 24 and 25 helped raise over $60 million to fight poverty in America and Africa. As season five comes to a close tomorrow, fans should be asking where their money went and what the impact on poverty will be." (New York Sun via AFM)

"From Peer Review to Fear Review" - "For years, self-appointed "environmental advocates" have generated press releases claiming that "chemicals" in our air, water, food, and consumer products such as cosmetics pose a risk of cancer. Nearly twenty years ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council caused a national panic by asserting that the agricultural chemical Alar posed a cancer risk to children (a claim that was later determined to be false). Advocates on Long Island have long claimed -- with a paucity of evidence -- that the elevated breast cancer rate in that area is the result of exposure to environmental chemicals like PCBs and DDT. These assertions can be dismissed as pure scare tactics, as they are not based on scientific data which have survived the rigor of the peer review process and been published in a professional medical journal.

But data and conclusions reported in peer review journals are sound and trustworthy, right?

Apparently, we can no longer assume that peer review journals are free of "junk science." The peer-reviewed journal Cancer, a publication of the American Cancer Society (ACS), just published a special online supplement that clearly meets the definition of "junk" in every way." (Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, TCS Daily)

"Being Honest About Ignorance" - "The temptation to deny scientific truths is timeless—and dangerous." (William R. Brody, The American)

"Century of Plastic Celebrated in London" - "Strap on your PVC boots, hike up your nylon stockings. It's time to celebrate the 100th birthday of the world's first entirely synthetic material, one that revolutionized manufacturing, transportation, fashion and more." (AP)

"Hunting down fat kids" - "The worldwide news over recent days leaves the impression that fat children have become prey and that there’s not a safe corner in the world for them. The anti-childhood obesity initiatives — none of which have any evidence to support them — run from ridiculous to potentially dangerous." (Junkfood Science)

"Whipping kids into shape" - "In the fight against childhood obesity, Texas legislators have proposed spending between $5 and $8 million to require schools to measure kids’ fitness. The legislation happens to precisely describe a tool, at a cost of $230 per child, developed by a vendor who could receive $30 from the sale of each tool, the Star Telegraph reported:" (Junkfood Science)

"Practise what you preach: The uneven advice of green-living guides" - "ONE of the worst things about being an environmental columnist is all the rubbish you get sent. Not only are the various windy press releases and corporate-social-responsibility reports dull; they also engender a feeling of guilt at the thought of the acres of forest and gallons of petrol consumed in their printing and transport. Staff at The Economist are not allowed to accept gifts of any consequence, so anything truly handy that arrives has to be sent back. Meanwhile the silly clutter builds up: swatches of environmentally-friendly fabric, samples of biodegradable packaging, bespoke, branded boxes of recycled tissues and so on.

But little in Green.view’s mailbag seems as pointless and wasteful as the various guides to green living that arrive unbidden each week. For one thing, making them and sending them to journalists around the world presumably consumes lots of the precious resources they all bang on about. Some claim to be “carbon neutral” or printed on paper made from “sustainably managed forests” or, in one instance, from “well-managed sources and other sources”. Inside, without any sense of irony, they invariably warn against vague but green-sounding labelling designed to dupe credulous consumers." (Economist.com)

"UN Urges World to Slow Extinctions: 3 Each Hour" - "OSLO - Human activities are wiping out three animal or plant species every hour and the world must do more to slow the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs by 2010, the United Nations said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Really? Name one.

"US Govt Sees Active Atlantic Hurricane Season" - "WASHINGTON - The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than normal with 13 to 17 tropical storms, and as many as ten of them could become hurricanes, the US government's top climate agency predicted on Tuesday." (Reuters)

The assault on free speech continues: See Brad Miller's attempt to intimidate potential supporters of genuine scientific enquiry.

We have to wonder why the AGW cheer squad are so terrified of independent examination and discussion of the science. Is it because they know what they're shoveling?

"Australia: ABC buys global warming doco" - "A CONTROVERSIAL British documentary which claims global warming is a lie will be shown by the ABC. The Great Global Warming Swindle, to be aired by the national broadcaster in July, is the ideological opposite to Al Gore's acclaimed movie An Inconvenient Truth. The documentary rebuts mounting scientific evidence that global warming is caused predominantly by human activity, and says it's the result of changes in radiation from the sun." (AAP)

"Welcome to “Apocaholics Anonymous” – Join Me in a Crusade for Panic-Free Living" - "Hi, I’m Gary and I’m a recovering Apocaholic. I am currently Apocalypse free for nearly 18 years. I left the church of the Religious Apocalypse in 1976, over 30 years ago, and I resigned from the secular church of the Financial Apocalypse in 1989. Yes, I still feel the urge to proclaim the end of all things, from time to time, but I white-knuckle my way to a history book for a little perspective, and then I breathe easier. If you wish to join AA, the only requirement is that you give up the adrenaline rush of media-fed fantasies." (Gary Alexander, Recovering Apocaholic)

Probably noticed while looking for black helicopters... "New Report Challenges Basic Assumptions of 'Climate Change'" - "Derbyshire, UK 05/22/07 - An independent lay researcher, with a background in Software Engineering, from Derbyshire, UK, has published a new report which documents ongoing illegal aerosol spraying activities which could be affecting our climate, our health or both. This activity can be seen in multiple, repeated instances of persistent aircraft trails across our skies." (Press Release 365)

... and it's really a shame so many people live in fear (although in this guy's case resuming his meds should help).

"Guest Weblog by Barry H. Lynn, Richard Healy, and Len Druyan" - "Introduction by Roger A. Pielke Sr.: Climate Science has had a very productive e-mail exchange of perspectives in response to the weblog of May 14 2007. The authors of the article referred to in the weblog have graciously agreed to write a guest weblog which is given below." (Climate Science)

"Follow the Money" - "If money is the root of all evil than sanctimonious self-acquittal, denial, and really longwinded speeches is all the stuff that grows above the dirt. Don’t get me wrong, money is a wonderful thing. It fuels the engine of capitalism. It ensures that Americans have the sort of lifestyle that terrorists squatting in an Afghani cave believe they can only attain as a reward for strapping a bomb to their body and running into a daycare center. Money, though, can become something evil when those chasing the all-mighty dollar pretend that selfless community interest is their true inspiration; and that money is just an unfortunate, unintended by-product of their good intentions.

Let’s be serious about this: Al Gore is making millions by scaring children into thinking that Polar Bears are going the way of the Smilodon and the Megatherium. What Al never mentions is that all of the world’s mass extinctions happened long before the first Corvette rolled off a Detroit assembly line and into the garage of somebody in the midst of a raging mid-life crisis. In his enthusiasm to give his jihad against capitalism and progress a fuzzy white face (besides his own); he has also failed to mention that Polar Bear populations are in the midst of an explosion that would make the greatest generation look celibate by comparison." (Brian Cherry, New Media Journal)

"Climate Science: Climate Change and Its Impacts" - "Scientific debate continues regarding the extent to which human activities contribute to global warming and what the potential impact on the environment might be. Importantly, much of the scientific evidence contradicts assertions that substantial global warming is likely to occur soon and that the predicted warming will harm the Earth's biosphere.

The Earth's climate began a warming trend after the "Little Ice Age" ended in the mid-1800s, long before global industrial development led to substantial increases in greenhouse gases beginning in the middle of the 20th century. About half of the warming during the 20th century occurred prior to the 1940s, and natural variability accounts for all or nearly all of the warming.

To assess future climate trends, climatologists rely upon General Circulation Models (GCMs) that attempt to describe Earth's climate. The many climate models in use vary widely with respect to the variables they include and in the assumptions they make about how those variables interact. Yet some official reports, including the U.S. National Assessment published in 2000, report only the most extreme predictions, ignoring others that project only moderate warming in the 21st century." (David R. Legates, NCPA)

"US candidates compete on climate" - "It is not often that record high petrol prices prove helpful to American politicians. But with prices now riding at more than $3 a gallon in many parts of the country, voters are listening ever more attentively to how their 2008 presidential contenders will tackle global warming.

Those plans grow more ambitious by the week – and they are not confined to the Democratic field of White House aspirants. Unlike President George W. Bush, who first conceded the possibility of "man-made" climate change only last January, all the leading Republican candidates have publicly accepted the scientific consensus that it is occurring.

But although John McCain is the co-sponsor of a far-reaching bill to cut carbon emissions, the frontrunner Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney have yet to produce specific plans on how they would tackle the problem. Neither has mentioned "global warming" or "climate change" on his website." (Financial Times)

<chuckle> "Congressional committee to examine Smithsonian exhibit on climate change" - "WASHINGTON: A House of Representatives committee launched an inquiry Tuesday over a former museum administrator's accusations that the Smithsonian Institution toned down a climate change exhibit to avoid potential political conflicts." (AP)

"Inhofe Blasts California Policymakers For Hypocrisy & Reveals The State Has Been Cooling For Two Decades" - "Senator Inhofe said during today’s Environment & Public Works Committee Hearing that “It is hypocrisy for California policymakers to try to be the tail that wags the dog when it comes to the Clean Air Act.”" (EPW)

If they say it often enough? "Climate Change to Spur Allergies, Ticks, Malaria - UN" - "GENEVA - Climate change could extend the pollen season and encourage more disease-carrying ticks in northern Europe, and allow mosquitoes to thrive in new areas of Africa and Asia, public health officials said this week." (Reuters)

"Global warming helps Greenland mining: Angus & Ross" - "MADRID - As global warming melts Greenland's ice, it is exposing new mineral resources and opening up shipping routes, executives of Angus & Ross, an exploration and mining company prospecting in the Arctic island, said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Two-Base EU Parliament Seeks 'Carbon Neutral' Status" - "STRASBOURG, France - The European Parliament, accused of contributing to climate change by holding sessions in both France and Belgium, discussed proposals on Tuesday aimed at cutting its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The proposals, aimed at a "carbon neutral" parliament, included greater use of energy from renewable sources, more use of public transport by members of parliament, use of hybrid vehicles for parliamentary duties and more video conferencing.

But the additional pollution caused by hundreds of members of parliament shuttling between its two seats in Brussels and Strasbourg every month was not addressed, an official of the parliament said." (Reuters)

"UK: Push for enforced carbon trading" - "As many as 5,000 businesses and public-sector bodies would be forced to buy greenhouse gas permits under plans for a mandatory carbon-trading scheme to be proposed this week by ministers. A white paper, which is to be published on Wednesday and which will take forward Tony Blair’s plans for new nuclear power stations, is expected to commit the government to a world-leading emissions trading scheme going far beyond a European Union-wide system and plans by US states." (Financial Times)

"Merkel Wants to Use Carbon Certs Cash For Aid - Paper" - "BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to use revenue from the auction of carbon emissions certificates to help fund Berlin's contribution to development aid, a German newspaper reported on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"G8 Summit is "Litmus Test" for US on Warming - UN" - "NAIROBI - A meeting of rich nations next month in Germany will be a "litmus test" of how the United States plans to help the world fight climate change, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Tuesday. The United States, the world's biggest polluter, said this month it would continue to reject targets or plans to cap greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming that it fears could jeopardise economic growth." (Reuters)

Say what? The US has an exemplary record of pollution reduction and clean up, return of areas to forest and wilderness, critter and habitat protection -- new age environmentalism to a ridiculous degree really -- what country can favorably compare? To the largest extent the US does it better and cleaner and claims to the contrary really need to put up or shut up. Regarding carbon dioxide, not an atmospheric pollutant but an essential trace gas, the US liberates (restores to atmosphere?) an amount commensurate with wealth generation. So what?

?!! "Public Opinion Could Swing G8 Climate Success - Expert" - "BERLIN - A groundswell of public support for measures to combat climate change could bolster German Chancellor Angela Merkel's hopes of getting a deal to fight the problem at next month's Group of Eight summit, an expert said." (Reuters)

"Britain Sees No Talk of Emissions Targets at G8" - "TOKYO - Britain's foreign minister on Tuesday said she expected no discussion of numerical targets for greenhouse gas emissions at a meeting of the leaders of the Group of Eight wealthy nations in Germany next month." (Reuters)

"Aso wavers on numerical targets for emissions cuts" - "Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday caution should be used when setting new numerical targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and repeated that there needs to be a new, more effective climate change framework to fight global warming. Aso told a news conference that opinions are divided on the setting of numerical targets and the issue is how to get a successor framework that will include large greenhouse gas emitters such as the United States, China and India." (Kyodo News)

"China ready to take global warming step" - "The Chinese Government is close to dropping tariffs on technologies that increase energy efficiency and decrease pollution in what would be the country’s biggest move towards tackling global warming." (London Times)

From CO2 Science this week:

Arctic Warming: Is It as Real and as CO 2 -Induced as Climate Alarmists Claim?: Sweden's Wibjorn Karlen answered this two-part question a little over a year and a half ago. We here report his response - a little tardy on our part, but better late than never.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Lake Tsuolbmajavri, Finnish Lapland. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Africa (Glaciers): What has been falsely claimed about them? And what has been determined to be the real truth?

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: Japanese Larch, Pignut Hickory, Redbud, and Sweetgum.

Journal Reviews:
Have Hurricane Intensities Increased as the World has Warmed?: A globally consistent reanalysis attempts to answer this important question.

The Urban Heat Islands of Beijing and Wuhan, China: Do the most recent analyses of their influence increase or decrease our faith in the accuracy of the globe's purported historical temperature increase?

The Photosynthetic Response of a Short-Rotation Poplar Plantation to Elevated CO 2 after Six Years of Treatment: Over the course of the study, did the CO 2 -induced enhancement of leaf photosynthesis increase, decrease or stay about the same as it was at the start of the experiment?

The Competing Effects of Elevated O 3 and CO 2 in a Hybrid Poplar Clone: How do they compare?

Photosynthetic and Stomatal Conductance Responses of Plants to Atmospheric CO 2 Enrichment: What do we learn from the most recent meta-analysis of FACE study results?

Calhoun, LA Temperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Calhoun, LA. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Calhoun's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Big Oil Outslicked" - "Big Oil gets a lot of grief over high gas prices -- but what about Big Government?" (Eric Peters, American Spectator)

Here's old flummery again: "Nuclear power a turn-off: Flannery changes stance" - "THE Australian of the Year, Tim Flannery, has rejected the use of nuclear power in Australia, reversing his position that electricity could be generated using uranium with less risk to the environment than that posed by coal." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Brown to endorse nuclear power stations" - "Labour is expected to pave the way for work to begin on a new generation of nuclear power stations under Gordon Brown's premiership in its Energy White Paper. In a move endorsed by the Prime Minister-elect, the Government will spell out a blueprint to replace Britain's ageing nuclear reactors." (London Telegraph)

"Future of Biofuels May Lie in Wood" - "YORK, England - Wood rather than wheat may hold the key to Europe's efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by expanding biofuels production, the head of a research body funded by the UK government told Reuters." (Reuters)

"Follow the 'Green' Brick Road?" - "Researchers have found that bricks made from fly ash--fine ash particles captured as waste by coal-fired power plants--may be even safer than predicted. Instead of leaching minute amounts of mercury as some researchers had predicted, the bricks apparently do the reverse, pulling minute amounts of the toxic metal out of ambient air." (NSF)

"Less Of Moore" - "Hypocrisy: Propaganda filmmaker Michael Moore is wondering where America's soul has gone. He could get the answer by engaging in a little bit of introspection." (IBD)

May 22, 2007

"Rethinking the Rachel Carson Legacy: Opposition to DDT Has Cost Millions of Lives" - "Washington, D.C., May 21, 2007—As environmentalists around the world prepare this week to celebrate the 100th birthday of author Rachel Carson, the Competitive Enterprise Institute is launching a campaign to reassess her legacy. A new website, www.RachelWasWrong.com, explains the unintended consequences of her opposition to pesticide use, including millions of preventable deaths in developing countries." (CEI)

Uncommon sense: "Death by Veganism" - "WHEN Crown Shakur died of starvation, he was 6 weeks old and weighed 3.5 pounds. His vegan parents, who fed him mainly soy milk and apple juice, were convicted in Atlanta recently of murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty.

This particular calamity — at least the third such conviction of vegan parents in four years — may be largely due to ignorance. But it should prompt frank discussion about nutrition.

I was once a vegan. But well before I became pregnant, I concluded that a vegan pregnancy was irresponsible. You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants.

Indigenous cuisines offer clues about what humans, naturally omnivorous, need to survive, reproduce and grow: traditional vegetarian diets, as in India, invariably include dairy and eggs for complete protein, essential fats and vitamins. There are no vegan societies for a simple reason: a vegan diet is not adequate in the long run." (Nina Planck, New York Times)

"Scientists reject Panorama's claims on Wi-Fi radiation risks" - "An investigation into the possible dangers of Wi-Fi technology - wireless computer networks - by the BBC documentary programme Panorama has been rejected as "grossly unscientific" and a "scare story" by leading scientists. The programme will claim that the radiation given off by a Wi-Fi laptop is "three times higher than the ... signal strength of a typical phone mast". But the experiment carried out by the programme did not take into account a "basic" scientific concept and presented a bogus comparison, critics say." (The Guardian)

So, students don't need tinfoil uniforms after all...

"Rising obesity a cancer 'time-bomb' - expert" - "LONDON - Rising obesity levels mean Britain is facing a cancer "time-bomb", a health expert said on Monday. Greg Martin, science and research manager at the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), warned that urgent action is needed if the country is to avert a surge in cancer cases." (Reuters)

"Discounting logic" - "If you're the type of person who sets aside money today for the university education of your great-great-great grandchildren, even if it means that you may not be able to afford university tuition for your own children, you may think it sensible for society to invest now in major measures to stop global warming.

If you're not this type -- and who in his right mind is -- you should forget about Kyoto-like greenhouse-gas reduction targets and the crash programs that would be required to meet them. Doing so would not only be economically prudent, it would be -- by almost any measure -- the ethical thing to do.

So argues celebrated economist William Nordhaus, author of pathbreaking books and studies on global warming, and generally considered the most authoritative economist in the climate change field. His verdict on global warming alarmism, as exemplified by the UK's Stern review, which demanded drastic measures now to avert climate change calamity later: "Completely absurd." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"More Presentation Of Climate Predictions as Scientific Fact" - "There is a new Science paper: Richard Seager, Mingfang Ting, Isaac Held, Yochanan Kushnir, Jian Lu, Gabriel Vecchi, Huei-Ping Huang, Nili Harnik, Ants Leetmaa, Ngar-Cheung Lau, Cuihua Li, Jennifer Velez, and Naomi Naik: Model Projections of an Imminent Transition to a More Arid Climate in Southwestern North America Published online 9 April 2007 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1139601] (in Science Express Reports)" (Climate Science)

Look out! Butterflies! "Early arrival of butterflies demonstrates impact of climate change" - "Britain's astounding April, the warmest on record, has produced an astounding effect in the natural world, with at least 11 species of butterfly making their earliest recorded appearances this spring in what will be seen as the most remarkable demonstration yet of the effects of climate change on Britain's wildlife." (London Independent)

"Global carbon emissions in overdrive" - "From 2000 to 2004, emissions grew at a rate of 3 percent a year – more than the highest rates used in recent key UN reports." (The Christian Science Monitor) | Alarming acceleration in CO2 emissions worldwide (Carnegie Institution)

Actually emissions are somewhat variable and atmospheric accumulation more so. See, for example, the annual mean growth rate, Mauna Loa, Hawaii in parts per million, 1977-2006: 2.07; 1.34; 1.64; 1.84; 1.44; 0.71; 2.16; 1.35; 1.22; 1.51; 2.35; 2.11; 1.28; 1.31; 0.99; 0.45; 1.31; 1.89; 2.01; 1.19; 1.98; 2.95; 0.91; 1.77; 1.61; 2.55; 2.31; 1.54; 2.54; 1.72. From 2000 to 2004 atmospheric accumulation actually fell from 1.77 to 1.54 ppmv when emissions were supposed to be growing beyond the UN's wildest dreams, although it was higher in 2002 -- it would seem the Earth is unimpressed by our efforts.

"World CO2 output to rise 59 pct by 2030: U.S." - "NEW YORK - Global emissions of the main gas scientists link to global warming will rise 59 percent from 2004 to 2030, with much of the growth coming from coal burning in developing countries like China, the U.S. government forecast on Monday." (Reuters)

  At which time atmospheric CO2 levels might conceivably be ~420ppmv -- so what? The estimated change in forcing from 380-420 ppmv CO2 is tiny, so small we won't be able to detect it in the real world and it's still far below plants' ideal level. Big deal.

Computer game-generated fears: "Climate change threatens wild relatives of key crops: At risk are vital genetic resources for resisting drought, pests" - "ROME, ITALY (22 May 2007) -- Wild relatives of plants such as the potato and the peanut are at risk of extinction, threatening a valuable source of genes that are necessary to boost the ability of cultivated crops to resist pests and tolerate drought, according to a new study released today by scientists of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The culprit is climate change, the researchers said.

According to the study, in the next 50 years as many as 61 percent of the 51 wild peanut species analyzed and 12 percent of the 108 wild potato species analyzed could become extinct as the result of climate change. Most of those that remained would be confined to much smaller areas, further eroding their capacity to survive. The study also examined wild relatives of cowpea, a nutritious legume farmed widely in Africa. It found that only two of 48 species might disappear. However, the authors predict that most wild cowpeas will decline in numbers because climatic changes will push them out of many areas they currently inhabit." (CGIAR)

Another silly scare that fails under scrutiny: "Permafrost thaw study gives good prognosis" - "HANOVER, Germany, May 21 -- German scientists re-examining projected melting of Arctic permafrost from global warming say massive releases of methane are unlikely this century." (UPI)

Somehow we suspect this will not receive the saturation coverage of the permafrost meltdown and hyper methane warming scare (I forget, was that released to hype up the ACIA report or one of the incessant IPCC junkets? There are so many...).

"An Inconvenient Truth or Convenient Fiction?" - "Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Steve Hayward, the F.K Weyerhaeuser Fellow in Law and Economics at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC, and Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco.

Hayward is the producer of the new film An Inconvenient Truth or Convenient Fiction?, a rebuttal to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. To see the film, visit aconvenientfiction.com." (FrontPageMagazine.com)

"Global Warming – Since When, and Says Who?" - "Gravity: it’s the law. Having built a house or two and having been around many who did, I have heard many times how important it is to construct a really good, strong foundation. It’s absolutely crucial. I am sure many of you have heard the same. If you don’t, the house won’t stay standing for long. Gravity will see to that.

But I never heard anyone mentioning to me that there was a scientific ‘consensus’ among experts for the existence of gravity, as though that is why I should pay attention. The existence of gravity wasn’t just an opinion; it was a scientific fact. Gravity is the law. People are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.

Struck by today’s media and the Oscar blitz of just how dangerous climate warming is, I became fascinated by the fervor with which the media and senior officials clung to the statement that ‘global warming’ obviously was the truth because there was a ‘consensus’ among scientists. However, science does not arrive at conclusions based on ‘consensus’ but rather derives its outcomes based on a proven methodology of the study of facts. ‘Consensus’ is simply a political and a sociological tool, not a scientific one." (David Morgan, Ashville Tribune)

"Greenpeace Alleges ExxonMobil Is Blocking CO2 Emissions Bill" - "Greenpeace, meet Galileo. That is the message George Landrith has for environmental activists at Greenpeace and elsewhere who claim there is a strong scientific consensus on the question of global warming and its relationship to human activity." (CNSNews.com)

"Are Real Costs of Dealing With Climate Change Being Hidden From the Public?" - "As Al Gore and his band of not so merry global warming alarmists in buses and in the press try to convince Americans that they need to alter behaviors in order to save the planet, an inconvenient truth is being cynically withheld: this is going to cost a lot of money." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"Smithsonian toned down exhibit on climate change in the Arctic" - "WASHINGTON: The Smithsonian Institution toned down an exhibit on climate change in the Arctic for fear of angering the U.S. Congress and the Bush administration, says a former administrator at the museum. Among other things, the script, or official text, of last year's exhibit was rewritten to minimize and inject more uncertainty into the relationship between global warming and humans, said Robert Sullivan, who was associate director in charge of exhibitions at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

Smithsonian officials denied that political concerns influenced the exhibit, saying the changes were made for reasons of objectivity. And some scientists who consulted on the project said nothing major was omitted." (Associated Press)

"Actual South American Snow Cover Data Show No Climate Change" - "Within the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the authors of the chapter focusing on snow, ice, and frozen ground (Chapter 4) state that “The cryosphere integrates climate variations over a wide range of time scales, making it a natural sensor of climate variability and providing a visible expression of climate change.” In their very next sentence, the authors concede that “the cryosphere has undergone large variations on many time scales associated with ice ages and with shorter-term variations.” This is a conscientious caveat to their report, because it is widely accepted that Earth’s cryosphere, or frozen realm, has changed significantly in the past with variability in planetary temperature. It should not be too difficult to understand the concept that periods of reduced snow and ice across Earth have historically coincided with planetary warmth. With a risk of tugging on that particular linchpin of Al Gore’s scientific knowledge, here comes new research findings associated with snowpack variability in the Andes Mountains of South America." (WCR)

"Hothouse Scotland" - "SCOTLAND is facing a future of landslides and flooding brought about by climate change, scientists warned yesterday, as figures revealed that temperatures last month hit a record high." (The Scotsman)

"Global warming - it could boost Scottish farming" - "GLOBAL warming could actually be good for Scottish arable farmers as other agricultural areas become increasingly susceptible to drought." (The Scotsman)

"Japan to Unveil Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases - Kyodo" - "TOKYO - Japan plans to unveil a proposal later this week for a new global framework on cutting greenhouse gas emissions from 2013, Kyodo news agency said on Monday, quoting government officials." (Reuters)

Investor's licking their chops at "opportunities" to make money on new global warming legislation : "The Heat Is On" - "While the academic and political debates on global warming are not yet over, one thing is certain: An industry already is growing to meet the challenge. This week, in a groundbreaking series, MarketWatch profiles the companies and people leading the charge, and the opportunities for investors." (MarketWatch)

"Probe Carbon Offsets, Congressmen Say" - "For those who support it, it offers the reward of "carbon neutrality" without having to lower one's standard of living. To critics, it allows guilt-free pollution. Either way, the burgeoning carbon offset industry needs more oversight, say two members of Congress." (CNSNews.com)

"EPA Holds First Hearing On California Emissions" - "The EPA will hold the first of two hearings on California's request to impose tougher limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from cars and trucks than the standards outlined by Washington. California can't put the new standards into practice without an EPA waiver." (Wall Street Journal)

"Rio, BP Plan US$1.7 Bln Australia Clean Coal Plant" - "SYDNEY - Rio Tinto Ltd. and BP have launched a study for a planned A$2 billion (US$1.7 billion) clean coal power generation project in western Australia, in a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions ahead of a possible carbon trading regime." (Reuters)

"Australia Says Regional Carbon Trade Years Away" - "CANBERRA - Australia said on Monday a regional carbon emissions trading scheme including China and the United States was years away, despite planning to seek backing for the idea at a September meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders." (Reuters)

Only viable course, stall until the planet cools, as inevitably it will.

"Something is fresh in Denmark" - "Its use of wind power and carbon caps are cited as a global-warming model, but the example only goes so far." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"All the Coal in China" - "Cheap and abundant, coal is the energy that powers China’s economy, writes Rowan Callick. But it also may be the world’s worst environmental problem." (The American)

"Shell hit by ‘dirty’ Arctic oil furore" - "The world’s largest untapped oil reserves – in northern Canada – have become the new front line in the battle between environmentalists and the energy industry. Shell, a self-styled “green” energy company, is to invest billions of pounds in exploiting the Athabasca tar sands. Environmentalists say the tar sands are the world’s dirtiest oil deposits and that refining them generates three to four times more CO2 than normal oil extraction. However, Clive Mather, chief executive of Shell Canada, said rising demand and surging oil prices could not be resisted. “The deposits are huge, potentially even greater than in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “The time is right to exploit them.”" (London Times)

"Oil Demand Growth May Slow in 2015" - "U.S. energy officials on Monday predicted worldwide demand for oil and refined products will grow at a slower rate starting in 2015 and that over the next quarter century oil prices will climb as high as $95 a barrel.

By 2030, the share of worldwide energy that comes from oil and refined products will decline to 34 percent, down from 38 percent in 2004, the Energy Department said in its annual international outlook." (AP)

"Beijing to turn rubbish into power" - "Beijing plans to convert 40 percent of its rubbish into energy via incineration, as part of plans to develop new power sources and deal with landfill problems, state press said Monday." (AFP)

"BRAZIL: Once and Future Environmental Leader?" - "RIO DE JANEIRO, May 21 - Brazil appears to be about to pass over a prime opportunity to affirm itself as a leading environmental power in negotiations to bring the threat of global warming under control, according to environmentalists and analysts." (IPS)

"Nuclear Power: A Bad Reaction" - "Thanks to new evidence showing nuclear energy as more of a polluter than previously thought, the U.S. should reconsider approval for new plants. Pro or con?" (Business Week)

"Electricity Crisis Hobbles an India Eager to Ascend" - "Amid the hum of industry, half of India’s people are left off the power grid." (New York Times)

"India's dams major contributor to global warming: Study" - "Total emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas, from the country's large dams could be 33.5 million tonnes (MT) per annum, which means Indian dams might be the largest global warming contributors." (Deccan Herald)

"Three Gorges Dam shrinking Yangtze delta" - "Chinese scientists have determined how China's Three Gorges Dam -- the world's largest dam -- affects downstream sediment delivery in the Yangtze River." (UPI)

"France's Sarkozy Spells Out Plans for Green Talks" - "PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday laid out his plans for large-scale talks on the country's future environment policy, but his government said there would be no backing down on the role of nuclear power." (Reuters)

"Britain's Energy Future Hangs in Balance" - "LONDON - Unless the British government makes some potentially vote-losing decisions this week, the country faces possible power cuts and rising carbon emissions, analysts and industry leaders say." (Reuters)

"Scientists reconstruct the prehistoric behavior and ecology of northern fur seals" - "A team of researchers has documented major changes in the behavior, ecology, and geographic range of the northern fur seal over the past 1,500 years using a combination of techniques from archaeology, biochemistry, and ecology. Among their findings is evidence of reproductive behavior in the past that is not seen in modern populations of northern fur seals." (University of California - Santa Cruz)

"Austria Says EU Progress on GMO Crop Law Too Slow" - "MAINZ, Germany - Austria's farm minister attacked the EU executive on Monday for dithering over rules for separating traditional, organic and biotech crops, saying too many issues were unresolved over Europe's biotech crop policy." (Reuters)

"Malaysia plans new law to regulate genetically modified foods" - "KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Malaysia will introduce a new law to regulate genetically modified foods but the move is not aimed at stopping imports of biotech products, officials said Monday." (Associated Press)

May 21, 2007

"Post Glosses over Deaths Linked to 'Silent Spring' Author" - "Paper marks 100th birthday of Rachel Carson by barely mentioning millions who died because of DDT ban." (Dan Gainor, Business & Media Institute)

"Dangerous Legacy" - "Cultural myths often stand in the way of human progress—in some cases producing devastating consequences. In fact, today millions of people around the world suffer the painful and often deadly effects of malaria because one person sounded a false alarm. That person is Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 best selling book Silent Spring. Many have praised Carson for raising concerns—some legitimate—about problems associated with the overuse of chemicals. Yet her extreme rhetoric generated a culture of fear, resulting in policies have deprived many people access to life-saving chemicals. In particular, he work curbed the use of the pesticide DDT for malaria control. As the world commemorates the 100th birthday (May 27, 2007) of the late Rachel Carson, it is time to acknowledge the unintended, adverse effects of Carson’s legacy and find ways to correct them." (RachelWasWrong.org)

"'Resistance to science' has early roots" - "Stem cells, global warming, evolution, vaccination — why do some scientific ideas push political and societal hot buttons? Proving that scientists can study practically anything, a pair of psychologists considered "resistance to science" as a subject in its own right. And they found deep roots, childhood ones, to some of the contention that increasingly crowds public discourse on science issues." (USA TODAY)

"Wi-Fi risks in schools 'must be reviewed'" - "The head of Britain's leading health watchdog today urgently calls for a review of potential health risks linked to wireless internet networks in schools." (London Telegraph)

Wonder if foil underwear will be made part of the school uniform?

"Diet bible or food fad?" - "A GOVERNMENT-funded food bible created for children by CSIRO scientists is causing controversy among nutrition experts who challenge the organisation's credibility to provide information on diets.

A children's version of the popular The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is a $2 million, two-year project designed to challenge the childhood obesity crisis.

Thousands of parents of children aged from newborns to adolescents will be surveyed for the book, which will give families tips on fussy eaters as well as healthy snack and meal ideas.

Nutritionists believe the CSIRO lacks credibility and are concerned about the concept of a "diet" for children." (Daily Telegraph)

"Stepford kids" - "Once again, when the media gives an inordinate amount of attention to a study, it’s usually a good clue that something other than exemplary science may be at work. Only interests selling a weight loss program would consider under a single pound after one year and several million dollars, to be evidence of success." (Junkfood Science)

"Fat camp 'horribly damaging'" - "OBESE teenagers taking part in a new weight-loss show could be left psychologically scarred, health experts warn. Channel 10's Teen Fit Camp will follow the journey of six obese Australian teenagers at an American boot camp, where food is controlled and exercise is unavoidable. The show was titled Teen Fat Camp, but was changed to avoid controversy." (Herald Sun)

"Looking into the mirror" - "A young writer for The Post, the student newspaper in Athen, Ohio, wrote an insightful and passionate article on the pressures kids face trying to fit in at college and how it’s a formula for eating disorders." (Junkfood Science)

"Science of sweets" - "There is no greater example of how junkscience perpetuates long after it’s been scientifically disproven than the myths and fears surrounding sugars, especially the biggest evil of the day: high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Some people will go to any lengths to scare us into eating and drinking only what they believe best." (Junkfood Science)

"Remembering what it’s like to be a child" - "To accompany the overview of the science of sugars, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite sugar essays and one of the sweetest articles ever written on the subject. It appeared several years ago in the Guardian and helps balance the panic that is robbing children of one of their greatest pleasures. It was written by confectionary historian, Tim Richardson, author of Sweets: A History of Candy." (Junkfood Science)

D'oh! "Tech Customers Baulk at Extra Cost of Going Green" - "PARIS - Customers are not yet ready to pay extra for green products in spite of growing concern for the environment, technology, media and telecoms executives told an industry summit this week." (Reuters)

"Australia: Drought could be about to break" - "THE El Niño weather system has run its course and the worst drought in a century could be coming to an end, the Bureau of Meteorology says, as farmers in south-eastern Australia rejoice at heavy rain." (news.com.au)

"Drenching Rain Falls on Parched Australian Farms" - "CANBERRA - Drenching rains fell across most of Australia's parched southeast on Friday, with the best falls in a decade in some areas, delighting farmers who have endured seven years of drought." (Reuters)

Probably not: "Diamonds tell tale of comet that killed off the cavemen" - "Scientists will outline dramatic evidence this week that suggests a comet exploded over the Earth nearly 13,000 years ago, creating a hail of fireballs that set fire to most of the northern hemisphere.

Primitive Stone Age cultures were destroyed and populations of mammoths and other large land animals, such as the mastodon, were wiped out. The blast also caused a major bout of climatic cooling that lasted 1,000 years and seriously disrupted the development of the early human civilisations that were emerging in Europe and Asia." (Robin McKie, The Observer)

Benny Peiser provides 6 reasons to remain skeptical:

1. Until now, no compelling evidence for a large-scale impact event at the end of the Pleistocene has been found.

2. The K/T "impact winter" lasted for just over two years - the Younger Dryas laster for over 1,000 years.

3. The impact of a 1-2km NEO would trigger a brief cold spell that would last for no more than a few weeks or months.

4. The "Antarctic cold reversal" appears to have started a thousand years before the Younger Dryas. Similarly the Southern Hemisphere cooling known as the Deglaciation Climate Reversal (DCR) began approximately 1kyr before the YD.

5. Globally, heavy extinctions in the Late Pleistocene (Australasia), terminal Pleistocene (Americas), Early to Middle Holocene (West Indies and Mediterranean islands) and Late Holocene (Madagascar, New Zealand and Pacific Islands) always coincide with human colonisation.

6. Finally: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

"Norwegian national team in Arctic climate research" - "Norway is the second largest contributor to International Polar Year (IPY), second only to Canada. It is the third time in history that the International Polar Year is being held. Seventy years have passed since this international research collaboration was last implemented." (Innovations Report)

Say what? "From terror to fighting climate change" - "Now he has been removed from the war on terror, David Hicks wants to join the fight against climate change." (Canberra Times)

Hicks wasn't 'removed from the war on terror' -- the fool was a wannabe terrorist! Now he wants to enlarge his war on humanity by joining the gorebal warmening bandwagon? Figures!

"Global warming debunked" - "Climate change will be considered a joke in five years time, meteorologist Augie Auer told the annual meeting of Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers in Ashburton this week. Man's contribution to the greenhouse gases was so small we couldn't change the climate if we tried, he maintained. "We're all going to survive this. It's all going to be a joke in five years," he said. A combination of misinterpreted and misguided science, media hype, and political spin had created the current hysteria and it was time to put a stop to it. "It is time to attack the myth of global warming," he said." (The Timaru Herald)

"Sun of a gun" - "In 2020 hindsight on the great global warming scare will be 20/20. It won't be a pretty picture." (Licia Corbella, Calgary Sun)

Oh dear... "Gavin Schmidt: The Week in Weather -- Expect More Intense Wildfires In A Warmer World" - "Many people looking out the window this week, and anyone glancing at CNN, has been assaulted with images of terrifying weather - wildfires in Florida and California, the aftermath of a town-erasing tornado in Kansas, historic flooding along the Mississippi and Tropical Storm Andrea, which marked an early start to a 2007 tropical season that is predicted to be ferocious.

The Daily Green News Editor Dan Shapley discussed the week’s weather with Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and a blogger for Real Climate, which aims to set straight misconceptions about climate change.

While no weather event can be tied definitively to the changing climate, it is not incorrect to read certain weather events of harbingers of things to come, particularly when it comes to the intense wildfires ravaging California and Florida. Scientists believe wildfires will become more intense as the U.S. climate continues to reacts to the buildup of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere." (The Daily Green)

... at least Gavin kept some reality in here: "But these intense and seemingly weird weather events, Schmidt said, can not be linked directly to climate change.

“This is par for the course,” Schmidt said. “Every season people will find interesting weather events, and I get asked a lot if it is related to global warming, and the answer is always the same. None of these individual events can be tied to global warming.”

Weather is weather and climate is climate. That is, climate is the statistical accumulation of weather data, so only weather trends that play out over time can indicate a climate trend.

Not too bad and perhaps Gavin didn't know The Daily Green was going to mislabel "Andrea" as a tropical storm (actually subtropical and slightly unusual only in that someone bothered to name it). Might have been better if Gavin had come straight out and admitted that statistically, 'global warming' is trivial and strictly relative (the difference between the estimated 287.0 K of c.1880 and 287.6 K of 2006 is viewed differently depending on whether 1880's 287.0 K is the 'correct' temperature for the planet or the calculated expectation of 288.0 K -- on the one hand the planet is 'warming' and on the other, 'recovering') but to do so would probably be a career-breaker for him and would most certainly see him dropped from the 'hockey team' over at realclimate.org.

"The Royal Society’s ‘motto-morphosis’"  -"Nullius in Verba, the motto of the prestigious Royal Society in London, is usually translated as ‘on the word of no one’. When it was coined back in 1663, it was intended to distance science from the methods of the ancient universities, which relied heavily on the personal authority of the scholars. ‘On the word of no one’ highlighted the independent authority that empirical evidence bestowed on science; knowledge about the material universe should be based on appeals to experimental evidence rather than authority.

Lately, however, the Royal Society has dropped any mention of ‘on the word of no one’ from its website. Instead, it talks of the need to ‘verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment’. Lord May of Oxford, erstwhile president of the Royal Society and former chief scientific adviser to the UK government, offers us a whole new translation: ‘respect the facts.’ This provides the title of his recent review in the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), in which he gave the scientific nod of approval to seven recent publications on climate change, including books by George Monbiot, Al Gore and Sir Nicholas Stern.

The Royal Society’s ‘motto-morphosis’ - where it has gone from saying ‘on the word of no one’ to demanding that we ‘respect the facts’ - points to an important shift in the way that scientific authority is used to close down debate these days." (Ben Pile & Stuart Blackman, sp!ked)

"WG1 IPCC Chapter 1 - More Scientifically Erroneous Statements" - "Climate Science has selected two errors in Chapter 1 of the 2007 WG1 IPCC Report to highlight in this weblog." (Climate Science)

"Summary Of Climate Science Perspective" - "I have decided to post the responses to several comments as a weblog since they succinctly capture The Climate Science’s perspective on the climate science issue [thanks to Tom, Logically Speaking, Allan J. and Frank K. for your constructive comments and contribution to the discussion on Climate Science!]:" (Climate Science)

"Live Earth: useful as a green bracelet" - "First, we rocked to feed the world. Then we rocked to raise money to rebuild after the tsunami. Two years ago, the pop stars massed to rock against debt recovery in the Third World. At least, I think that's what Live 8 aimed to do. Not that it made any difference.

And now we're asked to put our hands in the air like we really care about the environment at Live Earth, a multinational phantasmagoric series of stadium concerts on July 7, with the grand aim of "raising awareness of global warming".

Our $99 concert tickets, which I am sure will be printed on recycled paper, do not go towards any concrete measures to halt global warming, or to repair any damage done to the Earth. The proceeds don't go directly to purchasing solar batteries for anyone or subsidising public transport anywhere. The event just goes to raising awareness. And right now?

That's not only a waste of time but a gross indulgence. It's just a green rubber bracelet to string on your arm next to the white rubber band that will magically make poverty history, and the yellow one that cures cancer." (Michelle Griffin, Melbourne Age)

"So how did it become required classroom viewing?" - "Even climate change experts say many of the claims in Al Gore's film are wrong." (Kevin Libin, National Post) | Canadian Front Page: ‘Experts Say Many of the Claims in Al Gore’s Film Are Wrong’ (News Busters)

"Al Gore Has Big Plans" - "Another book, another slide show, another global rock concert — another run?" (New York Times)

"Al Gore's New Book Assault on Reason: Two Views" (Christopher Alleva and Michael Geer, American Thinker)

Embarrassing megabuck modelers: "Ponder the Maunder" - "Welcome to Ponder the Maunder, an extra credit assignment for Honors Earth Science, Portland High School, by Kristen Byrnes of Portland Maine. This report is a comprehensive look at the global warming issue without financial or political bias. It uses the most updated information provided by scientists and researchers and interjects common sense, an important component missing from the global warming debate." (Kristen Byrnes, Portland High School)

Running from computer games? "Kyoto Nations Seek Deeper Greenhouse Gas Cuts" - "OSLO - Industrial nations in the Kyoto Protocol want deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2012 despite uncertainty over whether outsiders will join the UN pact, the head of a UN group said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Deadlock at Climate Talks Mars Kyoto Hopes" - "BONN - Deadlock over how to bring the United States and big developing nations to the climate negotiating table frustrated UN-hosted talks this week, meant to lay the groundwork for a conference in Indonesia in December." (Reuters)

"Rose Garden Charade" - "Confronted with soaring gasoline prices, a Congress growing more restless by the day about oil dependency and a Supreme Court demanding executive action on global warming emissions, President Bush stepped before the cameras in the Rose Garden the other day and said, essentially, nothing.

He announced that he had ordered four federal agencies to “work together” to devise regulations reducing greenhouse gases. He also renewed his call for greater investments in alternative fuels. But neither he nor the cadre of designated briefers who followed him provided any detail, so nobody knows whether he will in fact end up asking for more efficient cars or what sort of alternative fuels he has in mind or, more broadly, what sort of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions he hopes to achieve.

What we did learn was that he has chosen to make the process as cumbersome and time-consuming as possible." (New York Times)

Which is about all that can be done -- wait for inevitable cooling of the planet to cool the activist and media hysteria. We all know we can't twist any knobs or pull any levers to control weather or climate and we all know tinkering with a few minor variables will have no observable effect. That leaves the only viable course for politicians one of platitudes and lip service since they have been effectively snookered by astute manipulators of media and the public creating frenzy over an implausible and insoluble 'problem'. Stupid game.

Meanwhile: "Harper-Bush alliance feared threat to G-8 environment pact" - "OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper is poised to join President George W. Bush in scuttling or watering down any statement on climate change from the G-8 summit in Germany next month.

While European countries are pushing for their counterparts to recognize that a future climate change treaty must be designed to prevent average global temperatures from rising by more than 2 C — a dangerous threshold identified by leading climate experts — Canadian government officials, along with the Bush administration appear to be resisting.

After meeting with federal negotiators at a United Nations conference in Germany, environmental groups fear that the Harper government’s position could prevent the implementation of an effective international climate change agreement at the end of the Kyoto protocol in 2012." (CanWest News Service)

"US has 'good ideas' on climate change solution" - "The US wants to be part of the solution to the problem of climate change, President Bush has told Mr Blair, adding that he has "some good ideas" on how to tackle the problem, writes our Telegraph correspondent." (London Telegraph)

More political 'necessity': "PM arms his emissions bombshell" - "AUSTRALIA is developing a regional carbon emissions trading scheme that would include China and the US and could form the basis of a "Sydney declaration" at this year's APEC summit.

As the host of the September APEC gathering, Australia is moving rapidly towards adopting an emissions trading scheme that places a price on carbon and adopts a target for greenhouse gas emissions.

The scheme would use as its bedrock the existing Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - which brings together the so-called AP6 nations of Australia, China, the US, Japan, South Korea and India." (The Australian)

And rank stupidity: "Can Cities Save the Earth?" - "The mayors of some of the world’s biggest cities have every reason to feel especially anxious about climate change. Their populations are the biggest polluters but also among the most vulnerable to weather-related catastrophes. And they are far ahead of their national governments in giving urgency to global warming. So, for the second time since 2005, the leaders of dozens of cities, representing 400 million people, have stepped up. Meeting in New York this week, they produced a plan that should shame G-8 leaders into at least saying something about the issue at their meeting next month." (New York Times)

"EU Farm Subsidies in Climate Change Spotlight - Report" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union must adapt now to global warming by targeting subsidies for affected farmers and preparing to relocate some ports and coastal settlements, a draft EU report says." (Reuters)

On the basis of climate model output? Does it get any more stupid?

"Global warming - India to mobilise developed nations" - "Outgoing environment minister A Raja has said India was among the lowest polluters with emission levels of four per cent. Blaming the developed countries for being major contributors to global warming, he said India was mobilising the developing nations to protest against the high emissions levels of the USA-led affluent countries.

Replying to a debate on global warming in Lok Sabha in his last appearance as environment minister, Raja said, "a war is on between developed and developing nations on global warming. We are mobilising all developing countries to voice our concern on high industrial emission levels of developed countries." He has since been shifted to Information Technology and Telecom Ministry." (Hindustan Times)

"Several initiatives to be lost with climate change veto" - "MONTPELIER, Vt. -- If Gov. Jim Douglas makes good on his promise to veto a global climate change bill, more will be lost than a tax on the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. New incentives to build renewable energy projects will be thrown out, as will a chance to create jobs in the emerging field of greenhouse gas emission reduction, supporters of the legislation say." (WHDH-TV)

Sounds like a very good veto then.

Oh boy... "Climate Change Threatens Clean Beaches - Report" - "LONDON - The number of clean bathing beaches in Britain has quadrupled in a decade, helped by a series of hot, dry summers, an environmental charity said on Friday. The Marine Conservation Society said three exceptionally dry summers in the last four years had cut the amount of sewage being discharged into the sea after rainstorms. But it warned that years of progress could be reversed if climate change brings warmer, wetter winters and summer storms, as some experts predict." (Reuters)

... the last few years have allegedly been the gorebal warmenist and it's been good for beach water quality -- but this will be bad if it continues. So the weather conditions that delivered good beach conditions are not due to gorebal warmening after all? Or is gorebal warmening now thought to be a sentient malevolence that will realize people are gaining some advantage and so alter the physics of weather generation to punish people? Dopier by the day.

"Global Warming Swindle?" - "The Global Warming Swindle, which you can see on Google Video in a mere 75 minutes, is a pretty comprehensive list of counter arguments to global warming (hereafter GW) alarmists. It's not surprising that a rebuttal is out, and because I'm not a climatologist, I figure the anti-GW guys overstated their case, and these rebuttal guys were going to put them in their place. But what was presented has pushed me not towards GW, but full blown true believer status, that is, I truly believe GW is a replacement for failed utopias of the past, so that if you don't believe in God or communism, you can now believe in GW and be part of a higher order of people with purpose, justice, and posterity on their side. Like Y2K, a little logic, and a lot of fear, go a long way. The counterargument was incredibly weak. So here's the big counterargument:" (Mahalanobis)

"Greenpeace - Exxon Still Funding Climate Skeptics" - "NEW YORK - Exxon Mobil Corp. gave over $2 million in 2006 to groups Greenpeace called global warming skeptics even as the oil company campaigned to improve its climate-unfriendly image." (Reuters)

"Think Tank Challenges Greenpeace to Meet Transparency Standards" - "Today The National Center for Public Policy Research is challenging Greenpeace and its affiliates to disclose the sources and amounts of its 2006 donations exceeding $50,000. If it does so, The National Center for Public Policy Research will do the same.

We're making this challenge in light of allegations in Greenpeace's May 17 report, "ExxonMobil's Continued Funding of Global Warming Denial Industry," which suggests that it is improper for 41 groups, including The National Center for Public Policy Research, to accept contributions from ExxonMobil because the positions of at least some of them on climate issues is not precisely in accordance with those of Greenpeace.

Most of the groups singled out for criticism in the Greenpeace report work on a wide variety of public policy issues. For most of the groups, climate policy is just a small fraction of their portfolio.

Greenpeace - perhaps based on its own behavior - assumes that donations influence the stands groups such as ours take. They do not. So that the public can judge for themselves, we're challenging Greenpeace to complete transparency through disclosure of major gifts." (National Center for Public Policy Research)

"Carbon Taxes Versus Carbon Markets: What’s the Best Way to Limit Emissions?" - "Cap-and-trade markets have greater political momentum, but most economists favor a carbon tax. Here’s our guide to the debate." (Ronald Bailey, The American)

Is there really a 'best way' to do the wrong thing? There is no known societal (or planetary) benefit to restricting atmospheric carbon.

A-List nitwits: "Film Stars and Their Green Credentials" - "Leonardo DiCaprio is in Cannes for its 60th film festival with "The 11th Hour," an environmental documentary and the latest product of Hollywood's growing concern over global warming. The documentary was launched on Saturday. Here are some details of stars and their involvement with the environment:" (Reuters) | Leonardo DiCaprio Film Claims Global Warming Could Cause Human Extinction (News Busters)

II: "Lead or Step Aside, EPA: States Can't Wait on Global Warming" - "It's bad enough that the federal government has yet to take the threat of global warming seriously, but it borders on malfeasance for it to block the efforts of states such as California and Connecticut that are trying to protect the public's health and welfare." (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jodi Rell, Washington Post)

"Earth girls aren't easy"  -"What drove a 'shallow shopaholic'- and the wife of TV's most misanthropic comic - to become America's most terrifying eco warrior? Nigel Farndale meets Laurie David, Hollywood's green goddess of global warming." (London Telegraph)

Ignorance? Boredom? Who knows or cares? Maybe misanthropy just runs strong in that household.

"Alas, Now Even The Weather Channel Has Lost Its Way" - "Forecast Earth, the latest bad decision by The Weather Channel, is yet another example of how a good idea can go bad. The Weather Channel was started 25years ago with the idea of providing reliable and accurate weather information when you need it. That meant 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

It has taken a turn in recent years to being more and more part time weather and part-time “Discovery Channel”. Now with ‘Forecast Earth’, advocacy and hype have replaced down to earth real-time weather coverage and forecasting. You don’t get weather when you need it anymore, just when they choose to give it to you. A few years back, they were embarrassed when an outbreak of tornadoes had people tuning to The Weather Channel and finding a special about growing flower bulbs in Holland.

Now Heidi Cullen is telling us what could happen if the most souped up climate models are right and the earth warms significantly. I guess they ran out of storm stories recounting real weather disasters. They are now inventing possible future ones with disaster stories reminiscent of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ or ‘Day after Tomorrow’.

And ironically not only are they buying without question the faulty climate models for the future, they even get the actual changes that have occurred wrong. “Alaska Meltdown” a recent featured story still on the website is the latest example." (Joe D’Aleo, Icecap)

"Air Conditioning - Where Would We be Without It?" - "As we head into summer, I'm betting that most days you will completely overlook a technological marvel, that has changed the way we live—at least as much as the advent of microcomputers and the Internet. In fact, it is so much a part of our daily lives, that we truly take it for granted. We shouldn't. I am talking about air conditioning." (HealthNewsDigest.com)

"Britain Shreds Planning Rules to Beat Climate Change" - "LONDON - Both sides will be making green arguments on Monday when Britain announces plans to dramatically change its planning rules and speed up projects large and small." (Reuters)

Uh-huh... "Travel Experts Mull Ecotourism Threats" - "OSLO, Norway -- Ecotourism may be just as environmentally damaging as traditional travel because of the greenhouse gases vacationers help create when they journey to remote, pristine areas, industry experts warned Tuesday.

That dilemma has been the focus of the Global Ecotourism Conference, a three-day gathering of ecotourism officials struggling to chart the future of an industry whose success threatens to become its own undoing." (Associated Press)

"Coal Man: There's at least one CEO left who is not buying global warming hysteria" - "WASHINGTON--Every good party has its wet blanket. In the case of the energy industry's merrymaking for a global warming program, the guy in the dripping bedspread is a 67-year-old, straight-talking coal-mine owner by the name of Robert E. Murray.

You won't hear many of Mr. Murray's energy-biz colleagues mention him; they tend to avoid his name, much as nephews avoid talk of their crazy uncles. GE's Jeffrey Immelt, Duke Energy's Jim Rogers, Exelon's John Rowe--these polished titans have been basking in an intense media glow, ever since they claimed to have seen the light on global warming and gotten behind a mandatory government program to cut C02 emissions. They'd rather not have any killjoys blowing the whistle on their real motives--which is to make a pile of cash off the taxpayers and consumers who'll fund it." (Kimberly A Strassel, Wall Street Journal)

Where big GREEN is taking us: "Powerless against Mother Nature" - "On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the market, concerned by the lack of rain and lack of future investment, has driven a dramatic run-up in the price of electricity. The forward price for a megawatt hour of electricity for NSW in 2008 has doubled in less than five months.

What are we doing about it? We are waiting for rain. Thanks to years of inertia and denial, there is no other choice. Australia has thus become the first advanced economy in the world to be dependent on the weather.

We are reduced to waiting for rain, not just for the farmers, not just for the dam levels in the Sydney catchment area, but for the power stations, mostly coal and hydro, which have a voracious appetite for water. So what, exactly, are we doing about it?

We are not building dams. When was the last time a large dam was completed in NSW? Every proposal to build a dam is now met with a deluge of opposition on environmental grounds.

We are not building significant coal-fired plants. Australia may be sitting on a mountain of coal, but coal-fired power stations take a lot of time and money to build and a lot of water to operate. (Victoria's three biggest coal-fired power stations alone have a water allotment equivalent to 20 per cent of the entire annual household water consumption of Melbourne.) The power industry is unwilling to invest in baseload plants (big plants for the national power grid) in the absence of a secure regulatory regime of carbon taxes, credits and offsets." (Paul Sheehan, Sydney Morning Herald)

"“From Russia with Gas” Forthcoming Political disasters for Europe in Energy Supply" (.pdf) - "For years now, I have been trying to grasp what is really going on in energy politics, as most of the commonly available information on energy issues is either muddled and misleading or patently wrong. This is especially true when such information is provided by politicians who frequently either have only a limited understanding of physics or natural sciences, or may even be pursuing different interests or agendas, not necessarily in the common interest of securing energy supply in the future. Within the framework of my own activities in the field of energy policy and with the invaluable support of the Thomas More Institute, I published a paper in March 2006 which I now wish to update with my observational research of the last 12 months." (Dr.-Ing. Hildegard von Liechtenstein, Institut Thomas More)

"Gas prices don't scare buyers of big SUVs: After 2-year slump, demand rebounds" - "In these days of nearly $4-a-gallon gasoline, a three-ton SUV that practically requires a bank loan to fill 'er up would seem to be a tough sell. Americans, however, are not shunning these beasts. Far from it. Auto industry figures show that after a two-year slump, sales of the gas guzzlers are up over 2006 -- in some cases, way up." (SF Chronicle)

"Schwarzenegger Attacks Ethanol Tariffs, Subsidies" - "LOS ANGELES - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday he wants markets to set policies on low carbon fuels, and called for eliminating subsidies and tariffs related to ethanol." (Reuters)

"Biofuels Gain, 'Green' Pay Cut in US Farm Plan" - "WASHINGTON - Congress would mothball the only "green payment" program for US farmers and invest an additional US$5 billion in biofuels like ethanol under a proposal made by House Agriculture Committee leaders on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Hidden costs of corn-based ethanol" - "Diverting corn from food to fuel could create unprecedented turmoil." (Colin A. Carter and Henry I. Miller, The Christian Science Monitor)

"Climate change puts nuclear energy into hot water" - "PARIS: Could climate change be the latest jinx on nuclear power?

Long regarded with suspicion because of radioactivity, nuclear power suddenly has a revived image, thanks to the idea that many more plants could be built without worsening global warming. Unlike power plants fired by coal and natural gas, nuclear fission produces no carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

But there is a less well-known side of nuclear power: It requires great amounts of cool water to keep reactors operating at safe temperatures. That is worrying if the rivers and reservoirs which many power plants rely on for water are hot or depleted because of steadily rising air temperatures.

If temperatures soar above average this summer - let alone steadily increase in years to come, as many scientists predict - many nuclear plants could face a dilemma: Either cut output or break environmental rules, in either case hurting their reputation with customers and the public." (James Kanter, IHT)

"Nuclear power is the only realistic option" - "On Wednesday, the government will publish a white paper on energy policy. It will promote the building of a new generation of nuclear plants. The decision to run more of Britain with atomic power will get a clear endorsement from Gordon Brown." (The Observer)

"Japan to pitch global nuclear safety rules" - "Japan plans to discuss compiling international safety guidelines for nuclear power plants with other members of the Group of Eight nations with the aim of reaching an agreement at next year's summit in Hokkaido, government sources said Saturday. One goal is to promote use of nuclear power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." (Kyodo News)

"Can America's Masses Get Charged on Electric Cars?" - "SANTA ROSA, Calif. - The ZAP Xebra is a three-wheeler running on basic batteries, silent and easy to maneuver. It is more than a golf cart and less than a compact car and costs just under US$10,000." (Reuters)

"New Fuel for 21st Century - Aluminum Pellets?" - "CHICAGO - Pellets made out of aluminum and gallium can produce pure hydrogen when water is poured on them, offering a possible alternative to gasoline-powered engines, US scientists say. Hydrogen is seen as the ultimate in clean fuels, especially for powering cars, because it emits only water when burned. US President George W. Bush has proclaimed hydrogen to be the fuel of the future, but researchers have not yet found the most efficient way to produce and store hydrogen." (Reuters)

"Solar Flashlight Lets Africa’s Sun Deliver the Luxury of Light to the Poorest Villages" - "Mark Bent has spent $250,000 to develop and manufacture a solar-powered flashlight that gives up to seven hours of light on a daily solar recharge." (New York Times)

Here we go again: "Fuse on the 'population bomb' has been relit" - "While the developed world deals with a 'birth dearth,' populations are exploding in developing nations. What the first world should do to help." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Misanthropists to the fore! Actually, we wonder why anyone would quote UN population figures since they always overstate projections by a huge margin and their "low estimate" is always closest to the fact, albeit still high.

"UK: Plan to put slop bucket in every home" - "Ministers want a slop bucket for food waste to be placed in every kitchen under their latest plan to generate green electricity. Instead of throwing out scraps, households would be required to store them separately for at least a week until they are collected by recycling teams." (The Sunday Times)

Going to mandate open sewers down the middle of the street too? Why the headlong dash to the neo-dark age?

"Contaminated Salvador Lake is Mystery Bird Magnet" - "CERRON GRANDE RESERVOIR, El Salvador - An artificial lake in El Salvador brimming with sewage and industrial waste is mystifying scientists by attracting thousands of migratory and sea birds." (Reuters)

"Fairly Caffeinated" - "'Kids need Fair Trade,' ran the slogan of this month's World Fair Trade Day. And as you belly up to the coffee bar, images of whimsical and woeful waifs and thoughts of your own dear mother may lead you to tell your barista, "Make mine a Fair Trade coffee." Before you do, though, bear in mind that while your purchase might stimulate your synapses and support your ego, it does little to support needy kids." (Colleen E. H. Berndt, TCS Daily)

"State still not stung by bee malady" - "Why Illinois has escaped the disorder even as it has turned up in neighboring states is another "multimillion-dollar question," said May Berenbaum, head of the entomology department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, although she points out that the state somehow was unaffected by unexplained colony collapses that swept the nation in 1979 as well.

This wave, however, "seems to surpass in magnitude and severity previous die-offs," she says. But she also notes that Illinois' exemption allows scientists to rule out some circulating theories about what may be causing the disorder. Genetically modified crops, cell phone towers, global warming -- Illinois has all of those as much as surrounding states, she says, but there's still no sign here of a collapse." (Chicago tribune

May 18, 2007

"Dying for Better Gas Mileage" - "Are you dying to get a car with better gas mileage? You may soon be running that risk, all in the name of “energy security.”" (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"An Inconvenient Assemblyman" - "Last month, as the world marked Africa Malaria Day, a massive international campaign was mounted to fight the disease by donating mosquito nets to be placed around the beds of African children. Of course nets may protect the children some of the time, but malaria will take the lives of about two million in Africa each year.

In the developed world, we have largely eradicated malaria, largely because of a massive spraying effort that took place in the mid-20th century. The insecticide that was, and is, so effective at killing the mosquitoes that carry the disease is DDT." (Andrew Wolf, New York Sun)

"Silent Spring" - "Rep. John Conyers hasn't been returning our phone calls, but his office indicates he's been having second thoughts about the wisdom of inviting Pesticide Action Network, a fringe green group, to Capitol Hill recently to rail against use of the pesticide DDT in fighting malaria. If he's indeed looked at the evidence and had a change for heart, good for Mr. Conyers." (Jason Riley, WSJ via AFM)

"Rusher: The problem of junk science" - "As regular readers know, I seldom review books in these columns, preferring to leave that important job to professional reviewers. But every once in a while a book comes along that illuminates a major political problem so effectively that I cannot resist calling it to the attention of thoughtful readers. That is the case with Tom Bethell's "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science," recently published by Regnery." (William Rusher, Daily News Tribune)

Kevin Webb writes: I wanted to alert you to a new program American Express has set up. It's called "The Members Project". The idea is to get card holders to sign up and input ideas to help others. It's designed as an American Idol style competition. People input ideas, the most people that get behind an idea they will contribute up to $5 million to the project.

I setup a project called "Eradicate Malaria and Save Africa". Simply put, I wrote a pro-DDT proposal.

While I don't think it has a prayer of crossing the finish line, I hope we can get enough people behind it to start getting the message out that DDT is safe and is the best way to save millions from death and disease.

So, if you have an Amex card, sign up and support the measure or write a better, more detailed project and I'll gladly support it.


No Kevin, thank you! We think that's a fine idea and encourage all Amex-holding web surfers to get on board.

"Antibody-based therapies effective at controlling malaria" - "Passive immunization through the development of fully human antibodies specific to Plasmodium falciparum may be effective at controlling the disease, report researchers led by Dr. Richard S. McIntosh from the University of Nottingham in a paper published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens. The researchers developed these novel reagents by antibody repertoire cloning generated from immune Gambian adults.

While it remains unclear if in vitro assays are predictive of functional immunity in humans, due to the lack of suitable animal models, according to this study antimalarial efficacy of human antibodies can be determined using rodent malaria parasites transgenic for P. falciparum antigens in mice and humans. An in vivo mouse model has significant advantage over the use of new world primates, the only other model for human malaria, which are labor-intensive and difficult to reproduce.

These novel human reagents cured mice of an otherwise lethal malaria infection, and protection was crucially dependent on human antibody receptors.

Malaria currently rivals HIV and tuberculosis as the world's most deadly infection, killing two to three million people a year or roughly one person every 30 seconds. The model described in this study provides both a test for therapeutic antibody efficacy prior to clinical trials in humans and an important tool in malaria vaccine development." (Public Library of Science)

"New Report: A global medical research and development treaty: An answer to global health needs?" - "In the past few years, billions of dollars have been committed by philanthropists and governments to the development of new drugs for the diseases of poverty. Nevertheless, some still argue that too little is being spent on the development of such medicines and have called for radical changes to be made to the global system of R&D." (CFD)

"An Epidemic of Meddling" - "The totalitarian implications of public health" (Jacob Sullum, Reason)

Food police strike again: "Montgomery Bans Trans Fats in Restaurants, Markets" - "The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a ban on partially hydrogenated oils in restaurants, supermarket bakeries and delis yesterday, becoming the first county in the nation to restrict artery-clogging trans fats.

The move comes as health officials across the country decry a rise in bad eating habits, growing waistlines and an increase in heart disease and other ailments. The anti-trans fat bill puts Montgomery in the vanguard of a growing national movement to make it easier to obtain healthy foods in restaurants and grocery stores." (Washington Post)

People have long insisted on keeping the government out of their bedrooms, wonder how long it'll be before nosy bureaucrats are evicted from kitchens, too?

''Ecoterrorism' case stirs debate in US" - "Environmental radicals, who pleaded guilty to arson, may face harsher sentences under antiterror laws." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Size does matter" - "PLANNING Minister Justin Madden says "housing obesity" is not so good for the environment. Too big is too bad, but look at his house." (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

"Tropical Cyclone Numbers" - "The session I looked forward to the most at last January’s AMS convention in San Antonio was one that featured Kevin Trenberth and Greg Holland from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and Chris Landsea from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). There was standing room only in the conference room, either in anticipation of heated discussion between the speakers, which did not happen, or in anticipation of hearing the latest research on a controversial subject, for which we were not disappointed.

Kevin Trenberth, who is listed as a contributing author of the 2007 IPCC climate summary, surprised me, given his belief in anthropogenic global warming (AGW), when he said “climate models are markedly deficient by not adequately representing tropical cyclones.” Sea surface temperatures get too warm in the models due to improper handling of “surface energy exchanges from hurricanes in the global energetics of the climate system”. I’ve posted about several of the problems with the models before but this was confirmation from a major researcher." (Craig James, WOODTV)

"New technique provides continual view of approaching hurricanes" - "Forecasters will test a new technique this summer that provides a detailed 3-D view of an approaching hurricane every six minutes and allows them to determine whether the storm is gathering strength as it nears land. The technique, developed by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), relies on the existing network of Doppler radars along the Southeast coast to closely monitor hurricane winds." (NCAR)

"Colorado River streamflow history reveals megadrought before 1490" - "An epic drought during the mid-1100s dwarfs any drought previously documented for a region that includes areas of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The six-decade-long drought was remarkable for the absence of very wet years. At the core of the drought was a period of 25 years in which Colorado River flow averaged 15 percent below normal." (University of Arizona)

Oh my... "Southern Ocean Nears CO2 Saturation Point" - "BROOKLIN, Canada, May 17 - Climate change has arrested the Southern Ocean's ability to absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, researchers announced Thursday. That will make it more difficult to stabilise carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere and to reduce the risks of extreme forms of global warming." (IPS) | Rapid rise in global warming is forecast (London Times) | Polar ocean 'soaking up less CO2' (BBC) | Ocean has less ability to soak up emissions (SMH) | As a carbon 'sink,' Southern Ocean may be plugged (LA Times) | Earth's natural defences against climate change 'beginning to fail' | 'Positive feedback' may advance global warming (London Independent) | Oceans losing ability to soak up CO2 (London Telegraph)

Where to start? Earlier this month we had announcement of a previously unknown vortex in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, dramatically increasing mixing between surface and deep water -- as yet it is unknown whether this might increase or decrease absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide but it certainly shows models do not represent the real world. If the case is one of carbon being returned to atmosphere faster than previously estimated then the Southern Ocean never was absorbing the amount thought (the "missing" carbon is going somewhere as yet undetermined) or, equally likely, this mechanism enhances the ability of the Southern Ocean to transport carbon to deep ocean layers -- so the Southern Ocean is either less important for atmospheric absorption or it's capable of greater absorption than previously estimated. Both these possibilities indicate less of a "problem" than had been thought.

Let's assume, for a moment, that the above hand-wringer is accurate and the Great Southern Ocean is saturating, coming to the end of its atmospheric carbon absorbing ways. Implied then is that fears of accelerating oceanic acidification are unfounded if the oceans absorb progressively less carbon from the atmosphere as they "saturate" and, contrary to recent fears, corals and shellfish are quite safe, well able to build their homes as they have for hundreds of millions of years, through vastly higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and the current desperately low ones. Again, a claimed "problem" appears less than previously proposed.

One thing guaranteed to be endlessly reiterated will be the concept of 'positive feedback', the 'magnifier' required to make the negligible empirically measured warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide into a potential problem. Usually this takes the form of atmospheric water vapor increase as both evaporation increases and the atmosphere warms (and can thus hold more water vapor), resulting in an increase in the most prolific and important of greenhouse gases and net greenhouse effect but it can be and is also presented as 'loss of sinks' (absorption capacity) leading to more rapid increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide leading to increase in greenhouse effect. No one actually knows the net sign of Earth's total greenhouse feedback mechanisms but the global warming industry always uses positive factors with a median estimate of 2.5 (this is how they make a maximum estimate of +1.2 K for a doubling of pre-IR CO2 into a 'median estimate' of +3.0 K). Models also use absurdly high 'climate sensitivity factors' in the range of 0.75 ± 0.25 K (0.5-1.0 K) per Watt per meter squared change in forcing although empirical measure tells us these factors are 5-10 times too large. In fact there's no real need to get excited about models and hypothetical 'positive feedback' when we can simply observe what the planet does in response to an unmasked warming event and the heating and cooling cycle it undergoes each and every year. The bottom line is that the warming effect of increased carbon dioxide is small and declining.

We never cease to be amazed at the media's dutiful regurgitation of contradictory, even mutually exclusive fear-mongering, all allegedly caused by anthropogenic global warming. Are they so myopic they do not realize they publish mutually exclusive positions drawn from the same trivial changes observed? Or do they just not care and will publish anything demonstrating the unworthiness of humans in their desperate feelings of guilt as parasitic entities living to the detriment of the Great Earth Mother/Gaia/Tree Spirit thingy?

The only things we are moderately well-convinced of are that the planet is not currently as cool as it was in the Little Ice Age, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are rising as they do after every cool period and humans are probably helping this to occur. Upon this an entire disaster industry is built. Go figure!

Ocean mixing is far greater than previously realized: "Oceanic storms create oases in the watery desert" - "For two decades, scientists have puzzled over why vast blooms of microscopic plant life grow in the middle of otherwise barren mid-ocean regions. Now a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has shown that episodic, swirling current systems known as eddies act to pump nutrients up from the deep ocean to fuel such blooms.

Dennis McGillicuddy, a WHOI oceanographer and leader of the Eddies Dynamics, Mixing, Export, and Species composition (EDDIES) project, found that ocean productivity was surprisingly high when stirred by certain types of mid-ocean eddies. These huge parcels of water were teeming with diatoms (a type of phytoplankton) in concentrations 10,000 to 100,000 times the norm—among the highest ever observed in the Sargasso Sea." (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

"Scientists Foresee Extinction Domino Effect" - "BROOKLIN, Canada, May 17 - Climate change is accelerating species extinctions and unraveling the intricate web of life, experts fear. Birds, animals, insects and even plants are on the move around the Earth, trying to flee new and increasingly inhospitable local weather conditions. For some, including alpine species and polar bears, there is nowhere to go. And many others, like plants, lack the mobility to stay ahead of changing climatic conditions." (IPS)

Um... no. Critters are exploiting all available niches (as they have done as long as there has been life on Earth), avoiding the unnecessary effort of migration when conditions are not too harsh and losing some remnant pockets of ice age conditions and yet both these are held up as example of "loss" despite warm being life-friendly and adding to biodiversity as more creatures exploit the greater abundance and productivity that accompanies reduced frigid conditions. Polar bears, walrus and other denizens of Arctic survived through the Holocene Thermal Maximum (was there any Arctic summer ice at all then?) and so seem likely to survive even if possible warming occurs.

More recycled nonsense: "AFRICA: Getting Most of the Heat From Global Warming" - "JOHANNESBURG, May 17 - Nobody will escape the effects of climate change but the poor in Africa will suffer the most because of decreasing food production and the heightened prevalence of diseases such as malaria, warn environmentalists, church leaders and researchers." (IPS)

There is simply no evidence to support assertions increased atmospheric CO2 is negatively affecting crops or will do so in the future although the literature is awash with studies indicating food crops are being and have been significantly enhanced by aerial fertilization with increased atmospheric CO2 since about 1950. Rising CO2 has helped feed the world and preserve more wildlife habitat but big GREEN wants to pretend it's a bad thing. Why?

"The myth of dangerous human-caused climate change" (.pdf) - "Brief analysis of greenhouse theory, and a critique of the climate alarmism of the IPCC" (Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, "New Leaders" conference, Brisbane, May 2-3, 2007, Proceedings p. 61-74.)

"The Need To Improve Land-surface Model Hydrology In Studying the Climate System" - "There is a excellent new paper which demonstrates an additional complexity for accurately modeling the climate system. It is Gulden, L. E., E. Rosero, Z.-L. Yang, M. Rodell, C. S. Jackson, G.-Y. Niu, P. J.-F. Yeh, and J. Famiglietti (2007), Improving land-surface model hydrology: Is an explicit aquifer model better than a deeper soil profile?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L09402, doi:10.1029/2007GL029804." (Climate Science)

"UN Climate Change Debate Expected Sept. 24" - "UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans a high-level meeting on climate change on Sept. 24, on the fringes of the General Assembly's annual session of world leaders." (Reuters)

"US Says No Shift in Climate Change Stance" - "BONN - The United States will fight climate change by funding clean energy technologies and will continue to reject emissions targets or cap and trade schemes, its chief climate negotiator Harlan Watson said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Italy govt to discuss CO2 emission regime change after EU asked for alterations" - "MILAN - Italy's Ministry for Economic Development (MED) and Environment Ministry will meet next Monday to rejig the country's 2008-2012 national allocation plan (NAP) for carbon dioxide emission allowances after the European Commission on Tuesday decided it needs to be changed.

Yesterday the EU Commission accepted Italy's NAP but only on condition certain key alterations be made and in particular that the annual allocation target of 209 mln tonnes of CO2 allowances per year be cut to to 195.8 mln tonnes per year.

At the current cost of carbon credits (around 20 eur per tonne) the cost of the cut is estimated, on a market basis, at around 264 mln eur." (Thomson Financial)

Yeah, thanks Tony... "UK Carbon Emissions Up 3.6 Percent in 2006" - "LONDON - The UK's carbon emissions rose by 8.8 million tonnes or 3.6 percent in 2006, exceeding its quota set by the European Commission and forcing companies to purchase extra allowances, the government said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"China Carbon Market Money-Spinner Near Ending - UN" - "BONN - A lucrative carbon trade spawned by the destruction of greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is closer to ending after China accepted that it has unintended side-effects, a UN official said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Carbon Offsets: Paid Penance For Hypocrites" - "What do leftist, mostly secular elites share with medieval sinners? They feel bad that the way they live sometimes doesn't quite match their professed dogma." (Victor Davis Hanson, IBD)

"Oil Patch Democrats Concerned Global Warming Bill Could Raise Energy Prices" - "Did you hear about the nineteen Democrats that sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) expressing concern that a global warming bill being discussed in the House could reduce energy supplies and raise prices?

You didn’t? Want to know why?

Well, because other than Environment & Energy Daily, nobody reported it." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"For the Oil Companies, Public Rhetoric = Big Profits" - "Al Gore is a darling of the oil companies. They also really love peak-oil Cassandras and are enamored with energy alternatives like biofuels, wind, and solar. The myths du jour, preposterous and transparently idiotic as they may be, are not opposed by the presumed bogeymen in the oil industry, the supposed culprits of the situation. In fact, it is in the oil companies’ interest to promote the myths and even prolong them." (Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune)

"Ethanol's Bitter Taste: Congress is choking on corn-based fuel" - "It was a scant two years ago that Georgia's Saxby Chambliss voted with 73 other giddy senators for an energy bill that required the nation to use 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol. Georgia's farmers loved corn-based ethanol; Georgia's agri-businesses loved corn-based ethanol; and all that meant that then-Agriculture Committee Chairman Chambliss loved corn-based ethanol, too.

Earlier this year, Mr. Chambliss introduced a bill calling for even greater ethanol use, though with one striking difference: The bill caps the amount of that fuel that can come from corn. Turns out Georgia's chicken farmers hate corn-based ethanol; Georgia's pork producers hate corn-based ethanol; Georgia's dairy industry hates corn-based ethanol; Georgia's food producers hate corn-based ethanol; Georgia's hunters hate corn-based ethanol. And all that means Mr. Chambliss has had to find a new biofuels religion." (Kimberley A Strassel, Wall Street Journal)

"Q&A: Energy Independence" - "‘Energy independence’ may be a hollow slogan, but ‘energy security’ is something we can achieve. Separating fact from fantasy, Steven Hayward shows how." (The American)

Fishing for subsidies: "UK's Giant Drax Plant Could Halve CO2 Output" - "SELBY, England - Britain's biggest coal-fired power station could almost halve its CO2 emissions using existing technology, but is being held back by government policy, says Drax Chief Executive Dorothy Thompson." (Reuters)

"Rio Tinto to Join BP to Build Low CO2 Power Plants" - "LONDON - Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest mining group, is to join oil major BP Plc to develop power generation plants whose CO2 emissions will be pumped underground to help curb global warming." (Reuters)

"UK Plans World's Biggest Offshore Windfarm" - "LONDON - Britain's Farm Energy Ltd plans the world's largest offshore wind farm, in southwest England, and hopes an imminent overhaul of Britain's planning system will help speed its development, a company director said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Britain to Set Out Radical Energy, Planning Revamp" - "LONDON - Britain will next week set out plans for a major policy revamp to secure energy supplies and fight global warming, calling for new nuclear power plants and also giving business and individuals vital roles." (Reuters)

May 17, 2007

"Multiplying NGOs Find Increased Public Scrutiny" - "United Nations, 17 May: As international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) continue to spread their wings to the far corners of the world, their social and economic activities, as well as their humanitarian operations in politically-troubled regions, are increasingly under public scrutiny.

Jem Bendell, author of a 2006 study on NGOs, cited a global survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2003 that rated NGOs above politicians, businessmen, teachers and priests in the levels of public trust.

These findings, Bendell said, were consistent with previous polls on the same topic. Still, this trust has been on the decline, according to WEF.

According to conservative estimates, there are over 48,000 international NGOs -- and growing." (Inter Press Service)

"Thailand stealing out of WTO?" - "Membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a very big deal. It offers benefits in the form of market access and trade protections. China lobbied desperately for membership, and Russia actually agreed to the Kyoto Protocol in return for European Union endorsement of their WTO bid.

Therefore, it seems curious to watch Thailand abrogate its own WTO membership. They are doing so by breaking patents, something they are bound to respect under WTO rules.

Recently, Thailand has begun openly overriding American patents developed at great expense. Simply put, this is theft. And it is something against which the United States government must act." (Christopher C. Horner, Washington Times)

"Experts: Kids Avoid Weight Gain on Diet" - "SOMERVILLE, Mass.-- More fruits and vegetables were added to school lunches. Restaurants offered smaller portions. Crosswalks even got a fresh coat of paint to encourage walking and biking. The whole city of Somerville went on a diet to curb childhood obesity, and researchers say it worked.

Tufts University nutrition experts found public schoolchildren in this Boston suburb avoided gaining about a pound of excess weight compared with their 8-year-old counterparts in two nearby communities. The results of the study were published last week in the journal Obesity." (AP)

And they don't think this was due to excessive community focus on a single issue? Were all other things equal or did focus on weight displace other learning (so how did these kids compare on literacy, numeracy and general knowledge)? Have they made any net gain in this community or are they guilty of misdirection? Dubious...

"Junkfood Science Special: Statin kids" - "Two new clinical guidelines were recently released for managing blood “cholesterol” in children. Before we all worry about another risk factor or rush to put our children on statins for life, let’s take a careful look at what the evidence showed." (Junkfood Science)

"Vitamins and prostate cancer" - "Millions of men came home from work to be greeted by news that the vitamins they’ve been taking, believing to be good for them, could increase their risks for prostate cancer." (Junkfood Science)

 "Hair straightening chemicals not linked to breast cancer risk in African-Americans" - "PHILADELPHIA -- Chemical “relaxers” used to straighten hair are not associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer among African-American women, say researchers who followed 48,167 Black Women’s Health Study participants.

In the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers from Boston University and Howard University Cancer Center found no increase in breast cancer risk due to the type of hair relaxer used or the frequency and duration of use. Women who used relaxers seven or more times a year over a 20 year span or longer had the same risk as women who used the chemicals for less than a year, researchers say.

“This is good news,” said the study’s lead investigator, Lynn Rosenberg, Sc.D., professor of epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health. “The present study is definitive that hair relaxers don’t cause breast cancer, as much as an epidemiologic study can be.” (American Association for Cancer Research)

"No magic tomato? Study breaks link between lycopene and prostate cancer prevention" - "PHILADELPHIA -- Tomatoes might be nutritious and tasty, but don’t count on them to prevent prostate cancer. In the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers based at the National Cancer Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center report that lycopene, an antioxidant predominately found in tomatoes, does not effectively prevent prostate cancer. In fact, the researchers noted an association between beta-carotene, an antioxidant related to lycopene, and an increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer." (American Association for Cancer Research)

"Fatalistic beliefs about cancer cause many to ignore cancer prevention advice" - "PHILADELPHIA -- If you feel that you are fated for cancer, your belief could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. According to a national survey of more than 6,000 U.S. adults published in the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a substantial number of American adults hold fatalistic beliefs about cancer and are correspondingly less likely to take basic steps to lower their cancer risk, such as exercising, quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

The study, which analyzes data from the National Cancer Institute’s Health Information National Trends Survey, is the first national survey in almost 20 years to assess Americans’ knowledge about and attitudes toward cancer prevention. The findings have implications for cancer education efforts." (American Association for Cancer Research)

Cluster, schmuster: "Cancer Cluster Investigation: How Cases are Counted" - "As we continue our investigation into what some say is a brain cancer cluster in the Dalton, Georgia area, we take a closer look at how cases of Glioblastoma are counted." | Cancer Cluster Investigation, Part 9 | Cancer Cluster in Dalton, Georgia? (WTVC) -- h/t "Chuk"

Cancer 'clusters' are not actually worth investigating since clusters occur by chance. Chattanooga TV's 'investigation eventually turned up the expected number of occurrences over time so now they are going on a data dredge of people who may have had some contact with the region (about the same as counting coronaries among people who'd been through a particular intersection, transit hub or whatever...) and still they've found, well, nothing really, although they are probably managing to frighten or at least upset some viewers.

"Gas May Have Harmed Troops, Scientists Say" - "WASHINGTON, May 16 — Scientists working with the Defense Department have found evidence that a low-level exposure to sarin nerve gas — the kind experienced by more than 100,000 American troops in the Persian Gulf war of 1991 — could have caused lasting brain deficits in former service members.

Though the results are preliminary, the study is notable for being financed by the federal government and for being the first to make use of a detailed analysis of sarin exposure performed by the Pentagon, based on wind patterns and plume size.

The report, to be published in the June issue of the journal NeuroToxicology, found apparent changes in the brain’s connective tissue — its so-called white matter — in soldiers exposed to the gas. The extent of the brain changes — less white matter and slightly larger brain cavities — corresponded to the extent of exposure, the study found.

Previous studies had suggested that exposure affected the brain in some neural regions, but the evidence was not convincing to many scientists. The new report is likely to revive the long-debated question of why so many troops returned from that war with unexplained physical problems. Many in the scientific community have questioned whether the so-called gulf war illnesses have a physiological basis, and far more research will have to be done before it is known whether those illnesses can be traced to exposure to sarin. The long-term effects of sarin on the brain are still not well understood." (New York Times)

Entertaining but short on evidence: "Did comet start deadly cold snap?" - "An extraterrestrial impact 13,000 years ago wiped out mammoths and started a mini-ice age, scientists believe." (Margaret Munro, CanWest News Service)

"California History, Culture Haunted by Wildfires" - "LOS ANGELES - The ashes are still smoldering from Southern California's second major wildfire in a week, a sign of what authorities warn could be one of the drought-plagued state's worst fire years.

"It's a natural phenomenon, just part of Mother Nature's way of cleaning out the forest," California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said. "Sometimes we hear, 'This is the worst fire season ever.' But its really an ongoing thing." If there was a "worst fire season" in the last century or so, Berlant said, it would probably be 1936 -- when flames swept across more than 1,250 square miles (3,235 square km) of California, an area roughly the size of Rhode Island." (Reuters)

Yes and no... "Senate backs 100-year storm model: Insurers push 5-year guide" - "Insurance companies will have to use a traditional 100-year hurricane catastrophe model rather than shorter time frames if a bill approved by the state Senate on Wednesday becomes law.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina destruction, some insurance companies began looking at other models, as brief as five years, to reflect more recent hurricane trends because of what some argue is related to climate change.

State Sen. Art Lentini, R-Kenner, said Senate Bill 229 is crucial because the much briefer time models serve only to drive up rates. That prices out new homeowners from moving to the hurricane-affected areas, he said.

“There’s no reason to change the model,” Lentini told his fellow senators Wednesday.

Five-year models can increase homeowners’ insurance rates by 50 percent, Lentini said." (The Advocate)

... insurance must reflect actual risk and people do keep putting valuable artifacts in the path of destructive storms, so insurers naturally want to reflect the most recent likely risk, something which would be fine as long as premiums declined rapidly as hurricane frequency heads into the trough phase of the cycle. That said there's been a tremendous amount of hysteria and unsupported speculation regarding trivial warming and hurricane power and frequency, which the 100-year model helps smooth and restrain while the hysteria passes, as it inevitably will. So, yes, people should pay realistic risk premiums and no, a hyper-short-term model isn't really a good idea due to volatility (using US landfalling hurricanes 1996-2005 the preceding 5-year averages 2001-2005 would be 1.8; 1.4; 1.4; 1.2; 1.8 [actual counts were 0; 1; 2; 6; 6], 2006 & 2007 would have a preceding average of 3 despite there being exactly zero landfalling hurricanes in 2006 which means the model would be working on averages that had nearly trebled in just 2 years).

"Czech President denounces climate change 'hysteria'" - "Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Wednesday denounced environmentalists' "hysteria" over global warming as he launched his latest book, "A blue, not green, planet," which tackles the issue. "I am raising my voice," said the politician who has characterised environmentalism as an ideology as dangerous as communism." (AFP)

"Klaus: a green 'revolt of mobs' scares me" - "Today, 'Hospodářské noviny', a Czech counterpart of the Financial Times, published an interview with Czech president Václav Klaus." (The Reference Frame)

"Request For Photographs Of GHCN sites - A Need For Documentation" - "Several excellent comments on Climate Science over the past week and on another weblog have emphasized the value of photographs of surface weather stations that are used to measure temperatures that are used in the construction of the land part of the multi-decadal global average surface temperature trends. These stations are referred to as being in the Global Historical Climate Network -GHCN. The United States component is referred to as the USHCN.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the National Climate Data Center (NCDC) in the USA, however, have not insisted that such photographs be taken. As we and others have shown in peer reviewed papers; e.g.

“The Geoprofile metadata, exposure of instruments, and measurement bias in climatic record revisited” by Rezaul Mahmood, Stuart A. Foster and David Logan June 30, 2006 International Journal of Climatology

“Land use/land cover change effects on temperature trends at U.S. Climate” by R. C. Hale, K. P. Gallo, T. W. Owen, and T. R. Loveland June 3 2006 Geophysical Research Letters

Davey, C.A., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2005: Microclimate exposures of surface-based weather stations - implications for the assessment of long-term temperature trends. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., Vol. 86, No. 4, 497–504.

Pielke Sr., R.A. J. Nielsen-Gammon, C. Davey, J. Angel, O. Bliss, M. Cai, N. Doesken, S. Fall, D. Niyogi, K. Gallo, R. Hale, K.G. Hubbard, X. Lin, H. Li, and S. Raman, 2007: Documentation of uncertainties and biases associated with surface temperature measurement sites for climate change assessment. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., in press.

this is a very serious issue, as these temperatures form the basis of the claims of the magnitude of global warming (see Figure SPM.3a in the 2007 IPCC SPM).

This weblog requests that readers of Climate Science and their colleagues photograph GHCN sites within their countries (using digital cameras, if possible) and post as comments on Climate Science, or send in an e-mail to us directly. All sites are needed (those with good exposure should also be photographed)." (Climate Science)

"Small particles' big impact on climate" - "Dust and soot from Asia create air pollution in California, but also temper global warming and may stymie hurricane formation. Scientists are taking a look." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Part of the problem with this whole modeled "emergency" -- to make models emulate observed history we claim sulfate aerosols masked enhanced greenhouse that "should" have occurred but it would be an extremely brave (or foolhardy) atmospheric chemist to state categorically that these particles do or even can behave in the manner modeled in the free atmosphere because we just don't know this to be the case. If in fact they do function in the manner proposed then we have even more of a problem with the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis since Asian production of these particulates has more than compensated for reduced output from North America and Western Europe and thus the "masking effect" should have increased rather than decreased. Even worse from the perspective of enhanced greenhouse and sulfate particulate masking is that there has been no significant change in southern hemisphere anthropogenic sulfate emission to accompany the rising carbon dioxide level (CO2 is well mixed around the globe with only a couple of parts per million difference between Mauna Loa and the South Pole). This raises the problem of the southern hemisphere's near-total lack of response to enhanced greenhouse, according to RSS there's been approximately none while the UAH team utilizing slightly different extreme southern bounds might have detected a small step warming but this will not be confirmed for many years to come. No support here for the horrendously complex and convoluted "there's warming but it's being hidden which proves it's warming" hypothesis. Maybe they think physics works differently on the "bottom of the globe"?

Pop-sci rag New Scientist displays its advocacy: "Climate change: A guide for the perplexed" - "Our planet's climate is anything but simple. All kinds of factors influence it, from massive events on the Sun to the growth of microscopic creatures in the oceans, and there are subtle interactions between many of these factors.

Yet despite all the complexities, a firm and ever-growing body of evidence points to a clear picture: the world is warming, this warming is due to human activity increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and if emissions continue unabated the warming will too, with increasingly serious consequences." (New Scientist)

"State climatologist not jumping on global warming bandwagon" - "Many people who saw “An Inconvenient Truth,” a global warming documentary featuring Al Gore, immediately became very concerned about global climate change and impending weather disasters. Don't count state climatologist Dr. Charles Wax of Mississippi State University as one of them. “First off, there isn't a consensus among scientists,” Wax told the Columbus Rotary Club Tuesday. “Don't let anybody tell you there is.”" (Commercial Dispatch)

"NASA…We Have A Problem…with Your Forecast" - "From the “global warming insanity department”….

I see that NASA has issued a release that they are forecasting daily highs in July and August between 100 and 110 degrees in the summer of 2080 for cities such as Chicago, Washington, and Atlanta. This is based on a “widely-used weather prediction model coupled to a global model developed by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.” The press release also says they “analyzed nearly 30 years of observational temperature and precipitation data” for use in the project.

Anyone have any problems with this other than me?" (James Spann, ClimateBrains.com)

Groan: "Top Scientists Urge Quick G8 Climate Change Action" - "LONDON - Top scientists called on Wednesday for leaders of the world's rich nations to cease squabbling over global warming and take urgent action instead." (Reuters)

Audio comment.

Uh-huh... "Companion book to Live Earth shows coming out next month, on recycled paper" - "NEW YORK - A companion book to this summer's "Live Earth" concerts will come out June 26, printed, of course, on environmentally responsible paper.

"The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills to Stop Climate Change - or Live Through It," is a 160-page paperback release with an announced first printing of 200,000. It was written by David De Rothschild, founder of Sculpt the Future, a non-profit environmental foundation, and includes a foreword by actor-director Rob Reiner." (AP)

... and you get a nickel change from US$15!

"Can Murdoch save the planet?" - "Rupert Murdoch has promised to make his media empire carbon-neutral by 2010. He's not the first tycoon to boast about his green plans - but will it actually make any difference? Mark Lynas investigates." (The Guardian)

Have you sent your suggestion on how JunkScience.com can go even GREENer? We'll be publishing some contributions next week.

"Regulation is not the best way to fight global warming" - "On the "The News Hour With Jim Lehrer" recently, a global-warming expert was discussing how cap-and-trade agreements might work, and while she was perfectly pleasant, there was something in her cool, technocratic description that made me feel I might be glimpsing a terribly oppressive future.

The scheme she spoke of is often presented as a free-market means of curtailing fossil-fuel consumption, but listen carefully and you realize it would instead be a vast bureaucratic arrangement controlling significant operations of whole industries. In setting the terms for some businesses to sell a portion of their allotment of gas emissions to other businesses, it would amount to an unrelenting regulatory regimen." (Jay Ambrose, Times Herald-Record)

"U.S. Steel chairman warns about emissions cap" - "As forces across the country gear up to control carbon dioxide emissions, the chief executive of a major Pittsburgh manufacturer sounded a cautionary warning on Wednesday." (Sacramento Business Journal)

"Copyright Fear Hampers West's Climate Work in China" - "FRANKFURT - Mistrust over patent protection is hampering the West's efforts to help clean up China's booming industry and limit climate change, investors said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Investigating coral reefs to help understand past and future climate change" - "Increasing Earth temperatures and rising sea levels. Both of these are effects of climate change. The current concern is that human activity is changing our climate at a rate well above the natural climate cycling. Understanding how the Earth's climate system works and responds to human impact is therefore of uttermost importance." (ESA)

Desperate stunts #... "Greenpeace building a replica of Noah's Ark in an appeal for action on climate change" - "ISTANBUL, Turkey – Environmental activists are building a replica of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat – where the biblical vessel is said to have landed after the great flood – in an appeal for action on global warming, Greenpeace said Wednesday." (AP)

No? Duh! "Permanent ice fields are resisting global warming" - "The small ice caps of Mont Blanc and the Dôme du Goûter are not melting, or at least, not yet. This is what CNRS researchers have announced in the Journal of Geophysical Research. At very high altitudes (above 4200 meters), the accumulation of snow and ice has varied very little since the beginning of the 20th century. But if summer temperatures increase by a few degrees during the 21st century, the melt could become more marked, and could affect the "permanent" ice fields." (CNRS)

"Airlines Urged to Copy Costa Rican Firm on Warming" - "OSLO - Big airlines should imitate a tiny, profitable Costa Rican company that invests in forest protection to help soak up greenhouse gases spewed out by its planes, Costa Rica's tourism minister said on Wednesday.

Carlos Ricardo Benavides said that airlines had to do more to fight global warming, partly to encourage tourists worried about climate change to keep visiting remote jungles, mountains and beaches in poor countries that rely on the income." (Reuters)

Right... "Energy Standards Needed, Report Says" - "Energy saving opportunities in American homes are immense with current technology, but new product standard mandates will be needed, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute. The research group’s study, scheduled to be released today, concludes that projected electricity consumption in residential buildings in the United States in 2020 could be reduced by more than a third if compact fluorescent light bulbs and an array of other high-efficiency options including water heaters, kitchen appliances, room-insulation materials and standby power were adopted across the nation." (New York Times)

Along with toilets that don't effectively flush, washing machines that don't wash, vehicles too light and fragile to be safe, now they want to stuff up everything else you own, too.

"Norway Positive Toward Global Carbon Fund Idea" - "OSLO - Oil-rich Norway has welcomed an idea to set up a global carbon fund, resembling the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to manage a push to curb emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for heating the planet." (Reuters)

That should read: the greenhouse gases wrongly blamed ...

One of the problems of the great climate deception: "Cargill's Next CEO Hopeful on Climate" - "WAYZATA, Minn. - Climate change is central to the strategic planning of global agribusiness and trading giant Cargill Inc., the company's president and chief operating officer, Gregory Page, said Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Carbon sequestration field test begins" - "The U.S. Department of Energy says its Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium has started its first enhanced oil recovery field test in Illinois." (UPI)

Sensibly it's an "enhanced oil recovery" filed test.

Good grief! "Power to the people - but use it wisely" - "It is not the kind of dire prediction you expect to hear from the head of one of Britain's biggest energy companies but Gordon Parsons, managing director of npower's commercial division, called npower business, does not pull punches. "Fast forward 20 years and extreme climate events like New Orleans will be much more common. We will see populations migrating to escape flooding or drought. In an era of geopolitical instability, the nature of consumerism and human behaviour will change dramatically." (London Telegraph)

"Greens angered by 1m flights giveaway" - "There have been 1p flight sales before, but until now Ryanair has never paid for people to fly. Yesterday it began a giveaway of 1m flights where the airline pays the taxes, fees and charges, sparking an unprecedented rush of "binge flyers" clambering to book tickets for close to nothing." (The Guardian)

"Roundup Ready alfalfa seed ban a totally ludicrous legal decision" - "Ludicrous, absurd, unbelievable, preposterous — those just a few descriptive terms for California Federal District Court Judge Charles Breyer’s decision to halt the sale of Roundup Ready alfalfa seed." (Harry Cline, Farm Press)

"Bayer Corn Seed Wins Approval From Brazil Regulator" - "Bayer AG, Germany's largest drugmaker, got approval from Brazil's biotechnology regulator to sell a genetically modified corn seed in the country, moving one step closer to final government clearance." (Bloomberg)

"U.S. approves GMO rice to produce human proteins" - "CHICAGO - The U.S. government gave approval on Wednesday for a biotech company to plant rice genetically modified to produce human proteins in Kansas." (Reuters)

"Swiss scientists plan new GM crop trials" - "Three years after a series of controversial field experiments with genetically modified (GM) wheat, Swiss scientists are planning similar crop trials, Swiss Radio International (SRI) reported Wednesday.

Two teams of university researchers have applied to carry out tests near Zurich and Lausanne, including observations of potential crossbreeding between wheat and wild grass.

The proposed crop trials by Zurich University's Institute of Plant Biology and the Institute of Plant Sciences at the Zurich's Federal Institute of Technology would form part of a planned national research program." (Xinhua)

May 16, 2007

"Inconclusive study on DDT has potentially mortal consequences" - "The latest attack on DDT for indoor residual spraying purposes merely amounts to yet another smear campaign. Nowhere does the paper acknowledge the millions of lives that it has help to save and finds inconclusive evidence that DDT is harmful to human reproductive health." (AFM)

DDT Backlash Begins

DDT - the view from 1945, still valid today! (An Englishman's Castle)

"Unchecked Idealism: WHO's Epidemic?" - "When the World Health Assembly of health ministers from around the globe gathers this month in Geneva, of particular concern should be the performance of its parent organization, the World Health Organization (WHO). Thirty years ago, WHO celebrated its greatest triumph: the eradication of smallpox. Not only has this victory not been repeated, but today WHO rarely comes close to achieving its targets in combating disease." (AFM)

At least they are starting to ponder: "Red Green and Blue: Environmentalism vs. Humanitarianism" - "Editor's note: In the newest edition of Red, Green and Blue, writers Jimmy Hogan and Shirley Siluk Gregory take a look at the "big issue" of environmentalism vs. humanitarianism." (Green Options)

"Feasting On Famine" - "The U.S. ships $2 billion in food aid each year to poor countries. Does that make us generous? Well, yes, but not exactly to the poor. In one ravenous boondoggle, most of the aid goes to overhead.

President Bush is right to push Congress to reform U.S. aid ahead of this year's Farm Bill. The changes he seeks are few and small, but they'll mean many more people will get fed." (IBD)

"Teaching our children to be afraid, very afraid" - "It is bad enough that our children are being taught in school, based on absolutely no evidence, that they are going to be the first generation to die before their parents of horrible diseases because they are eating “improperly,” not exercising enough and “too fat.” (Junkfood Science)

"Study finds no link between autism and thimerosal in vaccines" - "COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The increase in the number of diagnosed cases of autism in recent years has sparked concern that environmental toxins may cause this complex disorder. However, a new University of Missouri-Columbia study concludes that exposure to Rh immune globulin preserved with mercury-containing thimerosal before birth was no higher for children with autism.

"This study adds to the evidence that there is no casual association between thimerosal and childhood autism," said Judith Miles, who is the William S. Thomson Endowed Chair of Autism and professor of pediatrics and pathology in the MU School of Medicine. "We conclude that there is no indication that pregnancies resulting in children with autism were more likely to be complicated by Rh immune globulin/thimerosal exposure." (University of Missouri-Columbia )

"Newmont exec sues New York Times over Indonesia stories" - "An executive from US mining giant Newmont sued the New York Times for more than 64 million dollars Tuesday over claims the firm dumped toxic waste into an Indonesian bay.

Richard Ness said he sued the newspaper and one of its reporters for defamation in an Indonesian court over stories published in 2004 that claimed Newmont polluted the bay with tonnes of waste from its now defunct gold mine.

The suit comes less than a month after Ness and the local unit of Newmont were cleared by Indonesian judges of criminal charges that they polluted Buyat Bay with arsenic and mercury from the mine.

"The New York Times claimed that we killed fish and poisoned people and I think the court's ruling last month proved that we didn't," Ness told AFP.

"I want to see an apology on page one of the newspaper that clears my name and our image," he said." (AFP)

Perhaps there should be a class action against The New York Times including all individual shareholders, pension plans and anyone else harmed by NYT's reckless reporting and cavalier disregard for the truth. Wouldn't that set an interesting precedent for claims against the harms wrought by all kinds of entities (media, activists, fear profiteers of varied description...) when gorebal warmening proves to be the crisis that never was.

"Climate messages are 'off target'" - "Alarmist messages about global warming are counter-productive, the head of a leading climate research centre says. Professor Mike Hulme, of the UK's Tyndall Centre, has been conducting research on people's attitudes to media portrayals of a catastrophic future. He says strong messages designed to prompt people to change behaviour only seem to generate apathy." (BBC)

Actually Mike, the big problem is that claims of carbon dioxide-driven catastrophe are utter rubbish and more responsible scientists are pointing that out. The bitter medicine being forced on the populace can not demonstrate any efficacy for the simple reason it has no illness to address.

Lower- and mid-troposphere measures show trivial warming but nothing to indicate anything catastrophic or even particularly comment worthy while stratospheric measures, which should be plummeting if near-surface estimates were accurate and the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis holds, have gone nowhere in a decade (tip: if stratospheric cooling is not taking place then any warming at the surface is caused by something other than enhanced greenhouse). Only computer games called "climate models" generate disaster scenarios and we know the models are broken because they cannot reproduce contemporary conditions. Moreover, model studies tell us the troposphere should warm at an increasing ratio with altitude compared with the surface (the physics of this are quite straightforward and uncontroversial) yet near-surface estimates are racing ahead in the great warming gallop -- again this tells us that enhanced greenhouse is the wrong suspect.

"Runaway Models" - "It turns out that the global warming theorists have missed on another of their predictions. Shouldn't that be a deeply harmful, if not fatal, blow to the credibility of their argument?" (IBD)

"A New Paper On The Role Of Irrigation On Weather and Climate" - "We have a paper on the role of irrigation on weather and climate that was led by Jimmy Adegoke of the University of Missouri at Kansas City." (Climate Science)

"The Paper On Observational Estimates Of Radiative Forcing Due To Land Use Change In Southwest Australia Was Published Today" - "Climate Science has webloged on this paper when accepted. It was published to in the AGU Journal of Geophysical Research: Nair U. S., D. K. Ray, J. Wang, S. A. Christopher, T. J. Lyons, R. M. Welch, R. A. Pielke Sr. (2007), Observational estimates of radiative forcing due to land use change in southwest Australia, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D09117, doi:10.1029/2006JD007505." (Climate Science)

From CO2 Science this week:

Photosynthetic Responses of Understory Tree Seedlings to Seven Years of Elevated CO 2 : Has the initial CO 2 -induced increase in leaf photosynthesis increased or decreased over time? Or has it remained the same?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Chilean Continental Slope, Southern Chile. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Range Expansion (Plants - North America: United States, Southwest): What do experimental and observational studies reveal about the nature of woody-plant range expansions in the southwestern United States?

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: Barley, Red Maple, Rose, and Splendid Feather Moss.

Journal Reviews:
Solar Variability and Earth's Climate: What's the connection between the two?

On the Pervasiveness of Millennial-Scale Climatic Cyclicity: Just how pervasive is it? And what does the result suggest about the cause of modern global warming?

The Medieval Warm Period in the Gulf of California: How did it compare with the Current Warm Period there?

Effects of Diurnal Temperature Range on Human Mortality: We report the results of the first scientific study ever to examine the subject.

Global Warming and Coral Calcification Rates: How does the former affect the latter in Acropora sp.?

Owensboro, KY Temperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Owensboro, KY. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Owensboro's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.28 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Swindle and the IPCC TAR Spaghetti Graph" - "Our text for today remains:

If a practising scientist selected a 1987 data set over more recent versions, failed to cite it correctly, altered the appearance of the data without a clear explanation and didn’t include the data from the last 20 years then I think we’d all be asking serious questions about their professionalism.

This was, of course, put forward in the context of Swindle, but surely IPCC is a bigger fish to fry. Let’s apply these principles to IPCC." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"Climatologist Fired For Exposing Warming Myths" - "University of Washington climate scientist Mark Albright was recently dismissed from his position as associate state climatologist, just weeks after exposing false claims of shrinking glaciers in the Cascade Mountains, says James M. Taylor, managing editor of Environment and Climate News." (NCPA)

Could, maybe, if, might... don't know: "NASA satellites reveal vast snow melt on Antarctica" - "Rising temperatures caused a layer of snow blanketing a California-sized region of Antarctica to melt, US space agency NASA said in a statement on Tuesday.

A team of scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the University of Colorado said new satellite imagery had revealed a vast expanse of snow melt in 2005 where it had previously been considered unlikely.

The NASA statement described the findings as "the most significant melt observed using satellites during the past three decades." (AFP)

Is any loss of Antarctic ice mass suspected? No. Was there any increase in Antarctic temperature detected? No. The article says this hasn't been observed before in three decades of satellite monitoring -- has this particular technique been employed for three decades? No, it actually said we hadn't seen it before and threw in the fact that there have been polar orbiting satellites for about 30 years but the two statements aren't really related. Do we know that this represents any form of change or novel event? No. Is this a breathless blurt about a mildly interesting but largely irrelevant observation? Yes.

"Ocean Around Japan Warming Up Fast - Report" - "TOKYO - The ocean around Japan has warmed up faster than elsewhere in the world over the last hundred years partly because of global warming, Japan's Meteorological Agency said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Japanese sea water is uniquely affected by "global warming"? Right...

More nonsense 'predictions': "Heat, dust, and water piped in from Scotland. Welcome to London 2071" - "Perched between brooding mountains and surrounded by vineyards, the Portuguese town of Vila Real may seem a world away from the chaos of central London.

Known mainly for its baroque Mateus palace - immortalised on the label of millions of bottles of Mateus Rose wine - the town in the north of the country is home to 50,000 people, who are used to average temperatures through the winter comfortably into double figures, and barely three inches of rainfall during the summer.

Yet scientists say Vila Real and London have something in common, thanks to the effects of global warming." (The Guardian)

"Bush challenges Congress to move on climate change" - "Washington - President George W Bush called Monday for new US regulations to cut petrol use and greenhouse gas emissions for motor vehicles, but without mandatory nationwide limits. He proposed no specific measures, but indicated they would focus on tighter fuel-economy rules for US automakers and promoting so- called biofuels such as ethanol. Bush said he was reacting to a US Supreme Court ruling last month that affirmed the federal government's right to set limits on greenhouse gas emissions under a 1990 clean-air law.

White House spokesman Tony Snow made plain that Bush remains opposed to mandatory nationwide caps on greenhouse gas emissions, such as those set by the UN Kyoto Protocol. 'The market-based approach seems to have worked,' Snow said. 'So the president's position is still the same.'" (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)

"Senate defeats climate change measure" - "WASHINGTON -- The Senate, after one of its first full debates on global warming, on Tuesday defeated a proposal requiring the Army Corps of Engineers to consider the impact of climate change in designing water resources projects.

The vote was 51-42 in favor of the amendment to a water projects bill, falling nine short of the 60 votes needed to approve it under the rules set for the debate." (Associated Press)

Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming - Now Skeptics (EPW)

"Blue, not Green Planet: climatologists react" - "Václav Klaus's new book will be released tomorrow. What is endangered? Climate or freedom? Of course, your humble correspondent feels honored to be referred to. The party celebrating the book will be broadcast on the CT24 TV channel and online at 4:30 am EDT.

Czech climate scientists respond. Mr Jan Pretel thinks that Klaus puts economy above the scientific ecology. However, he agrees with the Czech president that mankind shouldn't make enormous investments into emission reductions without thinking carefully about them.

Despite some disagreement with certain portions of the book, the text has been praised by Mr Radim Tolasz, another climatologist: "The only thing he has done is to stand firmly on the other side and offer many diverse counter-arguments which balances the whole discussion. And that could be useful." (The Reference Frame)

"Hurricanes and CO2 rise" (.pdf) - "It is now over a year-and-a-half since the media explosion following hurricanes Katrina and Rita’s landfalls and several papers saying that the US landfalling hurricanes of 2004-2005 probably had a human-induced global warming component. With this there was an implication that US hurricane landfall and damage would continue to get worse with time as CO2 amounts continued to rise." (Dr. William Gray, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Head of the Tropical Meteorology Project, Colorado State University)

"Britain's top delegate to Canada criticizes approach to climate change policy" - "OTTAWA -- Canadian politicians should stop blaming each other for failures in meeting targets in the Kyoto accord, and start developing effective policies to slash the greenhouse gas pollution that causes climate change, says Britain's high commissioner to Canada, Anthony Cary." (CanWest News Service)

D'oh! "Canadians cool to tolls of climate change" - "Canadians readily identify the environment as the most important political issue, but they stop short of wanting action on climate change when it requires them to spend more money, a new poll finds. The conclusions underscore challenges governments face in reconciling environmental policy with voters who say they should be forced to change their behaviour, yet remain reluctant to do so." (Katie Rook, National Post)

"Japan Government Panel to Debate Climate Proposals" - "TOKYO - Japan's key economic panel will discuss private-sector proposals on tackling climate change on Tuesday but will not make them public because of the topic's sensitivity ahead of next month's G8 summit, Economics Minister Hiroko Ota said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"China Drought Threatens Water Supply for Millions" - "BEIJING - A spring drought is intensifying across north China thanks to scarce rainfall and high temperatures, drying up reservoirs and farmland and threatening drinking water supplies for millions, state media said on Tuesday. A top meteorological official warned last week thatChina was likely to be hit by more extreme weather, including typhoons, floods and drought, this year than at any time in the past decade because of global warming." (Reuters)

Herd panic? "Corporate concern on climate rises" - "More companies favor action on emissions, both for environmental and pragmatic reasons." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"EU Tells Italy to Cut its CO2 Cap by 6.3 Pct" - "BRUSSELS - Italy must cut its proposed cap on industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2008-2012 by 6.3 percent, the European Commission said on Tuesday, advancing its drive to shore up the EU's key tool to fight climate change." (Reuters)

"California to Change Fuel Mix by Ranking Carbon Output" - "NEW YORK - California will rank the greenhouse gas emissions of motor fuels, which could drive people to use low-carbon alternatives, an aide to the state's governor said.

On Friday, California scientists will reveal a formula for calculating the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from the full cycle of fuels -- from extraction and harvesting to combustion -- said David Crane, an advisor to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The rankings will calculate emissions of inputs used to make the fuels, such as the fertilizer and diesel used to grow and harvest corn-based ethanol from the US Midwest, or the diesel and natural gas burned to dig and melt crude from Canada's tarry oil sands." (Reuters)

Increasingly sophisticated carbon scam: "On the Web, an Advanced Carbon Calculator for Personal Use" - "A new Internet tool to help individuals and communities curb their role in adding global-warming carbon emissions will be announced today at a conference in New York of mayors from around the world, said a person who built the Web technology." (New York Times)

"EU Car Companies Seek 3-Year Reprieve on CO2 Rules" - "BRUSSELS - Car manufacturers called on the European Commission on Tuesday to delay setting new requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to 2015, three years later than currently proposed, to give them more time to prepare." (Reuters)

"Send Your Underwear to the Undersecretary" - "Top-loading laundry machines have long been a low-priced, dependable home appliance. But no more—the federal government has wrecked them with its energy-efficiency regulations." (CEI)

"Europe Lags, China Catches Up in Clean Energy Race" - "FRANKFURT - European private sector backing for clean energy technologies is slipping further behind the United States, while China is catching up, new figures show." (Reuters)

"Action urged on patio heaters" - "The government must introduce tough regulations and taxes on energy-inefficient appliances like patio heaters and plasma TVs, or risk missing future targets for reducing greenhouse emissions." (The Guardian)

Kyoto? Who cares -- there's a bear in the EU energy supply: "Last-ditch move to save Russia-EU summit" - "Germany is making a last-ditch attempt to rescue a European Union summit with Russia from disaster, amid increasing calls within the bloc for a rethink of policy towards Moscow." (Financial Times)

Gosh, wonder why Germany has done an about face and ordered 15 new coal-fired power stations?

"Brazil Seen Pushing Nuclear Energy Forward" - "RIO DE JANEIRO - The Brazilian government looks ready to approve the completion of a stalled third nuclear power plant, ushering in a wider atomic energy drive that could provoke public opposition." (Reuters)

"Space solar power: why do we need it and what do we need to get it?" - "The need for a huge new supply of electricity over the next 50–100 years is blindingly obvious. The alternatives are either a drastic collapse of living standards in the developed world—and no doubt elsewhere as well—or a radical reduction in the number of humans on this Earth. Probably both." (Taylor Dinerman, Space Review)

"Tilting at offshore windmills" - "How Massachusetts's Cape Wind project got hijacked." (Wendy Williams, The Christian Science Monitor)

"US Drops Oil Development Plan for Remote Alaska" - "ANCHORAGE Alaska - The US Bureau of Land Management Monday dropped plans to allow development of remote federal land in northern Alaska because the oil and gas industry has little interest in exploring the highly inaccessible region." (Reuters)

"Is Media’s Love for Al Gore Stronger Than Their Hatred for George W. Bush?" - "As gas prices hit all-time highs – not adjusted for inflation, of course – it appears that the media are missing a fabulous opportunity to rightly or wrongly blame the problem on President Bush." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"Hydrogen cars may be a long time coming" - "WASHINGTON - President Bush's goal of putting the next generation of Americans into cars fueled by hydrogen is slipping away.

Technology, economics and human behavior are proving to be formidable obstacles to the president's dream of using hydrogen - the most abundant element in the universe - to reduce America's dependence on gasoline.

The administration's plan is to combine hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell, a boxy device that takes in those elements and puts out water, heat and electricity. The electricity can power an electric motor or recharge a battery to drive a car.

However, experts say there are quicker, cleaner, safer and cheaper ways to reduce the tail-pipe emissions from cars and trucks that pollute the air and contribute to global warming." (McClatchy Newspapers)

"Mosquito bacteria identified in malaria battle" - "ROME - Scientists in Italy say they have identified a potential weapon against malaria - the bacteria carried by the blood-sucking mosquitoes that spread the disease.

Malaria is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito that infects humans with the malarial parasite. The disease kills at least a million people annually, and most of the victims are young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

With attempts to completely eradicate mosquitoes or create a vaccine so far unsuccessful, the Italian scientists set out to find any bacteria that lived symbiotically inside the pests.

Such bacteria could potentially be genetically altered later to attack the malaria parasite when it reaches the mosquito, said Daniele Daffonchio at the Universita degli Studi di Milano, one of five Italian universities behind the research." (Reuters)

"Scientists vote for GM cotton" - "Genetically modified cotton would deliver a range of environmental and economic benefits to farmers in WA’s Ord River region, according to a new report co-written by the Department of Agriculture. The report collates a decade of research and will add to growing pressure on the State Government to accept GM cotton rather than maintain its ban until a review of its policy next year." (West Australian)

"Cheaper, Cleaner Ethanol From Biotech Corn" - "The genetically-modified plants break down their own cellulose, making it possible to use waste biomass to produce ethanol." (Technology Review)

May 15, 2007

"Pro-malaria forces resurface at WHO" - "The World Health Organization intends to phase out chemotherapy drugs, due to concerns about their health effects, WHO Public Health and Environment director Dr. Maria Neira announced recently. Those effects include anemia, diarrhea, reduced resistance to infection, potential birth defects and hair loss.

"These drugs save lives, but they are dangerous," she stated. "WHO is determined to end their use, motivate researchers to develop safer cancer treatments, and emphasize acceptable alternatives, like broccoli."

Imagine the shock and outrage that would follow such an announcement. Europe and the United States would demand her ouster and threaten to slash WHO's budget, if it tried such a thing.

But of course Dr. Neira and WHO made no such proposal. Instead, she and her co-conspirators are promoting something even more irresponsible – and deadly. They want to reverse the September 2006 decision to restore DDT to the Organization's malaria-fighting arsenal." (Paul Driessen, AIM)

Same old myths and misinformation: "US Bald Eagle Population Soars, Possibly Delisted" - "WASHINGTON - With the number of Bald Eagles in the United States hitting the highest level since World War II, the Fish and Wildlife Service said on Monday it will decide on removing them from the list of threatened and endangered species by June 29.

In the years following World War II the widely used pesticide DDT, or dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, damaged the birds' reproductive systems and their population plummeted. They hit an all-time low of 417 breeding pairs in 1963. The government banned DDT in 1972 and the number of bald eagles steadily grew.

Raptor numbers plummeted prior to the introduction of DDT and climbed during the years of DDT usage. The enviro-myth, however, lives on, constantly regurgitated by either well-indoctrinated or plain lazy journalists. It seems Carson acolytes even afflict the normally sane London Telegraph -- h/t Barry of Brisbane.

"A world full of good news" - "FEELING CROWDED? Paul Watson is. The founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society writes that human overpopulation is "a virus . . . killing our host the planet Earth," and so the number of people living in the world should be slashed by 85 percent.

"No human community should be larger than 20,000 people," Watson insists in a new essay. "We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion." He describes mankind as "the AIDS of the Earth," and calls for an end to cars, planes, and all ships save those powered by sail.

The views of a fanatic? Yes, but Watson is also a co founder of Greenpeace and a former member of the Sierra Club board of directors, not to mention one of Time magazine's 20th-century environmental "heroes." It is unlikely that his support for eliminating 5.5 billion human beings and most modern conveniences will hurt his standing among the green elite. On the contrary: Within the environmental movement, antipathy to population growth and technology is utterly conventional." (Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe)

"The unravelling of compulsory Licenses: evidence from Thailand and India" - "The governments of Thailand, India and most lately Brazil, in either issuing or threatening compulsory licenses, have argued that the manufacturer’s pricing of medicines is the main barrier to access by patients. However, these claims have been contradicted by research from the World Health Organisation and other intergovernmental organisations. The reality is that other factors are more important in determining access to medicines, such as health infrastructure and government mark-ups on imported drugs.

Meanwhile, the manufacture of experimental copy drugs in India and Thailand is very likely contributing to worsening drug resistance amongst AIDS patients, which will lead to major economic and health problems. Based on past experience, compulsory licenses will only accelerate this process. While governments are not in breach of the TRIPS agreement in their issuing of compulsory licenses, it is becoming clear that Article 31 is being devalued by countries that are using it for their own political purposes. When the flexibilities enshrined in TRIPS become meaningless due to this misuse, it will be the poorest countries that really need them that will lose." (Campaign for Fighting Diseases)

"Will compulsory licences improve treatment for patients? The case of Thailand" - "In late 2006 and early 2007, the interim military government of Thailand issued compulsory licenses for three Western-owned medicines, citing the pressures on its health budget as justification. But will these licenses actually improve patient health?

Notwithstanding Thailand’s historic under-funding of its health sector, there is evidence that the government’s decision to hand manufacturing contracts to the state-owned General Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) was motivated by considerations other than public health.

Unfortunately, the GPO’s track-record does not inspire confidence in the safety of the drugs it is about to manufacture under the compulsory licenses. Its current experimental and untested AIDS therapy – GPO-Vir – has not been pre-qualified by WHO and has been implicated in rapidly accelerating drug resistance amongst large numbers of Thai AIDS patients. This drug resistance is set to have all manner of negative health and economic consequences.

Moreover, the decision to override the patents of these drugs will put extreme pressure on the delicate commercial pricing strategies that allow quality AIDS therapies to be sold at marginal cost or even donated to African countries.

In the end, intellectual property is of marginal relevance to the provision of good healthcare. By politicising the issue through compulsory licensing, the Thai government is courting short-term popularity while deflecting attention from the broader shortcomings of its health system. Indeed, the experimental copy drugs that are likely to be used on Thai patients as a result of these licenses could undermine the health system still further by risking patient safety." (Campaign for Fighting Diseases)

"What even your doctor may not know" - "Perhaps another reason mainstream medical professionals are so readily embracing alternative modalities, such as homeopathic, herbal and dietary supplements, is that many share the same misconceptions the general public often holds. The most common beliefs are that all-natural supplements are approved by the FDA and that they have to demonstrate through clinical trials to be safety or effectiveness before they can be marketed — neither is true." (Junkfood Science)

"Japanese scientists in eye of storm ... with goggles" - "Japanese scientists who want to be in tune with their work can now stand in the eye of a typhoon or observe close-up walls of whirling wind -- with the help of some goggles." (AFP)

"Close-up look at a hurricane's eye reveals a new 'fuel' source" - "In the eye of a furious hurricane, the weather is often quite calm and sunny. But new NASA research is providing clues about how the seemingly subtle movement of air within and around this region provides energy to keep this central "powerhouse" functioning." (GSFC)

"A Zimbabwean U.N." - "World Leadership: One hundred ninety-two members to choose from, and what nation does the United Nations come up with to head its commission on "sustainable development." Zimbabwe. We kid you not." (IBD)

"U.N. Disaster" - "Members and staff of the United Nations are no doubt traveling first class to the next conference in Geneva, where they will be served the finest food and drink. For all the good it does, the U.N. should be heading to a cemetery instead.

A humanitarian disaster is unfolding in the nation of Zimbabwe. At one time it was called the "breadbasket of Africa." Now, millions are in danger of starvation due to the idiotic policies of strongman Robert Mugabe.

Inflation in the nation is running at 2,200 percent. Tens of thousands of citizens are fleeing to other nations due to economic hardships. Political opponents of Mugabe are also beaten, jailed or killed by government thugs.

But now, Zimbabwe is scheduled to become the head of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Is there any nation on Earth more unsuited for that position?" (Daily News Record)

"The UN’s Tyrant-Friendly Bureaucracy" - "Saturday’s vote putting Zimbabwe in charge of a human rights body doesn’t make it any easier to take the body seriously." (Roger Bate, The American)

In their own words: "Warming’s Long Green Shadow" - "The global warming debate has “driven a lot of other people’s agendas because that’s where the big money is,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program. “If you want to try and get funding for things, tying it into climate change will help you get money.”" (Colby Itkowitz, CQ Weekly)

Scammers raking it in: "UK Green Shares Rise as Climate Policy Heats Up" - "LONDON - Shares in Britain's "green" companies rose on Monday after press reports on the urgent need for action on climate change and that Gordon Brown intends to create five eco towns, analysts and traders said." (Reuters)

Speaking of scammers: "Gore's global warming fears" - "Buenos Aires - Former US vice president Al Gore on Friday warned that global warming presented the most severe crisis ever faced by humans but said the planet could be saved if the right steps are taken." (AFP)

"Review needed before showing climate change doc in schools, B.C. board stays" - "VANCOUVER - Rushing an Oscar-winning documentary on climate change into schools without providing other points of view isn't in keeping with what parents expect from the school system, says a Surrey, B.C., school trustee who wants alternate opinions presented to students." (CP)

More child abuse: "Stormy Weather" - "What do you tell a child when a natural disaster darkens the news? “Things like that don’t happen here.” “The grown-ups in charge have it under control.” And when it does happen here, and the grown-ups in charge haven’t a clue, there’s Plan C: “Scientists are working on it.”

In “An Inconvenient Truth,” “here” is the whole world, and hard-working scientists bring both bad news and good: Humans are changing the atmosphere in ways that will harm the earth, but we can delay or modify the effects if we act soon. That double-edged message has found a large audience as a slide show, a film and a book for adults. Now comes a book version for children 11 and up — or, as the cover puts it, “Adapted for a New Generation.” (New York Times)

"ERAU professor seeks balance in global warming debate" - "I fear that attempts are being made to purposefully subvert the public understanding of the nature of science in order to achieve political goals," he wrote in an e-mail. "Science is not about consensus, and to invoke this raises the hackles of scientists such as myself. The lure of politics and publicity is no doubt seductive, but it nevertheless amazes me that so many scientists have jumped on the bandwagon of consensus science, apparently forgetting or ignoring the sad history of consensus science." (News-Journal)

"Is the game up for the climate junk scientists?" - "I posted a while back about the failure of climate scientists to archive their data or to release it on request - a scandal which has been carefully documented by Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit blog. Another post on the same subject developed a very interesting comments thread with contributions from McIntyre and Maxine Clarke, the executive editor of Nature - one of the journals who have failed to enforce their own policies on data availability." (Bishop Hill)

"Another Unbalanced News Reporting On A Research Paper on Predicted Heat Waves In The Future" - "The news media have carried an apocalyptic type of forecast regarding climate change based on a new paper in the Journal of Climate. The news articles (which drew the attention of Climate Science to this paper) had headlines such as

“Ready for 110 degrees? NASA warns climate change could cook Atlantans” By Mike Toner of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on May 9 2007

A search on google shows 234 similar articles.

The text of Atlanta Journal-Constitution includes the statement from one of the co-authors that

“Using high resolution weather prediction models, we showed how greenhouse gases enhance feedbacks between precipitation, radiation, and atmospheric circulation that will likely lead to extreme temperatures in our not-so-distant future,” says Lynn.”

However, is this a balanced presentation of the article? The short answer is that this is an example of where an otherwise interesting and informative research article was translated into an almost hysterical claim of future weather based on the predictions of a model." (Climate Science)

"Questioning Ocean Warming?" - "We just did an internet search on “Ocean Warming” and found an incredible 7.2 million sites! We sampled a few and found exactly what we expected – endless stories of how the oceans of the world are heating up at an unprecedented rate; absolutely anything and everything related to the ocean is currently in peril according to these sites. Even if you live thousands of miles from the sea, ocean warming will negatively impact you given how ocean temperatures influence weather and climate any place on the planet. Our survey of “Ocean Warming” internet sites did not reveal anyone questioning whether or not the oceans are actually warming up – “Ocean Warming” is simply assumed to be a fact." (WCR)

Actually it's never been a serious hypothesis, despite media blathering: "Scientists Back Off Theory of a Colder Europe in a Warming World" - "OSLO — Mainstream climatologists who have feared that global warming could have the paradoxical effect of cooling northwestern Europe or even plunging it into a small ice age have stopped worrying about that particular disaster, although it retains a vivid hold on the public imagination." (New York Times)

Still, good to see The Crone admitting it in print.

"Climate Talks Face International Hurdles" - "Efforts to limit global warming must move into a new phase this year or risk a breakdown that would hurt poor countries threatened most by climate change, says the U.N.'s top climate official." (AP)

"UN Climate Expert Hopeful on Environment Policies" - "GENEVA - Growing public concern at global warming could help put pressure on governments to cut heat-trapping carbon emissions, the top UN climate change expert said on Monday." (Reuters)

Why? There is no known environmental benefit from so doing.

"EU rejects 'weak' UN paper on climate change" - "The European Union has rejected a draft UN document on sustainable development voicing disappointment and frustration over its lack of content on the issue of global warming.

"The European Union deeply regrets that the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was unable to agree on an ambitious text on energy, climate, air pollution and industrial development," EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas and German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a
joint statement on Saturday (12 May)." (EU Observer)

"Swiss disappointed with UN environment meeting" - "Switzerland says it is disappointed with the outcome of a conference in New York of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development." (swissinfo)

"Some restraint in Rome" - "Cardinal Martino spoke at the start of "Climate Change and Development," a Vatican study seminar two weeks ago designed to "search for solutions to the phenomenon of global warming." The 80 scientists, politicians, theologians and bishops in attendance were asked to consider that: "Global warming may bring about not only the imposition of drastic corrective means to protect the natural environment, but also a grave threat that destabilizes the world."

By the seminar's end, the 80 participants had heard dire warnings from some experts, but they heard much more, too -- that global warming is natural, the cause of warming being primarily solar and that it can be beneficial.

During the two-day event, tensions were often high -- the Catholic News Service, which interviewed participants at the private event, described how one pastor needed to calm down a distraught participant in the corridor, and used words like "bitter" and "heated" to set the early mood at the seminar. No one left the seminar thinking that the science of global warming is settled. To the dismay of those hoping that the high-level group would inspire a Church-led climate change crusade, the Cardinal, in closing the seminar, urged caution in taking any position on global warming." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"Climate change: new global plan to tie in worst polluters" - "Britain and Germany lead effort to get US, China and India to agree to carbon trading scheme." (The Guardian)

Once more, with feeling: carbon dioxide is not an atmospheric "pollutant", it is an essential trace gas upon whose abundance the entire biosphere depends.

"Global warming crisis? Depends on whom you ask" - "As the debate over global warming heats up, skeptics are questioning whether the phenomenon is real, casting doubt on the catastrophic consequences that some environmentalists predict." (Tim Blangger, The Morning Call)

"The Third World mocks our green agenda" - "Quite rightly, much has been made of the United Nations' bizarre decision to place Zimbabwe's environment minister at the head of its Council on Sustainable Development (CSD). But what has been missed in the coverage of last week's CSD meetings is the UN's utter inability to convince developing nations to join the industrialized world in curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Without such an agreement, emissions savings by developed nations will be completed swamped by increasing emissions from developing nations long before the Kyoto accords run out in 2012." (Lorne Gunter, National Post)

"Soil's contribution to global warming" - "Greenhouse gases are not only emitted by industry, cars or households. In addition to carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases are emitted by soils as part of the natural cycling of nutrients and decomposition. These so called non-CO2 greenhouse gases are more potent than carbon dioxide with regard to global warming, and already make up one quarter of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions." (University of Melbourne)

"New findings indicate today's greenhouse gas levels not unusual" - "'Stopping climate change' may be all the rage with celebrities and environmental lobbyists, but fortunately for the rest of us, the scare's scientific foundation is rapidly disintegrating.

One of the fundamental pillars of the hypothesis that humanity is causing dangerous climate change is the belief that levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), the greenhouse gas of concern in countries such as Canada, have been rising steadily since the start of the industrial revolution. But what if CO2 levels have not increased? How could our emissions of this otherwise benign gas then have anything to do with the past century's modest warming?" (Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris, CFP)

"Bad Climate “Science”" - "The ideology goes in before the science goes on." (Joel Schwartz, NRO)

Uh-huh... "Build parks to climate proof our cities" - "Scientists looking at the effect global warming will have on our major cities say a modest increase in the number of urban parks and street trees could offset decades of predicted temperature rises." (University of Manchester)

... but, according to Jones et al, UHIE accounts for a trivial increase in recorded temperature (as I recall Jones down-adjusts some readings as much as 0.15 K to account for UHIE and claims it is eliminated from the record) and here's these guys claiming potential reduction of 4 K just by increasing a little green space. As it happens there is good support for their contention, UHIE can be empirically measured, has long been observed and is quite significant. This leads us to an interesting quandary, on the one hand their mitigation technique, though workable, aims to address temperatures predicted on the basis of UHIE not being significant and so wouldn't occur (at least according to Jones) and, on the other, if they are correct and Jones is as full of it as we believe him to be, the world will not deliver the predicted warming they aim to address because we have only been measuring UHIE anyway. And round and round this silly circular reasoning goes -- we must curtail "global warming", which we "know" is occurring because UHIE is "trivial and not interfering with measures" in order to avoid massive and lethal UHIE which is occurring because the globe is warming, which we know because there's very little UHIE, which we must constrain because it's massive and deadly...

No points, however, for Harper & the WashTimes editors: More greenery a cool way to halt warming (Jennifer Harper, Washington Times) -- 40 degrees guys? Oh puh-lease! That's 4 °C they're suggesting or 7.2 °F for those who insist on using that quaintly English adherence to an obsolete German scale, to convert relative temperatures simply multiply °C by 1.8 to derive °F (the add 32 thing only applies if you adjusting for the freezing point of water, 0 °C or 32 °F). Very sorry piece of work.

"Scientists Urge Half Of Canada Forest Be Protected" - "OTTAWA - Canada's vast forests should be protected much more than they are now to preserve wildlife and water and to fight global warming, a group of 1,500 scientists from around the world said on Monday." (Reuters)

But higher latitude forests are a warming influence, so preserving high latitude forests can't be claimed to "fight global warming".

"Dingell: Climate Change Bill Will Pass" - "U.S. Rep. John Dingell, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, pledged Monday to introduce and pass legislation tackling climate change by the end of next year.

But the Dearborn Democrat acknowledged the issue was one of the most difficult tasks that he faced in his long career in Congress.

Dingell told a Detroit Economic Club gathering of about 350 people that the legislation would feature an economy-wide cap-and-trade system for emissions, and that coal, petroleum and nuclear energy would be components." (AP)

Yes but no... "Technology, not emission caps, cure to global warming: US official" - "Privately-funded technology will do more to curb dangerous global warming than the mandated capping of carbon emissions favored by the European Union, a senior US official said Monday." (AFP)

... yes technology is infinitely more valuable to society and the environment than capping carbon emissions but no, even technology has no hope of tweaking the global thermostat in any predictable manner.

"Global Warming Goes Corporate: Automakers surrender to cap and trade" - "Detroit, Michigan — Scapegoated, tired, and cornered by the global-warming witch-hunt, automakers this spring became the first U.S. industry to back a national cap-and-trade program for carbon — but, in doing so, opened a dangerous new chapter in environmental regulation that could have serious consequences to the nation’s economic health. An April 26 board meeting here of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), the chief lobbying group for America’s nine major automakers, cemented the industry’s strategy as it enters a period of crucial hearings before Senate and House committees on climate change." (Henry Payne, NRO)

"Inhofe Statement On President’s Executive Order On Cafe And Alternative Fuels" - "WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today commented on President Bush’s Executive Order to begin the process of implementing new CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards and increasing the use of alternative fuels in response to the recent Supreme Court decision." (EPW)

"Court hears arguments in suit over federal gas mileage rules" - "Lawyers for 11 states and several environmental groups told a federal appeals court Monday that the Bush administration failed to consider global warming when setting new gas mileage rules. The plaintiffs, led by California's attorney general, told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that federal regulators ignored the effects of carbon dioxide emissions when calculating fuel economy standards for light trucks and sport utility vehicles." (AP)

"Governor takes heat on climate deals" - "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has boosted his environmental profile by signing global warming agreements with states and foreign governments, most recently one this month with the Australian state of Victoria.

Schwarzenegger officials say the agreements are intended to force the federal government to take a more stringent approach to tackling global warming.

But some critics note the signings have given Schwarzenegger opportunities for photo-ops with foreign leaders, and Democrats have raised concerns that the Republican governor is using the deals to predispose California to a market-based system in which companies can buy their way out of emissions reductions.

Each of the agreements Schwarzenegger has signed calls for research into how California companies can trade emissions credits with firms in other regions." (Sacramento Bee)

"Area coal operator throws cold water on climate-change threat" - "What does Belmont County coal operator Robert Murray have in common with novelist Michael Crichton and left-wing firebrand Alexander Cockburn? They all say it's a lot of hooey that humans cause global warming." (Athens News)

"The human impact of anti-warming legislation" - "CLEVELAND -- "Global warming" is a human issue to me, not just an environmental one.

The unfolding debate over atmospheric warming in the Congress, the news media, and by the pundits has been skewed and totally one-sided, in that they have been preoccupied with possible, speculative environmental disasters of climate change.

However, few are giving adequate attention to the destruction that we will definitely see for American working people from all of the climate change proposals that have been introduced in the House and Senate to date." (Robert E. Murray, MarketWatch)

Well... "Using soil to lock up carbon could help offset global warming" - "In the journal Nature, Cornell biogeochemist Johannes Lehmann writes that an economical way to help offset global warming is to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by charring biomass without the use of oxygen." (Cornell University)

... building up carbon-poor soils is a good idea anyway.

"UK Power Stations in CO2 Capture 'Beauty Pageant'" - "LONDON - British power companies are buffing up the credentials of at least four projects to capture and store underground their climate-changing CO2 emissions before competing for government funds." (Reuters)

"Germany's Coal Power Plans Threaten EU Climate Goal" - "FRANKFURT - Germany is at the forefront of growth of European coal power, with plans to build 15 new coal-fired plants that run counter to the EU's battle against dirty fuel." (Reuters)

"Aviation industry in eye of climate-change storm" - "In wake of a huge increase in air travel, UN body begins effort to figure out what to do about aircraft and the environment." (Globe and Mail)

"Do Green Cars Lean on Fuzzy Math?" - "A new report says that claims about the environmental benefits of today’s hybrid cars often hinge on dubious accounting." (Peter C. Glover, The American)

"Congress All Pumped Up" - "In the first week of May gasoline prices hit their highest average ever. A few days ago I was cheered when the cost of regular unleaded at my suburban Virginia service station edged below $3.00 a gallon. But then I flew out to California on business and found myself paying an extra 40 cents a gallon. Price-gougers! Corporate profiteers! Where is Congress when we need it?

Busy protecting the public, thank you very much. The gasoline price run-up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina caused the Bush administration and GOP-controlled Congress to seize the standard of consumer protection. The House passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) to "prohibit price gouging in the sale of gasoline, diesel fuel, crude oil, and home heating oil."

Now Democratic legislators are leading the charge against Big Oil. For instance, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), left-wing gadfly and presidential candidate, has written several oil refiners demanding to know how they planned to "remedy the disparity" between prices in California and elsewhere." (Doug Bandow, The American Spectator)

"US economy faces massive impact as petrol prices hit all-time high" - "US petrol prices have hit their highest level ever, breaking through the $3-a-gallon mark again and topping the previous peak reached after hurricanes Katrina, Ivan and Rita knocked out Gulf Coast refineries in 2005." (London Telegraph)

"Energy Policy: Keep It Comprehensive" - "Energy: President Bush outlined a plan Monday to cut U.S. dependence on foreign oil. His goal is to cut use of imported oil 20% in 10 years. But without a comprehensive approach, we'll never get there." (IBD)

"Study: Dirty windows aid air pollution" - "Canadian scientists have determined dirty windows located in metropolitan urban areas might be hidden contributors to air pollution." (UPI)

"Government seeks terrorist label for arsonists" - "EUGENE, Ore. - Chelsea Gerlach was 16 when she attended an Earth First! gathering in Idaho, where she met an instructor in monkey wrenching - sabotage in the name of protecting the environment - who called himself Avalon.

According to federal prosecutors, she developed a crush on William C. Rodgers, and joined his cell of the Earth Liberation Front in Eugene known as The Family, which later became responsible for 20 arsons around the West that did $40 million in damage, including the 1998 fire that destroyed a restaurant and other facilities at the Vail Ski Resort in Colorado.

Rodgers committed suicide in jail in 2005 after a taskforce broke open the group by persuading one of its members to turn informant. Gerlach and nine others face sentencing in coming weeks for their parts in the fires, which include forest ranger stations, meat packing plants, wild horse corrals, lumber mill offices, research facilities and an SUV dealer.

First prosecutors want a federal judge to declare them terrorists - something defense attorneys argue has never happened in 1,200 arsons nationwide claimed by Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front and is more about politics than time behind bars.

Judge Ann Aiken will hear arguments Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene on a motion by the government to add a so-called terrorism enhancement to sentencing guidelines for the six men and four women who have already pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and arson. Those charges carry prosecution sentencing recommendations ranging from three to 16 years." (AP)

"India's Monsoon to Arrive Week Early, May Aid Farmers" - "NEW DELHI - India's annual monsoon rains will hit the coast of southern Kerala state a week early on May 24, officials said on Monday, but there was no guarantee farmers would benefit from their arrival ahead of schedule." (Reuters)

"Nation's water at risk, federal documents say" - "OTTAWA -- The threat of global warming, bulk exports and high household water use are putting Canada's status as a water-rich nation in jeopardy, say newly released federal documents obtained by CanWest News Service." (CanWest News Service)

Another tragedy of the commons: "Thirsty World Needs Higher Water Prices - OECD" - "PARIS - Governments must put a higher price on water to help tackle growing shortages in a world threatened by climate change, the head of the OECD said on Monday. Higher prices would encourage investment in technology and infrastructure and discourage people from wasting water, Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development told the OECD forum in Paris.

"Water is generally underpriced and sometimes practically given away as a free good and that leads to waste. Yes it's a right, but that doesn't mean it has to be free... because it's scarce," Gurria said." (Reuters)

"Researchers put GM sweet banana on trial in Uganda this month" - "Uganda will this week import genetically modified sweet banana plants from Belgium for field trials. The transgenic plants — plants that possess a gene or genes that have been transferred from a different species — are resistant to pests and disease." (The East African)

May 14, 2007

"What is the most ethical way to fight malaria? Our ethical columnist on DDT, bed nets and GM mosquitoes." - "Dear Ethan,
I have been reading a lot about the problem of malaria lately and I was wondering if perhaps it is time we reconsidered our attitude to DDT. A lot of people seem to die in Africa. Would it be ethical to consider using just a little alongside bed nets and such like to stop this?

Charles Marsh-Feaver

Dear Charles,
Please step back and take time to consider the content of your statement. What you are suggesting is that it might be ethical carefully to select which form of insecticide (a term which should be uttered in the same breath as ‘genocide’) is most appropriate for Africa.

Banning DDT was one of the few decent, planet-sensitive things that human beings have managed in the past few decades. Rachel Carson rightly pointed out in Silent Spring that birds were terribly and unintentionally affected by this vile chemical. But even the lovely Rachel did not do enough to discuss the toll on DDT’s intended target. Before that ban, billions of innocent insects were being slaughtered in the name of preventing human disease. How can such a wilful destruction of life be regarded as ethical?

Now, DDT is being brought back in some countries to prevent malaria. But the implication is that an insect’s life is worth less than a human’s. If we are truly to live as one with nature, we must reject this ridiculous notion that we are in any way superior to other living species." (Ethan Greenhart, sp!ked)

Book review: "Rachel Carson's Dire Unintended Consequences" - "One of the most difficult aspects of keeping up with environmental issues is having to suffer through the agonizing hero worship at the altar of Rachel Carson.

Were I a more religious person, I would be inclined to believe she made a pact with the devil in which she received the capacity to write beautiful prose poetry in exchange for leading society down a path to Hell paved with the proverbial "good intentions." (Jay Lehr, Heartland)

"Health Targets Should Come With a Warning" - "Grand goals will only help world health if they can be measured—and achieved." (Roger Bate, The American)

"Diseases Of Poverty" - "AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are major killers of the world's poor. But a dozen or so lesser-known diseases cause much suffering, with about 2.7 billion people worldwide either having or being at risk of developing them." (Hartford Courant)

"Decimation of Bee Colonies Has Various Possible Causes" - "Parasites, pathogens and pesticides are all possible suspects in the staggering decline of honeybees, said Cornell associate professor of entomology Nicholas Calderone, during a media teleconference May 10." (Newswise)

"It will rot your teeth out!" - "The news presented a very dim picture on the latest “Trends on Oral Health Status” report from the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control. We heard that preschoolers’ teeth are decaying as never before and they’re getting fat — and it’s all parents’ fault for giving their tots too much sugar and processed foods. It perfectly illustrates how misinformation and pop beliefs can lead us astray from effective public health policies and information that can constructively help children and families." (Junkfood Science)

"Nutritional numerology" - "The latest study in the news, said to “confirm the health benefits of whole grains,” gives us another look at meta-analyses and chance to see just how shaky the science is behind many of our popular beliefs about “healthy” eating." (Junkfood Science)

"Teaching through storytelling" - "Recent news and research has been highlighting how children are being taught from preschool age to fear being fat and that it’s acceptable to hate fat children, but a story in today’s Telegraph boldly called children’s authors on being part of the problem." (Junkfood Science)

"Big bread" - "Whenever you hear about some new danger linked to a food, remember correlations make for completely nonsensical reasoning." (Junkfood Science)

"Blue Skies, High Anxiety" - "Our air is cleaner than it’s been in a century, writes Joel Schwartz. So why do Americans worry it’s so dirty and dangerous?" (The American)

Oh boy... "Can Capitalism Be Green?" - "TORONTO, May 12 - Capitalism has proven to be environmentally and socially unsustainable, so future prosperity will have to come from a new economic model, say some experts. What this new model would look like is the subject of intense debate." (IPS/IFEJ)

... actually capitalism is both socially and environmentally sustainable, it's socialism with it's lack of property rights and self-correcting incentives that doesn't work (witness, for example, the tragedy of the commons). Democracy, protected rights of ownership and genuinely free markets and trade ensure optimal resource utilization, something which communism can never achieve.

"Seeing people as a plague on the planet" - "The Optimum Population Trust’s claim that having a large family is an eco-crime exposes the anti-human streak in green politics." (James Heartfield, sp!ked)

"When Will We Tire of the Fear Mongers?" - "I have noticed throughout my life that there barely has been a day the news media was not trumpeting a foreboding event, an impending environmental danger, or some risky food or technological hazard clearly intended to generate fear." (Jay Lehr, Environment News)

Hey lookit! Steve's upset the smog blog: Sign DeSmog's petition to throw the Junk Science off Fox News (desmog)

Gee, good thing they say they're not interested in, like, censoring anything which doesn't fit their misanthropic dogma :)

"Weather Sensors Cause Climate Errors" - "Weather observations have been taken around the world for centuries. Up until the early 1980s, a majority of the temperature observations were taken with a Liquid in Glass (LIG) mercury thermometer. Special LIG thermometers, known as minimum and maximum thermometers, were used to record the daily high and low temperature. These thermometers worked very simply and were quite accurate. The mercury rose (or fell) and marked the high (or low) temperature for the day. The temperature using this method was the absolute maximum or minimum; no averaging or sampling was used." (ClimatePolice.com)

"Announcement Of A New Meeting On Land-Cover/Land-Use Change and Data Monitoring" - "There will be an important new meeting on land-cover/land-use change, and data monitoring later this summer. The organizers are Roger A. Pielke Sr., Rezaul Mahmood, and Ken Hubbard. If you are performing research in this area, we invite you to attend!" (Climate Science)

"Researchers seek longer strawberry season" - "They are an epicurean delight: plump, red, locally grown strawberries, sweet, soft and juicy. About the only downside is that the strawberry season is so short." (Baltimore Sun)

Either that or hope the world actually does warm and extend the growing season.

"In a warmer world, bugs may be big beneficiaries" - "Climate change is not the wrath of God, but one possible consequence of rising global temperatures may be almost Biblical in nature: a population explosion of bugs. The world's shifting weather patterns are already having an effect, say scientists. Warmer weather is driving many insect species northward and to higher elevations, creating novel situations like the emergence of insect-borne tropical diseases in Canada." (Copley News Service)

Another way of saying warming is more life-friendly than cooling but framing it as "bad". Funny how they never mention that what is good for insects is also good for insectivores, not to mention host plants, etc., etc..

"Saved From the Sun in Worship Week" (.pdf) - "Earth Day has become a full week of environmental worship in many places — entirely too many. The good news is that the school board of Federal Way, Washington, has ruled that schools may not show Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) unless “‘credible, legitimate’ opposing views are also presented,” according to the April issue of Environment and Climate News (see www.heartland.org). “School board member David Larson told the January 11 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, ‘the principal reason for that is to make sure that the public schools are not used for indoctrination.’”

Issue includes The NOVA Sun-Worship Continues & Al Gore, Everywhere!  (The Energy Advocate)

"Miller to pitch 'green Facebook' at global summit" - "Mayor David Miller's heading to the Big Apple to issue a big challenge.

As one of several North American mayors who have vowed to make their city the greenest on the continent, Miller will announce a web-based plan called GoZero! Toronto, a project that will help Torontonians track how they're making a difference in fighting climate change.

And he'll challenge other mayors attending the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit to join what Nick Garrison calls "a sort of green Facebook."

Ultimately, the project could help cities around the world see how they stack up against others in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, said Garrison, who is communications director for the Toronto-based Zerofootprint.

"We're facing an environmental crisis of unseen proportions. We need all the tools we can get to bring people together" and find solutions, Garrison said." (Toronto Star)

Perhaps it's "an environmental crisis of unseen proportions" because said proportions are irrelevantly small?

Not to be outdone in the extravagant claim department: "Climate Change to Make One Billion Refugees - Agency" - "LONDON - Global warming will create at least one billion refugees by 2050 as water shortages and crop failures force people to leave their homes, sparking local wars over access to resources, a leading aid agency said on Monday." (Reuters)

"It's Al Gore's Worst Nightmare -- Kyoto Is Dead" - "At a recent panel discussion in Kyoto, I asked a question that fell flat on an audience keen to hear views on reversing climate change.

The question: Isn't the Kyoto Protocol, which we expend so much time and energy debating, already dead?

You could hear a pin drop in front of the 200-plus attendees on hand. The suggestion that the United Nations framework to combat climate change isn't just unworkable, but irrelevant, bordered on heresy." (William Pesek, Bloomberg)

Actually it was stillborn -- it's been a great deal of hyperventilating about nothing, regardless of whether there is, was or ever will be a CO2-caused problem.

"Carbon cuts: first world vs third world" - "The Kyoto protocol was crazy but it was based on the idea that the burden must be born by the rich nations. This subtlety guaranteed that its megalomanic anti-civilization plans would never become true. It's not hard to see that carbon cuts made in your country are useless if the source of the carbon dioxide - an essential gas that has been called a "pollutant" by thousands of enemies of carbon all over the world - can simply move elsewhere. The policy that only the rich nations "pay" has been enough to reject the deal in the U.S. and other developed countries." (The Reference Frame)

Laughably: "U.N. Debates Wider Leadership Role on Climate"  -"UNITED NATIONS, May 11 - As climate change and global warming continue to dominate the headlines, there is a concerted move once again to revive the longstanding proposal for an expansion in the role of the United Nations in fighting environmental degradation.

The Western industrial nations, led by France, have long sought to elevate the existing U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi into a gigantic U.N. Environment Organisation (UNEO).

But most developing nations, including the 130-member Group of 77, are either ambivalent or have expressed reservations over the creation of another unwieldy bureaucracy in the U.N. system." (IPS)

Zimbabwe to Head Key U.N. Commission - UNITED NATIONS - Zimbabwe, a country suffering from acute food shortages and rampant inflation, won approval to lead the important U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development despite protests from the U.S., European nations and human rights organizations." (Associated Press) | Zimbabwe chosen to chair key UN environment body (Reuters)

"Sustainable development: U.N. edition" - "How does the ideal sustainable development look like according to the United Nations?" (The Reference Frame)


"Urban Poor Part Of Climate Change Equation" - "With more than half of mankind already living in cities and towns, the urban poor must be part of any solution to climate change, a top UN official said here Wednesday. Addressing the opening session of the UN commission on sustainable development here, Anna Tibaijuka, executive director of the Nairobi-based UN Habitat agency, said that cities "are part of the problem and part of the solution to climate change."

"The urban poor have to be part of the equation," she later told reporters, adding that "without sustainable urbanization, sustainable development could well prove elusive." (AFP)

"U.S. Aims to Weaken G-8 Climate Change Statement" - "Negotiators from the United States are trying to weaken the language of a climate change declaration set to be unveiled at next month's G-8 summit of the world's leading industrial powers, according to documents obtained yesterday by The Washington Post.

A draft proposal dated April 2007 that is being debated in Bonn, Germany, this weekend by senior officials of the Group of Eight includes a pledge to limit the global temperature rise this century to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as an agreement to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Special Report

The United States is seeking to strike that section, the documents show." (Washington Post)

"GM may rue day it stopped fighting nonsense of greens" - "Industrialized America has read the political tea leaves and apparently decided to consolidate its losses rather than continue the fight against proponents of the manmade climate change myth." (Frank Beckman, Detroit News)

"Man Behind Live Aid, Live 8, Slams Gore's Live Earth" - "AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (May 12, 2007) -- Bob Geldof, who organized the Live Aid and Live 8 benefit concerts, criticized the Live Earth music events Al Gore is putting together this summer, saying they lack a specific goal, according to a Dutch newspaper report Saturday.

The Live Earth concerts will be held in cities around the world on July 7, with proceeds funding a yet-to-be-named foundation to combat climate change, under Gore's direction.

The shows will take place in London; New York; Tokyo; Shanghai, China; Johannesburg, South Africa; Sydney, Australia; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Organizers have also promised an event in Antarctica.

"I hope they're a success," De Volkskrant newspaper quoted Geldof as saying in an interview.

"But why is (Gore) actually organizing them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody's known about that problem for years. We are all (expletive) conscious of global warming," he said." (Associated Press)

"Gore says 'Come to Rio' for biggest concert" - "RIO DE JANEIRO – Al Gore said today that the July ``Live Earth" concert on Copacabana Beach will be the largest of the seven simultaneous shows to raise awareness about global warming and the only one that will be free." (Associated Press)

The only freebee? You mean Al's out to profit from the Earth's 'fever'?

Nice work if you can get it: "Al Gore Arrives In Chile: Former U.S. Vice President Shares His Message Of Environmental Responsibility" - "(May 11, 2007) After months of build up, the wait is finally over. Environmental superstar Al Gore, a former U.S. senator and vice president, is finally visiting Chile – albeit for just a handful of hours.

Gore, whose environmental exposé film “An Inconvenient Truth” has been an international sensation since its 2006 release, arrives Friday in Santiago, where he will be the keynote speaker of a sold-out event entitled “Global Warming and Climate Change: The Time to Act is Now.”

During a talk that is likely to last just 40 minutes, Gore – a recent Nobel Prize nominee – is expected to cover many of the same issues addressed in his Oscar-winning film. In the movie, the former vice president presents scientific evidence supporting the theory of global warming, and outlines how climate change – if unchecked – will drastically affect the world we live in.

Gore, who visits Chile by way of Argentina and is scheduled to leave the country later the same day, is reportedly being paid US$200,000 for his participation in the event. Local sponsors of the seminar include the environmental NGO Oikos, Chilevisión, and the daily newspaper El Mercurio." (Santiago Times) [em added]

Ozone Man jets around the planet, pocketing $5,000.00 a minute to lecture people about profligate use of fossil fuels. He's no fool managing to hold together a scam like that but what does it say for those lining up to enrich one of the world's biggest energy hogs? Al's certainly turned hot air emission into quite a money-spinner at 5,000 bucks a minute!

"Al Gore Protested by ‘Environmental Militants’ in Argentina, Media Mum" - "When President Bush receives protests as he travels abroad, it’s front-page headline news. Yet, when former Vice President Al Gore is so protested, the media couldn’t care less." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"Hot air, cold cash: Who Are the Merchants of Fear?" - "No response is more predictable than the reflexive squawk of the greenhouse fearmongers that anyone questioning their claims is in the pay of the energy companies. A second, equally predictable retort contrasts the ever-diminishing number of agnostics with the growing legions of scientists now born again to the "truth" that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for the earth's warming trend.

Actually, the energy companies have long since adapted to prevailing fantasies, dutifully reciting the whole catechism about carbon neutrality, repositioning themselves as eager pioneers in the search for alternative fuels, settling comfortably into new homes, such as British Petroleum's Energy Biosciences Institute at UC, Berkeley.

In fact, when it comes to corporate sponsorship of crackpot theories about why the world is getting warmer, the best documented conspiracy of interest is between the fearmongers and the nuclear industry, now largely owned by oil companies, whose prospects twenty years ago looked dark. The apex fearmongers are well aware that the only exit from the imaginary crisis they have been sponsoring is through a big door marked "nuclear power," with a servants' side door labeled "clean coal." (Alexander Cockburn, The Nation)

"A brave new world" - "Darwin's dice have rolled badly for Earth. It was a misfortune for the living world in particular, many of our scientists believe, that a carnivorous primate and not some more benign form of animal made the breakthrough." (Edward O. Wilson , Cosmos)

'sup Gro... "Analysis: U.N. calls climate debate 'over'" - "UNITED NATIONS May. 10 -- A former chief of the U.N. World Health Organization who also is a former prime minister of Norway and a medical doctor has declared an end to the climate-change debate.

Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, one of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's three new special envoys on climate change, also headed up the 1987 U.N. World Commission on Environment and Development where the concept of sustainable development was first floated.

"This discussion is behind us. It's over," she told reporters. "The diagnosis is clear, the science is unequivocal -- it's completely immoral, even, to question now, on the basis of what we know, the reports that are out, to question the issue and to question whether we need to move forward at a much stronger pace as humankind to address the issues." (UPI)

... can't get any traction with your cell phone sensitivity gibberish? Or maybe you think you can rid the world of the evil, debilitating devices by banning electrical generation?

Wonder why the media fawns over blathering nitwits like No-phone Gro and Ozone Al, it's not like there were no real things happening in the world.

"Unmasking Global Warming: The Case of Mikhail Gorbachev" - "The most remarkable aspect of the man-made global warming claim is the lack of solid scientific evidence for it. Yet there are those whose apparent goal it is to advance this theory at all costs. Blatant in their disregard of the facts, they try to convince as many as would believe of the real nature of this alleged danger. But since this activism does not rest on scientific evidence or hard facts, it must be driven by motives other than those publicly stated. This much at least should be obvious, but sadly far too many people have failed to make this inference. Blinded by fear, they have not considered the possibility that those fanning the flames of hysteria may harbor ulterior motives." (Vasko Kohlmayer, CFP)

"Brown outlines 'eco towns' plan" - "Gordon Brown says he wants to see five new "eco towns" created as part of a general increase in house building to meet "pent up" demand for homes. The chancellor, campaigning to succeed Tony Blair, said he wanted the 100,000 homes in "carbon neutral" communities to be built on old industrial sites." (BBC)

More social engineering in the name of gorebal warmening.

Yahoo! serious? - Here's yet another green snow job, as promoted by Reuters:

"Yahoo Puts Marketing Muscle Into Climate Campaign" - "SAN FRANCISCO - Yahoo Inc. aims to wield its power as the biggest US Internet media company to encourage millions of consumers to take basic steps to help the environment as part of its corporate push to confront global warming." (Reuters)

Yahoo Green, not to be confused with Yahoo Serious but just about as effective in adjusting the globe's thermostat.

"Summit into climate change opens" - "Government, business and consumers need to cooperate to reduce climate change, Environment Secretary David Miliband has said. Mr Miliband was speaking at the first Climate Change Citizens' Summit in London, part of a draft Climate Change Bill consultation process." (BBC)

Juniper berries: "Greener pastures" - "When New Labour took office ten years ago many greens were expecting a sea change in how environmental issues would be approached by government. We were told that the environment would be at the heart of policy, and that we were to get the greenest government ever (and by implication the greenest prime minister). So what happened?" (Tony Juniper, The Guardian)

Well Tony, if you must know, reality intervened and New Labour found there's only so much you can waste on fighting the phantom menace.

"The hidden cause of global warming" - "In the next 24 hours, deforestation will release as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York. Stopping the loggers is the fastest and cheapest solution to climate change. So why are global leaders turning a blind eye to this crisis?" (London Independent)

"Solution to climate change"? Oh puh-lease, will they never sort out the difference between "climate change", "anthropogenic global warming" and atmospheric trace gas levels? "Climate change", even if it becomes a problem, cannot be "solved" by tweaking anthropogenic emissions of a minor gas.

"Bird migration patterns shifting around the world, an early warning of climate change" - "BONN, Germany – Disoriented by erratic weather, birds are changing migration habits and routes to adjust to warmer winters, disappearing feeding grounds and shrinking wetlands, a migration expert says." (Associated Press)

Critters adapt to the conditions they are presented with? Go figure...

"Climate change blamed for rise in asthma and hay fever" - "CLIMATE change may be triggering a surge in cases of asthma and hay fever, according to a report by the world’s leading scientists. Earlier springs, increased pollen production by plants and the spread of pollen-producing species could be causing allergic attacks in people who have never before suffered from hay fever." (London Times)

Oddly enough they may have a point, kind of:

"The rape of spring: Health concerns over crop" - "It's the worst hay fever season ever. And more of the English countryside than ever before is carpeted in garish oilseed rape. Are the two phenomena connected? Jeremy Laurance investigates" (London Independent)

What's the connection? Well, hysteria over gorebal warmening causes bizarre market distorting incentives to be created to "address" the "problem" and mass planting (and simultaneous flowering) of locally unfamiliar rape/canola (brassica napus) for use in "biofuels", thus warmening hysteria potentially drives hay fever levels.

"Environmental warning on biofuels" - "The drive to switch over to biofuels could lead to rising food prices and deforestation, a report has warned. The government and EU have said by the year 2020 they want 10% of all fuel in cars to come from biofuels. But a study by the Co-op Insurance Society suggests achieving this could have a severe environmental impact. It comes days after a UN report with similar warnings said that biofuels are more effective when used for heat and power, rather than in transport." (BBC)

"Ethanol to Take Big Bite of Record US Corn Crop" - "WASHINGTON - The surging fuel ethanol industry will gobble up 27 percent of this year's US corn crop, challenging US farmers' ability to satisfy food, feed and fuel demand, the US government said Friday." (Reuters)

"U.S. loans for coal plants clash with carbon cuts: Federal effort comes in conflict with move to limit greenhouse gases" - "A Depression-era program to bring electricity to rural areas is using taxpayer money to provide billions of dollars in low-interest loans to build coal plants even as Congress seeks ways to limit greenhouse gas emissions." (Washington Post)

"Rural electric cooperatives wary of climate change plans in Congress" - "WASHINGTON — The nation's rural electric cooperatives, which rely heavily on coal, are worried that plans by the Democrat-controlled Congress to limit greenhouse gas emissions will hit them hard.

Rural electric co-ops, which serve 40 million Americans, use coal to generate 80 percent of their electricity.

Some 2,000 co-op directors and executives who packed into a hotel ballroom on Capitol Hill this week were warned by Glenn English, chief executive of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, that controlling climate change would mean "sizable increases, big increases" in their electric rates.

English, a former Democratic congressman, urged the co-op officials to give lawmakers a "dose of reality." (Clarion-Ledger)

"At the UN, Germany Defends Its Burning of Coal, Makes Up By Buying Credits" - "UNITED NATIONS, May 10 -- "It is not an obligation of government to say how a company wants to produce electricity." This was the response of Germany's environmental minister Sigmar Gabriel Thursday to questions from Inner City Press about plans for power plants fired by low-quality brown coal." (Inner City Press)

"Power industry warns on high price of moving to ‘clean coal’" - "The UK power industry has told the Government that the development of “clean coal” power stations will not take place without heavy subsidy and higher electricity prices. The first “clean coal” power plants, which could dramatically cut carbon emissions, will need grants of up to £300 million." (Carl Mortished and Steve Hawkes, London Times)

D'oh! "China, India power plants may derail Kyoto" - "If all the proposed coal-fired power plants in India and China are set up, the additional carbon dioxide emission will be many times the cuts proposed by the Kyoto Protocol, according to a report by Standard & Poor’s.

The Kyoto protocol envisages controlling atmospheric carbon dioxide at the level of 500 parts per million.

The report by S&P’s Aneesh Prabhu from New York and Kim Eng Tan of Singapore says that coal consumption is likely to grow by 3 per cent every year in India and China over the next 30 years, which is far higher than the 0.6 per cent increase likely in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.

The report says that the Indian stance on the issue is complicating issues. "India believes that it has not significantly contributed to the global stock of greenhouse gases that reside in the atmosphere." Citing the ethical aspects of climate change’s economic impact, it contends that uncompensated mitigation by developing countries would slow economic growth and poverty reduction efforts." (Hindustan Times)

'Not us' says India: "Global warming fissures" - "A series of reports on global warming issued recently by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may have brought this critical issue into sharp international focus but it has failed to lead to any united action by nations to combat it. Unfortunately, while the developing countries are not averse to switching over to the clean route without jeopardising their own development needs, some key environment polluters, notably the US and China, continue to be non-cooperative." (Business Standard)

"Bloomberg Calls for National Energy Reforms" - "HOUSTON, May 11 — Sounding a lot like a presidential candidate, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg laid out the framework for a national energy policy on Friday and accused Washington lawmakers of “passing the buck” on meaningful energy reforms.

In a 40-minute speech delivered at a luncheon with Houston business leaders, Mr. Bloomberg called for building wind farms and nuclear power plants, raising automobile fuel standards and creating market-driven incentives to produce cleaner energy." (New York Times)

"Power struggle surges over U.S. tides" - "Companies vie for spot in developing underwater turbine generators" (Bloomberg News)

"Vermont Could Clear Way for New US Emissions Rules" - "BOSTON - A Vermont judge could soon clear the way for nearly a dozen states to surmount auto industry protests and limit emissions from cars and light trucks to protect the environment, legal experts said." (Reuters)

"Tourism chiefs face green guilt trip" - "The tourism industry has never had it so good, but its senior executives are feeling strangely guilty about their success and fearful of a green backlash. Expected to grow by 4.3 per cent a year over the next decade, the industry’s bosses are fretting over climate change, worried that flying is seen as the most polluting activity, and falling over themselves to champion schemes that allow the travelling public to go on clocking up air miles." (Financial Times)

"DOT Says US Will Resist EU Aviation Emissions Plan" - "WASHINGTON - The Bush administration will strongly resist a European proposal to make foreign airlines pay a premium for aircraft emissions, US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said on Friday." (Reuters)

"IEA Says Any Switch to Diesel For Ships is Costly" - "SINGAPORE - A potential switch to use marine diesel in ship engines from fuel oil would increase global carbon dioxide emissions, require billions in refinery investments and could boost oil prices, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Facts vs Ideas in the World of Energy" (.pdf) - "Few issues in modern history have generated more ideology-driven misinformation than energy. While most would agree that energy is crucial to the world economy, very little public discourse seems based on the intractability of certain facts. The problem: the huge gap between the theoretical and the practical, the latter affected by logistical and economic considerations. For certain people, the achievement of their desired course of action, based on their preferred world-view, is often confronted with abysmally small odds. It should not be acceptable for governments and non-governmental groups to avoid disclosing the required path and costs for achieving their goals. Many imply that the government and/or taxes should provide the funds, but even then the magnitude of such costs is rarely revealed.

Much of the rhetoric involves issues such as conservation, the environment, and “energy independence.” Exacerbating the situation is the recent clamor about anthropogenic global warming, and the expressed desire to either reduce carbon dioxide emissions (by using non-fossil fuels) or to sequester them.

The sequestration (into drilled wells) of carbon dioxide is even more problematic. If the sequestered carbon dioxide is injected at what is considered a very good rate per well, 10,000 tons per year (a figure from a 2004 report by the National Energy Technology Laboratory), then that would require 1.8 million new wells. That’s about the same number of wells now in production worldwide. At an average drilling cost of $2 million per well, those new wells will cost $3.6 trillion. The ancillary infrastructure for those wells could push the cost to $7.2 trillion – about 60 times the current annual budget for well construction in the industry, estimated at $120 billion." (Michael J. Economides, Professor, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston)

"On Nantucket Sound, Environmentalists Find an Alternative Use for Their Energy" - "A new book chronicle’s the liberal locals’ struggle to stop an unsightly wind farm." (The American)

Buy this book through this link and help JunkScience.com too!

"Africa Still Lacks Safe Water Despite Strong Growth" - "SHANGHAI - Access to safe drinking water has not improved in Africa, especially the sub-Saharan region, despite several years of strong economic growth, the African Development Bank said on Sunday." (Reuters)

"Bottled Water Has High Environmental Costs - Report" - "WASHINGTON - Bottled water, the world's fastest growing beverage, carries a heavy environmental cost, adding plastic to landfills and putting pressure on natural springs, the author of a new report said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"A Bad Day For HSUS’s ‘Humane Wayne’" - "We almost feel sorry for Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) president Wayne Pacelle. Yesterday's animal-welfare hearing in a U.S. House Agriculture subcommittee was anything but the love-fest he may have expected. First of all, we were there -- testifying on the same panel, telling members of Congress and the media about HSUS's hidden agenda. Then an immigrant foie gras farmer stole the show with his heart-rending account of being pushed around by animal-rights extremists. Finally, a Virginia Congressman declared in front of a packed hearing room that a key part of Pacelle's own testimony was flatly "false." Not a good day on the Hill for a man who says his group "has committed itself to political activity as never before." (Center for Consumer Freedom)

"Forget superfoods, you can't beat an apple a day" - "The craze for exotic, expensive foods is not backed up by science, warn leading dieticians." (The Observer)

Uh-huh... and if you substitute "organic" for "superfood" the same applies -- the craze for exotic, expensive foods is not backed up by science.

"Read All About It: Organic Food Is Not Healthier" - "Between March 27 and April 3, four articles appeared in the mainstream British press that only served to further confuse readers about the alleged nutritional superiority of organic food." (Joseph D. Rosen, ACSH)

"GM food in Victorian shops soon" - "VICTORIA is set to lift its ban on planting genetically modified food crops as early as February next year, paving the way for a rush of new food varieties on supermarket shelves.

Under pressure from the Federal Government and farm groups, the Bracks Government is preparing to scrap the moratorium that stops farmers using genetically modified products.

Other states are expected to follow Victoria's lead, which GM supporters predict could cause a surge in agricultural productivity, with farmers able to plant crops resistant to weeds, insects and salinity and that need less water." (The Age)

Good grief! "Remember GM is bankrolled by Big Agribusiness" - "If overseas markets are prepared to pay dearly for GM-free food, Australia is in pole position to exploit its "clean green" image. The claimed advantages of GM crops have been well-aired. They include higher yields and oil content and herbicide resistance.

Now the pro-GM publicity machine is highlighting the potential to create crops that use less water.

Such claims might prove true but we should be clear about one thing: GM is bankrolled by huge multi-national corporations that stand to make huge money. That is why they can afford the best spin doctors and lobbyists that money can buy. To ask Big Agribusiness about GM is a little like consulting Big Tobacco about the risks of smoking." (The Age)

And misanthropic activists are bankrolled by massively wealthy (and hijacked) philanthropy funds and misguided Hollywood entertainers but that doesn't mean any of their claims have merit. Serious analysis shows "big ag" is delivering the goods while there is no evidence supporting activists' claims but we are supposed to believe misanthropists have our best interests at heart while "big ag" is out to destroy? Sheesh!

May 11, 2007

"Climate-Controlled Classroom?" - "Should schools teach the global warming controversy by showing students only Al Gore's alarmist movie? Roger Williams University just learned the answer to that question the hard way." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

Global Warming Podcast News 6 - Regular 5-minute podcast briefings on the 'global warming' news they don't want you to hear. Your host: Professor Philip Stott. This time: climate-change philosophy. (Emeritus Professor Philip Stott)

Several readers brought this to our attention... "Extreme weather, fires befall nation" - "NEW YORK Nature's fury made life miserable from one end of the nation to the other, with people forced out of their homes by wildfires near both coasts and the Canadian border and by major flooding in the Midwest. And although the calendar still said May, the first named storm of the year was whipping up surf on the beaches of the Southeast." (Roger Petterson, Associated Press)

... not for what is says but for managing to report events without a single gratuitous mention of "global warming" -- congratulations to Roger Petterson, AP and the Sacramento Bee for delivering an unembellished account, a sadly rare event.

"Extreme Heat" - "Summer is coming and with it there may be a heat wave or two. If we do see any record high temperatures broken, the temptation will certainly be for many people to blame the heat on global warming. After all, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated on page 12 in its summary (PDF) released this past February:

It is very likely that hot extremes, heat waves, and heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent.

Notice the words “continue to become more frequent”, which means to me they have already at least started becoming more frequent. But have they? A man by the name of Bruce Hall has taken the time to go through the climate data for all 50 of the United States to see if extreme high temperature records are becoming more frequent." (WOODTV)

"China Warns of More Typhoons, Floods, Drought - Paper" - "BEIJING - China is likely to be hit by more typhoons, floods and drought this year than at any time in the past decade because of global climate change, the China Daily reported on Thursday, citing a top meteorological official." (Reuters)

"Does The 2007 IPCC Statement For Policymakers Accurately Present The Observations Of Recent Global Temperature Trends?" - "The 2007 IPCC Statement for Policymakers (SPM) makes the following finding,

“Eleven of the last twelve years (1995 -2006) rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850)” [based on “The average of near surface air temperature over land, and sea surface temperature.”].


“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures…”

This claim, which is repeated throughout the media reports on the IPCC report, however, is disingenuous. Other analyses of global heat system changes do not support the claim of continued warming of the climate system." (Climate Science)

Chicken and egg... "Study shows massive CO2 burps from ocean to atmosphere at end of last ice age" - "A University of Colorado at Boulder-led research team tracing the origin of a large carbon dioxide increase in Earth's atmosphere at the end of the last ice age has detected two ancient "burps" that originated from the deepest parts of the oceans." (University of Colorado at Boulder)

... "This is some of the clearest evidence yet that the enormous carbon release into the atmosphere during the last deglaciation was triggered by abrupt changes in deep ocean circulation," said Marchitto. Marchitto and Lehman are both faculty members in the CU-Boulder geological sciences department.

While much of the CO2 released by the oceans after the end of the last ice age about 19,000 years ago was taken up by the re-growth of forests in areas previously covered by ice sheets, enough remained in the atmosphere to pump up CO2 concentrations significantly, the authors said. Today, CO2 levels are higher than at any time in at least the past 650,000 years because of increased fossil fuel burning.

"The timing of the major CO2 release after the last ice age corresponds closely with deep-sea circulation changes caused by ice melting in the North Atlantic at that time," said Lehman. "So our study really underscores ongoing concerns about the ocean's capacity to take up fossil fuel CO2 in the future, since continued warming will almost certainly impact the mode and speed of ocean circulation."

Looks to us like it underscores the basic irrelevance of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Warming and deglaciation was already well underway before atmospheric CO2 was bumped from about 200 to ~270 ppmv, theoretically sufficient to add between 0.3 and 0.6 K to global mean temperature during the Holocene interglacial (depending on whose sensitivity estimates you use) and virtually identical to the potential remaining from increasing current levels to a doubling of pre-IR levels. Is that much warming? In a word, no -- instead of Earth being about 287.5 K absolute mean surface temperature it calculates out at 288 K (although our best efforts at deriving the current temperature suggest it's only about 287.65 K now). Whether Earth is currently as warm as it "should" be is not known but we do know that differences due to variation in atmospheric carbon dioxide are really trivial at ±0.17% (287.65 ±0.5 K).

"Remnants of ice age linger in gravity" - "Researchers have uncovered a large area of low but increasing gravity over North America – the lingering effect of the last ice age when sheets of ice sometimes three kilometres thick covered nearly all of Canada and the northeastern U.S." (University of Toronto)

"Look down, look up, look out!" - "The weather in space is controlled by events at the centre of the Earth. A pity, then, that the magnetic field generated there may be about to go into reverse." (The Economist)

"Al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea — and Global Warming" - "Democrats assess the threats to U.S. national security." (Byron York, NRO)

Hmm... "Climate Change Casts Shadow Over World Agriculture" - "ST. LOUIS - Global climate change will drastically reshape grain, oilseed and other crop production, but exactly how that will happen remains unclear." (Reuters)

... "unclear" is an understatement. The lower- and mid-troposphere measures suggest a possible step warming of about 0.2 K occurred in 2001 (or not) but nothing even vaguely similar to the nonsense generated by climate models and wrongly used as input "data" for possible future climate scenarios. Were global mean temperature driven by trivial changes in atmospheric trace constituents as alleged under the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis ("global warming") then the temperature response should bear some relationship to said changes, but obviously do not. Stupid game, innit guv'nor?

"Inconvenient truths" - "The largest single factor driving the debate on global warming is the Al Gore film An Inconvenient Truth. The movie has been marketed as a scientific documentary, but in fact it is an artful and deceptive propaganda film." (David Deming, The Sun)

"Gore As Religious Figure" - "I can understand the appeal of the global Warming religion, I really can. For those who have disavowed conventional religion and have decided that man is the ultimate power -- by which they mean themselves in particular, not just humanity in general -- the thought that they alone can save the planet is heady stuff, indeed.

Who needs a god when they have placed themselves at that pinnacle? But merely accepting the fact and moving on with life is a dull proposition. There is no fun in that, for sure. It's a dull, boring existence without some transcendent thing in which to believe, without some crusade to which they can flock to satisfy the need to congregate, proselytize for, and sacrifice for.

Enviroists have been gestating their religious fervor for a decade or more but it lacked a central, savior-like figure who they could all worship together. I think it is safe to say, though, that they have found their Christ redux.

For Al Gore has come." (Warner Todd Huston, The Conservative Voice)

"Coalition to advocate environmental balance" - "WASHINGTON--A coalition of evangelical Christians from various fields is preparing public policy recommendations designed not only to foster stewardship of the environment but to promote economic progress.

The newly named Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation has announced that a task force will be addressing the areas of "poverty and development" and "climate and energy" with policy proposals based on the biblical principles included in an earlier document." (BP)

Oh, David... "Unchecked global warming would spawn unparalleled depression, Suzuki warns" - "OTTAWA - One of the country's best-known scientists and environmentalists is warning that the world economy will be devastated if governments don't act quickly and decisively to curb global warming emissions." (CP)

"Power plan dooms world's poor" - "Environmentalists keep telling us they love humanity. So apparently it's just people a lot of them have trouble with. This tendency is being noted with alarm even by former environmental crusaders, as the hysteria over global warming escalates." (Lorrie Goldstein, Edmonton Sun)

Eye-roller of the moment: "Getting on a low-carbon diet" - "President Bush will probably succeed in blocking any serious effort to combat global warming until he leaves office. But for the next president, the question will be how, not whether, to reduce American emissions of carbon dioxide and the other gases contributing to climate change. And that debate, like the planet itself, is heating up." (Ronald Brownstein, LA Times)

Oh brother... "Surge in carbon levels shows vegetation struggling to cope" - "Climate change may have passed a key tipping point that could mean temperatures rising more quickly than predicted and it being harder to tackle global warming, research suggests.

Bristol University researchers say a previously unexplained surge of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere in recent years is due to more greenhouse gas escaping from trees, plants and soils. Global warming was making vegetation less able to absorb the carbon pollution pumped out by human activity.

Such a shift would worsen the gloomy predictions of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which warned last week that there is less than a decade to tackle rising emissions to avoid the worst effects of global warming." (The Guardian)

The 'anomaly' that isn't. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels certainly appear to be 'related' to temperature -- they're just not causal.

"JANET ALBRECHTSEN: Hysterics 101" - "APPARENTLY, the NSW Board of Studies is looking to introduce climate change classes for kindergarten to Year 6 children as part of its science and technology syllabus. The problem, of course, is what they will be taught." (The Australian)

"Suggestive correlations between the brightness of Neptune, solar variability, and Earth's temperature" - "Abstract: Long-term photometric measurements of Neptune show variations of brightness over half a century. Seasonal change in Neptune's atmosphere may partially explain a general rise in the long-term light curve, but cannot explain its detailed variations. This leads us to consider the possibility of solar-driven changes, i.e., changes incurred by innate solar variability perhaps coupled with changing seasonal insolation. Although correlations between Neptune's brightness and Earth's temperature anomaly—and between Neptune and two models of solar variability—are visually compelling, at this time they are not statistically significant due to the limited degrees of freedom of the various time series. Nevertheless, the striking similarity of the temporal patterns of variation should not be ignored simply because of low formal statistical significance. If changing brightnesses and temperatures of two different planets are correlated, then some planetary climate changes may be due to variations in the solar system environment." (GRL)

"Evaluating Working Group (WG) II’s Contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)" - "Evaluating Working Group (WG) II’s Contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) reviews and critiques the findings contained in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of Working Group (WG) II’s contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) that are likely to attract the most attention.

In reviewing the methodology used to generate the alarming conclusions of Working Group II, we concluded that “Each of these steps is so fraught with uncertainty or unrealistic assumptions that the outputs of the exercise are meaningless.”

The piece reviews these concerns with methodology and also specifically examines conclusions about adaptation, extreme weather, species extinction, and disease among others. Unfortunately, the SPM presents only the direst view of the future. The piece notes: “By presenting only the worst case, WG II paints an overly negative and unrealistic view of the future. Policymakers need to know a possible worst case, but they also need to understand the more likely outcomes. WG II does not provide this information.” (The Marshall Institute)

Take the IPCC's most imaginative nonsense and add 50%? "Floods and drought: Lloyd's assesses climate change" - "NEW YORK - Lloyd's of London, the world's oldest insurer, offered a gloomy forecast of floods, droughts and disastrous storms over the next 50 years in a recently published report on impending climate changes.

"These things are fact, not hypothesis," said Wendy Baker, the president of Lloyd's America in an interview on Monday. "You don't have to be a believer in global warming to recognize the climate is changing. The industry has to get ready for the changes that are coming."

In a report on catastrophe trends Lloyd's is disseminating to the insurance industry, a bevy of British climate experts, including Sir David King, chief scientist to the British government, warn of increased flooding in coastal areas and a rapid rise in sea level as ice caps melt in Greenland and Antarctica.

Northern European coastal levels could rise more than a meter (3 feet) in a few decades, particularly if the Gulf Stream currents change, the report says." (Reuters)

"New 'weather index' is launched to hedge risk" - "France's national weather service and the market Euronext launched a scheme on Thursday aimed at helping companies anticipate risks from abrupt changes in the weather. Metnext, a joint venture of Meteo-France and the subsidiary of NYSE Euronext, aims at giving "customised indices" to individual firms that will advise them about upcoming weather risk." (AFP)

"Alex Robson and Sinclair Davidson: Full debate sabotaged by illogical alarmists - Academic economists are being asked to endorse a dodgy petition on global warming" - "A GROUP of academic economists and the Australia Institute are circulating a petition among the nation's university economics departments calling on the Howard Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol "without delay".

A similar petition was circulated in 2002 but ended in miserable failure when the Government simply ignored it. While a similar fate should await this petition, it is worth considering in detail some of the statements academic economists are being asked to endorse." (The Australian)

"U.N. envoys seek input on climate change" - "UNITED NATIONS -- Three U.N. special envoys will be soliciting the views of world leaders on tackling climate change to help Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon prepare for a June meeting of major industrialized nations and decide whether to hold a high-level U.N. event on global warming in September." (Associated Press)

"UN Climate Chief Says Time Short to Find 2012 Pact" - "BONN, Germany - The world has a "closing window of opportunity" to agree a pact to fight global warming beyond 2012, the UN's top climate change official said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Climate Talks Hot Up as Kyoto Expiry Date Looms" - "LONDON - A climate summit in Indonesia this December must launch formal talks to extend the Kyoto Protocol after 2012 or face a hunt for alternatives, climate analysts and policy officials said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Suspicions Among Nations Hold Back Climate Pacts" - "UNITED NATIONS - Ministers meeting on solutions to energy efficiency, cuts in carbon emissions and global poverty do not trust each other enough to come up with concrete measures by Friday, diplomats say." (Reuters)

Given that UNFCCC and IPCC are all about wresting advantage from competing economies and have absolutely nothing to do with real-world climate or the planet that's probably a reasonable suspicion.

"Climate change could lead to global conflict, says Beckett" - "Climate change could spawn a new era of conflicts around the world over water and other scarce resources unless more is done to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, warned yesterday." (The Guardian)

A Kyoto-caused international incident? "Falklands Greenhouse Gases Spark Argentina-UK Row" - "BONN, Germany - Twenty-five years after losing a war to Britain over the Falklands, Argentina accused London at a UN climate conference on Thursday of wrongly counting the islands' greenhouse gases in its national data." (Reuters)

"Smoke Alarm" - "In the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, traffic moves as slowly as blood through a corpse. Streams of motorcycles part for SUVs and diesel-spewing buses, and everyone gets nowhere fast. The air is smeared, both from the vehicle exhaust and the frequent forest fires that break out around Indonesia. Once home to some of the most extensive rain forests in the world, Indonesia is now losing trees at a faster rate than any other nation, to flames but also to rampant logging. Since equatorial trees soak up carbon dioxide when they're alive and release the gas when they're cut down or burned, Indonesia's rapid deforestation is the main reason why this country of 245 million is the third biggest carbon emitter in the world after the U.S. and China. But as in other developing countries, the Indonesian government says it needs to focus on economic growth to raise its people out of poverty—and that likely means that trees will be cut, cars will be added and carbon emissions will only go up." (Time)

"The tragedy of the commons: Property rights may be the way to preserve forests" - "IT IS a truism that people and forests do not mix, particularly in the tropics. But just how true is this truism? And to the extent that it is true, what is its cause?" (The Economist)

"Curbing deforestation by half key to global warming fight: research" - "Tropical developing nations can help drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming by reducing the rate of deforestation by half, climate researchers said Thursday.

Reducing tropical deforestation by 50 percent over the next century would help prevent 500 billion tonnes of carbon from going into the atmosphere every year, the researchers said in a policy article published in the journal Science Express." (AFP)

"Protecting boreal forests key to climate change: report" - "Canada's forests are vast carbon reservoirs that store 12 times more carbon than the entire world emits annually from fossil fuels, says a report that calls for a new green business model for the Canadian forest industry." (The Ottawa Citizen)

Ah, but how much solar radiation are dark forests absorbing that would otherwise be reflected?

Say what? "Hurricane season gets an early start" - "What was Andrea, the first named storm of 2007, doing off the Georgia coast, so far ahead of the official June 1 start date of the Atlantic hurricane season?

The early appearance of a subtropical storm like Andrea has happened before, though it's somewhat unusual. Storms of this type can even evolve into full-blown hurricanes, but Andrea was expected to dissipate this weekend.

Still, Andrea's emergence gives scientists an opportunity to study the storm's unusual features – its early timing, its formation outside the usual tropical-storm-incubation zone – to gain a better understanding of a class of storm that until recently has been overlooked and, therefore, difficult to forecast accurately." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Scientists: Early Tropical Storm Not Due to Global Warming" - "The first named Atlantic storm of 2007 crept in Wednesday well before the season's official June 1 start, raising the question of whether global warming might be responsible for its early arrival.

Flowers, tree leaves, birds and other signs of spring have appeared earlier in recent years at various spots globally, so can Subtropical Storm Andrea's arrival three weeks ahead of schedule also be blamed on climate change?

"Oh, gosh, no," said James Kossin, a meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison." (LiveScience)

Um... it isn't even a tropical storm.

"A rant about Andrea" - "Well ladies and gentlemen, we have our first named storm of the hurricane season. Interesting because... it's not yet hurricane season... and it's not a tropical storm! It is a sub-tropical storm, and its name is Andrea. As of this writing, it is about 150 miles east of Jacksonville, Fla., with peak winds of about 45 miles per hour." (Joe Sobel, AccuWeather)

"Florida's growing wildfire problem" - "As more homes are built in rural areas, the options for controlled burns to eliminate brush are limited." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"If You Love Nature, Desocialize It" - "Nature magazines are delightful to read. The photos that grace conservation publications are often magnificent. Yet it is hard to ignore the economic illiteracy or the socialist propaganda that is espoused in many of their thoughtless articles, and it is even harder to ignore the strength with which statists call for government expropriation of resources in order to achieve their goals. I will examine why this is ethically incorrect and economically inefficient." (Manuel Lora, Ludwig von Mises Institute)

"Drylands are not the same as badlands" - "Drylands, where 38 percent of the world's population lives, can be protected from the irreversible damage of desertification if local residents and managers at all levels would follow basic sustainability principles, according to a panel of experts writing in the May 11 issue of the journal Science. The study makes a point of introducing hope rather than the usual gloom, said James Reynolds of Duke University, who is the first author. "(Given) recent advances in dryland development, concerns about land degradation, poverty, safeguarding biodiversity and protecting the culture of 2.5 billion people can be confronted with renewed optimism," the report said." (Duke University)

"Safety Concerns Emerge in Energy-Efficient Light Debate" - "At a time when fluorescent bulbs are gaining in popularity among global warming activists, politicians and consumers, Brandy Bridges discovered a dark side to energy-efficient lighting." (CNSNews.com)

"Purdue Will Reinvestigate Its Professor Who Claimed Desktop Fusion" - "Three months after it cleared him of research misconduct, Purdue University has begun a new inquiry into a professor who claims to have generated nuclear fusion in a desktop experiment, the university acknowledged yesterday.

The new inquiry goes beyond the focus of an earlier one, which looked at whether the professor, Rusi P. Taleyarkhan, improperly omitted himself as an author on two scientific papers. For the first time, a committee is examining whether the underlying research might have been fraudulent." (New York Times)

"Power industry warns on high price of moving to ‘clean coal’" - "The UK power industry has told the Government that the development of “clean coal” power stations will not take place without heavy subsidy and higher electricity prices." (London Times)

"Only wealthiest will be able to afford solar panels" - "Solar and wind power will be unaffordable to all but the "wealthiest homes" it was claimed yesterday after the Government cut the maximum grant for their installation by 83 per cent." (London Independent)

"With US ethanol boom, corn is king this season" - "Farmers plant most acreage since 1944, hoping to cash in while corn demand is high." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Mergers among ethanol plants expected" - "CHICAGO -- As U.S. ethanol plants see profit margins shrink from rising corn prices, the highly fragmented industry will likely see a wave of mergers and consolidation, said speakers at a conference on ethanol financing in Chicago on Thursday." (Reuters)

"The Tricky Question of Biofuels" - "Steep prices at the pump and concerns about climate change have driven a wave of investment in ethanol and biodiesel, but scientists warn that biofuel production could drive a number of unintended consequences." (Ecosystem Marketplace)

"Boom in biofuel leading to higher costs for food" - "Rising demand for plant-derived bioethanol has led to a shortage of cooking oil, pushing up prices of food products such as mayonnaise, and likely beef and even beer. Corn and sugarcane are increasingly being grown as ingredients for the eco-friendly fuel, leaving makers of food products that use those or other crops with limited supplies." (Asahi Shimbun)

"Argentina confronts biofuels craze"  -"BUENOS AIRES, Argentina Argentina's government is hopping on the biofuels bandwagon by offering tax incentives for new initiatives and saying 5 percent of the nation's fuel supply must be biodiesel- or ethanol-based in three years. But many Argentines are worried that diverting farmland for biofuels - made from corn, sugarcane, palm oil and other agricultural products - will drive up food prices even higher." (AP)

"US Issues Loan Guarantee Rules for Energy Projects" - "WASHINGTON - The US Energy Department Thursday proposed regulations for a new program that would spur investment in clean energy by having the government repay a portion of the commercial loans, in case of default, that fund such projects." (Reuters)

D'oh! "Japanese Automakers Say Not Possible to Meet Europe’s 120 gCO2/km Target by 2012" - "The Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has published a response to the European Commission’s proposal to institute binding limits of greenhouse gas emissions on new vehicles by 2012: an average 130 g/km from the vehicles, with another 10 g/km to come from lower carbon fuels and other measures." (Green Car Congress)

"Brazil Environment Minister Attacks Nuclear Option" - "RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's environment minister attacked proposals for new nuclear power plants on Thursday, a week after the president said he would push for more reactors if enough hydroelectric plants cannot be built." (Reuters)

"Dairy Council to End Ad Campaign That Linked Drinking Milk With Weight Loss" - "A national advertising campaign that associates dairy products with weight loss will be curtailed because research does not support the claim." (New York Times)

"Drinking farm milk reduces childhood asthma and allergies but raw consumption remains unsafe" - "Drinking farm milk can protect children against asthma and hayfever, according to a study of nearly 15,000 children published in the May issue of Clinical and Experimental Allergy." (Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)

"Seattle Post Intelligencer Dumbs Down Science in Honor of Mom" - "With Mother’s Day coming up, paper invites mom to discuss toxic risks to children. Why? Because she found chemicals in her blood.

What is it about the media that leads newspaper editors to ignore scientists and turn to amateurs to guide the public on health risks? At the Seattle PI, the reason seems to be that, hey, it’s Mother’s Day – let’s hear from a mom on something." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Stories in contrast" - "Just days apart and worlds apart. In the news..." (Junkfood Science)

"Brought to you by... " - "As we’ve seen, the lines between journalism and marketing have become imperceptible. The news we see on television, hear on the radio and read in publications increasingly are examples of the latest form of advertising. While more of us are not taking the news at face value anymore, many of us let our guards down and toss off our critical thinking caps when we see a documentary. We have this belief that documentaries are factual and true — after all, we’re seeing it with our own eyes. We hold them to high ideals and believe they are presenting reality with neutrality and objectivity and giving us a balanced view.

How wrong we are." (Junkfood Science)

"'Alternative family' killing Europe?" - "WARSAW – In the late 1960s, warnings of a "population" bomb that would doom Earth's inhabitants spawned movements of fervent activists prone to wag a finger at strolling couples with multiple offspring in tow. Nearly 40 years later, crunching the demographic numbers reveals a looming catastrophe – but of the completely opposite kind, some contend." (WND)

"Saving Lives the Greenpeace Way" - "The media this week is full of dire warnings about man-made global warming. Greenpeace and the UN say Americans must move quickly to give up 80–90 percent of their current energy use to prevent millions of potential human deaths from an over-heated planet. The haste to destroy the world’s economy is strange considering: 1) there has been no significant global warming for the past nine years; 2) most of our currant modest warming took place before 1940; and, 3) much of the scientific evidence gathered the last twenty years points directly to the sun as the source of our cyclical warmings and coolings over the last million years.

Oddly enough, Greenpeace is, at this same moment, proposing endless delays for a far cheaper way and proven way to prevent millions of human deaths—genetically engineered Golden Rice. Golden Rice, like carrots, contains beta carotene, which the human body turns into Vitamin A. Rich-world kids get their Vitamin A mostly from meat, milk and eggs, which Third World kids can’t afford. Golden Rice yields far more bio-available Vitamin A to poor kids than do carrots or leafy greens.

The new rice could prevent a million kids a years in third world countries from going blind due to severe Vitamin A deficiency in their diets and reduce death rates from such diseases as measles, diarrhea, and malaria. It is estimated that two million lives a year could be saved by this inexpensive and simple dietary addition.

Greenpeace opposes Golden Rice on the vague generalization that genetic engineering is “too dangerous.” Yet Greenpeace has documented no risks at all from Golden Rice or any other biotech food—let alone a risk that would stack up against the ongoing deaths of millions of kids per year." (Dennis Avery, American Daily)

"No more Luddites, please" - "The Supreme Court ruling granting permission to the Centre to conduct field trials of genetically modified (GM) seeds paves the way for commercialisation of more than a dozen transgenic cotton hybrids.

And while it may not end the opposition to such crops completely, the apex court’s insistence on a number of safeguards should assuage the fears of all but the most diehard opponents of GM crops." (Economic Times)

May 10, 2007

"AFM Debate with WHO: WHOPES and Its Impact on Long-lasting Insecticidal Net Availability" - "The World Health Organization Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) has published an official response to AFM's Occasional Paper, "WHOPES and Its Impact on Long-lasting Insecticidal Net (LN) Availability", reaffirming the WHO's technical role in reviewing new LN technologies.

WHOPES is a valuable technical resource, but as AFM argues it needs to cultivate a more practical, responsive and responsible role in malaria control. Some companies submit products to WHOPES having already completed independent safety and efficacy evaluations. WHOPES could reflect this with a product checklist updated in real time on its website, allowing countries to make informed procurement decisions without waiting up to two years for WHOPES interim recommendation." (AFM)

"Pesticide-Free Schools--Full of Rats and Roaches?" - "Our local radio station is encouraging parents to protest the use of pesticides in our schools. The station is broadcasting “public service announcements” saying pesticides used in the schools are “linked” to cancer, asthma and lower IQ scores among the kids. Probably you are hearing the same announcements on your radio stations. They’re produced by Earthworks, a consortium of eco-groups, and sponsored by The Ad Council." (CGFI)

"Are you really going to eat that?" - "Have you secretly picked up food you’ve dropped onto the ground or kitchen floor and eaten it anyway? You may be a follower of the “Five-Second” rule. You know the one. It believes that if you drop food on the ground, but pick it up real fast, it’s safe to eat. :)

With all of the scares going around about the safety of our food, you may enjoy this humorous look — but strictly scientific, to be sure — at the evidence behind that old maxim. It was written by food scientist, Harold McGee." (Junkfood Science)

"Sleep-weight link depends on how sleep is defined" - "NEW YORK - Studies have linked habitual sleep loss to weight gain, but new research suggests that this link may depend on how sleep is measured.

In a study of more than 1,500 10- to 19-year-olds, researchers found that sleep, when measured in one way, was related to body weight. Measured a different way, however, it was not.

The findings, which are published in the journal of Pediatrics, do not mean that previous studies linking sleep loss to excess pounds are wrong. But they do suggest that the measurements researchers use to gauge sleep deserve closer scrutiny, the study authors say.

Specifically, their study found that there was a relationship between adolescents' weight and their self-reported sleep habits -- gauged by the question, "How many hours of sleep do you usually get a night?"

Children and teens who said they typically slept for more than 9 hours were less likely to be overweight than their peers who slept for 7 to 9 hours.

But when the study participants were asked to keep detailed diaries on their activities over two 24-hour periods, there turned out to be no link between sleep and weight." (Reuters Health)

"Study: Young Girls More Likely to Be Fat" - "As every Western nation struggles with child obesity, the Swedes are puzzled by an unusual blip in the data: Why are little girls more likely to be fat than little boys? A recent study by researchers at Sweden's Uppsala University showed that today's 4-year-old girls were six times as likely to be obese compared to 20 years ago - a bigger jump than among boys." (Associated Press)

"Coarse particulate matter in air may harm hearts of asthma sufferers, UNC study finds" - "CHAPEL HILL -- Breathing air containing coarse particulate matter such as road or construction dust may cause heart problems for asthma sufferers and other vulnerable populations, according to a new study led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health." (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Oh boy... "Zimbabwe Expected to Chair Key UN Environment Body" - "UNITED NATIONS - Zimbabwe appears set to head the Commission on Sustainable Development, the main UN inter-governmental body on environment and development, diplomats said on Wednesday.

But Norway said the election was not certain and added its objections to those of the United States and other Western nations to the candidacy of Zimbabwe, whose economy is crumbling with inflation running above 2,000 percent." (Reuters)

... only the UN could consider an economic basket-case with 2000% inflation and massive environmental degradation to head a Commission on "Sustainable Development, the main UN inter-governmental body on environment and development".

"Environmental 'Intelligence'?"  -"Here we go again. The 2008 intelligence authorization bill, which the House may vote on this week, diverts CIA and other intelligence resources away from critical terrorism-related missions to study global climate change. If it becomes law, the legislation will force agencies to complete a National Intelligence Estimate with a 30-year assessment on the effects of environmental change within nine months.

We've been down this road before. In the mid-1990s, Bill Clinton's first Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, declared that environmental concerns and national security would share equal status in U.S. foreign policy. Immediately following that announcement, CIA Director John Deutch said in July 1996 that the U.S. was diverting spy satellites to photograph "ecologically sensitive" sites.

This was in the heady days that followed the Cold War, when our beleaguered intelligence community -- considered passé, downsized and suffering under the strain of budget cuts -- was searching for a politically popular mission.

Instead of focusing on looming national security threats -- the first World Trade Center bombing came in 1993 and in August of 1996 Osama bin Laden issued his fatwa, "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places" -- Mr. Deutch was currying favor with then-Vice President Al Gore." (Peter Hoekstra, Wall Street Journal)

Lester Brown: "Momentum Grows to 'Ban the Bulb'" - "WASHINGTON, May 9 - On Feb. 20, Australia announced it would phase out the sale of inefficient incandescent light bulbs by 2010, replacing them with highly efficient compact fluorescent bulbs that use one-fourth as much electricity." (IPS)

There's some pretty extravagant claims being made about CFLs these days. Enviros really hate having a mirror held up regarding their hysterical mercury claims and sure don't like being reminded of their hypocrisy over getting mercury out of the home except when they insist you should bring it in. Then there's the propaganda about "saving" 100-300 lbs of CO2 emission per year with each incandescent bulb changed for a CFL as that that's some kind of big deal (even if true). Let's look at a few numbers:

In general, the coefficient is about 2.3 lb CO2 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. You can calculate the kWh of electricity by multiplying the number of watts (W) the appliance uses times the number of hours (h) it is used, then dividing by 1000. For example a 60-W light bulb operated for 24 h uses (60 W) x (24 h) / (1000) = 1.44 kWh. This use of electricity would produce an emission of (1.44 kWh) x (2.3 lb CO2 per kWh) = 3.3 lb CO2 if the electricity is derived from the combustion of coal. Thus if you have your 60W bulb burning 24/7 you could conceivably cause the emission of ~1200 lb CO2/year but even heavily used lights would be pushing to be on 6/7 rather than 24/7, so total emission caused might be 300 lb/year, a 1/3rd increase in efficiency could then "save" 100 lb CO2/year.

For comparison, a person (at rest) exhales about 800 lb CO2 per year, so changing out 8 heavily used incandescent bulbs for CFLs delivers a theoretical "saving" equivalent to preventing one such couch potato breathing but you'd need to change many times more to equate to people who engage in physical exercise, play sport or whose work involved 8 hours of manual labor per day since respiration rises significantly with effort.

Is this "saving" a big deal for the planet's climate? Nope -- even if you stopped all human emissions of carbon dioxide today and held them at zero for the next 50 years it would make no measurable difference to planetary temperature. Everyone hand waving and telling you that you can (and must) change your carbon dioxide emission profile to adjust the planet's climate is just plain full of it.

"Let There Be (Less Energy-Consuming) Light" - "WASHINGTON, D.C. - The light at the end of the tunnel--at the least the one illuminated by an incandescent light bulb, invented by Thomas Edison in 1879--is growing dimmer.

With legislatures in 13 states considering partial bans and partial to full phase-outs of incandescent bulbs by as early as 2010, momentum is building in Congress to tuck light bulb limits or bans into energy conservation bills affecting construction, appliances and automobiles. Democrats' interest in this particular environmental rescue is likely being turned up by their desire to not let the states get too far ahead." (Matthew Swibel, Forbes)

Oh boy... "New NASA Study Points To Extreme Summer Warming In The Future" - "A new study by NASA scientists suggests that greenhouse-gas warming may raise average summer temperatures in the eastern United States nearly 10Fahrenheit by the 2080s. "There is the potential for extremely hot summertime temperatures in the future, especially during summers with less-than-average frequent rainfall," said lead author Barry Lynn of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University, New York." (NASA)

... how the heck would they know? NASA's GISS modelE, their state-of-the-art virtual world, already overstates western US summer temps by that much:

2.4 Principal Model Deficiencies

ModelE (2006) compares the atmospheric model climatology with observations. Model shortcomings include ~25% regional deficiency of summer stratus cloud cover off the west coast of the continents with resulting excessive absorption of solar radiation by as much as 50 W/m-2, deficiency in absorbed solar radiation and net radiation over other tropical regions by typically 20 W/m-2, sea level pressure too high by 4-8 hPa in the winter in the Arctic and 2-4 hPa too low in all seasons in the tropics, ~20% deficiency of rainfall over the Amazon basin, ~25% deficiency in summer cloud cover in the western United States and central Asia with a corresponding ~5 °C excessive summer warmth in these regions...

"Churning sea spurs rethink over global-warming models" - "Powerful computer models that simulate ocean circulation -- a key factor in the global-warming equation -- will have to be finetuned after scientists discovered a massive eddy in the current that sweeps around Antarctica." (AFP)

"Guest Weblog By Peggy Lemone Of The National Center For Atmospheric Research (NCAR)" - "Dr. Peggy Lemone has graciously agreed to publish several guest weblogs on Climate Science, which are also presented on her excellent GLOBE Chief Scientist weblog." (Climate Science)

Carbon, schmarbon... "Understanding the global carbon budget -- Woods Hole Research Center expert provides insights" - "As climate change becomes more and more a central issue in local, national, and international discussions, understanding the global carbon budget, and how it influences trends in global warming, will become increasingly crucial. The carbon cycle is related to climate and climatic change because it controls carbon dioxide, the most important of the greenhouse gases. One of the world’s preeminent experts on the topic, Dr. R. A. Houghton, has authored a synthesis paper on the topic, summarizing what is known about the global carbon budget and why it is important. The work is featured in the current issue of the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science." (Woods Hole Research Center)

... we don't anticipate much effect from carbon dioxide at all, much less "increasingly critical". Atmospheric carbon dioxide's greenhouse effect is logarithmic -- the first half of pre-Industrial Revolution-level effect was achieved by less than 20 parts per million, then needing the addition of 250 ppmv more to achieve the same warming increment to reach pre-IR effect and it will take a massive increase to repeat the dose again. (The "how much" depends on total sensitivity estimates but, utilizing A Field Guide to the Atmosphere (Houghton, 1983)'s commonly cited 7 K greenhouse effect for 300 ppmv (presumably from Kondratjew & Moskalenko but the origin of this common figure is obscure) then quadrupling pre-IR levels to 1120 ppmv can deliver a mere 1.71 K warming in total -- since there's already alleged to have been 0.7 K that leaves just 1 kelvin potential for adding another 740 ppmv to the current 380 ppmv.)

"Trade-offs and global warming" - "NEW YORK -- Want to silence a dinner party? Here's one way, at least in blue cities and states. Allow everyone to vent and moan over global warming - those poor penguins! Then ask your fellow guests: So what have you done about it? Ouch.

Frankly, I haven't had the nerve to try it; I like having friends, and I am in no position to throw stones, though I, too, fret about the fate of the penguins and accept that global warming is an issue worth taking seriously.

But it does occur to me that the discussion of global warming is simultaneously overblown and under-serious. Let's face it: If we really, truly believed that New York City was going to be under water in less than 50 years, we would move heaven and earth to prevent that from happening. But we don't, so we don't." (Cait Murphy, Fortune)

"Climate change issue heats Capitol Hill" - "WASHINGTON - Global warming was impossible to avoid on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, with a trio of hearings on the consequences or cures for climate change and another on the related question of endangered wildlife.

But even as the climate change issue spurred debate among U.S. lawmakers, a demographer said that while Americans take this matter seriously, they are lukewarm about taking any tough action to control it.

"It's real, it's serious -- impressions of that are certainly growing," said Karlyn Bowman, who watches polling data at the pro-business American Enterprise Institute. "But in terms of what people are willing to do: They're willing to do things that are easy ... It just isn't a top-tier issue." (Reuters)

"RI Students Must Watch 'Inconvenient Truth' to Graduate" - "To receive a degree from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, students are being forced to watch "An Inconvenient Truth," the documentary on global warming produced by former Vice President Al Gore." (CNSNews.com)

"Three-chord propaganda" - "Not all aged rock icons followed Rolling Stone's script in the magazine's 40th anniversary issue" (Jewish World Review)

"Clinton, Obama sign onto to Boxer’s $4500 climate tax on American families" - "A new MIT study concludes that the Sanders-Boxer approach would impose a tax-equivalent of $366 billion annually, or more than $4,500 per family of four, by 2015. And the annual costs will grow after 2015." (E&PW)

"House Ignores the Obvious on Gas Prices" - "Washington, D.C., May 9, 2007—Today’s House hearing on high gas prices manages to present a vitally important consumer issue while completely ignoring the true source of the problem. Promoted as an investigation into the effects of foreign supplies on the cost of oil and gas, the committee misses the array of government policies and restrictions enacted by Congress that impact energy prices far more dramatically." (CEI)

Creating an energy crisis: "OPEC Says Biofuels Could Make it Rethink Investment" - "BRUSSELS - Increased use of biofuels and other measures that steer consumers away from oil could prompt OPEC to rethink its investment plans, an official from the crude producer group said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Refining Riddle: Cleaner Fuels Make More CO2" - "LONDON - Making cleaner fuels could cause more harmful emissions -- an oil refining paradox." (Reuters)"Coal Makes Carbon Capture Progress Urgent - Experts" - "MADRID - The power industry urgently needs clear rules and incentives to invest in carbon capture or new coal-fired plants now being built will contribute for decades to global warming, industry specialists said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

Figures... "Lawyers smell fortunes in the wind from those who claim to own it" - "GERMAN courts are starting to deal with a new crime - stealing the wind. As Europe's greenest country builds ever more electricity-producing wind farms, so the rights to nature are now being fought over by lawyers. A court in Leipzig is hearing a case involving a dispute between the operators of two wind turbine facilities. At issue: who owns the wind?" (The Scotsman)

"'Rural terrorists' pull down 280ft tower" - "'Rural terrorists' trying to stop the development of a wind farm have been blamed for the destruction of equipment worth more than £100,000. Unknown saboteurs felled the 279ft high device to measure wind strength, known as an anemometer, by cutting a steel supporting rope." (London Telegraph)

"Government cuts home green scheme funding"  -"The government drew sharp criticism from the country's fledgling renewables industry today as it relaunched a controversial grant system but slashed the funds available for some technologies." (Guardian Unlimited)

"Fuel economy back on US agenda" - "A bipartisan bill, which cleared a Senate committee Tuesday, seeks to boost average car mileage by about 10 miles per gallon from 2011 to 2020." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Fuel-efficiency bill only a step to curb warming" - "A boost in fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon would trim about 250 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2020." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Green Fuel Growth Jeopardizes US Food Exports" - "ST. LOUIS - America's push to wean itself off foreign oil by expanding production of fuel made from corn and soybeans could jeopardize its status as the world's biggest food provider, the head of agribusiness Bunge North America said Tuesday." (Reuters)

"GM impact on certain organic industries minimal: report" - "A new report has found the the use of genetically modified (GM) canola would have a negligible impact on the organic canola, livestock and honey industries.

The report prepared by the Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) says that is partly because certified organic crops in Australia are required to be isolated from their non-organic counterparts." (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

"Studies Indicate GM Crops Are Safer and Healthier" - "Organic foods are often considered the "gold standard" of safety and healthfulness to which all other foods should aspire. This carefully crafted perception is used by the organic food industry to justify the higher price of organic produce. This industry has also campaigned against genetically-modified crops, using terms like "Frankenfoods" -- claiming that they are unnatural creations of technology, dangerous for human health and bad for the environment.

An increasing number of scientific studies have established that these claims have little merit and that GM foods are actually better." (ACSH)

"Germany Tightens Restrictions on Genetically Modified Corn" - "The German government has imposed stricter regulations on the food company Monsanto regarding the sale of genetically modified corn seeds. The new rules are tantamount to an outright ban." (Der Spiegel)

"Netherlands refuses GM corn shipment from US" - "The Netherlands will return, or burn, a United States shipment of genetically modified corn that lacks clearance from European authorities, the Dutch food security authority said Wednesday." (AFP)

May 9, 2007

"Malaria malpractice" - "Misguided ban on DDT is easing and the US is helping to ease the logjam in the production of mosquito nets.

It's gratifying to see the more than $60 million in private donations raised by TV's ubiquitous "American Idol" to help ameliorate the scandalous malaria epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, an epidemic that never should have happened." (OC Register)

"Genetically Modified Chicory Brings Hope to African Malaria Patients" - "WAGENINGEN, the Netherlands, May 8 -- Dafra Pharma has commissioned Plant Research International (PRI) to begin new research into optimising the production method of artemisinin via genetically modified chicory plants. The aim of the research is to realize inexpensive, large-scale production of artemisinin under controllable conditions. Artemisinin is a basic raw material used in ACTs (Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies), the latest generation and most effective antimalarial treatment according to the WHO." (PRNewswire)

Hallo! Where were they? "WHO Criticized for Neglecting Evidence" - "LONDON -- When developing ''evidence-based'' guidelines, the World Health Organization routinely forgets one key ingredient: evidence. That is the verdict from a study published in The Lancet online Tuesday.

The medical journal's criticism of WHO could shock many in the global health community, as one of WHO's main jobs is to produce guidelines on everything from fighting the spread of bird flu and malaria control to enacting anti-tobacco legislation.

''This is a pretty seismic event,'' Lancet editor Dr. Richard Horton, who was not involved in the research for the article. ''It undermines the very purpose of WHO.'' (AP)

"What Journalists Should Ask About State Chemical Bans" - "USA Today reports that states are taking action on toxic chemicals the EPA won’t bother to ban. But do state legislatures know what they are doing? Is federal regulation failing us?" (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Teens gorge on fast food even when not super-sized" - "NEW YORK - A new study suggests that there's something about fast-food burgers and fries, other than the often giant portion sizes, that encourages teens to gorge. In a study of 18 teenagers, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston found that no matter how they served an extra-large fast-food meal -- all at once, or in smaller portions spaced out over one hour -- the teens devoured a similar number of calories." (Reuters Health)

You don't suppose they maybe, like the taste? Never mind...

"100 percent juice not associated with overweight in children" - "TORONTO (May 8, 2007) -- Using the same database that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses to confirm the rise in obesity rates, researchers have concluded that 100 percent juice is not associated with young children being overweight or at risk for becoming overweight." (Baylor College of Medicine)

"More of the same" - "Consumer Reports has just rated the top diet books and plans using a panel of diet experts and claimed to find the “strategies that work.” This sentence, however, says it all about the newest crop of diet best sellers: None of these books has yet been put to the acid test of a large clinical trial." (Junkfood Science)

"Magical memory in a pill" - "Antioxidant vitamins have consistently failed in clinical trials to help cognitive function as we age. A clinical trial on a complete daily vitamin and mineral supplement just published in Nutrition Journal also failed to show that popping a pill kept older people sharp." (Junkfood Science)

"Hug your doctor today" - "Consumers know the pressures they’re under to comply with the health risk factors proposed by their insurer, but few realize that their doctor is under much the same pressures." (Junkfood Science)

"Light Plight: Bulbs better for environment can be hazardous to health" - "Replacing conventional lights with compact fluorescent bulbs -- a popular energy conservation measure promoted as a way to fight global warming -- could create toxic nightmares for unsuspecting consumers." (The Muskegon Chronicle)

"Research links excess TV watching to impaired school skills" - "Adolescents who watch too much TV develop learning problems and are less likely to go to university, according to a study that followed nearly 700 children for 20 years." (The Guardian)

Or people who have better things to do than veg in front of the idiot box tend to be those who go on to university but is length of time watching TV anything other than a marker?

Kind of, maybe, well... not really: "Study suggests cancer risk from depleted uranium" - "Depleted uranium, which is used in armour-piercing ammunition, causes widespread damage to DNA which could lead to lung cancer, according to a study of the metal's effects on human lung cells. The study adds to growing evidence that DU causes health problems on battlefields long after hostilities have ceased." (The Guardian)

"Higher Chance of US Gulf Coast Hurricane in '07" - "HOUSTON - There is an above-average chance that a major hurricane will hit the US Gulf Coast this year, marking a possible return to the destructive seasons of 2004 and 2005, leading storm forecasters predicted on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Transcontinental wildfire emissions monitored from space" - "Using data from the SCIAMACHY instrument aboard ESA’s environmental satellite Envisat, scientists have determined that the carbon monoxide hovering over Australia during the wildfire season largely originated from South American wildfires some 13 000 kilometres away." (ESA)

"A New Weblog Posting On Another Issue With The Observation Of Near-Surface Temperature Trends" - "Anthony Watts has introduced a very important new issue into the assessment of long term near-surface temperature trends by the global historical climate network. He presented his ideas in several comments on Climate Science (see), and has written a very effective weblog on this subject “Watts Up With That?” Douglas Hoyt has also identified this problem on page 86 in his book “The Role of The Sun in Climate Change” (see Comment #16). Here is yet another problem with the use of the near-surface air temperatures to assess climate system heat changes." (Climate Science)

"Not the End of the World as We Know It" - "How bad is climate change really? Are catastrophic floods and terrible droughts headed our way? Despite widespread fears of a greenhouse hell, the latest computer simulations are delivering far less dramatic predictions about tomorrow's climate." (Der Spiegel)

"We Are Children of the Tropics" - "Biologist Josef Reichholf discusses the benefits of a warmer climate for animals and plants, large cities as centers of biological diversity and the myth of the return of malaria." (Der Spiegel)

"Is the Earth still recovering from the 'Little Ice Age'? A possible cause of global warming" (.pdf) – an updated version – "There seems to be a roughly linear increase of the temperature of about 0.5°C/100 years (~1°F/100 years) from about 1800, or even much earlier, to the present. This value may be compared with what the IPCC scientists consider the manmade effect of 0.6 - 0.7°C/100 years. This linear warming trend is likely to be a natural change. One possible cause of the linear increase may be that the Earth is still recovering from the Little Ice Age. This trend should be subtracted from the temperature data during the last 100 years in estimating the manmade effect. 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 (p. 10), which states that “most” of the present warming is due to the greenhouse effect. 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." (Syun-Ichi Akasofu, IARC)

"Who or what is the real culprit? Not all experts agree that man is to blame; others point the finger at oceans or the sun" - "COME July 7, megastars of the pop music world will hold seven mammoth concerts across the world to bring attention to global warming.

This initiative comes on the heels of former US vice-president Al Gore's Oscar for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Arguably the most famous layman's account of how human activities are causing global warming that will lead to cataclysmic climate disasters, it has all but settled the debate, fans say.

True, average global temperatures have risen 0.2 deg C in the last 30 years or so. Yet when Hollywood gets into the act, red flags should go up. Furiously." (The Straits Times)

"Neptune News" - "Neptune is the planet farthest from the Sun (Pluto is now considered only a dwarf planet), Neptune is the planet farthest from the Earth, and to our knowledge, there has been absolutely no industrialization out at Neptune in recent centuries. There has been no recent build-up of greenhouse gases there, no deforestation, no rapid urbanization, no increase in contrails from jet airplanes, and no increase in ozone in the low atmosphere; recent changes at Neptune could never be blamed on any human influence. Incredibly, an article has appeared in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters showing a stunning relationship between the solar output, Neptune’s brightness, and heaven forbid, the temperature of the Earth. With its obvious implications to the greenhouse debate, we are certain you have never heard of the work and never will outside World Climate Report." (WCR)

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

"Swindle and the Stick" - "The first complaint by RMS (and others) against Swindle seems to be about their handling of the Hockey Stick. A new complaint from someone at the University of Bristol includes a spaghetti graph, including MBH, saying that it shows that the newer reconstructions use “superior methods”, “supersede” the earlier results and that the old IPCC 1990 version was “wrong”. They assert:

Seemingly, TGGWS uses the old versions of the reconstructions because, in the context of the program, they support the notion that the current warming trend is small by comparison to the medieval warm period. Their failure to cite this more advanced and recent work is puzzling, misleading and wrong.

I think that most of the Swindle battles are a waste of time because I don’t think that either side has played their cards very well. In this case, I think there was a very powerful story line connecting the IPCC 1990 graphic to the Hockey Stick - one which Ross and I have used in presentations on several occasions. Had Swindle followed this exposition, I think that, on the one hand, it would have been a much better exposition and, on the other hand, it would not have been open to complaint about biased use of obsolete versions. On the other hand, the complainants are opening up the entire Hockey Stick issue, which is a lousy issue for them. Imagine trying to defend Mannian methodology as an improvement on anything. Think about the following storyline (or any subset of it) as an alternative to the present situation." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"CNN: Exposed: The Climate of Fear: full video" - "The full AVI video (344 MB; 41:15 when played) is available at mirror 1, mirror 2. Please create your own mirrors if you offer to many others. Thanks to Frédéric..." (The Reference Frame)

Oh my! "Drowning in drivel" - "WE'RE told so many mad scare stories about global warming, why shouldn't Art Bell believe this one, too?

And so the radio host and best-selling author last weekend read out to his audience on Coast to Coast, one of America's most listened-to shows, this latest report he'd picked about our warming horror:

"Shocking reports from the Kremlin today are showing that . . . the Government of Australia has entered into secret negotiations with the United States and their Commonwealth allies for the proposed evacuation of upwards of 11 million of its 20 million citizens."

On he went, telling millions of Americans that our drought was so bad - curse you, global warming! - that the Howard Government might soon hire cruise ships to send us somewhere cooler, once it figured who'd take us.

To Bell, this was the last straw.

"I wonder when the climate sceptics are going to finally catch on," he raged.

"Will it take something like this? Like evacuating half a nation, before we wake up and realise that it is actually happening?" (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Actually, we thought initial reports were people attempting to pull our legs, so we completely ignored them, sorry.

As spun by AFP: "Climate change gets heat in Australian budget" - "Climate change came to the forefront of Australia's big-spending budget Tuesday, with the government earmarking hundreds of millions of dollars for efforts to combat global warming." (AFP)

and by the Greens: "Australia: Climate change budget plans 'too little'" - "The Australian Greens say they are surprised climate change was not a big-ticket item in the federal budget." (AAP)

Actually even the lip service was way too much for the phantom menace but, on the whole, a good budget.

"Rage, rage against dimming of the light" - "There's more evidence that Sydney's Earth Hour was a statistical flop, maintains David Solomon." (The Australian)

Today's meaching: "Blitz spirit needed to face threat of climate change" - "The government's climate change bill has nowhere near the vision commensurate to the scale of the threat. The Stern Review has already set out the facts: we can carry on as we are, leading to a global economic collapse, or we can try to halt the worst ravages of climate change by stabilising CO2 at 450 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere, or we can aim to stabilise CO2 at 500-550 ppm." (Michael Meacher, The Guardian)

"Citigroup to put $50 billion toward addressing climate change" - "NEW YORK: Citigroup, the largest U.S. bank, said Tuesday that it would direct $50 billion over a 10-year period toward addressing global climate change.

The amount includes nearly $10 billion in activities that the bank has already undertaken, and about $31 billion will go toward supporting the "commercialization and growth of alternative energy and clean technology," the bank said.

Citigroup plans as well to increase to $10 billion, from about $1 billion now, its spending on measures to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions." (IHT)

"Citi's Green Push Underwhelms Environmentalists" - "Environmentalists gave a lukewarm response to Citigroup Inc.'s plan to spend $50 billion on climate-change issues over the next 10 years, saying the financial-services institution should do more to curb its involvement with businesses that contribute to global warming." (Wall Street Journal)

"The rush to go green could end in the red" - "The carbon credits produced under Kyoto may fall far short amid failed projects and faulty expectations." (Financial Times)

From CO2 Science this week:

Warming-Induced Increases in Ocean Productivity: How, where and why do they occur?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week;
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from York, England. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Precipitation (Trends - Global): Have they been what one would expect if the ongoing rise in the air's CO 2 content is doing what climate alarmists insist it is doing?

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: Black Cherry, Broccoli, Longleaf Pine Savannahs, and Radish.

Journal Reviews:
The Temperature of the Global Ocean: Is it warming or cooling? Or is there a little (or a lot) of each?

Utah (USA) Snowpack Data: Do they provide any evidence of a regional expression of global warming?

Refining the "Greening of the Sahel": How has it progressed in terms of both spatial and temporal variability?

Global Warming and Malaria: The Northern Thailand Story: How are the two related?

Is Global Warming Causing the Earth to Burn?: Worldwide fire data provide the answer.

Eskridge, KS Temperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Eskridge, KS. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Eskridge's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.42 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

Featured scam: GreenSeat - air travel CO2 offset extortion.

Question, when calculating the "damage" done by CO2 emission, is there any allowance for the massive good of underwriting global primary productivity with this same trace gas liberation?

"Flights reach record levels despite warnings over climate change" - "Less than a week after the world's scientists warned there may be just eight years to act on greenhouse gas pollution to avoid the worst of global warming, the aviation industry has announced record increases in the number of flights worldwide." (The Guardian)

"Algae could be used to power airliners" - "Commercial airliners could be burning biofuels derived from algae within five years, Boeing, the world's largest aircraft manufacturer, has said. Boeing's new estimates for the uptake of biofuels by the aviation industry bring the prospect of more environmentally-friendly air travel decades closer than had been previously thought." (London Telegraph)

"Environmental Group Challenges Shell Green Advert" - "LONDON - An environmental group said on Tuesday it would file complaints to three European regulators about a Royal Dutch Shell Plc advertisement that says the oil major uses waste CO2 to help grow flowers. Friends of the Earth Europe said Shell advertising that its Pernis refinery near Rotterdam pipes CO2 to nearby greenhouses is misleading because only a fraction of the CO2 emissions are used in this way." (Reuters)

But the refinery does sell carbon dioxide to Dutch greenhouse growers and in quantities well publicized in the UK, Europe and North America, at the very least:

"Oil refinery gives greenhouses a boost with CO2 pipeline" - "A project to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from oil refineries by using the gas as "fertiliser" in commercial greenhouses has been so successful it is being extended.

The project, which adds new meaning to the term "greenhouse gas", is the first in the world. It distributes CO2 from Shell's Pernis refinery outside Rotterdam to 400 greenhouses, saving a large amount of natural gas each year, which is equivalent to 170,000 tonnes of CO2." (The Guardian)

"Dutch farmers boost production with CO2 waste" - "Shell’s Pernis oil refinery in Rotterdam generates six million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Now, a new business is turning a profit and helping the environment by selling nearly half a million tons of this gas to Dutch farmers." (Deutsche Welle)

"A Refinery Clears the Air to Grow Roses" - MAASLAND, the Netherlands — A few miles north of Rotterdam, in a region the Dutch call "glass city" for its thousands of greenhouses, gardeners like Frank van Os are part of an unconventional experiment by Royal Dutch Shell to curb carbon emissions.

Mr. van Os produces four million roses each year, flooding the atmosphere inside his vast glass canopy with pure carbon dioxide to bolster his crop. What is unusual is that he now gets the carbon dioxide piped in directly from Pernis, a Shell refinery that is Europe's largest and typically discharges tons of the gas into the atmosphere every year.

"You can just hear it," said Mr. van Os, as carbon dioxide hissed through small plastic pipes, feeding the long-stemmed red roses all around. "It goes pshh."

Shell's modest effort in this corner of Europe — aiming to cut the refinery's emissions by 8 percent by diverting it to about 500 greenhouses — is not going to solve the global warming challenge, of course. But the experiment to limit emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for climate change, illustrates a fundamental shift in the oil industry that offers glimmers of hope for the future." (New York Times) | IHT | .pdf version

"Big fuel economy face-off looming" - "Automakers face biggest challenge in 16 years as Senate weighs whopping hike in efficiency rules." (Detroit News)

"GM First Automaker to Join US Carbon Cap Group" - "NEW YORK - General Motors Corp. said on Tuesday it will be the first automaker to join a coalition of environmental groups and large businesses in pressing the US government to pass mandatory caps on emissions of gases linked to global warming." (Reuters)

"'Intelligent' cars as fuel-efficient as hybrids: study" - "So-called "intelligent" cars fitted with sensors to predict traffic flows can deliver the same fuel efficiency as vaunted hybrid vehicles, according to a study published on Wednesday.

Hybrid vehicles such as the highly popular Toyota Prius have an electric motor and a fossil-fuel engine, which are deployed at different stages of the driving cycle to deliver fuel economies.

In contrast, "intelligent" cars are conventional vehicles would be fitted with telematics.

These are sensors and receivers that work in a network, swapping information about the traffic ahead in order to speed up the car or slow it down so that the ride is smooth and avoids the stop-start phenomenon that so drains fuel.

The technology for road telematics already exists, but given questions on safety and other issues that surround it, it is only being deployed in a small handful of field tests." (AFP)

"Time for an energy revolution" - "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's most authoritative assessment of the causes and impacts of global warming, last week released the third in its series of studies, this time focusing on ways to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change. While even detractors now admit that global warming must be dealt with, the battles over actions to take are as pitched as ever. They must stop: Global warming is a fact, and the longer states delay implementation of a global plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, the more difficult and costly will be the adjustment." (Japan Times)

"Clean Power That Reaps a Whirlwind" - "HOUXINQIU, China — The wind turbines rising 180 feet above this dusty village at the hilly edge of Inner Mongolia could be an environmentalist’s dream: their electricity is clean, sparing the horizon sooty clouds or global warming gases.

But the wind-power generators are also part of a growing dispute over a United Nations program that is the centerpiece of international efforts to help developing countries combat global warming.

That program, the Clean Development Mechanism, has become a kind of Robin Hood, raising billions of dollars from rich countries and transferring them to poor countries to curb the emission of global warming gases. The biggest beneficiary is no longer so poor: China, with $1.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, received three-fifths of the money last year." (New York Times)

?!! "Cheap power to Northeast US: a mixed blessing" - "At least eight transmission lines are planned to connect the region with Midwestern coal plants." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Ethanol Demand For Corn Lifts Food Prices At The Dinner Table" - "Americans are burning a lot of calories, but that's making their wallets thinner, not their waistlines. Prices at the grocery store are rising sharply because we're burning food — corn — to make ethanol." (IBD)

"U.N. Raises Doubts on Biofuels" - "Biofuels like ethanol can help reduce global warming and create jobs for the rural poor, but the benefits may be offset by serious environmental problems and increased food prices for the hungry, the U.N. said Tuesday in its first major report on bioenergy." (AP)

As a result of a mild winter: "Greenhouse gas emissions in EU-15 slip" - "(BRUSSELS) - Greenhouse gas emissions from the 15 most developed EU members eased only slightly in 2005, according to EU figures on Tuesday, suggesting a lot of work remained to be done to meet Kyoto Protocol commitments. The European Environment Agency said that climate-changing greenhouse gases from the 15 countries fell only 0.8 percent in 2005 from 2004, mainly due to lower use of fossil fuels and carbon in particular." (AFP)

"Aussie scientists agree to listen to rainmakers" - "AFTER fiercely opposing cloud seeding for years, critics from CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have agreed to sit down with the world's best scientific rainmakers.

The intellectual detente comes as experts gather in Melbourne for a three-day symposium to review scientific advances in weather modification technology and consider projects in Australia.

University, CSIRO and BOM scientists are meeting with hands-on cloud seeding experts from Hydro Tasmania and Snowy River Hydro, Israel, the US and Japan.

Cloud seeding boosts rainfall by dispersing small amounts of chemicals, like silver iodide, into clouds to help form rain drops and increase precipitation." (The Australian)

"Cold snap threatens Poland's hold on EU apple juice market" - "(WARSAW) - Apple farmers in Poland are facing a crisis after a string of cold snaps, and the country could be pipped by China as the EU's top raw juice supplier, officials warned on Tuesday." (AFP)

"Indian Court Removes Curbs on Field Trials of GMOs" - "NEW DELHI - India's Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted curbs on field trials of genetically modified (GMO) crops, provided tests are conducted under stringent conditions to prevent contamination." (Reuters)

"Genetically-engineered silkworms spin colors of rainbow: study" - "Why take all the trouble to dye silk when silkworms can be genetically modified to spin any color of the rainbow?" (AFP)

May 8, 2007

"Political Economist Robert Higgs on Peer Reviews and Scientific Consensus" - "How many times in the past year as global warming has become a headline issue have you heard a liberal media member or Hollywood elite talk about a consensus of peer reviewed scientists?

So much so that you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one, correct?

As an example, pop singer Sheryl Crow during her recent Stop Global Warming College tour would toss the term "peer-reviewed science" around to her audience like a frisbee, as if she had any idea what it actually meant.

With that in mind, a Senior Fellow in Political Economy for the Independent Institute, Dr. Robert Higgs, published an article at George Mason University’s History News Network Monday that should be required reading for folks like soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore and his followers." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"The greatest myth of health risk factors" - "Why do studies continue to find that health risk factors don’t actually predict who will succumb to disease or die early? Why do people with a wide range of numbers (body mass index, blood lipids, blood sugars, blood pressures), diets and lifestyles end up dying around the same time and of the same things? Why don’t risk factors make a bigger, sure-fire difference?" (Junkfood Science)

"Jury Is Still Out on Gluten, the Latest Dietary Villain" - "Gluten-free foods are becoming more widespread, but gluten’s role in health problems remains unclear." (New York Times)

Hmm... "Warning over food additives" - "Parents are being advised to cut several food additives commonly found in sweets and soft drinks from their children’s diets until the publication of a new study which is expected to link the “E numbers” to behavioural problems." (London Telegraph)

... back to such subtle (imaginary?) effects that repeated large-scale data dredges produce vague and tenuous 'links'. Dose-response? Unfamiliar territory, apparently.

"Go Hungry Here to Fight Malaria in Africa" - "This Thursday, May 10, 2007, is Fast Against Malaria Day, when, in an effort that grew out of an idea from investment banker Lance Laifer (who started Hedge Funds vs. Malaria), people around the world have pledged to give up one meal in order to donate the money to buying bed nets to ward off malarial mosquitoes in Africa." (ACSH)

"Black Death-type bacteria found in trash" - "Bacteria from the same family as the Black Death was recently found inside British trash cans that are only emptied once every two weeks. A health hazards study found among some of the trash cans collected every 14 days, a strain of bacteria eerily similar to that of the one that killed 75 million people during the Middle Ages, The Daily Mail said Monday." (UPI)

"The Misanthropes" - "Eco-Radicals: They've long been with us, those who would rid Earth of humans. But now, thanks to some media currency, we can see where the environmental movement is headed." (IBD)

"Judge Throws Out CSPI-Inspired Lawsuit" - "On Wednesday the Center for the Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) received yet another legal smackdown from the judicial establishment, as Federal Judge James Robertson dismissed a CSPI-inspired lawsuit against KFC. Last year, CSPI's Dr. Arthur Hoyte sued the popular chicken chain for failing "to disclose the presence of trans fat in its food." (ConsumerFreedom.com)

"Genes Take Charge, and Diets Fall by the Wayside" - "Research into the genetics of obesity indicates that each person has a comfortable weight range to which the body gravitates." (Gina Kolata, New York Times)

"Animal research raises possibility of end to fat-free diets" - "WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A new study in mice raises a tantalizing possibility – that humans may one day be able to eat any kind of fat they want without raising their risk of heart disease. "We deleted an enzyme in mice and they could eat any type of fat and not get heart disease," said Lawrence Rudel, Ph.D., a professor of comparative medicine. "If you’re a mouse, it’s great. Of course, we don’t know yet if it will be the same in humans." (Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center)

"Scientists: As rainfall changes, tropical plants may acclimate" - "Tropical plants may be more adaptable than commonly thought to changing rainfall patterns expected to accompany a warming climate, new research shows." (University of Florida)

"Tropical plants go with the flow ... of nitrogen" - "Tropical plants are able to adapt to environmental change by extracting nitrogen from a variety of sources, according to a new study that appears in the May 7 early online edition of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." (Carnegie Institution)

"Why Warmists Do Not Sweat Social Security" - "Sometimes politicians get things upside down. They ignore problems that are plainly staring them in the face, while they focus on dangers that are at best speculative.

Consider two long-range issues that are not pressing matters this year but pose, or are said to pose, threats a generation or two away. One of them you don't hear much about: Social Security. The other you hear about all the time: global warming. Yet this gets things upside down. We have an unusually precise knowledge of the problems that Social Security will cause in the future. But we don't know with anything like precision what a continuation of the current mild increase in temperatures will mean." (Michael Barone, IBD)

The Indy, behind the times and over the top: "C4 accused of falsifying data in documentary on climate change" - "The makers of a Channel 4 documentary which claimed that global warming is a swindle have been accused of fabricating data by one of the scientists who participated in the film." (Steve Connor, London Independent)

Steve McIntyre posted this at Climate Audit April 30:

Swindle and Inconvenient Divergence
By Steve McIntyre

Climate scientists didn’t bother checking the Hockey Stick, but they are showing great diligence in going through The Great Global Warming Swindle.

Nathan Rive is the newest entrant; he has cross-checked one of the graphics in Swindle against the original graphic in Lassen and Friis-Christensen and found a discrepancy between the graphic and the original article. BTW I obviously endorse such cross-checking. I focus on the studies cited by IPCC simply because I have limited time and resources, but it’s a good idea to cross-check Swindle or Inconvenient Truth (which I’ve spent relatively little time on).

Rive observes a divergence problem in the solar cycle correlations. I agree that divergence in these sorts of studies is a serious problem as do most CA readers. So I hope that Rive will spend some time with the more serious divergence problem in proxy studies.

Here is the comparison between two graphics showing the problem identified by Rive (endorsed by Friis-Christensen). As you see, the original graphic on the right has a discontinuity in the solar cycle series during the 17th century - the Maunder Minimum period, while the Swindle graphic doesn’t. Rive made some over-the-top allegations of “fabricated” data - something that I haven’t noticed him saying about Mann’s extension of the Gaspe series.

In this case, I presume that someone along the way didn’t notice the discontinuity in the solar series and assumed that the two series overlaid one another (as you sometimes get with computer generated graphics).

Thus the graphic on the left. It’s an embarrassing error to be sure. However, given that there’s a plausible explanation for the error, I would counsel some caution by Rive and Friis-Christensen about alleging that the producers of Swindle “fabricated” data. That’s the type of over-reaching that could easily backfire.

On Durkin’s side, the error must be rather frustrating since the section with the solar cycle discontinuity corresponds to the Maunder Minimum and there were lots of ways that they could have talked through that. But this is climate science so errors and ironies abound.

... Update: May 1, 2007: In response to my email, Martin Durkin replied, acknowledging that an error had occurred and that a correction would be made as follows:

You can confirm, if anyone’s interested, that we’re changing the graphic for all future transmissions and the DVD version.

Sure there are errors in 'Swindle but Durkin seems responsive to correction, something that can't generally be said about the pro-AGW side of the fence, can it?

"Has The IPCC Produced A Hydra?" - "Climate Science has repeatedly written on the the need to focus on the assessment of the vulnerability of important social and environmental resources to threats of all types, including human climate forcings." (Climate Science)

"Arctic Climate Expert: Gore's Film Is 'Science Fiction'" - "LaRouche Youth Movement member Ian Overton interviewed Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, former Director of the International Arctic Research Center, on April 23, 2007." (Executive Intelligence Review)

"Al Gore's willing accomplices in the classroom" - "Music icon Sheryl Crow just wrapped up her "Stop Global Warming College Tour." And while no Rhode Island school hosted her biodiesel bus, the pop singer's persistence on propagandizing young and malleable minds with greenhouse hype sure did resonate with the leftist faculty at Roger Williams University (RWU)." (Jason Mattera, Townhall)

Consensus? "Vatican global-warming seminar gets heated" - "VATICAN CITY — Despite being held in a cool, climate-controlled conference room, some early discussions at a Vatican-sponsored seminar last week on global warming and climate change got pretty heated.

The rifts and tensions still dividing the global debate on the causes of and remedies for drastic climatic shifts were gently simmering in the small microcosm of the two-day Vatican meeting.

The seminar, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, gathered some 80 experts representing the scientific, political, economic and spiritual sides of the climate-change debate at the Vatican April 26-27 to discuss "Climate Change and Development."

"I have to commend the planners," said Lucia Silecchia, a professor of environmental law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, because "nobody can accuse them of bringing in a group of people who will agree with each other."

Disagreements even spilled out into the corridor during the closed-door seminar’s first morning break when a Vatican official had to use his pastoral prowess to calm one participant.

"The scientific community has been so divided and so bitter" over the climate-change debate that experts who disagree with each other don’t talk to each other, Silecchia told Catholic News Service." (CNS)

"Oregon sees gardening map battle break out over climate change" - "The rainbow-colored plant hardiness map is must-have for gardeners, providing a sign as to what plants will survive where in the nation. But global warming is changing its look.

Global warming has nudged up the temperatures and eased the winters, making some plants more likely to survive places they otherwise wouldn't.

"Plants in the past that have not survived more than a year or two are now surviving six or seven," said Paul Bonine, co-owner of Xera Plants, a wholesale nursery in Sherwood.

Now Oregon State is looking at how to redraw the final word in gardening, a task that has proved nearly as tough and contentious as redrawing state lines." (Associated Press)

"New 'green' frontier: Your dinner" - "Forget counting calories. Food-service giant Bon Appétit wants to put you on a low-carbon diet at its restaurants and cafeterias." (Star Tribune)

Really? "We can stop a catastrophe" - "Hundreds of thousands of people move to Florida every year, but -- for the same reason that people flock there -- Florida has more to lose than almost any other state from global warming.

Florida has 8,400 miles of tidally influenced coastline. Scientists estimate that, unless we act, sea levels could rise 18-20 inches by 2100 -- endangering everything within 250 feet of the shoreline. Hurricanes are already growing stronger, and rising sea levels and fiercer storms could create disasters that dwarf those we've experienced in recent years." (John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry, Miami Herald)

Gotta love insertions like: "Yet we have allowed the Earth's average surface temperature to increase 1.4 degrees since 1920. The Earth is hotter today than at any time in at least the past thousand years."

A couple of points on that little gem -- to begin with we have no choice but to "allow" the planet to assume any temperature since, unlike the Kerry mansions, there is no climate control dial to twiddle. Secondly, despite desperate claims to the contrary by the hockey team and acolytes, the National Academy of Sciences panel and Wegman report have pretty much killed any confidence in temperature reconstructions extending prior to about the Maunder Minimum and associated Little Ice Age. Are contemporary temperatures higher than the Little Ice Age? We are pretty sure they are and isn't it good? "The Earth is hotter today than at any time in at least the past thousand years" is a wild guess which cannot be substantiated.

The stronger hurricane assertion and alluded link to "global warming" is equally dubious.

Only days prior, in the same publication: "Hurricane-global warming link challenged" - "The invitation went to 50 top hurricane scientists: Please attend a seminar to discuss erroneous connections between global warming and hurricanes. And please don't attack the presenter.

''No rotten tomatoes,'' read the invitation, sent to South Florida colleagues in February by prominent hurricane scientist Chris Landsea.

On Tuesday, Landsea published a study that he believes seals his case and should end one of the hottest debates in all of science: There is no connection, he said, between global warming and increased hurricane activity." (Martin Merzer, Miami Herald)

"Chair of global warming committee feels heat" - "House Republicans, and even some Democrats, put pressure on Markey" (AP)

Same old same old: "20 Years Later, Again Assigned to Fight Climate Change" - "Gro Harlem Brundtland has the job of prodding world leaders to act on at least one environmental front: cutting greenhouse gas emissions." (Andrew C Revkin, New York Times)

"Migratory birds, whales confused by warming-UN" - "BONN, May 7 - Birds, whales and other migratory creatures are suffering from global warming that puts them in the wrong place at the wrong time, a U.N. official told 166-nation climate talks on Monday." (Reuters)

Another propaganda ploy: "Children to learn how to help save polar bears" - "Monaco/Gland, Switzerland – WWF and Canon Europe launched today a “Save the Polar Bear” website as an educational tool to teach children about the environmental impacts of climate change." (Panda.org)

"Healthy reefs hit hardest by warmer temperatures" - "CHAPEL HILL -- Coral disease outbreaks hit hardest in the healthiest sections of the Great Barrier Reef, where close living quarters among coral may make it easy for infection to spread, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have found.

Despite a link to warmer ocean temperatures, coral disease defies predictability, with puzzling variations between years and locations. The international research team, led by UNC-Chapel Hill, tracked an infection called white syndrome in 48 reefs along more than 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) of Australia’s coastline for six years. While higher temperatures drove the disease outbreaks, the team also discovered a strong connection between white syndrome and coral cover, a measure of reef health. The highest-cover reefs, which had living coral covering more than 50 percent of the ocean floor, had major outbreaks after warm years. Disease was usually absent on low-cover reefs." (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Probably should read: despite a tenuous link to warmer ocean temperatures... In fact the same corals happily grow in warmer temperatures in other locations and so absolute temperature cannot be a controlling factor.

"China's ability to combat global warming questioned" - "Huge questions remain over China's commitment and ability to combat global warming after the surging Asian power bruised and cajoled but also charmed delegates at a UN conference, observers said." (China Post) | China's mixed messages on climate (BBC)

"EU policy – An emissions control spat" - "With carbon emissions prices having slumped, investors are pinning their hopes on tighter emissions controls under the 2008-2012 phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Member states, it seems, have different ideas on how targets should be set

The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme has been through some turbulent times since its launch at the beginning of 2005.

Confidence in the market took a serious knock in May last year, when emissions figures from 2005 were published, showing that EU countries had emitted 3.4% less carbon dioxide than expected. The price of credits for Phase 1 of the ETS (pre-2008) on the Amsterdam-based European Climate Exchange plummeted from €30.45 per tonne on 19 April 2006, to €9.30 on 12 May.

Europe’s carbon market has since recovered slightly, with the current Phase 1 trading price for CO2 now at about €15." (Ethical Corporation)

"Diplomats Begin Work on Climate Accord" - "Developing countries called for more money and expertise to help them fight the potentially catastrophic effects of global warming, as more than 1,000 diplomats began work Monday on a new accord to control greenhouse gases." (AP)

"UN Urges World to Slow Warming After Grim Reports" - "BONN, Germany - The United Nations urged far tougher action to fight climate change at a 166-nation climate conference on Monday, the first after reports warning of growing damage from droughts, floods or rising seas." (Reuters)

"UN Urges Climate Action; Nations Split on Tactics" - "BONN, Germany - The United Nations urged far tougher action to fight global warming on Monday at a 166-nation conference split over how far to trumpet bleak UN climate reports that outline rising risks." (Reuters)

"GHCN Adjusted Data Isn’t Good Enough for Wilson" - "Rob Wilson has written an interesting article on the Divergence Problem, about which I plan to post from time to time. Since we’ve been discussing temperature data recently - with special discussions of GHCN data problems in Russia, China and Australia, I thought that it would be interesting to draw attention to an interesting aside in D’Arrigo, Wilson et al 2007 in which they reject GHCN adjusted data for Dawson, Yukon on the basis that it has inserted an unrealistically large trend." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

Right... "Melting Of The Greenland Ice Cap May Have Consequences For Climatic Change" - "According to two international-research studies on the last ice age, studies with the participation of Dr Rainer Zahn, research professor in the ICREA at the UAB Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), before the great ice sheets of the Arctic Ocean began to melt, early sporadic episodes of melting of the old ice sheet which covered the British Isles had already begun to affect the circulation of the ocean currents, which played a key role in the climatic stability of the planet." (SPX)

Nevertheless, the slowing down of the ocean circulation in the North Atlantic began about 700 to 1,200 years before this great melting of the ice caps and the subsequent flow of fresh water into the ocean took place.

So... there was a cooling but it wasn't really the melt from Greenland or Canada because they didn't melt until later and this, um, proves that Greenland melt water would cause the cooling that occurred before it melted last time?

"An ancient bathtub ring of mammoth fossils" - "Pacific Northwest National Laboratory geologists have put out a call for teeth tusks, femurs and any and all other parts of extinct mammoths left by massive Ice Age floods in southeastern Washington." (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

"Warming oceans may diminish length of day" - "German scientists say a redistribution of ocean waters caused by global warming will likely affect the Earth's rotation and the length of days." (UPI)

So, gorebal warmening is a boon/disastrous for honey bees: "There's a real buzz about the fields and hedgerows...." - "Honeybees have cashed in on early spring flowers and crops to produce a bumper harvest of honey. A combination of a benign winter and an early warm spring has provided ideal conditions for English honeybees to do what they do best - produce honey." (London Telegraph)

Seems here the little blighters are having a wonderful time in a period the UK Met Office claims to be the warmenest late winter/spring ever recorded, which is somewhat at odds with claims this wonderful soft weather could be the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (or whatever they want to call it this week). Meanwhile, across the big puddle: "Are Media Hyping Bee Crisis to Divert Attention From Cold-related Crop Damage?" - "By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the bee crisis in America. Currently termed “colony collapse disorder,” it is the massive die-off of a bee hive or colony for oftentimes inexplicable reasons." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"Federal Efficiency Rules Ruin Washing Machines" - "New Consumer Reports Findings Should Raise Doubts About Government Energy Mandates, Especially for Cars" (CEI)

"Households Would Need New Bulbs To Meet Lighting-Efficiency Rule" - "WASHINGTON -- Manufacturers and environmentalists are hammering out a nationwide energy-saving lighting standard that, if enacted by Congress, would effectively phase out the common household light bulb in about 10 years. That in turn could produce major cuts in the nation's electricity costs and greenhouse-gas emissions.

The new standard is expected to compel a huge shift by American consumers and businesses away from incandescent bulbs to more efficient -- but also more expensive -- fluorescent models, by requiring more light per energy unit than is yielded by most incandescents in use. The winner, at least in the near term, likely would be the compact fluorescent light bulb, or CFL.

Whatever rule is proposed by the groups would likely be incorporated into energy legislation passed last week by the Senate Energy Committee that the full chamber is set to debate by the end of the month, committee aides say. This bill, the Democrats' first major energy initiative since taking control of Congress in January, calls for new efficiency standards for appliances and motor vehicles and mandates the use of more alternative fuels, such as ethanol, by 2022.

While the move could face resistance from some consumer groups and from low- and fixed-income constituencies, Energy Committee aides say there is bipartisan support in Congress for a new lighting standard." (Wall Street Journal)

"Automakers Can't Meet Vermont CO2 Timeline - Expert" - "BURLINGTON, Vt. - The US auto industry would be unable to comply with strict standards on carbon dioxide emissions that Vermont aims to impose, a witness testified Monday, as the final week of a trial aiming to knock down those state standards got underway." (Reuters)

Uh-huh... "Travel: the new tobacco" - "The founder of Rough Guides now believes that our addiction to 'binge flying' is killing the planet." (The Observer)

"Italy Must Stop Coal Power Conversions - Green Group" - "MILAN - Italian utilities should stop converting oil-fired power stations to coal and opt for gas and renewable energy sources instead, the head of Italian green group Legambiente said. According to industry data, Italy gets about 12 percent of its energy by burning coal and the country's biggest utility Enel has long been aiming to have half of its power produced at coal-fired plants by 2010." (Reuters)

"Massachusetts Challenges Federal Energy Rules" - "BOSTON - Massachusetts sued the federal government Monday, accusing energy regulators of failing to tighten standards that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate the need for major new power plants." (Reuters)

Windy forecast: "Europe Wind Power to Rise 5 Times by 2020 - Lobby" - "MILAN - The wind power sector is forecast to provide 12 to 15 percent of European power demand by 2020, a fivefold increase from current levels, the head of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Inheriting The Wind" - "Energy Policy: The Senate may vote this month to require that 15% of domestic energy production come from alternative sources by 2020. Welcome to the People's Republic of America." (IBD)

"Oilsands dodging greenhouse gas crackdown: document" - "OTTAWA - Alberta's rapidly expanding oilsands sector will be the only Canadian industry allowed to increase smog-causing pollution over the next decade, according to a newly released document about the Conservative government's clean air regulations from Environment Canada." (Mike De Souza, National Post)

"Former weed may fill world's fuel tanks" - "In the world's most arid agricultural environments, jatropha is emerging as an alternative to ethanol." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"EU Ministers Agree to Give Chickens a Happier Life" - "BRUSSELS - Billions of chickens killed each year to be put on dinner tables across Europe should soon see their unhappy lives improve, thanks to new EU rules agreed on Monday that aim to tighten hygiene and welfare standards." (Reuters)

"Time for a snifter: Beer yeast has a nose for explosives" - "Biotechnologists have engineered brewer's yeast so that it glows green in response to an ingredient found in land mines, according to a study published online on Monday." (AFP)

"New knowledge improves rice quality - Could help poor farmers boost income" - "Los Baños, Philippines -- A major international initiative is being launched to try to boost the income of the world’s millions of poor rice farmers and at the same time provide consumers with more nutritious, better tasting food." (International Rice Research Institute)

"Plant pathologists fighting global threat to wheat supply" - "St. Paul, Minn. (May 7, 2007) -- A new, highly destructive strain of wheat stem rust is continuing to evolve and has the potential to devastate wheat production worldwide, say plant pathologists with The American Phytopathological Society (APS).

Stem rust of wheat was responsible for massive epidemics on wheat during the early 20th Century in North America. In the mid-1950s, wheat breeders developed wheat that had genetic resistance to the disease, making it all but disappear. Despite this success, a new, virulent strain of wheat stem rust, Ug99, evolved in Uganda and has already spread into Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen, with the potential to spread into Pakistan, India, and China, and eventually North America.

"This new race could attack wheat varieties in many countries and could virtually overcome most of the wheat resistant varieties around the globe," said David Marshall, research leader with the USDA-ARS, Raleigh, NC." (American Phytopathological Society)

May 7, 2007

Poor Old Red... "A Liberal Case for Gun Rights Helps Sway Judiciary" - "In March, for the first time in the nation’s history, a federal appeals court struck down a gun control law on Second Amendment grounds. Only a few decades ago, the decision would have been unimaginable.

There used to be an almost complete scholarly and judicial consensus that the Second Amendment protects only a collective right of the states to maintain militias. That consensus no longer exists — thanks largely to the work over the last 20 years of several leading liberal law professors, who have come to embrace the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own guns." (New York Times)

... shocked when reality creeps into even socialist mentality. The Second Amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The Constitution makes no mention of any Socialist Manifesto, Worker's Paradise or People's Republic of the United States but states "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." It takes some pretty hairy parsing to take the "we" out of the people's right to keep and bear arms.

"ABC's Stossel Links Gun Control to Higher Crime" - "On Friday's 20/20, ABC anchor John Stossel discussed the self-defensive benefits of gun ownership, debunking the myth that 'gun control reduces crime,' during 20/20's recurring series 'Myths, Lies & Downright Stupidity,' based on Stossel's book of the same title." (Brad Wilmouth, News Busters)

"Support grows to boost bread for healthy babies" - "Food agency may recommend folic acid in flour to cut birth defects." (The Observer)

"Teaching our children with care" - "Food fears hurt people, especially the most vulnerable among us. Nothing illustrates that more powerfully and tragically than the story in the news this week. A baby was starved to death by parents who said they were adhering to a vegan diet." (Junkfood Science)

"We are eating ourselves ill: Treating malnutrition costs NHS more than obesity" - "We are continually warned about the need to watch our weight, but many of us are not eating enough nutrients to stay healthy. Cole Moreton on the hidden sickness in our fast-food nation." (London Independent)

"Happy International No Diet Day!" - "Since 1992, every May 6th has been recognized as International No Diet Day. Sponsored by an international coalition of health professionals and consumer advocacy organizations, it’s not a day to break one’s diet, but to break free from dieting and weight preoccupations altogether. International No Diet Day was established to challenge the cultural attitudes and values that contribute to chronic dieting, weight preoccupation, eating disorders, and size discrimination, said Karen Simpson, of Largesse." (Junkfood Science)

"Face the fats" - "She ate organic, exercised regularly and was slim, but she had dangerously high cholesterol. May Lawrence-Smith explains how she is beating the hidden killer." (The Sunday Times)

Poor misled individual, we don't really have any proof cholesterol levels are a risk factor for heart disease and we know levels are virtually unaffected by diet. Statins can be quite beneficial for a lot of people for a lot of reasons but whether cholesterol manipulation has anything to do with it is unclear at best.

"Science says..." - "one thing today and something entirely different the next. Or so it seems." (Junkfood Science)

"Life inside company “wellness” programs — see those frowny faces" - "While glowing reports of company “wellness” programs fill business and healthcare management publications, many employees have very different perspectives." (Junkfood Science)

"How Green Was My Garbage" - "LONDON -- As they campaigned for midterm regional elections on Thursday, the biggest issue that British politicians met on doorsteps was a load of rubbish. Specifically, one load of rubbish, where before there were two. Pressed to meet European Union targets for reducing landfill volume, many local councils now collect refuse only once every two weeks. As flies and vermin gather while food scraps achieve a fine perfume, residents have grown so enraged that bin-men are under repeated physical attack.

The logic of fortnightly collections -- if you can follow it -- is to encourage recycling. Lest widespread consternation over garbage seem petty, fortnightly collections now emblemize a broader source of indignation: the U.K. government's self-righteous "green" justifications for reduced services on the one hand, and thievery on the other." (Lionel Shriver, Wall Street Journal)

"War on plastic heating up" - "Bans on plastic bags and bottles are now proliferating. But that bad-boy image overlooks some big environmental advantages." (Toronto Star)

Provocative but fatally incomplete: "The Corporate Climate Coup" - "Don't breathe. There's a total war on against CO2 emissions, and you are releasing CO2 with every breath. The multi-media campaign against global warming now saturating our senses, which insists that an increasing CO2 component of greenhouse gases is the enemy, takes no prisoners: you are either with us or you are with the "deniers." No one can question the new orthodoxy or dare risk the sin of emission. If Bill Clinton were running for president today he would swear he didn't exhale." (Prof. David F. Noble, Global Research)

Interesting piece but suffers from framing and chronological errors. These errors then completely mislead about the framing and motivation of various actors within the great 'global warming' play. For example, the arcane and unthreatening field of climate science was equally speculative and theatrical with visions of apocalypse but really quite harmless until the rise of Margaret Thatcher who became British Prime Minister in 1979 following a light-weight political career as Education Secretary (a minor post), notable in most voter's minds solely for having denied free milk supplies to school children (Google: "Milk-snatcher Thatcher").

What has this to do with the great "global warming" scare? Pretty much everything, really. Thrust on the world stage as leader of a twilight power but a political feather-weight almost devoid of reputation, Thatcher desperately needed something, anything to wield as an issue of note. Enter advisor (and now Sir) Crispin Tickell, author of Climate Change and World Affairs and a green zealot. Tickell noted that Thatcher was almost unique in world politics in that she was a qualified chemist (science is a rare subject for politicians, it was even rarer in the '70s and '80s) and was thus unlikely to be challenged if she kept hammering at a 'scientific' issue and she should thus raise 'global warming' at every opportunity. This had significant attraction for Thatcher and the Conservatives, providing a 'leadership issue' for the UK on the world stage with which they might recover some of their past standing, an excuse to switch the UK energy supply to North Sea oil and gas (thus breaking the energy stranglehold of militant coal and transport unions) and a need for atomic power (and the reactors needed for the UK atomic weapons program). Thatcher and the Conservatives got what they wanted and Crispin Tickell got to wield the UK Government on the world stage as a propaganda unit for his pet hysteria. It was to this surging propaganda effort that industry weakly and belatedly reacted in a disjointed and ad hoc manner (now spun as a concerted industrial obfuscation campaign but this is not true at all).

The history of the great 'global warming' scam is rich with delicious irony - Thatcher and the Conservatives rode Green-Left hysteria to break the power of the Left in the energy and transport unions; industry capitulated to greenie hysteria, propagated by Conservatives; Blair adopts Thatcher's propaganda as his signature issue and legacy; Europe zealously adopts Conservative propaganda and the Green's only real anti-industrial success was delivered by the Conservatives and industry. Now we are left with the Thatcher legacy of having almost succeeded in delivering the Gaia-nut's delight: "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialised civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" -- Maurice Strong, head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and Executive Officer for Reform in the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Guess this finally disproves the old Communist quote about Capitalists and rope -- Capitalists did not sell the 'global warming' rope to the misanthropic Green-Left but provided it and all ancillary materials and labor, built the scaffold, provided seating at the fully-catered venue, along with television coverage and programs and all as generously donated aid.

Misanthropy 101: "Children 'bad for planet'" - "HAVING large families should be frowned upon as an environmental misdemeanour in the same way as frequent long-haul flights, driving a big car and failing to reuse plastic bags, says a report to be published today by a green think tank." (The Sunday Times)

Wait, there's more: "Eco-Extremist Wants World Population to Drop below 1 Billion" - "Sea Shepherd founder says mankind is a 'virus' and we need to 're-wild the planet.'" (Dan Gainor, Business & Media Institute)

He could be right: "The Eco-Radicals' Real Motives" - "The driving force behind the eco-radicals’ fierce efforts to strangle the free market with environmental regulations is their virulent hatred for a free, prosperous economy. Yet behind this hatred is an even deeper one. To understand why they try to wreck our economy, you have to grasp the shocking fact that many eco-radicals hate the human race and Western civilization. They hate the fact that you, your family, your friends, and millions of other human beings live and prosper on this planet.

Most of us are naive about the environmental movement. We believe that when eco-radicals say we should “protect the environment,” they mean we should protect it for people. What they really mean is that we should protect the environment against people. People are the enemy. Rats, swamps, and old-growth forests must be protected against you, your family, and the rest of the human race." (Joel Turtel, News By Us)

"Detoxifying DDT's undeserved reputation" - "You missed the Africa Malaria Day celebration on April 25, didn't you?

Perfectly understandable. Unless you're headed for a three-week safari in Kenya, malaria doesn't appear on our modern radar screens.

But for the poorest, hottest corners of the planet, malaria remains a scourge for which there is no vaccine. The incapacitating disease, caused by a parasite transmitted from humans to humans by mosquitoes, afflicts from 350 million to 500 million people a year in Asia, Africa and South America. More than 80 percent are in rural Africa.

Every year malaria kills at least 1 million humans -- nearly 3,000 a day, mostly the very young or pregnant. The real figure could be 2.5 million annual deaths. No one knows for sure." (Bill Steigerwald, Tribune-Review)

Oh dear... "Tschumper takes aim at atrazine; proposal would force study of dozens of chemicals in drinking water" - “My goal is to do with atrazine what Al Gore has done with global warming,” Tschumper said. “I feel that strongly about it.” (Lee Newspapers)

"RMS and Sulphate Emissions" - "I had nothing to do with the Swindle presentation, and by and large the issues presented in Swindle are ones that I have not discussed here. I’m discussing these issues merely because it’s in the news.

A few days ago, I discussed the accusation by RMS and the 37 profs that Swindle had not used Hansen global data and that the 1940-mid 1960s decline in Swindle was greater than in Hansen data. As shown here, these claims were incorrect; given the demand by RMS and the 37 profs for due diligence, I expressed surprise that they would have made an allegation which could be shown to be invalid with minimal investigation.

A similar situation is discussed here in their claims about the course of sulphate emission, where the claim as articulated in the RMS letter is readily shown to be inconsistent with the discussion in the recent IPCC AR4 Second Draft, which was available at the time." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"A New Paper On The Differences Between Recent Proxy Temperature And In-Situ Near-Surface Air Temperatures" - "There is a new paper on the relationship of tree ring data to near-surface air temperatures. It is Rosanne D’Arrigo, Rob Wilson, Beate Liepert and Paolo Cherubini, 2007: On the ‘Divergence Problem’ in Northern Forests: A Review of the Tree-Ring Evidence and Possible Causes. Journal of Global and Planetary Change. In press" (Climate Science)

New podcast: Global Warming Podcast News 5 - Regular 5-minute briefings on the 'global warming' news they don't want you to hear. Your host: Prof Philip Stott. This time: the IPPC and the British Elections. (Professor Philip Stott)

Say what? "A bargain" - "About 0.1% of world GDP would do it" (Economist.com)

No, it won't. Even a complete cessation of human activity will not and could not stop global climate change.

Whoops! Slight reality check: "U.N. climate plan called unrealistic" - "A United Nations panel on Friday released its most comprehensive strategy to avoid the catastrophic effects of global warming, but experts said political and economic realities likely doom it to failure.

Although more than 100 countries backed the report, experts said its call for a global, multi-trillion-dollar effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is unrealistic.

The United States and China — which account for more than 40% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions — approved the report but have given no indication that they would reverse their long-held opposition to mandatory reductions in emissions.

"It's not realistic from a political standpoint, and it's not realistic because those targets are incredibly expensive," said Robert Mendelsohn, an economist at Yale University." (Alan Zarembo, LA Times)

"Fixing Climate Change Is Cheap" - "Or so says a new United Nations report" (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

What? "Science Triumphs Over Politics At UN Climate Change Meeting" - "Science had a rare victory over politics at this week's UN climate change conference, after a united call for action emerged despite fierce debate over how to best tackle global warming. The UN's top body on climate change on Friday released a report approved by delegates from 120 nations, laying out how the world could avoid the worst impacts of global warming with minimal economic damage.

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meeting began in Bangkok on Monday, delegates warned that it was fanciful to believe all the players had the interests of the planet at the top of their agenda.

They said nations would inevitably fight to protect their own economic and political interests, and as the meeting got underway, reports crept out from behind the closed doors that some delegations were indeed playing politics.

But after all the battles, wrangling and interventions, most agreed that science had triumphed, with politics sometimes even playing a helping hand."  (AFP)

Whose report? "The Greenpeace in the chicken coop" - "Here's a little insight into how the "global consensus" on climate change is formed. The Times of London reports that "tackling global warming need not cost the Earth, a panel of UN scientists said today. In the third in a series of reports, the IPCC said that keeping the rise in temperatures to within 2 degrees C would cost only 0.12 per cent of annual gross domestic product if governments exploited new technologies to cut greenhouse gas emissions."

So who authored this rosy, "scientific" scenario?

"It's a low premium to pay to reduce the risk of major climate damage," Bill Hare, a Greenpeace adviser who co-authored the report, told Reuters news agency after the culmination of marathon negotiations.

That's right - Greenpeace. One of the world's leading proponents of climate change. Would the MSM declare a report written by Exxon-Mobil to be the definitive report on global warming?

Needless to say, Greenpeace's - er, the IPCC's - conclusion is nonsense. As a Wharton Business School of Economic study found, implementing Kyoto would cost the US about 2.3% of its GDP - or about 20 times 0.12%. And that's just to comply with Kyoto, which doesn't come close to lowering emissions by the 85% that the IPCC claims is required to keep temperature increases below 2C." (Henry Payne, Detroit News)

"Climate curbs: Who will buy?" - "Perhaps a more accurate view can be deduced from changes to this report's wording made during the week's discussions in Bangkok, where a reference to a "global" carbon market became merely an "international" market, and a reference to the importance of "regulatory and financial incentives and international co-operation" in climate policy was removed altogether, with approval for the effectiveness of "voluntary agreements" inserted instead." (Richard Black, BBC News)

Just 8 months? "World given deadline on climate change" - "World leaders will have to agree the shape of a 'son of Kyoto' treaty before the end of the year if the most catastrophic effects of climate change are to be averted, UN officials said yesterday." (London Telegraph)

Does that mean we only have to put up with these nitwits until the end of the year before they'll shut up and go away? Kewl!

No such luck: "World has 15-year window to curb emissions, experts say" - "A respected panel of scientists organized by the UN says the world probably has only 15 years left to stabilize the growth in greenhouse-gas emissions and, at that point, will have to cut releases in half by 2050 to avoid extremely damaging warming of the planet." (Globe and Mail)

Press Briefing on the Third Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Climate Change (The White House)

Oh, the ignorance... "445 a Hotly Debated Number at Conference" - "BANGKOK, Thailand - 445 was the hot number at the global warming conference in Bangkok this week. For the United States, China and India, that number - which represents parts per million of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere - came to symbolize a cap on emissions that would hurt their economies.

European countries, by contrast, used the figure as a rallying cry to save the planet." (Michael Casey, Associated Press) [em added]

... imagine the world with greenhouse gases limited to 445 ppmv. Current water vapor levels (depending on region) range from about 10,000 to 40,000 ppmv (1-4%) so they want to remove 20-90% of the atmosphere's water vapor (be a dry argument without most of the most prolific and important greenhouse gas, wouldn't it?) along with all other GHGs (required to achieve a net figure of 445 ppmv). They are looking for one cold, dry planet. Perhaps Europeans are trying to save Earth from being habitable?

Predictable Socialist dogma: "Call the carbon bailiffs"  -"The world's richest countries have a additional difficulty in alleviating climate change - global poverty." (Andrew Pendleton, The Guardian)

"Report 'a step backward from Kyoto': Burden of tackling global warming shifts from rich to developing countries: experts" - "The marathon talks to tackle climate change that ended in Bangkok yesterday were a "step backward", Thai experts say. An imbalance in the 35-page report shows that developing countries lost a political battle, said Sitanond Jessadapipat, a member of Thailand's national climate change subcommittee. The report only suggests how developing countries can contribute to mitigating climate change, while mentioning no significant roles for developed countries, Sitanond said." (The Nation)

Gee, imagine that, the greenies lied when they promised the developed world really wanted to transfer wealth to the developing world on a nonsense pretext.

Pop-sci rag naivety: "Costs of stabilising global warming 'negligible'" - "Climate scientists, economists and policy researchers are all in agreement: limiting long-term global warming is achievable at a "negligible" cost. Now, the responsibility for action lies in the hands of politicians, they say." (NewScientist.com news service)

"EU Leads Clamor for Carbon Cuts After UN Climate Report" - "Europe led demands for a deal to slash global greenhouse gas emissions after the UN's top scientific panel said early, deep cuts could avert the worst of long-term climate damage -- and at a modest cost." (Deutsche Welle)

The crone... "The Warming Challenge" - "Yesterday’s report on global warming from the world’s most authoritative voice on climate change asserts that significant progress toward stabilizing and reducing global warming emissions can be achieved at a relatively low cost using known technologies. This is a hugely important message to policy makers everywhere, not least those in the United States Congress. Many of them have been paralyzed by fears — assiduously cultivated by the Bush administration — that a full-scale attack on climate change could cripple the economy." (New York Times)

... still doesn't get it. A single dollar misdirected from real-world problems to fight the phantom menace is far too expensive. "Attacking climate change" is simply a misleading name for an assault on industrialized society and holds no promise of anything good. If you are really worried about model-generated catastrophic warming then stop running the models because that is the only realm in which these disasters occur -- the real world is doing just fine.

"The Terminator says go green" - "Global warming is not something we are fantasising. It is real. The science is in." (Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Sunday Times)

Whad a pidy Arnold doesn' know whad he is talking aboud. We would all be bedder off if he jus' wend and made Terminador IV.

Bandwagon backlash? "Global Yawning" - "I was running errands the other day when a pleasant young woman with a clipboard tried to stop me. “Do you have a moment for the environment, sir?” she asked. “No,” I barked as I evaded her, “I don’t!” (Bob Morris, New York Times)

"Technology to cut CO2 not seen adopted before 2020" - "LONDON - Clean energy technologies that could dramatically cut carbon emissions are unlikely to be widely adopted before 2020, and even then only if western governments offer big financial incentives at home and abroad." (Reuters)

"Leading article: Act, don't despair, on climate change" - "It is sometimes difficult to walk the tight-rope of climate change. Focusing on the dire scientific assessments of what could happen in an overheated world can send people tumbling into a pit of despair. Yet making light of the problems caused by rising greenhouse gases can equally generate a false sense of security." (London Independent)

The hysterical hand-wringing of publications like The Indy could be counterproductive? Go figure...

Good news? Couldn't be: "Gardening in the U.S.: The up side of global warming" - "Many experts agree that climate change, which by some estimates has already nudged up large swaths of the country by one or more plant hardiness zones, has meant a longer growing season and a more robust selection. There are palm trees in Knoxville and subtropical camellias in Pennsylvania.

But horticulturists warn that it is shortsighted to view this as good news. Warmer temperatures help pests as well as plants, and studies have shown that weeds and invasive species receive a greater boost from higher levels of carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas, than desirable plants do. Poison ivy becomes more toxic, ragweed dumps more pollen, and kudzu, the fast-growing vine that has swallowed whole woodlands in the South, is creeping northward." (IHT)

"Michael Mann vs Alexander Cockburn" - "Michael Mann didn't like Alexander Cockburn's essay in which Cockburn correctly compares carbon permits and indulgences - well, your humble correspondent might have been the first person who called the permits "indulgences". At least, it was an independent invention :-) because I had to find the word "indulgence" in a Czech-English dictionary. What is the real reason why Michael Mann considers Cockburn's text illogical? Well, here it is:" (The Reference Frame)

Ministry of Propaganda? "English secondary schools climate change pack" - "A resource pack to help teachers and pupils explore and understand the issues surrounding climate change was sent to every secondary school in England today.

The pack, which includes the Al Gore film An Inconvenient Truth and a number of other resources, was developed by Defra and the Department for Education and Skills. It is accompanied by online teaching guidance showing how to use the resources in the pack in science, geography and citizenship lessons." (Defra)

"Fraud? Yeah, right" - "Al Gore's critique of Canada's environmental plan is rich" (Lorrie Goldstein, Edmonton Sun)

"Bob Richter: Gore sure didn't want coverage, but here's why he's getting it" - "Al Gore's speech Saturday at the American Institute of Architects convention was closed to the media, but you can read about it in today's Express-News on Page 1B. How we cracked the former vice president's iron curtain is a mildly entertaining story, but more on that later.

The why we crashed the speech is more important. Here is Express-News Editor Robert Rivard's reasoning in asking the paper's environmental reporter, Anton Caputo, to find a way to infiltrate the AIA confab:" (San Antonio Express-News)

"Gore sees 'spiritual crisis' in warming" - "Playing equal parts visionary, cheerleader and comedian, Al Gore brought his message of how to fight global warming to a capacity crowd of receptive architects Saturday in San Antonio.

The former vice president referred continually to a "new way of thinking" that is emerging in the country and offered hope in the battle to control the effects global warming will have on the planet.

"It's in part a spiritual crisis," Gore told the crowd in the Convention Center at the American Institute of Architects national convention. "It's a crisis of our own self-definition — who we are. Are we creatures destined to destroy our own species? Clearly not." (Anton Caputo, Express-News)

"Liberal ‘Scientists’ Lead Jihad Against Global-Warming Skeptics" - "On Oct. 30, 2006, Senators John D. Rockefeller (D.-W.Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R.-Maine) wrote an extraordinary open letter to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson urging him to end his company’s support of “climate-change-denial front groups.” The only organization mentioned by name is the one that the authors of this article work for -- the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The senators’ letter then goes on to announce: “A study to be released in November by an American scientific group will expose ExxonMobil as the primary funder of no fewer than 29 climate-change-denial front groups in 2004 alone.” (Ivan Osorio, Iain Murray, and Myron Ebell, Human Events)

"The Faithful Heretic: A Wisconsin Icon Pursues Tough Questions" - "Some people are lucky enough to enjoy their work, some are lucky enough to love it, and then there’s Reid Bryson. At age 86, he’s still hard at it every day, delving into the science some say he invented." (WECN)

The hysterics will hate this Bryson interview because he re-highlights:

“All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd,” Bryson continues. “Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.”

Little Ice Age? That’s what chased the Vikings out of Greenland after they’d farmed there for a few hundred years during the Mediaeval Warm Period, an earlier run of a few centuries when the planet was very likely warmer than it is now, without any help from industrial activity in making it that way. What’s called “proxy evidence”—assorted clues extrapolated from marine sediment cores, pollen specimens, and tree-ring data—helps reconstruct the climate in those times before instrumental temperature records existed.

We ask about that evidence, but Bryson says it’s second-tier stuff. “Don’t talk about proxies,” he says. “We have written evidence, eyeball evidence. When Eric the Red went to Greenland, how did he get there? It’s all written down.”

Bryson describes the navigational instructions provided for Norse mariners making their way from Europe to their settlements in Greenland. The place was named for a reason: The Norse farmed there from the 10th century to the 13th, a somewhat longer period than the United States has existed. But around 1200 the mariners’ instructions changed in a big way. Ice became a major navigational reference. Today, old Viking farmsteads are covered by glaciers.

Oops! Almost two thirds of 'cloud-free' atmosphere isn't composed of what we thought it was: "Widespread 'twilight zone' detected around clouds" - "There seems to be something new under the sun -- in the sky, specifically -- that could complicate scientists' efforts to get a fix on how much the world will warm in the future. Greenhouse gases are not the only things in the air that influence the temperature of our atmosphere. Clouds and small airborne particles called aerosols also play an important and complicated role. And now a new ingredient has been discovered: an extensive and previously unseen "twilight zone" of particles that represents a gradual transition from cloud droplets to dry particles.

In a study published last month, scientists from the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., document for the first time that air around clouds that was previously considered clear is actually filled with particles that are neither cloud droplets nor typical dry aerosols such as dust and air pollution. Worldwide, up to 60 percent of the atmosphere labeled as cloud-free in satellite observations is actually filled with this twilight zone of in-between particles, according to the study.

"With the highly sensitive Earth-observing instruments NASA has used since 2000, we can distinguish aerosols and clouds in greater detail than ever before," said Goddard's Lorraine Remer, a co-author on the study. "But the area around clouds has given us trouble. The instruments detected something there, but it didn't match our understanding of what a cloud or an aerosol looked like. What we think we're seeing is a transitional zone where clouds are beginning to form or are dying away, and where humidity causes dry particles to absorb water and get bigger."

Precisely accounting for everything in the atmosphere that can influence changes in global temperatures is critical to scientists' quest to accurately predict what Earth's climate will be in the future. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assessed the potential risks of human-induced climate change, notes that the overall effect of clouds and aerosols on the amount of heat held in the atmosphere is still uncertain. Finding a previously unknown ingredient in the mix further complicates an already complex picture, but it also holds out the promise of resolving some nagging problems in climate change science." (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

"U.S.-EU claims of progress on global warming greeted with skepticism" - "WASHINGTON: European Union and U.S. leaders are hailing what they say is a big step toward bridging their sharp differences on global warming. Academics and critics of President George W. Bush's policies, however, question whether he really gave any ground." (Associated Press)

"US Rejects 'High Cost' Global Warming Scenarios" - "WASHINGTON - The White House rejected on Friday what it called "high cost" scenarios to tackle global warming that were spelled out in the latest report by a United Nations panel on climate change." (Reuters)

"Japan gives $2.1 bn to stem climate change" - "JAPAN: Japan pledged up to $2.1 billion in aid Sunday to the Asian Development Bank to combat global climate change and promote greener investment in the region." (Economic Times)

Getting harder to maintain the illusion: "NZ greenhouse gas emissions keep rising" - "Efforts to curb New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions are failing, according to new figures." (The Dominion Post)

"China adopts more assertive role" - "Beijing has begun to adopt a more assertive role in global climate change negotiations to head off the development of a regime which it worries could force it to cut emissions and scale back its economy." (Financial Times)

Imagine that... "China calls for access to clean energy technology" - "BANGKOK, May 4 - The world's rich countries must be prepared to share energy-saving technologies such as cleaner power stations with poorer nations if a bid to curb global warming is to work, a top Chinese energy official said on Friday." (Reuters)

... China will happily have anyone else supply (and pay for) their energy infrastructure and supply.

"Question Marks Over Commitment By China Climate Change Mitigation" - "Huge questions remain over China's commitment and ability to combat global warming after the surging Asian power bruised and cajoled but also charmed delegates at a UN conference, observers said. China was one of the nations most under focus at the climate change meeting in Bangkok that wrapped up on Friday with a message that the world had just a few years to act if it was to avert the worst impacts of global warming." (AFP)

"Statistical Proof of sun caused global warming in South Australia Part II" - "Abstract: Minimum temperatures have been increasing more so than temperatures at 3am and 6am over the last 50 years in south east Southern Australia. Evidence suggests that this is because of increases in the suns output rather than co2 levels. The pattern stronger than in summer than in winter, and we suggest that minimum temperatures is a poor measure of overnight temperatures as it is correlated more with day time and maximum temperatures than overnight temperatures." (Gust of Hot Air)

"Disease-Carrying Ticks Spread in Germany as Climate Warms" - "Experts are warning of an epidemic of disease-bearing ticks in Germany this summer after a particularly mild winter. Their range is likely to keep increasing as the climate warms." (Der Spiegel)

Wonder if they'll stop worrying so much about trivial exposure to pesticides?

"G-8 eyeing call for post-Kyoto climate talks" - "Japan, the United States and other members of the Group of Eight countries are considering an appeal for international negotiations on measures to counteract global warming after 2013 -- a period not covered by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol -- according to a draft of a declaration to be issued at the G-8 summit in Germany next month." (Kyodo)

"Japan Finance Minister Calls for New Kyoto Protocol Framework" - "KYOTO - Japanese Finance Minister Koji Omi called for an overhaul of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on reducing CO2 emissions on Sunday, to deal with the environmental impact of Asia's rapid economic development." (Reuters)

"PREVIEW - Governments Meet on Climate: 'No Excuse' For Inaction" - "OSLO - Governments meet in Bonn from Monday to seek ways to fight global warming, with the UN's top climate official warning there is "no excuse" for inaction after bleak new forecasts." (Reuters)

Forecasts? What a joke. From previous, albeit rare flashes of honesty:

"For the global mean [temperature], the most trusted models produce a value of roughly 14 Celsius, i.e. 57.2 F, but it may easily be anywhere between 56 and 58 F and regionally, let alone locally, the situation is even worse." The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT) (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies)

"The forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change." -- James Hansen, "Climate forcings in the Industrial era", PNAS, Vol. 95, Issue 22, 12753-12758, October 27, 1998.

"In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible." -- Final chapter, Draft TAR 2000 (Third Assessment Report), IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

The billions squandered over the last decade have made one thing abundantly clear, we should have paid attention to the draft TAR: "In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible" and it likely never will be.

"Leaders Argue Over Global Climate Change Agency" - "LONDON - A diplomatic tussle over which world agency should tackle global warming sees France demanding a new UN agency with broad powers, while others say time is short and existing UN bodies must rise to the challenge." (Reuters)

"Shops and offices to go eco-friendly" - "Ministers are launching an urgent drive to make the country's shops and offices ecofriendly to tackle global warming.

Yvette Cooper, the housing and planning minister, is drawing up a series of deadlines by which all new commercial buildings will have to be "zero carbon" - adding no carbon dioxide, the main cause of climate change, to the atmosphere.

The move follows the Government's announcement at the end of last year that all new homes must be "zero carbon" within a decade, and ministers hope that shops and supermarkets, at least, will be able to meet a similar target." (London Independent)

"City wakes up to economic threat of global warming" - "Higher temperatures could mean disruption to crops, a rapid rise in inflation and catastrophic famine. Richard Wachman on how the business world is at last taking extreme weather seriously." (The Observer)

"Firms are going green? Show me the money" - "As dear old Noam Chomsky once pointed out, if you want to know what's really going on with any given issue, just look at who's cheering for which side. It's an especially useful rule of thumb for seemingly complex debates - free trade economics, for instance, or security in the Middle East - where self-interest often masquerades as noble intent. The politics of climate change, and in particular the sudden vogue for carbon credit trading, is the latest case in point." (Sunday Star Times)

"EU Should Link with Kyoto Carbon Trade by December 1" - "COLOGNE - The European carbon market should link with carbon trade under the UN-sponsored Kyoto Protocol in time to allow the settlement of a widely used contract on Dec. 1 this year, EU and UN officials said on Friday." (Reuters)

Silly blighters: "When Carbon Is Currency" - "AMID steadily increasing carbon emissions, and a federal government hesitant to take the lead on climate legislation, 10 states have joined to create the first mandatory carbon cap-and-trade program in the United States. They aim to reduce emissions from power plants by 10 percent in 10 years." (New York Times)

Of all the things we can worry about and try to address carbon emissions don't belong on the list.

"EU Demands Estonia Halve Proposed CO2 Cap" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission told Estonia on Friday to slash its proposed cap on 2008-2012 industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by nearly 50 percent in its latest move to shore up the emissions trading scheme." (Reuters)

"US Senate Auto Fuel Plan Proposes 35 MPG by 2020" - "WASHINGTON - Auto makers will be required to ensure that their range of cars, SUVs, vans and pickups on US roads achieve an average fuel consumption rating of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 under a compromise Senate proposal." (Reuters)

"EU Criticises German Plans for New Coal Power Plants" - "BERLIN - Germany is unwise to choose to build new brown coal power plants, which are the most harmful to the environment, European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas was quoted as saying on Saturday.' (Reuters)

"Peru's rainforest: oil and gas run through it" - "Indigenous groups are threatened as Peru gears up for an energy boom." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Looking to get their snouts in the subsidy trough: "Nuclear industry welcomes climate report backing" - "LONDON, May 4 - The world nuclear power industry welcomed on Friday the tacit backing given to their technology by some of the world's top scientists and economists in the latest analysis of the climate change crisis." (Reuters)

"U.S. nuclear revival begins here" - "Unit 1 restart hailed as ‘rejuvenation’ of American atomic power" (Associated Press)

"The nuclear option" - "A generation after Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, nuclear power is again on the table. Some say it's the only answer to our energy woes." (Toronto Star)

"Brazil considering nuclear option for energy shortage" - "Brazil will increase the use of nuclear energy if it cannot build enough hydroelectric plants, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday." (Mercopress)

"'Giving the world something to look at' — Ethanol use is second nature in Brazil" - "SAO PAULO, Brazil: The gap between rich and poor is wide in Brazil, but its drivers are largely equal at the pump. Day laborers jammed in minivans and professionals motoring solo in air-conditioned comfort can buy gasoline — or pay about 40 percent less per tank for ethanol.

It is such a no-brain decision that almost everyone fills up with the alcohol-based fuel, produced from endless fields of sugarcane that carpet Latin America's largest nation. And as long as international oil prices stay above US$50 (€37) per barrel, ethanol will likely stay on top in Brazil's revolutionary fuel choice experiment." (Associated Press)

Is that such a bargain? One gallon of gasoline equates to roughly 125,000 BTU energy while one gallon of ethanol delivers something less than 85,000 BTU, so one gallon of gas = ~1.5 gallons of ethanol, making the 'saving' marginal at best (so much for the AP's 'no-brain' piece).

Tantrum: "Environmental Groups Condemn IPCC Call For Large Scale Biofuels as a Climate Disaster In The Making" - "The IPCC Assessment Report Four has made a compelling case on what global warming means to the planet this century. It is the IPCC´s strongest warning yet that drastic cuts in carbon emissions are vital if we are to avoid a catastrophic acceleration of climate change. Environmental groups are, however, deeply concerned that the IPCC's Summary for Policy Makers on climate mitigation, released earlier today, includes a recommendation for large- scale expansion of biofuels from monocultures, including from GM crops, even though monoculture expansion is a driving force behind the destruction of rainforests and other carbon sinks and reservoirs, thus accelerating climate change. The IPCC also recommend the expansion of large-scale agroforestry monoculture plantations. These plantations, which will include GM trees, are similarly linked to ecosystem destruction. Monoculture expansion is a major threat to the livelihoods and food sovereignty of communities many of which are already bearing the brunt of climate change disasters caused largely by the fossil fuel emissions of industrialised countries." (BiofuelsWatch)

"Miliband steps into biofuel row between EU and US" - "David Miliband, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has intervened in a trade row brewing between the US and EU over biodiesel subsidies." (London Independent)

"INTERVIEW - Dutch Government to Renew Green Energy Subsidies in 2008" - "AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government will renew subsidies for green energy next year but only for producers that can prove their energy is really green and does not deprive people of food, the environment minister said on Friday." (Reuters)

"EU Says Biofuel Target Unlikely to Hit Food Prices" - "BRUSSELS - Europe's ambitious targets to encourage greater use of biofuels will increase the cost of agricultural raw materials but not make much difference to retail food prices, the EU's farm chief said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Creating corn for cars" - "BOSTON -- A new variety of corn developed and patented by Michigan State University scientists could turn corn leaves and stalks into products that are just as valuable as the golden kernels." (Michigan State University)

"Hot Rocks, Cool Technology" - "Greener than wind or solar, geothermal energy gets little attention—even though, as Nick Schulz writes, it could provide 2,000 times our current power needs." (Nick Schulz, The American)

"Are Media Hyping Bee Crisis to Divert Attention From Cold-related Crop Damage?" - "By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about the bee crisis in America. Currently termed “colony collapse disorder,” it is the massive die-off of a bee hive or colony for oftentimes inexplicable reasons." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"Hormone-free milk ad is false" - "Got synthetic hormone-free milk?

How 'bout controversy?

A milk marketing campaign by Associated Food Stores has riled several dairy farmers across the Beehive State and caught the eye of a state agency, forcing the Salt Lake City-based grocery cooperative to change its milk ads starting Sunday.

At issue is what has been described by the state and irate dairy farmers as a "misleading" milk ad run by 170 of Associated Food's 400-plus independently owned and corporate-owned stores, including Macey's, for the past two weeks.

The ad says: "Got Hormones? We Don't."

But there's no such thing as hormone-free milk, said Kyle Stephens, deputy commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

"Hormones are naturally occurring in milk, so the ad is false and misleading," he said." (Daily Herald Online)

"EU Must Speed Response to New GMOs - Farm Chief" - "BRUSSELS - Europe must speed up its approval process for new biotech crops and foods to avoid future problems with key suppliers like Argentina, Brazil and the United States, Europe's farm chief said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Modified rice called nice for environment" - "A Davis biotechnology company is collaborating with China's top rice-growing region on a project designed to reduce the huge contribution of agriculture to global warming.

Arcadia Biosciences has agreed to adapt its genetically engineered strain of rice to grow in China, where it may lower the need for nitrogen fertilizer because it absorbs the element nitrogen more efficiently than naturally occurring varieties.

Nitrogen-based fertilizer contributes to climate change because soil bacteria convert it into nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that has almost 300 times the power to induce global warming as carbon dioxide, Arcadia chief executive Eric Rey said." (SF Chronicle)

"Double vision on biotech: Some see miracle cures, others a fearful future" - "Americans are highly confident about the biotech industry’s ability to find cures for diseases and develop new alternative fuels. But biotech executives have work cut out for themselves in convincing Americans - especially women - about the benefits of genetically modified foods, according to new survey results released yesterday in conjunction with the first day of the 2007 BIO International Convention in Boston." (Boston Herald)

May 4, 2007

"Green Gas-Lighting?" - "We will continue this column's look at the unintended consequences and knee-slapping irony of our society's mindless lurch toward becoming "green" by considering two new studies on alternative fuels." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

Slightly dated but still relevant: "Do Hybrid Cars Reduce Air Pollution?" - "The fuel economy craze is accelerating the production and sales of hybrid cars. Toyota has increased production by 44% over their earlier projection. (Bloomburg, June 2) There has been a 26% increase in hybrid car registrations nationwide from 2002 to 2003." (Kay H. Jones, Ph.D.)

"WHO Affirms Commitment to DDT Reduction in Malaria Control" - "During the Third Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention this week in Dakar Senegal, Director of the World Health Organization Office on Public Health and Environment Dr Maria Neira stated categorically that WHO strongly supports the Stockholm Convention, and is committed to reducing reliance on DDT in malaria control.

Addressing a large audience of delegates at the WHO/UNEP event "Reducing Reliance on DDT While Strengthening Malaria Control," Dr. Neira affirmed the WHO goal to reduce use of DDT and eventually eliminate it, in accordance with the Stockholm Convention. She stressed that this has been the case since the Convention came into existence, and the WHO position on DDT has not changed since then." (PANNA)

"Malaria fear as global warming increases" - "Global warming could lead to a return of insect-borne diseases in Britain such as malaria, and increased incidence of skin cancer caused by exposure to the sun, a government report warns today." (London Independent)

Warming, Shmarming, malaria was endemic in Canada, see: The return of swamp fever: malaria in Canadians. Also check out "From Shakespeare to Defoe: Malaria in England in the Little Ice Age" (Paul Reiter, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for a little perspective on that malaria/temperature thing.

"The Real Solution to Poverty" - "In this report, our Task Force on Poverty calls for a national goal of cutting poverty in half in the next 10 years and proposes a strategy to reach the goal." -- Center for American Progress Task Force on Poverty

Poverty may fall in half in the next ten years even if we do not enact any of the recommendations of this task force. In fact, a reasonable guess is that the recommendations themselves would, if anything, slow the rate of progress against poverty.

The point of this essay is to simply state the obvious. If you look at poverty from the broad perspective of international and historical comparisons, the solution to poverty is decentralized entrepreneurial activity under capitalism." (Arnold Kling, TCS Daily)

"When you feel scared and worried..." - "What are worried parents to do? Having an autistic child is hard enough without having endless scares thrown at them at every turn. Worse, they want the medical community to find a cure, not waste time and resources chasing in pointless directions. And new parents are even more vulnerable to scares directed at their innocent babies.

Understandably, all it takes is one news story to bring fear into the hearts of parents." (Junkfood Science)

Apparently not a joke: "Bigfoot risks extinction, says Canadian MP" - "OTTAWA - Bigfoot, the legendary hairy man-like beast said to roam the wildernesses of North America, is not shy, merely so rare it risks extinction and should be protected as an endangered species. So says Canadian MP Mike Lake who has called for Bigfoot to be protected under Canada's species at risk act, alongside Whooping Cranes, Blue Whales, and Red Mulberry trees." (AFP)

Hmm... "Expanding our coverage - and horizons" - "Welcome to The Telegraph's Earth Channel, which we hope will gather together in one place on the internet all that we feel the Telegraph already does well about nature and the environment - whether it is the latest news reporting, comment, pictures or features - together with a little bit more." (Charles Clover, London Telegraph)

... given that they've opened with a Fred Pearce promo it doesn't look too promising. (The only reason Fred compares favorably with Moonbat is that he's a lot less prolific)

"Eco-Freaks" - "Frontpage Interview’s guest today is John Berlau, a Warren T. Brookes Journalism Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He is the author of the new book Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism Is Hazardous to Your Health!" (Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine.com)

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

"New Landsea Paper in EOS" - "Chris Landsea has shared his just-out paper from EOS (PDF) and send the following capsule summary: "The link between the frequency of tropical cyclones [hurricanes and tropical storms] and anthropogenic global warming has become an emerging focus. However, an analysis of the data shows that improved monitoring in recent years is responsible for most, if not all, of the observed trend in increasing frequency of tropical cyclones." Comments, criticisms, alternative perspectives welcomed!" (Prometheus)

Australia: NewsCorp is conducting a survey about climate change which I happily tried to fill in online -- unfortunately it won't allow appropriate levels of unconcern (I was unable to answer sections accurately since the form will not allow omission of items that were of no concern to me and 6 of 8 listed items would not have made my list -- only terrorism and our inadequate commitment in Iraq rated a place, the survey also concludes that nuclear power and carbon must be related, that climate change [read: gorebal warmening] is necessarily of concern...). They'll get a result of course but I can't see it reflecting any real opinion.

Transcript: Exposed: The Climate of Fear (Glenn Beck, CNN)

"Is the IPCC Doing Harm to Science?" - "No United Nations organization currently dominates the headlines as much -- or is as controversial -- as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Critics call the panel politically one-sided and its reports alarmist. Its defenders say the opposite is true. The IPCC will publish its third report on Friday." (Der Spiegel)

Whoops, they've done it again: "Risk Management Solutions Ltd and the 37 Professors" - "In the complaint about Swindle by Risk Management Solutions Ltd., endorsed by a gaggle of 37 professors, they allege that the Swindle claim that “Global average temperature decreased between 1940 and 1980″ is a misrepresentation, stating that:

Measurements from meteorological stations that have been published by NASA and other agencies show that the there was an overall slight decline in global average temperature between about 1940 and 1976, but much less than that shown on the graph presented in the programme.


this graph does not correspond to any figure for global average temperature that has been published by NASA

When a corporation, which has contracts with major insurers, makes highly visible public allegations like this, you’d think that they’d go to the trouble to ensure that the claims are correct. Likewise, when 37 climate scientists sign onto the claim, including temperature specialist, Phil Jones, you’d think that they’d also go to the trouble to ensure that the claim is correct. When they go on to argue that communications with the public - into which category their Open Letter to Martin Durkin published on a website surely qualifies - should have proper due diligence, you’d think that they’d double check that a specific claim like this was true.

But hey, this is climate science." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"Comments On A New Research Paper “Arctic Sea Ice Melting Faster Than Expected”" - "There is a new paper Stroeve, J., M. M. Holland, W. Meier, T. Scambos, and M. Serreze (2007), Arctic sea ice decline: Faster than forecast, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L09501, doi:10.1029/2007GL029703 which discusses the decline in Arctic sea ice." (Climate Science)

"The IPCC WG1 AR4 Final Report Is Available" - "The IPCC WG1 AR4 Final Report is now available. An interesting check on its completeness will be the diversity of peer reviewed papers that it includes, particularly on research that differs from the IPCC conclusions." (Climate Science)

"'Deal struck' at UN climate talks" - "Experts at a major UN climate change conference in Bangkok have reached a deal on the best ways to combat global warming, delegates say. It follows marathon talks with strong reservations voiced by China. Areas of dispute included language regarding the Kyoto protocol, the costs of cutting emissions and nuclear power." (BBC)

"U.N. talks agree report on battling climate change" - "BANGKOK - Climate experts agreed on a U.N. report on Friday that said fighting global warming is affordable and the technology available to slow the growth in greenhouse gas emissions and stave off climate chaos, a senior delegate said." (Reuters)


Distracted by nonsense: "Intelligence Analysts Eye Climate Change" - "WASHINGTON - Top intelligence analysts are diving into the politically sensitive issue of climate change, but some Democrats in Congress are demanding even more. The House Intelligence Committee approved a provision late Wednesday as part of a spy budget bill that would require the National Intelligence Council to produce its highest-level assessment - a National Intelligence Estimate - specifically on climate change." (Associated Press)

While we're on a theme: "MoD opens its files on UFO sightings to public" - "The Ministry of Defence plans to open its "X-Files" on UFO sightings to the public for the first time. Officials have not yet decided on a date for the release of the reports, which date back to 1967, but it is hoped to be within weeks." (The Guardian)

"Global Weather Oscillations" - "About a year ago, David Dilley, founder of a company called Global Weather Oscillations, made a presentation on his research on ENSO, seasonal temperatures and precipitation at AccuWeather.com headquarters in State College, Pennsylvania. I was not present for this presentation, however, several of our senior meteorologists were. Overall, Mr. Dilley's research made a positive impression, although those in attendance were not absolutely convinced by it." (AccuWeather)

Right... "A holiday at the end of the Earth: tourists paying to see global warming in action" - "Bored with your usual holiday? Try watching bits of the world as they start to heat up! The effects of climate change are leading to a distinctive new form of 21st-century travel: global-warming tourism." (London Independent)

"Arctic Leaders Blame Warming for Wolves, Suicide" - "WASHINGTON - Global warming sent marauding wolves into an Alaskan hamlet, killed Norwegian reindeer with unlikely parasites and may even spur suicide among Inuit youth, Arctic leaders said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Why Canadians may be cool to global warming warnings" - "In Canada, the problem for those trying to rouse the public to battle climate change is that there are some real advantages that come with warming." (CBC News)

French disappointed not to have killed off more oldies? "In search of the missing dead" - "First, the bad news: more than 6,000 people should have died in a 17-day heatwave that gripped France last July.

The good news: only 2,000 actually succumbed.

The dilemma was revealed in a study published on Thursday by France's National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and the National Health Monitoring Institute (InVS)." (AFP)

"The Salty Taste of Global Warming" - "As sea levels rise, salt in the ground water is slowly transforming Bangladesh's breadbasket into a vast shrimp farm. Yet what may be good for the farmers is bad for everyone else. A visit to the front lines of climate change." (Der Spiegel)

"President Klaus: our planet is blue not green" - "Czech president Vaclav Klaus, an economist by profession, is preparing to do battle with environmentalists. In his latest book called "Our Planet is Blue - Not Green", which is to be released shortly, the president challenges the conclusions reached by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change namely that climate change is caused by human activity. The president on Wednesday presented his views to students at the Prague School of Economics, where he argued that environmentalists were not only misleading society - they were actually a threat to further development." (Radio Prague)

"Al Gore urges Chinese technology entrepreneurs to champion environment" - "With a blend of dark humor and dire predictions, former US vice president Al Gore called on Chinese technology entrepreneurs to champion the environment in their prospering homeland. Gore, who won an Academy Award for his global warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," made the plea at a Hua Yuan Science and Technology Association's conference in the California city of Santa Clara on Wednesday." (AFP)

"Gore impresses students: Lecturegoers call presentation ’shocking’ and ’awesome’" - "They came from near and far, representing urban, suburban and rural schools, to hear the man who "used to be the next president of the United States" talk about global warming and climate change. They weren't disappointed." (UB Reporter)

"Holy Document Violated" - "A young Canadian Gore disciple – he’s seen An Inconvenient Truth three times - attends a Gore lecture, only to discover something terrible:" (Tim Blair)

The TIME 100 - Who are the people making a difference? TIME makes its annual picks of the 100 most influential men and women shaping our world. (Time Magazine)

Wonder what Time's criteria might be? Or maybe that should read "agenda"? Under "Scientists & Thinkers", guess who heads the list (wonder how much Hansen pocketed for this little blurb?):

"Al Gore" - "Al Gore understands the science of global warming better than anyone else in the world of politics." (James Hansen, Time Magazine)

"'Responsibility' 101" - "Reuters discovers that the "responsible" big business, that is, global warming rent-seekers, aren't necessarily the green knights they (and most of their friends in the media) like to portray. They are doing what several predecessors have also sought to do — if in other cases, such as the Pew Center and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (and its global counterpart WBCSE) more openly with the aid and comfort of the green pressure groups. It's the money, stupid." (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

"Carbon markets are harmful constructs" - "Last week's Financial Times investigation into carbon markets raised fundamental questions in an area where the City hopes to become world leader. They go beyond whether manipulation is taking place." (Fund Strategy)

"US Has 'Implicit' Price on Carbon Emissions - DOE" - "NEW YORK - Utilities in the United States are factoring in an "implicit" price for carbon emissions that may push them to clean up or scrap coal-fired power plants, a top ranking US Energy Department official said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"EU Looks to Curb Utility Windfall Carbon Profits" - "COLOGNE, Germany - Windfall profits that power generators are making from Europe's carbon market are damaging the integrity of the scheme, a senior European Commission official said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Germany to Press for Emissions Curbs at G8 Summit" - "BANGKOK - Germany, which hosts the Group of Eight (G8) leaders' summit next month, will press them to match its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, a senior environment official said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Deep hole plays role in global-warming studies" - "Project in Tuscarawas County to test underground storage of carbon dioxide, a product of burning coal" (Akron Beacon Journal)

"Automakers try to salvage victory from climate defeat" - "Al Gore has won. That was the message from Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally last week, bluntly expressing his industry's view that the debate over global warming "has passed."

"It is time for a conversation about what we, as a society, intend to do to address" climate change and energy security, Mulally says. Curiously, Ford's consumer marketing finds climate change low on the list of buyer's concerns even as Mulally predicts that it is "going to be one of the most important considerations to the customers that buy our product." (Henry Payne, Detroit News)

"Senate Takes on Fuel Economy Regulations" - "Washington, D.C., May 3, 2007—Members of the Senate will hear testimony today on the effects of the federal government’s fuel economy regulations, but will likely fail to address one of the program’s most glaring flaws: its deadly effect on safety." (CEI)

"Senate Panel OKs Bill to Increase Green US Power" - "WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES - The US Senate may vote later this month on an energy bill that would by 2020 require that 15 percent of US electricity be produced by renewable sources such as wind and solar." (Reuters)

"Wind Farms Useful but May Threaten Birds" - "WASHINGTON - Wind farms could generate as much as 7 percent of U.S. electricity in 15 years, but scientists want to spend more time studying the threat those spinning blades pose to birds and bats." (AP)

"Tribes, Fishermen Sue Pacificorp Over Klamath Dams" - "LOS ANGELES - Environmentalists, commercial fishermen and Native American tribes sued Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary PacifiCorp in San Francisco Wednesday, claiming that two of its dams on the Klamath River are killing salmon and causing human health hazards." (Reuters)

"CENTRAL ASIA: Wrangling Over Pipelines Wrecks Early Prospects" - "ALMATY - A combination of East-West geopolitical rivalries and haggling between former Soviet republics is delaying the construction of a series of oil and gas pipelines that could help alleviate the world's future energy supply concerns." (IPS)

"Biofuels Hamper Expansion of Healthy Rapeseed" - "LONDON - Demand from the biofuels sector for standard types of rapeseed is hampering efforts to get Britain's farmers to switch to crop strains that are healthier for humans, industry experts said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Indian farmers braced for rat plague" - "Nearly 500,000 Indian farmers are facing the prospect of famine as a plague of rats that strikes once every 50 years threatens to destroy their crops, rice paddies and village granaries." (London Telegraph)

"Farming 'needs GM-style reviews'" - "All new farming methods, not just genetically modified (GM) crops, should be assessed for their potential impact on the environment, UK experts suggest. Government advisors on GM plants said that while GM technology was subjected to close scrutiny, there was no similar system for conventional practices. The impacts on the land, as well as the economic benefits, should be understood before being widely adopted, they said." (BBC)

"GMO Crop Rules Should Also Weigh Pluses - UK Report" - "LONDON - Europe should weigh benefits as well as risks when evaluating new farm technologies like biotech crops to avoid stifling innovation that may be key to future food security, a report for the UK government said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Report claims crop approval processes are biased against GM" - "THE approval processes for genetically modified and conventional crops are fundamentally flawed and biased against GM. That is the renewed message from a sub-group of the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) in a report this week. The sub-group was set up to assess the wider implications of the Farm-Scale Evaluations of genetically modified herbicide tolerant (GMHT) crops." (Farmers Guardian)

"Ban upheld in US on genetically modified alfalfa" - "SAN FRANCISCO - Citing the potential for genetic contamination, a U.S. judge on Thursday let stand a ban on the planting of Roundup Ready alfalfa, a genetically modified variety of the crop developed by Monsanto Co. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer, in a published order, said an injunction against planting more of the herbicide-resistant alfalfa should stay in place until government studies on its environmental effects are concluded." (Reuters)

"New Biotech Product Could End Up in Feed" - "Ethanol industry leaders say a new biotech product that helps corn fight off pests could end up in exported animal feed and risk the industry's relationship with foreign markets." (AP)

"Court rejects appeal on GM canola case" - "Two organic farmers from Saskatchewan have lost their latest bid for a class-action lawsuit against farm chemical companies involved in producing genetically modified canola.

On Wednesday, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Dale Beaudoin and Larry Hoffman of L.B. Hoffman Farms Inc. against Monsanto Canada and Bayer CropScience.

They are seeking damages from the two companies for allegedly contaminating their organically grown canola and their fields with genetically modified canola." (CBC News)

May 3, 2007

Ever more ridiculous: "Nature's carbon 'sink' smaller than expected" - "Earth in 2100 could be up to 2.7 degrees F. hotter than previously predicted, studies say." (The Christian Science Monitor)

This is getting too absurd for words! So-called 'predictions' of future climate states are pure conjecture:

"For the global mean [temperature], the most trusted models produce a value of roughly 14 Celsius, i.e. 57.2 F, but it may easily be anywhere between 56 and 58 F and regionally, let alone locally, the situation is even worse." The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT) (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies)

"The forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change." -- James Hansen, "Climate forcings in the Industrial era", PNAS, Vol. 95, Issue 22, 12753-12758, October 27, 1998.

"In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible." -- Final chapter, Draft TAR 2000 (Third Assessment Report), IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

"Because there is considerable uncertainty in current understanding of how the climate system varies naturally and reacts to emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, current estimates of the magnitude of future warming should be regarded as tentative and subject to future adjustments (either upward or downward)." -- Climate Change Science - An Analysis Of Some Key Questions, p1 (Committee on the Science of Climate Change, National Research Council) ISBN 0-309-07574-2.

"Reducing the wide range of uncertainty inherent in current model predictions of global climate change will require major advances in understanding and modeling of both (1) the factors that determine atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols, and (2) the so-called “feedbacks” that determine the sensitivity of the climate system to a prescribed increase in greenhouse gases." -- Climate Change Science - An Analysis Of Some Key Questions, p1 (Committee on the Science of Climate Change, National Research Council) ISBN 0-309-07574-2.

"Because climate is uncontrollable . . . the models are the only available experimental laboratory for climate. . . . However, climate models are imperfect. Their simulation skill is limited by uncertainties in their formulation, the limited size of their calculations, and the difficulty of interpreting their answers that exhibit almost as much complexity as in nature." -- Climate Change Science - An Analysis Of Some Key Questions, p15 (Committee on the Science of Climate Change, National Research Council) ISBN 0-309-07574-2.

So, how far have we progressed in the modeling game over the last decade? Not very far at all. In a pending paper, Dangerous human-made interference with climate: a GISS modelE study we find the following text regarding GISS modelE, fairly described as a state-of-the-art climate model:

2.4 Principal Model Deficiencies

ModelE (2006) compares the atmospheric model climatology with observations. Model shortcomings include ~25% regional deficiency of summer stratus cloud cover off the west coast of the continents with resulting excessive absorption of solar radiation by as much as 50 W/m 2 , deficiency in absorbed solar radiation and net radiation over other tropical regions by typically 20 W/m 2 , sea level pressure too high by 4-8 hPa in the winter in the Arctic and 2-4 hPa too low in all seasons in the tropics, ~20% deficiency of rainfall over the Amazon basin, ~25% deficiency in summer cloud cover in the western United States and central Asia with a corresponding ~5 ° C excessive summer warmth in these regions. In addition to the inaccuracies in the simulated climatology, another shortcoming of the atmospheric model for climate change studies is the absence of a gravity wave representation, as noted above, which may affect the nature of interactions between the troposphere and stratosphere. The stratospheric variability is less than observed, as shown by analysis of the present 20-layer 4°×5° atmospheric model by J. Perlwitz (personal communication). In a 50-year control run Perlwitz finds that the interannual variability of seasonal mean temperature in the stratosphere maximizes in the region of the subpolar jet streams at realistic values, but the model produces only six sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) in 50 years, compared with about one every two years in the real world.

The coarse resolution Russell ocean model has realistic overturning rates and inter-ocean transports (Sun and Bleck, 2006), but tropical SST has less east-west contrast than observed and the model yields only slight El Nino-like variability (Fig. 17, Efficacy , 2005). Also the Southern Ocean is too well-mixed near Antarctica (Liu et al., 2003), deep water production in the North Atlantic Ocean does not go deep enough, and some deep-water formation occurs in the Sea of Okhotsk region, probably because of unrealistically small freshwater input there in the model III version of modelE. Global sea ice cover is realistic, but this is achieved with too much sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere and too little sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere, and the seasonal cycle of sea ice is too damped with too much ice remaining in the Arctic summer, which may affect the nature and distribution of sea ice climate feedbacks.

Despite these model limitations, in IPCC model inter-comparisons the model used for the simulations reported here, i.e, modelE with the Russell ocean, fares about as well as the typical global model in the verisimilitude of its climatology. Comparisons so far include the ocean’s thermohaline circulation (Sun and Bleck, 2006), the ocean’s heat uptake (Forest et al., 2006), the atmosphere’s annular variability and response to forcings (Miller et al., 2006), and radiative forcing calculations (Collins et al., 2006). The ability of the GISS model to match climatology, compared with other models, varies from being better than average on some fields (radiation quantities, upper tropospheric temperature) to poorer than average on others (stationary wave activity, sea level pressure).

There is nothing particularly outrageous here, models do not handle clouds and moisture at all well yet and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies' pride and joy is no exception. Placing excessive trust in the models, however, is not a recommended procedure.

Since most people simply accept media statements drawn from press releases rather than delving into details of models and the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis we should point out that the above-listed errors of 20-50 W/m2 are an order of magnitude greater than the possible increase in forcing from a doubling of pre-Industrial Revolution levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and the climate sensitivity to said forcing is an absurdly high ~3 °C for ~4 W/m2! How do we know this is absurd?

As just mentioned, a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide (from the pre-Industrial value of 280 parts per million) in the global atmosphere causes a forcing of 4 W/m2. The central value of the climate sensitivity to this change is a global average temperature increase of 3°C (5.4°F), but with a range from 1.5°C to 4.5°C (2.7 to 8.1°F) (based on climate system models: see section 4). The central value of 3°C is an amplification by a factor of 2.5 over the direct effect of 1.2°C (2.2°F). -- page 7, Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions, Committee on the Science of Climate Change, National Research Council, ISBN: 0-309-07574-2.

So, an estimated direct sensitivity of 1.2 °C, subjected to 'an amplification factor' of 2.5 yields 3 °C potential warming and yet the IPCC's own numbers suggest there has already been an increase in forcing of 2.4 W/m2 yielding just 0.65 °C warming over 125 years and leaving a balance of 1.6 W/m2 to deliver a further 2.35 °C warming? Wrong! Planetary response to greenhouse forcing is neither linear nor exponential but logarithmic (each additional unit has less effect than the one preceding) and empirical measure already tells us that negative feedback is dominating since 2.4 W/m2 increase in forcing should already have delivered ~0.9 °C warming but did not.

Now we've arrived back at our entry point with quite stupid statements that "the world could be much warmer than previously predicted" when the fact is the planet has warmed less than even the unamplified direct sensitivity estimate. It isn't the planet that's overheating but rather the hyperbole.

"CO2 row threatens climate report" - "Environmentalists fear that a key climate report to be published this week is using outdated science, and will lead to dangerous climate change. Campaigners say the IPCC's economics report has based its recommendations on the safe limit of atmospheric CO2 being 550 parts per million (ppm). But more recent scientific studies now put that figure at 450ppm, they argue." (BBC)

What a crock! Even calculating using the absurdly high climate CO2 sensitivity value of Charnock and Shine the difference between 450 and 550 ppmv is only 0.4 K, even Houghton's favored Kondratjew & Moskalenko estimate delivers just 0.25 K while a more realistic calculation matching observed results produces a mere 0.1 K warming potential between the two figures.

"Statistical Proof of sun caused global warming in South Australia Part I" - "Abstract: Statistical analysis of the rate of temperature change between times of proximity has shown that the rate of increase of temperature as a measure of time has significantly increased up until 3pm and then decreased until 9am in South Australia over the last 50 years. If Co2 levels were the major cause of global warming, then no rate of change in temperature between near times should exist, eg they should all increase at the same rate. Our analysis proves that this is not the case, and that temperature is increasing at a greater rate when the sun is at it’s peak in the middle of the day. Hence our conclusion is that the major force behind global warming is not Co2 levels, but the sun." (Gust of Hot Air)

CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time (.pdf) - (Zbigniew Jaworowski, EIR Science)

"Warming is not a big deal and is not a bad thing." - "Dr John Everett's statement to a committee of the US House of Representatives, includes a valuable link to his own website which has a full and expert run-down on the climate change debate." (Climate Change Facts)

New podcast: Global Warming Podcast News 4 - Regular 5-minute podcast briefings on the 'global warming' news they don't want you to hear. Your host: Professor Philip Stott. This time: Europe, China, and the IPCC.

"Arctic Ice and Polar Bears" - "A new study looking at observed and projected rates of Arctic sea ice loss concludes that the Arctic oceans are losing ice faster than expected considering anthropogenic greenhouse effect changes alone (or, alternatively, our expectations are in error). But before anyone goes off and starts pointing to the imminent demise to polar bears… oops, too late…" (WCR)

"Canadian controversy: How do polar bears fare?" - "Despite global warming, an ongoing study says polar bear populations are rising in the country's eastern Arctic region." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"A Lund University Research Summary Entitled “The Earth´s Climate Is Seesawing” - "Thanks to Christer Löfström of Lund University in Sweden for alerting me to a very interesting research summary. It is titled “The Earth’s climate is seesawing”. (Climate Science)

"Melting Greenland ice could raise ocean seven meters" - "The world's oceans could rise by up to seven meters if Greenland's ice cap entirely melts because of global warming, climate scientists said Tuesday." (AFP)

Except there's no indication of any unusual net ice loss in Greenland (unless you believe the model-tortured GRACE results, in which case the sea is also locally draining/evaporating/disappearing).

"Kilimanjaro's Glaciers May Last Longer Than Predicted" - "The fabled snows of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro may not succumb to global climate change as quickly as scientists had feared." (National Geographic News)

& in fact are not likely responding to "global change" at all -- local land clearance appears to be the key factor.

"Global View of Wildfires" - "Wildfires have been associated with the global warming scare for decades, and nearly two million websites found for “Forest Fires and Global Warming” continue to stoke the flames. The argument seems rather simple – the world warms and in the absence of a compensating increase in precipitation, many areas of the world become drier. The drier vegetation is more vulnerable to fires, and more wildfires result. A few pictures of Yellowstone Park and/or San Diego hillsides on fire will help make the point. Add comments about how vegetation is stressed trying to cope with rapid environmental change, and fires seem even more inevitable. Furthermore, a not-so-complicated set of feedbacks can make it seem even worse – note that fires contribute enormously to the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and then describe how a darker surface resulting from fires can decrease the reflectivity of the surface (making it as black as a parking lot) thereby resulting in even more warming. Given that wildfires are impacting some part of the Earth every day, there is no end to up-to-date photo opportunities, there are plenty of folks are willing to speculate that “we may be seeing the impacts of climate change,” and a pillar of the greenhouse earth is reinforced. Through in some heart-wrenching pictures of animals coping with a burned forest or grassland, and to say the least, you are part of the global warming fraternity." (WCR)

"Climate change a threat to Indonesian agriculture, study says" - "Rice farming in Indonesia is greatly affected by short-term climate variability and could be harmed significantly by long-term climate change, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford University, the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin. The results are scheduled for publication the week of April 30 in the online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)." (Stanford University)

"Warmest April on record confirmed" - "Last month was the warmest April in the UK on record, with virtually no rain in some areas, the Met Office said. The average temperature was 10.2C (50.4F), beating the previous April high of 9.2C (48.6F), recorded in 1943.

The mean temperature of 10.2C was 3.3C higher than the long-term average of 6.9C (44.4F) recorded throughout the period of 1971 to 2000." (BBC)

Funny, they seem to have forgotten to mention that the period 1971-2000 is rather cooler than the overall average in the Central England Temperature dataset (believed to be the longest contiguous series anywhere, let alone the UK) for April since 1659 (7.9 °C or 46.2 °F) or that the previous high is still listed as the current high of 10.6 in 1865, or that April is traditionally somewhat variable, with a range already varying from 4.7 to 10.6 °C.

"Peyton Knight: Vanity Fair’s greenbacks issue proves eco-hypocrisy is en vogue" - "WASHINGTON - Eco-hypocrisy is all the rage.

From Al Gore’s carbon-spewing mansion to John Travolta’s backyard air force, do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do elites are putting dinosaur-sized carbon feet in their mouths. And so it is with the magazine that caters to them, Vanity Fair, whose self-titled “green issue” gives a finger-wagging lecture on living green — yet while it does so, its editors are too busy kissing up to luxury merchants to hug any trees.

In a hysterical eight-page spread, Vanity Fair editorial assistant Adam Spangler takes America to task for just about anything we can conceivably use or touch throughout the course of a normal day. He derides toilet paper use, nightstand lights, battery-powered toothbrushes, anti-perspirants, razors, showers, newspapers, non-organic milk, corn, coffee, sugar, automobiles and SUVs, fish, beef, computers, printers, bottled water, grocery bags, handbags, plasma TVs, excess square feet in our houses, and anything made of plastic, to name a few." (Peyton Knight, The Examiner)

"Al Gore, Ugly American" - "Foreign Affairs: Does Al Gore have nothing better to do than butt into other countries' politics? In his grand bid to save the planet, he's damaging real nations and undercutting U.S. ties. He's worse than the Ugly American.

Gore flew over to Canada last week and loudly blasted the Canadian government for its rejection of the Kyoto Treaty as "a complete and total fraud." (IBD)

"The Swindle Complaint and Myles Allen" - "Bob Ward, who you may remember as the author of various complaints from the U.K. Royal Society, is now employed at Risk Management Solutions Ltd. In his business capacity as Director, Global Science Networks, Risk Management Solutions Ltd., he has filed a complaint about Swindle under a section of the broadcasting code which states: “Views and facts must not be misrepresented”. I could understand Ward complaining as an individual citizen, but I’m surprised that he is doing so in his capacity as an employee of Risk Management Solutions. It’s intriguing that Risk Management Solutions perceives itself as having a business interest in suppressing the distribution of Swindle as it stands." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"US-Based Index Allows Bets on Global Warming Fight" - "NEW YORK - Boston-based group KLD Research & Analytics licensed an index on Wednesday that allows investors to bet on companies taking steps to combat global warming." (Reuters)

"US, European Climate Change Tactics Compatible" - "LONDON - An EU-US stalemate on who is tackling climate better may be missing the point, with both sets of approaches needed." (Reuters)

Needed? Nope, neither approach has any potential for knowingly and predictably adjusting the planet's climate.

"India, China, Brazil hold up talks on climate change" - "BANGKOK: A demand by India, China and Brazil that rich nations accept that they are mainly responsible for global warming has held up progress at a key UN climate change conference, delegates said on Wednesday." (Times of India)

"Wrangle over costs hits climate change talks" - "Climate change experts battled for agreement Thursday on how to fight global warming as crucial UN talks here entered their final phase, with China railing against the cost of action, delegates said." (AFP)

"It's Survival of the Toughest at UN Climate Talks" - "BANGKOK - Welcome to UN climate talks where days of frustration, political point-scoring, long hours and sheer exhaustion guarantee a memorable meeting, if not always much progress." (Reuters)

"G8 Meet Asked to Show the Way Past Kyoto" - "KOLN, May 2 - The eight most industrialised countries and the five big developing ones must "send a clear signal" this year that they want agreement on a new international framework for tackling global warming, the world's leading policy advisor on climate change said here Wednesday." (IPS)

"Australia Demands 'New Kyoto' in Place of 'Old'" - "CANBERRA - Australia, criticised as a Kyoto Protocol holdout, on Wednesday stepped up its demands for the climate pact to be scrapped, saying "Old Kyoto" belonged in the "pages of climate change history." (Reuters)

?!! "Poor Nations Brake Greenhouse Gas Rise - UN Draft" - "OSLO - Developing nations that are fast industrialising, such as China and India, have braked their rising greenhouse gas emissions by more than the total cuts demanded of rich nations by the UN's Kyoto Protocol." (Reuters)

"Chairman Mao, Environmentalist" - "Now, back to those arguments I cited that are being made in Thailand at the Kyoto-related talks by China, India and Brazil in order to avoid being cornered into making promises of their own to reduce emissions, a natural request given their heated claims about the calamity they confront in the face of ever-increasing global greenhouse gas emissions." (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Is U.N. Using Media to Spin CO2 Emissions of Developing Nations? (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"The Political Economy of Climate Change" - "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will soon release its 4th Assessment Report. This report will again warn that atmospheric temperatures are due to rise this century with harmful consequences for the planet's ecosystems. The IPCC will recommend that the world embark on an urgent effort to rein in greenhouse gas emissions to diminish these harmful effects. However, regulatory efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cannot succeed and governments, especially in the developed world, should not attempt them. Adapting to climate change, should it occur, is the only feasible strategy. Governments in the developed world should focus their efforts on policies that will ease adaptation to higher temperatures rather than waste effort and resources on attempting to prevent climate change from occurring." (Robert Haddick, TCS Daily)

"Assessing the Supreme Court’s CO2 Ruling" (.pdf) - "April 1, the day that the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had authority to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from automobiles, was a day of bitter triumph. A triumph of judicial activism over factual and dispassionate analysis, a triumph of ideology over objective analysis and legal precedent, a triumph of political science—the blend of science, hypothesis and orthodoxy—over science and facts, and a triumph of image over reality." (William O’Keefe, The Marshall Institute)

"US Corporate Climate Plan May Need Carbon Tax Cues" - "NEW YORK - US companies lobbying Congress to cap output of greenhouse gases may be offering a plan that assures them of low costs rather than real progress against global warming." (Reuters)

"Carbon Tax or Carbon Market? The Jury is Out" - "LONDON - Maybe the best thing about a carbon market is that it is not a tax." (Reuters)

Scam news: "Carbon Market Trebled in 2006 - World Bank" - "COLOGNE, Germany - The global carbon market last year trebled to US$30 billion from US$11 billion in 2005, the World Bank's carbon finance unit said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Buyer Beware, Carbon Cuts Not Always Real" - "LONDON - Companies and individuals who want to pay others to cut carbon emissions on their behalf are not always getting real cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, as a voluntary, unregulated trade in carbon offsets mushrooms." (Reuters)

Real or imaginary they have zero potential for adjusting the Earth's climate.

Oh boy... "New Device Vacuums Away Carbon Dioxide" - "A new device placed in say, Iceland, could suck up atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted from vehicles as far away as Tokyo, making it a potentially useful tool in battling ever-rising levels of this greenhouse gas." (LiveScience)

... wonder if I can get credits for pets? When my kids were learning to use cutlery one of our dogs was called Hoover, a most environmentally friendly "vacuum cleaner" for post-meal floor cleanups.

"Scientists seek way to bury greenhouse gases" - "Scientists believe that finding a way to bury the world's greenhouse gas problem -- quite literally -- could be an important step to curbing climate change, but the technology is still in its infancy." (AFP)

"Zero-Carbon UK Houses 1/8th Dearer to Build - Report" - "LONDON - It costs an extra 21 pounds (US$42) per square foot, or 12.5 percent, to build a UK house which meets zero-carbon standards and there are still insufficient incentives to meet the added cost, a study showed on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Fuels Rush In" - "Climate Change: A Danish commission looks at the negative effect of biofuels on the environment as a new study shows ethanol use may actually increase pollution. The Kyoto deal is full of unintended consequences." (IBD)

"Global warming: Old king coal hard to dethrone" - "Dirty and dangerous, coal is a notorious source of climate damage yet is destined to remain a key energy source for decades to come." (AFP)

"Battle Brews Over Japan's Push for Ethanol Gasoline" - "TOKYO - A regional Japanese government is locked in a head-on battle with the country's oil industry to take the lead in the green auto fuels market, a contest that could push up costs to meet Kyoto Protocol emissions targets." (Reuters)

"Environmentalism vs. skepticism" - "Should we believe scientists’ diagnoses of our planet’s health? Cal urges caution and patience in assessing the ‘cult-like’ enviro-movement. Bob says the time to act is now." (USA TODAY)

"Uganda: DDT: NGOs threaten to sue NEMA" - "THE Uganda Network on Toxic Free Malaria Control has asked the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to halt the spray of DDT.

“Basing on the Constitution which entitles every citizen to a healthy and clean environment, we demand that NEMA withdraws the permission it has given the Ministry of Health to proceed with the spray of DDT.

“This should be done within 45 days. Failure to adhere to our demand, we shall be left with no option but to take legal action,” the network chairman, Robert Tumwesigye, said." (New Vision)

"Post-Kelo America: An Optimist's View: Reforms are making progress." - "Given the ever-increasing size and scope of government, it’s understandable for those of us who care about liberty to view the legislative process with cynicism. But sometimes that cynicism can blind us to real successes when lawmakers try to initiate reform." (Bert Gall, Reason)

"Teflon Is Not Forever: Why the Editors of Mother Jones Need To Be Hit Over the Head with a Frying Pan" - "When your source for a scare is the Environmental Working Group, you end up with a scientifically illiterate story. But Leslie Savan’s attack on DuPont is more than just wrong, wrong, wrong on the facts, it’s anti-scientific." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Women’s stories" - "The accepted “normalcy” of women and girls preoccupied with what they eat and hating their bodies, is examined in a new book, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body. The author, an adjunct professor of gender studies at Hunter College in New York, gathered the stories of hundreds of women across the country, along with eating disorder experts, and shares their perspectives and the painful reality that females face everyday in our culture." (Junkfood Science)

"Making it up on volume" - "A major medical paper on primary heart disease prevention admitted that cardiovascular disease risk factors have proven useless for predicting heart disease among our population and that reducing risks factors doesn’t translate into reduced clinical disease or fewer premature deaths." (Junkfood Science)

"Drought Resistance Is Key To Plants In Tropical Forests" - "Sensitivity to water is a major factor in determining which plant species succeed in tropical habitats, a finding that suggests climate change could reshape rainforest diversity, a study says. Biologists led by Bettina Engelbrecht of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama looked at the distribution of 48 species of trees and shrubs, growing in study plots on the Panamanian isthmus." (AFP)

"Farming Will Make or Break the Food Chain" - "BROOKLIN, Canada, May 2 - As the world population swells to nine billion by 2050, global biodiversity will be under extreme pressure unless new ways to grow food are developed, experts say." (IPS)

May 2, 2007

"Utah congressmen join in vote against naming Penn P.O. after environmentalist" - "WASHINGTON -- Utah's Republican congressmen say honoring environmentalist Rachel Carson with her own post office just isn't right.

Reps. Rob Bishop and Chris Cannon joined 51 of their GOP colleagues last week in voting against naming a post office in Carson's Pennsylvania hometown after the woman who in many ways spawned the modern environmentalist movement with her book, Silent Spring.

They contend that Carson's actions -- which led to banning the chemical DDT used to kill pests -- actually has caused more deaths because of malaria and other diseases spread by insects. DDT, Carson wrote, was detrimental to the environment and to humans. Some scientists say DDT led to the California condor's near extinction.

"Rachel Carson's sentimental book, Silent Spring, was a large part of the reason DDT was banned even though the evidence then and now demonstrates that DDT does not cause cancer nor does it do other harm to humans," Cannon said in a statement. "Millions of people, mostly children, have died because the world did not control mosquitoes with DDT." (Salt Lake Tribune)

Belatedly discovering the value of property rights and the Tragedy of the Commons: "Madagascan tropical forests return thanks to better management and well-defined ownership" - "A study published in the May 2nd issue of the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, shows that although loss of tropical dry forests occurs in southern Madagascar, there are also large areas of forests regenerating. The return of forest cover was found to be substantial in the study area, with an overall net increase of 4 % during the period 1993-2000. These dry forests have the highest level of plant endemism (species found only in a particular region) in all of Madagascar and are listed as one of the 200 most important "ecoregions" of the world. The study also shows that the relationship between human population density and deforestation is much more complex than previously thought.

"We were surprised to find the highest deforestation rates in an area with low human population density and large distance to markets, while the area with highest population density had stable forest cover," says Thomas Elmqvist, Professor at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden.

The results, based on analyses of satellite images and vegetation on the ground, surprised the team of scientists from Sweden and the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar. As a result, they went further and also made a social inventory based on interviews with local forest officials and villagers. This inventory revealed that loss of forest occurred mainly in areas with insecure property rights, while areas with well-defined local norms, rules and property rights for forest management showed either regenerating or stable forest cover." (Public Library of Science)

The Tragedy of the Commons (Garrett Hardin, 1968)

"Police Arrest 30 in Europe-Wide Animal Rights Raids" - "LONDON - Police arrested 30 people in a series of coordinated raids across Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands on Tuesday as part of investigations into animal rights extremism." (Reuters)

"Air-sea surface science" - "VIRGINIA KEY, FLA. (April 30, 2007) -- Aided by new observations from the Coupled Boundary Layer Air-Sea Transfer (CBLAST) hurricane field program, scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have helped to develop and test a new, high-resolution computer model to better understand how air-sea interactions directly affect hurricane intensity, a factor not yet possible in the current operational forecast models." (University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science)

Number of the month – 90,000 (Number Watch)

"Hypothetical hysterics at 90 per cent"  -"IT seems the world has long been on the verge of disaster. In the 1970s The Club of Rome predicted the imminent end of raw materials, while climatologists warned of global cooling. Writers Peter Cebon and James Risbey recently asked the question how certain we need be about global warming before taking action. Hopefully, more certain than we were about global cooling just 30 years ago.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its Summary for Policymakers in February this year. We're told there is a ``very high confidence that the globally averaged net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming''. The IPCC is 90 per cent confident humans are responsible for global warming. Its level of scientific understanding of greenhouse gases is ``high''.

The IPCC admits its level of scientific understanding of alternative theories is ``low'' but confidently informs us that these alternatives do not contribute much to global warming. There are legitimate difficulties with the IPCC's 90 per cent confidence in anthropogenic warming. It is not ludicrous to question what that number means.

The IPCC seems to imply this number results from a scientific process _ that it has tested a hypothesis. Indeed, the IPCC tells us its understanding is based ``upon large amounts of new and more comprehensive data, more sophisticated analysis of data, improvements in understanding of processes and their simulation in models, and more extensive exploration of uncertainty ranges''. If this is what the IPCC has done, it has very weak evidence." (Geelong Advertiser)

"Dominic Lawson: Why I don't believe God is green" - "Please stand now for the hymn: Switch off, switch off for Jesus. You will not have heard the vicar say that in church this morning – but you soon might.

Last week the Church of England published what has been described as a set of "green commandments" in a booklet entitled How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A Christian? The booklet (£4.99 at all good Christian bookshops) is part of the CofE’s Shrinking The Footprint campaign.

That's right: the established Church is now fully signed up to the view that man-made CO2 emissions are destroying the planet and, therefore, humanity.

Meanwhile David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, travelled to the Vatican last Thursday and called on Pope Benedict to use his "global reach and influence that individual governments do not have" to fight the good fight against global warming." (Daily Mail)

Ecotheology? Ecorapture? Ecotheism? What is the correct term for these confused individuals? "May preaches green gospel" - "The Green party leader comes to tears during a London sermon on the climate change threat." (London Free Press)

Perhaps these people are 'ecoholics' and should be treated for 'ecoholism' with their own version of the 12 Steps? Hey, we could be on to something here, everything including overeating and lack of exercise has been medicalised so we should be able do something for these poor frightened people (although it'll play havoc with health costs -- so what's new?). Maybe it's a new variant of mass hysteria (nvMH?) or perhaps an acquired syndrome, say Acquired Ecohysteria Syndrome that we could give a snappy acronym (poor blighter's got AES)?

"What next, a Committee on Un-Scientific Activities?" - "The experts demanding that a film on climate change be 'corrected' before it is released on DVD are behaving more like Stalinists than scientists." (Brendan O’Neill, sp!ked)

"Time to muffle Al Gore's exhaust pipe" - "One could call it the impudence of Al Gore.

Here's a guy who, for eight years, was vice-president of United States and during those eight years could not persuade the Senate to take action against the dreaded myth of greenhouse gases.

In fact, the Senate voted 95-0 against the Kyoto accords, which Canada backed enthusiastically but (fortunately) did nothing about.

Yet now that he's an Academy Award winner in documentary films (An Inconvenient Truth), and aspires to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner, he misses no occasion to make a nuisance of himself by lecturing others and pontificating to the applause of his think-alikes.

We expect that from Al Gore -- one of the more foolish Americans loose on the planet lusting for the spotlight, and dispensing his version of ecological wisdom to save us all from ourselves." (Peter Worthington, Toronto Sun)

"Hot Air in the U.N. Security Council: “Weather of Mass Destruction” and other terrors." - "Despite all indications to the contrary, the issue of global warming has not received enough attention in the United Nations — at least according to the United Kingdom, which used its term as president of the Security Council to conduct a discussion on global warming on April 17. For those unfamiliar with the U.N. system, the Security Council is charged with maintaining international peace and security and taking action to address immediate or imminent threats." (Brett D. Schaefer, NRO)

"Devil is in detail of UN climate change talks" - "UNITED Nations' talks on climate change are at risk of getting bogged down under the weight of hundreds of amendments from governments and China's objections to a proposed blueprint for battling global warming." (The Scotsman)

"China Climate Offensive Has Eye on Growth" - "BEIJING - China, soon to be the world's biggest greenhouse gas polluter, has gone on the offensive in global warming politics, opposing emissions caps likely to shape contentious negotiations about solutions." (Reuters)

Yeah, hurray... "Envoys named to lead climate change at U.N." - "UNITED NATIONS - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed on Tuesday three international figures to recommend a global response to climate change. The envoys are former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and former South Korean Foreign Minister Han Seung-soo." (Reuters)

"Bush holds line on climate action" - "The US and European Union agreed that climate change poses a "serious threat" with "global consequences" but remained at odds over how best to tackle the problem after their annual summit in Washington yesterday.

George W. Bush, US president, and Angela Merkel, German chancellor, said there was a growing trans-atlantic consensus about the need for action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vowed to work together to develop environmentally-friendly technologies.

But a senior US official said the Bush government's opposition to mandatory caps on carbon emissions and the establishment of a global carbon-trading scheme was unchanged.

"Frankly, there wasn't a discussion about [a global cap-and-trade scheme] today," he said. "That has been an area where there hasn't been agreement." (Financial Times)

"Records broken as temperatures rise" - "With forecasters at the Met Office predicting another weekend of above-average temperatures for most of the country, Met Office climate scientists have released more figures revealing new temperature records. The Central England Temperature (CET) is the world's longest running temperature series and dates back to 1659. April 2007 and the 12-month rolling period ending in April 2007 are set to become the warmest since the records began 348 years ago." (UK Met Office)

What didn't make the release:

"Mean Central England Temperature ranked coldest to warmest from 1659 to 2007", www.hadobs.org

Warmest January to date is 1916, second warmest, 1796
Warmest February to date is 1779, second warmest, 1869
Warmest March to date is 1957, second warmest, 1938

This is the warmest April at 11.1, (provisional), beating the previous warmest, 10.6, in 1865, 143 years ago. Half a degree in 143 years, 0.035 degrees per decade. Wow, that's hot. CO2 really piles on the heat. -- Hat tip Dennis A.

"Maximums and Minimums" - "The world is heating up. One thing is for sure, is that there is scientific consensus on this issue! Analysis of maximum and minimum temperature have proven it. Both have gone up significantly world wide, and also too in Australia.

The maximum is used as a measure of how hot we are getting during the day, whilst the minimum is a measure of how cold we get during the night. But are they good variables to use as a measure of average temperature?" (Gust of Hot Air)

"Confusion in the Definitions of Global Warming and Climate Change" - "The news weblog Scitizen has published my monthly opinion column. It is entitled Confusion in the Definitions of Global Warming and Climate Change. The abstract of the column reads, “The terms climate change and global warming are often used interchangeably. However, even within professional science organizations, there is confusion on the definitions of these terms. This has resulted in the communication of climate change science to policymakers that are seriously flawed. ” (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

"von Storch et al 2004 in IPCC AR4" - "It’s interesting to see what’s been changed between the Second Draft and AR4 as it went out the door, and compare that to comments. von Storch et al 2004 argued that the low-frequency variance of reconstructions was under-estimated, a point with which I agree (although it’s a different point about whether these reconstructions are biased by proxy selection and Mannian methods." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

"EU urges countries on climate change" - "BANGKOK, Thailand — The European Union called on developing countries Tuesday to take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gases, saying they must stop blaming richer nations for their own failure to act." (Associated Press)

"Rice as climate change culprit?" - "BANGKOK, Thailand — As delegates to a climate conference here debate how to reduce greenhouse gases, one of the problems — and a possible solution — lies in the rice fields that cover much of Thailand, the rest of Asia and beyond. Methane emissions from flooded rice paddies contribute to global warming just as coal-fired power plants, automobile exhausts and other sources do with the carbon dioxide they spew into the atmosphere." (Associated Press)

Methane's been in atmospheric equilibrium for about the past decade...

"The New Math On Global Warming" - "Why does NRDC say that the earth has reached a “crisis tipping point” when we’ve had only 0.2 degrees C of warming over the last 65 years—and no warming at all over the past eight years? How do the Greens project a mind-numbing surge of global warming from this New Math on Global Warming? Is the emerging evidence of the natural cycle the real crisis for Al Gore and the warming alarmists?" (CGFI)

"UN Says Canada Silent Over Kyoto Targets" - "LONDON - Canada has not said whether it will breach the UN-sponsored Kyoto Protocol even though the country's new climate change plan is weaker than its goals under the international pact, the UN climate chief said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Charlie... "Prince Charles: climate change battle is like World War II" - "Prince Charles compared the challenge of tackling climate change to the Allies' struggle in World War II during a speech to business leaders Tuesday." (AFP)

... long may She reign.

"As the skeptics score points, the political climate starts to change" - "With great fanfare, in March, Al Gore took Capitol Hill like a conquering hero as he testified on Global Warming before both houses of Congress. Fresh from conquests at the Academy Awards where his adoring Hollywood elites showered him with coveted golden statues for spreading their favorite propaganda, Gore was determined to turn his personal conquest into draconian federal law and ultimate human misery.

Gore's words to Congress were predictable. The earth is warming. The polar ice caps are melting. Polar bears are on the run. And it's man's fault. Solution? Ban or control human activities. The mantra of the religion of Global Warming is getting a little boring. It's quite possible, however, that Gore's appearance on the Hill actually represents the beginning of the end of his influence on climate policy rather than the start of a legislative tsunami." (Tom DeWeese, American Policy Center)

"Is The Concept Of Purchasing Carbon Credits Equitable?" - "In order to reduce one’s “carbon footprint”, it has been proposed that individuals and corporations purchase carbon credits in order to make one “carbon neutral”. One can purchase 5000kg of CO2 offset for 36.05£ (or 38.25£ if “personalised”), for example.

Besides the issue that CO2 is just one of a diverse range of human climate forcings, as discussed in the 2005 National Research Council report [ Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties] and the 2004 International Geosphere-Biosphere book [Vegetation, water, humans and the climate: A new perspective on an interactive system], the money that would be used to purchase the carbon offsets in not likely itself to be carbon neutral!

Indeed, the company or individual presumably accrued the money based on earlier activities that produced CO2 emissions. For them to use money from such endeavors is hardly a true carbon offset. It is analogous to what rich people did during the American Civil War where they could pay for substitutes to serve in their place to fight in the military for the Union. Hopefully, the hypocrisy of this carbon offset concept will be recognized soon by everyone." (Climate Science)

How more equitable than these? "Free Carbon Offsets" - "Can it be true? It can and it is! You may have seen other sites offering carbon offsets for $10, $20 or more a month. Well, with FreeCarbonOffsets.com, you can get carbon offsets absolutely free!" (FreeCarbonOffsets.com)

From CO2 Science this week:

Earth's Forests: Carbon Sinks of the Future? Or Not!: As earth's forests grow older and mature, will they continue to function as effective carbon sinks?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Lake Qinghai, China. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Range Expansion (Plants - North America: United States, South-Central): What do experimental and observational studies reveal about the causes of woody-plant range expansions in the south-central United States?

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: American Beech, Paper Birch, Silver Maple, and Soybean.

Journal Reviews:
Minnesota (USA) Streamflow Characteristics: Have the changes observed over the past 50 to 100 years of "unprecedented" global warming been mostly bad or mostly good?

A Late-Holocene Palaeoclimate Record from the Higher Himalaya of India: Does it provide any evidence for the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age?

The Impact of Global Warming on Record-Breaking Temperatures: Is it readily discernable?

Effects of Elevated CO 2 on Health-Promoting Properties of Broccoli: Do they make a good thing even better?

Effects of Elevated CO 2 on Water-Stressed Barley: Can atmospheric CO 2 enrichment do anything to help relieve the stress?

Greenfield, IN Temperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Greenfield, IN. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Greenfield's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.41 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

Gasbags America: "US Air Pollution: Less Smog, But More Soot in East" - "WASHINGTON - The United States is less smoggy than it used to be, but dangerous soot particles are rising in the densely populated eastern part of the country, the American Lung Association reported on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Mouthwash for a smokestack" - "Biological process cleanses carbon dioxide from industrial emissions -- and turns the pollutant into materials that can be recycled or sold." (Globe and Mail)

"Thanksgiving in the Gas Tank" - "Are plants the power source of the future? Biomass could be one solution to our dependency on fossil fuels. Though biodiesel from rapeseed and alcohol from grains are uneconomical and hardly less harmful to the environment than gasoline, second-generation production methods are now fueling a new optimism." (Der Spiegel)

D'oh! Wrong location, dopey! "Greg Ansley: Doh, Homer weighs into nuclear debate" - "Canberra - The political dawn of Homer Simpson has broken, illuminating what is likely to be one of the most divisive issues in this year's Australian election - nuclear power.

Homer, star of the television cartoon show The Simpsons and an almost homicidally incompetent worker at the Smithfield nuclear plant, has been drafted into Labor's nascent campaign as a weapon against Prime Minister John Howard's plans to fight climate change with a chain of 25 reactors across the continent.

"That's his solution," Labor Leader Kevin Rudd told the party's national conference. "It's the Montgomery Burns [Homer's boss] solution for Australia's future climate challenge.

"And if you think of the nuclear safety record out there in Smithfield with Homer Simpson in charge - be afraid, be very afraid." (New Zealand Herald)

Kevin Rudd, wannabe Prime Minister of Australia has just been on record claiming his favorite TV show is The Simpsons (an attempt to make himself seem at least marginally human to prospective voters) but has just promptly blown it by confusing the fictional Springfield home of the Simpsons with "Smithfield" (a South Australian Labour Party stronghold).

"Rainmakers Give Light Relief in Warm, Dry World" - "PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, Thailand - Every day during the scorching heat of Thailand's dry season, four ageing planes take off from an airstrip southwest of Bangkok carrying cargoes of salt. The pilots seek out whatever clouds might be floating around, and then, at 6,000 feet (1,800 metres), tell their crew to start shovelling the crystalline powder out the door to seed them in the hope of provoking rain." (Reuters)

"Urban sediments after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita contained high levels of contaminants" - "In the first study to evaluate urban sediments after a natural disaster, scientists have found that floodwaters in New Orleans from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September 2005, contained high levels of fecal indicator bacteria and microbial pathogens." (National Science Foundation)

With all those breached sewer lines and overflows -- who'd a thought...

"Uprooting the organic claims" - "Sales of organic produce are booming on the back of alleged benefits to our health and the environment, as well as claims of higher standards of animal welfare. But are we being seduced by "feel good" claims that don't stand up to scientific scrutiny?" (BBC)

"Fonterra says food miles talk simplistic" - "Fonterra chief executive Andrew Ferrier has taken aim at the concept of "food miles" ahead of a meeting between the dairy co-operative and Tesco, the UK's biggest retailer.

Food miles is the popular term to describe how far produce travels when assessing its environmental impact.

"Food miles is a very simplistic way of looking at any product's carbon footprint and it is one that has traction in a number of countries, particularly Europe - and the UK is a big one," Ferrier told a breakfast meeting of the Employers and Manufacturers Association in Auckland." (NZ Herald)

May 1, 2007

"The malaria dance" - "In 2005, Bush launched the President's Malaria Initiative which has, among other things, helped support the use of DDT in many African countries.

Yesterday, Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM), a NGO that helped bring DDT back, scored donor countries on their efforts fighting malaria. On their scorecard, the US ranks above everyone else, getting an impressive B+. Considering most other countries got themselves big, fat Fs that's really good." (Apoorva Mandavilli, Nature)

"Sharp drop in malaria cases due to DDT use" - "THE number of people who have malaria in South Africa has dropped significantly since the controversial reintroduction of the use of the pesticide DDT in the past year." (The Herald)

"Michael Cook: Keep petty politics out of science: Medical journals moving out of their area of competence is folly" - "ONE of the world's most respected medical journals, The Lancet, has called for regime change in a once-great country whose health policies are succumbing to "the politics of fear and neglect" and "profound intolerance". Its target? Zimbabwe? Pakistan? Kazakhstan?

No, The Lancet was referring to Australia and the Howard Government. In an editorial which might have been ghost-written by Mark Latham in a particularly bilious mood, the journal called upon voters to let shine "a new enlightenment to Australian health and medical science".

Earlier this month its editor Richard Horton visited Sydney. He must have briefed himself on the state of Australian science. The editorial, for instance, quotes "the respected scientist Ian Lowe" on the "extraordinary lengths" that the Government had taken to "silence independent opinion within the research community". Lowe is a respected scientist, but failing to mention his position as president of the Australian Conservation Foundation to Lancet readers is like describing Peter Garrett as a respected rock star, not as a Labor politician and a former president of the ACF." (The Australian)

"No increased risk of certain cancers from electromagnetic fields among energy workers" - "Electromagnetic fields do not pose a health hazard to workers in the electrical energy supply industry, suggests a large study of 28,000 people, published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine." (BMJ Specialty Journals)

"No end in sight for the Big C" - "Despite medical breakthroughs, cancer won’t be going away in a hurry." (First Post)

"Obesity screening for schoolchildren questioned" - "NEW YORK - Though routinely weighing schoolchildren may seem like a good way to fight childhood obesity, there's no evidence that it actually works, according to British researchers." (Reuters Health)

"Calling a spade a spade" - "Countless numbers of fat people have been denied treatment by their doctors until they lose weight. Some of the cruelest cases I’ve seen have been in patients suffering excruciating pain and disability from genetic crippling arthritis that’s destroyed their hips or knees. These patients were left to suffer because their doctors said they didn’t want to “waste” a hip or knee replacement on them. They were denied the pain relief and return to functional living simply because they were fat." (Junkfood Science)

"Your brain and hormones may conspire to make you fat" - "Why do some people get fat even when they eat relatively little? What creates that irresistible urge for a bag of potato chips or a hunk of chocolate cake, as opposed to a nice crisp apple? Can food urges be irresistible?" (American Physiological Society)

"Not so controversial anymore -- panel says moderate coffee drinking reduces many risks" - "Although the American Society for Nutrition’s popular “controversy session” at Experimental Biology 2007 focuses on the health effects of coffee drinking, panel chair Dr. James Coughlin, a toxicology/safety consultant at Coughlin & Associates, says that recent advances in epidemiologic and experimental knowledge have transformed many of the negative health myths about coffee drinking into validated health benefits." (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology)

Um... why? "Engineers write defence against aliens manual" - "A group of American aerospace engineers have written a book on how to defend the earth against alien invasion." (The Register)

"Spotted Owls Further Threatened By Encroaching Species" - "In a draft recovery plan for spotted owls released this week, federal officials propose an experimental program to lure barred owls with recorded calls and decoys and blast them with shotguns. The goal is to control barred owl numbers in strategic areas to see whether spotted owls can retake the ground.

More than 500 barred owls could be killed in 18 study areas across Oregon, Washington and Northern California, according to the plan announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"If we don't get this threat under control, no amount of habitat protection will save the spotted owl,'' said Dave Wesley, deputy regional director of the Fish and Wildlife Service and leader of the team that developed the new recovery plan." (Newhouse News Service)

"Beavers make an unwelcome return after 250 years" - "It is more than 250 years since beavers last roamed the waterways of Scotland. But despite the best efforts of the authorities to prevent a return, the wild beaver has made an unscheduled comeback in rural Perthshire. A pair of the amphibious rodents have been found living in a lodge on the banks of a fisheries loch, almost certainly after having been released by well-meaning beaver-lovers." (London Independent)

"CBC’s Resident Subversive: Rex Murphy Rips Environmentalism" - "Rex Murphy was at his iconoclastic best the other night. Undermining years of CBC’s enviro-scare-mongering editorial policy, he rips into John Baird’s lightbulb jihad, Laurel Broten’s “Flick Off” campaign, Sheryl Crow’s one-square wipe, and enviro-freaks in general, in his Friday, April 27, 2007 “Point of View” Segment on CBC’s The National. Never afraid to get sharply to the point, this is how he starts: “Environmentalism robs people of their judgement.” Watch here and cheer!" (Flaggman's Canada)

"Swindle and Inconvenient Divergence" - "Climate scientists didn’t bother checking the Hockey Stick, but they are showing great diligence in going through The Great Global Warming Swindle." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

Glenn Beck Tackles Global Warming Debate for Second ‘Exposed’ Special

Exposed: The Climate of Fear - Wednesday, May 2nd
The Other Side of the Global Warming Debate

"The Truth About Global Warming" - "Global warming: Is it a man-made crisis that could spell doom and a serious moral issue? Or is it a normal, inevitable and cyclical process of nature? Scientists are not all in agreement on these questions, and their answers may have sweeping consequences for how we live in Chicago and surrounding communities.

CBS 2 Meteorologist Steve Baskerville presents a range of opinions, with an eye toward getting at the Truth about Global Warming." (CBS)

"Interview By Marcel Crok Of Roger A. Pielke Sr - January 2007" - "Dutch science journalist Marcel Crok interviewed me in January for the Dutch monthly science magazine Natuurwetenschap & Techniek. The article (only available in Dutch) deals with the question how reliable global circulation models are. Marcel graciously made a transcript of the interview which gives a good idea of the perspective that is presented at Climate Science. I made several further edits for clarity and updating, as well as added several links to substantiate the statements. The interview follows:" (Climate Science)

"Global Warming Natural, Says Expert - Addresses Vatican Seminar on Climate Change" - "VATICAN CITY, APRIL 27, 2007.- Scientists might not have human behavior to blame for global warming, according to the president of the World Federation of Scientists. Antonio Zichichi, who is also a retired professor of advanced physics at the University of Bologna, made this assertion today in an address delivered to an international congress sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace." (Zenit.org)

"IPCC and the Al Gore Hockey Stick" - "Al Gore’s hockey stick version (page 65 of the book “An Inconvenient Truth“) is taken from one of the many conflicting versions of Lonnie Thompson’s ice core data. Now there is an ongoing controversy about whether Thompson’s data is a temperature or precipitation proxy, with pretty much every other scientist except Thompson now viewing the data as more of a precipitation proxy.

There’s an interesting and symptomatic change in IPCC wording between the Second Draft and the Final Report, which has the effect of bringing the language more in line with Al Gore." (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

Temperature analysis: "South East South Australia" - "The south eastern section of south Australia comprises of a couple of weather stations that have reliable data. These being at Cape Northumberland and Mount Gambier airport.

Maximum and minimum data go back to the end of the second world war, whilst time based data, with the exception of midnight (which only starts in 1994), goes back to the mid 1950s." (Gust of Hot Air)

"A climate skeptic's guest post: Why David Evans bet against Brian Schmidt over global warming" - "Editor's note: I invited David Evans from Science Speak to write the guest post below explaining his viewpoint and why he is betting against me over global warming. David welcomes a substantive debate in the comments. Obviously, we don't agree on all the issues, but I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone the value of civil debate with someone like David, who is genuine enough to put his money where his mouth is." (Back Seat Driving)

"Kenya: UK Ban Campaign Loses Steam" - "Kenya's horticultural industry appears to be winning the battle to protect its huge European market in the face of a campaign by supermarkets in the United Kingdom to block its products over environmental concerns.

Some UK supermarkets had labelled horticultural products from Kenya, to warn potential customers that they were transported by aircraft which emitted more carbon, thereby contributing to global warming. To the contrary, Mr Colman said, the sales of vegetables and flowers from Kenya had increased.

The supermarket owners now understand that the contribution of Kenya's horticultural products to carbon emissions are much less than in Europe where production is mainly done under greenhouse conditions.

However, African governments must remain vigilant against neo-colonial elements who would want to deny the continent trading opportunities." (The Nation)

Another hand-wringer, just in time for AR4WGIII: "Arctic ice retreating more quickly than computer models project" - "Arctic sea ice is melting at a significantly faster rate than projected by even the most advanced computer models, a new study concludes. The research, by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), shows that the Arctic's ice cover is retreating more rapidly than estimated by any of the 18 computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in preparing its 2007 assessments." (NCAR)

"Earth's Climate Is Seesawing, According To Climate Researchers" - "Science Daily — During the last 10,000 years climate has been seesawing between the North and South Atlantic Oceans. As revealed by findings presented by Quaternary scientists at Lund University, Sweden, cold periods in the north have corresponded to warmth in the south and vice verse. These results imply that Europe may face a slightly cooler future than predicted by IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." (Swedish Research Council)

"Warming to the challenge of climate change" - "Having helped seize the world's attention on global warming, a UN expert is uniquely placed to map the fight against it." (Chicago Tribune)

"Mauna Loa shows CO2 levels follow temperature not the other way around." - "Googling around historic CO2 levels I came across references to this paper, which even with my JSTOR login I can't access (if anyone can send me a copy I would be most grateful)." (An Englishman's Castle)

"Expectations lowered for stopping global-warming" - "As scientists' warnings about global warming heat up, climate negotiators are counting down toward make-or-break talks later this year, hoping for progress on a long-term deal to sharply reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Experts are beginning to fear, however, that as time runs down the best that can be hoped for may be an extension of the relatively weak Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012. The alternative is a world without any carbon-reduction rules at all." (Associated Press)

"Scientists clash over methane mystery" - "A major row has broken out about whether plants emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The startling claim that trees could be responsible for putting millions of tonnes of methane into the atmosphere every year was published last year in the prestigious journal Nature. But that has now been rubbished by rival researchers who report that plants emit virtually no methane whatsoever." (Chemistry World)

"Seeing the trees for the forest: WHRC scientists creating national biomass and carbon dataset" - "After completing a two-year pilot phase, scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center are expanding the scope of the "National Biomass and Carbon Dataset" for the year 2000 (NBCD2000), the first ever inventory of its kind, by moving into the production phase. Through a combination of NASA satellite datasets, topographic survey data, land use/land cover data, and extensive forest inventory data collected by the U.S. Forest Service – Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA), NBCD2000 will be an invaluable baseline data set for the assessment of the carbon stock in U.S. forest vegetation and will improve current methods of determining carbon flux between vegetation and the atmosphere. Work on the remaining 61 mapping zones will be completed at a rate of roughly one zone every seven working days." (Woods Hole Research Center)

Naïve or foolish? "We need to bring climate idealism down to earth" - "With the accumulation of scientific evidence and its persuasive presentation to the public, the global warming debate has reached a new stage. Those who still deny that human activity is warming the planet, or claim that "business as usual" can continue indefinitely without profoundly adverse consequences, are increasingly seen as the moral and intellectual equivalent of those who deny that tobacco has adverse consequences for human health.

While there is probably excessive euphoria in some quarters over the economic benefit of green policies, it is now beyond debate that there are huge opportunities to reduce emissions with economic benefit or negligible economic cost. It has been estimated that worldwide subsidies to energy use approach $250bn (£125bn)." (Lawrence Summers, Financial Times)

The real question to be answered is whether there is anything to be gained from attempts to tweak atmospheric trace gases -- we know absolutely that we cannot make a measurable difference to planetary mean temperature through carbon constraint and there's no point pretending otherwise.

"USA, China criticize climate change report" - "BANGKOK, Thailand — The USA and China want to water down a proposed plan for fighting climate change, arguing that action to reduce greenhouse gases will be more costly and time-consuming than scientists claim.

They also play down the benefits of reducing emissions, disputing recommendations by European governments that greenhouse gases be capped at around 445 parts per million in the air. The current level of greenhouse gases is about 430 ppm." (AP)

"Recruiting Plankton to Fight Global Warming" - "SAN FRANCISCO, April 30 — Can plankton help save the planet? Some Silicon Valley technocrats are betting that it just might. In an effort to ameliorate the effects of global warming, several groups are working on ventures to grow vast floating fields of plankton intended to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and carry it to the depths of the ocean. It is an idea, debated by experts for years, that still sounds like science fiction — and some scholars think that is where it belongs." (New York Times)

Small mercies: "Oddball schemes to fix global warming get thumb's down" - "Unconventional schemes for tackling global warming by installing a giant sunshade in orbit, sowing the seas with iron and scattering sulphur into the upper atmosphere are set to be bluntly rejected by UN experts this week." (AFP)

Actually, while we most assuredly don't want action taken that might conceivably precipitate global cooling (something which really would be a problem, at least until human populations decline significantly over the next few centuries) they are not really a serious threat for the simple reason those driving AGW hysteria don't want a 'fix' but rather to maneuver themselves into a position of global power through control of energy.

"I'm a walking smokestack" - "Among all the many colourful ways your faithful scribbler has been described by adoring politicians and other fans over the years, we can now officially add to this list of flattery, "filthy-Earth-warming-gas-belching eco-terrorist." (Ottawa Sun)

Moonbat has left the planet... "The rich world's policy on greenhouse gas now seems clear: millions will die" - "Our governments have set the wrong targets to tackle climate change using outdated science, and they know it." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

... and maybe caused this: "Climate change hits Mars" - "Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake." (Sunday Times)

What are they smoking? "Animal Extinction - the greatest threat to mankind" - "By the end of the century half of all species will be extinct. Does that matter?" (London Independent)

"Head of Kyoto body questions Canada’s climate change plan" - "OTTAWA -- Canada’s “less ambitious” climate-change plan cannot guarantee that greenhouse gas emissions will actually go down, says the head of the international body that oversees the Kyoto treaty." (Canadian Press)

"'Carbon credits' fueling debate" - "Governor's plan aims to offset exhaust from his travels; critics say it is wrong approach." (Sacramento Bee)

"EasyJet slams 'snake oil sellers' in offset market and goes it alone" - "EasyJet has warned that the carbon offsetting market is riddled with "snake oil salesmen" determined to make excessive profits from green-minded air passengers.

The low-cost airline has delayed the launch of an offsetting scheme for customers because of concerns over its cost. Instead, easyJet will go it alone by acquiring credits in UN-accredited schemes and selling them back to customers." (The Guardian)

"Cap And Trade: A System Made For Fraudsters" - "Ever since Enron decided that carbon trading would "do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory initiative," informed observers have been wary of the idea.

Yet the idea of creating a new commodity by capping emissions of greenhouse gases and issuing tradable permits to produce the emissions has gained ground as hysteria over effects of global warming has grown.

Now, two separate investigations have demonstrated why carbon caps and trading are bad ideas, and why they were so attractive to Enron." (Iain Murray, IBD)

"No carbon games, either" - "All of a sudden eco-inebriated celebrities who fly their own Gulfstreams and drive around in Hummers are worrying about their “carbon footprints,” that is, how much their activities contribute to the emission of Earth-warming carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. The sharper knives in this drawer are scrambling to arrange offsets. New scientific findings may make that task harder." (Boston Herald)

"Methane, From Cow Burps to Rice Paddies" - "Methane is among the most potent greenhouse gases and scientists say controlling emissions from cows and sheep, rice fields and the oil and gas industry is a major step in limiting climate change." (Reuters)

"New law sounds full of hot air" - "BARMY Euro MPs are demanding new laws to stop cows and sheep PARPING. Their call came after the UN said livestock emissions were a bigger threat to the planet than transport. The MEPs have asked the European Commission to “look again at the livestock question in direct connection with global warming”. The official EU declaration demands changes to animals’ diets, to capture gas emissions and recycle manure." (The Sun)

"Fluorescent Bulbs Are Known to Zap Domestic Tranquillity: Energy-Savers a Turnoff for Wives" - "Experts on energy consumption call it the "wife test." And one of the dimly lighted truths of the global-warming era is that fluorescent bulbs still seem to be flunking out in most American homes." (Washington Post)

"UN facing a backlash on emissions action plan" - "Environmental groups go on the attack as world experts reveal proposals to tackle climate change." (The Observer)

"Fire threat to solar tile homes" - "Residents of a low-carbon housing development endorsed by the Prince of Wales have been warned not to activate solar tiles on their roofs as they may catch fire." (London Telegraph)

"Household fuels in poor countries cause five pct of deaths: WHO" - "Almost five percent of deaths and disease are caused by household air pollution in 21 mainly African countries, and could be easily prevented by switching fuels, the World Health Organisation said Monday." (AFP)

"Coal’s Energy Potential Is an Engineering Challenge Now" - "Clearing the hurdle to burning coal on a wide scale could turn out to be one of the great engineering challenges of the century, energy experts say." (New York Times)

We're not getting our money's worth! "Government's $10 billion boost for global warming" - "Fossil fuel-burning industries receive up to $10 billion a year in taxpayers' money, a study has found.

The University of Technology Sydney analysis of energy and transport subsidies released today said 96 per cent of those government funds went to coal, oil and gas companies in 2005-06.

The remaining four per cent, or $330 million, went to the renewable energy sector, the university's Institute of Sustainable Futures said." (AAP)

'Renewables' don't supply anything like 4% of Australia's electricity -- cut their funding at once and stop wasting our money!

"US Sets New Oil Drilling Off Fla., Alaska, Va." - "WASHINGTON - The US Interior Department on Monday proposed oil and natural gas drilling in federal waters off Florida, Alaska and Virginia, including nearly 50 million acres (20 million hectares) where drilling had previously been banned." (Reuters)

"US Top Court Won't Hear Power Plant Pollution Rule" - "WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a Bush administration appeal defending its rule that would allow older factories, refineries and coal-burning power plants to upgrade their facilities without installing the most modern pollution controls." (Reuters)

"Noxious Lightning" - "Lightning is more than light and noise: It's an intense chemical factory that affects both local air quality and global climate. But how big is the effect? Researchers aren't sure. To answer the question they're developing a new technique to estimate the factory's output." (Science@NASA)

"A sweet smell - Israeli scientists enhance food with the scent of flowers" - "Prof. Alexander Vainstein is proud of his greenhouses. Located at the Hebrew University's Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture in Rehovot, these greenhouses offer visitors both a delight to the senses, and a trip to a futuristic world where flowers emerge in different colors, with different scents, and a whole new genetic make-up designed to enhance and improve the flower stock." (Israel21c)

"Genetically engineered crops are safe and socially responsible" - "THE Star-Bulletin rightly called for the governor to seek expert advice to help determine the future of crop biotechnology in Hawaii "Genetically modified crops need scrutiny," Our Opinion, April 6). A gathering of diverse representation from health, agriculture and other sciences would confirm that the adoption of crop biotechnology is socially responsible, beneficial to everyone and, above all, safe.

Unfortunately, the Star-Bulletin's opinion implied the contrary when it incorrectly stated that there is no universal agreement on the claim that "genetically modified products are any different from conventional crops." Apparently the Star-Bulletin overlooked the huge body of knowledge confirming that biotech crops are substantially equivalent to traditional crops." (Sarah Styan, Star Bulletin)

"Will proposed law mean farmer fratricide? Or is it a solution in search of a problem?" - "Are Maine farmers about to experience a kind of brother vs. brother civil war such as the one that divided the Vermont farming community over the past four years? A bill pending before the Legislature that will force legislators to choose between two competing visions for Maine farming could set off the conflict." (Morning Sentinel)

"Dutch Must Return GMO Maize if Unauthorised - EU" - "BRUSSELS - A maize shipment to the Netherlands that Greenpeace said contained illegal genetically modified grain must be returned to the United States if testing confirmed this, the European Union said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Mexican farmers sign GM maize treaty with Monsanto" - "[MEXICO CITY] Mexican farmers have signed an agreement with biotechnology giant Monsanto to buy and plant genetically modified (GM) maize." (SciDev.Net)