Archives - May 2008

May 29, 2008

Poseur Shareholders - The green blitzkrieg hit the ExxonMobil annual shareholder meeting this week. (Steven Milloy,

US Senate Set To Take Up Climate Change Debate - WASHINGTON - The international fight to control climate change heads to a new arena in June when the Senate is to debate a bill that could cut total US global warming emissions by 66 percent by 2050.

Environmentalists are supportive but want more in the legislation, the business community questions the economic impact, and the politicians who have shepherded it seem gratified that it has managed to get this far -- even though it is unlikely to become law this year. (Reuters)

May 27, 2008

What's Green and Goes Pop? - At the heart of the credit crunch now afflicting the global economy is the bursting of a great housing bubble throughout much of the developed world. Bubbles are, of course, as old as capitalism itself. Many of us in England recall learning at school of the great South Sea bubble of the early 18th century. But they seem to be coming more frequently nowadays. The housing bubble has burst only a decade or so after the Internet and tech-stock bubble. So we may not need to wait all that long to see the next one. And the most likely candidate is a green bubble, fueled by climate-change alarmism and government subsidies.

The twin elements of a bubble are euphoria and roguery, with the proportions varying from case to case. The coming green bubble, which is already attracting large amounts of venture capital and government money, displays both. (Nigel Lawson, Time Magazine)

All the usual nostalgic nonsense: 40 Million Acres of Rain Forest for the Greenest Bidder - The other day I went to a meeting to hear Harrison Ford talk about saving the rain forests and ended up listening to a man who has a rain forest to save: Guyana’s president, Bharrat Jagdeo.

The occasion was the announcement of a new campaign to protect the world’s rain forests, Guyana’s included, organized by the environmental group Conservation International. (Mr. Ford, a board member, was in New York to promote his new movie and somehow got his schedule wrong.)

That left the spotlight where it belonged: on Mr. Jagdeo and his mission to get the world’s rich nations to help save Guyana’s huge rain forest from chainsaws and prevent the release of billions of tons of carbon dioxide, the main global-warming gas.

Mr. Jagdeo caused a stir last year when he offered to cede the management of his country’s entire rain forest — 40-plus million acres, covering 80 percent of Guyana’s land mass — to a British government agency in return for British economic assistance. Though the British have yet to take him up on the deal, Mr. Jagdeo continues to press the case for protecting not only his rain forest, but all of them. (Robert B Semple Jr, New York Times)

Actually tropical rainforests are no more and no less than a heap of critters competing to exploit available sunlight and carbon. Another way of looking at them is really big weeds infested with lots of pests and that is no less correct (probably more so) than the bizarre views of the wilderness worshippers.

On the stupid global warming angle embedded in this piece they are dead wrong -- if you are truly stupid enough to want to cool the planet it's quite easy to accomplish. How? Get rid of dark rainforests and replace them with bright crop fields or, even more effectively, deserts. That will increase the planet's albedo (reflectivity) where it is most effective around the equator (where solar insolation is greatest) and cause the planet's temperature to plummet.

See for yourselves, upping albedo from an estimated 31% to 33% drops the expected temperature of the planet a couple of degrees. Now, if you follow the numbers of this debate at all you will also notice it is roughly equivalent to offsetting 2% greater greenhouse effect or, expressed another way, incoming solar radiation of 1366.5 W/m2 / 4 (~342) x 0.397 (estimated 'natural' greenhouse) = ~136 W/m2 versus 342 x 0.417 (+2% GHE) = ~143, so +2% GHE = ~7 W/m2. According to the IPCC each doubling of CO2 yields ~3.5 W/m2 forcing so we can easily get rid of enough nasty dark rainforest to offset 4xCO2 (1120ppmv).

Who knew this planet saving thing was so easy? We don't need to paint the sky like that fool Flannery proposed, we don't need to strangle the energy supply, as nearly every nutter and scam artist proposes and we don't have to prevent people developing and improving their living standards and health. And we are way cheaper than the IPCC with its globetrotting gravy train.

Global Warming: What do the numbers show? Lecture by Dr. John Christy October 4, 2007, Auburn University

Media Report On the Important Role Of Landscape Change On Climate - There is an interesting news article In The Telegraph on May 23 2008 by G.S. Mudur titled “Riders rained out, trees to blame - Jump in green cover over capital the reason for unseasonable showers, say scientists“. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Whoops! No wonder they get it so wrong: Anders Levermann on geopolitics of climate change - Intro: Professor at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Anders Levermann’s interests range from monsoon in India to glacier melt in Antarctica. He has contributed to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released last year. He talks to Mario D’Souza on the geopolitics of climate change

Not anthropogenic? A molecule of carbon dioxide would be my counter argument to those who say climate change is not due to anthropogenic activities. We can calculate the molecule’s absorption spectra (amount of radiation absorbed by the molecule), which gives the greenhouse effect (when an atmospheric gas molecule like carbon dioxide absorbs radiation, it traps a part of the radiation, which leads to warming, called the greenhouse effect). So we don’t need any assumptions here.

More evidence There is feedback in the climate system which is fundamental. The water vapour feedback, for instance. It says for every degree of warming you will get an additional 7 per cent of water vapour, which is a very strong greenhouse gas. So it’s from such first principles that we know that carbon dioxide is going to increase the global temperature. Global warming is not climate behaviour over the past 100 years; it is something more fundamental—the greenhouse effect of co2 molecule.

Either this guy is woefully ignorant or deliberately deceptive. Yes, we can calculate additional warming from increased atmospheric CO2 and it is trivial. Moreover the sign of net feedback can not yet be determined but water vapor has not been increasing, meaning either the planet hasn't warmed after all or their relationship is wrong. Total water vapor is a function of precipitation efficiency rather than temperature anyway.

Model Verification - A Guest Weblog by Giovanni Leoncini - As a member of the mesoscale NWP community, climate modeling papers and seminars often seem to have a different standard when it comes to verification. Whilst it is routine in the NWP community (see the last issue of Meteorological Applications on verification), I don’t perceive a similar effort in the climate modeling community. In the introduction of their paper “Performance metrics for climate models” (2008, J. Geophys. Res.) Glecker et al. mention a few reasons for this discrepancy. (Climate Science)

The parking lot effect: temperature measurement bias of locations - Seven Days in May: A guest post by David Smith

This is an update on recent field tests with remote thermometers (see the ”Fun with Thermometers” post for background).

My goal is to quantify, to an extent, the effects of microsite problems (pavement, buildings, trees, etc) on temperature. (Watts Up With That?)

Foggy Science In London - Tomorrow, May 24, the G-8 environment ministers will be in Japan to commence their annual meeting. Back in London, though, the world's oldest science academy, the Royal Society of London, recently has become a vocal advocate of climate alarmism. RS fellows have included Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

But, under the previous leadership of Lord Robert May, the Society seems to have taken a wrong turn. They even tried to enlist other science academies into joining them in an alarmist manifesto. However, the U.S. National Academy, though sharing some of these views, decided not to sign up, and the Russian Academy of Sciences has taken an opposing position.

In June 2007, the Royal Society published a pamphlet, titled "Climate Change Controversies: a simple guide," designed to undermine the scientific case of climate skeptics. They presented what they called "misleading arguments" on global warming and then tried to shoot them down.

In countering the RS pamphlet, I have prepared a response that is being published tomorrow by the London-based Centre for Policy Studies under the title "Not so simple? A scientific response to the Royal Society's paper." (S Fred Singer, New York Sun)

Targets And Funding In Focus At Kobe Climate Talks - KOBE, Japan - Big emerging countries urged rich nations on Sunday to set ambitious mid-term targets for reducing greenhouse gases, as both sides stressed the need for funds to help developing countries limit their emissions. (Reuters)

G8 ministers pledge 'strong will' on climate amid doubts - KOBE, Japan — Environment ministers from the world's top industrial powers called Monday for more effort to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but little headway was seen in setting more immediate goals. (AFP)

G8 summit emission cut target likely "aspirational" - KOBE, Japan - The Group of Eight rich nations will likely agree to an "aspirational" target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 but shun mid-term goals at a July summit, the top U.N. climate official said on Sunday. (Reuters)

No? Duh! Billions wasted on UN climate programme - Billions of pounds are being wasted in paying industries in developing countries to reduce climate change emissions, according to two analyses of the UN's carbon offsetting programme.

Leading academics and watchdog groups allege that the UN's main offset fund is being routinely abused by chemical, wind, gas and hydro companies who are claiming emission reduction credits for projects that should not qualify. The result is that no genuine pollution cuts are being made, undermining assurances by the UK government and others that carbon markets are dramatically reducing greenhouse gases, the researchers say.

The criticism centres on the UN's clean development mechanism (CDM), an international system established by the Kyoto process that allows rich countries to meet emissions targets by funding clean energy projects in developing nations. (John Vidal, The Guardian)

US emissions trading waits for Bush to go - The departure from office of US President George W. Bush will give a “very promising” outlook to international talks on global warming and the $64bn market in greenhouse gas emissions, said the United Nations’ top official on climate change. (Financial Times)

Uh-huh... waiting for one of the three socialist presidential candidates to give away your money.

Climate Reality Bites - The global warming debate arrives in the Senate next week, and it's about time. Finally, the Members will have to vote on something real, as opposed to their buck-passing to courts and regulators, and their easy trashing of President Bush.

The vehicle is a bill that principal sponsors Joe Lieberman and John Warner are calling "landmark legislation." They're too modest. Warner-Lieberman would impose the most extensive government reorganization of the American economy since the 1930s.

Thankfully, the American system makes it hard for colossal tax and regulatory burdens to foxtrot into law without scrutiny. So we hope our politicians will take responsibility for the global-warming policies they say they favor. Or even begin to understand what they say they favor. For a bill as grandly ambitious as Warner-Lieberman, very few staff, much less Senators, even know what's in it. The press corps mainly cheerleads this political fad, without examining how it would work or what it would cost. So allow us to fill in some of the details. (Wall Street Journal)

Biggest drop in greenhouse gas emissions by G8 nations since 1990 bid to slow climate change - Greenhouse gas emissions from the world's leading countries have fallen by the biggest amount since the G8 began tackling climate change in 1990, it emerged today.

All eight of the industrial nations, except Russia, saw a dip in carbon dioxide levels in 2006, a new survey revealed.

Rising oil prices, combined with some measures to curb global warming and a milder winter in the U.S. that year helped reduce energy demands. (Daily Mail)

Jupiter: Turbulent Storms May Be Sign Of Global Climate Change - (May 23, 2008) — The first images of Jupiter since it came out from behind the sun show that the turbulence and storms that have plagued the planet for the past two years continue. Whether or not this is a sign of global warming, the turbulence does seem to be spawning new spots. As Red Spot Jr. and the Great Red Spot approach a June conjunction, a new third spot may merge with the GRS in August. (ScienceDaily)

Equally, they might not -- we don't understand our own planet's climate yet, let alone Jupiter's.

Over 31,000 U.S. scientists deny man-made global warming - In 1998, Dr. Arthur Robinson, Director of the Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine, posted his first Global Warming skeptic petition, on the Institute's website ( It quickly attracted the signatures of more than 17,000 Americans who held college degrees in science. Widely known as the Oregon Petition, it became a counter-weight for the "all scientists agree" mantra of the man-man Global Warming crowd.

Recently, with America being dragged toward Kyoto-style energy limits by cadres of alarmists, Robinson mailed a new copy of the petition to his original signers, asking them to recruit additional qualified scientists. Now his list includes nearly 32,000 American man-made warming skeptics with science qualifications. More than 9,000 hold scientific PhDs. Almost 32,000 thousand skeptics happens to be twelve times as many scientists as the 2,500 scientific reviewers claimed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to form a scientific consensus.

Earlier this month Robinson held a press meeting at the National Press Club in DC, followed by a luncheon on Capital Hill, to which members of Congress and their aides were invited. Not surprisingly, attendance was low. (Dennis T. Avery, ESR)

Correlation of Carbon Dioxide with Temperatures Negative Again - The temperatures over the last century correlated positively with carbon dioxide in the early 20th century but that warming was acknowledged even by the IPCC to be largely natural and minimally anthropogenic.

A negative correlation existed from the mid 1930s to the mid 1970s as temperatures cooled. This included three decades of the post war economic boom. A very strong positive correlation resumed after the Great Pacific Climate shift in the late 1970s.  Data here is the USHCN. Both data sets are identically smoothed. (Joseph D’Aleo, CCM)

Sunspots and Rainfall Cycles - Prof. Will Alexander - Will Alexander, Professor Emeritus, University of Pretoria has written an “Urgent Submission to the SAICE [South African Institution of Civil Engineering] Council on the Likelihood of Severe Water Resource Droughts” with this summary:

  1. There is overwhelming evidence of a causal and predictable linkage between variations in solar activity and climatic responses, specifically rainfall and river flow.
  2. There is no evidence of trends in rainfall and river flow data that could be attributed to unnatural climate change.
  3. There is increasing worldwide research that questions the fundamental basis of climate change theory.
  4. The international political situation regarding the implementation of universal measures to restrict greenhouse gas emissions has collapsed.
  5. Recommendations that South Africa should resort to the development of measures to adapt to human caused climate change will fail because they would be adapting to something that does not exist.

Read the complete document: [PDF, 266KB]. (Carbon Sense Coalition)

An introduction to the Copenhagen Consensus 2008 - The Times is giving you a chance to vote your priorities.

A Proper Doom - In the film, No Country for Old Men, the sheriff declares: “If it isn’t doom it’ll do until a proper doom comes along.” Such has been the role of ‘global warming’ during the last ‘nice’ decade. It has been ‘the doom’ for the chattering classes, who, meanwhile, have been doing quite well - er - ‘nicely’, thank you. It has been the ‘doom’ for those who have seen the salvation of the world’s poor through a green-tinted commentariat, one blithely arguing that it can all be achieved without nasty economic growth. (Global Warming Politics)

Wonder if watermelons will ever figure it out: A paler shade of green - There is a depressing parallel with Britain's last flirtation with greenery, in the late 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher toyed with environmentalism and the Green party came third in European elections. There was a lot of talk then about the next decade being a caring, environmentally sensitive one - talk which fell away rapidly as house prices began to crash in the recession of the early 1990s. It took a decade for politicians to summon up the courage to return to the subject and Gordon Brown, whose political identity was forged as shadow chancellor in that recession, has always been cautious about doing so. When he mentions it at all, he tends to talk of climate change in economic terms, not scientific ones. His most recent speech, at the start of this month, was typical in promising "a green economy, that provides new jobs and opportunities, powered by the innovation of our firms and the skills of our workforce". (The Guardian)

Infected Science - [“The best antidote to the doom merchants is skepticism. We must be willing to take uncertainty seriously. Climate change is a fact. But apocalyptic thinking distorts the scientific debate and makes it harder to explain the causes and consequences of this fact, which in turn makes it harder to know how to deal with it.” (Robert Skidelsky, May 22, 2008)]

Do not miss this most powerful comment by Robert Skidelsky, Baron Skidelsky of Tilton, a British economist of Russian origin, Fellow of the British Academy, and the author of a major three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes (for which he received, in 2001, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Biography): ‘The apocalypse is the scientist’s fundamentalism’, The Taipei Times, May 22, p. 9. (Global Warming Politics)

The Liberals' invisible carbon tax: Corcoran - The Great Liberal Carbon Tax is apparently still in gestation, delivery date unknown. Energy prices are already through the roof, up to $1.33 for a litre of gasoline, but the Liberals believe Canadians could use a little more bad news on the cost of heating their homes, running air conditioners and driving to work. Oops. Sorry, not driving to work. The Dion Liberals are deeply, deeply committed to the use of green carbon taxes to bring the power of market forces to bear on transforming the way we live and thereby thwart the ravaging monster of man-made climate change, but they are not so crazy as to actually impose their new tax on Canadians' biggest energy expenditure, gasoline. At least not yet. (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

On Alligators And A Green Bubble - This morning, at 08.10 BST, there was an excellent discussion on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme between veteran pollster, Sir Robert (Bob) Worcester, and a leading local government expert, Professor Tony Travers, on why white working class voters now seem to be deserting the Labour Party in droves, as exemplified in Thursday’s Crewe and Nantwich By-election, at which the Conservatives overturned a 7,000 Labour majority to win by 7,860 votes on a remarkable 17.6% swing [you can listen to the 5 minute exchange here].

When asked why this social group, one normally comprising solid Labour supporters, is not wooed by more metro-middle class ‘Guardianista’ Labour policies, such as those on the environment and ‘global warming’, Bob Worcester turned to what he called his ‘Alligator Principle’ - that is, when you are surrounded by alligators, you are not going to be interested in abstract ideas like ‘global warming’. This is a brilliant image, for you can just see all those alligators, with their wide-open, toothy gapes, waiting to pounce: increased food costs; increased transport costs; restricted borrowing at punitive rates; house re-possessions; worries over pensions; difficulties in choosing schools - the voracious reptiles are legion.

But the biggest alligator of them all is surely stalking Labour itself, for, without these voters, it will be gobbled up, and be out of power before you can say “Old Croc”. (Global Warming Politics)

A green miscalculation - The centre-left's influence is falling as it abandons progressive optimism for environmental zealousness (Benny Peiser, National Post)

Environment? “So Early Noughties!” - “In the Nineties and early Noughties, paying through the nose to live out this fantasy was a luxury many felt they could afford. Organic - to adapt Robin Williams on cocaine - was God’s way of telling us we were earning too much money.” (James Delingpole, The Sunday Telegraph, May 25)

As long-predicted on GWP, the environment - more correctly, perhaps, environmentalism - is on the way out. The signs of organic decay are everywhere, even in bien pensant newspapers like The Observer. And the reaction to a decade of being lectured to about ‘global warming’, ‘organic’ food, set-aside, and pretty birdies can be surprisingly angry, as I recently witnessed at an agricultural conference where the speaker from the RSPB was attacked with quite extraordinary venom. (Global Warming Politics)

Acidity Levels At An All-Times-High? - Icecap Note: As the earth fails to warm, the alarmists turn their attention to other potential disasters we are causing with the burning of fossil fuels in stories like ”Acidity Levels At An All-Times-High”. In this tale, they note “Researchers from the Science journal recently reported an alarming increase in ocean acidification over the continental shelf of North America. The effects of the anomaly are very likely to include a series of negative impacts on the marine ecosystems. One of the conclusions reached by the scientists is that the acidification will lead to the corrosion of calcium carbonate exoskeletons in a large number of organisms. The explanation is that the CO2 mixed with ocean water forms the carbonic acid which has a corrosive effect on aragonite (the calcium carbonate mineral forming the shells of many sea creatures.) Apparently, the reason for the severe acidification could be connected to the ocean’s increased absorption of the carbon dioxide quantities from the atmosphere.”

For an alternative and more objective non-agenda driven view, I suggest this site. Dr. Anthoni of the New Zealand Sea Friends Organization takes an objective and in-depth look at the topic. Dr. Anthoni begins: “The scientific literature and Internet are awash in articles relating to ocean acidification, mainly as part of a world-wide scare for global warming. Most are repeats of what others wrote, superficial and scare-mongering, and not worthy of mention...” (Icecap)

MPs back personal carbon credits - The government should go ahead with a system of personal "carbon credits" to meet emissions targets, MPs have said. The Environmental Audit Committee said the scheme would be more effective than taxes for cutting carbon emissions. Under the scheme people would be given an annual carbon limit for fuel and energy use - which they could exceed by buying credits from those who use less. (BBC)

Brown faces rebellion over 'green' road tax - Gordon Brown is facing a fresh tax rebellion as Labour MPs demand the repeal of a £200 increase in vehicle excise duty on environmentally unfriendly cars purchased in the past seven years.

As lorry drivers prepare to stage a slow-moving protest through London today against rising fuel duties, a ministerial aide broke ranks to brand the levy an unacceptable retrospective tax that would discredit green taxes. (The Guardian)

PM wants Europe to press India, China to cut gases - Prime Minster Stephen Harper will aim to persuade several European counterparts next week to press developing nations such as China and India to take more significant roles in reducing greenhouse gases when the Kyoto accord expires.

A government official said yesterday that Mr. Harper plans to lay out the Canadian position when he meets with the leaders of four key members of the Group of Eight industrial nations before the annual G8 summit in July. The European Union believes that Western industrialized nations must lead the charge on reducing greenhouse gases, which scientists say are the main contributor to increasing world temperatures.

Japan, which is playing host to the G8, wants to ensure that emerging economies sign on to talks to develop a new deal to reduce carbon emissions for the years beyond 2012, when Kyoto expires. (Globe and Mail)

Leaders told battle to stem global warming slowing - KOBE, Japan — The world is losing momentum in the battle against global warming, the U.N. climate chief warned on Saturday, urging environmental ministers from wealthy nations to revive the effort by setting clear targets for reducing greenhouse gases. (AP)

Bill Hare is the Greenpeace Campaigns Director on secondment to Potsdam, but still posing as a climate scientist.

Let’s Bury These Bonkers MPs - Precisely as John Vidal, writing in The Guardian [‘Billions wasted on UN climate programme’, The Guardian, May 26], reports that “billions of pounds are being wasted in paying industries in developing countries to reduce climate change emissions”, the bonkers bunch of MPs who comprise ‘The Environmental Audit Committee’ issue a report saying that “the government should go ahead with a system of personal ‘carbon credits’ to meet emissions targets” [‘MPs back personal carbon credits’, BBC Online Politics News, May 26]. (Global Warming Politics)

German Climate Protection Package at Risk - Part two of Chancellor Merkel's ambitious package of measures aimed at reducing German greenhouse gas emissions may be in trouble. Originally set for passage on Tuesday, many of the law proposals are under attack. (Der Spiegel)

Ultralong Solar Cycle 23 and Possible Consequences - In 1610, shortly after viewing the sun with his new telescope, Galileo Galilei made the first European observations of Sunspots. Daily observations were started at the Zurich Observatory in 1749 and with the addition of other observatories continuous observations were obtained starting in 1849. As a climatologist, I always found it amazing that we have had regular sunspot data far longer than we have had reliable coverage of temperature or precipitation.

Monthly averages (updated monthly) of the sunspot numbers show that the number of sunspots visible on the sun waxes and wanes with an approximate 11-year cycle, The last five cycles are shown in the diagram below.

See larger image here (Joseph D’Aleo, CCM)

Absurd conjecture of the moment: Research suggests parts of UK could be too hot for wine-making by 2080 - Increasing summer temperatures could mean some parts of southern England are too hot to grow vines for making wine by 2080, according to a new book launched today (26 May 2008). (Imperial College London)

Warm Winds Comfort Climate Change Models: Study - Climate change models predicting a dangerous warming of the world’s atmosphere got a confirming boost Sunday from a study showing parallel trends at altitudes nearly twice as high as Mount Everest. The new research, published in Nature Geoscience, will help remove one of the remaining scientific uncertainties about the general thrust of global warming, the authors and commentators say. Over the last two decades, temperature readings from the upper troposphere—12 to 16 kilometres (7.5 and 10 miles) above Earth’s surface—based on data gathered by satellites and high-flying weather balloons showed little or no increase. (AFP)

Actually this is a pretty imaginative use of the thermal wind model. Unfortunately their reason for using it simply that empirical measures don't show what models 'predict' and who are you going to believe, models or your own lying eyes? Hence this workaround where large assumptions can be reintroduced to deal with inconvenient measures. Our current 'favorite toy' showing how small changes in assumptions have dramatic (and imaginary) effects on output is our simple global energy balance model.

Climate profs 'can't recommend' enormo-space-parasol: Global-warming brains lukewarm on 'Sunshade World' ploy - Bristol-based researchers have said that they "can't recommend" the idea of solving global warming by putting a giant sunshade in space so as to cool the earth down.

In their report Sunshade World, Professor Paul Valdes and Dr Dan Lunt of Bristol Uni's School of Geographical Sciences - with colleagues - examine the likely results of artificially reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth. The scientists say that previous studies have estimated that space-based architecture could perhaps achieve this in around 25 years' time, at a cost of "several trillion dollars". (Lewis Page, The Register)

Towards a Low Carbon Economy - We are yet confronted with another World Environment Day, 5th of June is a day set aside by the United Nation Environment Programme as a vehicle to sensitize people around the globe on pertinent environmental issues. This global celebration has been held under various themes depending on what the United Nations deems important but having serious consequences on our planet earth and its atmosphere. For some years now climate change issues has dominated World Environment Day themes because it has been proven from scientific evidence as the single biggest threat to nature and the existence of humanity in general.

This year's theme reads "kick the CO2 habit: Towards A low Carbon Economy" is an indication that carbon dioxide one of the major greenhouse gases responsible for global warming is on the increase.

In the opinion of UNEP, which is of course the general view of all environmentalist, the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is as a result of our habits, lifestyles, and the choices we make due to our unsustainable consumption patterns. (Public Agenda (Accra))

International Conference on Solar Influence on Climate - I thought I’d give a little heads up to a conference to be held at Montana State University from June 1-6:

Approximately 100 scientists from Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and North America will participate in the workshop titled “Solar Variability, Earth’s Climate and the Space Environment,” said MSU physicist Dibyendu Nandi, head of the local organizing committee.

Participants will include directors of major international institutions, leaders of space missions and contributors to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. One of the participants, the managing director of the Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, will give a public address on June 3.

“This is the first workshop in this international series of meetings that will be held in the United States,” said William Hiscock, physics professor and head of the MSU physics department. “The selection of MSU as host for this event reflects the strong international reputation of our solar physics research group.”

Nandi added, “The Sun is the main source of energy in the solar system. Understanding how variations in its magnetic and radiative output influence our climate and space environment is the primary focus of this workshop. Achieving this understanding is important for protecting our technologies in space and on Earth and is essential towards distinguishing the natural and man-made causes of global climate change.”

Of course, some climate modellers think that this conference would be a waste of time. (Solar Science)

Follow-up to The Response to Ray Pierrehumbert’s Real Climate Post by Roy Spencer - I’ve received the comment that I did not adequately address the last three graphs that Ray showed in his post of May 21, 2008. These three plots represent what he calls Lesson 1, 2, and 3 on how to “cook a graph.” (Climate Science)

Challenge to Real Climate On The IPCC Global Climate Model Predictions Of Global Warming - Real Climate has offered a challenge (a bet) on their weblog on global cooling but they use global average surface temperature trends as the metric [see].

As shown, for example, in Pielke Sr., R.A., 2003: Heat storage within the Earth system. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 84, 331-335, however, the monitoring of changes in the ocean heat content is a much more robust metric to assess global warming and cooling. The global average surface temperature trend has a number of unresolved issues with respect to its value to diagnose global climate system heat changes, including a warm bias (see and see).

Climate Science has proposed using Joules that accumulate within the oceans as the currrency to assess climate system heat changes, rather than a global average surface temperature trend (e.g. see). (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Less water vapour could ease global warming - A LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL scientist thinks too little attention is being placed on water vapour or H2O gas as a contributing factor to global warming. Mark Harris, professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry at Northern Caribbean University, has argued that the popular villain - carbon dioxide (CO2) - might be eclipsed by water vapour in contributing to global warming.

"Popular perception links CO2 with the 'bad guys' - the big oil companies with whom many associate greed and insensitivity. On the other hand, pure, clean water is associated normally with life and health," Harris recently told a gathering at the Mandeville-based university while delivering a public lecture on global warming. "It is, therefore, unfashionable, and even inconceivable, in some quarters to think of too much water vapour as a dangerous substance," he continued. (Jamaica Gleaner)

Exxon Again Cuts Funds For Climate Change Sceptics - NEW YORK - Exxon Mobil Corp is pulling contributions to several groups that have downplayed the risks that greenhouse gas-emissions could lead to global warming, continuing a policy started in 2006 by Chief Executive Rex Tillerson.

Exxon will not contribute to some nine groups in 2008 that it funded in 2007. It said in its corporate citizenship report that the groups' "position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner."

The groups Exxon has stopped funding include the Capital Research Centre, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Frontiers of Freedom Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, and the Institute for Energy Research, according to Exxon spokesman Gantt Walton. (Reuters)

And activists say skeptics are in it for the money...

Rising gas prices: Energy solutions are needed, not excuses - As Oklahomans travel this Memorial Day weekend, one thing is certain — they will feel the pressure of skyrocketing gas prices. Prices at the pump have never been higher nationwide, and most Americans will pay nearly $4 for a gallon of gasoline this weekend. Four dollars. At a time when American families are already feeling the strain of rising food and consumer prices, $4 a gallon is certainly hard to swallow.

As many Washington politicians return home to face understandably disgruntled constituents this weekend, no doubt there will be plenty of finger pointing. But Oklahomans and Americans want and deserve solutions, not excuses. (Sen. Jim Inhofe, News Oklahoma)

Like Your $5 Gas? - Spending $60, $70, even $90 for a fill up at the gas station is fun right? When it comes to crippling, racist, and economically debilitating energy policy liberals have truly paralyzed America. And they seem proud of their efforts. In the left's refusal to allow us to seek new energy sources they are stunting a nation's economy, they are hurting the average family, and they are starving hungry children.

They also have the gall to do all of this under the guise of feigned outrage at oil companies in addition to self-superior Senate floor speeches where they rage against the administration. They also express abject resentment towards anyone who dares to mention the obvious - that it is their policies that put us in this mess to begin with and disallows our escape from it. (Kevin McCullough, Townhall)

House Of Oil Repute - Democrats oppose extracting 10 billion barrels of oil from ANWR because it won't affect prices, but want to tap our strategic reserve of 700 million because it will. Come again? (IBD)

Drill, Coast Haste - With the prospect of an oil shortage and $12 gas, the energy crisis is turning into a national emergency. One solution: Give states the option to develop offshore tracts. (IBD)

Green Bush? Administration May Declare More Undersea Oil Off Limits - U.S. oil producers just can’t get any satisfaction. Despite repeated calls to open up swathes of protected land to oil and gas exploration to ease supply shortages, most U.S. oil reserves are on land that’s still off-limits. And things are just going to get tougher. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Petrobras announces new oil discovery in ultra deep waters - Brazil’s government managed oil and gas corporation Petrobras announced this week the presence of oil traces in pre-salt reservoirs, in ultra deep waters off shore Sao Paulo in the Santos Basin. (Mercopress)

US Greens Wary Of Ecological Cost Of Record Oil - NEW YORK - US environmental advocates are nervous that record crude oil prices will lead to a boom in production of fossil fuels like motor fuel from coal, Canada's tar sands, or shale in Colorado that would emit more planet-warming gases than conventional oil. (Reuters)

Latest moonbattery: We have gone mad, Your Majesty, and only you can cure our affliction - An open letter to the leader of Opec's biggest oil producer, the one man who can force Britain to cut its carbon emissions (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

Dominic Lawson: Mr Brown can try to blame this crisis on Opec, but the real fault lies with his own tax policy - The British Government has two policies on oil prices. The first is that the price we pay for oil is too high, and must be brought down. The second is that the price we pay for oil is too low, and must be increased.

The second policy rests its case on the Stern Review's assertion that the price consumers are charged for fossil fuels is "the biggest market failure in history" – because it doesn't take account of the "climate costs" they allegedly impose on future generations. (The Independent)

Labour plans green revolution to slash energy prices and win back lost voters - Gordon Brown is planning to use a massive expansion of green energy to win back voters angry at spiralling fuel prices.

They will be offered guaranteed prices for generating their own power that could fund loan schemes to pay for energy-saving technology under plans being finalised by ministers.

The plans are expected to be contained in a major offensive to promote domestic solar and wind power, as well as promoting energy conservation, that will be launched by the Prime Minister next month. (The Independent)

Crisis-hit Brown told to scrap car tax rises - Gordon Brown is being urged by ministers to scrap rises in car taxes and petrol duty as he struggles to regain popularity after a humiliating by-election defeat. The Prime Minister faces the gravest crisis of his career after seeing the safe Labour seat of Crewe lost to a resurgent Tory party. (Daily Telegraph)

German car tax plan to be delayed - government - BERLIN, May 23 - The German government's controversial plans to change rules on car tax from 2009 to take exhaust emissions into account will likely be delayed further, government officials said on Friday.

The proposals were due to be signed off in cabinet next Tuesday but the finance, economy and environment ministries have been unable to reach final agreement and they are now due to be discussed in cabinet on June 18, officials said at a regular news conference. The measures, part of a climate protection package agreed last year, have stoked tensions within Germany's ruling conservative-Social Democrat coalition. (Reuters)

British Airways warns carbon trading will cripple Europe's airlines - Europe's airlines will be put at a major competitive disadvantage if the European Union implements a punitive version of carbon trading at a time of soaring oil prices and rising taxation, British Airways has warned. (Daily Telegraph)

Going Nuclear Despite Warnings - PRAGUE, May 24 - The EU seems to be backing nuclear energy as the response to global warming and gas dependency, but civic groups warn that safety and waste processing should be preconditions for the industry's growth. (IPS)

Rwanda puts hopes in methane power plant - Extracting the gas from Lake Kivu's depths is a risky venture. But officials say it can help solve two problems: drain the deadly pool and provide energy to the electricity-starved nation. (Los Angeles Times)

Cereal Killer: Don’t Blame Biofuels for Food Prices, New Study Says - Maybe corn belt politicians have a point, after all. Biofuels play a “far from dominant” role in food price increases around the world, according to a study to be released next week by clean technology analysts New Energy Finance. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Protectionism is to blame for the food crisis - The world has enormous capacity to produce food to deal with the current food crisis. But this potential has been held back by agricultural protectionism in developed economies and, more recently, by export restrictions imposed by some less developed countries. Contrary to what is often heard, today’s crisis cannot be explained by higher demand for food in emerging countries or by speculation. In addition to natural catastrophes such as the Australian drought that has slightly reduced world production recently, ill-advised government policies are largely to blame. (Ian Irvine, National Post)

Men are not mice — No link between fats eaten and risks for prostate cancer - Guys who are looking forward to enjoying a great barbecue this Memorial weekend may be interested in the results of what’s probably the world’s largest study looking to see if there is any link at all between dietary fat and risks for prostate cancer. If no link can be found at all, then, of course, it would rule out fat as a cause. So what did it find? (Junkfood Science)

Exercise 'does not make obese children slim' - Encouraging overweight children to exercise has no impact on weight loss and they should be encouraged instead to eat more healthily, according to new research.

The study claims that obese children are inactive because of their weight, and not fat because they are inactive. (Daily Telegraph)

No matter how it's packaged, it’s still a diet - “Lifestyle medicine” is a relatively new field of integrative medicine that’s part of the preventive health and wellness movement. It holds that obesity and most chronic diseases (heart disease, diabetes, cancers, etc.) are due to bad lifestyles, namely bad diets and lack of exercise. These beliefs have become so widely promoted, that many consumers don’t realize the elements of fringe that have entered into mainstream, evidence-based medicine. The first meeting of the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association was reported as taking place today and provides an opportunity to learn more about this field and those behind it. (Junkfood Science)

Minister - Ice Won't Vanish On Kilimanjaro - A Cabinet minister has allayed fears that ice caps on Mt Kilimanjaro that is a big tourist attraction in the region could disappear permanently.

The minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ms Shamsa Mwangunga, says contrary to reports that the ice caps were decreasing owing to effects of global warming, indications were that the snow cover on Africa's highest mountain were now increasing.

"Among the signs of more snow is the decrease in temperatures in areas surrounding the mountain, heavy rainfall this year and increased precipitation and spring water flow on the slopes of the mountain," she pointed out.

The minister toured the mountain last week as part of activities to mark the African Travel Association's annual meeting held in Arusha.

She said reports that the ice caps at the 5,895 metres high mountain would disappear in the next 20 years were overblown because there were signs that the snow cover had increased in recent years. (The Citizen (Dar es Salaam))

Race For Antarctic Krill A Test For Green Management - SINGAPORE - In the global rush for resources, a tiny pink crustacean living in the seas around Antarctica is testing man's ability to manage one of the world's last great fisheries without damaging the environment. (Reuters)

Figures... GM Foods the Problem, Not the Solution - BONN, May 23 - The food crisis has prompted some looks towards genetically modified food production as a solution. That in turn has led to stronger warnings over the consequences of such food for health and the environment. (IPS)

May 23, 2008

Global Warming’s New ‘Consensus’ - There’s a new global warming consensus in town. It’s too bad the once-level-headed, but now chicken-hearted Bush Administration has already skedaddled, perhaps leaving our standard of living at the mercy of Barack Obama and his high regard for the international hate-America crowd. (Steven Milloy,

31,000 Signatures Prove ‘No Consensus’ About Global Warming - Presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Monday that “we have to get used to the idea that we can’t keep our houses at 72, drive our SUVs and eat all we want.” Arthur B. Robinson, president and professor of chemistry at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, has a different response.

“I don’t want to give up eating all I want because of a failed hypothesis,” said Robinson at the National Press Club here on May 19. Robinson said global warming is not a threat to America. He said that the global temperature increased by just .5 degrees in the last century. (AIM)

The Lynching of Carbon Dioxide - The Innocent Source of Life, by Dr. Martin Hertzberg - Extract … Al Gore, the IPCC, and the vast majority of politicians in the US and Europe argue that this [need to reduce CO2 emissions] is all established science. But I am here to show that not only is this not established science, but that the objective evidence available indicates that it is false.

Shocking isn’t it? You might ask, how can a lifelong Democrat like myself reject my party’s position on global warming and join the camp of the skeptics, virtually all of whom are Republicans or neocons.

Read the full article: [PDF, 655KB] (Carbon Sense Coalition)

The Question of Global Warming

A Question of Balance: Weighing the Options on Global Warming Policies
by William Nordhaus
Yale University Press, 234 pp., $28.00

Global Warming: Looking Beyond Kyoto
edited by Ernesto Zedillo
Yale Center for the Study of Globalization/Brookings Institution Press, 237 pp., $26.95 (paper)

I begin this review with a prologue, describing the measurements that transformed global warming from a vague theoretical speculation into a precise observational science.


When we put together the evidence from the wiggles and the distribution of vegetation over the earth, it turns out that about 8 percent of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed by vegetation and returned to the atmosphere every year. This means that the average lifetime of a molecule of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, before it is captured by vegetation and afterward released, is about twelve years. This fact, that the exchange of carbon between atmosphere and vegetation is rapid, is of fundamental importance to the long-range future of global warming, as will become clear in what follows. Neither of the books under review mentions it. (Freeman Dyson, New York Review of Books)

On and on this nonsense goes... The Twilight Age of Coral Reefs - GIJON, Spain, May 22 - Coral reefs will be the first global ecosystem to collapse in our lifetimes. The one-two punch of climate change that is warming ocean temperatures and increasing acidification is making the oceans uninhabitable for corals and other marine species, researchers said at a scientific symposium in Spain. (IPS)

What is it that makes people view a world struggling along with low carbon availability as a preferred state? The creatures they claim to worry about evolved when carbon was abundant so it is bizarre to assume a declining shortage will be harmful.

Now it's "Kill trees to beat 'global warming'": Aspen trees starved in global warming experiment - Chain saws scream in a northern Michigan forest, but it's not the familiar sound of lumberjacks.

This time the tree killers are environmental researchers. They hope that years from now the aspens they remove will be replaced with a healthy mix of maples, oaks, beeches and pines - which should soak up more carbon dioxide from an ever warmer world.

The scientists hope to take a 100-acre section of the University of Michigan Biological Station research forest closer to the state it was in before logging, when it was dominated by different species of trees instead of the present-day aspens.

They say the experiment is the first they're aware of that involves removing large numbers of trees to promote growth of other species that will boost carbon absorption. It comes as governments and businesses around the world look for economically feasible ways to limit climate change. (AP)

Endangered Specious - Alaska says it will sue to challenge the listing of polar bears as a threatened species. The designation could block vital oil and gas development. But that was the whole point in the first place. (IBD)

Bush’s polar bear legal disaster - Some not-so-clever polar bear skeptic in the White House may have thought this was a brilliant manoeuvre (Kevin A. Hassett, Financial Post)

Don't develop? Global warming: Forge new path, urges Nobel winner - PETALING JAYA: Developing countries should avoid the present carbon economic system that is responsible for global warming, said Nobel Peace Prize co-winner and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri.

“It’s ruinous for developing countries to pursue growth in the same path. However, committing to alternative development paths requires major changes in a wide range of areas such as economic structure, transport infrastructure, urban design and consumption patterns and lifestyle,” said Dr Rajendra at the 10th anniversary lecture series at the Monash University Sunway campus here recently. (The Star)

Even more hypocritical than Al? A Nobel cricketer - RK Pachauri heads the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore for informing the world about the dangers of climate change. What you may not know about him is that he is a cricket fanatic and plays regularly, even at the age of 67. He captains the Tata Energy Research Institute in Delhi's corporate league, in which he has taken 345 wickets. The Indian Express reports that Pachauri once "took a break during a seminar in New York and flew to Delhi over the weekend to attend a practice session for a match before flying back. Again, he flew in for a day, just to play that match."

Wonder what Gore, who in his film An Inconvenient Truth urges people to cut down on air travel (because travellers foregoing even two flights per year will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, apparently) would think of that? (Cricinfo)

'Choose growth or accept poverty for billions': Stark warning in blueprint for emulating model countries - The world will contain 4 billion people living in abject poverty by 2050 unless the poorest countries adopt policies to deliver rapid and sustained growth over the coming decades, a report backed by the World Bank and the British government said yesterday.

After a two-year investigation, a group of policymakers and economists published a blueprint designed to allow the least developed nations to emulate the 13 countries that have expanded at an average rate of at least 7% a year for 25 years or longer since the second world war.

Professor Mike Spence, chairman of the Commission on Growth and Development, said there was no prospect of meeting the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations - which include halving of the number of people living in poverty by 2015 - without faster growth.

Two billion of the 6 billion people in the world live in countries with stagnating or declining incomes, but the report said this figure would rise to 4 billion if they continued to suffer from low growth. (The Guardian)

State's fever on global warming may be cooling - The state's costly, grandiose scheme to combat global warming is finding resistance from many of the same folks who approved it two years ago. Meanwhile, legislative opposition also is growing to the plan to create a global warming state think tank financed by a utility users' surcharge.

It appears that paying for saving mankind from a projected 1- or 2-degree increase in temperature over the next century already is proving too costly in today's limited dollars. (Appeal Democrat)

And you're supposed to believe this: NRDC Report on Global Warming - WASHINGTON, May 22 -- A report released today by researchers at Tufts University, commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), presents two ways of estimating the costs of inaction on climate change, both leading to staggering bottom lines. A comprehensive estimate, based on state-of-the-art computer modeling, finds that doing nothing on global warming will cost the United States economy more than 3.6 percent of GDP - or $3.8 trillion annually (in today's dollars) - by 2100. On the other hand, a detailed, bottom-up analysis finds that just four categories of global warming impacts -- hurricane damage, real estate losses, increased energy costs and water costs -- will add up to a price tag of 1.8 percent of U.S. GDP, or almost $1.9 trillion annually (in today's dollars) by 2100. (PRNewswire-USNewswire)

Slight problem -- we have no indication the world will conform to "state of the art" computer models, a.k.a. PlayStation® climatology. Neither is there any real indication GHG emissions are associated with hurricanes in any way, real estate losses or increased energy and water costs (although absurd measures to "address global warming" are horrendously expensive with no prospect of positive outcomes).

Uh-huh... provided the US pays roughly $2 trillion of it: Carbon market could be worth 2 trillion euros in 2020: study - The global market in CO2 emission rights could be worth two trillion euros (3.14 trillion dollars) by 2020 if the United States joins the scheme, analysis group Point Carbon said on Thursday.

The United States, which has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol that calls for the mechanism, could in 2020 account for 67 percent, or 1.25 trillion euros, of emissions rights if it decided to introduce a US emissions trading system, the Point Carbon study said. (AFP)

RealClimate vs Roy Spencer: non-feedback changes in clouds - Roy Spencer is a rising star and public face of climatology - not only because of his topseller, Climate Confusion, and occasionally inconvenient UAH MSU satellite data, but also because of his perfectionist recent theoretical work (including their recent work on cloud oscillations and several new papers that will be published soon) - and RealClimate.ORG has provided him with a positive feedback. ;-) (The Reference Frame)

A Response to Ray Pierrehumbert’s Real Climate Post of May 21, 2008 by Roy Spencer - Guest Weblog By Roy Spencer on Ray Pierrehumbert’s Real Climate Post of May 21 2008

Since Ray Pierrehumbert has decided to critique some of my published work (and unpublished musings) on global warming over at, I thought I’d offer some rebuttal. The main theme of his objections to our new paper and what it demonstrates is clearly wrong - and leading IPCC experts have agreed with me on this. (Climate Science)

The Role Of Landscape Processes Within The Climate System - A New Review Article - We have completed a new review chapter on the role of landscape processes within the climate system, as well as added to our discussion of the need for bottom-up, resource based vulnerability assessments. The information on this contribution is in Pielke Sr. R.A., and D. Niyogi, 2008: The role of landscape processes within the climate system. In: Otto, J.C. and R. Dikaum, Eds., Landform - Structure, Evolution, Process Control: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Landforms organised by the Research Training Group 437. Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences, Springer, Vol. 115, in press.

We conclude the chapter with the paragraph

“Finally, unless there is a broadening of the current IPCC focus it will only lead to promote energy policy changes, and not provide an effective climate policy, which necessarily needs to include how humans are altering the climate system through land surface processes. Policymakers need to be informed of this very important distinction where a separation of climate policy from energy policy is essential.” (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

A Sea Surface Story - Sometimes we wonder if authors of papers are not outright campaigning for coverage in World Climate Report. Chose a title like “Ocean surface warming: The North Atlantic remains within the envelope of previous recorded conditions” and you will be guaranteed coverage by our skeptical scientists! (WCR)

NOAA Predicts a Below-Normal Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season - While the forecast for the Atlantic Hurricane season is active and for 12-16 named storms, the Pacific forecast is just in time to coincide with recent pronouncements of no link between global warming and hurricane frequency, this just in: (Watts Up With That?)

Blame Washington, Not Oil Companies - Senate Democrats, dragging executives from five major U.S. oil companies before them for a second day, say they're alarmed by our "failed" oil markets. What they should be is ashamed. (IBD)

Oil Industry, Lawmakers Aim To Lift Bans on Drilling - Mounting concerns about global energy supply are fueling a drive by the oil industry and some U.S. lawmakers to end longstanding bans on domestic drilling put in place to protect environmentally sensitive areas.

Increasing U.S. oil production would require overturning decades-old moratoriums that limit offshore drilling and accelerating leasing of federal lands, moves that would trigger a swift and vigorous political backlash. Still, as gasoline prices continue to climb and squeeze household budgets, the momentum appears to be gaining to open up new areas. (Wall Street Journal)

Inhofe Continues Fight to Bring Down Gas Prices - “The simple fact remains, until we explore and develop domestic energy resources and increase domestic refining capacity, the cost of gas at the pump will increase. Now is not the time for politics as usual – now is the time for common sense solutions.” (EPW)

Peak Oil in Paris: International Energy Agency Now Skittish Too - Peak oil is contagious: even the International Energy Agency is getting the rash.

The WSJ reports today that the Paris-based IEA will slash its forecasts of global oil supplies, after years of rosy predictions that oil output would rise in lockstep with developed countries’ appetites. The IEA’s latest project? A close look at 400 of the world’s biggest oil fields to figure out how much oil is really left, and how much production is declining. Nobuo Tanaka, head of the IEA, said Thursday the plan is to provide a “more realistic supply potential” estimate of what’s really out there.

That marks a fundamental shift for the IEA, founded in the wake of the 1973 oil embargo and subsequent supply shocks. Ever since, the IEA spilled a lot more ink studying oil demand in rich countries than oil output in the developing world.

Two developments appear to underlie the shift: Rich country demand no longer calls the tune, given China’s implacable thirst for petroleum, and global oil reserves no longer seem a bottomless well. IEA chief economist Fatih Birol told the WSJ that oil production at big fields will continue to decline at an accelerating rate, leaving the world with a big shortfall of crude even as demand growth marches on. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Hooray! Now will you start encouraging countries to bring coal to liquids online?

Burying CO2 Vital In Climate Battle - IEA - BRUSSELS - Finding ways of safely burying carbon dioxide could be the only way of keeping greenhouse gas emissions below dangerous levels, the International Energy Agency's chief economist said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Another bunch bitten by algore... We don't want the carbon reburied, it does good in the environment.

As Oil Prices Rise, Nations Revive Coal Mining - BIBAI, Japan — These rugged green mountains, once home to one of Asia’s most productive coal regions, are littered with abandoned mines and decaying towns — backwaters of an economy of bullet trains and hybrid cars.

But after decades of seemingly terminal decline, Japan’s coal country is stirring again. With energy prices reaching record highs — oil settled above $135 a barrel on Thursday — Japan’s high-cost mines are suddenly competitive again, and demand for their coal is booming. Production has jumped to its highest in nearly four decades, creating a sensation rarely felt in these mining communities: hope.

“We are seeing a flicker of light after long darkness,” said Michio Sakurai, the mayor of Bibai, on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. “We never imagined coal would actually make a comeback.” (New York Times)

Carbon Call: Climate Underpins NRG’s Bid for Calpine - The Lieberman-Warner climate bill hasn’t even hit the floor of Congress, but its impacts may already be hitting the market.

That’s the first reading of NRG Energy’s unsolicited, $11 billion all-stock bid for troubled rival Calpine Corp., a move which would create the biggest independent power producer in the U.S. NRG and Calpine are roughly the same size today, and a combined company would have about 45 gigawatts of generation capacity.

Things are looking up for natural gas-fired plants (Calpine)

What’s so attractive about Calpine, which just got out of bankruptcy–besides a $5 billion tax carryover? It’s the biggest electric utility in the U.S. that doesn’t burn any coal–it just operates natural gas-fired turbines and some geothermal plants. NRG, on the other hand, is still coal-heavy despite a recent push into cleaner technologies like wind and nuclear power. About two-thirds of the electricity it produced in 2006 came from coal.

Getting coal out of the system is important, because climate-change legislation like Lieberman-Warner will put a price tag on emissions of greenhouse gases. Natural gas produces about half the carbon dioxide emissions as coal—but prices for natural gas are a lot more volatile, and helped drive Calpine into the red in 2005.

That’s what makes the NRG bid especially interesting. It appears to be a bet that whatever happens to natural gas prices in the future—and they’ve been steadily climbing of late, and may have more room to rise—they are less of a threat than looming climate legislation. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

And that's the crux of the matter -- the threat is from climate legislation.

Dream on... Alternative Energy Execs Dream Of Oil Crunch - LONDON - While most companies are watching soaring oil prices with an eye on rising costs some renewable energy executives are licking their lips at the prospect of "spectacular" growth. (Reuters)

Rudd urged to dump renewable energy targets - KEVIN Rudd is being urged today to dump mandatory renewable energy targets in Australia if an emissions trading scheme is introduced. The Productivity Commission has warned that demands Australia use more renewable energy - including solar, water and wind - will distort the operation of an emissions trading scheme that simultaneously encourages a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It will not increase the abatement of emissions, but threatens to distort the market, particularly against low-emission gas options, and add to the price of energy. (The Australian)

Italy Plans to Resume Building Atomic Plants - ROME — Italy announced Thursday that within five years it planned to resume building nuclear energy plants, two decades after a public referendum resoundingly banned nuclear power and deactivated all its reactors.

“By the end of this legislature, we will put down the foundation stone for the construction in our country of a group of new-generation nuclear plants,” said Claudio Scajola, minister of economic development. “An action plan to go back to nuclear power cannot be delayed anymore.”

The change is a striking sign of the times, reflecting growing concern in many European countries over the skyrocketing price of oil and energy security, and the warming effects of carbon emissions from fossil fuels. All have combined to make this once-scorned form of energy far more palatable.

“Italy has had the most dramatic, the most public turnaround, but the sentiments against nuclear are reversing very quickly all across Europe — Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Germany and more,” said Ian Hore-Lacey, spokesman for the World Nuclear Association, an industry group based in London. (New York Times)

Germany, France Near A Deal On Car Emissions - Source - BERLIN - Germany and France are close to an accord on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars that could pave the way for the introduction of European Union-wide limits, a government source said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Have you taken the Thinking is Dangerous Challenge yet? - “Dr. T” at Thinking is Dangerous has issued a challenge to find places where all five of his top fallacies of logic have been used in the same place. There’s a prize. :) (Junkfood Science)

A vision for a healthy state - Do you ever wonder what kind of policy advice the leaders in your state get? The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, which says it’s a free market think tank that advises government leaders on key policy issues and conducts regular opinion polls, produces a daily newsfeed that managers in Wisconsin read each morning.

Today, state administrators received in their inboxes recommendations for a “healthy Wisconsin.” (Junkfood Science)

Ecochondria Retards Progress in Reducing Hunger - Keith Bradsher and Andrew Martin outline in Sunday’s New York Times the extent to which the world’s aid agencies starved the budgets of international agricultural research institutions that worked on increasing agricultural productivity in the developing world: (Cato @ Liberty)

May 22, 2008

The Failure of Centralized Scientific Planning - A review of Sex, Science and Profits: How People Evolved to Make Money (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

Economic Progress and Climate Change Issues: A Dissenting Viewpoint - The attached text formed the basis for my opening contribution, and also some later remarks, at the discussion that followed the 2008 Clare Distinguished Lecture in Economics and Public Policy, given in Cambridge, England on 14 May 2008. The lecturer was Professor Mohan Munasinghe, and his subject was ‘A policy framework for Climate Change and Sustainable Development: economic analysis and beyond’. (David Henderson, CCNet)

Guest feature: Greenhouse Gas Facts and Fantasies - To support their argument, advocates of man-made global warming have intermingled elements of greenhouse activity and infrared absorption to promote the image that carbon dioxide traps heat near earth's surface like molecular greenhouses insulating our atmosphere. Their imagery, however, is seriously flawed. (Tom Kondis)

This rubbish, again! Ocean acidification -- another undesired side effect of fossil fuel-burning - Up to now, the oceans have buffered climate change considerably by absorbing almost one third of the worldwide emitted carbon dioxide. The oceans represent a significant carbon sink, but the uptake of excess CO2 stemming from man’s burning of fossil fuels comes at a high cost: ocean acidification.

Research on ocean acidification is a newly emerging field and was one of the major topics at this year’s European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly held in Vienna in April. The European Science Foundation EUROCORES (European Collaborative Research) programme EuroCLIMATE, which addresses in particular global carbon cycle dynamics, organized and co-sponsored several sessions on ocean acidification. (European Science Foundation)

We discussed this before and no, it's not really right. See, for example, CO2 levels in the Ordovician -- 4,000-4,500ppmv. The Ordovician period was an era of extensive diversification and expansion of numerous marine clades. Although organisms also present in the Cambrian were numerous in the Ordovician, a variety of new types including cephalopods, corals (including rugose and tabulate forms), bryozoans, crinoids, graptolites, gastropods, and bivalves flourished. Ordovican communities typically displayed a higher ecological complexity than Cambrian communities due to the greater diversity of organisms.

Now, if 4,500ppmv CO2 could not make seas acidic enough to trouble calcium-depositing critters like these what reason have we to worry at 1/10th such levels?

Moreover, we just had this: Chalk one up for coccolithophores - Scientists have feared that gradual acidification of the world's oceans would wreak havoc with organisms that build protective outer shells. But a new finding shows at least three species of coccolithophores -- single-celled algae that are major players in the ocean's cycling of carbon -- are responding to ocean acidification by building thicker cell walls and plates of chalk, contrary to what some recent lab experiments have shown.

Further to this item yesterday: EU Report Calls For Faster Climate Change Curbs - BRUSSELS - Global temperature rises should be kept well below the European Union's target of 2 degrees Celsius to avoid costly damage to people and their lifestyles, according to a European Parliament report. (Reuters)

Richard Courtney provides comments and the lecture mentioned therein.

More form the Nude Socialist: Alps hit by two-decade decline in snowfall - A forthcoming study has added to worries that the Alpine ski industry will be badly affected by global warming, the British weekly New Scientist reports on Wednesday.

A "dramatic step-like drop" in the amount of snow falling in the western European mountain chain occurred in the late 1980s and since then snowfall has never recovered, it says. (AFP)

Did it not occur to these dopey buggers to check the NAO indices? From the late '80s they say? Imagine that...

A review of the major global temperature metrics for April 2008: Still globally cooler than 1 year ago - Here is a review of the major global temperature metrics in tabular and graph form. There is a bit of disagreement this month (Watts Up With That)

Can The IPCC Model Projections Of Global Warming Be Evaluated From Just Several Years Of Data? - ... Thus the value of global warming of the last 4 years fails to agree with the IPCC projections (the values are not even close!). The argument that this is too short of a time is spurious unless the modellers can account for where else in their model results the missing Joules went.

Moreover, this is not too short of a time period to compare with the models. Heat, unlike temperature at a single level as used to construct a global average surface temperature trend, is a variable in physics that can be assessed at any time period (i.e. a snapshot) to diagnose the climate system heat content. Temperature not only has a time lag, but a single level represents an insignificant amount of mass within the climate system.

The answer to the question on this weblog “Can the IPCC model projections of global warming be evaluated from just several years of observed data” is YES. The conclusion for the past four years is that the model projections are not skillful on this time period. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

The Unholy Alliance that manufactured Global Warming - In previous parts of this series (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) I’ve shown how a political agenda took over climate science primarily through the UN and specifically the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The agenda was spread to the world at the 1992 Rio Conference. Periodic Reports from the IPCC maintained the focus on CO2 and increased the political pressure. Please understand I am not claiming a conspiracy, but rather a cabal, which is defined as a secret political clique pushing a political agenda; in this case, designed by Maurice Strong.

Although the IPCC was the major vehicle other agencies got caught up quickly as governments became more involved. Results of the IPCC reports were skillfully propagandized so the issue took hold with the media and the public. It was also due to bureaucrats in each country carefully selected from weather related offices to serve on the IPCC. As MIT professor Richard Lindzen, former member of the IPCC said, “It is no small matter that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.” A political bias made a few of them especially supportive. The pattern of their machinations emerged early and continues. A measure of this was how long many of them kept the Hockey Stick graph on official government web sites.

Contrary to popular belief politicians do listen. The problem is they usually hear if they think there is a consensus, whether right or wrong, or if the issue can garner votes. Both these situations existed in the claims of global warming. In addition, most politicians don’t understand climate science and were forced to rely on the bureaucrats.

The most notorious was the Hockey Stick (HS) in the IPCC 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR). Despite its destruction by McIntyre and McKitrick confirmed by the Wegman committee reporting to the National Academy of Sciences, Michael Mann and his associates continue to claim their work was legitimate. Its omission from the 2007 IPCC Report told the real story. (Dr. Tim Ball, CFP)

Charley Reese: Skeptic dissects global warming frenzy - Global warming has ceased. In 2005, it was .45 degrees centigrade above the 1961-1990 global average temperature. In 2006, it dropped to .42 centigrade, and in 2007, to .41 centigrade.

That's one of many facts to be gleaned from an intelligent and calm book, "An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming," by Lord Nigel Lawson, a British politician and former journalist.

It is not a book to be read on a warm afternoon after a heavy lunch. It will put you to sleep.

Richard S. Lindzen, Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says of the book: "This brief and elegant book treats the science of global warming seriously, but convincingly shows that whatever view one has of the science, almost all proposed approaches to the putative problem are intellectually deficient, economically absurd and harmful, and morally misdirected at best."

Lawson sums up his book with this warning: "So the new religion of global warming, however appealing it may be to the politicians, is not as harmless as it may appear at first sight. Indeed the more one examines it the more it resembles a 'Da Vinci Code' of environmentalism. It is a great story and phenomenal best-seller. It contains a grain of truth - and a mountain of nonsense." (News Press)

Are We Out Of Our Trees? - I am a rather simple chap, and I like to ask simple questions. So here are two little conundrums for readers of ‘Global Warming Politics’ to contemplate over their G & Ts this fine evening. (Global Warming Politics)

George Will: Washington's latest pre-emptive war - A preventive war worked out so well in Iraq that Washington last week launched another. The new preventive war - the government responding forcefully against a postulated future threat - has been declared on behalf of polar bears, the first species whose supposed jeopardy has been ascribed to global warming.

The Interior Department, bound by the Endangered Species Act, has declared polar bears a "threatened" species because they might be endangered "in the foreseeable future," meaning 45 years. (Note: 45 years ago, the now-long-forgotten global cooling menace of 35 years ago was not yet foreseen.) The bears will be threatened if the current episode of warming, if there really is one, is, unlike all the previous episodes, irreversible, and if it intensifies, and if it continues to melt sea ice vital to the bears, and if the bears, unlike in many previous warming episodes, cannot adapt. (Star News)

Governor says Alaska will challenge polar bear listing - ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The state of Alaska will sue to challenge the recent listing of polar bears as a threatened species, Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday.

She and other Alaska elected officials fear a listing will cripple oil and gas development in prime polar bear habitat off the state's northern and northwestern coasts.

Palin argued that there is not enough evidence to support a listing. Polar bears are well-managed and their population has dramatically increased over 30 years as a result of conservation, she said. (AP)

Polluters may soon burn up money - SAN FRANCISCO - Bay Area factories, power plants, hospitals, airlines, oil refineries and other businesses that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases may be among of the first in the nation to pay a tax to battle global warming. (Will Reisman, The Examiner)

A carbon tax on gas won't fly - Federal Liberal leader Stéphane Dion plans to campaign in the next election with a promise to introduce a "carbon tax" on gasoline, natural gas and home heating oil precisely when the prices of these already over-taxed essential commodities are soaring and causing citizens hardship -- analysts are virtually unanimous in predicting gas will hit $1.50 per litre this summer and it is already in the $1.30 per litre range.

The new gas tax is not just going to be a "hard sell" for Mr. Dion and the Liberals, it is most likely to be political suicide. It's foolish and it is difficult to fathom what Mr. Dion expects yet more tax on gasoline and heating oil will do. By inflating the price of gas Mr. Dion will severely damage the already struggling tourism industry and will push up the price of virtually every consumer good available via increased shipping costs. What does he expect to achieve other than to push the nation into a recession? (Times & Transcript)

Japan environment chief says industry may face tough pollution limits - TOKYO - Japan will have to impose carbon taxes and other tough measures on the industrial sector to meet its long-term goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the environment minister said Wednesday. (AP)

Editorial: Carbon plan a hostage to politics - First, the Prime Minister postponed next year's introduction of greenhouse gas emissions trading in transport fuels and extended the phase out of freely allocated emission rights by five years, now the Opposition leader wants the whole scheme delayed indefinitely. What is going on? (New Zealand Herald)

Comment: carbon plan stupid to start with.

Relationships of Ocean Cycles with Atlantic Hurricanes - In recent weeks we have posted stories about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and ENSO and their effects on temperatures and Greenland and Arctic ice.

In this story, we look at how these same ocean cyclical oscillations influence the relative frequency of tropical storms, the number of strong storms and the most likely storm tracks and areas affected.

In recent months we have seen two prominent scientists (MIT’s Kerry Emanuel and NOAA’s Tom Knutson of the fluid dynamics lab at Princeton) who had earlier published papers linking global warming with increased Atlantic hurricane frequency and strength change their position on the basis of new data or models. We applaud these scientists for being willing to change their opinion when presented with conflicting data.

We believe these varying cycles of activity and tracks relate mainly to natural cyclical changes in the oceans. Dr. Bill Gray has shown how the frequency of Atlantic hurricanes and major hurricanes increase dramatically during the warm AMO phase (the case since 1995). We can see that surface pressure during hurricane season tends to be lower in the western Atlantic and Gulf when the Atlantic is in its warm mode (positive AMO). (Joseph D’Aleo, CCM)

The Accidental Tourist (aka The GISS World Tour) - A guest post by: John Goetz, originally posted on Climate Audit.

Occasionally I will take a trip after much careful planning and preparation, only to find myself going off into uncharted territory soon after embarking on my adventure. That is what happened to me recently when I started to take a fresh look at worldwide station coverage. Where I ended up and what I found when I got there was incredibly surprising. (Watts Up With That?)

Another New Cosmic Rays and Climate Paper - Jasper Kirkby of CERN has published a new paper examining the potential link between cosmic rays and climate.

The paper concludes:

Numerous palaeoclimatic observations, covering a wide range of time scales, suggest that galactic cosmic ray variability is associated with climate change. The quality and diversity of the observations make it difficult to dismiss them merely as chance associations. But is the GCR flux directly affecting the climate or merely acting as a proxy for variations of the solar irradiance or a spectral component such as UV? Here, there is some palaeoclimatic evidence for associations of the climate with geomagnetic and galactic modulations of the GCR flux, which, if confirmed, point to a direct GCR-climate forcing. Moreover, numerous studies have reported meteorological responses to short-term changes of cosmic rays or the global electrical current, which are unambiguously associated with ionising particle radiation. (

Sunspot cycle more dud than radiation flood (Watts Up With That?)

Yes, we know we ran the original article yesterday but Anthony's post gives you the opportunity to comment.

THE REAL LINK BETWEEN SOLAR ENERGY, OCEAN CYCLES AND GLOBAL TEMPERATURE - Stephen Wilde F.R.Met.S. has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968. The first four articles from Mr Wilde were received with a great deal of interest throughout the Co2 Sceptic community.

In Stephen Wilde’s fifth and exclusive article for CO2Sceptics.Com he considers how to explain the apparent failure of the 'experts' to see or recognise the obvious and overwhelming climate driving mechanism provided by the sun acting in conjunction with a variety of oceanic processes. (Co2sceptic)

The Exxon Fight, Round 2 - Who wins in a shareholder war between green-collar activists and blue-collar union pensioners? Hard to say. But round two in the battle over the fiduciary responsibilities of corporate giant Exxon Mobil ought to be illuminating for investors.

The heirs of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil empire made a media splash recently when they demanded that the oil giant diversify out of oil, of all things. When Exxon holds its annual shareholder meeting next week, the Rockefeller clan will push proxy resolutions requiring the company to invest in noncarbon energy sources, and to create more board of director "independence" from management by splitting the role of chairman and chief executive. To hear the wealthy heirs tell it, Exxon will thus be better positioned to take advantage of the eco-opportunities of the future.

The counterpunch from other, nonwealthy shareholders has now arrived in the form of a letter from union chief Chuck Canterbury. He's president of the National Fraternal Order of Police, whose 324,000 members have plenty of pension-fund dollars invested in Exxon. In a May 17 letter to Exxon Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, Mr. Canterbury made clear he and his members don't agree that Exxon should be used to promote social goals if it means putting worker retirements at risk.

"ExxonMobil is an example of how hard work, efficient management and innovative entrepreneurism breed success," Mr. Canterbury wrote, noting this was why many union pension funds have invested in the oil company. "The Rockefeller resolutions threaten to degrade the value of ExxonMobil."

And more: The family would impose "rigid, ideologically-based conditions on the company's future," would nullify "the judgment of a highly successful management team," and would "undercut every project and business operation." This would "hamstring ExxonMobil's profitability and growth, thus directly harming the police officers, firefighters, teachers and public employees whose retirement savings are invested in the company."

Mr. Canterbury seems to understand how capitalism works better than do the ostensibly capitalist Rockefellers. His letter is a reminder that Exxon's legal obligation is to maximize returns to shareholders, and that over the years it has done that by taking calculated risks in drilling for fossil fuels. Many investors put their money into Exxon precisely because the company does that so well. (Wall Street Journal)

ExxonMobil's Rockefeller spat leads to blocking proposal - ExxonMobil's very public spat with the Rockefeller family over the separation of the roles of chairman and chief executive could become a thing of the past if one US fund manager gets his way.

Steven Milloy, managing partner of the Free Enterprise Action Fund, has filed a shareholder proposal to end all shareholder proposals which will be voted on at the oil major's annual meeting next week.

Mr Milloy, who describes his fund as the first conservative/libertarian activist mutual fund, argues that his proposal, if successful, would require Exxon's board to amend company by-laws to no longer accept the bulk of shareholder resolutions.

The Maryland-based fund manager, who was inspired by a similar suggestion from the US Securities and Exchange Commission last year, is angered by the number of shareholders who put forth proposals to meet their own ends.

Although less common in the UK, annual meetings for US-quoted companies often contain a whole series of resolutions from ordinary shareholders which must be voted on.

Mr Milloy told The Daily Telegraph: "We believe that activist shareholders - like the Rockefellers - are looking to advance their political agenda through Exxon rather than to increase shareholder value." (Daily Telegraph)

Crude Scapegoats - It's now a cliche: fat-cat oilmen control our destiny by holding back supplies, letting prices soar, then pocketing the profits. But if any fat cats are to blame for the energy crisis, it's those on Capitol Hill. (IBD)

Oil policies threaten U.S.: This oil crisis could be a watermark in the decline of the U.S. economy - In the now-familiar century-old ritual of corporate punishment, the U.S. Senate judiciary committee yesterday ordered members of the Big Oil’s CEO chain gang to explain themselves. Which they did, very effectively. Whether any of the demagogic politicians were inclined to hear the message is another matter. The committee chair is Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, from a state not known for its firm grasp of the oil business or even market economics; the other Senator from Vermont, Bernie Saunders, is a socialist radical known in some circles as “Vermont’s Communist Senator.”

The gap between Leahy and Saunders is a small one. Yesterday, Leahy lit into oil industry profits, oil executive salaries, and the oil industry’s alleged links to President Bush. “The president once boasted that with his pals in the oil industry, he would be able to keep prices low and consumers would benefit. Instead, it is his pals in the oil industry who have benefited,” said Leahy. “Why has the price of oil increased 400% since President Bush took office?”

As the price of oil topped US$130 a barrel, the best U.S. politicians can come up with as a response is blind partisanship and destructive policy initiatives aimed at attacking the oil industry. Among the dumb ideas is The Consumer First Energy Act, to impose a windfall profit tax on U.S. oil firms. Another plan would force U.S.-based oil companies to disclose money they pay foreign governments for resources. (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

Losing the energy race - H. Sterling Burnett - Shock and awe — we are living it! We stand, mouth agape, staring at the pump — at $4 gallons and fast-emptying pocketbooks. Even worse, with crude oil already costing more than $120 a barrel, many predict this wave has yet to crest.

And while we wait for the price to peak, spending shrinks and the economic outlook worsens. Our energy policies have failed us, and now, we pay the price — literally.

In response, politicians call for windfall profits taxes and temporary gas tax holidays. Once again, we're forced to stomach politically motivated, short-term non-answers instead of long-term solutions. Here's a thought: Rather than vilify the oil industry for our sticker shock, let's take a hard look at the actions of our federal government.

For years, we've approached domestic drilling in a politically correct manner, placing caribou on a pedestal while ignoring American consumers and national security. Politicians chose to outsource and import, instead of expand and drill. As a result, we fill the coffers of foreign nations instead of boosting American gross domestic product.

In a recent press conference, President Bush suggested drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He might be on to something. Despite the hysterical claims of environmental lobbyists, oil and the environment can mix. Caribou and other wildlife have expanded and flourished in and around Prudhoe Bay, apparently unaffected by the relatively primitive oil and gas development in the area.

And technology in the oil industry has improved mightily in the years since the Arctic Slope was first tapped. Indeed, two leading environmental groups, the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy, have allowed oil and gas production on several of their most important and unique nature preserves.

Unfortunately, the United States Congress has also banned energy exploration in 85 percent of our coastal waters. As a result, while Cuba, in partnership with China, drills closer to the U.S. coastline than we do, the United States goes hat-in-hand to Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Canada, Nigeria, Mexico and even Iran. Our lawmakers' decision to block domestic access harms both the public and the environment. (Washington Times)

Let’s Sue OPEC! That’ll Teach ‘Em! - When it comes to energy policy, Congress keeps getting dumber and dumber. The latest example: a bill passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday that will allow the U.S. government to sue OPEC for conspiring to raise prices. (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)

GOP douses coal debate: House won't try another override; resolution of issue up to courts - House Speaker Melvin Neufeld threw water Wednesday on a final attempt to overcome a veto by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of legislation compelling state regulators to approve expansion of a coal-fired utility plant in southwest Kansas.

It translated into a political victory for Sebelius and environmental activists concerned about carbon dioxide emissions. It constituted a bruising defeat for leaders of the Republican-controlled House and Senate, as well as the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

"I am pleased that we can close this contentious chapter of our debate on energy policy," Sebelius said.

Neufeld's declaration ended debate on coal for the 2008 session, but triggered renewal of legal wrangling over the $3.6 billion project proposed by electric cooperatives in Kansas, Colorado and Texas.

Utility companies vowed to push ahead with legal claims that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment overstepped its authority by denying an air permit for the Holcomb project, while environmental organizations continued to prepare for a protracted legal battle with national implications. (Capital-Journal)

AUSTRALIA: Split Over Carbon Capture Technology - MELBOURNE, May 21 - Australia’s plan to develop carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology -- whereby greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions from fossil-fuel fired power stations are trapped and stored rather than released into the atmosphere -- is pitting green groups against one another. (IPS)

We are with greenpeas on this one, kind of. There is absolutely no value on CCS and it should not be undertaken. A 30-40% energy hit to bury carbon we expended energy to mine in the first place is just plain stupid.

Ethanol Vehicles for Post Office Burn More Gas, Get Fewer Miles - The U.S. Postal Service purchased more than 30,000 ethanol-capable trucks and minivans from 1999 to 2005, making it the biggest American buyer of alternative-fuel vehicles. Gasoline consumption jumped by more than 1.5 million gallons as a result. (Bloomberg)

Halting methane squanderlust - The pipes that rise from oil fields, topped with burning flames of natural gas, waste fossil fuels and dump carbon dioxide into the air. In new work, researchers have identified the structure of a catalytic material that can turn methane into a safe and easy-to-transport liquid. The insight lays the foundation for converting excess methane into a variety of useful fuels and chemicals.

"There's a big interest in doing something with this 'stranded' methane other than flaring it off," said chemist Chuck Peden of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. "An important thing researchers have struggled with is determining the structure of the active catalyst." (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Misplaced priorities for the children - Mass emailings went out around the country yesterday with a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation press release, praising the Washington Post for making its childhood obesity agenda front page news all week. While massive governmental and medical programs are being proposed — to address the young people who fall at the 95th percentile on revamped BMI growth charts, despite the fact that today's children are healthier than ever and living longer than ever in our country’s history — about 13 million children in our country currently don’t have enough to eat. And their numbers are growing. Little attention has been given to these young people whose lives and futures are endangered now, today, and for real. (Junkfood Science)

How to Think About the World's Problems - The pain caused by the global food crisis has led many people to belatedly realize that we have prioritized growing crops to feed cars instead of people. That is only a small part of the real problem.

This crisis demonstrates what happens when we focus doggedly on one specific – and inefficient – solution to one particular global challenge. A reduction in carbon emissions has become an end in itself. The fortune spent on this exercise could achieve an astounding amount of good in areas that we hear a lot less about. (Bjorn Lomborg, Wall Street Journal)

Bullspit! Trapped Between Economy and Ecology - BONN, May 21 - One of the most frequent arguments against environmental protection is an alleged economic imperative. Humankind must progress economically, and the environment is only an input in the overall economic process, this argument goes.

But if the economy is about managing scarce resources, the resource most scarce, and irretrievable, is the environment and biological diversity. When one species is gone, it is gone forever. And loss of biodiversity is a self-multiplying process: the disappearance of one species, by destroying the ecological balance of eco systems, brings along the death of more. (IPS)

"The environment," as the term is used today is a totally artificial and false construct. What your environment really is is whatever happens to surround you and, if you are fortunate, has been altered significantly to protect you from nature, red in tooth and claw. So-called "ecological balance" is merely a brief stalemate in the eternal conflict of critters attempting to exploit available niches to the exclusion of other critters. "Environment and ecology" is no more than romantic twaddle spouted by those resisting change, which in itself is most unnatural given that change is the only natural state.

The Well Funded World Wide Fund for Fear - We reported earlier in the year how claims that a 'denial lobby' had influenced public opinion on climate change were totally at odds with reality.

The UK's Royal Society, for example wrote an open letter to Exxon in 2006, accusing it of funding these sceptics. The image of oil barons distorting the truth for pure profit was appealing to an environmental movement desperate to account for its own lack of popular appeal. Through their site 'Exxon Secrets', Greenpeace 'exposed' the millions of dollars that had allegedly been given to think tanks and other deniers to brainwash an unthinking, gullible public.

But as we pointed out, the $22 million that Exxon allegedly gave away between 1998 and 2008 is peanuts compared to Greenpeace's $2.2 billion income over a similar period.

Following our post yesterday about the WWF's use of a rather dodgy scientific measure to secure headlines and public attention, we thought we'd have a quick scan of their accounts, too. (Climate Resistance)

Mix-up throws House veto override in doubt - WASHINGTON — The House overwhelmingly rejected President Bush's veto Wednesday of a $290 billion farm bill, but what should have been a stinging defeat for the president became an embarrassment for Democrats.

Only hours before the House's 316-108 vote, Bush had vetoed the five-year measure, saying it was too expensive and gave too much money to wealthy farmers when farm incomes are high. The Senate then was expected to follow suit quickly.

Action stalled, however, after the discovery that Congress had omitted a 34-page section of the bill when lawmakers sent the massive measure to the White House.

That means Bush vetoed a different bill from the one Congress passed, raising questions that the eventual law would be unconstitutional. Republicans objected when Democrats proposed passing the missing section separately and sending that to Bush.

In order to avoid those potential problems, House Democrats hoped to pass the entire bill, again, on Thursday under expedited rules usually reserved for unopposed legislation. The Senate was expected to follow suit. The correct version would then be sent to Bush under a new bill number for another expected veto.

Lawmakers also will have to pass an extension of current farm law, which expires Friday.

"We will have to repass the whole thing, as will the Senate," said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. "We can't let the farm bill just die."

The White House, almost gleefully, seized on the fumble and said the mix-up could give Congress time to fix the "bloated" bill.

"We are trying to understand the ramifications of this congressional farm bill foul-up. We haven't found a precedent for a congressional blunder of this magnitude," said Scott Stanzel, a White House spokesman. "It looks like it may be back to square one for them." (AP)

Supermarkets accused of 'carbon hypocrisy' - Supermarkets should stop being "carbon hypocrites" about their ethical policies, according to a leading think tank.

If too much air-freighted food is banned from the shelves of UK supermarket, tens of thousands of livelihoods could be wiped out in Africa, according to the Food Ethics Council.

The think tank points out that air-freighted food is far less damaging to the environment than home-grown meat and dairy produce - because of the intensive nature of much of UK farming - and calls on supermarkets to put an end to "carbon hypocrisy".

The report does not name any individual grocery chains. However, both Tesco and Marks & Spencer have put stickers of an airplane on food that has been flow in to the UK.

The Soil Association, Britain's leading organic certifier, has also come under fire for considering refusing to allow air-freighted food to use its distinctive logo.

"Air-freighted food makes a much smaller contribution to total UK emission than other aspects of farming and food. (Daily Telegraph)

May 21, 2008

Here's an interesting juxtaposition, we follow this item  with the Press Briefing by White House Spokesman Dana Perino:

31,072 American scientists against AGW - The Global Warming Petition (click!) was signed by 9,021 American PhD's and 22,051 additional American scientists.

For the sake of balance, here is the list of 100 or so most prominent climatologists who believe man-made catastrophic global warming:

Al Gore, B.A. Government (no science degree)
Alanis Morissette, High School Diploma
Bill Maher, B.A. English (no science degree)
Bono (Paul Hewson), High School Diploma
Daryl Hanna, B.F.A. Theater (no science degree)
Ed Begley Jr., High School Diploma
Jackson Browne, High School Diploma
Jon Bon Jovi (John Bongiovi), High School Diploma
Oprah Winfrey, B.A. Speech and Drama (no science degree)
Prince Charles of Whales, B.A. (no science degree)
Sheryl Crow, B.A. Music Education (no science degree)
Sienna Miller, High School Diploma

ABC - Sam Champion, B.A. Broadcast News (no science degree, not a meteorologist)
CBS - Harry Smith, B.A. Communications and Theater (no science degree)
CBS - Katie Couric, B.A. English (no science degree)
CBS - Scott Pelley, College Dropout
NBC - Ann Curry, B.A. Journalism (no science degree)
NBC - Anne Thompson, B.A. American studies (no science degree)
NBC - Matt Lauer. B.A. Communications (no science degree)
NBC - Meredith Vieira, B.A. English (no science degree)

Al Sharpton, College Dropout
Alicia Keys, College Dropout
Alicia Silverstone, High School Dropout
Art Bell, College Dropout
Ben Affleck, College Dropout
Ben Stiller, College Dropout
Billy Jean King, College Dropout
Brad Pitt, College Dropout
Britney Spears, High School Dropout
Bruce Springsteen, College Dropout
Cameron Diaz, High School Dropout
Cindy Crawford, College Dropout
Diane Keaton, College Dropout
Drew Barrymore, High School Dropout
George Clooney, College Dropout
Gwyneth Paltrow, College Dropout
Jason Biggs, College Dropout
Jennifer Connelly, College Dropout
Jessica Simpson, High School Dropout
John Travolta, High School Dropout
Joshua Jackson, High School Dropout
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, College Dropout
Julia Roberts, College Dropout
Kanye West, College Dropout
Keanu Reeves, High School Dropout
Kevin Bacon, High School Dropout
Kiefer Sutherland, High School Dropout
Leonardo DiCaprio, High School Dropout
Lindsay Lohan, High School Dropout
Ludacris (Christopher Bridges), College Dropout
Madonna (Madonna Ciccone), College Dropout
Matt Damon, College Dropout
Matthew Modine, College Dropout
Michael Moore, College Dropout
Nicole Richie, College Dropout
Neve Campbell, High School Dropout
Olivia Newton-John, High School Dropout
Orlando Bloom, High School Dropout
Paris Hilton, High School Dropout
Pierce Brosnan. High School Dropout
Queen Latifah (Dana Elaine Owens), College Dropout
Richard Branson, High School Dropout
Robert Redford, College Dropout
Rosie O'Donnell, College Dropout
Sarah Silverman, College Dropout
Sean Penn, College Dropout
Ted Turner, College Dropout
Tommy Lee (Thomas Lee Bass), High School Dropout
Uma Thurman, High School Dropout
Willie Nelson, High School Dropout


John McCain, B.S. (Graduated 894th out of 899 in his class)
Newt Gingrich, Ph.D. Modern European History (no science degree) (Hypocrite)
Pat Robertson, B.A., J.D., M.A. Divinity (no science degree)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr, B.A. Government, J.D. Law (no science degree, 'recovered' Heroin addict)


Bill Nye, B.S. Mechanical Engineering (Bill Nye the Science Guy)
Gavin Schmidt, B.A. Ph.D. Applied Mathematics (
James Hansen, B.A. Physics and Mathematics, M.S. Astronomy, Ph.D. Physics (NASA, Gavin Schmidt's Boss)
James Lovelock, Ph.D. Medicine, D.Sc. Biophysics
Lonnie Thompson, Ph.D. Geological Sciences
Michael Mann, A.B. Applied Math, Physics, M.S. Physics, Ph.D. Geology & Geophysics (
Michael Oppenheimer, S.B. Chemistry, Ph.D. Chemical Physics
Richard C. J. Somerville, Ph.D. Meteorology
Steven Schneider, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering and Plasma Physics

Social Scientists:

Ronald Bailey, B.A. Philosophy and Economics (Science Correspondent, Reason Magazine)

(Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame)

Press Briefing by Dana Perino - May 20, 2008 3:09 PM EDT
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room


Les Kinsolving. (reporter for

Q Thank you, Dana. Two questions.


Q WorldNetDaily reports that more than 31,000 U.S. scientists, including 9,000 Ph.D.s, now signed a petition rejecting global warming, the assumption that human production of greenhouse gases is damaging the Earth's climate. My question: What is the White House reaction to these 31,000 U.S. scientists?

MS. PERINO: I would say that everyone is entitled to their opinion. What's your next question?

Q That's all?

MS. PERINO: That's all I'm going to say. (BUSINESS WIRE)

For an administration allegedly hell-bent on cooking the planet and 'denying global warming' they sure give the impression of having imbibed deeply from the Kool-Aid barrel.

Consider that global warming hysteria is driving the most dangerous misdirection of effort and resources in human history. No one knows what the 'right' temperature is for the planet any more than we know its current temperature with a precision greater than guessed change over centuries. The only thing holding the silly scare together is the alleged 'consensus of scientific opinion' despite facts not requiring a quorum and here's more than adequate demonstration of lack of unanimity of opinion anyway.

And the administration's response? 'Everyone's entitled to their opinion' (which is true -- they just aren't entitled to their own facts).

Audio (MP3): Dr. Arthur Robinson’s presentation at the National Press Club

Now, while the administration is yielding to the anti-energy watermelons, we have the National Academies hosting panicked meetings about America's loss of competitiveness -- it is being outcompeted on the world stage. Check out their podcast: Is America Falling Off The Flat Earth? (alternate link)

One startling omission in the NAS 'Gatherings' podcast is cheap and abundant energy (arguably the foundation of America's industrial greatness). Why? If America does not get off its collective butt and bring one heck of a lot of fossil fuel and modern power stations online in the near future no amount of hand-wringing or education/innovation initiatives are going to help. Industry needs innovators, smart, educated workers and committed, productive people but, above all, industry needs abundant, reliable and cheap power.

Get busy or lose. What's so hard to understand?

WCCO meteorologist: Global warming 'extremism' uses 'squishy science' - Longtime WCCO-TV meteorologist Mike Fairbourne says that the environmental movement is practicing "squishy science" when it ties human activity to global warming.

Fairbourne's assessment Monday came on the same day that the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine appeared before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and announced that it has the signatures of more than 31,000 scientists -- including Fairbourne's -- who agree that the human impact on global warming is overblown.

Fairbourne, who joined WCCO in 1977 and has been a meteorologist for 40 years, said that while there is no doubt that "there has been some warming" of global temperatures in recent years ... there is still a pretty big question mark" about how much of that warming is from human activity. (Star Tribune)

Stink over alarmist theory - YOU'D think a record of dud predictions would shame Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery into silence. But, no. It seems this professional fearmonger has learned instead that global warming is a faith that grows on panic, not facts. (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Sometimes laughs just flood across my desk... New Theory on Climate Change - PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY--(Marketwire - May 20, 2008) - Ewire -- The Uruguayan researcher Luis Seguessa recently stated in three press conferences held in Latin America, that the internal combustion engine is the chief culprit for the degradation of the ozone layer, global warming and climate change, not so much for the gas emissions into the atmosphere as for the huge amount of oxygen they consume.

"A vehicle consumes an average of between 50 and 100 liters of air per second and, taking into account the current car-driving population, that represents 20,000 million liters of air which are consumed per second on the planet and which are returned to the atmosphere half burnt and in explosive form. Twenty percent of this air is pure oxygen which is taken from the ozone layer. The figure is so big that it does not give vegetation time to replace this loss," stated Luis Seguessa.

"The ozone layer is not just an oxygen reserve, but also a natural covering which protects the earth from the intense cold of outer space and the power of the sun. As we lose it, we are experiencing sharp temperature changes during the day and this will become more common," he indicated. "Moreover, without an ozone layer, nature gets out of balance and that is why we experience serious climatic problems, such as flooding, tornadoes, droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, and the thawing of the polar ice caps."

Likewise, Seguessa maintained that "The speed at which the ozone layer is being lost is occurring with geometric not arithmetic progression as was thought, and in a very short time the great natural source of oxygen supply on the planet, which the ozone layer is, will be used up."

Perhaps I shouldn't treat it too harshly, after all, a lot of people believe in gorebull warming.

Lieberman-Warner’s Window Dressing Reveals Largest Pork Bill in U.S. History - “Lieberman-Warner bill offers nothing new except more pain at the gas pump and more expensive consumer goods.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today commented on the Lieberman-Warner global warming cap-and-trade bill’s substitute amendment (Climate Security Act – S.2191). (EPW)

A Cap Costs: No Free Lunch on Climate Bill, Analyst Stresses - Congress will soon face its moment of truth on climate-change legislation, prompting the Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to convene a Scrabble board of government agencies Tuesday morning to clear up some lingering questions for once and for all. Such as: How much will this thing cost the U.S. economy, and why are cost estimates all over the place? (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Only 2 things are certain: 1) it will cost and 2) there is absolutely no upside to doing it.

McCain's green efforts 'futile' - Environmental policy expert Steve Milloy says Republican presidential nominee John McCain's effort to reach out to so-called "green voters" is a futile one.

Senator McCain (R-Arizona) says he plans to fight global warming by instituting a cap and trade system for limiting carbon emissions, with specific targets for national emission cutbacks. He is also trying to appeal to environmentalists by promoting "eco-friendly" campaign merchandise on his website. The items include "Go Green" shirts, hats, and visors with the recycle logo. He is also selling organic cotton "onesies" for babies, as well as "Go Green" McCain tote bags, notebooks, and travel mugs. (Jim Brown, OneNewsNow)

A flirtation with Chicken Little - By Wesley Pruden - This is no time for John McCain to be John McCain. The Republican nominee-to-be, who flirted with the idea of joining John Kerry on the Democratic ticket four years ago, now wants to be Al Gore. (Washington Times)

US carbon dioxide emissions up 1.6 percent in 2007 - US carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels increased 1.6 percent in 2007, a preliminary government estimate showed Tuesday. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said emissions rose to 5,984 million metric tonnes last year from 5,888 million in 2006. The agency said factors that drove the emissions increase included weather conditions that increased the demand for heating and cooling services and "a higher carbon intensity of electricity supply," according to an agency statement. (AFP)

Hot air trading is a scam? Well blimey... Discredited strategy - Increasing allegations of corruption and profiteering are raising serious questions about the UN-run carbon trading mechanism aimed at cutting pollution and rewarding clean technologies

The world's biggest carbon offset market, the Kyoto Protocol's clean development mechanism (CDM), is run by the UN, administered by the World Bank, and is intended to reduce emissions by rewarding developing countries that invest in clean technologies. In fact, evidence is accumulating that it is increasing greenhouse gas emissions behind the guise of promoting sustainable development. The misguided mechanism is handing out billions of dollars to chemical, coal and oil corporations and the developers of destructive dams - in many cases for projects they would have built anyway.

According to David Victor, a leading carbon trading analyst at Stanford University in the US, as many as two-thirds of the supposed "emission reduction" credits being produced by the CDM from projects in developing countries are not backed by real reductions in pollution. Those pollution cuts that have been generated by the CDM, he argues, have often been achieved at a stunningly high cost: billions of pounds could have been saved by cutting the emissions through international funds, rather than through the CDM's supposedly efficient market mechanism.

And when a CDM credit does represent an "emission reduction", there is no global benefit because offsetting is a "zero sum" game. If a Chinese mine cuts its methane emissions under the CDM, there will be no global climate benefit because the polluter that buys the offset avoids the obligation to reduce its own emissions. (The Guardian)

EU Report Calls For Faster Climate Change Curbs - BRUSSELS - Global temperature rises should be kept well below the European Union's target of 2 degrees Celsius to avoid costly damage to people and their lifestyles, according to a European Parliament report. (Reuters)

Ah, unintended consequences... Inconvenient Truths: Get Ready to Rethink What It Means to Be Green - The environmental movement has never been short on noble goals. Preserving wild spaces, cleaning up the oceans, protecting watersheds, neutralizing acid rain, saving endangered species — all laudable. But today, one ecological problem outweighs all others: global warming. Restoring the Everglades, protecting the Headwaters redwoods, or saving the Illinois mud turtle won't matter if climate change plunges the planet into chaos. It's high time for greens to unite around the urgent need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Just one problem. Winning the war on global warming requires slaughtering some of environmentalism's sacred cows. We can afford to ignore neither the carbon-free electricity supplied by nuclear energy nor the transformational potential of genetic engineering. We need to take advantage of the energy efficiencies offered by urban density. We must accept that the world's fastest-growing economies won't forgo a higher standard of living in the name of climate science — and that, on the way up, countries like India and China might actually help devise the solutions the planet so desperately needs.

Some will reject this approach as dangerously single-minded: The environment is threatened on many fronts, and all of them need attention. So argues Alex Steffen. That may be true, but global warming threatens to overwhelm any progress made on other issues. The planet is already heating up, and the point of no return may be only decades away. So combating greenhouse gases must be our top priority, even if that means embracing the unthinkable. Here, then, are 10 tenets of the new environmental apostasy.


  • Live in Cities: Urban Living Is Kinder to the Planet Than the Suburban Lifestyle
  • A/C Is OK: Air-Conditioning Actually Emits Less C02 Than Heating
  • Organics Are Not the Answer: Surprise! Conventional Agriculture Can Be Easier on the Planet
  • Farm the Forests: Old-Growth Forests Can Actually Contribute to Global Warming
  • China Is the Solution: The People's Republic Leads the Way in Alternative-Energy Hardware
  • Accept Genetic Engineering: Superefficient Frankencrops Could Put a Real Dent in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Carbon Trading Doesn't Work: Carbon Credits Were a Great Idea, But the Benefits Are Illusory
  • Embrace Nuclear Power: Face It. Nukes Are the Most Climate-Friendly Industrial-Scale Form of Energy
  • Used Cars — Not Hybrids: Don't Buy That New Prius! Test-Drive a Used Car Instead
  • Prepare for the Worst: Climate Change Is Inevitable. Get Used to It (Wired Magazine)

Devotion to the big-dollar scare means crapping on so many treasured myths...

Multi-Decadal Global Model Predicted and Observed Indian Ocean Warming - Are They In Agreement? - There is an excellent summary of the skill of the IPCC multi-decadal global models to predict climate over this time period in Assessment of the reliability of climate predictions based on comparisons with historical time series by Koutsoyiannis et al. of the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens.

One of their conclusions is that “….future climate projections [are] not credible”.

There is another study that can be used to assess the skill of the multi-decadal global IPCC models that are being used to define climate policy. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Appalling propaganda toy to frighten children: DEATH TO THOSE WHO WARM! - According to this ABC carbon calculator, I should have died before my second birthday. After re-calculating – with answers pleasing to the ABC – this response appeared:

You can live forever!

(Via JD, who would’ve made it to 12)

UPDATE. Skeptic Lawyer, who was told she should die at the age of 5.4:

What an evil, evil little application! Just imagine that some impressionable child comes along to the website and finds out that his family should have “died” at the age of 4.3. That is just despicable. It actually reminds me of an incident which occurred when I was 6 years old, involving a Religious Education teacher telling me that my parents were going to hell because they were heathens. (Incidentally, being a logical type, I worked out if she was right, I’d rather be in Hell with Mum and Dad, but if she was wrong, who cares, so either way, I may as well reject her religion with impunity).

These are the kinds of things which just should not be put to a kid. Or to anyone really. The notion of calculating that someone should die because they consume too much carbon is immoral and revolting in the extreme. (Tim Blair)

From CO2 Science this week:

Coral Calcification and Photosynthesis in a CO2-Enriched World of the Future: Will the two essential processes be reduced or enhanced?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 537 individual scientists from 328 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from an Alpine Lake in the Southern Austrian Alps, Austria. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Trees (Types - Pine: Ponderosa): How do Ponderosa pine trees respond to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Minjiang Fir, Purple Nutsedge, White Mustard, and Yellow Nutsedge.

Journal Reviews:
North Atlantic Tropical Cyclones: How have they changed over the last four decades?

The Cosmic Ray-Climate Connection: How well established is it?

A Millennial Thermal History of Lower Murray Lake, Canada: What important knowledge does it reveal?

Effect of Elevated CO2 on Leaf Senescence of Populus Trees: Does it make leaves "dry and die" earlier or later? And of what significance is the phenomenon?

Fine-Roots of Loblolly Pines in the Duke Forest FACE Study: How has eight years of atmospheric CO2 enrichment impacted their yearly growth? (

African dust forecast may help hurricane season predictions - As the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season approaches, forecasters are developing predictions about the severity of this year's season. For the first time this year, African dust may provide a piece of this puzzle.

Researchers in the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) reported earlier this year that African dust storms may dampen hurricanes by cooling sea surface temperature of the tropical Atlantic.

Now CIMSS scientist Amato Evan is extending this work, offering a dust storm activity forecast as a tool to help predict severity of the upcoming hurricane season. (University of Wisconsin)

Farmers 'in denial' on climate change - NEARLY 40 per cent of rural people are uncertain about whether climate change is happening and are pinning their hopes on the weather returning to normal after the drought.

Most people who live on the land question the link between the 11-year drought and climate change, a study by the Government's Bureau of Rural Sciences finds.

"There is some denial that climate change is happening ... in order to maintain hope," the study said.

It also found a high level of uncertainty - rather than rejection - around the notion of human-induced climate change.

The study - called Climate and Industry Adaptation - interviewed 148 people from four rural communities, along with community representatives and business managers. (The Australian)

Funny how people connected to the land are much more sanguine about weather -- perhaps because they've been watching and living by it all their lives they know that forecasts a week in advance are subject to multiple changes and those beyond possible seasonal trends a few months in advance are utterly worthless. "Climate models? Pshah! It'll do what it'll do, boy & we'll cope with it when it gets here."

WARNING! -- GRAPHIC CONTENT! ENVIRONMENTALISM - A CURSE IN AFRICA - Prof Will Alexander writes from Pretoria: "All that I wish to say now is that this whole climate alarmism is a madness that we could all do well without. We can then get on with solving the real humanitarian issues of this country, and not be sidelined by all this environmentalist nonsense that is permeating our government departments and research institutions. " (Climate Science NZ)

Speculative... but possible: Sunspot cycle may be a 'dud' - TUCSON, Ariz. -- Many solar scientists expected the new sunspot cycle to be a whopper, a prolonged solar tantrum that could fry satellites and raise hell with earthly communications, the power grid and modern electronics. But there's scant proof Sunspot Cycle 24 is even here, let alone the debut of big trouble. So far there have been just a couple minor pimples on the face of the sun to suggest the old cycle is over and the new one is coming.

The roughly 11-year cycle of sunspot activity should have bottomed out last year, the end of Cycle 23 and the beginning of Cycle 24. That would have put the peak in new sunspot activity around 2012. But a dud sunspot cycle would not necessarily make it a boring period, especially for two solar scientists with the Tucson-based National Solar Observatory.

Two years ago, William Livingston and Matt Penn wrote a paper for the journal Science predicting that this could not only be a dud sunspot cycle, but the start of another extended down period in solar activity. It was based on their analysis of weakening sunspot intensity and said sunspots might vanish by 2015.

And here's the punch line: That last long-term down period, 1645-1715, coincided with the Little Ice Age, a period of bitter cold winters. That kind of talk could ruffle some feathers in this time of climate change and global warming, starring man-made carbon dioxide as the devil.

The paper, rejected in peer review, was never published by Science. Livingston said he's OK with the rejection. "I accept what the reviewers said," Livingston said. "'If you are going to make such statements, you had better have strong evidence.' " Livingston said their projections were based on observations of a trend in decreasingly powerful sunspots but reviewers felt it was merely a statistical argument. (Arizona Daily Star)

'Space' kangaroo shines light on global warming - A giant white kangaroo bounced into the science books on Tuesday as part of a global experiment to measure the amount of light the earth reflects back to the sun.

The cardboard cut-out marsupial, which measures 32 metres (105 feet) by 18 metres, was laid out in a paddock on the grounds of Monash University in the southern city of Melbourne.

"We call it our kangaroo from space because two satellites flew over (and) what they were doing was measuring the amount of light reflected from our kangaroo," Professor Patricia Vickers-Rich told AFP.

"And the point of that was to make people aware that reflected light, or lack of reflected light, has a very big effect on climate." (AFP)

See for yourself how tiny changes in albedo have a significant effect on estimated temperatures here.

Studies call for climate change policy from government - HOUSTON, May 20 -- Recent studies indicate that corporate pressure is building globally for lawmakers to address climate change.

More than 75% of companies surveyed in worldwide energy, utilities, chemical, forest products, metals, and mining industries are looking to policymakers for a clean, consistent framework on global emission targets, reported Accenture in a recently released study. (Oil & Gas Journal) | Big investors seek stricter climate laws (Reuters)

Presumably they only asked rent-seekers. Bizarrely many industries are operating under the misapprehension they will be given massive windfalls by governments while taking no penalty for ripping off their consumers. We can only guess they are graduates of the Enron school of management.

Critics: Polar bear plan must fight global warming - Conservation groups returned to court to challenge Bush administration efforts to help save the polar bear, saying federal officials' refusal to include steps against global warming violates the Endangered Species Act. (Associated Press)

'Big Oil' Faces 'the Same Game Plan that Brought Down Big Tobacco' - Lawyer that sued the tobacco industry in the 1990s now suing energy industry for causing climate change, according to Atlantic Monthly. (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

EU plan could lead to power blackouts, say electricity generators - Energy providers have begun a fierce lobbying campaign against new plans by the European Commission to clamp down on industrial pollution, saying they could cause the premature closure of a quarter of Britain's electricity generation capacity and leave the country struggling to keep its lights on. (The Independent)

Biofuels A Risk For Wildlife In New Habitats-Study - OSLO - Fast-growing foreign crops used as biofuels can disrupt new habitats by ousting local plants and animals, an international report said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Poor practices taint Brazil’s ethanol exports - Luís Oliveira and his gang get up at dawn to take a rickety bus to Fazenda Agua Doce, a sugarcane farm in central São Paulo state where the heat regularly tops 40 degrees.

They cut the cane by hand with a machete-like tool, the podão, the design of which has not moved on much since its invention. Water breaks are short and food meagre and unappetising.

Such conditions have prompted a barrage of criticism from the European Union that Brazil, the world’s largest ethanol exporter, is a nest of poor labour and environmental practices.

The criticism, and the €0.19 ($0.29, £0.15) per litre tariffs which the EU imposes on Brazilian ethanol, is damaging for an industry which Brazil hopes to promote as a green alternative to fossil fuels.

Stavros Dimas, EU environmental commissioner, said recently that planned EU biofuel quotas should be subservient to “environmental and social concerns”, prompting threats from the Brazilian foreign ministry to appeal on the issue to the World Trade Organisation. (Financial Times)

Put UK airport expansion on hold, demands green group - The government should completely rethink its aviation policy and shelve plans to expand Heathrow and Stansted airports, according to an influential advisory body.

The Sustainable Development Commission, chaired by Sir Jonathon Porritt, said there were big question marks over the environmental and economic arguments underpinning the proposals for British airport expansion. It warned that the government faced a wave of legal challenges if it did not hold an independent review of its 2003 aviation white paper, which sanctioned new runways at Heathrow, Stansted and other airports. (The Guardian)

Anti-development cranks are agin it? Go figure...

Better than a soap opera - For those who’ve been following blogger, Kathleen Seidel’s case with the anti-vaccination lawyer who tried to intimidate her silence: As we last left things, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire had granted her motion to quash the subpoena against her. Magistrate Judge James R. Muirhead had ordered the attorney to give the court cause for why he should not be sanctioned. He filed his response this week and you won’t believe his comeback. It’s priceless.

It’s not fair and must be some big conspiracy network (with “co-conspirators”), he says (in essence), because she’s just a girrrrl. A "mother and housewife" can’t possible be smart enough to able to research the internet and medical journals, and write such well-researched pieces. She couldn’t just be a concerned mother of an autistic child, somebody had to be helping her, he says, and she must be “either an agent of the defendant or of industry.” Therefore, he wanted to find out who she was working for or with. Yes, she must be an industry shill. LOL! How many of us have heard that before?

Any lady who dares believe that she, too, is capable of doing science, just has to read Kathleen’s full account, titled “Welcome to my conspiracy.” Only she can do it justice. Too funny for words. (Junkfood Science)

'Evening News' Blasts Flame-Retardant Materials - CBS report parrots cause of liberal Maine legislator but downplays the benefits, such as lives saved by chemicals. (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

Confusion about supplement disclaimers - With the news seeming to bring regular reports of dietary supplements being recalled for problems, contaminants or not containing what the label says, or for making unsubstantiated disease claims, many consumers appear to be attributing it to a failure of the FDA to protect them. It’s not exactly the FDA’s fault, in the way you might think. (Junkfood Science)

Why not? To Fight Global Warming We Must Tax All Recreational Exercise - A recent Lancet article argued that obesity is contributing to global warming because the obese consume more calories.

Since making food releases carbon, that means an obese person, on average, is worse for global warming than a skinny person. (Not to mention the extra methane the obese might release, but that is my father’s area of expertise, not my own.)

Just to put these arguments into perspective, I made some simple calculations for the United States. (Steven D. Levitt, New York Times)

Government of the people in action - The Citizens' Council on Health Care demonstrated today what the power of people can accomplish. Twila Brase, RN, who led efforts to stop the State of Minnesota from taking DNA from every newborn to store in its genomic biobank without parental consent, just announced success. Today, Governor Pawlenty vetoed the DNA bill (SF 3138). (Junkfood Science)

From stowaway to supersize predator: the mice eating rare seabirds alive - For tens of thousands of years, the birds of Gough Island lived unmolested, without predators on a remote outcrop in the south Atlantic.

Today, the British-owned island, described as the home of the most important seabird colony in the world, still hosts 22 breeding species and is a world heritage site.

But as a terrible consequence of the first whalers making landfall there 150 years ago, Gough has become the stage for one of nature's great horror shows. Mice stowed away on the whaling boats jumped ship and have since multiplied to 700,000 or more on an island of about 25 square miles.

What is horrifying ornithologists is that the British house mouse has somehow evolved, growing to up to three times the size of ordinary domestic house mice, and instead of surviving on a diet of insects and seeds, has adapted itself to become a carnivore, eating albatross, petrel and shearwater chicks alive in their nests. They are now believed to be the largest mice in the world. Yesterday Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation groups, recognised that the mice, who are without predators themselves, are out of control and threatening to make extinct several of the world's rarest bird species. (The Guardian)

Well, yes. In fact the vast majority of extinctions over the last 500 years have been island species, mainly birds and lizards, suddenly exposed to predators and competitors in the form of rodents -- and ships cats that were meant to keep the onboard rodents in check -- accidentally introduced in the days of sail (the great New Zealand extinction wave additionally includes various flightless bird hunted to extinction following the Maori occupation of the islands). Isn't it ironic that most of these critters would be alive today if early sailors had had access to methyl bromide to fumigate their ships holds? No matter -- the watermelons would likely have been agin it then, too -- for whatever reason.

It is these genuine extinctions that make modern enviro claims so ludicrous -- of the hundreds of extinctions that occurred over the last 500 years perhaps a dozen occurred in the 20th Century and yet the nutty brigade persist with absurd claims of n species lost per hour in the current era, etc. -- too stupid for words.

The church of green - A kind of irrational nature worship separates environmentalism from the more fair-minded approach of conservationism.

I admit it: I'm no environmentalist. But I like to think I'm something of a conservationist.

No doubt for millions of Americans this is a distinction without a difference, as the two words are usually used interchangeably. But they're different things, and the country would be better off if we sharpened the distinctions between both word and concept.

At its core, environmentalism is a kind of nature worship. It's a holistic ideology, shot through with religious sentiment. "If you look carefully," author Michael Crichton famously observed, "you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths."

Environmentalism's most renewable resources are fear, guilt and moral bullying. Its worldview casts man as a sinful creature who, through the pursuit of forbidden knowledge, abandoned our Edenic past. John Muir, who laid the philosophical foundations of modern environmentalism, described humans as "selfish, conceited creatures." Salvation comes from shedding our sins, rejecting our addictions (to oil, consumerism, etc.) and demonstrating through deeds an all-encompassing love of Mother Earth. Quoth Al Gore: "The climate crisis is not a political issue; it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity." (Jonah Goldberg, LA Times)

Proving research causes morbidity in lab rodents: 'Asbestos warning' on nanotubes - Carbon nanotubes, the poster child of the burgeoning nanotechnology industry, could trigger diseases similar to those caused by asbestos, a study suggests.

Specific lengths of the tiny fibres were found to cause "asbestos-like" inflammation and lesions in mice.

Use of asbestos trigged a pandemic of lung disease in the 20th Century.

There are high hopes for the tiny carbon molecules, which have remarkable properties that could be used for advanced electronics and materials.

"As a society, we cannot afford not to exploit this incredible material but neither can we afford to get it wrong - as we did with asbestos," said Dr Andrew Maynard of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, US. (BBC News)

As China and India become richer, rice consumption is likely to drop - BEIJING: Rice prices have increased this year for many reasons, but unlike most other commodities, fast-growing Chinese and Indian demand is not one of them.

With incomes rising in the two countries, in which a third of the world's population consumes about half of the world's rice, more people are eating protein-rich meat and dairy products, or sampling new foods like pasta, leaving less room on the plate for rice.

If Chinese rice demand follows the trend seen in wealthy Japan, it could fall by half in the coming decades, bringing relief to world consumers who have seen benchmark Asian rice prices nearly triple this year.

"People are making more money and are eager to try other tasty food," said Chai Weizhong, an associate professor at Peking University who studies public nutrition. "More people realize meat and vegetables are nutritious and healthy, and more choices have cut into consumption of rice." (Reuters)

May 20, 2008

What an insult! The war to end all wars - The climate change threat needs drastic action. Only a cross-party approach can deliver it (The Guardian)

10 million people died in the War To End All Wars. And these dipsticks have the gall to equate a trivial increase in atmospheric trace gas with one of the most desperate conflicts in human history? This is too much!

Alright then, what is the precise expected temperature of the Earth?

Hmm... only a few tentative hands -- quite right too since it's such a stupid question.

The correct answer is that it depends on a great many assumptions, some estimated with fair precision (sun temperature and distance...) and others little better than plain vanilla guesses (is Earth's albedo 29%, 30, 32...). It is common when calculating Earth's expected temperature to come up with 288 K (15 °C) but current anomalies (how "hot" Earth is) are worked in variation from annual means of 13.9 or 14 °C (287 K), so is Earth actually warmer than expected or merely recovering to equilibrium temperature? No one really knows.

We've run up a little global energy balance model so everyone can 'play with' Earth's temperature -- it has just three tweakable parameters so doesn't get much simpler or easy to use. Have a go and see just how small variations in assumptions lead to very different results and then see if you can justify The Guardian's stupid headline.

Natural Disasters In Context - With more than 71,000 people dead, buried, or missing in China following last Monday’s 7.9 magnitude earthquake [‘China in mourning over earthquake’, BBC Online Asia-Pacific News, May 19], and the 78,000 now thought to have perished in Myanmar (Burma) from the May 2 Cyclone ‘Nargis’ [‘Burma to mourn cyclone’s victims’, BBC Online Asia-Pacific News, May 19], I thought it might be helpful to provide a detailed historical context for our understanding of the size of such natural disasters. I thus present: A Premier League of Deaths from Natural and Semi-Natural Causes [in order of expected number of fatalities] (Global Warming Politics)

Cooler Heads - Nearly 32,000 scientists sign a petition that says they reject the claim that humanity is causing global warming. The media, who are heavily invested in the Gore Consensus, yawn. (IBD)

Audio (MP3): Dr. Arthur Robinson’s presentation at the National Press Club

Global warming or cooling? Who knows? - Thoele, of Fincastle, has been an analytical chemist for 32 years in the pharmaceutical and personal health care industries. He is also a mathematician.

Global cooling or global warming, which is it? It depends upon the latest climate study published. In the 1960s and 1970s, they claimed global cooling because of several years of colder than "normal" temperatures. Academia and certain think tanks claimed this cooling was from too much CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere. That died down and then came a warming spell, so we are now experiencing global warming, because of too much CO2 in the atmosphere. So, too much CO2 causes both global cooling and global warming. (Sherwood Thoele, Roanoke Times)

So much for 'settled science' - You may have heard earlier this month that global warming is now likely to take break for a decade or more. There will be no more warming until 2015, perhaps later.

Climate scientist Noel Keenlyside, leading a team from Germany's Leibniz Institute of Marine Science and the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology, for the first time entered verifiable data on ocean circulation cycles into one of the U. N.'s climate supercomputers, and the machine spit out a projection that there will be no more warming for the foreseeable future.

Of course, Mr. Keenlyside-- long a defender of the man-made global warming theory -- was quick to add that after 2015 (or perhaps 2020), warming would resume with a vengeance.

Climate alarmists the world over were quick to add that they had known all along there would be periods when the Earth's climate would cool even as the overall trend was toward dangerous climate change.

Sorry, but that is just so much backfill. (Lorne Gunter, National Post)

Economist Dr David Henderson says the IPCC is a “poor show” - Yes, very kindly understated David. This is a very readable and concise summing up of reasons to be skeptical of the IPCC. I have converted Dr Henderson’s speech to an html page here

In an email Dr Henderson says, “On Wednesday May 14 I appeared on a Cambridge University platform , where I opened the discussion following the Clare Distinguished Lecture for 2008, which was given by a Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Professor Mohan Munasinghe. His subject was ‘A Policy Framework for Climate Change and Sustainable Development’. I now attach the text that I used as a basis for my remarks.

The text (4,000 words) goes beyond what I had time to say, and includes footnotes and references: it therefore does not reflect my exact words in Cambridge though it includes almost all of them.” (Warwick Hughes, Errors in IPCC climate science)

Tweaking the Alarm - As the Midwest continues its now late May struggle to emerge from one of the coldest winters in two decades; as Grand Rapids, Michigan’s 107 inches of snow sets a record; as southeast Michigan received frost advisories this weekend as temperatures plummeted into the ‘30s; and as global temperatures have shown no warming trend in ten years, the global-warming movement is understandably challenged in keeping its message of fear relevant. (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

Even Flawed Data Can’t Hide the Cooling - NOAA reports that April 2008 was a full degree (F) below normal making it the 29th coldest April out of 115 years for the United States, the coldest in 11 years. Much of the western 2/3rds of the lower 48 were colder than normal. In Washington State, it was the second coldest April on record. In contrast in the east, in New York State it was the 3rd warmest.

All the monthly global data sets are updated now. The University of Alabama Hunstville (Spencer-Christy) MSU satellite derived lower tropospheric data shows an anomaly of just +0.015C. The UK Hadley Center version 3v which includes land station and some ocean reports showed an anomaly of +0.265C. Adding this month to the plot since 2002 shows the downtrend continues. (Joseph D’Aleo, CCM)

The Spatial Pattern and Mechanisms of Heat-Content Change in the North Atlantic by Lozier et al. - This paper illustrates yet another shortcoming of the global climate models that are used to predict the climate system in the coming decades. They cannot accurately simulate the important climate feature of the North Atlantic Oscillation (the NAO). As the authors, themselves write “it is premature to conclusively attribute these regional patterns of heat gain to greenhouse warming“. This shortcoming of the multi-decadal global models applies to other low frequency climate variations, such as ENSO and the North Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which are major factors in the climate that we experience (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

EPA climate rule at least a year away - WASHINGTON—A decision on whether carbon dioxide endangers public health as a greenhouse gas will probably be made by the next administration, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said "as a practical matter" he would not expect the complex regulation to be completed in less than a year, leaving a final rule to his successor.

Johnson has been criticized by congressional Democrats and environmentalists for not moving fast enough to decide the pivotal climate issue.

All three presidential candidates—Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham and GOP Sen. John McCain—have said climate change needs to be addressed and have called for mandatory measures to curtail greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide. (Associated Press)

An Open Letter to the Presidential Candidates -'s senior meteorologist and long range expert Joe Bastardi sent the global warming center a copy of his open letter to the 2008 presidential candidates. I like his idea in the fourth paragraph. Here it is... (

Wrong question: The Ethics of Climate Change: Pay Now or Pay More Later? - Weighing our own prosperity against the chances that climate change will diminish the well-being of our grandchildren calls on economists to make hard ethical judgments (John Broome, SciAm)

To frame this as there being a price to pay, either now or later, is entirely wrong. The actual question is whether it is ethical to impoverish future generations to assuage the ridiculous fears of ecochondriac current generations.

Cap And Trade Is Cap And Kill The Economy - President Bush and Sen. John McCain went to bat on energy policy last week. And guess what? They both struck out. (Lawrence Kudlow, IBD)

Verdict: Failure - The influential Pew Center has a new report out by a couple of MIT researchers (A. Denny Ellerman and Paul Joskow) purporting to assess the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). ETS is of course the cap-and-trade rationing scheme — under which EU energy costs went up, up, up and covered emissions . . . uh, also went up — that our brave Senate will confront imposing on the U.S. in two weeks’ time. That’s a coincidence, by the way. Don’t let their membership of corporate rent-seekers fool you, Pew isn’t a lobbying group. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Carbon-trading boom could go bust - The carbon-credit business is booming in Thailand. But the key question is: how long is the boom going to last? (The Nation)

Time to Clean the Stables - Submission to the Wilkins Strategic Review - The Carbon Sense Coalition recommends that all policies on global warming should be based on the science and the evidence, not on unproven computer forecasts or media scare stories. We also submit that markets and private initiatives will achieve better, quicker and cheaper results than government departments, legislative coercion, targeted subsidies, or punitive taxation. Here is the full submission: (Carbon Sense Coalition)

This idiot gets more dangerous by the day: Change sky's colour, proposes Flannery - Scientist Tim Flannery has proposed a radical solution to climate change which may change the colour of the sky. But he says it may be necessary, as the "last barrier to climate collapse." Professor Flannery says climate change is happening so quickly that mankind may need to pump sulphur into the atmosphere to survive. Australia's best-known expert on global warming has updated his climate forecast for the world - and it's much worse than he thought just three years ago. He has called for a radical suite of emergency measures to be put in place. The gas sulphur could be inserted into the earth's stratosphere to keep out the sun's rays and slow global warming, a process called global dimming. (AAP)

The danger is that someone might actually believe him and try something this stupid.

Why Grassroots Initiatives Can't Fix Climate Change - Have you heard enough already about global warming? It’s so ... last year’s news! Plenty of people are “doing something” about it. Becoming carbon-neutral has gone as mainstream as Girl Scout cookies; help is on the way. Can we move on, please? (SciAm)

Can't fix what ain't broke, dopey! We should move on.

Carbon Trust "Could Do Better" - LONDON - The government-backed Carbon Trust's contribution to reducing UK carbon dioxide emissions is "pretty small beer" and it can do better, the Committee of Public Accounts said in a report on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Who says? - "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said. (AFP)

Reality Check: Consumers Unlikely to Pay Much More for Green - The smart money these days seems to agree that fighting climate change won’t be expensive—for the economy as a whole, that is. Which is known as “macroeconomic” buck-passing. At the “microeconomic” level, electricity rates will rise a lot. And that is exactly what a lot of people don’t need right now. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Eek! Biodiversity! Climate Changes Creating Green And Flowering Mountains — Sweden's mountains are growing greener. At the border between woods and bare mountain, trees that require warm temperatures, such as oak, elm, maple, and black alder, have become established for the first time in 8,000 years. This is shown in current studies led by Leif Kullman, professor of physical geography at Umeå University in Sweden.

Over the last century, the temperature has risen by more than one degree. The cooling trend over several thousand years is broken, and this has triggered changes in flora, fauna, and landscapes. In important respects, the present state is similar to what occurred directly after the latest ice age. (ScienceDaily)

How not to measure temperature, part 62 - One of the key criteria for placement of weather stations in the COOP, and by extension, the subset USHCN network is the requirement for a warm body to read the thermometer daily, and write down the max and min (plus rainfall) in the B-91 observers log for monthly submission to the National Climatic Data Center.

By that criteria for a live observer then, manned facilities such as fire stations are often prime locations for NOAA climate monitoring stations. (Watts Up With That)

Vostok Ice Core / CO2 correlation - an AGW myth demolished - Jonathan Drake has released an interesting paper called A Simple Method to Correct Carbon Dioxide Concentrations in Ice Core Data for Ice / Gas Age Difference Perturbations.

Before you skip to the next item tarry a while because this is interesting. He had a look at the Vostok ice core data / CO2 correlation, one of the great poster children of the AGW movement. (An Englishman's Castle)

People of faith "Get It" - Evangelicals and other religiously-inclined are now uniting their voices against ruinous policies on climate change. The “We Get It!” campaign seeks one million signers to their declaration and will probably get it with such illustrious partners as Dr. James Dobson, Family Research Council, WallBuilders, Concerned Women for America, Janet Parshall, senators and congressmen, and nearly a hundred pastors, Christian leaders, policymakers, theologians, and state organizations. (Julie Walsh, CEI)

A Bear of a Problem: Listing polar bears under the Endangered Species Act could have dramatic impacts. - Last week, the Fish & Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as a “threatened species” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the first species to be listed due to global warming. Although the ESA was not designed to address concerns like global warming, and listing the polar bear will do little if anything to protect polar bears in their native habitat, the federal government had little choice in the matter. Now that the bear is listed, the federal government may also have little choice but to take further measures to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions under the guise of protecting Ursus maritimus. (Jonathan H. Adler, NRO)

Fat People are Killing the Polar Bears (Again) - Last year we mentioned Ian Roberts' theory, as reported in New Scientist, that fat people are responsible for more than their fair share of global warming, and, in order to get a snappy headline out of it, we tied it into another New Scientist article, which was critical of research by Willie Soon, who had suggested that polar bears aren't as vulnerable as is widely claimed. Both NS articles were, in our view, rather shoddy, reflecting the magazine's partiality in the climate debate. Who could not form the impression that fat people were more responsible than the rest of us for the demise of the polar bear, if they took the magazine at face value? Excuses for snappy headlines aside, our post - 'Fat People Are Killing the Polar Bears' - was intended to demonstrate the confusion between the science and morality of climate change.

True to the eco-warrior's demands that we 'Reduce! Re-use! Recycle!', Roberts' argument - which deserves to go to landfill - has been recycled, in an article entitled Fat is an environmental issue in, yes, New Scientist magazine, who, on the same day, also reports uncritically more recycled 'news' from uber-eco-warriors, the WWF, that human activities are devastating the world's wildlife. What have these fatsos got against polar bears, for goodness sake? (Climate Resistance)

Huh? Chelsea gives a glimpse of gardens in 2050. Hotter, drier, but remarkably short of cacti - Flower show demonstrates climate change need not turn backyards into deserts (The Guardian)

The Week In Washington, D. C. - Although the tide is turning against energy-rationing policies in the U. S. Senate (and in the European Union, especially in Britain), Senator John McCain (R-Az.) is staying true to the old religion in his presidential campaign. He laid out his global warming policies in a speech at a Danish company’s wind turbine factory in Portland, Oregon on Monday. McCain used the venue to say that, “When we debate energy bills in Washington, it should be more than a competition among industries for special favors, subsidies, and tax breaks. In the Congress, we need to send the special interests on their way….” The Energy Information Administration reported that wind power receives federal subsidies of $23.37 per megawatt hour of electricity produced. Coal gets 44 cents and natural gas 25 cents. However, the subsidies provided to wind and solar power are not enough to make them competitive without state and renewable mandates. (Myron Ebell, CEI)

Report: EPA head reversed stand on greenhouse gas - WASHINGTON—The head of the Environmental Protection Agency initially supported giving California and other states full or partial permission to limit tailpipe emissions—but reversed himself after hearing from the White House, a report said Monday.

The report by the Democratic staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee cites interviews and depositions with high-level EPA officials. It amounts to the first solid evidence of the political interference alleged by Democrats and environmentalists since Administrator Stephen Johnson denied California's waiver request in December.

Johnson's decision also blocked more than a dozen other states that wanted to follow California's lead and regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks. It was applauded by the auto industry and supported by the White House, which has opposed mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions.

Johnson, a 27-year career veteran of the EPA, frequently has denied that his decisions are being directed by the White House. "I am the decision maker," Johnson said Monday, meeting with reporters at Platt's Energy Podium newsmaker session, before the California waiver report surfaced.

A White House spokeswoman denied interference. (Associated Press)

Imaginative, aren't they? US begins to break foreign oil ‘addiction’ - The US is starting to break its “addiction” to foreign oil as high prices, more efficient cars, and the use of ethanol significantly cut the share of its oil imports for the first time since 1977.

The country’s foreign oil dependency is expected to fall from 60 per cent to 50 per cent in 2015, before rising again slightly to 54 per cent in 2030, according to the head of the Department of Energy’s statistical arm. (Financial Times)

Personally I think their crystal balls have become cloudy with oil to the point they're just making this stuff up. How do they imagine the Americans will bring that much oil capacity online in the next 7 years?

Why? A simple, low-cost carbon filter removes 90% of carbon dioxide from smokestack gases - Researchers in Wyoming report development of a low-cost carbon filter that can remove 90 percent of carbon dioxide gas from the smokestacks of electric power plants that burn coal and other fossil fuels. Their study is scheduled for the May 21 issue of ACS’ monthly journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. (ACS)

Coal Porters: Oil-Rich Mid-East May Import Coal - Coals to Newcastle is one thing, but energy being exported to the Middle East?

That’s the scenario looming for fast-growing economies in the region, especially the Gulf states, according to the Times of London. Demand for electricity is growing quickly in countries like the United Arab Emirates. Many countries in the region have plans to build new nuclear plants, but that will take years. In the meantime, the energy crunch trumps climate-change worries, and they are turning to coal to fill the gap. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Ooh! Drax seals £50m deal to produce 10 per cent of its electricity from biomass - Drax, Europe's biggest polluter, signed a landmark deal yesterday that will allow it to produce 10 per cent of its electricity from biomass resources such as peanut husks and wood chips. (The Independent)

The Immorality of Ethanol - Boosters claim ethanol production doesn’t raise food prices, but the numbers tell a different story. (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)

US Senator Promotes Bill To Freeze Ethanol Mandate - WASHINGTON - US Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on Monday proposed freezing the federal mandate for corn-based ethanol at this year's level, contending that using so much grain for fuel was pressuring the food supply. (Reuters)

Khosla's Conspiracy - Spiking food prices, global shortages and Third World riots have managed to elicit repentance from some ethanol evangelists. Not Vinod Khosla. As the Silicon Valley billionaire explained last week in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, ethanol's contribution to the crisis is "very minor" and "overblown."

"Food prices have been going up," Mr. Khosla conceded. "But there are massive PR campaigns trying to ascribe most of the blame to biofuels." Apparently "lots of people" are behind the plot, though Mr. Khosla singled out one: "Clearly, the American Petroleum Institute has been very, very concerned about food prices, and you wonder why."

Gosh. API is a trade group for the oil and gas industry that is radioactive on Capitol Hill. But we didn't realize that API's tentacles were wrapped around the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the USDA, all of which blame ethanol for inflationary pressures on food prices. Nor did we appreciate how much authority API's views carried with the U.N.'s special rapporteur for the right to food, Jean Ziegler, who says Western biofuels programs are "a crime against humanity."

There are other factors at play (especially the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy) but this conspiratorial vision is uniquely unfortunate. Mr. Khosla and his well-heeled peers are among those who persuaded Congress to create the subsidy bonanza that causes the U.S. to convert food to fuel. Now that the price shocks from corn and other crop scarcities are ricocheting world-wide, he blames a Washington policy outfit that can barely get its phone calls returned.

Like other green venture "capitalists," Mr. Khosla now claims that corn ethanol is merely a springboard for the cellulosic varieties, which don't draw on food stocks. Of course, his investments in such fuels also come with their own handsome subsidies. As long as he's on the federal dole, perhaps Mr. Khosla should take a vow of embarrassed silence. (Wall Street Journal)

 The Uranium Boom Hits Western U.S. - Thanks to soaring commodity prices, the U.S. uranium mining sector is enjoying a comeback – and that is causing conflict in several western states. (Richard Martin, Energy Tribune)

NYT -- supermarket tabloid... Concerns About BPA Plastic - Until the Food and Drug Administration rules on bisphenol-a, consumers would be wise to avoid it for babies and young children and use BPA-free alternatives. (New York Times)

Perhaps their climate fear-mongering isn't bringing readers so they are turning absurd chemical scares instead. What a sad end for the Old Gray Lady...

HRT 'does not raise risk of breast cancer' - Women should not be put off hormone replacement therapy by over-hyped fears about its health risks, a panel of international experts has concluded.

For women aged 50 to 59 in the early years of the menopause, HRT is safe and effective, said the scientists. It alleviated menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and maintained healthy bones without significant harmful side effects.

Contrary to what many people had been led to believe, HRT did not raise the risk of heart disease for these women, and its impact on breast cancer was "minimal", the experts reported.

Although certain types of HRT containing combinations of oestrogen and progesterone could slightly increase the chances of developing breast cancer, their effect was dwarfed by other risk factors. (The Independent)

War on childhood obesity is showing its desperation - How do we respond to those scaring children, becoming increasingly more hysterical and outrageous, in ways that might hurt them? If it was someone in your living room or your child’s school saying such stuff to your child, you would intervene to protect your child and other children. (Junkfood Science)

Oh... Is Fire Retardant A Harmful Toxin? - For decades, Americans have depended on special chemicals to protect them from fire. But now, there are serious questions about the safety of those chemicals. Two states have already banned them, and six more are considering it. CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews has this exclusive report. (CBS)

More gibbering nitwittery from irresponsible media. Guess what? Fire retardants save a lot of lives. On any given day your risk of [insert some vaguely associated malady here] is immeasurably small and, on any given day, the increase in your risk of said malady from exposure to [name commonly contacted compounds] is, um... still immeasurably small.

Used fluorescents loom as environmental hazard - It's a message being drummed into the heads of homeowners everywhere: Swap out those incandescent lights with longer-lasting compact fluorescent bulbs and cut your electric use.

Governments, utilities, environmentalists and, of course, retailers everywhere are spreading the word.

Few, however, are volunteering to collect the mercury-laced bulbs for recycling - despite what public officials and others say is a potential health hazard if the hundreds of millions of them being sold are tossed in the trash and end up in landfills and incinerators. (Associated Press)

Adviser's warning on ecotowns - Ecotowns risk increasing social division by diverting money and political will from improving existing towns and cities, according to an independent adviser to the prime minister. (The Guardian)

Dominic Lawson: The best population policy is to have none - The humane approach is to let each family, in every country, choose its own fertility rates (The Independent)

Rice grown in United States contains less-dangerous form of arsenic - Rice grown in the United States may be safer than varieties from Asia and Europe, according to a new global study of the grain that feeds over half of humanity. The study evaluated levels of arsenic, which can be toxic at high levels, in rice worldwide. The two-part report is scheduled for the May 15 issue of ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology. (ACS)

Greens and Hunger - Farmers and consumers in poor countries are now paying the price now for decisions made by well-fed Westerners, as reported by my colleagues Keith Bradsher and Andrew Martin in their front-page article on cutbacks in financing for agricultural research. They explain how the Green Revolution faltered after Western governments and agencies slashed funds for agricultural research, partly to shift money to other areas, like environmental projects, and partly because of opposition to high-yield agriculture from advocacy groups. (John Tierney, New York Times)

Shoppers to 'abandon organic food to cut bills' - Middle-class shoppers will be forced to abandon organic and fair trade food as inflation continues to climb, a new report warns. (Daily Telegraph)

Ancient deep-sea coral reefs off southeastern US serve as underwater 'islands' in the Gulf stream - Largely unexplored deep-sea coral reefs, some perhaps hundreds of thousands of years old, off the coast of the southeastern U.S. are not only larger than expected but also home to commercially valuable fish populations and many newly discovered and unusual species. Results from a series of NOAA-funded expeditions to document these previously unstudied and diverse habitats and their associated marine life have revealed some surprising results. (NOAA)

May 19, 2008

32,000 deniers - That’s the number of scientists who are outraged by the Kyoto Protocol’s corruption of science

Question: How many scientists does it take to establish that a consensus does not exist on global warming? The quest to establish that the science is not settled on climate change began before most people had even heard of global warming. (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post) | 31,000 Scientists Rejecting Global Warming Theory to be Named Monday (NewsBusters)

Facing fears & global warming - With all of the pending disasters blamed on global warming blasting their way through the media, I can understand why many might fear the future climate. We are told emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), are destroying not only polar bears and petunias, but the planet as a whole. If we don’t “stop global warming,” The End will surely come.

I am a climate scientist. My research and that of many others does not lead me to be afraid for the climate’s future. However, I am fearful for other reasons: (John Christy, Baptist Standard)

Scare disintegrating: 'Fewer hurricanes' as world warms - Hurricanes and tropical storms will become less frequent by the end of the century as a result of climate change, US researchers have suggested.

But the scientists added their data also showed that there would be a "modest increase" in the intensity of these extreme weather events.

The findings are at odds with some other studies, which forecast a greater number of hurricanes in a warmer world.

The researchers' results appear in the journal Nature Geoscience. (BBC News) | Study: Global warming not to blame for rise in hurricanes (Houston Chronicle) | Experts spar over warming in storms (Palm Beach Post)

Such a shame we can't guarantee the world will warm.

What a Charlie... Prince Charles: Eighteen months to stop climate change disaster - The Prince of Wales has warned that the world faces a series of natural disasters within 18 months unless urgent action is taken to save the rainforests. (Daily Telegraph)

Tell it to the flowers, Charlie. If by some accident we make it through the next 18 months, will the bloody idiot shut up then?

Real intelligence failures - By Richard W. Rahn - What do you think was the most costly intelligence failure of all time? No, was is not the world's leading intelligence agencies' failure to notice that Saddam had few, if any, weapons of mass destruction. It was the failure of many leading climate model builders to be modest enough about their predictions, and the politicians' and media's failure to ask the tough questions of these climate experts.

As a consequence of what we now know was an overblown global-warming scare, everyone on the planet is paying substantially more for food and fuel than is necessary.

Despite the prediction of all the major climate models, the Earth has been getting cooler since 1998. At first, it was not considered a big deal because temperatures fluctuate from year to year. However, the drop has now been going for a decade, with another big drop last year.

The global warming zealots have just been handed another rude shock, when the peer-reviewed journal, Nature, reported on May 1 that according to a new (and hopefully improved) climate model, global surface temperatures may not increase over the next decade.

Roger A. Pielke, environmental studies professor at the University of Colorado, and not previously a global warming skeptic, reacted to the Nature article: "Climate models are of no practical use beyond providing some intellectual authority in the promotional battle over global-warming policy." (Washington Times)

Interesting item to appear on Reuters: So what happened to global warming? - It’s not just that it’s disappeared from media headlines this year - shoved off by the credit crunch and natural disasters, for example. It can’t be ignored that 2007 came and went as another very warm year - the 7th hottest on record since 1850 according to the World Meteorological Organization.

But it wasn’t a record. In fact that was 1998, a full 10 years ago — the year of an exceptional El Nino, a Pacific weather pattern which heats the whole globe. So is global warming not living up to the hype? (Gerard Wynn, Reuters)

Phi On Climate Change - As long pointed out on this site, public interest in ‘global warming’ and the environment is in steady decline here in the UK, and, according to the ΦPHI5000, the world’s largest daily public-opinion tracker, climate change and the environment have now fallen into bottom place [‘People Stop Worrying About The Environment As The Economy And Tax Take Centre-Stage’, ΦPoliticsHome, May 16]: (Global Warming Politics)

Senate poised to take up sweeping global warming bill - WASHINGTON — Landmark legislation to reduce global warming is set to spark an intense Senate debate in early June.

While it is unlikely to become law this year, the Climate Security Act is seen by both supporters and opponents as evidence of how far Congress has moved on the issue and how quickly a bill is likely to pass after a new president moves into the White House in January and a new Congress takes office. (Gannett News Service)

McCain boards the warming craft - Were John McCain truly a maverick, he would publicly break from the politically correct culture that demands obedience to its global warming narrative. But sadly, he continues to do the opposite. (David Limbaugh, Washington Times)

Wrong Side McCain - During his 1999 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, the New York Times reported that John McCain told a group of college students that there was still a lot he didn't know about global warming. "I don't claim to be an expert on the issue," he said.

That's a brave and surprisingly humble admission from anyone running for national office. But he didn't let that lack of knowledge stop him from spending the next eight years pushing bad policy on the issue. (Peter Suderman, American Spectator)

EUROPE: There's Money in Emissions - BRUSSELS, May 16 - 'Cap and trade' has become one of the stock phrases that one is almost guaranteed to hear at any European conference on climate change these days.

The underlying concept is simple enough: a ceiling is placed on the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main gas blamed by scientists for global warming, that a country may emit. This is then divided between the most polluting companies operating in that country. Companies that release more CO2 than they are allowed to must buy extra permits; those that emit less than their allocation may sell their unused permits.

Yet like many ideas that work fine on paper, difficulties can arise when the system is put into practice, as the European Union's main institutions have found out. (IPS)

Dion exudes confidence on green plan - OTTAWA–Over the summer, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion will be criss-crossing the country, telling Canadians already reeling from higher gas prices that they need to pay a lot more for the rest of their energy sources. His message, in essence, is that it's time for Canadians to put their money where their mouths are if they are serious about saving the planet. (Toronto Star)

The sun sets on Rudd's climate change credibility - KEVIN Rudd's climate change honeymoon ended last week. The hero of Bali received a public relations belting over what were relatively modest indiscretions in the environment section of Tuesday night's budget. (The Australian)

K.Rudd had credibility on climate change... who knew?

Why farms must change to save the planet - FARMING is to blame for 25 per cent of Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions, a new report has revealed. The study into agriculture and its impact on the environment says radical changes are needed to centuries-old practices if Scotland is to meet its targets to tackle climate change. It dispels the myth that it is only air travel, shipping and excessive car use that unleash huge quantities of damaging carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Instead, it lays a big portion of the blame on farming. (The Scotsman)

"Damaging carbon dioxide"?

Um... no: Not Much Help for the Polar Bear - Boxed into a corner by the courts and its own scientists, the Bush administration agreed last week to place the polar bear under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The decision was the clearest official acknowledgment that the bear, its hunting grounds diminished by shrinking summer ice, is seriously at risk.

It was a victory for conservationists and for the Interior Department’s scientists whose findings have often been twisted or ignored by the administration.

It is not clear that the decision is much of a victory for the bears. The listing appears to offer only modest new protections. United States law already bars the killing of bears. The listing will also prohibit the importing of hides or other trophies from bears killed in Canada. (New York Times)

Listing the bears as 'threatened by gorebull warming' won't do anything for the bears because, well, they aren't.

Kempthorne Opens Pandora's Box - In explaining his landmark decision to use the Endangered Species Act for the first time to protect a species supposedly threatened by the impact of global warming, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne went out of his way to reassure industry that his polar-bear ruling “should not open the door to use the ESA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, power plants, and other sources. That would be a wholly inappropriate use of the Endangered Species Act. ESA is not the right tool to set U.S. climate policy.”

Mr. Kempthorne apparently just fell off the turnip truck. Or maybe he was born yesterday. Or, as M. Reed Hopper of the Pacific Legal Foundation (which has filed to overturn Interior’s decision) diplomatically put it: “He’s engaged in wishful thinking.” (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

Where Are All The Drowning Polar Bears? - The Interior Department just announced its decision to list the polar bear as “threatened” under the U.S Endangered Species Act (ESA). The justification behind the decision is that polar bears are highly dependent on sea ice in the Arctic for their livelihood—hunting, mating, birthing, family rearing, etc.—and thus if sea ice declines, so will the overall health of the species. While this may, in fact, be true in some sense, it also gives short-shrift to the bears adaptive abilities, which must be large, given that they survived the previous interglacial warm period as well as an extended period of warmer-than-present conditions in the Arctic (which undoubtedly were associated with reduced sea ice levels) about 5,000 to 7,000 years ago (give or take a thousand years) (see here fore example). If the bears fare worse this time around, it will mostly likely be because their natural adaptive response may run up against a human roadblock in the form of habitat disruption or other types of difficulties that an increased human presence may pose to the adapting bears. It seems that this is what the intent of the ESA is aimed at tempering, not trying to alter the climate—precisely how the Act should have be applied, despite all the criticism surrounding the decision. (WCR)

Editorial: Telling the truth on polar bears, global warming - The U.S. government says the population of polar bears has increased four-fold since the 1960s, so the bureaucrats whose job security depends on stirring up environmental distress have classified the huge white beasts as an endangered species. Surely Alice in Wonderland has donned a disguise that makes her look and sound exactly like Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. Alice issued a decision last week under Kempthorne’s signature that effectively mandates nothing can be done anywhere by anybody in the lower 48 states if it increases the greenhouse gases that fuel the global warming that is allegedly melting the Artic ice the polar bears require for survival. (Washington DC Examiner)

Eye-roller: 10 places to go before global warming hits hard - That dream vacation — diving along the Great Barrier Reef, skiing in the Swiss Alps — could remain a dream forever if you don't get a move on. (McClatchy Newspapers)

Climate change and human extinction--are you ready to be fossilized? - Climate change killed the dinosaurs. Will it kill us as well? Will we let it destroy the human race? This was the grim, depressing message that hung in the background of the Climate Change Forum hosted on Friday by the Philippine National Red Cross at the Manila Hotel.

"Not one dinosaur is alive today. Maybe someday it will be our fossils that another race will dig up in the future, " said Roger Bracke of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, underscoring his point that no less than extinction is faced by the human race, unless we are able to address global warming and climate change in this generation. (

Complex Climate Treaty Challenges Experts - VENICE - Eighteen months before a new climate pact must be agreed, the world appears to be drifting in negotiations that could be the most complex ever, experts said. (Reuters)

Retrogressive, Retrospective, and Wrong - If Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, was thought to stand for anything, it was for the poor and for the disadvantaged. If the Labour Party has a core value, it is surely support for low-income, working families. No longer, it would seem. In trying to pass itself off as a middle class ‘Green’ party for the public school Guardianistas, Labour is making blunder after blunder, errors of political judgment that could well cost it dear, and with likely immediate effect in this up-coming Thursday’s Crewe and Nantwich by-election (Global Warming Politics)

Not again! Now an unfair car tax is embarrassing for Brown - Just when Gordon Brown was praying for some respite, another 10p row is brewing at Westminster - and again he only has himself to blame. This time the tax rebellion focuses on some small print in the Budget that could see the tax on ordinary family cars - vehicle excise duty - rising by 32 per cent as part of the Government's so-called anti-climate change measures. Already the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, is rubbing his hands with glee, dubbing it a 'Ford Mondeo tax'. (First Post)

U.N. chief says rich must fight global warming - LONDON - Efforts to combat global warming risk running out of steam because rich, developed nations are failing to show the necessary leadership, Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N.'s climate change secretariat, said on Friday. (Reuters)

D'oh! UK demands repayment of climate aid to poor nations - Britain's £800m international project to help the poorest countries in the world adapt to climate change was under fire last night after it emerged that almost all the money offered by Gordon Brown will have to be repaid with interest.

The UK environmental transformation fund was announced by the prime minister to international acclaim in November 2007, and was widely expected to be made in direct grants to countries experiencing extreme droughts, storms and sea level rise associated with climate change.

But the Guardian has learned that the money is not additional British aid and will be administered by the World Bank mainly in the form of concessionary loans which poor countries will have to pay back to Britain with interest. (John Vidal, The Guardian)

Actually only watermelon media and wannabe wealth redistributors even consider the concept of "climate aid" while the real world works in terms of development loans (frequently concessionary loans, too). There's a really good reason for this -- there's no such thing as gorebull warming and no reason to anticipate sudden acceleration in sea level rise, extreme weather or anything else dreamed up by the fevered brows of the de-developers (revelopers?): "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.

US Changes Course, Bans Drilling In Arctic Wetland - ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Bush administration on Friday proposed keeping potentially oil-rich wetlands in Arctic Alaska off-limits to drilling because of their ecological sensitivity, a reversal of its earlier plan. (Reuters)

Exxon Chief Criticizes U.S. Oil Policy - Exxon Mobil Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson says he finds it "astonishing" that President Bush is asking Saudi Arabia to pump more oil rather than working harder to clear the way for more oil production at home.

In an interview Thursday, Mr. Tillerson called it "terribly upside down" that Mr. Bush would lobby members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to boost production when much of the U.S.'s coastal waters remains off-limits to drilling. Mr. Bush, in the Middle East this week, plans to talk with Saudi King Abdullah about raising production and other ways to lower global oil prices.

Lifting a federal moratorium on offshore drilling in many parts of the U.S. has been a long-held aim of the industry. About one-quarter of U.S. oil and gas production comes from offshore wells in the Gulf of Mexico, but other offshore areas in the U.S. are largely off-limits.

The federal government controls drilling in offshore U.S. waters and is prevented from leasing these areas to oil companies by both a congressional moratorium and a presidential order signed by the first President Bush in 1990 and renewed by President Clinton in 1998. The current President Bush has deferred to the governors of California and Florida, who have opposed offshore drilling.

A White House spokesman said the administration has worked with state leaders to "expand domestic exploration in an environmentally sensitive way."

Also in the interview, Mr. Tillerson said Exxon was close to signing a deal with the Iraqi national oil company to provide technical services to boost production from the Zubair field. He said he would sign a three-year deal but wouldn't send Exxon employees because of the security situation. (Wall Street Journal)

Crude Mistake - Energy: With the price of oil spiking above $127 a barrel, the search for scapegoats has begun. Some point to the Saudis, OPEC's No. 1 producer. Others blame the oil companies. We have a better candidate: Congress. (IBD)

Energy and the Executive - This election is notable in many ways. For the first time since 1952, neither the president nor the vice president will be his party's presidential nominee. For the first time since 1960, a sitting U.S. senator will be elected president. And for the first time ever, if the Democrats win, the next president will be female or black.

We are also at a fork in the policy road, for any of the three major candidates would lead us in very different directions on major public policy issues, from spending and taxation on the one hand, to international relations and the war on terror on the other.

Equally critical will be their direction on how we generate the energy America needs. Over the past 20 years, have our presidents and Congresses allowed us to drill for the additional offshore oil available to fuel our economy and reduce imports? No. Have they encouraged the building of nuclear power plants that would generate pollution-free energy? No. Are they now supporting the building of coal-fired power plants to generate the electricity our economy needs? No.

We have an abysmal national energy policy, and as our population grows and our economy expands, energy needs will increase. From 1980 to 2006 America's annual energy usage increased from 78 to 100 quadrillion British thermal units, and the figure is estimated to grow to 118 quadrillion BTUs by 2030. If our regressive energy production policies continue when the next administration takes office, our economy and the personal lives of Americans will be severely affected. (PETE DU PONT, Wall Street Journal)

Mexico's Oiling Days Are Numbered - Energy: Even without a terror attack on its oil facilities, Mexico's output is falling sharply and could end as soon as 10 years. Its president is setting an example by fighting a difficult Congress and culture to reverse that. (IBD)

Russian fleet raises heat in icy battle for polar oil - THE battle for "ownership" of polar oil reserves has intensified with Russia sending a fleet of nuclear-powered ice-breakers into the Arctic.

It has reinforced fears that Moscow intends to unlawfully annex a vast portion of the ice-covered Arctic. Scientists believe up to 10 billion tonnes of gas and oil could lie under the region.

Russian ambition for control of the Arctic has provoked Canada to double to $C40 million ($A42 million) funding to map the Arctic seabed in support of its claim over the territory.

The Russian ice-breakers patrol for months on end, cutting through ice up to two metres thick. Eight are thought to be in the region, dwarfing the British and US non-nuclear fleets.

Canada intends to build a special fleet of patrol boats to guard the North-West Passage.

The crisis has raised the spectre of Russia and the West entering a new cold war over the Arctic unless the United Nations can resolve the dispute. (Daily Telegraph)

German Coal Use Jumps 3.5%, Increasing Emissions - May 16 -- German coal consumption jumped 3.5 percent in January as colder weather increased demand, boosting emissions of greenhouse gases in Europe's biggest economy, government statistics show. (Bloomberg)

How many frequent flyer points does it take to change a light bulb? (Carbon Sense Coalition)

Auf Wiedersehen to Solar Subsidies? - In the U.S., the energy subsidies debate revolves around how much support to give, for how long, and how to pay for it. In Germany, the big question is how much to cut generous state support for clean energy like solar power. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Eco-friendly claims for ‘hybrid’ cars dismissed as gimmickry - Cars promoted as eco-friendly were criticised yesterday for pumping out up to 56 per cent more carbon dioxide than the manufacturers claim. Three models, including the Honda Civic hybrid, performed so badly in tests that their environmental claims were dismissed as a gimmick. (The Times)

Chain Reaction: Why British Energy is the Nuclear Prize - There’s likely to be a bidding war for Britain’s largest power company, British Energy, with a handful of European companies champing at a $21 billion bit to get their mitts on the utility at the heart of the U.K.’s nuclear revival. EDF of France, RWE of Germany, Iberdrola of Spain, and–maybe–Suez of France are all weighing their options.

But nuclear power is plagued by relentlessly rising upfront costs, in the U.S. at least. So what makes British Energy so special? Two things: real estate and pricey carbon. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Carbon Caps May Give Nuclear Power a Lift - As Congress debates whether to limit carbon-dioxide emissions, one of the most vocal supporters of such legislation -- the nuclear-power industry -- is poised to reap a multibillion-dollar windfall if restrictions take effect.

Some nuclear operators are already forecasting how much their profits could increase under various versions of greenhouse-gas legislation that are under consideration. Among the nuclear operators that stand to profit most are Exelon Corp., FPL Group Inc., Constellation Energy Group, Entergy Corp., FirstEnergy Corp., NRG Energy Inc. and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.

Carbon limits could usher in a period of "supernormal profits" for nuclear operators in markets where rates are deregulated and have more ability to rise, says Hugh Wynne, utilities analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. But he warns that profits, if perceived as excessive, run the risk of inciting a public backlash, perhaps including calls for a windfall-profits tax. (Wall Street Journal)

On Climate, Symbols Can Overshadow Substance: Lights-Out Event More Showy Than Practical - In March of last year, the World Wildlife Fund in Australia teamed up with Leo Burnett, the multinational advertising agency that created the Marlboro Man, to come up with a new environmental campaign called Earth Hour. The idea was to get 2 million residents in Sydney to turn off all the lights in their homes for one hour. The campaign generated wide publicity, but the energy saved was small -- the equivalent of taking about five cars off the city's roads for a year.

This year, Earth Hour expanded to dozens of cities around the world. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Empire State Building in New York were among the U.S. landmarks that went dark. Many corporations signed on to burnish their green credentials. A bar in Phoenix served a drink called an ecotini -- organic vodka, green tea and an edible orchid.

But if everyone who participated in Earth Hour had left their lights on and instead switched to mundane, high-efficiency compact fluorescent bulbs, simple calculations show, it might have saved 1,368 times as much energy, because the bulbs would have saved energy all year. (Washington Post)

Forget Earth Hour, Let’s Try Earth Month (Carbon Sense Coalition)

Always keen to spend your money: Put greenhouse levy on flights: academic - Passengers on all international flights should pay a compulsory greenhouse levy, an Australian academic says.

Andrew Macintosh, associate director of the Australian National University's Centre for Climate Law and Policy, recommends a $20 levy on passengers flying Sydney to London but lower levies on flights from developing countries.

Mr Macintosh has released an ANU study he co-authored which warns greenhouse gas emissions from international flights will more than double by 2025 as more people fly. (AAP)

Karl Popper and 21st century enemies of science - Nude Socialist has printed another venomous attack against theoretical physics that was written by an individual named Robert Matthews. He argues that science has to be "redefined" but unfortunately every single sentence written in his text is profoundly incorrect. (The Reference Frame)

Induction & how scientists think - Many people like to promote an interpretation of the scientific method - let me call it the "Popperian interpretation" - that I find naive, oversimplified, and incomplete. In this picture, scientists

  • make guesses (create hypotheses)
  • falsify the wrong ones by observations

and that's it. Well, in some vague sense, it is always the case. These two procedures may appear at some moments of the scientific process. We make some guesses, we are trying to eliminate the wrong ones, and we may ignore everything else that the scientists are doing if we're not really interested in it. ;-) (The Reference Frame)

Beverly Hillbully - In politics, not everything is at it seems. And there's no better example than the case of the Congressman from Beverly Hills who is crying "pollution" as a way to protect his own district's polluting ways. (Wall Street Journal)

Silly me! I had been looking at it from the perspective of health standards and called it a crock...

Another cruel breast cancer scare falls flat - There was a press release about a new study... sent out to media before the study was published in the medical journal... more than 500 media outlets reported on the study on the same day and all saying the same thing... Stop me if you’ve heard this before. (Junkfood Science)

Quote of the day: “We need a more fluid concept of evidence” - I’ve waited to write more more about the roots of unscience in medical schools and universities, to include what I knew would be a priceless synopsis of his trip to the United States. Professor David Colquhoun of the Dept of Pharmacology at University College in London, recently spoke at the Integrative Medicine at Yale. As covered in-depth here, medical professionals in the UK are actively working to advocate for the safety and welfare of patients and the integrity of science in medicine by exposing quackery. (Junkfood Science)

A look at some of the companies behind your employer’s wellness program - You might be interested in the latest preventive health and wellness management companies marketing themselves directly to your employer. Delivered to employer in-boxes over recent weeks: (Junkfood Science)

Our country on drugs - One of the world’s largest pharmacy benefit managers announced more success of its drug benefit management this week. More than half of all insured Americans, children and adults, are now on prescription medications for chronic conditions — and 20% are on three or more drugs. Nearly half of all young women in their 20s and 30s are now chronically taking prescription drugs, as are nearly one in three children. (Junkfood Science)

World’s Poor Pay Price as Crop Research Is Cut - LOS BAÑOS, Philippines — The brown plant hopper, an insect no bigger than a gnat, is multiplying by the billions and chewing through rice paddies in East Asia, threatening the diets of many poor people.

The damage to rice crops, occurring at a time of scarcity and high prices, could have been prevented. Researchers at the International Rice Research Institute here say that they know how to create rice varieties resistant to the insects but that budget cuts have prevented them from doing so.

This is a stark example of the many problems that are coming to light in the world’s agricultural system. Experts say that during the food surpluses of recent decades, governments and development agencies lost focus on the importance of helping poor countries improve their agriculture.

The budgets of institutions that delivered the world from famine in the 1970s, including the rice institute, have stagnated or fallen, even as the problems they were trying to solve became harder.

“People felt that the world food crisis was solved, that food security was no longer an issue, and it really fell off the agenda,” said Robert S. Zeigler, the director general of the rice institute.

Vital research programs have been slashed. At the rice institute, scientists have identified 14 genetic traits that could help rice plants survive the plant hopper, which sucks the juices out of young plants while infecting them with viruses. But the scientists have had no money to breed these traits into the world’s most widely used rice varieties. (New York Times)

Permanent disaster - "We need to stand up to the special interests, bring Republicans and Democrats together and pass the farm bill immediately," Barack Obama declared last November. It was a weird comment, since the farm bill, which subsidizes an arbitrarily chosen section of the economy at the expense of taxpayers and consumers in general, is special-interest legislation by definition.

The latest version, which President Bush has promised to veto, includes tax breaks for racehorse owners, "marketing aid" for fruit and vegetable growers, research funding for organic farmers, enhanced price supports for domestic sugar producers, increased subsidies for dairy farmers, a $170-million earmark for the salmon industry, and billions of dollars in automatic payments and "permanent disaster assistance" for corn, wheat, cotton, rice and soybean growers. Take that, special interests! (Jacob Sullum, Washington Times)

Whose Rain Forest Is This, Anyway? - “Contrary to what Brazilians think, the Amazon is not their property, it belongs to all of us,” Al Gore, then a senator, said in 1989.

Such comments are not taken lightly here. In fact, they have reignited old attitudes of territorial protectionism and watchfulness for undercover foreign invaders (now including bioprospectors).

The government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is pushing a law that would restrict access to the rain forest, requiring foreigners and Brazilians alike to obtain a special permit to enter it. Brazilian officials say it would separate bad non-governmental organizations from good ones, and deter so-called “biopirates” — those who want to patent unique substances discovered in the forest.

“The Amazon is ours,” Justice Secretary Romeu Tuma Jr. said in an interview. “We want to know who is going there and what they are going to do. It’s a question of national sovereignty.”

But that question is not as straightforward as it may seem. One man’s savior of sovereignty can be another’s despoiler of the forest. (New York Times)

Development Crucial To Saving The Brazilian Amazon - SAO PAULO - The best way to preserve the Amazon rain forest is to develop the region and bring viable economic alternatives to the millions of people who live there, a Brazilian cabinet member said on Friday. (Reuters)

Huge project to restore Everglades to be suspended - Construction on a huge reservoir meant to help restore the Everglades will be put on hold over a lawsuit brought by a group that fears the water could be diverted for other purposes.

The South Florida Water Management District, whose board voted Thursday to stop work, has already spent about $250 million on construction. The delay could cost nearly $14 million.

The 25-square-mile reservoir - the largest of its kind in the world - is estimated to cost up to $800 million and was set for completion in 2010.

No one disagrees that storing runoff water is key to reviving the famed River of Grass. But the Natural Resources Defense Council is suing, claiming the state has not legally committed itself to using the water primarily for restoration. (Associated Press)

The ultimate in imaginative accounting: Green damage bill '$3.3 trillion' - BERLIN: The destruction of flora and fauna is costing the world E2 trillion ($3.3 trillion) a year, or 6 per cent of its overall gross national product, according to a report published by German news weekly Der Spiegel.

The European Union and German environment ministry-led research, entitled The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, will be presented today at the ninth conference of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Bonn.

Der Spiegel will present extracts from the paper, with the study's lead author, Pavan Sukhdev, a senior figure with Deutsche Bank in India, writing: "The world's poor bear the brunt of the cost."

Der Spiegel says German Chancellor Angela Merkel will announce a sharp increase in her country's funding to combat deforestation in line with Norway, which ploughs $US500 million ($530 million) a year into forest retention.

Deforestation - a huge factor in species loss and global carbon emissions contributing to climate change - is a central theme of this year's conference in Bonn, formerly the capital of West Germany. (AFP)

May 16, 2008

McCain’s Embarrassing Climate Speech - While no one knows who first uttered the sentiment, “It’s better to say nothing and seem a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt,” Republican presidential hopeful John McCain’s speech this week on climate change certainly supports the phrase’s validity. (Steven Milloy,

McCain Joins Global Warming Cult - In an effort to win over those "moderates" who believe that global warming is about to destroy the planet, Republican presidential candidate John McCain spoke Monday at a Portland, Ore., training facility for Vestas Wind Technology. He claimed, "The facts of global warming demand our urgent attention, especially in Washington."

There certainly is more "hot air" on this and a lot of other subjects in Washington, but that isn't what he meant. The era of big government is so not over, as Bill Clinton claimed it was in 1996. It is just beginning and increasingly the political contests seem to be about who will manage its growth, not who will reduce its size, cost and reach. (Cal Thomas, RealClearPolitics)

Most Republicans Discount Global Warming: McCain, Bush At Odds With Most Of Party - The proportion of Americans who say that the earth is getting warmer has decreased modestly since January 2007, mostly because of a decline among Republicans, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

That puts most Republicans at odds with their standard-bearer, President George W. Bush, and with GOP presidential contender Sen. John McCain. Both men said this week global warming is real and must be addressed.

Republicans are increasingly skeptical that there is solid evidence that the earth has been warming over the past few decades, the survey found. In January 2007, 62 percent said they believed the evidence, compared to 49 percent in the new Pew findings. Pew found that self-described conservative Republicans are more likely than party moderates or liberals to reject the science.

Overall, 71 percent of Americans say there is solid evidence of higher global temperatures, compared with 77 percent at the beginning of last year. Fewer than half in the survey -- 47 percent -- attribute the rising temperatures to human activity.

Age played a role in opinions, Pew said. Fifty-four percent of people under age 30 believe that the earth is warming mostly because of human activity, compared with 37 percent of those ages 65 and older.

Americans cooling to global warming: Solomon - All three U.S. presidential hopefuls have made global warming a high-profile issue in their campaigns. In this they are out of step with the broad electorate, which ranks global warming well down the scale of important issues. The public's increasing skepticism is particularly surprising given the overwhelming air time that the press has given to the notion that global warming spells doom. (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

Gore is right. Climate change catastrophe is imminent! - I've been having an interesting exchange on a CO2 alarmists' blog about the dangers human emissions of CO2 pose for future climate. While the exchange has generally been cordial and it has certainly been interesting while providing great insight into the rationale most alarmists agree too, I have yet to find the proverbial "smoking gun" that actually makes their case.

Nevertheless, I do have to agree with them about one thing. The danger and cost to human society from climate change will be catastrophic and is, apparently, unavoidable.

But ironically, while the catastrophe to which I refer is unquestionably human-caused, it is completely avoidable. Therein lies the rub.

The danger is not from a catastrophe arising from soaring temperatures and human misery that alarmists claim will follow (a highly debatable proposition). The catastrophe that seems unstoppable is the human misery that will unquestionably arise from the massive costs of soaring imprudent government regulation of CO2 emissions in the form of Gore-enriching "cap and trade" schemes that will, in the end, provide no discernable impact on global climate. (Bob Webster, WEBCommentary)

Global Warming: Mostly Hot Air - As more data come in, the dire predictions of Al Gore and company are being exposed as unfounded alarmism. Is the game close to being up for eco-mongers and their media enablers? (Pajamas Media)

New Inhofe White Paper, Web Page, Details Harmful Impacts of Lieberman-Warner Bill - WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today announced the release of a new white paper by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority detailing the severe economic impacts of the America's Climate Security Act – S.2191 (Lieberman-Warner) bill. In addition, Senator Inhofe also announced a new web page on the minority portion of the EPW Committee website dedicated to providing an online resource center that will serve as a central hub for all information exposing the flaws of the Lieberman-Warner bill. The website can be viewed at (EPW Blog)

Cap-And-Trade Folly - Climate Change: Legislation pending in the Senate might warm environmentalists' hearts, but not because of potential cuts in carbon emissions. Their interest is in the heavy economic costs the plans would inflict. (IBD)

The price isn't right: People like the idea of a carbon tax, they just don't want to pay it - Here in the department of the painfully obvious we're pleased to announce that polls suggest people are strongly in favour of paying carbon taxes, until they actually have to pay them.

Then ... not so much.

To illustrate, a recent Canadian Press Harris/Decima poll found Canadians surveyed supported "a carbon tax levied on people and businesses based on the carbon emissions they generate" by a margin of 61% to 32%.

Except in B.C., where on July 1 people will be hit with a real carbon tax imposed by their provincial government. There, support for a carbon tax which hasn't even gone into effect yet, plunges to 49% in favour, 41% opposed.

Meanwhile, in Great Britain, where people already pay carbon taxes, a recent Opinium Research poll found almost three in four (72%) oppose paying higher taxes to fight climate change and two in three (67%) believe the government's entire "green" agenda is just a ploy to raise taxes. (Lorrie Goldstein, Edmonton Sun)

Arctic Fairy Tale: The polar bear isn't threatened, but Big Oil should be. - The decision on Wednesday by the U.S. Interior Department to declare the polar bear a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act is a major victory for environmentalists who have been looking for a back-door legal mechanism to limit carbon-dioxide emissions. (Roy Spencer, NRO)

Reaction from the Last Frontier (Edward John Craig, Planet Gore)

Polar bears listed as endangered, while global sea ice anomaly is above average (Climate Sanity)

Unbearable Legislation - The decision announced yesterday by the Secretary of the Interior, to list the polar bear as "threatened," removes all doubt that the Endangered Species Act is broken and in need of urgent repair. It is the environmental movement that must take responsibility for breaking it. (Iain Murray, American Spectator)

Polar Bears: More Journalistic Malpractice - How do you declare a species endangered when its numbers are increasing? (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

A thin-ice way to save polar bears - Lawsuits are not the best way to force the public into solving planet-size problems such as climate change. In most cases, political consensus - as Al Gore is trying to achieve - brings the most fitting solutions. But the environmentalists who sued on behalf of polar bears likely knew that and shouldn't be surprised at what their suit has wrought.

On Wednesday, as a result of a 2005 suit filed by three environmental groups trying to speed up government action on global warming, the Interior Department listed the polar bear as "threatened" under the 1973 Endangered Species Act. The finding was based on computer projections of continuing climate change, caused in part by humans, and an estimated loss of Arctic ice where some 25,000 bears hunt for their main food, seals.

But for a number of reasons, the decision may end up being largely symbolic, leaving the issue of global warming right back where it belongs: with Congress.

For one, the finding is expected to bring a legal ricochet in a promised counter-suit testing the presumption that the bears face extinction within a few decades. Some polar bear populations, such as in Norway, are increasing. And it's not yet known if the bears will eventually adapt to warmer climes.

This kind of legal wrangling proves again that courts aren't the place to force the United States - or China or India - into taking bold action on a global-scale problem. Politics and diplomacy are more effective, even if they are slower. Mr. Gore's latest campaign to create grass-roots momentum against global warming is spending millions, with an eye for decisive action in Congress next year.

The lawsuit only further pushed the Bush administration into a defensive posture, setting back political progress toward taking action. (Christian Science Monitor)

The polar bears are doing just fine - Today is Endangered Species Day in the United States. And what better way to celebrate it than the decision this week by the Department of the Interior to put the polar bear on the “threatened” list. No doubt this will provide another necessary jolt for eight-year-olds who have already become obsessed with climatic Armageddon after being forced to watch An Inconvenient Truth. But then who could forget Al Gore’s little animated polar bear, paddling around desperately looking for a bit of ice on which to alight. Who could forget the following 2006 exchange between Mr. Gore and Oprah Winfrey, after showing the clip of the doomed creature: (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

A false mascot for climate change - OTTAWA -- When environmentalist activists want cuddly creatures for poster purposes, nothing beats Canadian. (Don Martin, National Post)

ANALYSIS - Polar Bear Listing Could Slow Arctic Oil Drilling - ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Oil drilling in the Arctic may need to slow down, now that polar bears, iconic symbols of global warming, are headed for protection under the US Endangered Species Act, experts said. (Reuters)

Easy fixed -- repeal ESA.

Polar Bear Pushback - After 18 years of a law practice devoted to counseling landowners, home builders and commercial interests affected by the long arm and severe penalties of the Endangered Species Act, I am used to incredulous looks and outraged oaths from clients coming to grips with the Act's incredible burdens on impacted private citizens. (Hugh Hewitt, Townhall)

Major Development In Global Climate Modeling By Professor Roni Avissar and Dr. Robert L. Walko - There is a new global model (OLAM) developed by two outstanding talented scientists, Professor Roni Avissar and Dr. Robert L. Walko which provides original and important tool to study the climate system. This new global model is reported on in two accepted peer-reviewed papers for the journal, Monthly Weather Review. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Oh dear... A lot of hot air - Books about climate change are often flawed—some more so than others (The Economist)

The Economist is not going to increase anyone's understanding with this garbage. Absurd panic-merchant David King as "the layman's handbook"? Fred Krupp's book "is the businessman's guide"? Nigel Lawson "relies on old evidence to attack the consensus (such as an apparent disparity between temperatures on the earth's surface and in the troposphere, which was resolved two years ago)"?

I suppose if you are going to get it wrong you might as well do it BIG. See, for example, Response to 'Global warming differences resolved with corrections in readings' (note this is incomplete and Christy has more papers published since dealing with this nonsense).

It is The Economist doing the misleading here and their advocacy is showing.

A joke? Expert warns climate change will lead to 'barbarisation' - Climate change will lead to a "fortress world" in which the rich lock themselves away in gated communities and the poor must fend for themselves in shattered environments, unless governments act quickly to curb greenhouse gas emissions, according to the vice-president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (The Guardian)

Oh Fiona! Proof found of man-made climate change - Scientists have been able to say with virtual certainty for the first time that the climate change observed over the past four decades is man made and not the result of natural phenomena. (Fiona Harvey, Financial Times)

Not even close -- the meta study basically covers the recent warming phase of cyclic temperatures and extrapolates from that (i.e., practically worthless from a scientific viewpoint). And then there's such appalling nonsense as:

Barry Brook, director of climate change research at the University of Adelaide, said: “[We should] consider that there has been only 0.75ºC of temperature change so far, yet the expectation for this century is four to nine times that amount.

No, there is no such 'expectation' -- that's merely model inflation achieved with absurd multipliers hosted on kludge boxes and have no known relationship with reality.

Luboš Motl has more on this stupid piece here: Female alarmists spam Nature (The Reference Frame)

Global Warming: A hot topic at TV6 this week - This week, TV6 is airing a three-part series on Global Warming (GW), also referred to as “Climate Change.” Meteorologist Nick Kanczuzewski has put together an excellent, balanced look at both sides of the issue and what it means for Upper Michigan.

The time constraints imposed by television news will only allow him to survey the topic. For that reason, I will use this blog to occasionally delve deeper into this controversial subject.

First of all, here is my disclaimer. I do not side with one political party—I am appalled that this branch of science has become so political. My views are counter to the consensus view that “mainstream” media repeatedly bombards us with. That does NOT mean I do not care about the environment.

For many years I kept silent on this issue; no more. (Karl Bohnak, WLUC)

Global-warming myth - By Patrick J. Michaels - On May Day, Noah Keenlyside of Germany's Leipzig Institute of Marine Science, published a paper in Nature forecasting no additional global warming "over the next decade."

Al Gore and his minions continue to chant that "the science is settled" on global warming, but the only thing settled is that there has not been any since 1998. Critics of this view (rightfully) argue that 1998 was the warmest year in modern record, due to a huge El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean, and that it is unfair to start any analysis at a high (or a low) point in a longer history. But starting in 2001 or 1998 yields the same result: no warming.

The Keenlyside team found that natural variability in the Earth's oceans will "temporarily offset" global warming from carbon dioxide. Seventy percent of the Earth's surface is oceanic; hence, what happens there greatly influences global temperature. It is now known that both Atlantic and Pacific temperatures can get "stuck," for a decade or longer, in relatively warm or cool patterns. The North Atlantic is now forecast to be in a cold stage for a decade, which will help put the damper on global warming. Another Pacific temperature pattern is forecast not to push warming, either.

Science no longer provides justification for any rush to pass drastic global warming legislation. The Climate Security Act, sponsored by Joe Lieberman and John Warner, would cut emissions of carbon dioxide — the main "global warming" gas — by 66 percent over the next 42 years. With expected population growth, this means about a 90 percent drop in emissions per capita, to 19th-century levels.

Other regulatory dictates are similarly unjustified. The Justice Department has ruled that the Interior Department has until May 15 to decide whether or not to list the polar bear as an endangered species.

Pressure to pass impossible-to-achieve legislation, like Lieberman-Warner, or grandstanding political stunts, like calling polar bears an "endangered species" even when they are at near record-high population levels, are based upon projections of rapid and persistent global warming.

Proponents of wild legislation like to point to the 2007 science compendium from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, deemed so authoritative it was awarded half of last year's Nobel Peace Prize. (The other half went to Al Gore.) In it there are dozens of computer-driven projections for 21st-century warming. Not one of them projects that the earth's natural climate variability will shut down global warming from carbon dioxide for two decades. Yet, that is just what has happened. (Washington Times)

Ocean Nitrogen Only Limited Help For Climate - Study - OSLO - Rising amounts of nitrogen entering the oceans from human activities are less beneficial than previously thought as a fertiliser for tiny marine plants that help slow global warming, scientists said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Actually it'd be really nifty if people could warm the planet with atmospheric CO2 since warming is way better than cooling but, sadly, there is no evidence we can have any such influence. Afraid we're just going to have to put up with what we get.

Studies say reactive nitrogen a growing hazard in the environment - WASHINGTON - While carbon dioxide has been getting lots of publicity in climate change, reactive forms of nitrogen are also building up in the environment, scientists warn.

"The public does not yet know much about nitrogen, but in many ways it is as big an issue as carbon, and due to the interactions of nitrogen and carbon, makes the challenge of providing food and energy to the world's peoples without harming the global environment a tremendous challenge," University of Virginia environmental sciences professor James Galloway said in a statement. (Associated Press)

Poor word choice: "but in many ways it is as big an issue as carbon" -- a complete non-issue then.

Airbus and Algae: Why Biofuels Won’t Cut It - We noted yesterday aviation’s uphill battle to replace traditional—and increasingly expensive—jet fuel with alternative fuels. Today, Airbus and Honeywell announced a new project to provide one-third of aviation’s fuel needs by 2030 using second-generation biofuels made from things like vegetable biomass and algae. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Don't Blame Us For Hunger, Biofuel Makers Say - SEVILLE - Biofuel manufacturers at an international gathering in Spain have strenuously denied media charges they are driving up food prices and world hunger. (Reuters)

Texas Wind: Boone Pickens’ Big, Big Bet - Oilman T. Boone Pickens’ love affair with wind isn’t brand new—he’s been touting the idea of “peak-free” energy since he decided to build America’s biggest wind farm in Texas. What’s different is the way he’s going about it. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Your taxes abused: Renewable Energy Tax Bill Advances In US House - WASHINGTON - Legislation that would renew billions of dollars in tax breaks for solar, wind, biomass and and other renewable energy sources and extend a proposed new tax credit for ethanol fuels not produced from corn advanced in the US House of Representatives on Thursday. (Reuters)

Coal Plant Pollution Threatens US Parks - Report - NEW YORK - US regulators are proposing to weaken air quality laws, which would allow new coal-fired power plants to pollute US parks from Shenandoah in Virginia to the Great Basin in Nevada, a new report said on Thursday. (Reuters)

No, they're actually feeding the parks and keeping them green.

R.I.P. Irena: I hope Al Gore is hanging his head - I am ashamed to admit that I had never heard of Irena Sendler, whose obituary appeared in this morning’s paper. Hers is an awesomely humbling story, even by the standards of her heroic generation. (Daniel Hannan, Daily Telegraph) | Irena's Worlds (WSJE)

When fears hurt: Measles are making a come-back - History may be one of the most important school subjects because forgetting its lessons can lead us to repeat the most costly and deadliest mistakes. Medical professionals reading the news over recent months can only watch in dismay as scares, soundly and repeatedly debunked by good science, have led parents around the world to not vaccinate their children. Before immunizations, about 500 children in the United States died each year of measles alone and others were left permanently disabled, while their parents could do nothing to prevent it. Vaccinations virtually eliminated such tragedies. (Junkfood Science)

New study casts further doubt on risk of death from higher salt intake - Contrary to long-held assumptions, high-salt diets may not increase the risk of death, according to investigators from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. They reached their conclusion after examining dietary intake among a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. The Einstein researchers actually observed a significantly increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) associated with lower sodium diets. They report their findings in the advance online edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

A step towards healthier model figures - America’s Next Top Model was just announced. The lovely Whitney Thompson is the first winner for the show to look closer to what healthy, average-size women look like. Clothes sizes vary, but she is said to wear a size 10, while the average American woman wears a 14. This may seem a trivial moment, but for many young women at a time in their lives when their figures seem paramount and believe they’re supposed to weigh 100 pounds and look like the thin figures they see in magazines, she brings an especially valuable, and hopefully more healthful, reality. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. (Junkfood Science)

Couldn't make it up: Obesity Contributes To Global Warming - Study  - GENEVA - Obesity contributes to global warming, too.

Obese and overweight people require more fuel to transport them and the food they eat, and the problem will worsen as the population literally swells in size, a team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine says.

This adds to food shortages and higher energy prices, the school's researchers Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts wrote in the journal Lancet on Friday. (Reuters)

No, fellas, you've got it wrong! Fat people are composed of more carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere for many decades and slowing gorebull warming.

The sneak attack - The President of the Citizens’ Council on Health Care, Twila Brase, RN, just issued an emergency notice that may be of interest to JFS readers who’ve been following the legislation in Minnesota [background here] to allow the State to take DNA from every newborn to store in its genomic biobank and share with genetic researchers without parental consent, or in adulthood without the person’s consent. (Junkfood Science)

Green Economics: How Do You Value the Environment? - Is the environment best served—or served at all—by economics?

Strange as it sounds, especially when the Republican presidential candidate is offering climate-change stump speeches that appear cribbed from an environmental economics syllabus, that debate is rattling around politics, academia and the blogosphere these days. The gist of the argument boils down to this:

Are environmental goods—be they polar bears, tropical forests, or clean air—best preserved with a dollar sign on them? Or does the attempt to put a price on everything lead to knowing the value of nothing? (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

That Sinking Feeling - The highly-respected Lausanne-based Institute for Management Development (IMD) has just issued its 20th anniversary ‘World Competitiveness Yearbook 2008’ [see: ‘Britain slips down key economic league table’, The Times, May 14/15]. It is not a pleasant read for the UK.

In this annual assessment of national competitiveness, the UK has fallen one place from twentieth, to twenty-first, having been overtaken by Israel. But, more significantly, the IMD report downgrades the UK’s position against its global rivals on the crucial factor of economic performance, from seventh out of 55 countries to an alarming sixteenth.

And the cause of this decline? Yes, you have guessed it - the rising tax burden and worsening business environment. As ever, Carl Mortished of The Times pens an excoriating piece [‘Alistair Darling counts cost as party over for UK plc’ (The Times, May 14/15)]: (Global Warming Politics)

Uh-huh... Climate change threatens Norway's moose - Already chased by hunters and often run down by cars and trains, the popular Norwegian moose now faces another threat: Global warming. (Aftenposten)

An epidemic of extinctions: Decimation of life on earth - Species are dying out at a rate not seen since the demise of the dinosaurs, according to a report published today – and human behaviour is to blame. Emily Dugan counts the cost (The Independent)

Massive extinction rate, eh? Can you name 10 this month? Oh, well how about this past year? No? 10 in a decade? ... you think maybe over a century? Very impressive -- how does that compare with expected rates? Nothing abnormal... very worrying.

SOP: No newts is bad news as council spends £1m - A council spent £1 million protecting a colony of rare newts on a building site only to discover that none lived there.

Leicestershire County Council delayed a major road-building scheme for three months after evidence of great crested newts was found on the site. The species is protected by law, but after the authority paid hundreds of thousands of pounds for special newt-fencing and traps, not one of the rare creatures was discovered.

The action was taken on the strength of a report from environmental experts, which found there could have been between one and 10 of the 6in amphibians on the site.

Officials yesterday lodged a complaint with the government, claiming the outlay would have a knock-on effect on local services.

The council leader David Parsons said: "I'm not happy that we have gone a million pounds over on the bypass and then found no great crested newts. (Daily Telegraph)

May 15, 2008

Interior Declares Polar Bears ‘Threatened’ by Global Warming
Backdoor Attempt at Cap-and Trade Legislation

Washington, D.C., May 14, 2008—Today the US Department of the Interior took the controversial step of listing the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, despite lack of a sound scientific basis and potentially enormous consequences for the U.S. economy. Listing the polar bear has long been a goal of global warming activists who claim that a warmer world will shrink the bears’ habitat.

Advocates of the new listing claim that to remove the bears from their threatened status, the federal government must first enact restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, which will then, it is imagined, influence the global climate to such an extent as to stop shifts in Arctic ice cover. Listing the bear will enable activist groups to use litigation to force the nation into a regulatory nightmare of limits on energy use.

“We regret the listing,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Director of Energy & Global Warming Policy Myron Ebell. “We don’t think putting ‘high bars’ on it will work. We hope there will be immediate litigation to challenge the listing on procedural and substantive grounds.”

Today’s listing does require a “high bar” for evidence that particular greenhouse gas sources are causing actual harm to a particular population of polar bears. But “the ‘high bar’ just delays the day when global warming activists will be able to impose their policy of energy suppression,” said CEI Senior Fellow Iain Murray. “Secretary Kempthorne obviously knows that this listing will have dire consequences, but his attempts to erect barriers to them will have all the strength of tissue paper. If anything, this listing shows the need for urgent reform of the Endangered Species Act.”

Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis submitted lengthy comments last fall on behalf of CEI to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service detailing the reasons why the polar bear should not be listed. His comments can be found here. (Richard Morrison, CEI)

Comment by Reed Hopper, Principal Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
Unwarranted Listing

Although Secretary Kempthorne stated he was compelled to list the polar bear as a "threatened" species because of the "inflexibility" of the Endangered Species Act, the opposite is true. Rather than compel the listing of a thriving species that is already protected, the Endangered Species Act prohibits such a listing.

Although some subpopulations have declined with increasing temperatures, the species overall has grown to the largest population levels in recorded history. Additionally, due to other laws, international treaties, and strict conservation measures, the polar bear is already among the most protected species in the world. No wonder Dale Hall, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, tesified in congress that the listing would provide "very little added protection." Secretary Kempthorne echoed that opinion while announcing his listing decision. According to the Secretary, the ESA will provide no greater protections than are already afforded the polar bear under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Secretary Kempthorne also pointed out that the listing would not address the very threat he cites for the listing in the first place: "[T]he listing will not stop global climate change or prevent any sea ice from melting."

It is also telling that the Canadian government, which oversees 14 of the 19 polar bear populations, has not listed the bear as "threatened" or "endangered." As for computer models of future events, on which the Secretary rests his case, they are by definition speculative and error prone as evidence by one model that was critizied by researchers at Wharton and Harvard for "extrapolat[ing] nearly 100 years into the future on the basis of only five years data" which itself was of "doubtful validity."

Rather than compel the listing, based on these facts, the Act prohibited the listing.

Polar Bear Melodrama - Polar bears are not the fragile, vulnerable creatures of liberal iconography. They have thrived in the Arctic for thousands of years, both through periods when their sea-ice habitat was smaller, and larger, than it is now. They will continue to adapt – and the Endangered Species Act can't make the slightest difference.

Such realities haven't prevented green showboaters from claiming victory after the Bush Administration designated the polar bear as a "threatened" species yesterday. And it is a kind of victory, though the ruling itself is mostly symbolic – at least for now. However, this is really the triumph of bad legislation over the democratic process.

As Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne noted, the 1973 Endangered Species Act is "perhaps the least flexible law Congress has ever enacted." In 2005, green litigants took advantage of this rigidity, suing the government to force it to label the polar bear at risk for extinction. Since the 1980s, the sea ice that the bears use to hunt and breed has been receding. Although the population has increased from a low of 12,000 in the 1960s to roughly 25,000 today – perhaps a record high – computer projections anticipate that Arctic pack ice will continue to melt over the next half-century. This could, maybe, someday, lead to population declines.

The lawsuits were hardly motivated by concern for polar bear welfare. Instead, environmentalists asserted that the ice is thinning because of human-induced global warming. A formal endangered listing is one more arrow in their legal quiver as they try to run U.S. climate policy through the judiciary.

They'll argue that emissions from power plants, refineries, automobiles – anything that produces carbon – would contribute to warming, thus contributing to habitat destruction, and thus should be restricted by the Endangered Species Act. This logic could be used to rewrite existing environmental policy to accommodate greenhouse gasses, purposes for which they were never intended but with economy-wide repercussions. (Wall Street Journal)

Polar Bears: 'Still Alive... Having Fun' - Regulation: The Interior Department ruled Wednesday that the polar bear will be protected as a threatened species. Why special treatment for an animal whose population has more than doubled over the last 50 years? (IBD)

Endangered energy acts - Polar bear and Kearl decisions are just part of global policies that curb energy supply (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

Bear Truth: Warming Fears Spark Polar Bear Protection - Grizzly bears are mating with polar bears, seals are sexually assaulting penguins, the Bush administration effectively rules out oil drilling in the Arctic—what is the world coming to?

Nothing good, to judge from a new study in Nature today, which goes further than reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and pins the blame for sudden changes in global ecosystems squarely on mankind’s contribution to higher temperatures. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Polar Bears listed as threatened - now comes the lawsuits (Watts Up With That?)

Inhofe Says Listing of Polar Bear Based on Politics, Not Science - WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today expressed disappointment with the U.S. Department of Interior's final decision to list the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

“Unfortunately, the decision to list the polar bear as ‘threatened’ appears to be based more on politics than science,” Senator Inhofe said. “With the number of polar bears substantially up over the past forty years, the decision announced today appears to be based entirely on unproven computer models. The decision, therefore, is simply a case of reality versus unproven computer models, the methodology of which has been challenged by many scientists and forecasting experts. If the models are invalid, then the decision based on them is not justified. It’s disappointing that Secretary Kempthorne failed to stand up to liberal special interest groups who advocated this listing. (EPW Blog)

US enacts law to protect polar bears, but only from hunting - The United States declared the polar bear a threatened species yesterday; saying the dramatic reduction in sea ice caused by global warming has put it in imminent danger of extinction.

Yesterday marked the first time the US Endangered Species Act was used to protect a species threatened by climate change. The US Geological Survey says that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could be gone by 2050.

The bears will only be protected from the direct effects of hunting, and some other activities, because of limits imposed by the Interior Department. It invoked a seldom used loophole to make it easier for the energy industry to actually expand activities that already threaten the bears and their habitat.

The Interior Secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, who spent much of his political life opposing the Endangered Species Act, said it would be "inappropriate" to use the polar bear listing "to regulate global climate change". (The Independent)

Green Gasbag - If Republicans are going to be stampeded by phony environmental alarms and propose terrible public policies in the name of these scams, what the hell do we need Democrats for?

America is so far gone in the global warming superstition that the Republican candidate for president (the REPUBLICAN!) is proposing a Soviet scheme to take decisions about energy use out of the private sector where they belong and turn them over to politicians and bureaucrats. If there's a quicker way to make America into a Third World nation, pray tell me what it is. (Larry Thornberry, American Spectator)

Don’t Freak Out: Bjørn Lomborg speaks climate sense to nonsense. - An NRO Q&A

We need to “cool our conversation, rein in the exaggerations, and start focusing where we can do the most good.” So Bjørn Lomborg writes in his recent book, Cool It!: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming. This Danish statistician and “skeptical environmentalist” (the title of his earlier book) was recently named one of the “50 people who could save the planet” by the Guardian. Impatient with the overheated rhetoric and hyper-pessimism of conventional climate politics, Lomborg takes a cold, hard look at the empirical facts, and weighs the costs and benefits of global warming (which he does not deny) and the policy solutions advanced to restrain it. His recommendation: Calm down. In an interview with National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez today, Lomborg offers that same advice to Senator John McCain, while throwing some cold water on the Republican’s climate-change speech in Oregon this week. “Wishful thinking is not sound public policy,” Lomborg tells NRO.

Further, he warns: “In the May 1 London mayoral election, Ken Livingstone was a high-flying advocate for stringent carbon cuts and made his reelection a referendum on his policies to tackle climate change. His aides claimed it would be the first election in British history to be decided largely on environmental issues. Livingstone lost.”

Lomborg offers panic-free advice to the senator and the rest of the planet. (NRO)

Carbon 'cap and trade' policies immoral - The carbon "cap and trade" policies advocated by Al Gore and John McCain are an immoral solution to a non-existent problem. So says Britain's Lord Christopher Monckton, and he backs this statement up with scientific fact and analysis. See this paper.

I wish Lord Monkton could achieve a higher profile in the US since he is very articulate, passionate and on-top of all the scientific, economic and moral facts to debunk the Global Warming Hoax. It you're not familiar with him, he successfully sued the UK educational establishment and forced them to acknowledge that An Inconvenient Truth is riddled with scientific errors. He pursued this suit into the teeth of the Labor Government and Judicial establishment and only succeeded by highlighting the absurdity of their positions both legal and scientific. We could use him to champion the truth here. He said on Glenn Beck's show that a similar suit against the US Educational establishment would cost about $6 million. (Jerome J. Schmitt, American Thinker)

Counterpoint: Level the greenhouse - Given surging CO2 emissions from Asia, the only way to a level playing field is a tax imposed at product destination (John R. Allan and Thomas J. Courchene, Financial Post)

No, the only rational way is to fuggedaboudit! Carbon dioxide is an essential trace gas.

Environmentalism: "frustrated, angry and confused" - Over at the Daily Kos, and European Tribune, blogger 'Johnnyrook' attempts to connect 'denialism' with an ideology. The piece itself is an answer to a blog post elsewhere by Joseph Romm, The denialists are winning, especially with the GOP. David Roberts tried this approach on the Nation blog back in February.

Long-time greens are painfully aware that the arguments of global warming skeptics are like zombies in a '70s B movie. They get shot, stabbed, and crushed, over and over again, but they just keep lurching to their feet and staggering forward. That's because -- news flash! -- climate skepticism is an ideological, not a scientific, position, and as such it bears only a tenuous relationship to scientific rules of evidence and inference.
We replied that environmentalism used 'science' as a fig leaf. Environmentalism is an ideological position, whereas scepticism encompasses a range of objections to it, some of which are, in fact, perfectly valid on scientific grounds.

What Johnnyrook writes in Why Climate Denialists are Blind to Facts and Reason: The Role of Ideology is, frankly, unmitigated and unimportant crap. But it does offer some insight into the 'thought processes' of grass-roots Environmentalism. Johnnyrook whines that

Anyone who has tried to discuss Climaticide with a climate change denialist knows just how frustrating it can be. No matter how well informed you are, no matter how many peer-reviewed studies you cite, or how many times you point out the overwhelming agreement based on the evidence that exists among climate scientists that global warming is real and is principally caused by human fossil fuel use, you will get no where. Your adversary will deny the facts, cherry pick the scientific evidence for bits of data that, taken out of context, support his/her denialist view, or drag out long-debunked counter-arguments in the hope that they are unfamiliar to you and that you will not be able to refute them. If you succeed in countering all of his arguments he will most likely reword them and start all over again.

Climaticide? Climaticide? Is it even possible to kill a climate? But moving on, Johnnyrook clearly believes himself to be in possession of a faultless argument. So it must be the rest of the world that's wrong. Who said environmentalism was emotional, arrogant, and infantile? (Climate Resistance)

The utter rubbish that gets printed in once-eminent journals: Giant study pinpoints changes from climate warming - WASHINGTON - Human-generated climate change made flowers bloom sooner and autumn leaves fall later, turned some polar bears into cannibals and some birds into early breeders, a vast global study reported Wednesday. (Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters)

The polar bear cannibal thing is a nonsense: Factors affecting the survival of polar bear cubs (Ursus maritimus) are poorly understood (Derocher and Stirling, 1996). Low food availability and accidents on the sea ice may be the main sources of cub mortality (Uspenski and Kistchinski, 1972; Larsen, 1986; Derocher and Stirling, 1996). Intraspecific predation, infanticide, and cannibalism have been reported in polar bears (Belikov et al., 1977; Hansson and Thomassen, 1983; Larsen, 1985; Lunn and Stenhouse, 1985; Taylor et al., 1985). However, some of the instances have followed human activities such as harvest or immobilization (Taylor et al., 1985). Regardless, intraspecific predation has been suggested as a regulating feature of ursid populations (e.g., McCullough, 1981; Young and Ruff, 1982; Larsen and Kjos-Hanssen, 1983; Stringham, 1983; Taylor et al., 1985). (Infanticide and Cannibalism of Juvenile Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) in Svalbard, ARCTIC, VOL. 52, NO. 3 (SEPTEMBER 1999) P. 307–310)

And goodness, don't they know most penguins actually live outside the Antarctic, mainly around Southern Ocean islands (they're not really that fond of extreme cold) and those few breeds that do actually nest south of the Antarctic Circle have constantly changed their nesting locations over the millennia according to ice variation? Antarctic Peninsula breeding sites are thought to have only become active again over the last 3-4 centuries as Little Ice Age conditions forced the birds further north and they are now returning to abandoned sites as conditions moderate.

As we pointed out over 3 years ago: Supplemental, January 26, 2005:

It's becoming fashionable to claim rapid Antarctic warming too - from NYT yesterday:

"Antarctica, Warming, Looks Ever More Vulnerable" - "A continent is quickly changing. The questions are how and why." (New York Times)

Antarctic1903-2004.gif (34129 bytes)

Antarctica, however, is not warming. While the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis insists the Antarctic should demonstrate the most dramatic response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels due to its cold, dry atmosphere, the simple fact is the Antarctic is not cooperating.

South Polar air samples record atmospheric CO2 rising from 328 ppmv to 373 ppmv subsequent to the 1949-1974 temperature increase - almost 15% increase apparently without affecting Polar temperatures, while startling temperature changes of ~4 °C (+ve and -ve) are recorded in periods when we know atmospheric CO2 was increasing at a more leisurely rate.

A treasured hypothesis insists increasing atmospheric CO2 should lead to increasing temperature and the South Polar super-cold, super-dry air mass should respond dramatically. Well, we looked for the CO2 increment and it is obvious. We looked for the temperature increment and... what? Found it missing? There it was, gone?

We've already had the "you could see the warming if it wasn't being hidden by the cooling (which is being hidden by the warming)" thing - see "Stratospheric Cooling?" Prophetically, we asked in early '05: What is Big Warming going to come up with now - "Please Miss, the ozone hole ate my Antarctic warming"? Well, guess what? Ozone-hole recovery may spur Antarctic warming; Ozone hole saves Earth’s ice caps; ... Perhaps we better stop suggesting excuses for crappy climate models.

Gautam Naik did a better job of covering the Nature nonsense for WSJ pointing out that these projections are from extremely short data series. Note that projecting Antarctic temperatures from the 1930s through early 1970s (see graphic linked from thumbnail) screams warming but there has been nothing over the next 3 decades.

Honest Statement Of Current Capability In Climate Forecasts - The 2007 IPCC report presents “projections” of climate in the coming decades. Policymakers and politicians are using the IPCC models to plan policy for regions and globally. However, what is the actual skill at forecasting the weather (even averaged over decades) in the coming years? The IPCC uses the term “projection” but it is being interpreted by almost everyone as a prediction if certain CO2 emission scenarios actually occur.

The actual skill at making long-term climate predictions, however, is illustrated by a statement on the website of the United Kingdom Meteorological Office with respect to seasonal prediction. It states

”Seasonal forecasting is a developing area of meteorology and, although these forecasts are not as accurate as our short-term forecasts, they do demonstrate some skill in predicting what may happen for a season (a three-month period) ahead.”

The obvious message from this, which is being almost completely ignored by policymakers, and was certainly ignored by the IPCC, is that seasonal forecasting is “a developing area of meteorology”.

However, how can longer term predictions be more skillful when the climate forcings and feedbacks become more complex the longer into the future we seek to forecast? (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Are Tropical Cyclones Really Increasing in Number & Intensity? - I just read a small article published in the April 2008 edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society titled “Are Atlantic Tropical Cyclones Really Increasing in Number, Intensity? Using data from 1966-2006, statistical models were used to determine:

“it is improbable that the number of tropical cyclones has increased since 1966.”… “In addition, the rate at which storms become hurricanes appears to have decreased”. Also, “little evidence is found that mean individual storm intensity has changed, although the variability of intensity has certainly increased. This increase is probably due to changes and improvements of intensity measurements through time..”

“This model was recently applied to worldwide tropical storms and resulted in similar conclusions.”

The full article will be in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Climate. I wonder how many people will ever hear about it?

At least Kerry Emanuel from M.I.T., who had been a strong believer in increased tropical cyclone activity due to global warming has now modified his position. In an email to Andrew Revkin of the New York Times he stated:

“The models are telling us something quite different from what nature seems to be telling us. There are various interpretations possible, e.g. a) The big increase in hurricane power over the past 30 years or so may not have much to do with global warming, or b) The models are simply not faithfully reproducing what nature is doing. Hard to know which to believe yet.”

Isn’t it more likely both could be true? (Craig James, WOOD TV)

Why Has Politics Got In The Way Of Science? - Stephen Wilde has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968. The first three article's from Mr Wilde were received with a great deal of interest throughout the Co2 Sceptic community.

In Stephen Wildes fourth and exclusive article for CO2Sceptics.Com he introduces the contentious aspect of "Man Made Climate Change", and that is the politics and reasoning as to why the public are being deliberately misinformed. (Co2sceptic)

The Global Warming Tutorial Media Should be Required to Take - Do you ever get the feeling the reason most people in the media have bought into Nobel Laureate Al Gore's global warming myth is that they are largely uneducated in matters of science, and regardless of the volume of information available at their fingertips via the Internet, such pompous folks are too lazy to take the time to do any research that might challenge their dogma? (NewsBusters)

To The Junk Heap - Energy Policy: With pump prices still climbing — Wednesday's national average was $3.76 a gallon — many Americans are trying to get rid of their gas guzzlers. Those who drive old clunkers should be accommodated. (IBD)

South California Faces Summer Power Challenge - LOS ANGELES - Southern California's electricity system will be challenged this summer, and power emergencies may result if an extended drought leads to massive wildfires, the main US electricity reliability watchdog said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

They face shortages because they fail to generate sufficient electrickery... serves 'em right for listening to the watermelons.

Merkel Says Brazilian Biofuels Must Respect Amazon - BRASILIA - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Brazil on Wednesday to adopt tougher environmental standards in producing biofuels but said rich nations needed to pay up to help protect rain forests and their biodiversity. (Reuters)

US FDA Defends Safety Of Baby Bottle Chemical - WASHINGTON - The US Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday said it sees no reason to tell consumers to stop using products such as baby bottles made with a controversial chemical found in many plastic items.

Norris Alderson, the FDA's associate commissioner for science, said although the regulatory agency is reviewing safety concerns about the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, "a large body of available evidence" shows that products such as liquid or food containers made with it are safe. (Reuters)

First it’s a scarlet D, then O, H, C... - Did you hear that San Antonio Metro Health District has decided to create a surveillance program of the lab results on its residents to identify diabetics who aren’t keeping their indices to government-approved levels? Health officials there are initiating a program to make it mandatory that all laboratories electronically turn over hemoglobin A1c results (along with the people’s names, addresses and dates of birth) to its government agency for a database of diabetics. (Junkfood Science)

Conflicts of interest — Ya think? - All of us hope that public health policies and care guidelines, especially those directed at our children, are based on the most careful examinations of the soundest evidence and have been shown to be safe and effective, with benefits that outweigh the potential harms. We hope that those creating health programs are free from conflicts of interest that can taint objectivity. But when we think only in terms of industry-funding, we can miss far more influential conflicts... such as from one of the world’s largest nonprofits that has made a key agenda the war on obesity. (Junkfood Science)

Conspiracy or what? (Number Watch)

Uh-huh... what extinctions? WWF Says Food Supply At Risk From Species Loss - BERLIN - Governments are set to miss a self-imposed goal of slowing the rate of extinctions by 2010 and as a result are putting long-term food supplies at risk, a top environmentalist said before a UN biodiversity conference. (Reuters)

Good: Lula Seen Putting Brazil Economy Ahead Of Amazon - BRASILIA - Hailed as Brazil's first "green president" when he took office, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appears to have thinner environmental credentials than ever after the resignation of Amazon defender Marina Silva. (Reuters)

I give up, says Brazilian minister who fought to save the rainforest - Brazil has been accused of turning its back on its duty to protect the Amazon after the resignation of its award-winning Environment Minister fuelled fresh fears over the fate of the forest. The departure of Marina Silva, who admitted she was losing the battle to get green voices heard amidst the rush for economic development, has been greeted with dismay by conservationists. (The Independent)

What anti-globalists don't understand: Globalization's Victors Hunt for the Next Low-Wage Country - What can Western companies do when China's factory workers start demanding better wages and conditions? Easy -- just transfer production to a cheaper country. China's loss is Vietnam's gain. (Der Spiegel)

Globalization is not a 'race to the bottom' but a stepping stone to prosperity. By capitalizing 'better than nothing' employment in underdeveloped regions these capital flows set in motion the path to inevitable improvement in employment, living conditions, health care, infrastructure development, transport and so on. Do capitalists make money from low wage workers? Of course they do -- no point in capitalizing these projects otherwise, is there? But their gain is trivial compared with that of people suddenly given the gift of opportunity.

The spurious Klein doctrines - She predicts more slums and wars, but in fact they have decreased (Johan Norberg, Financial Post)

Harvest Of Shame - Agriculture: The subsidy-stuffed farm bill just passed by Congress is a monster that will leave us with less food at higher prices. The president should veto it right away and force this foolish Congress to override him. (IBD)

Seed giants see gold in climate change - First the biotech industry promised that its genetically engineered seeds would clean up the environment. Then they told us biotech crops would feed the world. Neither came to pass. Soon we'll hear that genetically engineered climate-hardy seeds are the essential adaptation strategy for crops to withstand drought, heat, cold, saline soils and more.

After failing to convince an unwilling public to accept genetically engineered foods, biotech companies see a silver lining in climate change. They are now asserting that farmers cannot win the war against climate change without genetic engineering. (Hope Shand, Asia Times)

Actually we agree the case for biotech is sometimes oversold. That said most of biotech's promise has been prevented from delivering by the watermelons and other misanthropists.

Don't have a cow, Man! Where’s the Beef? It Doesn’t Matter, It’s Bad for the Environment, Says ABC - It's the sort of thing you would see on propaganda passed out by animal rights activists at a global warming rally, but somehow the message has infiltrated the mainstream. ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson" told viewers on May 13 to curb beef consumption to lower greenhouse gas emissions. (NewsBusters)

May 14, 2008

Warming to McCain - It's good to see a politician rewarded for a courageous and unpopular stand, as John McCain has been over Iraq. History will show he was as central to the battle of Washington as Gen. David Petraeus has been to the battle of Baghdad. Our enemies strategized that America lacks staying power. Mr. McCain's role deprived them of their plan for victory.

But honor, the value that underlined Mr. McCain's stand, is no use on an issue like global warming. Here, he could use a little more Mitt Romney, his vanquished nemesis whose name has now resurfaced in the veep sweepstakes.

Mr. Romney was tagged as a wonk because he "immerses himself in data." But one thing immersion can do that casual "gut" proceedings can't is let you know when the data don't provide an answer, even if people are telling you it does.

If the warming of the 1980s and 1990s were shown to be extraordinary, that would at least indicate something extraordinary is going on. If the pace of warming or the scale were correlated in some sensible fashion with the rise in atmospheric CO2, that might suggest cause – but such correlation is lacking.

It perhaps takes somebody steeped like Mr. Romney in real-world analytics to find a footing against the media tide. But the fact remains: The push toward warming that CO2 provides in theory is no reason to presume in confidence that CO2 is actually responsible for any observed warming in a system as complex and chaotic as our atmosphere.

In his climate speech on Monday, Mr. McCain exhibited (as the press usually does) a complete lack of consciousness of the fact that evidence of warming is not evidence of what causes warming. Yet policy must be a matter of costs and benefits, adjusted for the uncertainties involved. Which brings us to today's irony: He who finds a six-figure earmark an affront to humanity is prepared to wave through a trillion-dollar climate bill without, as far as anyone can tell, a single systematic thought about costs and benefits. (Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., Wall Street Journal)

McCain’s Assault on Reason: Another Al Gore for president. - John McCain’s global-warming speech on Monday made it clear that there will be no presidential candidate this year willing to question the assertion that global warming (a.k.a. “climate change”) is manmade, or the assertion that we can fix global warming by passing a few laws.

Along with Clinton and Obama, McCain’s proposal to attack global warming now gives voters three choices for a car color — as long as it is black. Like Clinton and Obama, McCain’s proposal involves a “cap and trade” mechanism to legislatively limit CO2 emissions in the coming years, with the free market minimizing the economic damage by allowing a trading of emission credits between companies. He also includes an allowance for carbon offsets, although everyone (except Al Gore) believes this to be more smoke-and-mirrors than a real-world strategy for reducing carbon emissions.

What worries me is the widespread misperception that we can do anything substantial about carbon emissions without seriously compromising economic growth. To be sure, forcing a reduction in CO2 emissions will help spur investment in new energy technologies. But so does a price tag of $126 for a barrel of oil. Finding a replacement for carbon-based energy will require a huge investment of wealth, and destroying wealth is not a very good first step toward that goal.

When the public finds out how much any legislation that punishes energy use is going to cost them, with no guarantee that anything we do will have a measurable impact on future climate, there will be a revolt just like the one now materializing in the U.K. and the EU. At some point, as they are faced with the stark reality that mankind’s requirement for an abundant source of energy cannot simply be legislated out of existence, the public will begin asking, “Just how sure are we that humans are causing global warming?”

And this is where the science establishment has, in my view, betrayed the public’s trust. (Roy Spencer, NRO)

Detroit's History Lesson for McCain - Detroit — In outlining a plan to fundamentally reorder America’s economy under a centralized, carbon-capped, command-and-control regime, John McCain reaffirms why free-market conservatives are deeply suspicious of his candidacy. (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

John McCain Freaks Out Over Global Warming - With a slowing economy, escalating food prices and energy prices climbing ever higher, you might think that Republican presidential candidate John McCain would be hesitant to endorse a European Union-style carbon emission trading scheme that seems likely to result in less economic growth, higher energy prices and higher food prices from increased biofuel demand. But that’s because you don’t know him as well as his daughter, Meghan McCain, who says he’s totally freaking out over global warming. (Dealbreaker)

McCain Ink: Woo Who? - John McCain’s climate-change speech at a Vestas factory in Oregon was meant to tend a branch to independents and Democrats for whom global warming is presumably a bigger concern than among most Republican voters. Tuesday’s reactions to the speech suggest he didn’t fully succeed—many environmentalists are still not impressed, while many Republicans seem more suspicious than ever. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Big Mistake - Senator McCain gave a speech in Portland, Oregon Monday reiterating and explaining his longstanding support for a “cap-and-trade” approach to global warming. He proposes that the government require reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions but allow companies to trade emissions credits, supposedly creating an efficient, market-based distribution of the regulatory burden. Support for this policy is the biggest mistake his campaign has made so far. (By the Editors, NRO)

Carbon Copy? - After the coldest April in 11 years, John McCain offers a "market friendly" approach to global warming — saying we "have a genius for adapting, solving problems." But shouldn't the problems be real? (IBD)

The Post-Bush Climate - John McCain has been engaged in the fight against global warming for years, even at the expense of breaking with Republican orthodoxy and with President Bush on the issue. But it was still an important moment this week when Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, decided to raise the profile of climate change in the 2008 campaign. We have clearly entered the post-Bush era of policy and politics on climate change. However this election turns out, the United States will have a president who supports mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases. It is possible to begin to believe in the prospect of serious Congressional action. (New York Times)

Hmm... could be he's made himself unelectable. Are "write ins" accepted for President? Would they need to be -- the GOP can still nominate someone else.

Poll: How Did McCain's Climate Change Speech Yesterday Impact You? (NewsBusters)

McCain: The New 'Captain Climate'? - The likely Republican Presidential nominee offered a climate-change proposal that opponents, including Obama, say is too little, too late (John Carey, Business Week)

The World Wide Font of nonsense takes our planet heroes to see calving glaciers and voila -- they're climate experts. How do they think icebergs have formed for millennia?

CNN’s Toobin: McCain’s Global Warming Stump ‘Like Acknowledging Gravity’ - CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, during a panel discussion on Monday’s "The Situation Room," reacted sarcastically to John McCain’s recent campaign speech on climate change. "Well, you know, this story illustrates just how low the bar is for Republicans on the environment. You know, the fact that he acknowledges global warming is seen as a big advantage for him, but it's like acknowledging gravity. It is a scientific fact." Toobin then compared McCain to President Bush on the issue, stating that "the real issue is not whether it [global warming] exists. The question is what to do about it, and, in that area, he's not as far as to the right as Bush is, but he's pretty close." (NewsBusters)

Global Warming Skepticism Shocks Chris Matthews - Toeing the "Green is Universal," corporate line, MSNBC's Chris Matthews seemed shocked that anyone would dare question whether climate change was real. During a discussion about John McCain's eco-friendly rhetoric the "Hardball" host was dismayed when conservative radio talk show host Heidi Harris called it a move "to the left," as Matthews decried: "You think climate change is an ideological issue?!"

The following exchange occurred on the May 13 edition of "Hardball:" (NewsBusters)

Meanwhile: Belief In Global Warming Slips - The proportion of Americans who say that the earth is getting warmer has decreased since January 2007, mostly because of a decline among Republicans, according to the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. (Environmental Leader)

The Economic Costs of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Legislation - Members of Congress are considering several bills designed to combat climate change. Chief among them is Senate bill 2191--America's Climate Security Act of 2007--spearheaded by Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA). This bill would set a limit on the emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide from the combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas. (Center for Data Analysis Report #08-02)

Who Will Pay For Promises Of Politicians? - Most of the great problems we face are caused by politicians creating solutions to problems they created in the first place.

Politicians and a large percentage of the public lose sight of the unavoidable fact that for every created benefit, there's also a created cost, or, as Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman put it, "There's no free lunch." (Walter E. Williams, IBD)

Archibald Prize - Western Australia’s David Archibald writes:

Your mentioning my win in Iowahawk’s carbon footprint competition resulted in my being written up in last Thursday’s West Australian.

In that article, John Connelly of The Climate Institute said that I am destroying the environment. I have written a reply.

Do read on. (Tim Blair Blog)

Tropical Water Vapor and Cloud Feedbacks in Climate Models: A Further Assessment Using Coupled Simulations by De-Zheng Sun, Yongqiang Yu, and Tao Zhang - There is a very important new weblog on water vapor and cloud feedbacks within the climate system as represented by the models used to project multi-decadal climate change. The paper is Sun, D.-Z., Y. Yu, and T. Zhang, 2007: Tropical Water Vapor and Cloud Feedbacks in Climate Models: A Further Assessment Using Coupled Simulations. J. Climate, Submitted. [a powerpoint talk of this research was completed for my class last spring (see Validating and Understanding Feedbacks in Climate Models ).

... This study indicates that the IPCC models are overpredicting global warming in response to positive radiative forcing. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

What problem? Put the Trees in the Ground: A solution for the global carbon dioxide problem? - Of the current global environmental problems, the excessive release of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels and the related global warming is one of the most pressing.

In an essay in the journal ChemSusChem, Fritz Scholz and Ulrich Hasse from the University of Greifswald introduce a possible approach to a solution: deliberately planted forests bind the CO2 through photosynthesis and are then removed from the global CO2 cycle by burial. “For the first time, humankind will give something back to nature that we have taken away before,” says Scholz. (Wiley)

Why? NOAA chief urges creating National Climate Service - With concerns about global warming rising along with the planet's temperature, the head of the federal agency in change of weather research and forecasting is proposing creation of a new National Climate Service. (AP)

The problem here is that climate is inherently unpredictable and currently of little more than entertainment value. What is important is weather and its forecasting, hopefully a season or two in advance. Over the decades, as we untangle more of the cycles involved in climate, we may be able to predict multidecadal warming and cooling cycles (most importantly how these will affect precipitation regionally) and these will be useful policy tools but nothing in our current or foreseeable abilities makes climate worthy of special attention. Note we have an appalling record of predicting such well-studied and critical annual and multiannual cycles as ISMR (Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall) and ENSO (El Niño southern Oscillation) and these have massive agricultural importance to the world. Stick to the weather -- despite appearances we are beginning to understand some of it.

Constitution? Never Heard of It - Yet another pair in a series of climate non-aggression pacts have been inked between U.S. states and foreign governments. This time, according to Greenwire (password required), “Wisconsin and Michigan entered into separate agreements with the United Kingdom on Monday, vowing to work together toward solutions to climate change. Under the pacts, Britain and the states agree to share research and ideas about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting low-carbon technologies and raising public awareness.”

Here’s a quick refresher. Article I, Section 10: (Chris Horner, CEI)

Zeno’s Political Paradox - The Labour Government in the UK is obsessed by implausible targets, from the NHS through schools to the environment. Some Labour commentators, like Polly Toynbee of The Guardian, appear to be especially mesmerised by targets per se. Indeed, targets have become an end in themselves, never mind the fact that the bull may be missed by miles, or that the actual targets cannot be hit, an unsolvable Zeno’s Paradox of Political Panjandrummery worthy of Samuel Foote’s Grand or Great Panjandrum of 1755. (Global Warming Politics)

Money for nothing - If countries in Europe stick to current projections, they will postpone global warming by just days and waste billions: why not spend that on aid now? (Björn Lomborg, The Guardian)

Costs Soar Like Swallows - The costs of suicidal ‘global warming’ policies are soaring like our newly-returned swallows.

On Sunday, The Daily Express highlighted the cost for UK families of the government’s ill-judged policies, based on a newly-released report carried out by respected energy consultants for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform [what a 1984 invention] [‘Labour’s Green Tax Will Cost Every Family £3,000’, The Daily Express, May 4]. These costs are no longer a joke. Here we have a Labour government heaping burden after burden on the poorer members of society, at a time when people’s finances are under greater stress than usual from rising food and fuel bills, from the increasing unavailability of mortgages, and from a series of ill-thought out tax and pension decisions. No wonder Labour received a drubbing last week in the local and London elections. It is just asking to be voted out of office. (Global Warming Politics)

Makes you really appreciate Boris: UN's chief climate scientist regrets Livingstone's loss in London mayoral race - AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - He couldn't vote for London's mayor, but the head of the U.N. panel of scientists on climate change thinks Ken Livingstone's defeat might be bad for the planet. (AP)

USHCN Version 2 - prelims, expectations, and tests (Watts Up With That?)

From CO2 Science this week:

Climate Model Problems: VII. Clouds and Precipitation: What is the status of cloud resolving models?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 534 individual scientists from 326 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Boothia Peninsula, Nunavut, Canada. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Precipitation (Model Inadequacies): How are climate modelers doing with respect to their ability to simulate various aspects of real-world precipitation, particularly within the context of modern global warming?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Canadian Goldenrod, Chinese Lespedeza, Orchardgrass, and Purple Clover.

Journal Reviews:
Urban Heat Islands of North China: How have they impacted official assessments of late 20th-cemtury warming?

The Urban CO2 Dome of Essen, Germany: What causes it? And what are its primary characteristics?

Southern Ocean Phytoplankton Responses to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment: Changes in phytoplanktonic productivity and the mix of species responsible for it may provide an important brake on CO2-induced global warming.

Effects of Elevated CO2 on a Major Potato Pathogen: Does it encourage or hinder the development of potato late blight?

Carbon Dioxide vs. Ozone Effects in Birch and Aspen Trees: What are the individual effects of the two trace gases? And what is the net result when the atmospheric concentrations of both gases increase together and by similar amounts? (

Eye-roller: Australia Budget - Great Barrier Reef In Frame In Climate Fight - CANBERRA - Australia will spend A$3.8 billion ($3.5 billion) [nope -- actually $2.3b and that's certainly not all new spending] to fight climate change, including A$200 million to rescue the Great Barrier Reef, as part of a four-year plan outlined in the government's budget on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Australia's GBR extends from equatorial New Guinea, demonstrating a profusion and preference for higher water temperatures than available over most of its range, south as far as sub-tropical Gladstone, where its range is limited by cold water temperatures. Corals and other calcium-using shelled denizens of the sea evolved when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were at least an order of magnitude greater than those of today, telling us 'ocean acidification' is the 'problem' that will never be. Stupid dogma all around.

Oh... $2.3bn in climate change measures - HALF a million Australian homes will be able to reduce their impact on the environment and the little standby light on your TV will have a power limit as a result of a $2.3 billion suite of climate change measures planned by the Federal Government.

Precise levels of emissions that should be reduced through the raft of measures in the 2008 Budget are not outlined, but the changes will affect everyone from home owners and renters to farmers and even forestry workers in Papua New Guinea.

A new code for household appliances will be introduced to overtake the current six-star energy ratings.

Items such as fridges and dishwashers will instead be rated on a 10-point scale , and it will apply to a wider range of products.

Funding of $14 million has been allocated for this plan, which includes accelerating the introduction of a standard 1-watt power limit on appliances on standby.

The package also earmarks $500 million for the development of a low-emission car by Australian scientists and researchers, though the money will not be available until 2011.

The Budget commits almost $70m to a national emissions trading scheme, under which companies will need permits to produce greenhouse gas pollutants.

But the homework for the project is expensive: over $13.3 million has been allocated for research on how the trading scheme will affect various industries. (The Australian)

Does the 1W standby limit apply to dehumidifiers? If so they are going to kill a lot more electrical equipment, hard to see that as "energy saving" really. (dehumidifiers in electronics keep the equipment nearer operating temperature, reducing internal condensation and corrosion) What a wasteful crock this gorebull warming thing is.

They've blown it on climate change - Greens - THE Australian Greens view the Rudd government's first budget as a big letdown. Greens leader Bob Brown said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had "flunked'' the test of climate change. (The Australian)

Well, we'd tend to agree but for very different reasons. A single dollar wasted on "climate change" is far too much.

Are Polar Bears Really an Endangered Species? - The Bush administration must decide by Thursday. Its answer may have serious consequences for the U.S. energy economy. (Kenneth P. Green, The American)

Reason For High Oil Is (Unsatisfyingly) Simple - Some people think the reason the public misunderstands so many issues is that these issues are too "complex" for most voters.

But is that really so?

With all the commotion in the media and in politics about the high price of gasoline, is there really some terribly complex explanation?

Is there anything complex about the fact that with two countries — India and China — having rapid economic growth, and with combined populations eight times that of the United States, they are creating an increased demand for the world's oil supply?

The problem is not that supply and demand is such a complex explanation. The problem is that supply and demand is not an emotionally satisfying explanation. For that, you need melodrama, heroes and villains. (Thomas Sowell, IBD)

Green Ink: IEA Goes Cap in Hand, Too - Bearish demand forecasts from the International Energy Agency pushed oil down for the second straight day, reports Bloomberg. The IEA figures rich-country demand growth will continue to slow, taking some heat out of oil markets—but a biofuels backlash could mean losing the equivalent of 1 million barrels of oil per day, Dow Jones Newswires report. And, hey, why not: The IEA also asked OPEC to see if it could find a way to maybe increase production, AP reports in the WSJ. Meanwhile, Energy Outlook explores the role of speculation in oil prices—if it’s there, it works in two directions. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

BP axes plan for carbon capture plant - BP has abandoned plans to build a pioneering plant to capture and store carbon dioxide in Australia, the second such project the company has axed. (Financial Times)

Kearl project is no dead duck - How can Ottawa condemn environmental radicalism when it backs carbon-dioxide climate theory? (Peter Foster, National Post)

Rising Sum: Japan’s Gas-Tax Debate Challenges Government - In the U.S., shenanigans over gasoline taxes are limited to campaign-trail rhetoric, and apparently have little political upside. In Japan, the gas-tax debate is a photo negative—and a political life-or-death battle.

Embattled Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda finally managed today to ramrod through what’s become his signature issue: reinstating the gasoline surcharge against opposition from other politicians and plenty of voters. Not only does Mr. Fukuda want to permanently tack on another $0.88 per gallon to already pricey gasoline—with the surcharge, about $6 a gallon—he wants to (eventually) use the proceeds for clean-energy investment, rather than just building more roads. And Japan could sorely use some clean-energy investment, after drifting off-course in both wind- and solar-power incentives.

That’s pitted Mr. Fukuda against both angry voters close to throwing him out of office, and veteran heavyweights in his own party—the “road tribe,” which wants plenty of pork for more highways. Contrast that with the U.S., where would-be leaders aim to finance their gas-tax holiday at the expense of Big Oil—at zero political risk, and at odds with their own plans to fight global warming. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

The Dion airline ticket surcharge? - The Liberals want airlines to advertise fuel surcharges, but they’re unlikely to want to give their planned carbon tax similar prominence (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

Norway CO2 Emissions Up As Statoilhydro Flares Gas - OSLO - Norway's emissions of greenhouse gases rose almost 3 percent in 2007 to a record high, boosted by the opening of a liquefied natural gas plant by state-controlled StatoilHydro, Statistics Norway said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Is there any Kyoto proselytizer the U.S. is not beating in the emission reduction stakes?

Renewable OPEC: Careful What You Wish For - The U.S. and Europe both dream of securing more energy “independence” from fickle oil- and gas-exporting nations. Both have grand plans for huge solar-power plantations in the desert that, on paper at least, could help meet that goal. But Europe has one huge problem compared to the U.S.—its deserts are actually in North Africa, smack in the middle of OPEC country.

What’s that mean in practical terms? Even as the world increasingly inches away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy, many oil-producing countries are scrambling to keep their bargaining power alive. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Hannity Exposes Gore’s Connection to Ethanol and Higher Food Prices - Since media began recognizing the international food crisis and its ties to biofuels, NewsBusters has been wondering when press members will expose how intricately linked Nobel Laureate Al Gore is to this controversial issue.

On Sunday, Fox News's Sean Hannity finally did just that.

In a segment on "Hannity's America," the host addressed much of what NewsBusters has been reporting for the past several months about this matter, and established a template that hopefully others in the media will emulate if they are indeed interested in helping to solve this growing problem. (NewsBusters)

Misanthrope, Dystopian, or Utopian? - Now, here is a nice long read for you this merry Monday. My book review of ‘The World Without Us’ by Alan Weisman [New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2007. ISBN 0-312-34729-4. 304 pp. $24.95 Hardcover*] has just been published in the Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development (EJSD), Vol. 1, Issue 2, May 2008. Is his fantasy that of a misanthrope, a dystopian, or a utopian? (Global Warming Politics)

(Legal) Climate Change - Tort Reform: Three years ago, Missouri capped the damages a jury can award in a malpractice suit. The result has been a significant decrease in claims against doctors — and fewer of them leaving the state. (IBD)

US Study Sees Threat From Big-Particle Pollutants - CHICAGO - On days when there is a lot of dust and other large-particle pollutants in the air, slightly more elderly people go to hospital emergency rooms with heart problems, US researchers said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

People with irritated lungs find irritants irritating... how do they do it?

Why did the EPA fire a respected toxicologist? - In March, the US House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation into potential conflicts of interest in scientific panels that advise the Environmental Protection Agency on the human health effects of toxic chemicals. The committee identified eight scientists that served as consultants or members of EPA science advisory panels while getting research support from the chemical industry to study the chemicals under review. Two scientists were actually employed by companies that made or worked with manufacturers of the chemicals under review. (Public Library of Science)

Simple, Rice is an activist disinterested in the science where it runs counter to her advocacy. Plain enough for you?

Their model says so: New Analysis Shows Important Slowdown in Lake Tahoe Clarity Loss - For the first time since researchers began continuously measuring Lake Tahoe's famed water clarity 40 years ago, UC Davis scientists reported today that the historical rate of decline in the lake's clarity has slowed considerably in recent years. (UC Davis)

The case for biotech: Climate change = 'killer cornflakes' - Climate change could lead to "killer cornflakes" with the cereal carrying the most potent liver toxin ever recorded, an environmental health conference has been told.

The effects of the toxins, known as mycotoxins, have been known since the Middle Ages, when rye bread contaminated with ergot fungus was a staple part of the European diet, environmental health researcher Lisa Bricknell from Central Queensland University (CQU) said. (AAP)

Funny, isn't it? We've pointed out for years that Bt-enhanced grains are strongly protective against mycotoxins by virtue of reducing insect damage to grains. Watermelons and the even more-extreme anti-everythings thought that irrelevant. Associate mycotoxins with the dreaded "climate change" however and suddenly you have [dramatic intro, please] 'killer cornflakes'.

What a stupid game this is.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? - We can't wait to hear how Members of Congress explain their vote this week for the new $300 billion farm bill. At a time when Americans are squeezed at the grocery store, they will now see more of their taxes flow to the very farmers profiting from these high food prices.

This year farm income is expected to reach an all-time high of $92.3 billion, an increase of 56% in two years, making growers perhaps the most undeserving welfare recipients in American history. But that won't stop this bill from passing the House and Senate by wide margins. Speaker Nancy Pelosi was once a farm subsidy skeptic, but she now has some 30 freshman Democrats from battleground rural districts to protect. So more than $10 billion a year in giveaways to agribusiness is a necessary taxpayer sacrifice to keep her majority. (Wall Street Journal)

Who Stole the American Spirit? - According to the most recent polls, more than 75% of the American public believes the economy is in bad shape. All three remaining candidates for president are treating the economy as the biggest electoral issue, and all agree the situation is dire.

The normally sanguine Alan Greenspan recently observed that the current economic mess is "the most wrenching" since World War II; Fortune magazine's Allan Sloan, who's been covering the business of business for decades says, "I'm more nervous about the world financial system than I've ever been in 40 years."

There is no denying that the current financial morass is deep and painful. But taking the long view, there is something both startling and disturbing about the gloom that has settled over Wall Street and the country in general. In fact, looking back over the past century, it would be a stretch to rank the current problems as especially notable or dramatic. Something else is going on – namely a cultural rut of pessimism that is draining our collective energy, blinding us to possibilities, and eroding our position in the world. (Zachary Karabell, Wall Street Journal)

May 13, 2008

Fossil fuel combustion causes major extinction -- 65million year-old headline: Dinosaur killer may have struck oil - The dinosaur-killing Chicxulub meteor might have ignited an oilfield rather than forests when it slammed into the Gulf of Mexico 65 million years ago, say geologists.

Smoke-related particles found in sediments formed at the time of the impact are strikingly similar to those created by modern high-temperature coal and oil burning, as opposed to forest fires, says Professor Simon Brassell of Indiana University.

He and colleagues from Italy and the UK publish their report on the discovery in the May issue of the journal Geology. (ABC Science)

He's John McCain and he's a bloody idiot for drinking the gorebull warming Kool-Aid.

McCain's Hot Air - John McCain’s delivered a major global-warming speech this afternoon at a windmill factory in Oregon. [Amazingly, he goes to a windmill factory to say that “When we debate energy bills in Washington, it should be more than a competition among industries for special favors, subsidies, and tax breaks.” Is this remarkable cognitive dissonance, or is he saying we don’t need to have these poor windmill folks competing for their pork anymore? Weird.] Being neither in Oregon nor near a TV, I offer the following observations based on the speech’s prepared text, which I had the painful opportunity to read.

I note that his opening joke — that there’s no wind there, so I was invited to give a speech (pause . . . wait for laughter) — is premised on guessing the weather in advance. Just like the agenda he is announcing. The problem is that the premise of McCain’s entire speech is that the rise in earthly temperatures is accelerating, as Al Gore and IPCC head R. K. Pachauri have both recently, if outrageously, repeated — which flies smack in the face of recorded observations. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

McCain differs with Bush on climate change - PORTLAND, Oregon: Senator John McCain sought to distance himself from President George W. Bush on Monday as he called for a mandatory limit on greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, also pledged to work with the European Union to diplomatically engage China and India, two of the world's biggest polluters, if those nations refused to participate in an international agreement to slow global warming. (IHT) | AP Tacitly Endorses McCain’s GW Speech (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

The big question is whether anyone can tolerate Kool-Aid guzzlers for the position of President of the United States. The presumptive main party presidential nominees appear to be misanthropic nitwits who will do an inordinate amount of harm to the global economy and society if allowed into office for a single term.

Should there be a "write in" campaign to choose a more rational president than those candidates currently on offer and if so, who? As an Aussie I admit I don't pay great attention to the seemingly endless American electoral process but I do seem to recall Fred Thompson specifically declined global warming hysteria. The Grand Old Party needs to either shake some sense into McCain or find someone electable -- now! And who should be offered to rational Democrats?

The way things are Euro-socialists look to win their campaign to destroy the American economy this coming January and they will have done so with nothing more substantial than "Boo!".

McCain's Climate 'Market' - The latest stop on John McCain's policy tour came at an Oregon wind-turbine manufacturer, where the topic was – what else? – the Senator's plan to address climate change. This is one of those issues where Mr. McCain indulges his "maverick" tendencies, which usually means taking the liberal line. That was the case yesterday, no matter how frequently he claimed his approach was "market based."

In fact, if "the market" is your favored mechanism, Mr. McCain's endorsement of a "cap and trade" system is the worst choice for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. The Bush Administration has pursued one option, which combines voluntary measures with subsidies for "clean" alternatives. Since 2001 under this approach, U.S. net carbon emissions have fallen by 3% – that is, by more than all but four countries in cap-and-trade-bound Europe.

At the other end of the market spectrum is a straight carbon tax, which would at least distribute costs more efficiently. It would also force politicians to be honest about – and take responsibility for – the true price of their global-warming posturing. (Wall Street Journal)

The limits to nuclear: McCain shouldn’t try to follow French disaster - "If France can produce 80% of its electricity with nuclear power, why can’t we?,” asks U.S. presidential candidate John McCain. Nuclear power is a cornerstone of Senator McCain’s plan to combat climate change, which he is unveiling this week.

McCain thinks he is asking a simple rhetorical question. As it turns out, he is not. His question is technical, with an answer that will surprise him and most Americans. Nuclear reactors cannot possibly meet 80% of America’s power needs — or those of any country whose power market dominates its region — because of limitations in nuclear technology. McCain needs to find another miracle energy solution, or abandon his vow to drastically cut back carbon dioxide emissions. (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

It’s the Economics, Stupid: Nuclear Power’s Bogeyman - It turns out nuclear power’s biggest worry isn’t Yucca Mountain, Three Mile Island ghosts, or environmental protesters. It’s economics. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Al Gore Feeds on Burma's Tragedy: Foster - With the potential death toll in Burma from Cyclone Nargis rising into the hundreds of thousands, last week’s attempt by Al Gore to use the tragedy to promote his “climate crisis” agenda becomes all the more reprehensible.

Promoting the paperback version of his book, The Assault on Reason, on a U.S. National Public Radio show, Mr. Gore said that “even though any individual storm can't be linked singularly to global warming… nevertheless… the trend toward stronger more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming and specifically to the impact of global warming on higher ocean temperatures in the top couple hundred feet of the ocean, which drives convection energy and moisture into these storms and makes them more powerful.”
Mr. Gore went on to cite the current disaster in Burma, last year’s cyclone in Bangladesh, and the previous year’s storms in China, as evidence for his apocalyptic theories. The problem is that science doesn’t support him. (Peter Foster, National Post)

Very Active Tornado Season Another Classic La Nina Effect - The winter and spring brought heavy, in places all-time record snowfall, flooding, and now an active tornado season. All of these are classic strong La Nina phenomena.  Brush fires now ablaze in Florida are is also a common springtime La Nina hazard. Almost daily tornadoes have been in the news with 910 reported to date (as of 5 pm Sunday). 96 deaths have also been reported. We have not had a superoutbreak (yet) as we did in 1974 (The Great Superoutbreak) or 1965 (Palm Sunday Outbreak), but a lot a very active days. Given the pattern with a strong suppressed jet stream and lots of high latitude blocking more active days can be expected.

The most fatalities from tornadoes occurred in the 1920s (peak 1928) (source NSSL). In recent decades, deaths were less with the exception of the two years with SUPER OUTBREAKS, 1965 and 1974 (both years coming off La Nina winters, in 1974, one of the strongest)

See larger graph here.

See this entire story with more on those superoutbreaks here.

Don’t let anyone tell you this is the result of global warming. This May has with the exceptions of a few pockets, been a cold month so far thanks to high latitude blocking and a suppressed jet stream. With that forecast to continue, expect more widespread unseasonably cool temperatures and severe weather ahead.

See larger image here. (Joseph D’Aleo, CCM)

How to Make Two Decades of Cooling Consistent with Warming - The folks at Real Climate have produced a very interesting analysis that provides some useful information for the task of framing a falsification exercise on IPCC predictions of global surface temperature changes. The exercise also provides some insight into how this branch of the climate science community defines the concept of consistency between models and observations, and why it is that every observation seems to be, in their eyes, "consistent with" model predictions. This post explains why Real Climate is wrong in their conclusions on falsification and the why it is that two decades of cooling can be defined as "consistent with" predictions of warming. (Roger Pielke Jr., Prometheus)

But wait -- it's worse! World carbon dioxide levels highest for 650,000 years, says US report - The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high, according to the latest figures, renewing fears that climate change could begin to slide out of control.

Scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii say that CO2 levels in the atmosphere now stand at 387 parts per million (ppm), up almost 40% since the industrial revolution and the highest for at least the last 650,000 years. (The Guardian)

Uh... just a minute. Even if bubbles in ice cores do not suffer from solution and diffusion issues (an open question) the relevance of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is still next to nil. There is no indication atmospheric CO2 is anything beyond a passive marker of ocean conditions and its relationship to temperature one of respondent not driver.

CO2 levels are up? Excellent! That will make plants very happy. And the rising levels are something to do with human effect? Even better! Very green of us.

Where do plants get their carbon? - The essential ingredient for all growing plants is CO2 in the atmosphere. But organic matter in the soil is also of value for the plant life on which we all depend. It can only be put into the soil by growing plants (including fungi) and the bacteria, worms and other microbes that live on and beside the plants. All plant and soil carbon comes, in the end, from CO2 in the atmosphere.

Leaves collect carbon and oxygen from the air, roots collect minerals, water and nitrogen plus some carbon from the soil. Plants can live without carbon in soil (as in hydroponics), but not without carbon dioxide in the air.

The biggest stupidity in the carbon debate is treating carbon dioxide as an atmospheric pollutant. All food for plants and animals comes from this gas of life - it is not a pollutant.

The second biggest stupidity in the soil carbon debate is the biofuel myth that we can use the “waste” from crops or grasslands to produce motor spirit without affecting soil fertility and productivity. There is no “waste”in a sustainable farming operation. All organic “waste” should be mulched back into the soil, to feed the soil microbes that add humus, that holds mineral nutrients and soil moisture. Every tonne of carbon trucked off from a bit of land reduces soil productivity and has to be replaced from the CO2 in the air.

Once the biofuel gets burnt in motors, it gets back to the soil or the oceans eventually via carbon dioxide in the air (unless some fool has buried the CO2 in geo-sequestration cemeteries). (Carbon Sense Coalition)

The Hockey Stick scam that heightened global warming hysteria - UN agencies, especially the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and its offspring the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), were orchestrated to achieve the goal of convincing public and policy makers that warming and climate change were a human created disaster. Manipulation of the process was first publicly exposed in the Chapter 8 issue (here). Sadly, it was just the first of several that established the pattern of IPCC behavior.

It was not the first time the unsupportable claim that humans were causing global warming had made the news. A major incident occurred in 1988 when James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), appeared before Senator Al Gore’s committee and said he was “99 percent” certain the Earth had warmed.

Few who study climate change denied warming even though many were accused. They knew that for 22,000 years the world generally warmed as it emerged from the last Ice Age and more recently it warmed from 1680 out of the Little Ice Age (LIA). However, Hansen then suggested the cause was likely an enhanced Greenhouse Effect due to human addition of CO2 from industrial activity what was to become known as the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory The problem is there was no proof and there were many other possible explanations. It was an untested theory that was accepted as fact by the IPCC. (Tim Ball, CFP)

No, gorebull warming won't stop earthquakes: Hot climate could shut down plate tectonics - A new study of possible links between climate and geophysics on Earth and similar planets finds that prolonged heating of the atmosphere can shut down plate tectonics and cause a planet's crust to become locked in place. (Rice University)

Observed climate change in West Virginia - Annual temperature: Over the course of the past 113 years, the time since statewide records have been compiled by the U.S. National Climatic Data Center, the statewide annual average temperature history of West Virginia exhibits no statistically significant trend either towards cooling or warming. Instead, the temperature history of West Virginia is dominated by inter-annual and inter-decadal variability. (Robert Ferguson, SPPI)

Kiwi Climatology - This analysis assumes that as greenhouse gas fees make Kiwi industry less competitive globally, businesses and jobs will move overseas. The government disputes this conclusion, mainly because its own analyses assume New Zealanders will be willing to take lower wages. That's debatable, to say the least.

That aside, give the Kiwis credit for honesty. Having signed up for Kyoto, they're actually talking about shouldering the costs of meeting their commitments. Whether or not they end up regretting it, other countries will now have a chance to see what the anticarbon crusade does to an economy. (WSJA)

New Article On The Role Of Landscape Processes Within The Climate System by Barnes and Roy In Geophysical Research Letters - There is an important new paper on the role of landscape processes within the climate system [and thanks to Tobis Rothenberger at the University of St. Gallen for alerting us to it!]. The article is Barnes, C. A., and D. P. Roy (2008), Radiative forcing over the conterminous United States due to contemporary land cover land use albedo change, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L09706, doi:10.1029/2008GL033567. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Multidecadal Ocean Cycles and Greenland and the Arctic - As part of a four part series on the ocean’s multidecadal cycles and their importance to climate on, the last two weeks we showed how the natural multidecadal cycles in the Pacific (called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO) and Atlantic (called the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation or AMO) affected the frequency of El Ninos and La Ninas and combined to correlate strongly with temperatures over the United States. In part III this week, we discuss temperatures and ice in Greenland and the Arctic, topics sure to dominate the news this summer. Already recent media stories have some scientists predicting another big melt this summer. We will show how that is not at all unprecedented (happens predictably every 60 years or so) and is in fact entirely natural.

Temperatures were warmer in the 1930s and 1940s in Greenland. They cooled back to the levels of the 1880s by the 1980s and 1990s. In a GRL paper in 2003, Hanna and Cappelen showed a significant cooling trend for eight stations in coastal southern Greenland from 1958 to 2001 (-1.29C for the 44 years). The temperature trend represented a strong negative correlation with increasing CO2 levels.

Shown below is the temperature plot for Godthab Nuuk in southwest Greenland. Note how closely the temperatures track with the AMO (which is a measure of the Atlantic temperatures 0 to 70N). It shows that cooling from the late 1950s to the late 1990s even as greenhouse gases rose steadily, a negative correlation over almost 5 decades. The rise after the middle 1990s was due to the flip of the AMO into its warm phase. They have not yet reached the level of the 1930s and 1940s. 

See full size here.

Warming in the arctic is likewise shown to be cyclical in nature. This was acknowledged in the IPCC AR4 which mentioned the prior warming and ice reduction in the 1930s and 1940s. Warming results in part from the reduction of arctic ice extent because of flows of the warm water associated with the warm phases of the PDO and AMO into the arctic from the Pacific through the Bering Straits and the far North Atlantic and the Norwegian Current.

As was the case for US temperatures, the combination of the PDO and AMO Indexes (PDO+AMO) again has considerable explanatory power for Arctic average temperature, yielding an r-squared of 0.73.

See full size here.

See much more with much peer review support for the ocean’s role in the Arctic and Greenland cycles of temperature and ice in the story here. In part IV, next week, we will address how both the Pacific and Atlantic control the strength, frequency and favored storms tracks for Atlantic tropical storms. (Joseph D’Aleo, CCM)

Global warming hysteria reaching new heights - New Scientist, which revealed last year that obesity causes global warming, now tells us that global warming will make days longer, which has been confirmed by NASA. So not only is at least one global warming hysteric worried that efforts to stop global warming may slow the rotation of the earth, but the hysterical New Scientist reports that global warming itself slows it:

Global warming will make days longer as well as hotter, say Belgian scientists. A team led by Olivier de Viron of the Royal Observatory of Belgium has calculated the impact of global warming from the build-up of greenhouse gases in the air on the angular momentum of the planet.

So we might at well get used to longer and longer days. Who needs Daylight Savings Time anymore? (Jonathan David Carson, American Thinker)

Except a slightly warmer world will transfer more water to the poles, where precipitation accumulation means a mass transfer from equator to poles, causing the Earth's rotation to accelerate due to conservation of angular momentum and making days shorter...

'Senior writer' having senior moment: Global Warming Worries Wealthy, Polluting Nations Least - The wealthier a country is and the more greenhouse gases it spews into the atmosphere, the less worried its citizens are about the effects of global warming. Residents of the low-lying Netherlands, ironically, are the least worried of all. (Andrea Thompson, Senior Writer, LiveScience)

Carbon dioxide isn't 'pollution', wealthier nations have much less to fear from the environment and 'global warming' has always been a non-issue. Moreover, the wealthier a country is the less it pollutes since it can afford the niceties of non-productive control of emissions and effluent of many types -- even those of purely aesthetic influence.

British Climate Change Chief Says Optimistic - LONDON - Adair Turner, the head of Britain's new Climate Change Committee, sees some tough times ahead guiding the government towards legal carbon reduction goals but says he is quietly confident of success. (Reuters)

Fuel delay shakes the trees - Forest owners are angry that Government plans to defer the inclusion of transport fuels in the emissions trading scheme will leave them with carbon credits they will struggle to sell.

"We look around and we don't see a lot of other people in the ETS," NZ Forest Owners Association David Rhodes told members of Parliament's finance and expenditure select committee yesterday. In the early years of the scheme, oil companies would have been the biggest buyers of carbon credits which the owners of post-1990 forests fought long and hard for. (New Zealand Herald)

No real value in hot air certificates? Go figure...

Who Is Really Responsible For The High Prices You Pay For Gasoline? - For the last 28 years, Democrats in Congress and a few Republicans have again and again opposed our drilling for oil in Alaska's ANWR area when we knew it contained at least 10 billion barrels of oil we could be using now. (IBD)

Looking Back at Offshore for 2007 - High oil demand is here to stay, and the offshore industry continues to boom.

Some years ago, this publication’s editors predicted, to the disbelief of nearly everyone, that global oil prices would top $100 per barrel. That prediction became a reality during the first quarter of this year, and provides some insight into the state of the oil and gas industry today. Although the price of oil has increased significantly due to an ever-evolving global landscape, it is also being driven and sustained by growing world demand. This is in sharp contrast to the industry’s last price surge in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Around 1980, oil prices reached a high of $39.50 – which, adjusted for inflation, comes to roughly $103 in today’s dollars. The primary difference between then and now is the driving force behind the increase. (Matt Pickard, Energy Tribune)

Polar Bears Threatening to Deliver Us $200 Oil: Kevin Hassett - Protecting the environment is a noble cause, although the consequences can be costly.

Back in August 1973, a biologist found a humble fish called the snail darter in the Little Tennessee River. At the time, it was believed that this species would be pushed to extinction if the Tennessee Valley Authority finished its Tellico Dam.

The snail darter became a celebrity, as environmentalists used the Endangered Species Act to halt the project. It took six years and an act of Congress to complete the dam.

Since then, the snail darter has been the poster child of endangered species litigation. The fish, which subsequently was found in other Tennessee waters, established the conventional wisdom about the interaction between endangered species and development. The pattern is familiar. Someone discovers a rare species in a local area. It is declared endangered, and then local projects are blocked. (Bloomberg)

Wanted: Evil Minions for Long Hours, Rough Conditions, Constant Criticism - The energy industry is almost universally criticized and hated. And for some reason the number of people wanting to work in it are in short supply.

Many energy sectors currently face shortages of skilled workers, from hands-on labor to scientific specialists to management. Some reasons for this are mundane: energy prices are currently high, and that’s encouraging exploration and expansion. Also, back when energy prices were ridiculously low, many laid-off workers sought permanent career changes. And of course, engineering and technical jobs are hard, involving lots of education and training – and who needs that when a Bachelor of Arts degree is just there for the taking?

Beyond these well-examined causes, however, could be another factor: image. Society’s views of an industry or career affect whether young people choose to enter it. A career’s image has at least two components: a moral one and a practical one. Morally, some jobs are just seen as wonderful: fireman, puppy doctor, and special-needs teacher all jump to mind. And practically, some jobs are seen as good careers for the holder: doctor, rock star, and high-tech something-or-other, for example. On both the moral and practical count, the energy industry comes up short. (Mac Johnson, Energy Tribune)

Wind ($23.37) v. Gas (25 Cents) - Congress seems ready to spend billions on a new "Manhattan Project" for green energy, or at least the political class really, really likes talking about one. But maybe we should look at what our energy subsidy dollars are buying now.

Some clarity comes from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), an independent federal agency that tried to quantify government spending on energy production in 2007. The agency reports that the total taxpayer bill was $16.6 billion in direct subsidies, tax breaks, loan guarantees and the like. That's double in real dollars from eight years earlier, as you'd expect given all the money Congress is throwing at "renewables." Even more subsidies are set to pass this year.

An even better way to tell the story is by how much taxpayer money is dispensed per unit of energy, so the costs are standardized. For electricity generation, the EIA concludes that solar energy is subsidized to the tune of $24.34 per megawatt hour, wind $23.37 and "clean coal" $29.81. By contrast, normal coal receives 44 cents, natural gas a mere quarter, hydroelectric about 67 cents and nuclear power $1.59. (Wall Street Journal)

Seward’s Folly…Not! - He bought vast mineral riches for pennies on the dollar. If only every U.S. politician were so foolish.

Lured by the prospect of wealth from the demand for sea otter fur (which was worth nearly its weight in gold), Russians migrated into the coastal regions of the Aleutian Islands and southern and southeastern Alaska in the 1700s. This invasion resulted in the Russian American Company, which as a for-profit company governed the new territory until the sea otter was completely depleted by the mid-1800s. With no other obvious natural resources to exploit, the Russian government sold its territory to the U.S.

Had the Russians migrated up the Yukon River or along the northern part of the Bering Sea, they would have easily discovered these regions’ large gold placers. They did not, because no sea otters existed along any of Alaska’s rivers or along the colder Bering Sea coast. The otters were confined to the southern Pacific Coast, which had experienced extensive glacial advances during the Pleistocene era (10,000 to 2.7 million years ago). Such advances destroyed most of the large surface gold nugget deposits that would have accumulated near the numerous subsurface gold bodies. In contrast, most of Alaska’s interior was never glaciated. There was one major Russian expedition to the Copper River Valley, to search for copper and other metals because the coastal Indians used copper tools. That expedition never returned.

So in 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the U.S. for a bit more than $7 million – less than $0.02 per acre. William H. Seward, the U.S. Secretary of State who was responsible for pushing this sale, was considered by some to be foolish. Even though the purchase had public support, it was branded as “Seward’s Folly.” Unfortunately, even to this day, most Americans lack any understanding of the 49th state’s history and its amazing geologic wealth. (John W. Reeder, Energy Tribune)

EU official says car pollution targets unworkable: report - BERLIN — A senior EU official said Sunday that a European Union deadline to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new cars by 2012 was unrealistic, according to an interview with a German newspaper.

Industry Commissioner Guenther Verheugen said that the proposals -- under which carmakers will be fined for failing to meet emission limits by the deadline -- were already likely to be delayed by the European Parliament. (AFP)

Must We Suffer Global Famine Again? - Do today’s soaring food prices and Third World food riots mean we’re headed for global famine?

Not any time soon—if we suspend the biofuels mandates quickly. Unfortunately, if we keep burning corn, wheat, and palm oil in our vehicles, there’s no limit to the hunger, malnutrition, wildlife extinction and political disruption we can cause.

The problem is simple: Food demand is inelastic. People need about the same number of calories whether they’re expensive or cheap. But the demand for biofuels is almost without limit. An acre of corn produces only 50 gallons worth of gasoline per acre, while humans worldwide burn more than a trillion gallons of gasoline per year.

Biofuels could absorb the whole world’s crop production without bringing down gasoline prices—because we’re banning coal and refusing to drill for oil. If we want to keep on eating, we’ll have to scrap the false “fuel security” of the biofuels. (Dennis Avery, CFP)

Blow Hard: Wind to Supply 20% of U.S. Power? - The U.S. can follow Denmark’s lead and get 20% of its electricity from wind by 2030, the Department of Energy said today. The only obstacles, according to the DOE report, are building the wind turbines, improving them, getting them in place, and getting their electricity to where it’s used. Piece of cake. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Study shows progress against water pollution - WASHINGTON – Some good news from the government scientists who study pollution in U.S. coastal waters: A newly released 20-year study shows overall levels of pesticides and industrial chemicals are generally decreasing. (McClatchy Newspapers)

We're wasting less expensive chemicals? Cool.

Don't let us slow you down, dopey! Wanna help planet? 'Let's all just die!' - Group pushes to improve Earth's ecosystem by ensuring human species does not survive (Chelsea Schilling, WorldNetDaily)

Rice Crop To Hit Record, But Prices Still Rising - MILAN - World rice output is expected to hit a record high this year, but growing demand and export curbs should keep prices high, at least in the short term, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Monday. (Reuters)

'Super yeasts' produce 300 times more protein than previously possible - Researchers in California report development of a new kind of genetically modified yeast cell that produces complex proteins up to 300 times more than possible in the past. These “super yeasts” could help boost production and lower prices for a new generation of protein-based drugs that show promise for fighting diabetes, obesity, and other diseases, the researchers suggest. Their study is scheduled for the May 14 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

May 12, 2008

Taking out the junk - When Al Gore and his global warming alarmists take over, one of the first citizens they'll slap in a prison and charge with crimes against the (green) state will be Steven J. Milloy, founder and publisher of the popular Web site

For 12 years, has worked to debunk the bad science that has been used to advance the harmful or merely silly political and social agendas of environmentalists that have led to things such as bans on DDT and incandescent light bulbs.

Milloy is a self-described libertarian whose other unforgivable crimes include working for Fox News Channel and associating with think tanks that accept oil and/or tobacco money. He visited Pittsburgh Thursday to appear at an Alcoa stockholders meeting. I talked to him by cell phone as he drove back to his home near Washington, D.C. (Bill Steigerwald, Tribune-Review)

In the heat of the battle, nobody is talking about climate change - Gordon Brown, Ken Livingstone and 300 Labour councillors were not the only casualties of the local and London elections. No one seems to have noticed, but the other big losers were those people who care about the environment.

We might just look back on May Day 2008 as the moment when the power of green politics peaked and went into reverse. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it. The reaction of the two main parties to the elections was instructive. Desperate to prop up his own position after Labour's rout, Mr Brown needed to toss a few bones to the voters and jittery Labour backbenchers. So it suddenly emerged that he was about to dump the so-called "bin tax" – allowing councils to charge householders who do not recycle their rubbish. Downing Street didn't confirm it, and five token pilot schemes will go ahead, but it's clear the bin tax has been binned.

Brown allies also floated the idea that the 2p rise in fuel duty might be shelved again. No doubt this was an attempt to placate motorists. As well as being anti-green, it was a surprise, since the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, will need all the revenue he can get when he delivers his pre-Budget report in the autumn – not least to compensate the losers from the abolition of the 10p tax rate.

Mr Brown was not alone in relegating the environment to the back burner. David Cameron, the wind in his sails after the elections, held a prime ministerial press conference in which he set out his priorities for government. Significantly, the words "environment" and "climate change" did not appear in his 1,200-word statement. (The Independent)

Would that he were correct but gorebull warming is still the nutters' flavor of the time.

Exactly wrong: How to Be a Climate Hero - Something truly horrible is happening to the planet's climate (Audrey Schulman, Orion Magazine)

"Global warming" a.k.a. "catastrophic climate change", "AGW" etc., is not an emergency paralyzing people with fear but a contrived nonsense which everyone should ignore. The problem is not one of "bystander effect" but of panic merchants arm waving and calling on everyone to "do something" when every action to address the phantom menace will and does cause harm.

How to be a climate hero? Don't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Have the courage to do the right thing -- exactly nothing!

Eco-anxiety – a condition whose time has come - A recent Harris/Decima poll asked Canadians how they felt about the environment. The poll relied on respondents completing online questionnaires that may have resulted in responses different than if it was conducted by the usual telephone polling. The pollster received responses from 10,000 Canadians. Over three quarters (76 per cent) of those who filled in the questionnaire believe that the environment is not simply a fad and will be a dominant issue for years to come.

When asked who was responsible to protect the environment, individuals or corporations, 82 per cent of respondents answered that both were responsible. As pointed out by Martin Mittelstat in his Globe and Mail column, this is a big change from twenty years ago where most of the blame for environmental degradation was put on those evil, capitalistic corporations. Now, we are all responsible for killing the planet.

It should come as no surprise then that a new psychological condition has emerged in recent years – eco-anxiety. Melissa Pickett, a licensed therapist in Santa Fe New Mexico and an “expert” in eco-anxiety, described people who are afflicted with this condition as follows: (Arthur Weinreb, CFP)

Lawyers: Gore's Pelosi Ad May Violate Election Law - A television ad in which the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and a former speaker, Newt Gingrich, warn about the dangers of climate change may violate federal election law, according to two campaign finance lawyers. (New York Sun)

Fine, nail Pelosi for breaking the law and Gingrich for criminal stupidity for having had anything to do with it to start with.

The Cost and Futility of Trading Hot Air - Foreword – A Political Context: European and American statists, including activist NGOs like the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), assert that the moderate climate warming that is occurring today is a man-made catastrophe, and have embraced the dystopian fantasy that coercive policies for the elimination of fossil fuel production and usage can prevent or turn back the current warming cycle. They have, thus, made the “global warming planetary emergency” into the central plank of their ongoing campaigns for more centralized government. (Christopher Monckton, SPPI)

Thieves Fall Out - You may have wondered why there has been no Congressional effort to actually legislate the “global warming” policies that will supposedly save the planet from itself. For six years, the Democratic minority indulged in often nasty rhetoric, with the gist being: We know the problem. We know the solution. Your hearings are a delaying tactic. We. Must. Act. Now!

After winning the majority, Dems muttered for a while about how that mean George Bush would just veto their legi-salvation anyway: Why bother? We’ll just work for a bigger majority — and the White House. Though, as I have noted on Planet Gore before, Bush had threatened no veto — and on those occasions since January 2007 when he did threaten a veto, in other policy contexts, the Dems typically took it as a challenge to pass something. So there seemed to be something missing from their political calculation, or at least their public rhetoric. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Liberal carbon-tax plan splits NDP, Greens - OTTAWA -- A Liberal green plan that would levy taxes on carbon use while offering a matching cut on income taxes split the political parties yesterday, setting up a potential electoral battle for Canada's left-wing vote.

The idea, which is being touted as revenue-neutral, received support yesterday from the federal Green Party, but was criticized by the NDP's Jack Layton, who argued that it would harm working class Canadians.

The Liberal idea would slap a carbon tax on usage of fossil fuel, while at the same time reduce income taxes to keep the government's overall tax-take neutral. (Globe and Mail)

Dion’s risky carbon gambit - The U.K. shows carbon taxes carry risks of unintended political consequences (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

Russia may hold on to emission rights -expert - COLOGNE, Germany - Russia may decide to hold onto its greenhouse gas emissions rights under the Kyoto Protocol, at least until the details of a successor treaty are clearer, a Russian expert said. (Reuters)

Another Paper On The Role Of Landscape Change On The Climate System - Van der Molen et al. - There is another paper on the role of landscape processes within the climate system; it is van der Molen, M.K., H.F. Vugts, L.A. Vruijnzeel, F.N. Scatena, R.A. Pielke, and L.J.M. Kroon, 2007: Mesoscale climate change due to lowland deforestation in the maritime tropics. In: Mountains in the Mist, Science for conserving and managing Tropical Montane Cloud Forest. L.A. Bruijnzeel, J. Juvik, F.N. Scatena, L.S. Hamilton and P. Bubb (Eds.). University of Hawaii Press, in press. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Lessons of the Quaternary - When climatologists talk about the Quaternary Period, you probably think they are referring to events that occurred thousand of years ago. You would likely be right, but for the official record, the Quaternary Period is the geologic and climatic time period that began roughly 1.8 million years ago and includes the present. The Quaternary includes two major geologic epochs including the relatively cold Pleistocene when glaciers ruled the Earth and the Holocene period that began approximately 12,000 years ago when the glaciers retreated. We see the climate alarmists sometimes arguing that we have left the Holocene and entered the Anthropocene – a time when the human impact has significantly altered the Earth. So, we are currently living in the Quaternary, Holocene, and Anthropocene, all at the same time. (WCR)

And it's still utter rubbish: Climate Debate: What’s Old is New Again - As the squabbling over man-made global warming continues, it’s instructive to see how the current argument got started–half a century after scientists had ruled out carbon dioxide as a cause of rising temperatures. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Oh no! What if people find out? Global cooling theories put scientists on guard - LONDON - A new study suggesting a possible lull in manmade global warming has raised fears of a reduced urgency to battle climate change. (Reuters)

Horn: 'Global Warming? What Global Warming?' - Noted Connecticut weatherman Art Horn has a habit of vacationing in places that are later hit by major hurricanes, from Jamaica to Nova Scotia, but not including Myanmar whose cyclone hit four days before Horn gave his talk on "Hurricane! The Ultimate Storm," Tuesday at Greenwich Library.

He arrived with the latest Myanmar statistics of more than 22,000 dead and 40,000 or more missing. He proceeded with dire images of the power of hurricanes to wreak havoc, the latest predictions of what foul weather was in store, and finally shared his contrary-to-popular opinion views on global warming.

"The real inconvenient truth," he said, disputing the current weather prognosticators, was that "hurricanes are not increasing in numbers or frequency." (Greenwich Citizen)

That Darned Water Vapor - If you’ve read many of my past posts, you may remember that the main reason I (and many other meteorologists) disagree with the computer model forecasts of how much warming will occur due to an increase in CO2 is because of how those models handle water vapor. in this post written over a year ago, I included the following statement from the IPCC:

“Water vapour feedback continues to be the most consistently important feedback accounting for the large warming predicted by general circulation models in response to a doubling of CO2. Water vapour feedback acting alone approximately doubles the warming from what it would be for fixed water vapour (Cess et al., 1990; Hall and Manabe, 1999; Schneider et al., 1999; Held and Soden, 2000). Furthermore, water vapour feedback acts to amplify other feedbacks in models, such as cloud feedback and ice albedo feedback. If cloud feedback is strongly positive, the water vapour feedback can lead to 3.5 times as much warming as would be the case if water vapour concentration were held fixed (Hall and Manabe, 1999).”

Now, a new study published in the May 8 Science Daily, admits that when computer models have tried to simulate the climate in the Antarctic over the past 100 years, those simulations have been too warm . The reason given is: “The error appeared to be caused by models overestimating the amount of water vapor in the Antarctic atmosphere..” In fact, the models over estimated the amount of warming by a factor of exactly 3.5 (at least that IPCC forecast was correct). The simulation was for 1.4 degree F warming and it has turned out to be just .4F. (Craig James, WOOD TV)

PlayStation® pap: Global climate change: What it means to Iowa - Iowa's greenhouse gas emissions are growing faster than the nation's as a whole, even as new state programs fight to limit the damage from global climate change, a new report shows.

The study conducted for Iowa's Climate Change Advisory Council found that the state faces a tough task in cutting greenhouse gases, said Jerald Schnoor, an environmental engineering professor at the University of Iowa who is leading the panel.

The gases, which include water vapor, carbon dioxide and ozone, trap heat that otherwise would escape into the atmosphere. That warms the globe, threatening an increase in disease, heat-related deaths, severe weather and crop damage. (Des Moines Register)

NGO attacks Apple's lack of action on climate change - Apple’s MacBook Air may have received the thumbs-up from Greenpeace, but the iPhone maker should be avoided by the "climate-conscious consumer", a new eco survey claims.

According to non-profit organisation Climate Counts, Apple scored a measly 11 points out of a possible 100 in its latest annual rating of computer companies' climate-change awareness credentials. (The Register)

Hmm... Former Vice President Al Gore Joins Apple’s Board of Directors; Apple's Jobs urges Gore to run for President.

Gore's Truth sowed seeds of enviro boom - When An Inconvenient Truth premiered at the Sundance Film Festival two years ago, Al Gore was considered a "stuffed shirt" and a "has-been" by most U.S.-based media.

And that was just the man. His message about climate change was even more unwelcome, to the point where one colleague from Ohio mocked me when I gloated about getting a Canadian exclusive with the former vice-president. "Oh no! Don't tell me you drank the Kool-Aid on global warming? Don't you know the man's a joke in this country?" (Katherine Monk, CanWest News Service)

Well, no -- but he certainly stirred some mass sociogenic illness in the media...

A Gore confession - Al Gore today said his irresponsible lies blaming global warming for every catastrophe to occur on Earth in the past few years were themselves a consequence of global warming, and warned that if we don't want more people like him mouthing off, we had better cut back soon on carbon emissions.

"The warming has fried my brain," Gore said, adding that he had totally lost control of his tongue, which wags mendaciously at every opportunity. (Jay Ambrose, Scripps Howard News Service)

Another tipsy scientist: Skating on thin ice in the Arctic - Ice was the last thing David Barber was worried about when he and an international team of scientists made plans last year to have their research icebreaker frozen into the Beaufort Sea for the winter. (Ed Struzik, Canwest News Service)

The only 'tipping point' genuinely to be anticipated is the capsize of the gorebull warming juggernaut.

And a tipsy McKibben: Civilization's last chance - The planet is nearing a tipping point on climate change, and it gets much worse, fast. (Bill McKibben, LA Times)

At least the reporter is convinced of his position: GLOBAL WARMING: Conference would seek dissenting views. - The state Legislature is looking to hire a few good polar bear scientists. The conclusions have already been agreed upon -- researchers just have to fill in the science part.

A $2 million program funded with little debate by the Legislature last month calls for using state money to fund an "academic based" conference that highlights contrarian scientific research on global warming. Legislators hope to undermine the public perception of a widespread consensus among polar bear researchers that warming global temperatures and melting Arctic ice threaten the polar bears' survival. (Anchorage Daily News)

White House vs white bear: Judge says Bush must decide whether to save the polar bear as the ice melts - It's a classic stand-off between one of the world's best loved animals and one of its most unpopular leaders, between the planet's largest bear and its most powerful man. And it comes to a head this week. (The Independent)

Bush gets a say in this? What does Lean know that we don't?

Polar bears OK without our help - Thursday is the deadline set by a federal judge in Alaska for the Fish and Wildlife Service to decide whether the polar bear is a threatened or endangered species. All the evidence shows the polar bear doesn’t need his help. (Boston Herald)

Federal Polar Bear Research Critically Flawed, Forecasting Expert Asserts - (May 10, 2008) — Research done by the U.S. Department of the Interior to determine if global warming threatens the polar bear population is so flawed that it cannot be used to justify listing the polar bear as an endangered species, according to a study being published later this year in Interfaces, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. (ScienceDaily)

Climate change plea from tribe of herders who face extinction - Olav Mathias-Eira is a reindeer-herder. So was his father. And his father's father. He is a member of the Sami community, one of the largest indigenous groups remaining in Europe, and his family have been herding reindeer in the same stretch of the Norwegian Arctic since the 1400s.

But, because of climate change, their lifestyle, unchanged for centuries, is now at risk. So Mr Mathias-Eira, 50, has travelled to Britain to issue an urgent plea in the hope that his people and livelihood can be saved. (The Independent)

And the answer is "No" -- anything else? We can't change what the globe's cycles do and if that makes a mess of Sami herding then there are two choices, adapt or starve. Gosh, nothing new there either, is there?

Good question: Bernard Ingham: Why on earth do we put up with this green extortion? - MY text this week is taken from Corinthians I: "Behold, I shew you a mystery."

In the election for London's Mayor, the Greens got just over three per cent of the vote. Leaving aside such misguided places as Norwich, where the Green Party gained three seats, they struggled elsewhere to poll anywhere near that.

In my native Calderdale, with its strong "Green" lobby, they managed only just over one per cent – less than the BNP, English Democrats and Independents, the other small groups that fought the election there.

Yet Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Nationalists dance slavishly to the Green tune. (Yorkshire Post)

Saving Gaia with Bovine Tailpipe Intervention - Never mind that in 2006 it was reported that levels of the second most important greenhouse gas, methane, have stabilized.

Scientists are now working to create a new “tootless” grass for bovine enjoyment which will help cut methane emissions from the bovine tailpipes. What next? A moratorium on baked beans at BBQs? Editing out that scene from Blazing Saddles so that school kids don’t get bad ideas that might harm the earth? (Watts Up With That?)

Emissions trading scheme 'could damage economy' - Farming sector organisations are warning that New Zealand's proposed emissions trading scheme could damage the economy. (New Zealand Herald)

Fran O'Sullivan: Clark's climate change agenda put into reverse - Helen Clark's finely honed political instincts are again to the fore as she courageously throws her pet climate-change agenda into reverse to avert mounting economic pressures.

In any normal situation Clark would face allegations that delaying the introduction of key features of the emissions trading regime is simply hypocritical.

The Prime Minister has after all been named a "Champion of the Earth" for her goal to make New Zealand use 90 per cent renewable energy by 2025.

She has declared an ambition for New Zealand to be the world's first "carbon-neutral country" and made "sustainability" a catchphrase for her Government in election year. (New Zealand Herald)

Emissions trading bill running out of time - The Government is in danger of running out of time to push through major pieces of legislation before the election - including its cornerstone climate change policy, the emissions trading-scheme.

With fewer than 37 sitting days left before Parliament is likely to dissolve for the election, Labour still has about 70 bills to push through.

The carbon emissions trading-scheme has been a high priority for the Government - although its value in election year is now debatable as it has been linked to rising petrol prices. (New Zealand Herald)

Can’t we have less waste, less pollution and more renewable energy?

Question: I think that companies that are making millions of dollars should be forced to use renewable energy, and/or invest in it; they should be doing their bit for the planet. The government should not be forcing householders to pay a tax or more for living, food, electricity etc., especially when they can’t stop what big business does to the environment, or what the government spends the carbon money on.

You can’t be serious that the burning of fossil fuels doesn’t hurt the environment; even if you don’t believe in climate change, this would be one point that I don’t agree with. Also I don’t agree that the planet needs more emissions to be able to grow food, as plants were growing on this planet long before companies started burning fossil fuels to fuel factories.

Answer: The key thing to grasp is that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, not poisonous and is a beneficial gas in the atmosphere. It is colourless, odourless and non-toxic. It is the holes in your bread and the bubbles in your beer. And it is present in the atmosphere in minute quantities. Over 99.9% of the atmosphere is other gases, but every living creature relies on there being enough CO2 in the air to survive.

People who run greenhouses pump CO2 into them to help the plants grow. More CO2 in the air has allowed us to produce more food, and makes plants stronger and more resistant to heat, cold and drought. People have done careful experiments on this, and warmer temperatures and more CO2 are significant factors in all plant growth.

You are of course correct that plants grew long before we started to burn coal and oil, but food production (and population) were far, far lower then. Aerial fertilisation by man-made CO2 is a significant factor in allowing the growth in world population (as is in-ground fertilisation by nitrogen fertilisers from the same fossil carbon industry). No doubt people will say our population is too large, and in places that may be true, but it is not sustainable without carbon fuels and the food they help to produce and transport. That is the ugly truth, which will be illustrated in several countries soon. ... (Carbon Sense Coalition)

Rethinking Ethanol - The time has come for Congress to rethink ethanol, an alternative fuel that has lately fallen from favor. Specifically, it is time to end an outdated tax break for corn ethanol and to call a timeout in the fivefold increase in ethanol production mandated in the 2007 energy bill. (New York Times)

Ethanol: the next unintended consequence - One of the claims of the Canadian biofuels industry is that, unlike the United States, Canadian ethanol will depend less on corn than the American version. That should make Canada less of a contributor to rising food prices. (Terence Corcoran, Financial Times

Sugarcane Alcohol Tarnished by U.S. Maize Ethanol - RIO DE JANEIRO, May 9 - Recent efforts by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to clearly mark the difference between Brazilian ethanol and the agrofuels produced by the United States are an admission that signing an agreement with Washington to promote a global bioethanol market was a serious political mistake, say analysts. (IPS)

Elk Grove wants a refund after hybrid-bus fires - The once-vaunted hybrid gasoline-electric buses that powered the early days of Elk Grove's transit service are languishing in a city corporation yard over city concerns about buses catching fire. (Sacramento Bee)

Gas bills set to rocket by 30% next winter - Sixteen million British Gas customers face price rises of up to 30 per cent next winter. They have already seen charges go up seven times in five years, almost doubling the average dual fuel bill to more than £1,000. A typical household now pays £653 a year for gas compared with £370 in 2003. The figure could hit £750 later this year. In January, gas prices jumped 15 per cent while electricity charges moved up by between 12 and 19 per cent. Another increase by British Gas is certain to be followed by its major rivals, sending thousands more customers on fixed incomes into "fuel poverty". (Daily Mail)

Clean Coal: Black Gold or Fool’s Gold? - The coal question has become something of a litmus test in the whole energy-policy debate. You can’t live with it–and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases; you can’t live without it–and still have an economy. The U.S. government’s relaunch this week of FutureGen, its scaled-down “clean coal” research project, puts the issue smack in the middle of the agenda.

But is “clean coal”—capturing and storing carbon dioxide from coal plants—the answer? (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

It was meant to be a joke, again (Number Watch)

Tragic -- and dead wrong: Families will make case for vaccine link to autism - Families claiming that a mercury-based preservative in vaccines triggers autism will challenge mainstream medicine Monday as they take their case to a federal court. They seek vindication and financial redress from a government fund that helps people injured by shots. (Associated Press)

When food fears deserve special attention - It’s common on forums discussing the painful and difficult road back from eating disorders, to hear nutritional misinformation and fears about certain foods. Many who are avoiding certain foods are convinced they are aren’t dieting or restricting their eating, but are eating healthy. While the idea of foods that are good and bad mimic what is popularly cited in mainstream media and often taught to young people in nutrition classes, recent research by Columbia University eating disorder specialists suggests that recovery from disordered eating requires getting past fears of ‘bad’ foods. (Junkfood Science)

Our growing culture of disordered eating - How often do you see a mature woman with little of the natural fat that comes with healthy aging? How often do we want to believe they’re just naturally thin? How many women do you know who continue to watch their figures and restrain their appetites? This important Guardian article by Kate Hilpern discusses the recent death of a prominent professor who died of malnutrition while no one noticed that she, like growing numbers of mature women, had been suffering from disordered eating. (Junkfood Science)

Please be careful out there — supplements for sick children - Growing numbers of children and teens are taking alternative supplements and most parents and healthcare professionals believe them to be completely safe. Two recent studies of children in the hospital alert us to the need for both parents and healthcare professionals to take extra care to be aware of potentially harmful reactions with natural remedies. (Junkfood Science)

Doctors and intensive care units for sick babies - It’s hard to read this story without your heart going out to these women with high-risk pregnancies who, at one of the most stressful times in their lives, learn there are no intensive care beds for their babies. In just the past year, more than a hundred Canadian women and babies have had to be transported out of the country and away from their families to receive care. (Junkfood Science)

It’s official: the world has gone nuts :-) - There is simply no other explanation. In no particular order, I present as evidence: (Junkfood Science)

Good: Herbal farmers, vendors fear new bill - Some local producers and vendors of natural health products are concerned that their livelihoods may be at risk if recently introduced amendments to the federal Food and Drugs Act become law.

Bill C-51, tabled by the Conservative government in early April, focuses on the safety and monitoring of drugs, food and health products, from clinical testing to the way they are marketed to Canadians. If passed, it would give the federal government more power to order recalls of unsafe products and impose harsher fines for safety violations. Bill C-51 has been touted as a much-needed overhaul of Canada's weak consumer-protection legislation.

But critics say the bill would also over-regulate the sale and use of natural health products, which include vitamins, minerals, homeopathic medicines and herbal remedies. By replacing the word "drug" with "therapeutic product" throughout the act, Health Canada would have broader power over the natural health product industry. (Windsor Star)

Ecological crime: US: Loggers, Owls Not Out of the Woods Yet - SEATTLE, May 9 - Some wounds heal slowly, and the wounds of the logging community on the U.S. northwest Pacific coast are still smarting nearly 20 years after measures to protect a threatened species devastated their industry.

"All of our public institutions that were supported by this economic activity began to crumble," said John Calhoun, director of the Olympic National Resources Centre, an entity created by the Washington State legislature that brings together industry, environmental, government and native groups to forge sustainable forest and marine policies.

"It was devastating not only economically, but it was devastating philosophically," Calhoun told IPS, "and it was a depression in people's attitude, about the world being turned upside down for reasons they couldn't understand or agree with." (IPS)

In case people don't know, genuine ecological crimes are abundant and involve every case of eco-fanatics triumphing over people.

Shining the Hard Light of Reason on Environmental Problems - Last Wednesday was the launch of a new initiative between the University of Queensland and the Institute of Public Affairs for environmental research.

There is some reporting of the program in today's The Australian newspaper under the title 'Climate Sceptic's $350,000 grant to uni has no strings attached'. [I have received comment that the article includes some snide remarks about me - hopefully not related to my critique of the national newspaper's 'Save the Murray Campaign'.]

The Australian also includes a column by the Perth-based philanthropist, Bryant Macfie, who's generosity has made the partnership possible.

The column is entitled 'Blessed are the sceptics' and in it he explains the importance of shining the hard light of reason and critical thinking on our environmental problems, aided by multiple skills and points of view.

After the launch at the University, Aynsley Kellow, Professor and Head of the School of Government at the University of Tasmania, gave an address to member and friends of the IPA at the Brisbane Club. His talk was entitled 'All in a Good Cause: Framing Science for Public Policy'. He said:

"The history of science is replete with error and fraud.

Environmental science is no exception. Indeed, this area of science provides a hyperabundance of examples, thanks to the presence of two factors: a good cause and extensive reliance upon modelling, especially that involving sophisticated computer models. (Jennifer Marohasy)

How're they gonna blame people for this? Environmental fears after volcano - VOLCANIC ash raining down from the Chilean volcano Chaiten may cause long-term environmental damage and harm the health of people and animals in Patagonia, scientists said.

Ash from the volcano, which started erupting 10 days ago for the first time in thousands of years, is made up of pulverised rock containing all kinds of minerals.

It has spoiled lakes, rivers and lagoons, coated plants in a dense layer of gray, and altered the sensitive habitat of animals now struggling to survive. Satellite images show a white stripe smeared across the southern part of South America.

Though it is too early to say what the long-term effects will be, ecologists say life has permanently changed in the region's pine and cypress forests, inhabited by pumas and huemules, a rare species of deer.

"I am tremendously worried because this is an environmental, social and ecological disaster," said Alejandro Beletzky, an environmental scientist in a soot-covered swath of Argentina. (The Australian)

How the world's oceans are running out of fish - The future of our seas has never been more precarious. Ninety years of industrial-scale overfishing has brought us to the brink of an ecological catastrophe and deprived millions of their livelihoods. As scientific guidelines are ignored and catches become ever bigger, Alex Renton tells why the international community has failed to act. (The Observer)

Oh Alex! Don't you read the papers? It's gorebull warming doing it so you might as well harvest the lot before the seas boil...

Climate change will boost farm output - AUSTRALIAN agricultural output will double over the next 40 years, with climate change predicted to increase, rather than hinder, the level of production.

A recent spate of reports forecasting the decline of Australian agriculture because of climate change have greatly exaggerated, and even completely misreported the threat of global warming, according to senior rural industry figures.

In a report published by the Australian Farm Institute, executive director Mick Keogh says agricultural output is projected to improve strongly through to 2050, with a growing global population and increased economic wealth boosting demand for Australian produce. If the sector adapts even modestly, production would increase rather than decrease as a result of climate change, the report says.

Predictions of a 20 per cent drop in farm production by mid-century were cited by Kevin Rudd and Agriculture Minister Tony Burke as justification for Australia's signing of the Kyoto Protocol.

In fact, Mr Keogh says, if global warming does occur, some areas such as southeast Queensland will receive more rain, and as a result will greatly benefit. Recent research has shown increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere lifts plant production by up to 30 per cent in a phenomenon known as carbon fertilisation.

Mr Keogh, a well-respected industry figure, said much of the media reporting on the recent ABARE report Climate Change: Impacts On Australian Agriculture, was so misleading it risked eroding industry confidence in public research agencies. (The Australian)

We wish... sadly it appears warming is less and less likely.

May 9, 2008

Schumer Chucks the FDA? - Who needs the Food and Drug Administration? New York Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer and personal injury lawyers certainly don’t -- at least to the extent the agency gets in the way of their political grandstanding and a multi-million dollar payday, respectively. (Steven Milloy,

Never-ending asbestos scam: Off-roaders to protest closing of riding area - After being told last week they could no longer raise asbestos-tinged dust at Clear Creek, a vast off-roading playground, a die-hard group of enthusiasts plan on raising their voices instead.

Today, at a meeting in Santa Clara with Bureau of Land Management and Environmental Protection Agency officials, a few hundred off-road riders and motorcyclists plan to make their case to keep the site near Coalinga open.

"We're expecting a big, big turnout," said Justin Hensley of Modesto, a longtime Clear Creek rider.

The community's outcry follows the Bureau of Land Management's May 1 decision to close 31,000 acres of the Clear Creek Management Area, a rugged moonscape straddling San Joaquin and Fresno counties. The Environmental Protection Agency found an increased long-term cancer risk for people conducting recreational activities there that generate dust. (Mercury News) | Hearings set on BLM closure of rec area (SF Chronicle)

Exclusively focused on their own field or willfully misrepresenting? Solar Variability: Striking a Balance with Climate Change - The sun has powered almost everything on Earth since life began, including its climate. The sun also delivers an annual and seasonal impact, changing the character of each hemisphere as Earth's orientation shifts through the year. Since the Industrial Revolution, however, new forces have begun to exert significant influence on Earth's climate.

"For the last 20 to 30 years, we believe greenhouse gases have been the dominant influence on recent climate change," said Robert Cahalan, climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. (NASA/GSFC)

TSI (total solar irradiance) only accounts for about one quarter estimated global mean temperature increase. OK, presumably in calculating that they must perform something similar to this calculation:

The sun behaves approximately like a black body of radius rs=6.599 x 105 Km, at a temperature of Ts=5,783 K. The radiative flux at the sun's surface is given by the expression σTs4, where σ is the Stefan-Boltzmann Constant (5.6704 x 10-8 Wm2K4). Flux refers to radiation per unit area. Thus, at the Earth's distance from the sun, res=1.496 x 108 Km, this flux is reduced by the factor (rs/res)2. The Earth's disk has a cross section, acs=πre2, where re is the Earth's radius (6.378 x 103 Km), and thus intercepts acsσTs4(rs/res)2 radiation from the sun. In order to balance this intercepted radiation, the Earth would warm to a temperature Te, where σTe44πre2 = acsσTs4(rs/res)2. This leads to a solution Te=272 K. Clouds and other features of the Earth reflect 31% of the incident radiation. Taking this into account reduces Te to 255 K.

Sound about right? In fact it's difficult to believe they achieved their current positions without running through that many times in their education and careers.

Why is this important? Note particularly Clouds and other features of the Earth reflect 31% of the incident radiation. Taking this into account reduces Te to 255 K. So bright clouds, snow and ice fields and even light colored deserts reflect enough solar irradiance to reduce the Earth's temperature 17 K. A mere 2% change in bright clouds is sufficient to more than triple the effect of solar brightening (which would leave very little room for any other forcing). What's really significant is that TSI is merely a marker of many changes in the sun, one of which is the solar magnetic field and this appears to influence penetration of GCRs (galactic cosmic rays) in Earth's atmosphere and indirectly the amount of bright cloud. That's just one of the ancillary mechanisms of solar forcing being investigated at present but featured because Svensmark demonstrated the mechanism in repeatable lab experiments.

NASA are well aware TSI is perhaps the least interesting of observed solar changes from the perspective of global climate change and it is disingenuous of them to suggest since there is insufficient direct TSI effect then all other changes must be atmospheric carbon dioxide increase.

More worrying is why they would so suggest -- if it is ignorance then we are in trouble but if it is deliberate deception then we may be in worse trouble.

Not good.

A Climate of Belief - The claim that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for the current warming of Earth climate is scientifically insupportable because climate models are unreliable (Patrick Frank,

Burma killed by tyranny - THE vultures are circling over Burma's dead. Hey, isn't that fat one Al Gore?

Sure is. And - flap, flap, plop - there he lands, the first to go picking over carcasses for scraps to feed his great global warming scare campaign.

What the world should be learning from this terrible loss of at least 60,000 people in the cyclone that hit Burma last week is that tyrannies kill more surely than any freak of weather. (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Al Gore And Climate Ka-Ching - Al Gore blames the Burma tragedy on global warming despite growing evidence to the contrary. Could the hype be related to his financial interests? (IBD)

Al is not the only disgusting parasite: Cyclone 'is a sign of things to come' - A TOP Indian advocacy group that monitors climate change in south Asia warned last night that the Nargis cyclone that devastated Burma was "a sign of things to come", as climate change caused extreme weather to increase in intensity.

India's influential Centre for Science and Environment yesterday warned that destructive cyclones were likely to occur more often unless nations sped up their efforts to curtail the emission of greenhouse gases.

"Nargis is a sign of things to come. Last year, Bangladesh was devastated by the tropical cyclone Sidr," CSE director Sunita Narain said in a statement.

"The victims of these cyclones are climate change victims and their plight should remind the rich world that it is doing too little to contain its greenhouse gas emissions."

She recalled that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, headed by Indian Rajendra Pachauri, in a report last year concluded that cyclones would increase in their intensity as a result of global warming.

Ms Narain said lifestyles in rich nations "are now spelling doom for countries like (Burma) and Bangladesh - and the big polluters of the world, such as the US, cannot escape their responsibility and their role in the 'dance of death' of tropical cyclones like Nargis." (The Australian)

Wealth Protects Better Against Natural Disasters - If the same category four cyclone (or "hurricane" in the Atlantic) hit an industrialized country, the storm would have been harmful but not even remotely close to the devastation that exists today in Myanmar.

This tragedy doesn't provide ammunition for global warming (category four cyclones aren't unique), but for the need for countries and their citizens to develop better infrastructure, build better buildings, have better emergency services, etc.

The only way these changes will happen is if poor countries are able to generate the wealth necessary to make the changes. The only way for the U.S. to better protect itself against hurricanes is to ensure that we continue to be a wealthy country. (Daren Bakst, John Locke Foundation)

Universities must help prevent another Burma - Knowledge remains our most powerful defence against natural disasters. So why aren't British universities producing more geophysicists, asks Tim Radford (The Guardian)

What Tim means is that wealth and development are protective and the means to this is open democratic society with a sound education system. Agreed.

Where this article falls apart is: But the logic of global warming means that the oceans will get warmer, which means that wind and rainstorms could become more terrible. The statistics are debatable, but the reasoning is sound enough. A warmer planet means that more energy is going into the system: this energy will express itself somewhere. There is a well-established link between ocean temperature and hurricane or cyclone hazard. An increase in the number and violence of tropical cyclones seems plausible. Utter rubbish. Total energy within a system is largely irrelevant -- temperature gradient and net energy transfer are keys to storm ferocity and enhanced greenhouse theory anticipates warming of the coolest regions (both by latitude and altitude) thus reducing temperature gradients and hence storm ferocity. There is no logical or physical reason enhanced greenhouse could or would increase storm ferocity, which is nothing more than an Al Gore campfire story.

Radford then completely runs off with the fairies with the broken window fallacy: Put this way, a tropical cyclone is not just a destructive force: it could and should also be the stimulus for a job creation scheme. Oh puh-lease! People are not better off when what little they have is destroyed. Far better to create wealth and develop without destroying what people already have.

Brits offer a taste of Kyoto - Great Britain is a decade ahead of Canada in the global warming debate and what's happening there today is instructive for us.

British taxpayers were among the earliest conscripts into the war on global warming, long before Canada, where Liberal Leader Stephane Dion is only now talking about pricing carbon (i.e. a carbon tax) if he wins the next election.

However, when you examine the views of the British people today, the news isn't good for climate hysterics or Britain's Labour government, now led by Gordon Brown, which suffered heavy losses in recent local elections.

A survey last month of 2,002 British adults by the respected polling firm Opinium Research found:

- 72% are unwilling to pay higher taxes to fight climate change.

- 67% believe the government's green agenda is simply a ploy to raise taxes.

As Opinium's head of research, Mark Hodson, described the findings in the Daily Mail and Independent newspapers: "Britain appears to be feeling increasingly negative about being more carbon neutral. We are questioning the truth behind being greener and many feel the government is creating a green fear for monetary gain." (Lorrie Goldstein, Edmonton Sun)

Desperation? Panic, maybe? Fighting climate change fatigue: how to keep stakeholders engaged - A one-day summit organised by the Guardian and The Observer

Wednesday July 16 2008
Business Design Centre, London

With increasing political and public awareness about climate change, the debate has moved on. The public are willing to make changes, but mixed messages have led to confusion and fatigue. Leading businesses realise that now is the time for collaboration - with each other, with government, with NGO's and individuals.

The Guardian Climate Change Summit will bring together senior executives and decision makers to discuss strategies to keep stake holders engaged and fight against climate change.

After all the billions spent on indoctrination campaigns and the forests devoted to print media climate hysteria they still haven't managed to stampede the populace and impose their global social order. What can they do? Who can they telephone?

The Green Jobs Fallacy - The NRDC has a full-page ad in the New York Times today hailing "The Economic Stimulus Plan that can Save the World." This miracle piece of legislation is none other than the Lieberman-Warner global warming bill. NRDC's premise is put quite simply in the ad — Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! In other words, shifting over from old-energy technology to new-energy technology will create jobs aplenty.

This is hooey, of course. (Iain Murray, CEI)

“When Will Lake Mead Go Dry?” - A New Paper That Uses Multi-Decadal Global Models for Regional Predictions - ... However, the paper suffers from their reliance on the multi-decadal global models as quantitative predictions of what will happen in terms of climate in the coming years. They even recognize this in their text “…..the Colorado River will continue to lose water in the future, if the global climate models are correct.”

Thus while Climate Science agrees that there is a significant concern on water available from the Colorado River, and planning should be a major priority with respect to long-term drought, the multi-decadal global model predictions are just hypotheses and their use as part of the computation as definitive, skillful predictions to present quantitative probabilities of Lake Mead drying out is misleading to the policymakers. This is yet another example of overselling the skill that exists in using these models as predictions. The large amounts of precipitation this past winter (2007-2008) in large areas of the West should be a wake-up call on the serious limitations of the IPCC models. (Climate Science)

ENSO and Monthly Global Temperatures

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

In a recent story we showed how the PDO cycle related to the relative frequency of El Ninos and La Ninas and through that, global temperatures. This is the case because El Ninos lead to global warmth and La Ninas a cooling.

See larger graph here.

You can clearly see on the chart of Wolter’s Multivariate ENSO Index (explained here) the predisposition for more and stronger La Ninas and fewer weaker El Ninos during the cold phase of the PDO and more and stronger El Ninos and fewer cooler La Ninas.

See larger graph here.

The last decade, we see how well the monthly MEI correlated with the global temperatures. The correlation (Pearson coefficient) is 0.60. There appears to be a lag of a few months from the diagram and indeed if we lag temperatures 3 months to MEI, the correlation jumps to 0.68. Read more here.

See larger graph here.

Carbon guilt: University Research Contributes To Global Warming, Professor Discovers - Add university research to the long list of human activities contributing to global warming. Hervé Philippe, a Université de Montréal professor of biochemistry, is a committed environmentalist who found that his own research produces 44 tonnes of CO2 per year. The average American citizen produces 20 tonnes. (ScienceDaily)

And medical research causes cancer in lab rodents. Of all the stupid mea culpas...

These silly scares just won't die: Act now on global warming before it's too late for Thailand's coastline and coral reefs - Thailand's coral reefs, which have attracted tourists since the 1960s, could be lost in 50 years if carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue at current rates over the next eight to 10 years.

The warning came from Dr Marea Hatziolos, senior coastal and marine specialist at the World Bank, who was one of the scientists who warned of the impact of climate change on coral reefs around the world at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, last December.

"The current level of CO2 equivalent accumulation in the atmosphere is 430ppm [parts per million]," she said. "At current rates, an accumulation level of 450ppm is expected to be reached by 2015, and scientific evidence suggests that once CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere reaches 550ppm, coral reef ecosystems will be extensively and irreversibly damaged," and reef-building corals will largely disappear. (Bangkok Post)

Bottom line: a lot of current coral types and shell-bearing marine critters evolved in the Ordovician when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were greater than 4,000ppmv. Why would they have trouble coping with levels as 'high' as even 1,000ppmv?

Your tax dollars at work - money down the carbon hole - The Department of Energy awarded $126.6 million in grants today to projects that will pump 1 million tons of CO2 into underground caverns at sites in California and Ohio. The grants are subject to approval from Congress. When private money is included, the amount spent on the projects will be about $180 million over 10 years, the DOE said. So there’s still time to write a scathing letter to your US Senator or Congressperson to tell them they’d may as well just pour money down the hole and save the trouble. (Watts Up With That?)

Shouldn't be taking the people's money to start with: Government clashes with Europe over carbon permit revenue - The Government is on course for an embarrassing showdown with the European Union, business groups and environmental charities after refusing to guarantee that billions of pounds of revenue it stands to earn from carbon-permit trading will be spent on combating climate change.

The dispute follows the publication yesterday of a discussion document by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) outlining how the UK will operate phase three of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, which begins in 2012.

While the EU has insisted that revenue earned by member states from the sale of carbon permits should be used to combat climate change, Defra specifically ruled out such a commitment, either in phase three of the ETS or in phase two, which began this year. (The Independent)

Government scraps carbon card scheme for fear of ridicule - Ministers have scrapped radical plans to test a carbon rationing scheme that would have forced citizens to carry a carbon card to swipe every time they bought petrol or paid an electricity bill.

The plan was announced by David Miliband, former environment secretary, in 2006 as a way to cut greenhouse gas emissions and tackle global warming. But officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said today that the idea was too expensive and would be unpopular.

Defra said a feasibility study found that carbon rationing was "an idea ahead of its time in terms of its public acceptability and the technology to bring down costs." While there were "no insurmountable technical obstacles", the study found such a scheme would cost £1-2bn each year and would be perceived as unfair. (The Guardian)

10 years too late: Steel execs decry emissions bill - The domestic steel industry would be hurt if the government forces steelmakers to follow stricter emissions standards proposed in Congress, industry executives said Wednesday. (Tribune-Review)

Driving and cheap flights lay waste to recycling campaign - Hopes that Britain has turned into a nation of environmentalists were dealt a severe blow yesterday by an official report which found that the nation's carbon footprint was growing.

Although far more households were separating their rubbish for recycling, any benefits to the environment have been more than wiped out by a sharp rise in car journeys, a decline in cycling and a dramatic increase in commercial flights.

The findings come in the latest report on regional trends from the Office for National Statistics. (The Times)

Democrats' Windfall Tax — On You - In their ongoing war against U.S. oil producers, Senate Democrats say they'll slap Big Oil with a windfall profits tax and take away $17 billion in tax breaks, among other punishments. This is an energy plan? (IBD)

California’s Potemkin Environmentalism - A celebrated green economy produces pollution elsewhere, ongoing power shortages, and business-crippling costs. (City Journal)

Oh... Speed kills (the polar bears) - MANY OF US remember the ubiquitous highway safety campaign of the 1970s: "Stay Alive - Drive 55." Today, driving the speed limit is crucial to another kind of survival: the planet's. (Renée Loth, Boston Globe)

I suppose next thing Renée will want us to do a Jimmy Carter and put a cardigan on the planet because it's getting a chill.

Federal Polar Bear Research Critically Flawed, Argue Forecasting Experts in INFORMS Journal
Deficient forecasting methodology casts doubt on threat to polar bear population, say authors in Interfaces study

HANOVER, MD, May 8, 2008 – Research done by the U.S. Department of the Interior to determine if global warming threatens the polar bear population is so flawed that it cannot be used to justify listing the polar bear as an endangered species, according to a study being published later this year in Interfaces, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®).

On April 30, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ordered the Interior Department to decide by May 15 whether polar bears should be listed under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act.

Professor J. Scott Armstrong of the Wharton School says, “To list a species that is currently in good health as an endangered species requires valid forecasts that its population would decline to levels that threaten its viability. In fact, the polar bear populations have been increasing rapidly in recent decades due to hunting restrictions. Assuming these restrictions remain, the most appropriate forecast is to assume that the upward trend would continue for a few years, then level off.

“These studies are meant to inform the US Fish and Wildlife Service about listing the polar bear as endangered. After careful examination, my co-authors and I were unable to find any references to works providing evidence that the forecasting methods used in the reports had been previously validated. In essence, they give no scientific basis for deciding one way or the other about the polar bear.” (Informs)

Shell Oil president wants more access to energy resources - COEUR d'Alene, Idaho - The United States' reliance on foreign oil is increasing because of limits on where companies can search for resources, the president of Shell Oil Co. says.

"The U.S. prohibits access to its own natural resources," John Hofmeister said. "We need more oil and gas, whether it's onshore Alaska, or offshore Alaska."

There are also large energy reserves in Alberta's oil sands and in oil-rich shales in Colorado, Hofmeister said in a speech Tuesday to the National Association of Attorneys General conference here. (Associated Press)

How to Use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve - John McCain and a number of other senators have been recommending that the Bush administration stop buying crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). They're right.

Over the last eight months, the Department of Energy purchased more than 10 million barrels of oil for the SPR as the price rose $40 to above $120. This is not sensible. It puts upward pressure on oil prices at the worst possible time. It is a waste of taxpayer money. It gives aid and comfort to unfriendly nations. And it is an insurance policy that, for the most part, is no longer needed. In fact, we should be selling oil from the SPR at $120. Doing so could be a powerful tool for U.S. energy policy.

Under Water: Insiders Question Offshore Wind Power - Royal Dutch Shell took a lot of flak when it pulled out of the huge “London Array” offshore wind farm in the U.K. last week. The prevailing explanation for the withdrawal? Higher oil prices make old-fashioned energy a more attractive investment than still-immature renewable energy.

Perhaps there’s a less-conspiratorial explanation. Maybe offshore wind power just isn’t up to snuff yet. Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker, today said Europe should curb its enthusiasm for massive offshore wind farms, and focus on regular onshore wind power. Vestas isn’t hiding vested interests—it’s one of the leading makers of offshore equipment, too. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Saving Babies’ Lives - Repeating a scare — no matter how often or how loudly — won’t make it true. Once again, fat women are being meanly frightened by news their bodies could cause their babies harm.

In the news, a new government report is said to have found that rising levels of obesity could be contributing to rates of stillbirths in the UK. The same source used by the news last year to claim obesity contributed to mothers dying in childbirth is now being used to scare them about their babies’ safety. It wasn’t true last year and it isn’t today. But the misperceptions are the same, so let’s start by looking back at what we learned about the women in the report last year. (Junkfood Science)

Parents warned to vaccinate children after first diphtheria death in 14 years - Parents are being reminded to check their child is fully vaccinated after a boy died from diphtheria in London.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the child was not immunised against the disease, which can cause membranes in the throat to detach and obstruct the airways, causing suffocation.

The boy is the first to die from the C. diphtheriae strain in England and Wales since 1994.

The last death from any strain was in 2006. (Daily Mail)

Time to recognize Web addiction as illness - Compulsive emailing and text messaging could soon become classified an official brain illness.

An editorial in this month's issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry says Internet addiction - including "excessive gaming, sexual preoccupations and email/text messaging" - is a common compulsive-impulsive disorder that should be added to psychiatry's official guidebook of mental disorders. (Canwest News Service)

Cut and paste: school nutrition research goes to Canada - A new study was just reported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Canada as finding that schools that stop offering sugary sodas and fatty snacks could see significant drops in childhood obesity in just two years — a 33% lower risk for becoming overweight among the students.

A gold star if you realized it was the same study reported last month.

Remember those long-awaited results of the intensive program that put to test the Student Nutrition Policy being promoted in U.S. schools? It threw every intervention recommended in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidelines to Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating and Physical Activity at the kids. While billions of dollars were riding on proving school healthy eating programs are effective and help children, the results didn’t receive much fanfare here.

Not surprisingly. Despite what it put the children through, the school nutrition program had no effect on the incidence, prevalence, or remission of obesity, nor on changing BMIs. Worse, the intervention actually resulted in the children eating fewer fruits and vegetables. Rather than repeat the full scoop and the story behind the claim it lowered the risk of overweight, simply cut and paste the comprehensive overview here. (Junkfood Science)

'Eco-terrorist' gets 20 years for plotting bombing campaign - An "eco-terrorist" convicted of plotting to blow up or firebomb government and commercial buildings across California was on Thursday jailed for nearly 20 years, justice officials said. (AFP)

Wonder why AFP felt the need to place 'eco-terrorist' in quotes? It's not 'alleged' that these twits are 'eco-terrorists' but a fact since they have either pleaded or been found guilty. Or is it that AFP don't view eco-terrorism a crime?

Birds make easy weather of climate change - British great tits have proved themselves to be far more adaptable to climate change than their counterparts in the Netherlands.

In the past half century the great tits living in Wytham Woods (also known as the Woods of Hazel) near Oxford, have brought forward the date that they lay their eggs by an average of two weeks. The advance is a response to climate change and the timings of the egg-laying showed that the birds tracked the variations in temperature. (The Times)

Overlooked in the global food crisis: A problem with dirt - WASHINGTON Science has provided the souped-up seeds to feed the world, through biotechnology and old-fashioned crossbreeding. Now the problem is the dirt they're planted in.

As seeds get better, much of the world's soil is getting worse and people are going hungry. Scientists say if they can get the world out of the economically triggered global food crisis, better dirt will be at the root of the solution.

Soils around the world are deteriorating with about one-fifth of the world's cropland considered degraded in some manner. The poor quality has cut production by about one-sixth, according to a World Resources Institute study. Some scientists consider it a slow-motion disaster. (AP)

Credit where credit is due: Seth Boringtheme has done a much better job of this than his atrocious AGW pieces.

More politically-inspired shortage: Half of Argentine 2007/08 crop retained in the farms - The extended Argentine farmers/government conflict, which was triggered in early March when the new sliding export taxes system was announced, and its renewed eight days of protest, have left an estimated 44 million tons of grains and oil seeds unsold, valued in approximately 12 billion US dollars, according to market analysts interviewed by the Buenos Aires press. (Mercopress)

May 8, 2008

Climate change? You're having a laugh - A growing number of comedians are trying to find some humour in global warming. But it's not always easy - and things can even turn nasty. James Russell reports (The Guardian)

Don't know why that should present a problem -- it's been a complete joke for two decades.

For those who keep trying to tell us clouds are properly included in current climate models, here's an honest declaration on the state of play: Climate modeling to require new breed of supercomputer - Three researchers from the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have proposed an innovative way to improve global climate change predictions by using a supercomputer with low-power embedded microprocessors, an approach that would overcome limitations posed by today’s conventional supercomputers.

In a paper published in the May issue of the International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications, Michael Wehner and Lenny Oliker of Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division, and John Shalf of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) lay out the benefit of a new class of supercomputers for modeling climate conditions and understanding climate change. Using the embedded microprocessor technology used in cell phones, iPods, toaster ovens and most other modern day electronic conveniences, they propose designing a cost-effective machine for running these models and improving climate predictions.

... Understanding how human activity is changing global climate is one of the great scientific challenges of our time. Scientists have tackled this issue by developing climate models that use the historical data of factors that shape the earth’s climate, such as rainfall, hurricanes, sea surface temperatures and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. One of the greatest challenges in creating these models, however, is to develop accurate cloud simulations.

Although cloud systems have been included in climate models in the past, they lack the details that could improve the accuracy of climate predictions. Wehner, Oliker and Shalf set out to establish a practical estimate for building a supercomputer capable of creating climate models at 1-kilometer (km) scale. A cloud system model at the 1-km scale would provide rich details that are not available from existing models.

To develop a 1-km cloud model, scientists would need a supercomputer that is 1,000 times more powerful than what is available today, the researchers say. But building a supercomputer powerful enough to tackle this problem is a huge challenge.

Historically, supercomputer makers build larger and more powerful systems by increasing the number of conventional microprocessors—usually the same kinds of microprocessors used to build personal computers. Although feasible for building computers large enough to solve many scientific problems, using this approach to build a system capable of modeling clouds at a 1-km scale would cost about $1 billion. The system also would require 200 megawatts of electricity to operate, enough energy to power a small city of 100,000 residents. (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory via R&D)

Climate prediction: No model for success (Roger Harrabin, BBC News)

Squeaky wheel well-oiled: NASA scientist to receive Scripps' Nierenberg Prize - LA JOLLA: James E. Hansen, a NASA scientist who says the Bush administration attempted to censor his warnings about the perils of global warming, will be honored tomorrow night at 7 at the Forum Theater of the La Jolla Playhouse at the University of California San Diego. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography will give Hansen its 2008 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest. Hansen will receive a bronze medal and a $25,000 award. (Union-Tribune)

New Paper On The Role Of Urban Regions In Weather Published - Lei et al 2008 - We have a new paper that has appeared which reports on the role of an urban area (Mumbai, India) in a heavy rainfall event. The paper is Lei, M., D. Niyogi, C. Kishtawal, R. Pielke Sr., A. Beltrán-Przekurat, T. Nobis, and S. Vaidya, 2008: Effect of explicit urban land surface representation on the simulation of the 26 July 2005 heavy rain event over Mumbai, India. Atmos. Chem. Phys., accepted. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Somewhat belatedly: Prime TV: The Great Global Warming Swindle - Prime TV: Important Viewing For Everyone Who Cares about the Planets future and our Standard of living.

The documentary - The Great Global Warming Swindle - is to go to air on Prime TV on June 5th with a local debate about its message. In my view this documentary essential viewing for anyone seriously trying to understand whether the scientific evidence supports or rejects that man made CO2 emissions are causing the globe to warm, with dangerous consequences for planet earth. This documentary is disturbing as it presents evidence from lots of scientists that reject the proposition above. Yet from everywhere else we hear a different story and, because it is now widely believed, we have to face huge costs and a big reduction in living standard worldwide to "save the planet". (Press Release)

Nude Socialist with their knickers in a knot: Melting glaciers release toxic chemical cocktail - Decades after most countries stopped spraying DDT, frozen stores of the insecticide are now trickling out of melting Antarctic glaciers. The change means Adélie penguins have recently been exposed to the chemical, according to a new study.

The trace levels found will not harm the birds, but the presence of the chemical could be an indication that other frozen pollutants will be released because of climate change, says Heidi Geisz, a marine biologist at Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester in the US. She led a team that sampled DDT levels in the penguins.

She worries that glaciers could release an alphabet soup of chemical pollutants into the ocean, including PCBs and PBDEs – industrial chemicals that have been linked to health problems in humans. ( news service)

DDT? Who cares -- it isn't suitable for 'throw it at everything, all the time' broad acre use to which it was placed (as a notably better substitute for arsenical sprays and other heavy metals in use prior to that) but it is largely benign unless you happen to be a susceptible insect. NS inadvertently admit Antarctic glaciers swelled and advanced in the '50s and 60s and are currently cycling back to levels observed prior to that -- probably not the message they had in mind with this piece.

$64 billion scam: Slower Cuts In Greenhouse Gases Cloud Carbon Boom - COLOGNE, Germany - The global carbon market more than doubled in value in 2007 to $64 billion, but that masked slow growth in actual greenhouse gas emissions cuts, the World Bank's carbon finance unit said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Canada Facing Kyoto Probe Over Greenhouse Gases - OSLO - Canada will be investigated on suspicion of violating rules for registering greenhouse gases that are the mainstay of a UN-led fight against global warming, official documents show. (Reuters)

The Senile Crone still trying to ration your energy: The Tax Trickery Spreads - It was bad enough when Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain decided to engage in some petty pandering by calling for a suspension of the federal gas tax over the summer. What they suggested would reduce needed tax revenues and hamper efforts to combat global warming. And it would fail to deliver lower prices while giving oil companies more money. But neither senator is actually running the country, so it might be tempting to chalk it all up to campaign pandering.

Unfortunately, their demagoguery is growing into a real problem, setting off a chain reaction of “me too” proposals across the country to suspend state gasoline taxes, which tend to be much larger than the 18.4-cent-a-gallon federal levy. If the pandering spreads, it would go a long way in setting the nation’s energy strategy in precisely the wrong direction. (New York Times)

All this damage to 'control' plant food: Kansas: House passes bill on coal plants but veto looms - TOPEKA, Kan. — Supporters of two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas failed again Wednesday to muster the support they’d need in the House to override a veto of a bill to make sure the plants get built.

Legislative leaders tied the plants to economic development projects in other parts of the state in hopes of attracting enough votes. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has vetoed two bills to clear the way for the plants and restrict the power of the regulator who’s been blocking them.

The House approved the latest measure, 76-48. Because the Senate had approved it Tuesday night, 24-10, the bill went to the governor.

But supporters were eight votes short in the House of the two-thirds majority they’d need to override a veto. The margin in the Senate was three votes short, but six senators, including five supporters of the coal plants, were absent when the vote was taken.

Backers of the plants have tried throughout the legislative session to attract votes by linking their construction to other proposals, including “green” provisions. But the strategy hasn’t overcome concerns about the plants’ potential carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. (Associated Press)

What Democrats Won't Tell You About Climate Change - Here is what William Pizer, an economist at Resources for the Future and a lead author on the most recent report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said at a symposium earlier this week here in Washington: "As an economist, I am skeptical that [dealing with climate change] is going to make money. You'll have new industries, but they'll be doing what old industries did but a higher net cost.... You'll be depleting other industries."

Of course, many economists will recognize "the green is good for growth" trap that Obama and Clinton have stumbled into. It's just a modern iteration of the famous "broken windows fallacy" where people mistake the shifting of wealth and resources for the creation of new wealth and resources.

Pizer went on to say that calls for dramatic reductions in carbon emissions—the Democrats want 80 percent, John McCain 65 percent—were also unrealistic unless there was "some event" that really galvanized public opinion. Instead, what he predicted was a modest price on carbon via a cap-and-trade plan, a greater push for efficiency, and more regulation of energy-intensive industries. (James Pethokoukis, Capital Commerce)

Government's green targets 'will be missed' - Most of the green targets set since 1997 will be missed, a report said on Wednesday.

The think tank, Policy Exchange, looked up 138 commitments made by central Government and found 60 per cent had not been achieved, were likely to be missed or were too meaningless to monitor.

The report criticised a "disturbing trend" of the Government setting targets on climate change "as an excuse for inaction" and criticised the setting of targets without any money being set aside to achieve them.

The report, Green Dreams: a decade of missed targets, said the failure to meet targets on climate change - such as the three-times-repeated manifesto target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 2010 - was "a serious concern." (Daily Telegraph)

Greened consumers turn red: Solomon - US presidential candidates John McCain and Hilary Clinton vow to combat man-made climate change by curbing America's CO2 emissions. They also vow to give American drivers a tax holiday this summer by suspending the federal gas tax. Voters are upset at the price they must pay at the pump.

New Zealand is a world leader in championing climate change reform. It will be exempting gasoline from the government's emissions trading scheme until 2011 to dampen voter upset over rising living costs. New Zealand's Kyoto protocol commitments exceed $1-billion -- that's how much New Zealand will be paying other countries for carbon credits.

New Zealand can't hold a candle to the UK, however, which has plans to spend £3,000 per family, and possibly much more, to combat climate change -- far more than any other EU country. With the British stiff upper lip beginning to curl at the politicians who are forcing these these costs on them to no evident benefit, politicians are in retreat. The ruling Labour Party is expected to trash the "bin tax" on householders who improperly recycle their waste and put off increasing announced gas taxes. The opposition Conservatives likewise plan to shelve green taxes if elected.

When the rubber hits the road, the carbon tax erodes. (Lawrence Solomon, National Post)

More nonsense: Petrify, liquefy: new ways to bury greenhouse gas - OSLO - Turn greenhouse gases to stone? Transform them into a treacle-like liquid deep under the seabed?

The ideas may sound like far-fetched schemes from an alchemist's notebook but scientists are pursuing them as many countries prepare to bury captured greenhouse gases in coming years as part of the fight against global warming.

Analysts say the search for a suitable technology could become a $150 billion-plus market. But a big worry is that gases may leak from badly chosen underground sites, perhaps jolted open by an earthquake.

Such leaks could be deadly and would stoke climate change. (Reuters)

Guess what? We still have zero evidence (or indication) that atmospheric carbon dioxide can drive climate on Earth-like planets.

Fury over 'unethical' warming website - New Zealand climate scientists are upset their names have been used by an American organisation wanting to challenge the increasingly accepted view that climate change is human induced.

Among the five scientists is Niwa principal scientist Dr Jim Salinger, who said he was annoyed the Heartland Institute was trying to use his research to prove a theory he did not personally support.

The institute describes itself as a non-profit research and education organisation not affiliated with any political party, business or foundation.

Dr Salinger said he was never contacted about his work which was being mis-used to undermine support for the idea that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, largely fossil fuel burning, was warming the globe.

"I object to the implication that my research supports their position ... they didn't check with me."

He said that he and the other New Zealand scientists all felt their work had been misinterpreted. (New Zealand Herald)

Hmm... doesn't sound like Heartland did themselves any favors with their list but, that said, just because you publish research doesn't preclude others from drawing differing conclusions from it. See, for example, how climate modelers endlessly tweak their models to wiggle fit past time series with their assertion CO2 drives climate and then conclude they can model climate -- we conclude they're full of it from exactly the same modeling studies. Doubtless modelers would love to claim we misuse their results too but two diametrically opposed conclusions from one set of observations is hardly unusual and certainly not newsworthy. The Herald has solicited a response: Website defends naming Kiwis as climate change sceptics (New Zealand Herald)

Not really: Global climate models both agree and disagree with actual Antarctic data - Scientists who compared recorded Antarctic temperatures and snowfall accumulation to predictions by major computer models of global climate change offer both good and bad news.

The models’ predictions covering the last 50 years broadly follow the actual observed temperatures and snowfall for the southernmost continent, although the observations are very variable.

That’s the good news.

The bad news, however, is that a similar comparison that includes the entire last century is a poor match Projections of temperatures and snowfall ranged from 2.5 to five times what they actually were during that period. (Ohio State University)

What it actually means is that their wiggle fitting only works for brief periods before breaking down and thus they are not modeling the system at all, merely achieving accidental concurrence for brief periods.

Still got it bass-ackward: Cold Water Thrown on Antarctic Warming Predictions - Antarctica hasn't warmed as much over the last century as climate models had originally predicted, a new study finds.

Climate change's effects on Antarctica are of particular interest because of the substantial amount of water locked up in its ice sheets. Should that water begin to melt, sea levels around the globe could rise and inundate low-lying coastal areas.

The new study, detailed in the April 5 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, marks the first time that researchers have been able to give a progress report on Antarctic climate model projections by comparing climate records to model simulations (these comparisons have been done for the other six continents). Information about Antarctica's harsh weather patterns has traditionally been limited, but temperature records from ice cores and ground weather stations have recently been constructed, giving scientists the missing information they needed.

"This is a really important exercise for these climate models," said study leader Andrew Monaghan of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Co. (Andrea Thompson,

No, the 'ozone hole' does not cause the south polar vortex but rather appears because of it. Modelers still have a long way to go with 'cause and effect'.

Back to the 'aerosols wuz hiding it': Cleaner air to worsen droughts in Amazon: study - Curbing a notorious form of industrial pollution may ironically harm Amazonia, one of the world's natural treasures and a key buffer against global warming, a study released Wednesday has found.

Its authors see a strong link between a decrease in sulphur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and a rise in sea temperature in the northern Atlantic that was blamed for wreaking a devastating drought in western Amazonia in 2005.

University of Exeter professor Peter Cox and colleagues created a computer model to simulate the impact of aerosols -- airborne particles that, like sulphur dioxide, are also spewed out by fossil-fuel power plants -- on Amazonia's climate.

The aerosols, while a bad pollutant, indirectly ease the problem of global warming as they reflect sunlight, making it bounce back into space rather than warm the Earth's surface.

In the 1970s and 1980s, according to Cox's model, high concentrations of aerosols over the highly industrialised northern hemisphere had the effect of buffering the impact of global warming on north Atlantic surface waters, which led to more rain over Amazonia. (AFP)

Even though atmospheric chemists have no idea whether these aerosols are even capable of behaving in the manner modeled that doesn't stop virtual worlders using them as an excuse. So, how long before PDO and AMO phase shifts are completely ignored (along with solar effects) and current lack of warming is declared because China is 'hiding' global warming via emissions from all their new coal-fired power plants they keep bring on line every, what is it now, 4-5 days?

Global Warming and Cooling - The Reality - Stephen Wilde has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968. The first two article's from Mr Wilde were received with a great deal of interest throughout the Co2 Sceptic community.

In Stephen Wilde's third and exclusive article for CO2Sceptics.Com, he explores the mechanics and mechanism involved that are attributed to the Earth's Warming and Cooling, needless to say the presence of CO2 is not part of the process.

Global Warming and Cooling - The Reality. (Co2sceptic)

International group disavows UN’s climate claims - NASHVILLE, Tenn.—TIME magazine warned that scientists had observed “bizarre and unpredictable weather patterns” which led them to believe the world was headed for “a global climatic upheaval.” Fluctuations in temperature, rainfall and sea ice were all described as signs of impending doom.

But the scientists interviewed by TIME weren’t talking about global warming, and the magazine wasn’t issued in the 21st century. The June 1974 report in TIME warned of a new ice age, touching off other articles in respected publications about expanding glaciers, crop failures and killer tornados.

Newsweek, for example, published its own story within a year, claiming that the evidence in support of the dire predictions “has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard pressed to keep up with it.” The New York Times followed in 1975, noting that “a major cooling is widely considered to be inevitable.”

For more than a century, American scientists and newspapers have been predicting catastrophic climate changes. So far, none of the climate predictions has proven true.

On Feb. 24, 1895, The New York Times warned of the next Ice Age, and in 1923, the Chicago Tribune warned that ice would soon make Canada uninhabitable. But by 1933, the same papers were warning of the greatest rise in temperatures since 1776. Reports two decades later also spoke of a spike in global temperatures. Even TIME magazine reported on global warming in 1951, just two decades before the article on a new Ice Age. (BP)

A reminder to us flyspecks on an elephant’s butt - This article from NASA’s Science portal is a sobering reminder of the power of our nearest star. Given that we are in a deep solar minimum now, I thought I’d remind everyone of the kinds of things that can happen when solar max and a cantankerous CME erupts.

The vanity held by many of us puny humans tends to bolster a belief that we control our own destiny within the universe, or are even masters of our own climate control. Recent events such as the PDO shift remind us that the slow but powerful forces of nature remain in control.

If this solar event in 1859 happened today, it would probably be known as “the day the silicon died”. Given how dependent we are on technology now, and given how much wiring we all have to act as antennas, one CME like this one could spell worldwide disaster. (Watts Up With That?)

Oh boy... US Senate Democrats Unveil New Energy Tax Plan - WASHINGTON - Democrats in the Senate Wednesday unveiled a new energy package that would revoke $17 billion in tax breaks extended to big oil companies like Exxon Mobil Corp and slap a 25 percent windfall profits tax on firms that don't invest in new energy sources. (Reuters)

Politically Contrived Gasoline Shortage - The earth is hardly exhausting the resources to make abundant, affordable gasoline. The technology to make gasoline, even when oil wells run dry, already exists. Rising gasoline prices will automatically set the stage, so that synthesizing gasoline from a wide variety of source materials will become increasingly profitable. However, the enjoyment of plentiful gasoline may not be in our future in spite of its feasibility. Political interference with the construction and operation of refineries and synthesizing plants places the world at the mercy of those who believe they must deprive humankind of cheap fossil fuels. Their persistent obstruction of the construction and expansion of petroleum refineries has already proved capable of contriving a mild energy crisis. (Craig S. Marxsen, Independent Institute)

Law firm vows to sue if U.S. links climate to polar bear's survival - A Sacramento law firm known for its conservative advocacy is poised to join the political melee over the fate of the polar bear, vowing Wednesday to sue the government if global warming is cited as a threat to the species.

The Pacific Legal Foundation's warning comes in response to a much-anticipated decision next week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on whether to protect Alaskan polar bears under the Endangered Species Act. The service faces a court-ordered deadline of May 15 for that ruling. (Sacramento Bee)

Polar Bear Scare Could Maul Energy Production - Global warming alarmists, news media portray arctic beasts as victims and spokesbears, but protecting their thriving population means greatly increased federal power to control our lives. (Nathan Burchfiel, Business & Media Institute)


Pain at the Plug: Fuel Costs Push Up Electricity Rates, Too - American consumers just coming to grips with higher gasoline prices can now count on another worry: higher electricity prices. Something has to give—but will it be electricity demand, or power-company profits? (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Those Windfall CFL Programs - Martin Watcher, the marvelous mysterious blogger in Maryland, does the math today on the Public Service Commission's compact fluorescent light bulb program. The upshot is that the major utilities, Baltimore Gas & Electric and Allegany Power, have reaped nearly $1 million per month from the program thanks to surcharges on their customers' bills. From O'Malley Watch: (Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch)

Food and fuel follies - By Ed Feulner - "What could possibly go wrong?" That's what members of Congress probably thought when they started shoveling bigger subsidies at ethanol producers. Now, with food riots erupting in some parts of the world, we have our answer: a lot.

Other factors — a weak dollar, high energy costs, low crop yields in places such as Australia — have played a role in this crisis. But diverting food to fuel is clearly a contributor and it exacerbates the situation. (Washington Times)

EU still far from agreeing biofuel standards: diplomats - The European Union remains far from agreeing on how to tighten its rules for using biofuels, diplomats said Wednesday amid growing opposition towards such forms of energy. (AFP)

Spin This: Booming Wind Industry Still Seeks Subsidies - Here’s a challenge: How do you keep clamoring for subsidies when your industry shatters growth records with numbing regularity?  (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Have you heard the news — on the federal genetic database and surveillance program? - Two major new pieces of legislation have received virtually no notice by mainstream media, but, incredibly, give the federal government the ability to both collect the DNA on every American and establish a nationalized DNA database and surveillance system, and to legalize the sharing of genetic information without patient consent. The names given the legislation aren’t what they sound. (Junkfood Science)

Your secret’s safe with us - USA Today reports that thieves are using increasingly sophisticated methods to access electronic medical records and steal patient information. Only two states require people to be notified when their personal health information has been fraudulently accessed, according to the story. (Junkfood Science)

Apparently not a joke: New Study: Conservatives are Happier Because They Hate Everyone - There is a news report starting to make the rounds amongst the MSM on a study that claims to have discovered why conservatives tend to be happier than liberals and it is just the sort of bilge that the MSM loves to promulgate. We may see more of it over the next several days because, while it is titled "Conservatives Happier Than Liberals," it is basically saying that the reason conservatives are happier is because they just don't care about other people. This purported research claims to pinpoint the reason conservatives are happier and it is because they have theirs and they don't care if everyone else is poor and downtrodden. In contrast they claim liberals are less happy because they care more about people and are all heartbroken that people suffer "inequalities."

Yes, if they are telling us that if you're a happy conservative, it's because you are a hateful, meanie. Thank you New York University. (NewsBusters)

AP's flooded the wires with this rubbish: Climate Change Jeopardizes Koalas - (CANBERRA, Australia) — Koalas are threatened by the rising level of carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere because it saps nutrients from the eucalyptus leaves they feed on, a researcher said Wednesday. Ian Hume, emeritus professor of biology at Sydney University, said he and his researchers also found that the amount of toxicity in the leaves of eucalyptus saplings rose when the level of carbon dioxide within a greenhouse was increased. Hume presented his research on the effects of carbon dioxide on eucalyptus leaves to the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra on Wednesday. The researchers found that carbon dioxide in eucalyptus leaves affects the balance of nutrients and "anti-nutrients" — substances that are either toxic or interfere with the digestion of nutrients. An increase in carbon dioxide favors the trees' production of carbon-based anti-nutrients over nutrients, so leaves can become toxic to koalas, Hume said. (AP)

Bottom line, eucalypts in Australia are well adapted to Australia's perpetual drought interrupted by occasional floods and as conditions dry eucalyptus leaves become progressively more toxic (a natural concentration of tannins and other toxins as a consequence of reduced diluting water in leaf cells, one natural selection has favored since it reduces grazing pressure from insect pests and increases the trees' drought survival chances). Koalas, too, have evolved with this cycle of drought and variable nutrient quality and will not notice the trivial difference invoked by slight changes in aerial fertilization with atmospheric carbon dioxide (notice that zoos around the world have koala populations living happily on eucalypts grown under conditions wildly different from those found on Australia's eastern coastal littoral, where koalas are endemic).

Can't blame other disciplines for coveting a slice of the mega-billions thrown at gorebull warming and full points to Hume for creatively acquiring some with an imaginative study design but fair suck of the sauce bottle guys (Australian colloquialism similar to "fair go," implying greed or inequity), this is way beyond the pale and will actually worry kiddies who think koalas are cute and cuddly and now endangered. Time to give this nonsense a rest.

Alternatives to ozone-depleting pesticide studied - Methyl bromide, an odorless, colorless gas used as an agricultural pesticide, was introduced in the 1980s as an effective way to control weeds and increase fruit yields. Agricultural production nurseries around the world relied on methyl bromide (MB) to produce healthy plants for export and domestic sales. In 2000, the widely used pesticide was classified as an ozone-depleting substance, and in 2005 MB was banned in the United States and all European Union countries. (American Society for Horticultural Science)

Ozone depletion -- the 'problem' that never was...

Is Cheap Meat Bigger Threat to Amazon than Biofuels? - Brazil plans to massively expand the production of biofuels but environmental campaigners worry about the effect this will have on the rainforest. Germany's environment minister, who recently visited the country, thinks demand for cheap meat presents an even great danger. (Der Spiegel)

A world apart - The set-aside scheme to stop farmers producing unwanted crops resulted in unforeseen benefits as the land provided a haven for wildlife. But what will happen now the EC has shelved the requirement? (The Guardian)

Maybe it'll be put to work feeding people...

May 7, 2008

Enviros oppose carbon capture and storage -- Here's a wake-up-call for all the naive coal and electric utility folk out there who think that the enviros will ever allow the capture and underground sequestration of carbon dioxide. Check out this letter to Congress from dozens of nutjob green groups -- including Greenpeace, Rainforest Action network and Friends of the Earth -- announcing their opposition to carbon capture & storage (CCS). The enviros want "no new investments in major infrastructure that increases fossil fuel dependence."

Environmentalists Still Can't Get It Right - Now that another Earth Day has come and gone, let's look at some environmentalist predictions they would prefer we forget. (Walter E. Williams, IBD)

Al Gore Calls Myanmar Cyclone a 'Consequence' of Global Warming - Former vice president tells NPR's 'Fresh Air' cyclone is example of 'consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming.' (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

Warming? Really? Look at the toll from major Bay of Bengal cyclones 1961-70, when warming was definitely not on the agenda:

May 9, 1961 - BANGLADESH - About 12,500 people are killed in a cyclone with top wind speed of 161 kph (101 mph).

May 28, 1963 - BANGLADESH - Severe cyclone hits Chittagong coast in the night, destroying about 1 million homes, and killing more than 11,500 people.

Nov. 12, 1970 - BANGLADESH - The country's deadliest cyclone destroys Chittagong and dozens of coastal villages, killing around 500,000 people.

MSNBC effectively destroy propaganda value of kid's gorebull warming indoctrination video - We're a little late on this one but can't resist (it was just brought to our attention by reader Ron Castleton). Breitbart TV has captures of the original (below) and corrected versions. As you can see from the captured still, MSNBC thought to brighten up the dull and boring flat, white Arctic scenery with some sightseeing shots -- from the wrong hemisphere. Actually it's quite fitting since the entire object of the exercise is a misinformation campaign designed to deceive UK and US students over gorebull warming and Arctic meltdown so they might as well advertise what rubbish it is by featuring wildlife from the opposing pole.

by krs601

I have always wondered: why do docos and media feed a seemingly endless parade of particularly ill-suited "experts" to the masses? Here's a teenage kid, who has once stomped on skis through a panorama of ice and snow (more power to her, if that's her thing), who will be the feature peg of an alleged documentary to be sent to schools to inform them what, exactly, about gorebull warming. There is no annual series of same-route marches and measures of ice thickness and temperatures but the case that Dad has stomped around in the cold a few times and this is the first time he's seen it just like this (oooh!). Riding the train every day doesn't make people experts on diesel-electric locomotives and owning an array of wool sweaters does not make anyone experts on sheep husbandry, no more does taking a few stomps in the cold tell anyone anything about polar cycles, much less enhanced greenhouse.

Slower Sea Level Rise - One of the major pillars of the greenhouse scare is that sea level is rising due to global warming, coastlines will be inundated, and disasters will occur in coastal areas throughout the world. Who could ever forget Al Gore’s documentary showing us the World Trade Center Memorial under water due to sea level rise? A year ago, climate change hero James Hansen warned the world that non-linearities in the ocean-atmosphere system could lead to a whopping 5 meter or more sea level rise over this century. (WCR)

Global Warming - Why The Pendulum Is Swinging - As the world approaches the close of a decade of stable temperatures, with recent hints of cooling, in New Zealand and elsewhere, ordinary citizens are starting to realise that there is no substance to the hysteria about human-induced "global warming" hysteria created by their governments for political reasons, fanned by news media more interested in attracting readers and viewers with doom and gloom reports of impending catastrophe than presenting the simple facts. Take a few minutes to read this item, to see how you have been misled. (Climate Science NZ)

Stressed seaweed contributes to cloudy coastal skies, study suggests - Scientists at The University of Manchester have helped to identify that the presence of large amounts of seaweed in coastal areas can influence the climate. A new international study has found that large brown seaweeds, when under stress, release large quantities of inorganic iodine into the coastal atmosphere, where it may contribute to cloud formation. (University of Manchester)

Odd, why didn't the media use the obvious gorebull warming hook: "seaweed munchers heat planet, cause drought..."? And what about the organophiles? "Must you have a second seaweed biscuit, Persephone? You're heating the planet, you know."

From CO2 Science:

Accelerated Disintegration of the Greenland Ice Sheet: Are the climate-crisis claims of Al Gore and James Hansen about to be vindicated?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 532 individual scientists from 325 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Northern Uinta Mountains, Northeastern Utah, USA. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Reactive Oxygen Species: What are they? What do they do? And how are they affected by the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Broomsedge, Meadow Fescue, Paper Birch, and Quaking Aspen.

Journal Reviews:
Alpine Glacier Wastage: What do 142-year records of the seasonal mass balances of four Swiss-Alps glaciers tell us about the nature of late 20th-century warming and the role played by atmospheric CO2?

North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures of the Past 150 Years: What do they reveal about the uniqueness of the current warmth of this oceanic area?

East Siberian Arctic Temperatures of the Last Interglacial: How do they compare with those of today?

Amazonian Forests in the Late 20th Century: Did they grow faster or slower, as air temperatures and CO2 concentrations rose to levels that climate alarmists contend had not been attained for thousands to millions of years?

Tropical Forest Productivity in a CO2-Enriched and Warmer World of the Future: How would it likely compare with that of the world of today? (

Ponds found to take up carbon like world's oceans - Research led by Iowa State University limnologist, or lake scientist, John Downing finds that ponds around the globe could absorb as much carbon as the world's oceans.

Professor Downing found that constructed ponds and lakes on farmland in the United States bury carbon at a much higher rate than expected; as much as 20-50 times the rate at which trees trap carbon. In addition, ponds were found to take up carbon at a higher rate than larger lakes.

"Aquatic ecosystems play a disproportionately large role in the global carbon budget," Downing said. "Despite being overlooked in the past, it's small bodies of water that are important because they take up carbon at a high rate and there are more of them than previously thought. The combined effect is that farm ponds could be burying as much carbon as the world's oceans, each year." (Iowa State University of Science and Technology)

Politicians face test of courage on climate change - You can already foresee what could become a key theme in the next election: The Liberals champion a carbon tax and the Conservatives accuse them of punishing consumers, attacking resource-rich Alberta, stifling Newfoundland's fledgling boom and up-ending the Ontario economy just as it edges toward recession. (Canwest News Service)

Labour's Green Tax Will Cost Every Family £3,000 - LABOUR’S new green targets will cost every family in Britain more than £3,000, a Government dossier has warned.

The decision by ministers to sign up to “unachievable” EU pledges on renewable energy will leave taxpayers with a £75billion bill.

Most of this will be passed on to householders in higher costs.

A typical family will see its fuel bills soar by £214 a year as power firms switch to expensive technology, such as windfarms, to hit the targets by 2020.

However, the report, slipped out without publicity, warns that the final bill is likely to be higher still, as costs such as the price of upgrading the national grid to cope with new energy sources were not included. (Daily Express)

Sens. George Voinovich, Sherrod Brown agree in opposition to Lieberman-Warner legislation to fight global warming - Washington -- After years of debate over global warming, a measure to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in the United States is set to come to the U.S. Senate floor in June.

But Ohio's two senators are likely to vote against it, contributing to what many people expect will be the bill's failure.

George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown come at environmental issues from different ideological positions, so their approaches on climate change form an unusual intersection. There are two constants: Voinovich, a conservative, and Brown, a liberal, agree that global warming is real. Advertisement

And both represent the rust-belt state of Ohio, with a concentration of industry that relies on carbon-heavy coal for its electrical power.

Both worry that this global-warming bill -- the only one to make it this far -- could drive up costs dramatically for Ohio industry. Industry's biggest worry is that the bill will prompt a rapid switch from cheap, abundant-but-dirty coal to natural gas in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Natural gas is clean, but its price could soar with that kind of demand. Other sources of alternative energy are not yet abundant enough for Ohio's industrial economy, industry representatives say. (Plain Dealer)

Amid deficit, state pads global warming payroll - Despite a state budget up to $20 billion in the hole, despite Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urging 10 percent cuts for state departments, and despite revenue lagging behind expectations, the governor plans to add 211 more state employees at a cost of $55.4 million, San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross reported Monday.

Actually, they reported “no fewer than” 211 of these greenhouse-gas busters will be added at taxpayer expense, drawing up to $102,000 a year, the annual salary for the attorneys among them.

Most of these new jobs are slated for the Air Resources Board, an imperious bureaucracy that intends to enforce the far-reaching, potentially economically devastating and piously named Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill 32.

The ARB is busily drafting regulations that will touch every aspect of California life as its bureaucrats seek to eliminate human-emitted greenhouse gases. Californians should be leery of the unaccountable ARB's new mission, which calls to mind a combination of Star Chamber proceedings and Orwellian rule enforcement. (Orange County Register)

Guns for Oil - Speaking of energy (see here), we can't help but give more attention to a recent press release from some of the Senate's leading liberals. Charles Schumer, Byron Dorgan, Bernie Sanders, Bob Casey and Mary Landrieu are demanding that President Bush tell OPEC nations to increase their oil supplies or risk losing arms deals with the United States. The Senators say U.S. consumers need the price relief that only increased oil production can bring.

Yes, that Senator Schumer and that Senator Dorgan, both of whom voted against increasing U.S. oil production because they couldn't abide drilling across 1% of Alaska's wilderness. Yes, that Senator Casey, who has called for mandatory reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide. At least Senator Landrieu of Louisiana has fought to allow more offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

All of these Senate Democrats are willing to accept greater carbon emissions, as long as we can also outsource jobs in the petroleum industry to Middle Eastern dictatorships. The Senators do aver that "some of us have concerns in general about arming this region to the teeth," but apparently cheap fossil fuel buys a lot of peace of mind.

A special word of concern about Mr. Sanders: He is the only avowed socialist in Congress, but the Vermonter appears to be losing his religion over $122-a-barrel oil. By signing this letter, not only is he officially recognizing the law of supply and demand; he's also proposing a more crassly commercial trade of guns for oil than anything we've ever heard from the most candid realpolitician.

To top it off, the Senator whose Web site proudly proclaims that the first bill he introduced was to combat global warming now wants more fossil fuels ready for burning. We hope his friends are closely watching Mr. Sanders, in case he blows a gasket over all of this cognitive ideological dissonance. (Wall Street Journal)

Free Speech: EPA Lets Staffers Dis Climate Bill - The Bush administration–especially its Environmental Protection Agency–has often come under fire for supposedly interfering with science-related work. EPA staffers went ballistic after their boss blocked California’s request to regulate its own automobile emissions. Hillary Clinton, after her Pennsylvania primary win, railed against the administration’s overall “war on science.”

But if the muzzle is strapped on, it apparently can also be removed–like when a chance arises to criticize the climate-change bills in Congress that the administration dislikes.

A pair of longtime EPA attorneys, Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, sent an open letter this weekend to all members of Congress attacking the climate bills currently on the table, like Lieberman-Warner, which advocates a cap-and-trade scheme.

The pair, a married couple, “received clearance from EPA to voice their concerns to Congress so long as they disclaimed any agency endorsement of their views,” said Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an alliance of government environmental workers which aired the open letter. An EPA spokeswoman confirmed that the agency cleared the couple to write the letter, “provided that it was written in their personal capacity and were not speaking on behalf of the agency.” (Keith Johnson)

What am I missing? They properly went through channels to get clearance, wrote in their own capacity and said so. The problem with this is...?

Indians Speak Out Against Carbon Markets - UNITED NATIONS, May 6 - International policymakers are facing fierce criticism from leaders of the world's 370 million indigenous peoples over plans to use carbon markets as one of the tools to mitigate climate change.

"It's a new way to make money," said Jihan Gearon of the U.S.-based Indigenous Environmental Network. "It has nothing to do with environmental concerns or indigenous peoples' rights." (Tierramérica)

Oh boy... Sucking up carbon dioxide to combat global warming - Here's a simple solution to global warming: vacuum carbon dioxide out of the air.

Klaus Lackner, a physicist at Columbia University, said placing enough carbon filters around the planet could reel the world's atmosphere back toward the 18th century, like a climatic time machine.

After a decade of work, his shower-size prototype whirs away inside a warehouse in Tucson, each day capturing about 10 pounds of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas as air wafts through it.

Only a few billion tons to go.

In the battle against global warming, technology has long been seen as the ultimate savior, but Lackner's machine is a clunky reminder of how distant that dream is.

He estimates that sucking up the current stream of emissions would require about 67 million boxcar-size filters at a cost of trillions of dollars a year.

The orchards of filters would have to be powered by complexes of new nuclear plants, dams, solar farms or other clean-energy sources to avoid adding more pollution to the atmosphere. (Los Angeles Times)

Greens threaten to end support for Govt plan - The Green Party is on the verge of pulling its support for a key climate change policy after a Government backdown on two planks of its emissions trading scheme.

Prime Minister Helen Clark yesterday announced the Government would delay bringing transport fuels into the emissions trading scheme from 2009 and 2011.

The delay - made in response to calls for help from spiralling petrol, food and mortgage costs - will ensure car owners are not hit by the extra five to eight cents per litre for petrol from January next year.

The Government has also softened the rules for heavy-emitting industries by delaying the start date for the phase-out of "free" allocations of emissions from 2013 to 2018.

The Prime Minister said there was leeway to delay the introduction of fuel to the scheme because higher petrol prices were already doing the job of forcing people to use less petrol.

The Green Party has threatened to pull its support from the scheme, saying it was a panicked "gutless" reaction to lobbying from business groups and other political parties which would render the scheme useless. (New Zealand Herald)

The bicycle backlash unfolds - The bicycle. It's the model of green transport and sales of folding ones that fit on trains are stepping up a gear. But as they multiply, so does rush-hour resentment, as commuters and cyclists come to blows. (BBC News)

It's quite simple: consider the ecological cost of repairing the duco or completely respraying vehicles to repair the damage from handlebars and brake levers. What about the horrendous environmental cost of replacing tires staked by handlebars and pedal cranks (not to mention panel damage and wheel alignments)! Then there's the extra fuel cost and increase in airborne pollutants of traffic snarls induced by these two-wheeled menaces and the cost in public health care because they lack the driver protection mandated for other vehicles. So, either properly legislate these things must be constructed of materials which do no damage to vehicles when hit or run over and that riders be properly equipped with airbags and other safety equipment so they are not a drain on society and the health system or ban the environmentally hazardous and user dangerous things completely. Road usage fees should be applied proportionate to the productive time they waste of both users and other road transits (that'd probably make tag fees about a million quid a pop). Time for a lot more consistency along with both environmental and societal awareness where these parasites of the road system are concerned. Where's Brussels when you need them?

An Article On the Pollution Emissions And Concentrations in Major Cities By Parish et al. In The April 2008 Issue of the IGAC Newsletter - There is an excellent Newsletter series published by the International Global Chemistry Project (IGAC). The latest issue has a very important article entitled

“Comparison of Air Pollutant Emissions among Mega-Cities”by Parish et al. The article starts with the paragraph

“The world’s mega-cities represent a wide diversity of cultures and histories, with examples of mega-cities on all of the five major continents. This diversity might be expected to lead to very different patterns of air pollutant emissions. However, as mega-cities develop economically, a convergence of cultures occurs in the sense that automobile fleets and industrial processes develop in similar modes across all cultures. Our goal in this article is to compare and contrast mega-city air pollutant emissions as reflected in measured ambient concentrations of those pollutants.”

Figure 4 in their article shows the major improvement in the concentration of several important pollutants in recent years, as well as the difference among large cities. It viewing this figure, note that the left axis in is units of the logarithm of concentration such that the spread is in units of concentration are, of course, much larger. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Dispute over climate sceptic uni grant - THE University of Queensland has accepted $350,000 for environmental research from a climate change sceptic and the Institute of Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank, in a move that has divided university academics.

The university insisted the money came with no strings attached and oversight of three environmental doctoral scholarship projects to be funded remained under its independent direction. However, the IPA suggested two of the three agreed topics and hopes the results of the research will inform public policy.

IPA senior fellow Jennifer Marohasy, a climate change sceptic best known for questioning the evidence over whether the Murray River needed saving, said the funding was not motivated by ideology but by an attempt to produce objective, evidence-based research. "We don't mind what is discovered," said Dr Marohasy, who completed her doctorate at the university.

The money, which has been channelled through the IPA, has been donated by Perth-based medical doctor and philanthropist Bryant Macfie, a long-standing IPA member. In a speech in Brisbane last week to launch the scholarships, Dr Macfie criticised what he claimed was a lack of objective, evidenced-based research in environmental science. (The Australian)

Funny, annually billions are funneled into universities and research centers to 'prove' AGW but this $350K for generic 'environmental research' rates a news item?

Passing Gas: Higher Prices Panic Pols Everywhere - Gasoline has become the climate-policy polygraph. Senators John McCain and Hillary Clinton—plus plenty of state pols and leaders overseas—get the sweats when it comes to pain at the pump. Gas has everything the vague, long-term plans to fight climate change through complex emissions-cap schemes don’t. Its prices are posted in big letters and updated regularly. People pump it and pay it themselves on a regular basis. And in the short-term, at least, there aren’t may ways to do without it. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Going After OPEC - Hillary Clinton says she wants to dismantle OPEC if she becomes president. Actually, that's not a bad idea. And we have just the way for her to do it.

If Hillary is really serious about breaking OPEC, she should push something very un-Hillary-like: boosting energy supply by unleashing the very oil companies she now vilifies. They're America's secret weapon against the cartel.

That's right: Pry open more markets overseas and open up the vast resources that we still have available in the U.S. and which amount to literally hundreds of billions of barrels of crude oil and equivalents.

That will hurt OPEC by breaking the back of higher oil prices through added supply. Flooding the market with cheaper oil is the only way to make OPEC squeal — not senseless lawsuits and WTO actions that would take years, if not decades, to get through our legal system. (IBD)

Sierra Club Threatens Suits Over Coal Power Plants - LOS ANGELES - The Sierra Club sent letters Tuesday threatening to file suit to stop construction of eight coal-fired power plants in six states because, the environmental group claims, they violate the Clean Air Act. (Reuters)

Biofuels answer to climate change: UN, EU - Biofuels must be developed more selectively to prevent competition with food-related crops, but they are still an answer to climate change, United Nations and European Union officials said on Tuesday.

"There is a concern that perhaps some of the investment and engagement in some of the biofuel some cases did not go in the right direction," said Christophe Bouvier, European regional director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

"But I think it's a question of making sure that the correct biofuels are being promoted...we have to be vigilant," he said on the sidelines of a three-day conference on climate and energy security in Athens. (AFP)

The Biofuels Backlash - St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes, and for 30 years we invoked his name as we opposed ethanol subsidies. So imagine our great, pleasant surprise to see that the world is suddenly awakening to the folly of subsidized biofuels. (Wall Street Journal)

Venture Cash: Anything But Biofuels - Even with oil prices in the stratosphere, investing in “clean technology” isn’t for the timid or the uneducated. That’s the message from a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report, out today, which asks whether clean tech has “come of age.” The answer: It’s growing, but it’s a fickle teen. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Wishful Thinking on Cellulosic Ethanol - Supporters of ethanol, stung by the backlash over its unintended but foreseeable consequences (see, e.g., here and here), namely, increasing hunger due to a run-up in global food prices and increased threats to biodiversity, now tell us that cellulosic ethanol will come to the rescue. The theory is that cellulosic ethanol, which is still in the research and development phase, would be produced from non-edible plant material, e.g., switchgrasses, crop residue and other biomass that is not currently grown or used as edible crops. Thus, it is implied, it would have no effect on food prices.

But this is wishful thinking. (Indur Goklany, Cato-at-liberty)

US Lawmakers Urge Scaling Back Biofuels Mandate - WASHINGTON - As food prices surge on grocery store shelves, Republican lawmakers on Tuesday said Congress should reverse course and slow a fivefold boost in biofuel use by 2022, or even drop entirely mandates to use ethanol blended from corn. (Reuters)

Today's meaching: Bad reactions - The figures just don't stack up for the argument that new nuclear power stations will ensure a secure and sustainable energy source (Michael Meacher, The Guardian)

Two very different views — medical homes and our doctors - Words are powerful marketing tools. Simply naming something to give it a warm and fuzzy connotation can lead us to think it will solve all of our problems and everything will be wonderful. It’s how people sell all sorts of things — weight loss programs, natural remedies... and healthcare. The disparity between what the public is hearing, and many believe, about medical homes, versus what’s being discussed among healthcare professionals was highlighted this week. (Junkfood Science)

Pink bubblegum ice cream... Irvine Robbins 1917-2008 - He enjoyed three or four scoops of ice cream a day — his favorite was said to have been Jamoca Almond Fudge — and he made it his company policy that employees were allowed to eat all the ice cream they wanted. No American hasn’t been touched by his creations and the joy he brought to life. Mr. Irvine Robbins, the co-founder of Baskin Robbins, died of old age today at the age of 90. (Junkfood Science)

Agencies issue plan to run Columbia dams, preserve salmon - The Bush administration Monday issued its final court-ordered plans for making Columbia Basin hydroelectric dams and irrigation projects safe for endangered salmon. The proposed changes in operations would cost hundreds of millions of dollars but no dam removals.

Once an expected challenge is filed, it will be up to U.S. District Judge James Redden to decide whether the plans - known as biological opinions - meet the demands of the Endangered Species Act to put salmon on the road to recovery.

Last year he warned the original proposal was seriously flawed, and that he would turn the job over to an independent panel of experts if the government fails again.

Federal officials said the effort was their most robust and comprehensive yet.

Salmon advocates blasted them as a step backward. They say the plans depend too much on restoring habitat in tributaries to boost fish numbers and not enough on reducing the high numbers of young salmon killed by 14 federal hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers on their way to the sea.

The plans do not include removing four dams on the lower Snake River in Eastern Washington, which is favored by salmon advocates. (AP)

May 6, 2008

Wreaking Havoc on Global Economies - Normally an historical review is interesting but has limited immediate importance. This is not true of this review because of emerging events. Policies designed to deal with global warming or climate change, such as the biofuels debacle, are wreaking havoc with global economies and poor peoples’ lives. Sadly, none of these policies were necessary. They all emanate from the incorrect idea that global warming and climate change are due to CO2. Those pointing the finger at the biofuels policy want it stopped and that is necessary for immediate relief, but does not address all the other policies in place or planned that will have more damaging medium and long term effects. It is urgent to understand how world leaders were so misled about CO2, global warming and climate change and to stop them before any more damage is done. (Dr. Tim Ball, CFP)

Environmentalists Divided About Burying CO2 - OSLO - Greenpeace and more than 100 other environmental groups denounced projects for burying industrial greenhouse gases on Monday, exposing splits in the green movement about whether such schemes can slow global warming. (Reuters)

Much as it pains me to lend any form of support to a bunch of people-haters like green peas they are at least partly correct -- burying CO2 can make no meaningful difference to world temperatures. Then again, neither can not burying it.

Eye-roller: Climate Change Could Hit Tropical Wildlife Hardest - WASHINGTON - Polar bears may have it relatively easy. It's the tropical creatures that could really struggle if the climate warms even a few degrees in places that are already hot, scientists reported on Monday. (Reuters)

Right, the same region where there's been zero net mid-tropospheric warming over 3 decades (that was where models predicted the definitive "human fingerprint" and really dramatic warming)? The same place where the lower troposphere struggles to demonstrate any kind of trend?

Climate change could end boom times - Garnaut - Global warming could have the same economic effect as the Great Depression if handled poorly, government climate change adviser Ross Garnaut says. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Well yes, Ross, you're right and the very worst possible way to "handle" climate hysteria is to take the very actions you advocate.

Cold comfort for victims of warming faith (Andrew Bolt)

Dry red: wine's withering future - CLIMATE change could wipe out up to 80 per cent of Australia's wine production as large parts of inland irrigation zones become too hot and dry to support grapevines, a US academic has warned.

Visiting Australia on a fellowship with Melbourne University, environmental scientist Dr Greg Jones said winemakers in the US and Europe were buying up land at higher altitudes and in coastal regions where cooler conditions would provide a buffer to global warming.

Similarly, in Australia, as higher temperatures reduce inland rainfall, horticultural zones reliant on irrigation, such as the Murray-Darling Basin, may no longer be productive.

"The biggest issue in Australia is how the water situation will work its way out. Without irrigation, 80 per cent of the Australian industry is in peril," Dr Jones said. (The Australian)

News flash: 80% of the Australian wine industry is totally dependent on irrigation so naturally that 80% would be "in peril" without irrigation. This bloke is an imported expert? Send him back and ask for a refund.

Parenthetically, "global warming" has certainly not been "global" and has categorically not been seen here in the southern hemisphere.

Asian Development Bank announces fund to fight global warming - MADRID: The head of the Asian Development Bank announced on Monday a new fund to combat damage caused by climate change, which he termed a "fundamental threat" to economies and livelihoods in Asia.

"I am pleased to announce that we will ... establish a Climate Change Fund, with an initial contribution from ADB resources of $40 million (26 million euros)," Haruhiko Kuroda said in an inaugural address to the ADB's board of governors meeting in Madrid. (Economic Times)

Get on with your real job... oh, that'd right, the Asian economies are booming and you should really disband now, eh? So this "global warming" thing is your excuse to stay on the payroll.

The climate change deniers - By Shawn Macomber - When heralded Canadian environmentalist Lawrence Solomon first set out two years ago — on a bet, no less — to find credible dissenters to the well-entrenched climate change dogma, he thought he might perhaps unearth enough material for a few National Post columns. Instead, like Alice passing through the looking glass, Mr. Solomon entered a world wherein it soon became clear the much-ballyhooed idea of a "scientific consensus" was as nonsensical as "Jabberwocky."

"I had picked several of the most essential and/or most widely publicized 'building blocks' of the case for catastrophic global warming," Mr. Solomon writes. "In each case, not only was I able to find a truly eminent, world-renowned leader in the field who disputed the point in question, but in each case the denier had more authority, sometimes far more authority, than those who put forward the building block in the first place."

The debate over anthropogenic — that is, human induced — climate change, is, in other words, just a bit more complicated than Al Gore suggested on "Oprah." Few books have captured this cognitive dissonance as well as "The Deniers," Mr. Solomon's essential, engrossing travelogue through the world of climate-change dissent.

In "The Deniers"' deniers are not the usual suspects paraded out by a media eager for Scopes Monkey Trial II: Flat Earthers' Revenge. They aren't blustery, ill-informed television pundits or slash-and-burn polemicists.

Rather, Mr. Solomon introduces us to legendary scientists with impeccable resumes and prestigious appointments at major universities and mainstream research institutes; thoughtful, serious professionals who, at their own professional peril, looked at one or another of the shibboleths of global warming alarmism — from the debunked "hockey stick" graphic and misread ice core samples to the amateurish or incorrect computer models and fear-mongering — and bravely refused to join the herd, profitable as that may be these days. (Washington Times)

Three Climate Change Hypotheses - Only One Of Which Can Be True

The climate issue, with respect to how humans are influencing the climate system, can be segmented into three distinct hypotheses. These are:

  • The human influence is minimal and natural variations dominate climate variations on all time scale;
  • While natural variations are important, the human influence is significant and involves a diverse range of first-order climate forcings (including, but not limited to the human input of CO2);
  • The human influence is dominated by the emissions into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide.

The third hypothesis, of course, is the IPCC perspective.

The challenge to the scientific community, using the scientific method, is to present observational evidence that refutes one or more of these hypotheses.

Climate Science’s perspective is that the second hypotheses is correct, which has support from the

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

A new Nature paper by Keenlyside et al. entitled “Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector” provides evidence that is inconsistent with the third hypothesis. This paper writes in the abstract

“The climate of the North Atlantic region exhibits fluctuations on decadal timescales that have large societal consequences. Prominent examples include hurricane activity in the Atlantic, and surface-temperature and rainfall variations over North America, Europe and northern Africa……Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming.”

There are several important messages from this paper:

  • While this Nature paper claims that this lack of global warming is temporary due to “natural climate variations“, unless the first hypothesis is true, there are NO climate variations that are not affected by humans (i.e., the term “natural climate variations” is therefore a misnomer).  
  • This new paper supports the perspective that climate variations and change (even the global average radiative imbalance) are dominated by regional alterations in circulations [as summarized in the 2005 National Research Council Report, and emphasized on Climate Science and associated papers (e.g. see) including the very important guest weblog on Climate Science by Roy Spencer (see) on this subject].
  • Since the multi-decadal global climate model predictions used for the 2007 IPCC report are failing to skillfully predict these “fluctuations on decadal time scales”, there is no credible reason to accept the claim in the Nature paper that the “projected anthropogenic warming” will be accurately predicted after the next decade. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Average temperature vs average irradiance - Vincent Gray and Alan Siddons have been emphasizing an important point that the (arithmetic) average temperature is not the relevant quantity that should be substituted into various calculations of the heat and energy budget of Earth.

Why? Because what matters for the energy budget is the average radiated (or absorbed) energy. According to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, the energy radiated by a black body per unit surface area (also called "radiant emittance") is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature.

When we divide the solar constant by four, to obtain 342 Watts per squared meter, we really average the irradiance over latitudes, seasons, and parts of a day. If the Earth were a black body, that would be equivalent to averaging the fourth power of the absolute temperature.

But the average value of the fourth power of temperature is something different than the fourth power of the average temperature! (The Reference Frame)

Why Let The Facts Get in The Way of a Good Story? - In the May 5, 2008 edition of Newsweek, there is an article by science writer Sharon Begley trying to convince us that “global warming isn’t good for crops after all”. Her first example is that a glacier in the Himalayas called the Gangotri glacier. She writes that over the last 25 years the glacier has shrunk about half a mile, “a rate three times the historical norm”. The implication is, of course, that this was caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 produced by human activities. Since this glacier supplies 70% of the flow to India’s Ganges River during the dry season, loss of the glacier would cause great harm to India’s crop irrigation. (Craig James, WOOD TV)

What spot? - Here today, gone tomorrow.

Sunspot 993, the first cycle 24 spot of the southern hemisphere, appeared late Saturday, and by Monday morning, the Tiny Tim spot was gone. Which is what happened to the last cycle 24 spot, which was a Tiny Tim and also quickly disappeared. (Watts Up With That?)

Testing The Waters - Proving the advantage of actual observations, German researchers say Earth will stop warming for at least a decade. It seems ocean currents, not SUVs, help determine the temperature of Earth. (IBD)

Will the Polar Bear Survive? - The cuddly polar bear has become global warming's favorite mascot. It's also become a political flash point: on one side, conservation groups say global warming threatens the bear by permanently damaging its Arctic habitat. On the other, conservative groups say the so-called plight of the polar bear is a gambit to intensify climate change hysteria. The battle flared up again last Monday, when a California federal district court judge ordered the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the Interior Department agency that evaluates endangered species, to decide on the polar bear by May 15 (a four-month extension of the original due date of Jan. 9). If FWS lists the bear as endangered, it would be the first mammal to face extinction due to global warming. (Time)

The way things are going lately too much ice might be a bigger problem.

Always provided the measurement and statistical processing are accurate: Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Reaches “Unprecedented” Levels - Four of the past 5 months are “all-time” records for Southern Hemisphere sea ice anomalies, “unprecedented” since the data set began in 1979 as shown below:

On a global basis, world sea ice in April 2008 reached levels that were “unprecedented” for the month of April in over 25 years. Levels are the third highest (for April) since the commencement of records in 1979, exceeded only by levels in 1979 and 1982. This continues a pattern established earlier in 2008, as global sea ice in March 2008 was also the third highest March on record, while January 2008 sea ice was the second highest January on record. It was also the second highest single month in the past 20 years (second only to Sept 1996).

The graph below shows the monthly anomaly (aggregating NH and SH), collating information from


Figure 2. Monthly anomaly sea ice area.

As suggested by a reader, here’s the same information with each monthly series plotted as a separate line (April-solid; January - dotted.) The surge in anomaly area in 2008 is not limited to a single month, but is consistent for all 4 months to date (and for the YTD average).


At Cryosphere Today, they provide the following scientific description of recent sea ice changes:

You’ve heard Al Gore comment that the “Earth has a fever”? It may also have major tooth decay.

They provide an animation showing declining sea ice to 2007 lows, but not the subsequent recovery in 2008:

Peruse an archive of map displays of the atmospheric and radiative climatic conditions leading up to the record setting Northern Hemisphere sea ice minimum of 2007: sea ice autopsy

Instead of perhaps celebrating the dramatic recent increase in sea ice, they complain that there has been a loss of “multiyear sea ice”.

I’ve uploaded my collation of the NOAA data to (Climate Audit)

RSS MSU LT Global Temperature Anomaly for April 2008 - flat - I’ve plotted the results of the RSS Microwave Sounder Unit (MSU) global temperature anomaly data by RSS (Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA).

For April 2008 it has moved a tiny bit higher, with a value of .080°C for a change (∆T) of 0.001°C globally from March.

2008 1 -0.070
2008 2 -0.002
2008 3 0.079
2008 4 0.080 (Watts Up With That?)

Oil Exploration Tests Off Alaska Prompt Lawsuit - ANCHORAGE - A coalition of environmental and Alaska Native groups Monday filed a lawsuit seeking to block the oil industry from conducting seismic tests the groups say will harm whales, walruses and other marine mammals in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. (Reuters)

Climate Change, Gas Tax and Incumbency - As millions of Americans prepare to spend their “stimulus” checks, the Senate is getting ready to debate what can be described as an enormous anti-stimulus bill. This legislation -- sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) -- is a “global warming” measure that could cripple our economy.

The Warner-Lieberman climate-change bill would cap greenhouse-gas emissions, making energy use more expensive at the same time as a record number of Americans are worried that the high and still-rising cost of energy threatens to reduce their current standard of living. According to a soon-to-be-released study by The Heritage Foundation, Lieberman-Warner would cost Americans hundreds of thousands of jobs annually and could double the price of electricity, natural gas and gasoline by 2030. (Brian Darling, Human Events)

Ethanol's lesson - Ethanol once was touted as the be-all and end-all for at least putting this country on the on-ramp to the superhighway of energy independence. And in short order, the government subsidies began.

But not even the facts could stem the spendthrifts' euphoria. Questions abound about ethanol's basic efficacy. Not only can ethanol likely not be produced in sufficient quantities to make much of a dent in those oil drums, it still takes lots of fossil fuel to produce it. It looks to be worse for the environment. Miles per gallon? Oftentimes worse.

And then there's the economics fallout. Switching crops away from food and to government-subsidized ethanol production soon led to higher domestic prices for just about everything connected to them, especially corn.

Then, the grand ethanol experiment blew up: It's seen as one of the primary causes for escalating worldwide food prices that, as scholars at the Competitive Enterprise Institute characterize it, pushed "millions of people in the developing world to the brink of starvation and causing riots across the globe."

Congress now says it will attempt to put maybe one arm and one leg of this ugly genie back in the bottle. Hindsight always is 20/20, of course, but this disaster was widely foretold.

America should learn a valuable lesson from its mistake. Sad to say, it probably won't. (Pittsburg Tribune-Review)

Food for Fuel Is No Laughing Matter - Cliff May begins his NRO column, “The Hunger,” by retelling an old joke about astronomers discovering a giant meteor hurtling towards Earth and the Washington Post running a headline: “World to end tomorrow: minorities and poor to suffer most.” While it is fine to make light of the media’s tendency to paint any change in market conditions as a class issue, in this case the joke doesn’t work. When we are talking about substantial food price inflation, it is the poor who suffer. Rampant food inflation also increases the number of poor people.

I don’t usually quote eco-radical George Monbiot, but on this topic nobody has said it better: “Even when the price of food was low, 850 million people went hungry because they could not afford to buy it. With every increment in the price of flour or grain, several million more are pushed below the bread line.” (Marlo Lewis, Planet Gore)

Burned by Biofuels: McCain, Other Politicos, Turn on Local Juice - What a difference a few months make. America’s plan to ease dependence on foreign oil and burn cleaner fuels by massively increasing the use of biofuel has collided with higher food prices, as well as lingering concerns about biofuels’ environmental impacts.

The result? A rebellion in the ranks.

John McCain and more than a score of fellow Republicans called on the Environmental Protection Agency to scupper, or at least reconsider, the ethanol mandates passed in the last energy bill. The bill calls for a five-fold increase in U.S. ethanol production through 2022. President Bush reiterated the need for more “renewable fuels” in his Rose Garden climate speech last month (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

When Will Media Expose Gore's Ethanol Investments? - As media turn against ethanol due to the growing international food crisis, there's one idol they need to topple: Nobel Laureate Al Gore.

After all, this man has not only been strongly advocating the use of biofuels for years, but has also admitted to having investments in companies involved in such agri-business.

Of course, it's possible press members aren't convinced enough about the the connection between ethanol and rising food prices around the world that they're willing to fell their Green God. (NewsBusters)

U.S, EU Must Cut Back On Biofuels - UN Adviser - BRUSSELS - The United States and Europe should cut back on production of biofuels because they are hurting food supply at a time of rising prices, an adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday. Biofuels derived from crops have come under attack in recent weeks on fears they compete with food for farming land and help to push up food prices, worsening a global crisis that is affecting millions of poor. (Reuters)

Green Ink: Pollution and Bad Hair - Speculation of rising demand and a fear of production disruptions in Nigeria limiting supplies brought oil to $116 a barrel, according to Bloomberg.

Auto makers and dealers are going to the states to stop lawmakers from following California’s move to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions, writes the WSJ (sub req’d). The industry is worried that California’s restrictions will prevent it from selling certain car models that don’t comply. As automakers gear up to introduce plug-in hybrid cars in 2010, they are worried that rising electricity prices may deter consumers, also in the WSJ. (Dana Mattioli, WSJ)

From the "good thing it's irrelevant" files: Airline emissions 'far higher than previous estimates' - The aviation industry's failure to curb its soaring carbon emissions could lead to the "worst case scenario" for climate change, as envisaged by the United Nations.

An unpublished study by the world's leading experts has revealed that airlines are pumping 20 per cent more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than estimates suggest, with total emissions set to reach between 1.2 billion and 1.5 billion tonnes annually by 2025. (The Independent)

Hysterical bullshit: Speeding Up Safety: With the government slow to act and consumers quick to mobilize, companies have learned to take swift action on potentially dangerous products. - After a government panel said there was "some concern" that the chemical bisphenol A could be harmful to infants and small children, it took less than a week for Wal-Mart and Toys R Us to announce that they would stop selling baby bottles that were made with it.

The swift response stood in stark contrast to the drawn-out reaction to concerns about another chemical, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, that go back to the 1970s. Ikea came up with a plan to remove PVC from its products and packaging in the early 1990s. Sears Holdings, the parent company of Sears and Kmart, pledged to do so just last December.

The actions of Wal-Mart and Toys R Us were also notable for what the companies didn't do: wait for lawmakers or federal regulators to step in or for scientific consensus about bisphenol A's negative health effects. In fact, they chose to disregard the Food and Drug Administration's position that food containers made with BPA were safe.

"When clouds begin to form over something, as they have increasingly over phthalates or bisphenol A, we don't wait for a final judgment," Toys R Us chief executive Gerald L. Storch said. "Our principle at Toys R Us is that it is always okay to be more conservative than required."

The rush to banish BPA is an example of how businesses have learned to respond quickly when their customers become alarmed. Major retailers and manufacturers have been taking their own measures because of a regulatory system that has not kept up with changes in the marketplace, said lawmakers, former regulators and corporate management experts. (Washington Post)

What they mean is that they're running scared of bloody idiots who say nasty and totally unfounded things about compounds: Anatomy of a Chemical Murder. They are surrendering to a bunch of rumor-mongering ratbags who hate industry and capitalism and we are all worse off for it.

Study links child's autism, parents' mental illness - CHICAGO - In another sign pointing to an inherited component to autism, a study released on Monday found that having a schizophrenic parent or a mother with psychiatric problems roughly doubled a child's risk of being autistic.

"Our research shows that mothers and fathers diagnosed with schizophrenia were about twice as likely to have a child diagnosed with autism," said Julie Daniels of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who worked on the study.

"We also saw higher rates of depression and personality disorders among mothers, but not fathers," she said in a statement.

The study of families in Sweden with children born between 1977 and 2003 involved 1,227 children diagnosed with autism. They were compared with families of nearly 31,000 children who did not have autism. Sweden's detailed health registry provides a wealth of data for such studies. (Reuters)

This will stir the gotta-blame-someone crowd all the more. There is almost zero possibility that autism is environmental rather than genetic but that will not stop the anti-vaccination fanatics from terrorizing new parents with their endless misinformation campaigns.

Happy International No Diet Day! - Can you go an entire day without: making a disparaging comment about your thighs or stomach, counting calories, weighing yourself or feeling guilty about what you eat? Today is International No Diet Day — a day devoted to learning to break free from diet and weight preoccupations altogether... a day to appreciate that bodies come in all shapes and sizes... a day to challenge the cultural attitudes and values that encourage dieting, negative body images, eating disorders and fat discrimination. (Junkfood Science)

Is ‘fit and fat’ a nonissue? - I wasn’t even going to bother mentioning this study — it was a data dredge looking for correlations using self-reported data from an unrelated clinical trial that was never designed to even examine or answer this question. Plus, the findings were so contrary to the body of evidence, I never imagined anyone would take it seriously.

Silly me. (Junkfood Science)

UN Joins Fight Against World Food Crisis-Ban - UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations has begun mobilizing its resources to combat the global food crisis and plans to propose long-term solutions to deal with its root causes, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday. (Reuters)

Probably wouldn't be polite of me to suggest Africans should first eat their greens and most other problems will be resolved in fairly short order.

May 5, 2008

Say what? Surge in fatal shark attacks blamed on global warming - Three decades have passed since the movie Jaws sent terrified bathers scrambling out of the ocean. But as any beach lifeguard knows, there's still nothing like a gory shark attack to stoke public hysteria and paranoia.

Two deaths in the waters off California and Mexico last week and a spate of shark-inflicted injuries to surfers off Florida's Atlantic coast have left beachgoers seeking an explanation for a sudden surge in the number of strikes.

In the first four months of this year, there were four fatal shark attacks worldwide, compared with one in the whole of 2007, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

'The one thing that's affecting shark attacks more than anything else is human activity,' said Dr George Burgess of Florida University, a shark expert who maintains the database. 'As the population continues to rise, so does the number of people in the water for recreation. And as long as we have an increase in human hours in the water, we will have an increase in shark bites.'

Some experts suggest that an abundance of seals has attracted high numbers of sharks, while others believe that overfishing has hit their food chain. 'I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it's a convenient excuse,' Burgess said. Another contributory factor to the location of shark attacks could be global warming and rising sea temperatures. 'You'll find that some species will begin to appear in places they didn't in the past with some regularity,' he said. (The Observer)

Sharks attack because of global warming - New research has determined that sharks began to attack people because of global warming. (The Reference Frame)

Does 'climate change' mean 'changing data'? NASA temperature figures show agency reworking recent numbers upwards, older numbers downwards

Methodology used by NASA to estimate rates of climate change are resulting in dramatic shifts in previously published historical temperature data, causing figures for estimated global surface temperature prior to 1970 to now be lower and figures since 1970 to now be higher – and appearing to provide evidence for those who say the Earth is warming.

John Goetz, writing last month in the science blog Climate Audit, analyzed the way NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies calculates estimated global surface temperatures and showed that the addition of new, contemporary data could "have a ripple effect all the way back to the beginning of a [weather] station's history."

Goetz found 32 different versions of published global annual averages going back to Sept. 24, 2005, that showed the published figures – figures used as a baseline to demonstrate change through time – changing hundreds of times.

"On average 20% of the historical record was modified 16 times in the last 2 1/2 years," he wrote. "The largest single jump was 0.27 °C. This occurred between the Oct. 13, 2006 and Jan. 15, 2007 records when Aug 2006 changed from an anomaly of +0.43 °C to +0.70 °C, a change of nearly 68 percent."

Temperature anomalies – differences between the average measured global air temperature and some long-term mean – are primary data for studies of climate change.

The magnitude of the changes in the reworked historical data observed by Goetz – 0.27 °C – is more that a third of the total average increase in global air temperature near the Earth's surface – 0.74 ± 0.18 °C – that has occurred over the last century, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (WorldNetDaily)

Is the earth getting warmer, or cooler? - Analysis A paper published in scientific journal Nature this week has reignited the debate about Global Warming, by predicting that the earth won't be getting any warmer until 2015. Researchers at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences have factored in cyclical oceanic into their climate model, and produced a different forecast to the "consensus" models which don't.

But how will we know whether the earth is warming or cooling? Today, it all depends on the data source.

Two authorities provide us with analysis of long-term surface temperature trends. Both agree on the global temperature trend until 1998, at which time a sharp divergence occurred. (Steven Goddard, The Register)

New Jason Satellite Indicates 23-Year Global Cooling - Now it’s not just the sunspots that predict a 23-year global cooling. The new Jason oceanographic satellite shows that 2007 was a “cool” La Nina year—but Jason also says something more important is at work: The much larger and more persistent Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has turned into its cool phase, telling us to expect moderately lower global temperatures until 2030 or so.

For the past century at least, global temperatures have tended to mirror the 20-to 30-year warmings and coolings of the north-central Pacific Ocean. We don’t know just why, but the pattern of the last century is clear: the earth warmed from about 1915 to1940, while the PDO was also warming (1925 to 46). The earth cooled from 1940 to 1975, while the PDO was cooling (1946 to 1977). The strong global warming from 1976 to 1998 was accompanied by a strong and almost-constant warming of the north-central Pacific. Ancient tree rings in Baja California and Mexico show there have been 11 such PDO shifts since 1650, averaging 23 years on length.

Researchers discovered the PDO only recently—in 1996—while searching for the reason salmon numbers had declined sharply in the Columbia River after 1977. The salmon catch record for the past 100 years gave the answer—shifting Pacific Ocean currents. The PDO favors the salmon from the Columbia for about 25 years at a time, and then the salmon from the Gulf of Alaska, but the two fisheries never thrive at the same time. Something in the PDO favors the early development of the salmon smolts from one region or the other. Other fish, such as halibut, sardines, and anchovies follow similar shifts in line with the PDO.

The PDO seems to be driven by the huge Aleutian Low in the Arctic—but we don’t know what controls the Aleutian Low. Nonetheless, 22.5-year “double sunspot cycles” have been identified in South African rainfall, Indian monsoons, Australian droughts, and rains in the United States’ far southwest as well. These cycles argue that the sun, not CO2, controls the earth’s temperatures. (Dennis Avery, CFP)

Note both the PDO and AMO are trending to cool phases while dear old Sol is ominously quiescent. Whether all these indications actually resolve and compound each other's effects or not remains to be seen but one thing is for sure -- now is a particularly bad time to be messing around with food and energy security.

By e-mail: Betting On Complex Systems With Uncertain Dynamics - The issue is simple. It is like this:

A horse-racing tipster predicted a horse would win the Derby, but that horse came last. Then, the tipster said he had amended his method and - using his amended method - he was confident that the same horse would win the Derby next year. Would anybody other than a fool believe him?

Now, compare that to the following:

Several teams made climate models and all those models predicted global warming with increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. None - not one - of those models predicted that global warming would peak in 1998 then stop for the following decade despite atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration increasing by ~5%. But that is what has happened.

Now, one team has amended their model so it shows the cessation of global warming in 1998. Their amended model predicts that global warming will re-start in 2015. Does anybody other than a fool believe them? -- Richard.

Surely a journal editor can do better than this: Hot Words: A WSJ Editor Mulls Global-Warming Language - The Journal’s Brian Hershberg writes:

As a news editor at The Wall Street Journal, I care about balance and fairness and the ethics that go along with sound journalism. As a former copy editor, I also deeply care about the words and how they may be parsed. And as a father living in the world today, I care about the environment and how humans may be affecting it. Sometimes these roles come into conflict.

The other night, the phrase “global warming” drew our attention. Its use as a “stated fact” in a commentary piece seemed loaded, and we decided to edit it out and work around the possibly debatable usage. It was a quick solution during the heat of deadline, but it got me thinking: Global warming is a theory? Well, yes, I understand that there’s a fraction of people who out and out challenge whether global warming is real, but as a layman and (hopefully) conscientious editor I thought that scientists who doubted or were skeptical of the specifics of what causes it at least agreed that the globe is indeed warming.

So, I decided to do a little research:

- I first went to Wikipedia (taken with its required grain of salt), where I found that, while there is debate about some findings and potential ramifications, global warming is broadly accepted as fact. The world is getting hotter and it’s at least in part caused by human action.

- Next I went to Factiva, Dow Jones’s news-retrieval service, where I saw that “global warming” was used in the Journal nearly 550 times over the past year. I didn’t check the context or caveating of each use, but such prevalent appearance of the phrase seems to me, in hindsight, like sufficient support for allowing its use.

- Lastly I emailed Jeffrey Ball, environmental reporter and editor of this blog, who–while duly noting the alternate, if minority-held, views that global warming either doesn’t exist or isn’t much affected by the usual suspect of fossil fuels–confirmed my suspicion that it is indeed getting warmer in here.

Now, what next? Do we always need to nod to the other side of the equation, that global warming doesn’t exist or that the specifics aren’t entirely settled? Or can readers and editors accept that the planet is warming and that humans are contributing to it — and save the semantical debate for another story? (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Wikipedia? Sheesh!

The Opinionator: Solomon - Next to Al Gore, William Connolley may be the world's most influential person in the global warming debate.

He has a PhD in mathematics and worked as a climate modeler but those accomplishments don't explain his influence – PhDs are not uncommon and, in any case, he comes from the mid-level ranks in the British Antarctic Survey, the agency for which he worked until recently.

He was the Parish Councillor for the village of Coton in the U.K., his website tells us, and a school governor there, too, but neither of those accomplishments are a claim to fame in the wider world. Neither are his five failed attempts to attain public office as a local candidate for South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council as a representative for the Green Party.

But Connolley is a big shot on Wikipedia, which honours him with an extensive biography, an honour Wikipedia did not see fit to bestow on his boss at the British Antarctic Survey. Or on his boss's's boss, or on his boss's boss's boss, or on his boss's boss's boss's boss, none of whose opinions seemingly count for much, despite their impressive accomplishments. William Connolley's opinions, in contrast, count for a great deal at Wikipedia, even though some might not think them particularly worthy of note. "It is his view that there is a consensus in the scientific community about climate change topics such as global warming, and that the various reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summarize this consensus," states his Wikipedia page, in the section called "Biography."

Connolley is not only a big shot on Wikipedia, he's a big shot at Wikipedia -- an Administrator with unusual editorial clout. Using that clout, this 40-something scientist of minor relevance gets to tear down scientists of great accomplishment. Because Wikipedia has become the single biggest reference source in the world, and global warming is one of the most sought after subjects, the ability to control information on Wikipedia by taking down authoritative scientists is no trifling matter. (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

Editorial: Emissions debate heating up - When a greenhouse gas emissions trading system was announced last September, it was generally well received. Energy Minister David Parker had taken his time consulting the interested sectors and the scheme was much as expected. Seven months later it is being assailed from all sides.

One side says it will impose too heavy a cost burden on New Zealand's economy and its exports. Another side says households, small business and road users will bear too much of the burden and that the scheme is too generous to the country's biggest contributors to global warming. Who are we to believe? (New Zealand Herald)

First rule-of-thumb? No one preaching apocalypse is usually the most reliable guide. Then throw out any coercion to behave in a manner that will make you worse off, lower your standard of living or inhibit opportunity for those less well-off.

Poll Data Trumps Science on Global Warming - Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce aren't particularly hot on global warming.

The two New Mexico members of Congress, both of whom hope to replace Pete Domenici in the U.S. Senate, made their views clear during a recent campaign debate.

The planet is warming, Wilson told a modest crowd at an April 25 debate in Los Alamos, but it's not clear why.

Pearce would not even go that far. A particularly cold winter suggests Earth may not really be warming after all, Pearce said. “Scientists are not fully convinced and in full agreement” about the nature of global warming or its causes, Pearce said.

In taking those positions, Wilson and Pearce are out of step with the vast majority of climate scientists, who agree that Earth is warming and that humans are very likely to blame. The stability of the majority of climate scientists on the issue is about as solid as scientific views on a public policy question ever get. But climate scientists won't be selecting the Republican party's candidate for U.S. Senate come June 3 — New Mexico Republican voters will. And in staking out the positions they have, Pearce and Wilson appear to be in sync with Republican voters.

The issue illustrates a thorny dimension of the politics surrounding the issue of climate change in particular, and the more general intersection of science and politics. (John Fleck, Albuquerque Journal)

Gore, Schumer and Pelosi: Let them eat dirt - It all started out as a simple, money-making scam. In the late 1990's, members of the UN's International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were tasked with assessing the scientific validity of the Kyoto Protocol. They subsequently produced the Special Report on Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry. The report found that "carbon offsets" and "carbon trading" were viable ways to barter the right to pollute for new forestry initiatives.

But members of the panel, such as Pedro Moura-Costa (above) and Gareth Philips, had major conflicts-of-interest. They owned or worked for businesses -- such as Ecosecurities and SGS Forestry -- that would benefit from the report's conclusions. But the mainstream media did not report these conflicts and instead piled on the "global warming" and "carbon offset" bandwagons.

The carbon offset market quickly exploded. In fact, $92 billion worth of offsets are expected to change hands in 2008. But wanton profiteering alone appears to be at the very heart of "carbon offsets." Put simply, a wide range of respected scientists, environmentalists, researchers, agriculturalists, and activists believe that carbon offsets are a "scam", "fantasy", "fiction", "nonsense", "fraudulent" and worse. And they've been saying so since 2000, though to read the newspaper you wouldn't know it. (Doug Ross)

Exposing the Climate Change Agenda - By Muriel Newman

“The climate change debate is forever shifting as science casts long shadows of doubt on the predictions of global catastrophe. The debate gathered a world-wide audience when climate alarmists gained control of the climate science agenda. Its popularisation has given it a political momentum that is proving difficult to halt.”

Read the full article as a PDF [31KB]. The original source is from The New Zealand Centre for Political Research: (Carbon Sense Coalition)

Group warns of global warming alarmism -- A touring political rally designed to highlight the "dangers of global warming alarmism" made a stop in downtown Oklahoma City this week.

The so-called "Hot Air Tour" is sponsored by an anti-tax group called Americans for Prosperity. Speakers gathering stood in front of a mock hot air balloon that was printed with this statement: "Global warming alarmism: lost jobs, higher taxes, less freedom." (The Oklahoman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX)

Need Growth, Think Global Warming? - In the “Ship of Fools”, Sebastian Brant remarked: “The world wants to be deceived”. We want perfect abs in only “5 minutes a day”. We want fat free ice cream that actually tastes good. And, in this vein, environmental activists claim that global warming regulations actually create economic growth. Such a claim simply throws common sense, and good economics, out of the window. (Wayne Winegarden, Townhall)

Booker pries - He’s a cad, a rotter, a bounder, a snitch, a grass, a fink; in short not a very nice person.

Christopher Booker has broken the solemn and unspoken covenant between activists and journalists that the temperature proxy racket should be protected by ratchet reporting. Where will it all end if journalists start doing research of their own, instead of faithfully reproducing the press releases of the faithful? What business has a mere journalist prying into corners of the internet that are not supposed to exist? The whole point of proxies is that they are relevant only for short periods. Eventually, the curse of the phenologists always catches up with them. The snows of Snowden are a case in point. They were news while they were shrinking, but when that goes into reverse, the rules of modern polite society require the quiet turning of a blind eye. What is the point of opportunistic peer-reviewed papers, like those about the Nenana Ice Classic, if obnoxious people are going to draw attention to unfortunate subsequent developments?

Just as the Victorians brushed under the carpet certain aspects of their society that were deemed publicly unacceptable, so we have nowadays a proper embargo on public acknowledgement of opinions and data that are offensive to the religion. Would you want your wife or your servant to read the likes of Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre?

The very basis of modern society depends on the observation of strict rules about what may be openly debated and the media have an excellent record of adherence to that principle. Do we really want the multibillion dollar climate change industry to perish like the South Sea Bubble, leaving thousands unemployed and Al Gore without a private jet? Think of all those environmental editors with wives, families and mortgages to support. How can we expect them to go out to find real work at their time of life, when they are highly trained at passing on pre-digested reports from kosher organisations? How are modern politicians and their parties supposed to operate if irresponsible authors are blowing gigantic holes through the middle of their policies? What will happen to the economy if there is no plausible excuse for continual tax increases? How can we keep the lower classes under control it they get access to energy, convenience and, worst of all, information?

This time Booker has gone too far and will no doubt be receiving an early morning knock at the door from the thought police. (Number Watch)

Green peas' tactics? Canadian schools sent brochures from climate change skeptics - OTTAWA -- An American think tank has sent out more than 11,000 brochures and DVDs to Canadian schools urging them to teach their students that scientists are exaggerating how human activity is the driving force behind global warming.

The Chicago-based group, the Heartland Institute, said its goal is to ensure that students are provided with a "balanced" education about "an important and controversial issue," but critics, including a leading climate scientist, described it as a campaign of misinformation.

The mail out, sent in February, included results from international surveys of climate scientists conducted in 1996 and 2003 along with a 10-minute DVD called Unstoppable Solar Cycles, The Real Story of Greenland. (Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service)

Eh, why not?

Russian scientist discovers gassy permafrost - CHERSKY, Russia — Sergei Zimov waded through knee-deep snow to reach a frozen lake where so much methane belches out of the melting permafrost that it spews out from the ice like small geysers.

In the frigid twilight, the Russian scientist struck a match to make a jet of the greenhouse gas visible. The sudden plume of fire threw him backward. Zimov stood up, brushed the snow off his parka and beamed.

"Sometimes a big explosion happens, because the gas comes out like a bomb," Zimov said. "There are a million lakes like this in northern Siberia."

In a country where many scientists scoff at the existence of global warming, Zimov has been waging a lonely campaign to warn the world about Russia's melting permafrost and its nexus with climate change. His laboratory is the vast expanse of tundra and larch forest along the East Siberian Sea, an icy corner of the world that Zimov has scrutinized almost entirely on his own for 28 years. (Chicago Tribune)

Lets see... he wades through snow to a frozen lake where gas is released by... melting permafrost. What's wrong with this picture? (and we don't mean Zimov being a Soros-funded ignorer of literature and such irrelevant measures as, um... time) Other Russian scientists studying the region think he's a crank but the gorebull warming-infatuated West loves him. And his great claim to fame? He wants to flatten huge areas of forest and re-establish an ice age Pleistocene Park which, if I recall other features correctly, he hopes to stock with biotech-recreated Mammoth and other wooly denizens.

As the original article said: Freezing to show warming trend - Though dismissed in Russia, scientist's climate research in remote Siberia is heating up discussions in the West.

By the way, anyone interested in Siberia and methane should check out the pictures of Earth at night -- you'll see a great deal of light in otherwise dark Siberia from gas flaring -- Russia's oil industry must cope with vast quantities of methane even though they are drilling frozen ground -- no thaw required.

It’s All Unravelling - "The warmers are getting more and more like those traditional predictors of the end of the world who, when the event fails to happen on the due date, announce an error in their calculations and a new date.” [Dr. John Brignell, Emeritus Engineering Professor at the University of Southampton, on Number Watch (May 1)]

Oh dear! The inevitable is happening. The ‘global warming’ trope is unravelling on a daily basis - scientifically, economically, and politically. The wheels are coming off the hysterical bandwagon, and it is not going to be a salutary sight watching the politicians and the media junkies jumping cart and trying to throw mud in everyone’s eyes. (Global Warming Politics)

London drops a watermelon: Two Cheers For Boris! - With respect to the politics of ‘global warming’, it is probably encouraging news that ‘Bouncing Boris’ - Boris Johnson - has just been voted in as the new Mayor of London (from May 3), replacing that inveterate ‘global warming’ grand-stander, ‘Red’ Ken Livingstone [see: ‘Elections 2008 -The London Mayor’ (BBC Online Politics News, May 3); ‘Boris Johnson is the new London Mayor’ (The Daily Telegraph, May 3)]:

“Boris Johnson claimed a remarkable victory in the London mayoral contest on Friday night to cap a disastrous series of results for Gordon Brown in his first electoral test as Prime Minister.

The Conservative candidate’s win over Ken Livingstone followed a calamitous showing for Labour at the local elections - the party’s worst performance at the polls for 40 years.

Mr Johnson’s landmark victory, a result that would have been almost unthinkable six months ago, was the most symbolic blow to Mr Brown’s authority on a day that left the Prime Minister facing the gravest crisis of his leadership.” (Global Warming Politics)

Take your green taxes and... Brown to scrap tax rises in bid to calm voter fury - Gordon Brown is poised to scrap a series of unpopular tax rises as part of sweeping changes to stave off a dangerous revolt over the rising cost of living which last week dealt Labour its worst electoral hammering in 40 years.

Today the Prime Minister will respond to a growing suburban uprising by signalling moves to help motorists and other consumers. His intervention comes amid a fresh assault over the 10p tax rate change, which backbenchers warn could destroy his premiership.

... Internal polling in London found Ken Livingstone's green policies, such as new charges for gas-guzzling cars, alienated older voters, while the environment was at best a low priority for others, suggesting that, as families' budgets shrink, so does their willingness to pay to save the planet. 'My colleagues will say Labour has got to be brave on green issues, but the public are really feeling the pinch,' said one senior minister. Downing Street sources hinted last night that trials of household-rubbish taxes may never be widespread, adding that Brown was 'fairly sceptical' about the idea. (The Observer)

Throw The Bums Out - U.K. voters resoundingly rejected the Labour Party in local elections last week. It was no capricious shift, but a citizen revolt against trendy carbon and nanny-state taxes that empower only bad government. (INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY)

'They cheat, I tell you' - He was famously Thatcher's 'brilliant Chancellor'. Now he wants to convince us that fears of climate change are overblown. Should we take Nigel Lawson seriously? By Julian Glover

Former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson. Photograph: Martin Argles

Nigel Lawson winces when he hears me talk of climate change: "It is a propagandist's term, it trips off the tongue nicely," he says. He will only refer to global warming, and even then with big qualifications. Almost 20 years after Margaret Thatcher's chancellor walked out of government, Lawson is back, defying scientists and politicians in a punchy book challenging what he calls "the global warming nonsense".

He makes an unlikely Dr Strangelove: a slimmed-down, pachyderm-skinned version of the face of Thatcherism, after a diet that he turned into a bestselling book. But like Peter Sellers' nuclear scientist, Lawson has learned to stop worrying and love a warmer world.

His argument boils down to two parts: climate change is not the threat we believe and efforts to stop it are doomed and dangerous. Everyone who says otherwise is either lying or ill-informed.

The book's title is moderate, An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming, but reaction to it has been anything but. Mention of Lawson's name provokes contempt among climate professionals, who say his views are ignorant and dangerous. Bob Watson, the former head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a particular Lawson hate figure, accuses him of selective quotation and not understanding "the current scientific and economic debate". (Julian Glover, The Guardian)

Workshopped science: Major Arctic sea ice melt is expected this summer - WASHINGTON — The Arctic will remain on thinning ice, and climate warming is expected to begin affecting the Antarctic also, scientists said Friday.

"The long-term prognosis is not very optimistic," atmospheric scientist Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University said at a briefing.

Last summer sea ice in the North shrank to a record low, a change many attribute to global warming.

But while solar radiation and amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are similar at the poles, to date the regions have responded differently, with little change in the South, explained oceanographer James Overland of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

What researchers have concluded was happening, was that in the North, global warming and natural variability of climate were reinforcing one another, sending the Arctic into a new state with much less sea ice than in the past.

"And there is very little chance for the climate to return to the conditions of 20 years ago," he added.

On the other hand, Overland explained, the ozone hole in the Antarctic masked conditions there, keeping temperatures low in most of the continent other than the peninsula reaching toward South America.

"So there is a scientific reason for why we're not seeing large changes in the Antarctic like we're seeing in the Arctic," he said.

But, Overland added, as the ozone hole recovers in coming years, global warming will begin to affect the South Pole also. (AP)

Workshop: noun -- "small workplace where handcrafts or manufacturing are done"... sounds about right.

Major problem for them here is that there remains zero evidence the misnamed "ozone hole" is anthropogenic in origin or that it will "heal" (to what no one knows since the annual event has shown no trend since first observed in 1955, some 30 years prior to dodgy lab experiments garnering global panic and a Nobel Prize). Stratospheric ozone levels are actually seasonal and volatile (see).

Rain And Snow Spell Relief For Great Lakes - TORONTO - Twice as much autumn rain and early winter ice helped Lake Superior, the biggest of North America's Great Lakes, bounce back from record low water levels reached last year.

The deep, cold lake on the Canada-US border -- the largest freshwater body of water in the world by surface area -- rose about 31 cm (1 foot) in seven months, with half of that in April alone as the spring thaw melted heavy winter snowfall that arrived late in the season.

The turnaround in the uppermost of the Great Lakes could literally trickle down to its four lower cousins, spelling relief for shippers who use the major waterway and residents concerned over shallow channels and receding shorelines.

"The spring runoff was much anticipated, and conditions have appeared to return to normal," said Melissa Kropfreiter, a hydraulic engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers, which studies the water levels.

In the last 30 years, precipitation has decreased while evaporation has increased. That led to higher water temperatures and, in recent years, lower water levels in the three upper Great Lakes -- Superior, Huron and Michigan.

With the inland waterway a key route for shipping bulk commodities like grain, steel or coal, the low water forced ships to lighten their loads. Last summer, some of the shallows and riverbeds used by fish for spawning dried up.

But that pattern, seen by many as a mark of global climate change, appears to have reversed at least over the last half year. (Reuters)

Hmm... what'll they call if if floods ensue with both the PDO and AMO trending to cool phases simultaneously? And what effect might the currently-reluctant SC24 have?

World Can Reach Climate Change Deal In 2009 - UN  - MADRID - The world can reach a significant new climate change pact by the end of 2009 if current talks keep up their momentum, the head of the United Nations climate panel said on Sunday.

The United Nations began negotiations on a sweeping new pact in March after governments agreed last year to work out a treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol by the end of next year.

"If this momentum continues you will get an agreement that is not too full of compromises," said Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, during a seminar at the Asian Development Bank annual meeting in Madrid.

Without a deal to cap greenhouse gas emissions around 2015, then halve them by 2050, the world will face ever more droughts, heatwaves, floods and rising seas, according to the UN panel.

The United Nations hopes to go beyond Kyoto by getting all countries to agree to curbs on emissions of greenhouse gases that fuel global warming.

Only 37 rich nations were bound to cut emissions under Kyoto. The United States, one of the world's biggest polluters, refused to join the agreement.

The next talks, to be held in Germany in June, will address funding technology to mitigate climate change -- a key demand from developing countries who say rich countries should foot much of the bill.

Getting the private sector on board with a well regulated carbon emissions trading system is key to long-term financing, according to delegates at the ADB seminar.

"Investors need some certainty they will get some return," said Simon Brooks, vice president at the European Investment Bank. (Reuters)

Video: Rex Murphy - The End Of Ethanol - How the hype over global warming is creating disastrous effects on the world's food supply and rain forests (CBC)

Poor indoctrinated little mites: Fighting to Save the Planet, at School - DANNY WEINGART said he recently spent a week standing outside his middle school with a sign encouraging classmates to ride the bus because of his concerns about global warming. If the more dire predictions come true, he worries that his favorite cities could flood.

“Personally, I don’t enjoy swimming everywhere,” Danny, who is 11, said jokingly as he and more than 20 other sixth graders at Seven Bridges Middle School met in a technology classroom at lunchtime to discuss a weekend trash cleanup project.

Danny belongs to a school club called Kids Against Pollution, which conducted a weeklong protest leading up to Earth Day. Its goal was to reduce the number of cars dropping off students at the school in Chappaqua, a village of fewer than 10,000 with a median household income of more than $163,000. (New York Times)

Shell disappoints with wind farm withdrawal - Government aspirations for renewable energy may be thwarted by the oil major's decision to pull out of the London Array, reports Russell Hotten

A lot of people said they were "very disappointed" yesterday - Environment Minister Hilary Benn, the chief executive of E.ON UK, Dr Paul Golby, and Friends of the Earth campaigner Nick Rau. In truth, though, being disappointed was probably a euphemism for being pretty damn angry.

Royal Dutch Shell's shock decision to withdraw from the London Array wind farm may have wasted plenty of time and money, but it has certainly dealt a significant blow to the UK's ambitions to meet emissions reduction targets. To have united the diverse interests of the Government, energy firms and the green lobby, is no small feat. But Shell achieved that yesterday.

The £2bn wind farm would be the world's largest, built in the Thames Estuary and pumping out enough renewable power to supply a quarter of homes in the Greater London area. Shell had teamed up with Germany energy giant E.ON and Denmark's DONG Energy to install and run up to 341 turbines and produce 1,000 megawatts of power. (Daily Telegraph)

Why? Shell is a publicly traded company and therefore legally obligated to do the best possible for their shareholders, which doesn't mean giving up useful production in favor of government handouts. There's a lot of money to be made from oil and they are an oil company -- it's about time they remembered that. Market talk of Shell's renewed interest in Falklands’ oil (Mercopress) Falklands entitled to develop a petroleum industry, says FCO (Mercopress)

Exxon Mobil: Don't waste money on global warming -- no to the Rockefeller's - As was reported in AP online, "Members of the Rockefeller family are pressuring Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) to focus more on renewable energy. The family members, who say they are the oil giant's longest continuous shareholders, say Exxon is too focused on short-term gains from sky-high oil prices. They also argue splitting the roles of chairman and CEO will help the company be more flexible in the future."

Last time I checked, companies had a responsibility to provide value for shareholders, and no one has done it better than the oil giant. It has been producing record earnings quarter after quarter, and that is exactly what it is supposed to do. Corporations are not supposed to be politically correct organizations that throw money around at the latest fad. Maybe Exxon doesn't believe that there is a global warming problem? Or maybe it wants to see a lot more scientific evidence of the problem before committing billions and billions of dollars to research. If I were a shareholder, I would want management to take the exact approach that it has been taking. The fact that it is the most profitable company in the world means something. It should be commended for providing shareholder value.

In fact, Bloomberg has an article that says that ocean cooling will stop global warming. Moreover, the article indeed mentions that the authors tried to spin the article because of Exxon. "We thought a lot about the way to present this because we don't want it to be turned around in the wrong way," Keenlyside said. "I hope it doesn't become a message of Exxon Mobil and other skeptics."

Sounds to me that they are right to be skeptical.

Aaron Katsman is the lead Portfolio Manager and Managing Director of America Israel Investment Associates, LLC. and Senior Editor of DISCLOSURE: Writer's fund has no position in any stock mentioned, as of 5/1/08 (Aaron Katsman, Blogging Stocks)

I admit I missed Keenlyside's activist quote first time around. It is very disappointing that scientists have been so intimidated they take positions rather than observe and record. Perhaps even worse is the response of the Exxon spokesman -- what "risks warrant action"? Cooling involves severe risk for humanity and the biosphere but the trivial amount of warming possible from enhanced greenhouse has never been anything to get excited about.

But some young scientists are still prepared to speak out: Global warming claims crippling - From politicians who exaggerate and misrepresent the state of climate science to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s consensus building to the media’s ridicule of scientists who disagree, the attacks on science are everywhere. The global warming movement poses as being scientific, but is actually a profoundly anti-scientific movement. (Jim Allard, Badger Herald)

Welcome to brave new world - It does not happen often that I agree with the American Enterprise Institute but Steven Hayward’s analysis of the “real cost of tackling climate change” in the Wall Street Journal of 28 April is spot on: an 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 will have dramatic implications for our way of life.

Hayward has at least the courage (which cannot be said for our politicians) to tell the public what this 80% cut will mean for citizens’ daily lives. In not one political document have I ever seen a serious impact assessment of the 80% target. The fear of being the bearer of bad news is one which characterises all policymakers (even the ones who know that the climate crisis will hit hard). (Willy De Backer, 3E Intelligence)

Thank gorebull warming hysteria for this, too: Outrage over plans to extract uranium ore from the Grand Canyon - A Mayfair mining company has caused uproar with plans to extract uranium from the Grand Canyon – prompting one official to ask how Britons would react “if an American company went to drill at Stonehenge”.

The Grand Canyon is not only one of the world’s most famous natural landmarks, attracting five million visitors a year and offering a home to bald eagles, condors, bighorn sheep and exotic fish. It also happens to contain vast reserves of uranium ore – suddenly in huge demand, thanks to renewed interest in nuclear power as part of the search for “green” fuel. (The Times)

California's Energy Colonialism - "When you look at the globe, California is a little spot on that globe," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said recently at Yale University's Climate Change Conference. "But when it comes to our power of influence, it is the equivalent of a whole continent."

Perhaps. As an exercise of this influence, Mr. Schwarzenegger has attempted to push climate-change policy forward, signing the Global Warming Solutions Act. It commits the state to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels – roughly 25% below today's – and all but eliminating them by 2050.

"California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta," he said in his state of the state address last year. "Not only can we lead California into the future; we can show the nation and the world how to get there."

His words are in keeping with the state's self-perception. Politicians, business titans, academics and environmental activists proudly point to four decades of environmentally conscious public policy – while maintaining a dynamic economy, arguably the eighth-largest on the planet, with a gross state product of more than $1.6 trillion.

In truth, the state's energy leadership is a mirage. Decades of environmental policies have made it heavily dependent on other states for power; generated crippling costs; and left the state vulnerable to periodic electricity shortages. Its economic growth has occurred not because of, but despite, those policies. (Max Schulz, WSJ)

Blow Hard: New York Wants Wind Power — Um, Maybe - Funny: Saving the planet always seems to collide with more earthly concerns. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

UK: 300,000 more elderly in fuel poverty trap - Nearly a third of a million more pensioners will be unable to afford to heat their homes properly this year. Age Concern boss Gordon Lishman said "fuel poverty" - when more than a tenth of household income goes on energy bills - was m danger of returning to 1997 levels, before Labour came to power. Energy bills are set to soar by an average £250 - meaning one in six of Britain's 12 million elderly will find the cost of proper heating too much, a 300,000 rise on the previous figure. (Sunday Mirror)

India feels the heat as thousands riot over power cuts - Thousands of people, many wearing only underwear, rioted across northern India yesterday over power cuts that have left millions without electricity or water, highlighting the yawning gap between the country’s superpower aspirations and realities on the ground. The violence underlined growing public frustration at the Government’s failure to improve the basic infrastructure, especially electricity and water supplies, despite an unprecedented economic boom. (The Times)

Big Business Muddies EU's Biofuels Debate - BRUSSELS - Soaring food prices and starving children provide a stirring backdrop to Europe's debate on its biofuels targets, but the big businesses of farming, forestry and automotive could have a heavier influence on policy.

The green credentials of biofuels have come under attack in recent weeks over fears they compete for farming land and push up food prices around the world.

Riots over food in more than a dozen countries, from Indonesia to Haiti, have added urgency to the debate.

In Europe, EU Commission proposals to source 10 percent of road transport fuel from renewable sources like crops and biomass by 2020 have been called into question.

"Much of this debate is almost certainly politically motivated," said analyst David Cunningham at Arbuthnot Securities. "Governments are having to balance between the greens and the farming lobby."

The debate has made big headlines in Britain, adding to the myriad of pressures on the ruling Labour party, which has become acutely sensitive to the media amid punishing poll results.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said last month he would push for changes in EU targets if a review showed biofuels were driving up food prices and harmed the environment.

"Environmental groups have been putting a lot of pressure on government here," said Margaret Garn, editor of UK magazine Biofuels International.

"There's been tonnes of negative press and there was a big protest outside Downing Street in April," she added. "I imagine the government is reacting to much of that."

By contrast, France is the second-largest biofuels producer in Europe after Germany and has vowed biofuels will account for 7 percent of total fuel consumption by 2010. (Reuters)

Letter of the moment: Beware the water requirement in biofuel production - From Mr Brian K. Porter.

Sir, While it should be commended that Philip Webster and Joseph Place of Arthur D. Little (Letters, April 28) are seeking to find the most sustainable long-term solutions for humanity, I find it surprising that they fail to consider the water requirement for biofuels production.

As recent research shows, biodiesel can require between 14,000 and 75,000 gallons of water for every 1m BTU of energy produced – see

This compares with about three gallons for natural gas production and 15 to 38 gallons required in the production of liquid fuel from tar sands. It is doubtful that the water requirement for biofuels will diminish significantly as future generations of biofuel technology are implemented.

Thus, it would appear that undue weighting is being given to the longer-term and somewhat uncertain dangers of global warming over the immediate and known danger of inadequate water supply.

Brian K. Porter,
6318 Walchwil,
Switzerland (Financial Times)

Weather Channel Founder's Open Letter To Environmentalists - Thank you for your dedication to protecting our environment. Clean air and clean water are essential to preserving life on planet Earth. Protecting all species and natural lands and forests are admirable priorities. Recycling and a green lifestyle are wonderful. Making the environment the most important thing in your life is a good thing, not a problem. I support you.

But we do have a problem. You have vigorously embraced the Global Warming predictions of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and are using the warning of uncontrollable warming and a resulting environmental calamity to campaign for elimination of fossil fuels. Your environmentally conscious friends in politics and in the media have united with you to create a barrage of news reports, documentaries, TV feature reports, movies, books, concerts and protest events to build support for your goals. The war against fossil fuels has become a massive scare campaign that is giving children nightmares.

Here's what's wrong with that: the science is not valid. There is no Global Warming underway and the science on which the computer projections of weather chaos are based is wrong. Dead wrong. (John Coleman, KUSI)

Actually I don't agree with Coleman -- unthinking, unreasoning "protection" or preservation of species, natural lands and forests are not admirable qualities but rather misanthropy and anti-development/anti-capitalism. Recycling is generally wasteful in terms of both time and energy -- if there is value in recycling then businesses will seek it, harvesting energy and metals from incinerated garbage, for example and paying for the privilege but forcing people to recycle at personal and societal cost is nothing short of idiocy. The environment is whatever happens to surround you, it is not some entity of mystical power or intrinsic value and environmentalism is one or more of delusion, self-deception or a mental disorder. The worst of this deception is that it actively hampers the wealth generation and development that underwrites the very same nice surrounds and critter deference that self-labeled enviros claim to want. Delete all reference and the world will improve all the quicker. I'm not an "environmentalist" -- I actually happen to like the world and its denizens, including people.

Another scare is born: electromagnetic fields and preemies - There was this press release, written from a small study, that went around the world... journalists at news syndicates wrote articles verbatim from the press release... the story grew as it was picked up by dozens of media outlets... the headline writers made each headline sound scarier and scarier... medical professionals and scientists hadn’t even seen the study yet, as it hadn’t been published, so no one could comment and by the time the study was published, it was old news and no one cared... and that’s how a scare is born.

This scare was directed at tiny, premature babies and their young parents who are already terrified and anxious for the safety and survival of their newborns. That makes it cruel and wrong — especially when the study didn’t show anything to support the “what-if” scare mongering, and there is no credible evidence or biological plausibility to cause parents such worries.

The scare: telling parents that the very thing that is helping to keep their tiny babies alive and offer them the best chances to grow could be damaging their hearts and worsening their outcomes... because of EMF (electromagnetic fields) from their incubators. (Junkfood Science)

Health care tyranny - Dr. Richard N. Fogoros, M.D., a former professor of medicine who spent over 20 years as a full-time clinical cardiologist and medical researcher, has been thinking along similar lines to last week’s government surveillance Scarlet D story, with a third party monitoring and compelling our behaviors and healthcare decisions, and those of our doctors. In a two-part series, he cuttingly described why consumers and healthcare providers need to get serious about understanding what is happening with “evidence-based” guidelines and performance measures.

In Part One, he begins by explaining the original purpose behind clinical care guidelines, and how they’ve turned into something entirely different. No longer are they about sound evidence-based medicine, they’ve become something far more sinister — a way to coerce doctors and consumers into behaving how the government or insurer or special interest decides — with profit-driven motives. Yet, the public largely assumes that everything they hear about them is true: that they are measures of “quality” of care and sound evidence, and that if everyone followed them, then better health and lower healthcare costs will follow. As he writes: (Junkfood Science)

Mostly from cooling: Farmers face climate challenge - If farmers think they have a tough time producing enough rice, wheat and other grain crops, global warming is going to present a whole new world of challenges in the race to produce more food, scientists say.

In a warmer world beset by greater extremes of droughts and floods, farmers will have to change crop management practices, grow tougher plant varieties and be prepared for constant change in the way they operate, scientists say.

"There certainly are going to be lots of challenges in the future. Temperature is one of them, water is another," said Lisa Ainsworth, a molecular biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Spiralling grain prices in recent months have startled governments long used to affordable rice, wheat, soy and maize.

But rising demand and likely greater climate variability and more fluctuations in crop output could mean even more uncertainty for prices.

Current estimates suggest demand for cereals will jump by more than 50 per cent by 2050 as the world's population rises from 6.6 billion to about 9 billion. (Stuff)

Solving Asia's Food Crisis - Rising food prices and dwindling global stocks have put many governments in developing Asia and the Pacific under enormous pressure to put food on the table of the most vulnerable and poor in their countries. Over a billion people in the region are seriously affected by the food price surge, as food expenditure accounts for 60% of the average total expenditure basket. Food and energy together account for more than 75% of total spending of the poor in the region.

Several short-term cyclical and long-term structural factors have combined to spark the recent surge in the prices of rice and other cereals. Rising energy prices are pushing up prices of fertilizers and fuels. This, along with declining food stocks, diversion of food crops acreage to bio-fuels, and unfavorable weather events in some countries which have caused supply disruptions, has contributed to the surge in food prices.

In addition, underinvestment in agriculture has led to stagnating food-grain yields and slow development of high-yielding and pest-resistant varieties. Incentives for farmers have been distorted by interventionist policies, and change in land-use patterns in developing economies has led to loss in agricultural land. (WSJA)

May 2, 2008

The Great Global Warming Race - Can global warming’s vested interests close the deal on greenhouse gas regulation before the public wises up to their scam? A new study indicates alarmist concern and a need to explain away the lack of actual global warming.
Researchers belonging to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in Nature (May 1) that, after adjusting their climate model to reflect actual sea surface temperatures of the last 50 years, “global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations… temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming.”
You got that? IPCC researchers project no global warming over the next decade because of Mother Nature.
Although the result seems stunning in that it came from IPCC scientists who have always been in the tank for manmade global warming, it’s not really surprising since the notion of manmade climate change has never lived up to its billing. (Steven Milloy,

Is it just me? - It seems just about everywhere I look in the media and blogosphere that discussion on Keenlyside et al is devolving into a battle of semantics over "lack of warming" as opposed "cooling".

Who cares?

The bottom line is that recent lack of warming, coupled with likely phase shifts usually associated with cooling, have forced an admission that anthropogenic forcing has not completely taken over from natural variability. In fact the media are making much of the estimation these oscillations will likely completely mask the +0.3 K warming anticipated from increased greenhouse forcing. Now comes the interesting part (and the one that has caused the advocates to pull on their cranky pants): if such a phase shift can eliminate that much warming over a couple of decades then presumably the opposing phase could cause at least that amount over 3 decades. So how much warming is estimated to have occurred since 1977?

Going by HadCRUT3, perhaps +0.4 K.

Now, it isn’t all that radical to subtract one from the other to "remove natural variability" to find possible anthropogenic (and other) effect and we’re left with 0.1 K over 3 decades, part of which is acknowledged as solar, part due to black carbon, part from changing land use… when you spread 1/3rd of one degree per century over so many drivers there really isn’t much effect left for increasing greenhouse gas, is there?

Now you know why even complete cessation of human emissions of carbon dioxide can not hope to control global climate or planetary temperature.

Can we please start looking at real problems now? (JSB)

Comments on the New York Times Article “Decade Break In Global Warming - May 01, 2008″ - There is a remarkable quote on the blog website. On that website it is written

“The NY Times wraps up its main piece [by Andy Revkin] with a useful quote from Kevin Trenberth, of the US National Center for Atmospheric Research: ‘Too many think global warming means monotonic relentless warming everywhere year after year. It does not happen that way.’”

This is an amazing error.  Global warming does require a more-or-less monotonic increase in warming (in the absence of a  major volcanic eruption) as illustrated in all available multi-decadal global model runs (e.g. see the Figure in this post on Climate Science ; and see Figure 1 in Barnett et al, 2001). This essentially monotonic report is even emphasized in the 2007 IPCC Summary for Policymakers (see Figure SPM.4)!

Climate Science published a proposed test of the multi-decadal global model predictions (see A Litmus Test For Global Warming - A Much Overdue Requirement).  Clearly, so far, the models are failing to skillfully predict the rate (and even the sign for the most recent years) of global warming.

Andy Revkin should follow up his article to document what the models predict in terms of global warming (in Joules) over different time periods, and what do the observations actually show. This would be excellent investigative (much needed) journalism. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

More Carbon Dioxide, Please - There seems to be an unwritten assumption among environmentalists — and among the media — that any influence humans have on nature is, by definition, bad. I even see it in scientific papers written by climate researchers. For instance, if we can measure some minute amount of a trace gas in the atmosphere at the South Pole, well removed from its human source, we are astonished at the far-reaching effects of mankind’s “pollution.”

But if nature was left undisturbed, would it be any happier and more peaceful? Would the carnivores stop eating those poor, defenseless herbivores, as well as each other? Would fish and other kinds of sea life stop infringing on the rights of others by feasting on them? (Roy Spencer, NRO)

Globe may be cooling on Global Warming - Australia, the land where sinks drain the other way, has alerted Americans that we see Earth’s climate upside down: We’re not warming. We’re cooling. (DEROY MURDOCK, Scripps Howard News Service)

Prepare for Dramatically Cooler Climate - While Foolish Politicians, Environmentalists, and Grant-Seeking Scientists Perpetuate the Hoax of Significant Human-Caused Global Warming (Bob Webster, WEBCommentary)

Debating points - As we were saying only last month, the motto du jour is get your rationalisation in first. The latest wheeze among the doomsayers is that hell fire is being postponed. Of course, it would have been more impressive if it had been published before the recent decade of measurements showing no warming at all. As it stands, it is nothing more than a testament to the infinite tunability of computer models. The warmers are getting more and more like those traditional predictors of the end of the world who, when the event fails to happen on the due date, announce an error in their calculations and a new date. (Number Watch)

Poor forecasting undermines climate debate - "POLITICIANS seem to think that the science is a done deal," says Tim Palmer. "I don’t want to undermine the IPCC, but the forecasts, especially for regional climate change, are immensely uncertain." (Fred Pearce, New Scientist)

FAILURE OF IPCC TO PROPERLY CONSIDER SOLAR INFLUENCE - Stephen Wilde has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968. The first article from Mr Wilde The link between solar cycle length and decadal global temperature was received with a great deal of interest throughout the Co2 Sceptic community. In this second article from Stephen Wilde, he expose’s a serious flaw in the IPCC modellers parameters for the changes to the Earths Climate in recent decades. (Co2sceptic)

Increasingly intense storms threaten coral - A British scientist suggests hurricanes and other storms are increasing in intensity and are limiting the growth of some corals. (UPI)

Oxygen-starved ocean ‘deserts’ emerging - Underwater "deserts" are emerging in tropical oceans as the oxygen vanishes from seawater, warns a new study. One of the consequences of a changing climate, the warmer oceans, is causing a decrease in the oxygen concentration and creating oxygen-starved, or "hypoxic" conditions underwater. (Roger Highfield, Daily Telegraph)

Could felling and burying trees help fight global warming? - Could cutting down trees and burying them help fight global warming? An article in this week’s issue of New Scientist suggests so. (

Charcoal in Burned Forests No Way to Store Carbon - A 10-year experiment shows that trees turned to charcoal may release more carbon than previously thought (David Biello, SciAm)

Garnaut calls for binding targets - DEVELOPING countries need to be set "demanding and binding" emissions targets as part of an aggressive upgrade to global action on climate change signalled by Australia’s and Britain’s lead greenhouse policy advisers. (The Australian)

Dollars in Details: Climate Bill Boon To Some Utilities, Bust To Others - The climate-change bills Congress is mulling will create winners and losers—in the utility business and in industry. Who and how much they win depends on how the game is played. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

US emitters must pay for permits: Study - The leading climate bills being proposed in the Congress to cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions in the United States risk repeating the mistakes of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), a study of the legislation warns. The Benchmarking Air Emissions report by the Ceres investor coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council and power companies PG&E and PSEG recommends that future regulation of power industry emissions should make generators pay for permits. (Carbon Positive)

Splitting the bill: Who will pay for climate change and when? - The climate change debate has moved on from whether we need to bear costs to curb emissions of greenhouse gases to who should pay and how soon. (New Zealand Herald)

Paula Oliver: Politicians feel the pressure as costs hit public just when household budgets are stretched - Politicians are beginning to really feel the heat over the looming emissions trading scheme and it is now inevitable there will be changes to the legislation. (New Zealand Herald)

Exxon Agonistes - One luxury of being a Rockefeller is that you are wealthy enough to live in style even if Exxon’s performance starts to slide. The same can’t be said of millions of pensioners and small investors for whom Exxon’s profits may be the main source of a secure retirement. If John D.’s heirs aren’t satisfied with Exxon, they’re welcome to invest elsewhere. Our guess is that few will, given how much money they’ve made over the decades on fossil fuels. (Wall Street Journal)

Profits Of Doom? - Exxon Mobil’s first-quarter earnings of $10.9 billion, up 17% from a year earlier, are stirring outrage in Washington. Some are calling such profits "obscene." What a sad lack of understanding of economics. (IBD)

Green tax revolt: Britons ‘will not foot bill to save planet’ - Majority of Britons are opposed to increases in green taxation (The Independent)

Lawmakers see red over green-car amendment - WASHINGTON — Rep. Elton Gallegly of California likes his taxpayer-funded Ford Expedition. He isn’t worried that it’s not the most fuel-efficient car. It’s reliable, suits his mountainous district and is cheaper to lease than many other vehicles."It’s not a Cadillac. It’s not a Lincoln. It’s a Ford," the Republican congressman said with exasperation. But like it or not, Gallegly and other lawmakers will have to give up gas-hungry SUVs and luxury sedans for leased vehicles that are more eco-correct, such as Toyota’s Prius. And some are in a high-octane fit about it. (Richard Simon - LOS ANGELES TIMES)

Shell Game: Oil Giant Pulls out of U.K. Wind Farm - We’ve mentioned before the belief that high oil prices will inevitably spur more alternative energy. But as always—be careful what you wish for. Sometimes high oil prices make other things more attractive—like more oil. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Chevron’s O’Reilly: Global Oil Demand is the Culprit - Chevron boss David O’Reilly has reached a sobering conclusion: The days of cheap oil really are over. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Green Ink: The Cool Decade - The Fed’s hint at a pause in further rate cuts helped the dollar, and hurt crude prices—for a while, reports the WSJ (sub reqd.) But uncertainty over future cuts left crude trading above $114 in overnight trades. The perspective of an end to Nigerian strikes, stronger U.S. inventories, and a dollar recovery are keeping crude in check Thursday, Bloomberg reports. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Teachers, leave my kids alone! — A mother says all parents need to pull their kids out of anti-science classes - A mother has finally had it with misguided “health” and “nutrition” classes in school and scouting programs, and their anti-obesity and “healthy eating” lessons. They aren’t about health or nutrition and are harming young people, putting them at risk for disordered eating, along with heightening self-consciousness about their bodies. She is calling for ALL parents to pull their kids out of these anti-scientific lessons for the sake of all children. (Junkfood Science)

Whatever happened…? And chromium - Are you getting enough? - Two quick follow-ups of stories that might have left you curious about what happened. (Junkfood Science)

Africa Does Not Have to Starve - Rapidly increasing world food prices have already led to political upheaval in poor countries. The crisis threatens to tear apart fragile states and become a humanitarian calamity unless countries get their agricultural systems moving. (NORMAN BORLAUG and ANDREW NATSIOS, Wall Street Journal)

Bush seeks millions in food aid - By Patrice Hill and Jon Ward - President Bush yesterday asked Congress to authorize $770 million to ease the global food crisis, most of which will be focused on Africa, while the administration denied that corn-for-ethanol subsidies are a major cause of the worldwide surge in food prices. (Washington Times)

Palmed off - Last week environmental campaigners, dressed up as orang-utans, demonstrated at Unilever offices in several nations against the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforest for palm oil production. Palm oil is used in a huge range of food products, and it is used as a biofuel. Multinationals like Unilever utilise palm oil in their brands, despite the serious problems associated with its production. (The Guardian)

Unilever makes sustainable palm oil pledge - The Prince of Wales praised the giant Unilever group after it pledged to use only sustainably produced palm oil in its products. (Daily Telegraph)

GM pines cleared of risk to the environment - A trial cultivation of genetically modified pine trees in the open has shown no demonstrable risk to the environment, says research agency Scion. (New Zealand Herald)

May 1, 2008

Oh dear… Andy’s resorted to spinning - You’ll see what we mean by his choice of headline.

We have been trying to point out for some time, apparently unsuccessfully, that climate is inherently unpredictable — at least in the manner modelers pretend to do. We can make coarse estimates based on the geologic record and orbital position of the major bodies within the solar system, although the situation is much more complex than that. We can get a few years notice of what might happen by watching the big heater in the sky but we know nowhere near enough about what drives our climate to make educated guesses about what is coming more than a few years in advance — and it could be we’ll never be able to do more.

The current situation is that a confluence of events suggest there’s an increased likelihood of cooling similar to the the period 1940s through 1970s (note all the weasel words in there because no one knows).

Then again, it is possible we are witnessing the onset of the next great glaciation (we really hope not).

The bottom line is that all claims, pending warming or cooling, have a 50% chance of being wrong. The one thing we do know is that claims to predict future temperatures based on atmospheric trace gas levels are utter rubbish and we know this because they are internally inconsistent (add up all the things alleged to account for n % of estimated warming since [choose some arbitrary date] and you’ll probably be at least 500% of said warming short — just start the list and you see something is wrong: 60% from increased CO2 from fossil fuel use, 60% from black carbon, 40% from solar, -40% from masking by sulfate aerosols, 50% land use change, 70-85% ‘hiding’ in deep oceans…).

Nonetheless, here’s Andy, clinging to the notion it must get warmer, even as it appears to get cooler: In a New Climate Model, Short-Term Cooling in a Warmer World (New York Times)

Nature: AMO will stop warming until 2020 - In this dose of peer-reviewed literature about the climate, we look into Nature.

Noel Keenlyside et al. (from Kiel, Germany)

wrote an article called "Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector." Yes, I mean Kiel where Max Planck was born.

They look at the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) influencing the meridional overturning circulation (MOC). The Gulf Stream is the part of the MOC along the East Coast of the U.S., mostly driven by Western winds (i.e. directly by the rotation of Earth). Its extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is also supported by thermohaline circulation. (The Reference Frame)

Global warming may ’stop’, scientists predict - Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said. (Daily Telegraph)

BREAKING NEWS: ‘Global Warming Will Stop’, New Peer-Reviewed Study Says - Global Warming Takes a Break for Nearly 20 Years? (EPW Blog)

Independently derived: The pause that cools: No more warming until 2015? - You may recall the previous post where Basil Copeland and I looked at correlations between HadCRUT global temperature anomaly and sunspot numbers. This is similar, but looks at the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and uses the same Hodrick-Prescott (HPT) filter as before on the HadCRUT global temperature anomaly data and the PDO Index. (Watts Up With That?)

Hurricane Expert Says His Global Warming Views Haven’t Affected University’s Support - A pioneering expert on hurricane forecasting is disputing media reports that Colorado State University is pulling its support of his work because of his controversial views on global warming. (

Embellishing the myth - This nonsense goes on and on… The Carteret Islands are sinking but this has absolutely nothing to do with global mean sea levels, global temperature or gorebull warming.

The Carteret Islands are sinking due to tectonic activity and associated volcanism because the Pacific Plate is sliding into the Bismarck and Solomon Plates, some of the islands in the associated Duke of York group are sinking 30 centimetres (11.8 inches) a year.

The problem is hardly unique among low-lying atolls and even quite high, mountainous islands have difficulties stemming from tectonic subduction and volcanism - witness the UN’s recent shameless misrepresentation of the 600yd relocation of Lateu on Tegua Island (Vanuatu). Tegua is sinking right enough - due to tectonic activity and volcanism. Last we heard that was not one of the hypothesized effects of enhanced greenhouse. That sinking feeling (New Internationalist)

Sillier by the day… - One of our Down-Under wacko front groups, Climate Destitute or some such, uses unpublished guesses from CSIRO’s climate hysteria manufacturing models to try to scare the populace about risks to the major water catchments (that is, the only truly habitable portion of this dry continent). You’re not supposed to notice any collusion between the loopies and the weather panic makers ensconced in what was our science organization.

Meanwhile ominous signs of cooling are beginning to appear.

So tell us, oh great people savers, what are the contingency plans to deal with a possible global cooling?

Anyone? Climate change to hit major cities (The Australian)

How UN structures were designed to prove human CO2 was causing global warming - In previous related articles (Environmental Extremism and Historical and philosophical context of the climate change debate. and How the world was misled about global warming and now climate change) we examined how environmentalism and particularly climate was hijacked to achieve the political goals of Maurice Strong, primarily to cause the demise of industrialized nations. We saw how he established the political vehicle the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the scientific vehicle, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for his purpose. He brought them together at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. The fruits of his efforts and the policies they engendered are now emerging and are hurting the poor and middle-income people of all countries, with rising food and energy costs. (Dr. Tim Ball, CFP)

Against The Grain: ‘Technology alone won’t solve climate change’ - Dr Kate Rawles is a senior lecturer in outdoor studies at the University of Cumbria. She argues that it is dangerous to presume that the threat of climate change can be alleviated by advances in technology alone. (The Independent)

Climate policy frenzy leads nowhere - Torys, the eminent Toronto law firm, distributed a bulletin the other day that described the cross-border frenzy to develop carbon emissions policies across North America. Provinces are working with provinces. States are working with states. Provinces are working with states. Other states are working with other provinces. These partnerships, Torys notes, are frequently pursued independently of either federal government. (Globe and Mail)

Extreme Sea Ice Month in the Bering Sea - Although historical statistics from the last 20 years are still being compiled, March 2008 was clearly an extreme month for sea ice in the Bering Sea.  St. Paul Island remained in the sea ice through the month of March. St. George, the southern most Pribilof Island was in the ice for a total of 18 days during March. It is believed that it may not have ever been around the island for this long of a period or this late in the year. (Alaska Weather and Climate Highlights)

Another Paper On Antarctic Climate Trends By Monoghan et al. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Scientists discover new ocean current - Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered a new climate pattern called the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation. This new pattern explains, for the first time, changes in the water that are important in helping commercial fishermen understand fluctuations in the fish stock. (PhysOrg)

Climate modelers see modern echo in ’30s Dust Bowl - Climate scientists using computer models to simulate the 1930s Dust Bowl on the U.S Great Plains have found that dust raised by farmers probably amplified and spread a natural drop in rainfall, turning an ordinary drying cycle into an agricultural collapse. The researcher say the study raises concern that current pressures on farmland from population growth and climate change could worsen current food crises by leading to similar events in other regions. (PhysOrg)

World’s Largest Lake Warming Rapidly - Scientists (Reuters) - Uh-huh… why? A simple search on "lake baikal +eutrophication" returns results suggesting Soviet agriculture has significantly increased the nutrient load and turbidity of the lake, which explains virtually all the observed changes. No need for gorebull warming here.

Petition To Stop Climate Alarmism Trumps Gore’s $300 Million Effort In Just 8 Days - 100,000 Sign Petition Opposing $1.2 Trillion Carbon Tax, Eclipsing Gore’s High-Profile Effort Over The Same Span (Press Release)

Getty’s CO2 plan worries townspeople - Two Hills residents fear dangerous leaks from stored carbon dioxide captured from oilsands (Edmonton Journal)

Can The Optimum Carbon Tax Possibly Be Zero? - The Energy and Environment blog at TNR has a post up replying to Will Wilkinson’s post arguing that we don’t know how to set the price on a theoretical carbon tax.  The gist of the reply is the sensible-sounding observation that “There’s essentially no disagreement at all that there’s some externality associated with carbon emissions, so the optimal carbon tax is certainly not zero.” (Jim Manzi, Planet Gore)

Carbon tariff might be legal as a VAT - Lawyers and ­consultants can expect a growth industry in carbon taxes (Financial Post)

Good News, Bad News: Bean-Counters Parse Climate Bill - What will the Lieberman-Warner bill do to the economy and for the environment? The government’s verdict is in–and it provides fodder for people on both sides of the bill. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Welcome to the Hot Air Tour - Climate alarmists have bombarded citizens with apocalyptic scenarios and pressured them into environmental political correctness.  It’s time to tell the other side of the story. Americans for Prosperity is working hard to bring you the missing half of the global warming debate.  What will the impacts of reactionary legislation be for you, your family and our economy? Join us at an event near you to learn more about climate alarmism and the looming Big Government "solutions." (Americans for Prosperity)

European Climate Envoys Expect Little From Bush (Reuters) - That’s the thing about wannabes, they say all kinds of things — just look at Australia’s novice PM, Kevin Rudd. He made all the "right" noises and promptly (illegally?) submitted articles of ratification for Kyoto, from which he is now running, screaming, having found it’s about more than symbolism and that voters will be really pissed if he tries to make them pay the ticket.

Rich World Must Back 80 Percent Carbon Cuts - Stern (Reuters) - Gosh darn world! It’s gone and started cooling all by itself. If we don’t get these emission controls locked down soon people will never commit economic suicide — no matter how much we know it’ll be good for them!

Russian Climate Plans Show Tough Path To UN Treaty - OSLO - Russia’s opposition to new cuts in greenhouse gases means all of the world’s top four emitters are against making quick reductions, complicating plans for a new UN climate treaty by the end of 2009. (Reuters)

‘Emissions auctions to cost billions’ - FRANKFURT: Forcing German industry and energy companies to buy permits for their greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 at auction will drive up energy prices and burden power customers, energy users’ group VIK said on Tuesday.

VIK put the possible cost to German industry of auctioning permits to emit carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas, at well over 100 billion euros ($155.8 billion) in the years between 2012 and 2020.

"There will not be one more tonne of CO2 emissions saved through such an auction," it said in a statement. "But power prices would be rising further for consumers." (Reuters)

Credits ‘cheaper’ if the taxpayer foots the bill - The emissions trading scheme will take a toll on economic growth, incomes and jobs, but the cost will be less if the taxpayer keeps picking up the bill for the trade-exposed sectors’ emissions, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research says. (New Zealand Herald)

Carbon Credits and Persian Prostitution - What do they have in common? (Cato-at-liberty)

Firms Coming Clean on Carbon - Exactly the wrong response. There is one and one only correct response to requests for this information — nothing. Don’t respond to questionnaires, hang up on phone polls, have security eject nosey NGOs but under no circumstance provide any encouragement to the misanthropists out to destroy society, one business at a time. Don’t worry about greenmail. If you provide the right product at the right price then consumers will ‘vote’ for your correct stance but if you appease the wacko extortionists and price yourself out of the market then your business is dead. What percentage of struggling consumers in a recession economy do you suppose will pay massive premiums for your product merely because it has been blessed by a cleric of the church of gaia? Firms Coming Clean on Carbon (IPS)

Rockefeller’s descendants tell Exxon to face the reality of climate change (The Independent) - Poor old John D must be spinning like a rotisserie. We agree Exxon must step up energy deliveries and since they are in the oil business we suggest that should be what they deliver.

Is Desert Solar Power the Solution to Europe’s Energy Crisis? - Nope. Even though there is sufficient energy arriving in the desert you still need to capture and transmit it to where you need it (an expensive and lossy process all of its own) and, to be useful, you need the sun to shine when Europe needs energy or you need to be able to store it (another unresolved little worry, although not for want of trying and research funds lavished on the attempt over many decades now). Is Desert Solar Power the Solution to Europe’s Energy Crisis? (Der Spiegel)

Live Wires: Can New High-Voltage Cables Help Renewables Beat Back NIMBY? - We’ve noted before that electricity transmission is one of the big hurdles to adding more power to the electric system, especially for renewable energy. Micro-generation and distributed power, like personal wind turbines and small solar panels, work in isolation. But utility-scale generation projects need a way to carry the juice to where people live and work. But building new transmission lines is often a source of friction between utilities and environmentalists. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Green Ink: Dumb and Dumber - Crude falls for the second straight day thanks to a stronger dollar and relief in sight in Nigeria, Bloomberg reports. But oil’s pricey enough that Iraq can pay for its own reconstruction, reports the WSJ (sub reqd.) Revised figures in the U.S. show demand for gasoline has fallen even more than initially thought, but global demand makes the U.S. a “price taker,” says Platt’s Barrel. Where’s the demand? China’s first-quarter oil consumption set a new record, says Xinhua. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

The New York Times Should Take Credit Where It’s Due - In a piece by Jad Mouawad, Tuesday’s NY Times reports that Oil Price Rise Fails to Open Tap. (Cato-at-liberty)

Start Drilling - WASHINGTON — What to do about oil? First it went from $60 to $80 a barrel, then from $80 to $100 and now to $120. Perhaps we can persuade OPEC to raise production, as some senators suggest; but this seems unlikely. The truth is that we’re almost powerless to influence today’s prices. We are because we didn’t take sensible actions 10 or 20 years ago. If we persist, we will be even worse off in a decade or two. The first thing to do: Start drilling. (Robert Samuelson, RealClearPolitics)

Senators override governor’s veto on coal - TOPEKA, Kan. — Senators overrode Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ veto Wednesday of a bill allowing two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas, but efforts by the House to follow suit stalled and it adjourned without taking a vote. (Associated Press)

Media Side with Anti-Coal Environmentalists Despite Urgent Power Needs - Reports on the industry assume coal is bad because of CO2 emissions and rely heavily on left-wing eco groups. (Business & Media Institute)

Bangladesh Urged To Tap Coal Before Gas Runs Out - DHAKA - Experts from home and abroad asked Bangladesh on Wednesday to mine its huge coal reserves before its fast depleting natural gas reserves run out. (Reuters)

Sweeping energy bill gains steam in Legislature - The House gives the green light to legislation that would cap emissions and credit utilities in compliance. (Orlando Sentinel)

Congress’ ethanol affair is cooling - By Stephen Dinan - Members of Congress say they overreached by pushing ethanol on consumers and will move to roll back federal supports for it — the latest sure signal that Congress’ appetite for corn-based ethanol has collapsed as food and gas prices have shot up. (Washington Times)

Amber Waves Of Pain - Senate Republicans want to freeze ethanol mandates that don’t cut the price of fuel or help the environment. Even farm-state Democrats worry about the unintended consequences of putting corn in our cars. (IBD)

Harper’s biofuels policy sputters out on the Hill - Use of food crops for fuel has some MPs urging caution and others expressing concern about a ‘global food catastrophe’ (Globe and Mail)

Biofuels Backlash: Asian Palm-Oil Producers Shut Plants - U.S. and European biofuel producers are singing the blues these days. But that’s nothing compared to the tsunami overwhelming Asian biofuel makers. The good news? There may actually be a silver lining to it all. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

British Airways is big loser as public stay grounded - Nearly half the British public have vowed to fly less in the coming year to help the environment, according to a new survey that will alarm airlines struggling with record fuel prices and the fallout from the credit crunch. (The Times)

It’s called cognitive disconnect - Self Magazine recently released the results of an online survey of women’s eating habits and how they felt about their bodies. It reported that 65% of women in America have disordered eating, and another 10% have full-blown eating disorders. In other words, only 1 in 4 women surveyed have some semblance of a normal, healthy relationship with food. Given our culture’s obsession with diet, exercise and body weight, these findings may not be all that surprising, but the more troubling story isn’t in this survey, but what has followed it. (Junkfood Science)

Report questions link between pollution, health problems - TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — After researching the question for seven years, a federal agency said Wednesday it cannot draw broad conclusions about how industrial pollution in the Great Lakes region has affected human health. (Associated Press)

Government health surveillance — a medical debate you need to know! - Diabetes is a gateway issue… the opening salvo, if you will. An important debate on the ethical, legal and public health issues surrounding New York City’s creation of a mandatory registry of diabetes patients appears in the current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The journal devoted a notable amount of space to this because it is a hugely important issue with enormous, irreversible ramifications for the country. (Junkfood Science)

The great organic myths: Why organic foods are an indulgence the world can’t afford - They’re not healthier or better for the environment – and they’re packed with pesticides. In an age of climate change and shortages, these foods are an indulgence the world can’t afford, argues environmental expert Rob Johnston (The Independent)