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Archives - November 2006

November 30, 2006

"The Case of the DDT Deniers" - "Poor little Kenya. That’s the message the media have been sending as the United Nations and European nations hold out this African country as the poster child of America’s environmental sins. In the weeks leading up today’s presentation of oral arguments in Massachusetts v. EPA — the Supreme Court case in which northeastern states are suing the Bush administration to regulate carbon dioxide as a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act — global-warming alarmists and the media have been pointing to malaria epidemics in the cooler regions of Kenya as proof of the harmful effects of human-induced “climate change.” (John Berlau, CEI)

"DDT use won’t affect food imports to EU" - "The use of toxic DDT and other pesticide chemicals in the fight against malaria will not affect Tanzanian food products exported to European markets, the European Union has said." (Guardian)

"'Condemned to die' by malaria, Ugandans plead for DDT use" - "KAMPALA, Uganda -- When she was a little girl, the witch doctors beat Fiona Kobusingye with sticks and fed her foul medicine that made her lose control of her hands." (Ottawa Citizen)

"Tanzania: Zanzibar sprays households in anti-malaria effort" - "STONE TOWN, ZANZIBAR, 10 Jul 2006 - Health officials in Tanzania's semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar on Monday began spraying thousands of households with a non-toxic insecticide in an effort to control the breeding of mosquitoes that transmit malaria, Africa's top killer." (IRIN)

"Mystery solved: Chemicals made Stradivarius violins unique, says professor" - "COLLEGE STATION, Nov. 29, 2006 -- Answering a question that has lingered for centuries, a team of scientists has proved that chemicals used to treat the wood used in Stradivarius and Guarneri violins are the reasons for the distinct sound produced by the world-famous instruments." (Texas A&M University)

"Burning wood indoors linked to cancer risk" - "PARIS - Smoke from burning wood or stir-frying food indoors could potentially cause cancer and people in poor countries are at most risk, research showed on Wednesday. Scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said indoor emissions from burning biomass fuel -- such as wood, charcoal and dung -- as well as emissions from high-temperature frying, could lead to cancer." (Reuters)

"Cold Likely Not Halting Canada Pine Beetle Spread" - "VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The Arctic front that has locked Western Canada in an early winter deep-freeze, has apparently not been harsh enough to kill an insect infestation munching through the region's forests." (Reuters)

It’s only weather (Number Watch)

"Global warming, storms tied" - "Higher hurricane intensity called byproduct of heating" (Deseret Morning News)

Hurricane Update, Again (WCR)

"Inaccurate 2006 Hurricane Forecast Should Remind Americans that Climatology is an Uncertain Science – and Political Science, Even More So" - "Washington, D.C. - As the 2006 hurricane season comes to a close, the failure of forecasters to accurately predict the frequency and intensity of this year's hurricanes should remind Americans that climatology is an uncertain science. It should also cause Americans to question the reliability of definitive claims made by prominent environmental activists that global warming is increasing the intensity of hurricanes." (Media Release)

"Weakening of Gulf Stream linked to Europe's 'Little Ice Age'" - "Four hundred and seventy years ago, England's King Henry VIII travelled on the surface of the River Thames -- by horse. Legend has it that the monarch was pulled all the way from central London to Greenwich on a sleigh on the icy surface of the river, which had frozen from bank to bank that winter because of bitter cold. London's so-called Frost Fairs, in which carnivals were occasionally held on the thickly frozen river, were a hallmark of the "Little Ice Age" that gripped Northwestern Europe from around 1200 to 1850. And a new study, published on Thursday in the British scientific journal Nature, explains why this phenomenon occurred." (AFP)

Except the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) has little, if anything, to do with Europe's milder climate relative to, say, Newfoundland. This has much more to do with how topography affects the jet stream, which subsequently affects the path of Arctic cold air breakouts. As far as we can tell the Little Ice Age is a consequence of reduced solar activity, which may or may not have subsequently affected the THC. What is certain is that tropical heat is lost to the atmosphere from the THC well before it warms Europe and it sure doesn't winter in Bognor.

"Shrinking from the heat of global warming" - "The Supreme Court must not let the Bush administration continue to dodge its responsibilities on climate change." (The Oregonian)

People's faith in courts and legislation is amazing. Hands up those who think that with the stroke of a pen we can control the weather. No? Well climate is really the sum of all weather over a period -- think we can handle that by legislative fiat?

"Supreme Court clashes over climate change" - "The global political battle over climate change was also being fought at the US Supreme Court on Wednesday as judges bickered over the role of greenhouse gas emissions in global warming and disagreed on whether the Environmental Protection Agency had the power to refuse to regulate such emissions." (Financial Times) | Transcript of arguments before the Supreme Court [.pdf] (SCOTUS)

Quick Reactions to Arguments Today before the Supreme Court on Mass. vs. EPA (Prometheus)

If these excerpts are indicative then this is a real "spin the wheel" event -- no one seems to have a clue about the subject they are trying to discuss.

"A Conversation with Bjorn Lomborg" - "Editor's note: TCS Contributor Jason Miks recently interviewed Danish statistician and author Bjorn Lomborg." (TCS Daily)

"Activist judge in objection to mine" - "A JUDGE who raised concerns about the approval process for coal mines is a long-term environmentalist who believes the best way of dealing with hazardous wastes is to stop their production." (The Australian)

Wonder how this got into SMH: "A reality that greenhouse idealists choose to ignore" - "If coal exports from the proposed Anvil Hill mine do not go ahead, not one molecule less carbon dioxide will be emitted to the atmosphere, because the overseas customers for the coal will simply buy it elsewhere. Their requirements will be willingly met by other coal-exporting countries such as Indonesia, South Africa, Russia or China. If anyone thinks that would be a better result for the environment, they are sadly misinformed. Global consumption of coal is not limited by supply. Coal is found in more than 100 countries and reserves are sufficient for hundreds of years. Therefore global demand for coal is not determined by supplies from Australia." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Global and Planetary Change Special Issue: Land-use/land-cover Change And Its Impact On Climate (Climate Science)

"America's energy policy" - "In previous years, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change earlier this month would have been a non-event, at least as far as the vast majority of Americans are concerned. And in terms of its practical output, the meetings in Nairobi, Kenya lived up to this lofty historical standard." (Paul J. Saunders and Vaughan C. Turekian, Washington Times)

"FAO Report Creates a Stink Over Farm Animals" - "ROME - Farm animals are responsible for almost a fifth of the pollution blamed for global warming, a United Nations report said on Wednesday, warning that the livestock sector posed a growing environmental threat." (Reuters)

"EU outlines new carbon permits" - "The European Union has established carbon limits for the second phase of the carbon trading scheme, a key step in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The European Trading Scheme (ETS) aims to cut emissions by 8% of 1990 levels. Critics say that nations involved in the scheme had set their carbon allowance levels too high, and have not been aggressive enough in cuts." (BBC)

So what? The only plus here is that Europe's shameless cheating and "creative accounting" is of no relevance to the planet or its climate.

"Brussels' Emissions Demands Anger Some Governments" - "LONDON - The European Union's biggest polluter Germany and several other countries reacted with anger on Wednesday to European Commission demands for deeper cuts in greenhouse emissions in 2008-2012." (Reuters)

"France Withdraws CO2 Plan, to Resubmit in Weeks" - "PARIS - France has withdrawn its proposed allocation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions allowances for 2008-12 and will submit a tougher plan to the European Commission in several weeks, an environment ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Climate Overshadows Franco-British Energy Talks" - "PARIS - France hailed its achievements in nuclear energy while Britain basked in European Union approval for its green policies on Wednesday, as the two nations inaugurated regular talks on nuclear power." (Reuters)

"Sales of Prius, other Toyota Hybrids Slip this Fall" - "WASHINGTON - US sales of the popular Prius and other hybrids made by Toyota Motor Co. slipped this fall when buyers of those vehicles no longer qualified for a full federal tax break, Toyota officials said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Biofuel Markets Hinge on Biomass Progress - Report" - "CHICAGO - The fast-expanding biofuels market could falter without significant progress in making fuel from biomass like plant stalks and wood chips, according to a report issued Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Feedstock a Worry for any Chinese Biodiesel Growth" - "BEIJING - China, the world's number two oil importer, plans to start using biodiesel in cars next year in an attempt to cut its dependence on imported oil, industry officials said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"INTERVIEW – South Africa Seeks Farm Revival From Biofuels" - "JOHANNESBURG - South Africa is looking to develop biofuels to give new life to farming and see the sector through recent hard times, according to an official involved in drawing up a policy proposal due to be released soon." (Reuters)

"Thousands Protest For Rights Over India's Forests" - "NEW DELHI - Thousands of India's poorest and most marginalised people gathered in the heart of New Delhi and other cities on Wednesday demanding rights over the remote forest land where they have lived for centuries." (Reuters)

"Fortified milk reduces morbidity in preschool children" - "Consumption of milk fortified with specific micronutrients—zinc, iron, selenium, copper, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E—significantly reduce diarrhea and acute lower respiratory illness among children in developing countries, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Center for Micronutrient Research at Annamalai University in India. The study was published November 28, 2006, on the website of the British Medical Journal." (Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health)

"Peanut gene breakthrough may lead to allergen free nuts" - "Scientists have identified a new gene in peanuts that codes for a protein with no apparent allergic effects, research that opens up the possibility of allergen-free GM nuts." (Food Navigator)

"Flood-tolerant rice could aid environment" - "UC Davis greenhouse harbors plants that defy farming wisdom." (Associated Press)

"EU to seek approval for BASF biotech potato, reviving fight" - "The EU will ask its 25 members to allow cultivation of a genetically modified potato owned by BASF AG, the first time the EU has proposed allowing a gene crop to be planted since a ban on the products ended." (Budapest Business Journal)

"Seminar modifies the debate on genetics and the food supply" - "Nothing about food stirs up a debate quite like biotechnology. The thought of tinkering with genes in plants or animals hits a nerve for some folks, who are either frightened or morally opposed to genetically modified, or GM, foods (dubbed "Frankenfoods" by critics)." (Chicago Tribune)

November 29, 2006

Global Warming and the Supremes! Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia opened up questioning in today's oral arguments by asking the assistant attorney general for Massachusetts, "When is the predicted cataclysm?" Milkey responded, "It's not cataclysmic, but rather ongoing harm."

Three cheers for Justice Scalia for setting the right tone for the case!

"How Americans Are Living Dangerously" - "We worry too much about overhyped threats, and ignore the things that really put us at risk" (Jeffrey Kluger, Time)

"Raging Bulls" - "We’re mad as hell, and they’ve got the psychologists to prove it! Turning anger into a trend story means abusing common sense." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"New Book ECO-FREAKS Reveals Destructive Environmental Agenda" - "Washington, D.C., November 28, 2006—Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring advice actually killed birds? Trees cause more air pollution than cars? In a new book, ECO-FREAKS, author John Berlau shatters long-standing environmental myths with true, startling revelations.

“Environmentalists have long admitted to using fear to arouse public action,” writes Berlau, who is a policy director at the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute. In ECO-FREAKS, Berlau exposes the often tragic consequences of modern environmentalism. From the banning of DDT to the collapse of the levees in New Orleans, environmentalists have used an idyllic image of “nature” to pursue a radical, anti-human agenda." (CEI)

How not to make your case... "The case for publicly funded research in Canada" - "There are many reasons why a country needs to conduct research in a variety of disciplines. It can lead to discoveries that improve health, that drive innovative new technologies, that help us understand society and that train the future workforce. At the same time, and not surprisingly, universities are increasingly ensnared in a struggle to explain the relevance of their scholarship. Governments want to see new job creation. They want to know what the return on the investment is. These are legitimate questions; no one wants to waste money. But legitimacy comes in many forms." (Alan Wildeman, Toronto Star)

... by referring immediately to really crappy studies -- 1st a ridiculous piece on over fishing that is disputed by virtually every reputable researcher in the field and then by dragging in "global warming," probably the research field with least integrity and, in it's current hysterical state, of least value to humanity. Way to go, Alan!

Uh-huh... "Gaia Scientist Lovelock Predicts Planetary Wipeout" - "LONDON - The earth has a fever that could boost temperatures by 8 degrees Celsius making large parts of the surface uninhabitable and threatening billions of peoples' lives, a controversial climate scientist said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

II: "Warmer oceans storing climate change dangers" - "Global warming is creating a climate time bomb by storing enormous amounts of heat in the waters of the north Atlantic, UK scientists have discovered. Marine researchers at Southampton and Plymouth universities have found that the upper 1,500 metres of the ocean from western Europe to the eastern US have warmed by 0.015C in seven years. The capacity of the oceans to store heat means that a water temperature rise of that size is enough to warm the atmosphere above by almost 9C." (The Guardian)

Lyman et al (2006), using updated data from the Argo Project, show that the period 2003-2005 involves a sudden ocean cooling at a rate of -1.0 ± 0.3 Wm-2 over the period -- enough such that one-fifth of the ocean heat built up since the 1950s has been dumped to space in a few short years. Why? No one knows, we don't understand the system at all well yet.

Whether a part of the ocean complex has indeed warmed fifteen one-thousandths of a degree is quite irrelevant -- the net trend (at the moment) appears to be negative, making hysterical proclamations of 9 °C warming utterly ridiculous.

III: "Massive ice shelf 'may collapse without warning'" - "The Ross Ice Shelf, a massive piece of ice the size of France, could break off without warning causing a dramatic rise in sea levels, warn New Zealand scientists working in Antarctica. A New Zealand-led ice drilling team has recovered three million years of climate history from samples which gives clues as to what may happen in the future. Initial analysis of sea-floor cores near Scott Base suggest the Ross Ice Shelf had collapsed in the past and had probably done so suddenly." (NZPA)

Since 1950! "France basks in warmest autumn since 1950" - "France has recorded its mildest autumn since 1950, weather experts said Tuesday, part of a Europe-wide warm spell that has disrupted the migratory patterns of thousands of birds." (AFP)

Mugging Little Old Ladies and Reasoning by Analogy (Prometheus)

We're in two minds about Roger Pielke Jr.'s opinion on this. In one way having advocates constantly ramping up their ridiculous claims and hysteria levels suggests the whole stupid scare is approaching dot.bomb bubble-style collapse -- nothing but pluses there. In another perhaps they're offering a lead to those who haven't abandoned scientific integrity to board the publishing and research grant gravy train. Perhaps we do need the simplistic message and easy concept of sweeping statements.

Example: "The correct policy course is to completely ignore climate."

It isn't what we really mean, of course, but it does boil down to an easily digested sound bite and generally fits the correct outcome. Any- and everyone who is a serious student of Earth's climate, regardless of whether they have sold out for book deals and speaking tours, research grants or simple notoriety, knows with certainty that we cannot knowingly and predictably "adjust the climate" -- we cannot even predict the likely effect of any such attempt. Moreover, unless they're puffing the magic dragon or otherwise delusional, climate modelers know their models are rudimentary kludge boxes, devoid of any known predictive skill (somewhere amongst the guesstimated 0.2 - 8.7 °C range for 2xCO2 might be the correct answer but we have no way of telling -- the same authors show listings of 1.3 °C; 1.4 °C–3.5 °C; 1.6 °C; 4.0 °C and back to 1.6 °C over the course of a decade as they play with the myriad knobs and dials of "adjustable parameters"). The bottom line is that maximizing wealth generation and helping to ensure third world infrastructure comes up to developed world standards will achieve great savings in human life while alleviating much misery and morbidity. Running around pretending we can knowingly adjust the world's thermostat and squandering effort and finance on such a ridiculous pursuit actively hinders that goal. In the real world our example policy course, albeit stripped of all nuance, is the only logical choice. Who knows, if we stop trying to "fix" an unknown "problem" with unachievable and likely useless at best, harmful either way "solutions" then maybe we could do something sensible -- like not putting high value assets where we know they are going to get clobbered by extreme events sooner or later, no?

Best kind of environment minister? "Canada: Ambrose slammed for snubbing environment committee - again" - "OTTAWA - For the second time this month, Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has cancelled an appearance at a parliamentary committee on global warming, leaving critics to suggest the government is in disarray on the issue." (CP)

We'd have to say, it certainly appears Ambrose is giving "global warming" exactly the attention it deserves.

"Top U.S. scientific journal pledges to curb fraud" - "WASHINGTON - A leading U.S. scientific journal that published phony stem cell findings lacks adequate procedures to detect fraudulent work and must do a better job scrutinizing "high-risk" research, a panel appointed by the publication found on Tuesday. Donald Kennedy, editor-in-chief of Science, said the prestigious journal accepted the major findings of the six-member independent committee and pledged to craft new guidelines to guard against fraud." (Reuters)

Really? When are they going to review and retract all the rubbish about "global warming" then?

What rubbish! "Remember the date: it's decision day on Earth" - "Today one the most important decisions about the planet’s future for years to come will be made. José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, will announce the caps on emissions that it will impose on its member states from 2008 to 2012. Around the world, from California to Australia, from New York to Japan, politicians, businesses and opinion formers are watching to see whether we Europeans have the conviction to make the system that prices carbon and punishes polluters work properly." (James Cameron, London Times)

Like Earth could care less about carbon dioxide, it's only important to people and its lack would be disastrous.

Spatial Analyses of Climate Forcings And Their Influence on Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations - The IPCC Needs to Include This Subject In Their Upcoming Assessment (Climate Science)

"Prominent researchers advocate creation of national climate service" - "It's time for the United States to have a national climate service – an interagency partnership led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and charged with understanding climate dynamics, forecasts and impacts – say six members of the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group. Their views appear online this week in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." (University of Washington)

Propagandists wanted... "UK: Government seeks ad agency for climate change campaign" - "The government is to develop a £5m advertising campaign on climate change to help the UK meet its target for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is seeking an agency to create the campaign." (MediaGuardian.co.uk)

... they've already made a start: "UK: Report card warns of climate change impacts now present throughout our seas" - "A report highlighting just how far climate change has already impacted the United Kingdom's marine environment, and what might happen in the future, is to be published today (http://www.mccip.org.uk/arc). Rapidly following-on from the publication of the Stern Report, which documented the economic case for tackling climate change, the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) has produced a new 'Annual Report Card' (ARC) focusing on the marine environment." (Defra)

"Fires Dampen Warming Scare" - "This entire global warming – greenhouse effect crusade really got into high gear back in the summer of 1988. In case you have forgotten, that spring and early summer in the United States was unusually hot and dry, and on June 23rd, James Hansen (then director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies) reported at a Senate hearing that the world was warmer than at any time in the instrumental record and he was “99 percent certain” that some of that warming was related the buildup of greenhouse gases. Following that pronouncement, the issue seemed to gather traction, and the greenhouse train got rolling down the tracks. Once that train got out of the station in 1988, it has been gaining momentum, and with the recent election results in the United States, the train is moving faster than ever." (WCR)

"Global warming threat to crocodiles" - "Crocodiles are one of Earth's oldest species, but continued global warming could lead to the extermination of some populations, an expert said Monday. Rising temperatures may force the birth of more female crocodiles and fewer males, said Alison Leslie at South Africa's University of Stellenbosch. Crocodile gender is determined by temperature during incubation. Nest temperatures of 89.6 to 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit (32-33 Celsius) result in males. Anything warmer or cooler produces females. Temperatures usually vary from the top of a nest to the bottom, producing both genders." (People's Daily)

"We are but a raisin in the sun" - "Sometimes we don't pay a lot attention to things that are right in front of our own eyes. The biggest, most obvious things are often ignored. Consider for instance the sun. It is a massive nuclear reactor that mainly takes hydrogen and turns it into energy. It is also a magnetically active star with a magnetic field that is strong and in constant flux and this produces things like sunspots, solar flares and solar wind." (Institute for Liberal Values)

More Buncombe: "Bush faces legal action over global warming" - "The Bush administration could be forced to take action on global warming using a 30-year-old piece of legislation to control the nation's vast emissions of greenhouse gases." (London Independent)

"Greenhouse Courts" - "Like it or not, the courts play a central role in the modern administrative state. When Congress began to delegate rulemaking powers to federal agencies in the 1930s and 1940s, it subjected their activities to numerous procedural safeguards, compliance with which, in the end, is adjudicated in court. This does not mean, however, that courts should always play the leading role. The Supreme Court is now considering two environmental law cases that superbly illustrate the circumstances in which judges should overturn unlawful administrative actions, and when they should affirm sensible ones." (David B. Rivkin and Lee A. Casey Jr., Wall Street Journal)

"Will Supreme Court Inflict More Rust on Rustbelt?" - "The Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a case that could bring a lot more rust to a struggling rustbelt. A coalition of 12 states, including Massachusetts, California and New York, as well as several cities and numerous left-wing environmental organizations want the high court to order the Environmental Protection Agency to consider regulations on emissions of carbon dioxide.

The regulations in question would officially affect only new automobiles. But the implications of a victory for the plaintiffs would be far broader - indeed, would provide the plaintiffs with much of the intellectual and moral ammunition they need to clamp their apocalyptic vision of society on the country as a whole. Automobiles, after all, pump out only a fifth of the carbon dioxide from human sources. Next will be power plants, semiconductor factories and other pillars of prosperity." (Thomas Bray, Real Clear Politics)

"INTERVIEW - Climate Lawsuits May Surge if Humans Blamed - Expert" - "OSLO - A 2007 UN report with stronger evidence that humans are causing global warming is likely to spur more lawsuits around the world such as a case to be heard by the US Supreme Court on Wednesday, a legal expert said." (Reuters)

"Green pricing 'will hurt the poor'" - "POOR families already stressed about their gas and electricity bills will suffer if the full environmental costs of greenhouse gas emissions are included in the price of energy." (The Australian)

"EU to Rule on 2nd Batch of CO2 Plans Early 2007" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission will decide early next year on a second batch of pollution emission plans proposed by European Union countries, an environment official at the EU's executive said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

First they need to make up their minds whether they are talking about carbon dioxide or atmospheric pollutants because CO2 is an essential trace gas, not an atmospheric pollutant. Have to admit it's been a hugely successful propaganda campaign managing to relabel the essential as "pollution."

"EU Seen Approving German CO2 Plan With Conditions" - "BERLIN - The European Commission will approve the German government's plans on emission rights for the 2008-2012 period on Wednesday with conditions attached, an official in the German Economy Ministry said." (Reuters)

"INTERVIEW - Portugal Seeks Fair Share out of EU Carbon Cuts" - "LISBON - Portugal sees fighting climate change as a priority of its EU presidency in 2007 and is seeking ways to share out future greenhouse gas emissions cuts in a way that is fair and permits economic development, a senior official said." (Reuters)

"EU Sees Adding Cars to Emissions Trading as Tricky" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission is studying adding the automobile sector to the EU emissions trading scheme but does not envision requiring individual drivers to buy pollution permits, an official said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"UK Minister Calls on China to Act on Climate Change" - "BEIJING - British Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alistair Darling called on Tuesday for China to take a leading role in combating the ill effects of climate change, citing China's increasing global influence." (Reuters)

China already is -- it's exploiting dopey Westerners to fund desperately needed energy infrastructure...

... like this: "France to Boost China Aid to Fight Climate Change" - "BEIJING - France's development agency aims to extend soft loans worth up to 150 million euros ($200 million) per annum to China in the coming years to help the country reduce energy use and combat climate change, its Beijing-based representative said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"ANALYSIS - EU Hones CO2 Market But it’s Still a Work in Progress" - "LONDON - Brussels is expected on Wednesday to crack down on EU members that have proposed lax limits on greenhouse gas emissions in 2008-12 but Europe may have to wait to 2013 to start delivering on its climate change rhetoric." (Reuters)

"EU Seen Making 9 Pct Cut in CO2 Emissions Permit" - "LONDON - The European Union will require a roughly 9 percent cut in emissions permits as it tries to get its carbon market back on track in its second period from 2008-12, analysts said in a Reuters poll." (Reuters)

"INTERVIEW - Chicago 'Climate' Trades May Be Buoyed by Election" - "CHICAGO - The debate over global warming will likely move to center stage with the return of Democratic Party control in the US Congress, and that should boost trading on fledgling "climate" markets, the chief executive of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

From CO2 Science this week:

Global Warming: Will It Cause Multiple Species Extinctions?: A new study claims that it already has.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Lomonosovfonna Ice Field, Svalbard, Norway. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Aquatic Plants (Marine - Microaglae): Does atmospheric CO 2 enrichment benefit marine microalgae?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Bird Vetch, Black Medick, Japanese Clover, and Wild Oat.

Journal Reviews:
Sea Level Rise: The 20th Century in Perspective: Has there been an increase in the rate of sea level rise commensurate with the historical increase in mean global air temperature and/or the atmosphere's CO 2 concentration?

Are Humans Driving Earth's Current Temperature Trend?: Enquiring minds want to know ... and two of them speak out here.

A Holocene History of Flooding in Great Britain: What does it reveal about floods of the 20th and 21st centuries?

Global Warming Is Increasing Alpine Species Richness: But is it simultaneously driving mountaintop species to extinction?

Climate Change and Amphibian Population Declines in Spain: Is the former the cause of the latter? (co2science.org)

"Half of US Oil on Federal Lands Not Accessible - Government" - "WASHINGTON - Half the US crude oil reserves and about a quarter of natural gas supplies buried under federal lands are off-limits to drilling, in spite of the United States' growing reliance on imports to meet its energy needs, a government report said Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Spain Set to Fall Short of Renewable Goals - Lobby" - "MADRID - Spain is set to fall short of its renewable energy goals for 2010 unless there is a shakeup of the sector to stimulate the growth of solar power and biomass generation, renewable energy lobby group APPA said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Not likely to please wannabe rationers: "More open-skies deals on way" - "Transport minister's plan for airline pacts with other countries will boost competition, help lower prices, analysts suggest." (Toronto Star)

"FEATURE - Plan To Axe Ugandan Forest For Sugar Sparks Anger" - "MABIRA FOREST RESERVE - The idea of destroying a swathe of rainforest, home to hundreds of rare species, to clear land for a sugar plantation is an environmentalist's worst nightmare. But Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni dreams of industrialising his poor central African country, and investment is something he says it cannot afford to turn down." (Reuters)

"Boning up on red meat" - "On its own, lean meat is no longer frowned upon. The link between eating red meat and high cholesterol has been dismissed and the focus has shifted to the essential fats and vitamins red meat contains." (Financial Times, Deutschland)

"Let Them Eat Cake" - "Would environmentalists rather let the hungry in Africa starve than give up their goal of eradicating genetically modified foods? Wish we didn't have to ask such a question. But how could we not after hearing the latest demands from the Friends of the Earth?" (IBD)

November 28, 2006

Hall of shame? "Earthshakers: the top 100 green campaigners of all time" - "The Environment Agency has invited experts to name the people who have done most to save the planet ." (The Guardian)

This dishonor roll opens with queen of the misanthropists, Rachel Carson. Enough said.

"Stopping medical tariffs, cutting corruption are mission impossible" - "WASHINGTON - Two-thirds of the global population and 80 percent of Africans do not have adequate access to drugs and many clinics gather dust for lack of drugs. Manufacturers’ pricing and widespread poverty impede access to medicines, but a major culprit is poor-country governments raising funds and allegedly protecting domestic industries by increasing the price of medicines through import tariffs, taxes and customs duties." (Roger Bate and Kathy Boateng, CFD)

"Drug pricing debate needs a dose of reality" - "Certain NGOs claim that intellectual property is the root cause of the health crises faced by many poor countries. But this is entirely bogus and is diverting attention from more important issues." (Philip Stevens, Taipei Times)

"Protect patients from exploitation by alternative medicines industry" - "It is time to protect patients from “vile and cynical exploitation” by the alternative medicines industry, argues a cancer expert in this week’s BMJ. It is estimated that up to 80% of all patients with cancer take a complementary treatment or follow a dietary programme to help treat their cancer, writes Jonathan Waxman, Professor of Oncology at Imperial College London. Yet the rationale for the use of many of these approaches is obtuse – one might even be tempted to write misleading, he says." (BMJ-British Medical Journal)

"An Epidemic No One Understands" - "There are no clear-cut answers to explain why the number of children suffering from asthma is on the rise around the world." (New York Times)

"Bogus Toy Danger" - "Who is watching the public interest watchdogs? When it comes to the risks from dangerous toys, some reporters and newspapers are ready to swallow nonsense." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Talks On EU Chemicals Reform Stalled Ahead of Vote" - "BRUSSELS - Talks between European Union lawmakers and EU governments over a far-reaching reform of the chemicals sector stalled on Monday just weeks before an important vote in the European Parliament." (Reuters)

"Flu can bide time in icy limbo before re-emerging, BGSU biologist states" - "BOWLING GREEN, O.—It sounds like the stuff of a campy ‘50s horror movie (“It Came from the Ice!”), but a Bowling Green State University biologist believes it’s a very real possibility. Dr. Scott Rogers is talking about the potential for long-dormant strains of influenza, packed in ice in remote global outposts, to be unleashed by melting and migratory birds. “We’ve found viral RNA in the ice in Siberia, and it’s along the major flight paths of migrating waterfowl,” whose pathways take them to North America, Asia and Australia, and interconnect with other migratory paths to Europe and Africa, explains Rogers. Viruses, he says, can be preserved in ice over long periods of time, then released decades later when humans may no longer be immune to them. For instance, survivors of the worldwide flu pandemic of 1918 had immunity to the responsible strain—called H1N1—but that immunity has died with them, meaning a recurrence “could take hold as an epidemic.” (Bowling Green State University)

"Ocean drilling operations are at cutting edge of scientific marine research" - "The Nov. 21 edition of Eos, the weekly news publication of the American Geophysical Union, features two articles about the scientific drilling activities of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). “Cold-Water Coral Mounds Revealed” is authored by members of the IODP Expedition 307 Porcupine Basin Carbonate Mounds science party. A second article, “Continental Break-Up and Sedimentary Basin Formation,” discusses strategic planning for future investigations into continental break-up and rifting that took root at an IODP international workshop recently held in Pontresina, Switzerland." (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International)

"System lets nations share weather data" - "BERLIN - A new satellite-based information system will quickly spread environmental and health data across the world so that developing countries can anticipate catastrophes such as drought, storms and floods - for only about $1,500 in setup costs. The GEONETCast system, to be unveiled Tuesday at an international conference in Bonn, Germany, will permit governments in poorer nations to tap information from the sophisticated satellites and weather stations run largely by the world's richer industrial countries, organizers say." (Associated Press)

"Message from a 'Hack Scientist'" - "The article in the Hawaii Reporter by William J. McLaughlin on Nov. 15, 2006 was more than a little shallow (http://tinyurl.com/ybff3r). The Title was “Hack Scientists Can Do Real Damage” and was referring to “hacks” who are skeptical about a number of government driven policies, inducing the wildly exaggerated global warming scare. The word "hack” used at least 9 times in the article, and was not only defamatory, it contributed nothing to the scientific debate." (Michael R. Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

"Freedom of Speech as Victim of Global Warming" - "BANGKOK, Thailand - What’s up with journalists in the mainstream media? In most cases, they tend to be unconditional supporters of free expression and strive to report on controversial views. However, reporting on issues relating to global warming has become strikingly one-sided. With no need to persuade using rational argument, a new conventional wisdom is being formulated that is beyond challenge by ``sensible’’ people.

Trying to create groupthink and mass behavior is something that should be an anathema to any honest journalist. Otherwise, reporters become opinion makers rather than neutral observers. Following this line, there are signs of a growing intolerance in the debate about global climate change. Climate-change denial has become a taboo that invites a sense of moral repugnance for the deniers." (Christopher Lingle, Korea Times)

"Lessons learned from drought deaths 40,000 years ago" - "Drought-stricken Australia should heed a warning from a new study that shows a series of massive droughts killed giant kangaroos and other "megafauna" in south-east Queensland 40,000 years ago, according to researchers from the Queensland University of Technology. Scientists Dr Gilbert Price and Dr Gregory Webb believe understanding how the prehistoric big dry caused extinctions could help predict how and if animals battling current climate change will survive." (Queensland University of Technology)

Hmm... said drought sequences c.40Kya are believed associated with abrupt severe cooling, which seems to have occurred in a series of steps about that time. Cool, dry climate change would indeed be blasted inconvenient but we have no indicators this is imminent.

"Dimming Fights Drought?" - "A recent article in Geophysical Research Letters by Rutgers’ scientists Alan Robock and Haibin Li addresses the issue of global warming and reduced soil moisture levels in important agricultural areas. Every popular global warming presentation lays out the case that higher temperatures in the future will cause higher levels of evaporation that will overwhelm any changes in precipitation and force soil moisture levels to drop. Of course, crops will fail, we will have more frequent and severe droughts of longer duration, and it will have all been caused by elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. You’ve heard the story a 1,000 times by now." (WCR)

"Today's Forecast..." - "Climate Change: What happened to all the monster storms that global warming was going to stir up? The 2006 hurricane season, which officially ends Thursday, came in like a lamb and is going out the same way." (IBD)

"A New Paper On the Complexity Of The Climate System" - "A new paper (alerted to me by Dev Niyogi of Purdue University) has appeared which documents the complexity of the climate system, and our limited understanding of consequences due to deliberate or inadvertent human climate intervention." (Climate Science)

It'll be even worse! "Global warming scientist in Canada to speak on 'From Here to Eternity'" - "Using results from models of the atmosphere/ocean/sediment carbon cycle, the impacts of fossil-fuel CO2 release will be examined - including the effect on climate many thousands of years into the future, rather than for just a few centuries as commonly claimed.

Prof. Archer will show how aspects of the Earth system, such as the melting of the great ice sheets, the thawing of permafrost, and the release of methane from deposits in the deep ocean, take thousands of years to respond to a change in climate.

The duration of our potential climate adventure is comparable to the pacing of climate changes in the past, which enables us to use the geologic record of past climate changes to predict the trajectory of global warming into the deep future. In particular, the record of sea level variations in the past suggests that the ultimate sea level response to fossil fuel CO2 use could be 10 to 100 times higher than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast for the year 2100." (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics)

Worse than what? Doesn't matter, the constant bleat of disaster prognostication is making it harder for these guys to get media so, it'll be even worse than [fill in whatever you feared before].

"As globe warms, can states force the EPA to act?" - "The agency argues that climate change requires a global solution, not federal regulations. The Supreme Court weighs in this week." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"States' Global Warming Lawsuit Rests on Strained Legal Reasoning" - "The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments Wednesday on a global warming lawsuit brought by a handful of state attorneys general." (PRNewswire)

"States, Federal Government Argue for Primacy in Global Warming Fight" - "WASHINGTON — The debate over whether humans are to blame for Earth's rising temperatures isn't decided yet, but it is quickly being eclipsed by a new argument over who should manage global warming policy in the United States." (FNC)

"Canada: Miller eyes parking lot tax" - "Mayor floats possible surcharge as one way to use city's new taxing powers to fulfill his green agenda." (Toronto Star)

"Europe is world’s best hope on climate change, alas" - "I sometimes ask myself whether, in 20 years’ time, I will look back on everything I am writing at the moment and wonder why I wasted so much time on relative trivialities such as the Iraq war or the future of the Bush administration. Will such issues seem like footnotes in history, compared with the consequences of global warming?" (Gideon Rachman, Financial Times)

Don't sweat it, Gideon, the fight against Muslim extremists is a real world necessity while the "consequences of global warming" are basically neutral everywhere but model-generated virtual worlds -- where nobody lives and no one's at risk anyway.

"UK: Tories take tough line on taxing polluters" - "The Conservatives have given a first indication of their environmental tax plans, announcing details of a carbon levy on business." (The Guardian)

Uh-huh... "EU Set To Get Tough On States' CO2 Emissions Plans" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission will likely force European countries on Wednesday to set tighter emissions limits on industry to repair the battered credibility of EU efforts to fight climate change." (Reuters)

... which Germany's already flouting: "EU Frowns on German CO2 Plans for New Factories" - "BRUSSELS - Germany's plan to give new industrial plants built between 2008 and 2012 unlimited rights to emit carbon dioxide (CO2) contradicts the European Union's emissions trading scheme, the EU executive said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Norway To Join EU CO2 Scheme In 2008 - EU Source" - "BRUSSELS - Norway will join the European Union's emissions trading scheme in 2008, the first non-EU country to link up with the bloc's market designed to fight climate change, an EU source told Reuters on Monday." (Reuters)

"CLIMATE CHANGE: China Takes Over Carbon Market" - "BEIJING - China stands to benefit from the booming global greenhouse gas market. Foreign investors are flocking to pay Chinese energy companies and factories to reduce pollution instead of spending far more to cut emissions at home." (IPS/IFEJ)

China, of course, is only too happy to have gullible Westerners pay for their desperately needed energy infrastructure.

Australia, too, has activist judges: "Landmark climate change ruling puts heat on industry" - "THE climate-change impacts of new industries, including burning coal extracted from NSW mines, will have to be considered by the State Government following a landmark judgement yesterday.

The court victory for a 26-year-old environmental activist, Peter Gray, has put another hurdle in the way of Centennial Coal's giant Anvil Hill coalmine, planned for the Upper Hunter. While the decision, delivered in the Land and Environment court, does not block the mine's development entirely, Justice Nicola Pain ruled that a crucial step - the director-general of planning's acceptance of the environmental assessment - was flawed and invalid." (Sydney Morning Herald) | Decision to block coal mine disastrous: Minister (AAP)

Eventually the nonsense of "environment" as entity will be stripped out of legislation but probably not until the illusion becomes onerous and unaffordable. In the interim the stupidity will continue.

"ASRC takes another look at developing Arctic coal" - "Arctic Slope Regional Corp. of Barrow is taking a new look at developing the vast, high-quality coal resources on lands owned by the Alaska Native regional corporation in Northwest Alaska. ASRC is now aligned with one the nation’s largest coal companies, BHP Billiton Energy Coal, in a multi-year assessment of how the coal might be developed, the regional corporation’s vice president for natural resources, Theresa Imm, told the Resource Development Council Nov. 16." (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

"SOUTHERN AFRICA: States Against Zambezi Current" - "CAPE TOWN - Seventy percent of the Zambezi river's hydropower potential remains untapped because stakeholder countries have failed to ratify an agreement as the first step towards activating this potential." (IPS)

"Plant potential in the pipeline" - "Think for a moment about what you have done so far today -- made a cup of tea, driven to work, sent an e-mail or text. Each of those activities is dependent on oil, from fuel for transport to the plastic parts of your kettle, car, keyboard and mobile. Development of our high-impact consumer lifestyles is accelerating even as fossil fuel supplies are dwindling, and the environmental impact of their use becomes ever more apparent. But plants, rather than fossil fuels, can provide our future energy, fuel and domestic needs and today an international group of scientists will reveal how. The EPOBIO project, led by CNAP, a research centre at the University of York, is releasing its first series of reports on the endless possibilities of plants." (University of York)

Swapping rainforest for biofuels? "Cane To Keep Brazil in Vanguard of Global Biofuels" - "BRASILIA - Brazil could more than double its sugar cane land in the next few years and is betting that the advantages of cane over corn as a feedstock for ethanol will keep it a leader in the nascent global biofuels market, the country's agriculture minister said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Fragmentation rapidly erodes Amazonian biodiversity" - "An international research team has discovered that forest fragmentation poses an even greater threat to Amazonian biodiversity than previously thought. Their findings, to be published next week (27 November – 1 December) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, summarizes key findings from the world’s largest and longest-running experimental study of habitat fragmentation." (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute)

"A ransom worth paying?" - "The moral hazard of saving trees." (Economist.com)

"FEATURE - US Trout Get Unlikely Boost From Dams" - "BEAVERS BEND STATE PARK - It looks like a perfect trout stream in autumn: clear, cold water gushing over rocks and through wooded hills shedding the last of their leaves." (Reuters)

"Free or Farmed, When Is a Fish Really Organic?" - "Wild fish, whose living conditions are not controlled, are not likely to meet the requirements for an “organic” label." (New York Times)

"Perennial wheat research looks at options for producers" - "BUSHLAND -- Perennial wheat? The possibility is being looked at by a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher. Annual wheat, which is traditionally grown in the Great Plains, is planted in the fall and dies after harvest in mid-summer. But Dr. Charlie Rush, Experiment Station plant pathologist, is testing some perennial lines of wheat bred in Washington state. These perennial lines regrow after harvest and may survive for up to five years, Rush said. And eastern Washington is climatically similar to the Texas Panhandle, except it has harsher winters. "This wheat, if it works here, will start growing back as soon it rains or is irrigated after harvest," he said. "Right now, we don't know if it will work in our area or not. But there definitely could be some applications for it if it does." (Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications)

"EU cautious on US plan to milk cloned cows" - "Debate on whether to approve milk from cloned cattle for general consumption in the US is unlikely to be replicated in Europe in the near future, because consumers would reject the products. The European Dairy Association said there were no plans to get dairy foods from cloned animals approved for consumption in the EU. Its comments follow a statement from America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it hoped to draft regulations on milk and meat from cloned animals in the US in the next few months." (Nutra Ingredients)

November 27, 2006

"Milton Friedman Was Right" - "Milton Friedman famously declared that the sole business of the managers of a publicly held corporation was to maximize the value of its outstanding shares. Any effort to use corporate resources for purely altruistic purposes he equated to socialism. He proposed that corporation law should prevent managers from straying off the reservation to join the altruists, a power now almost universally granted them by state legislation." (Henry G. Manne, Wall Street Journal)

"Ignore Degraded Ecosystems at Your Peril, Corporations Warned" - "OXFORD, UK, November 24, 2006 - Scarcity of raw materials, higher operating costs, government restrictions, and reduced flexibility are just some of the difficulties corporations will encounter if they do not change their operations to account for the ongoing degradation of ecosystems and the vital services they provide. The warning comes in a new publication released on Monday by a business group and three conservation organizations that encourages companies to adapt to the rapidly changing environmental conditions brought on by global warming and depletion of natural resources." (ENS)

Funny how the "lock it up" brigade tend to forget that a resource not available as a source of materials or wealth has ceased to be a resource -- it's been managed out of existence. Wannabe rationers are the great destroyers.

From the Left Coast: "Worm wranglers to the rescue" - "California Environmental Protection Agency officials have turned to some unlikely allies to help curb the amount of waste going into landfills from their downtown office building." (Sacramento Bee)

Divert a lot of waste, do they? Well, maybe a pound or so a month: "For example, the worms mustn't be fed meats or fats. Citrus fruits are too acidic for them to handle. Tenders must be cautious not to overfeed. Spiess said three banana peels and two pear cores are enough for his worms for a week."

"Kenya: State launches new drive to fight malaria" - "A three-year programme aimed at correcting misconceptions on causes and transmission of malaria has been launched. The project dubbed ‘Keep UP’, initiated by the Government and the Kenya Red Cross, seeks to promote use of nets and seeking appropriate malaria treatment." (East African Standard)

"Chemicals and kids' brains" - "The allegations that millions of children worldwide are suffering from brain impairment due to exposure to chemicals in the environment are without scientific basis. Philip Landrigan, M.D., who has based his career on promoting fears of environmental chemicals, wrote an article, recently published in The Lancet, which makes these dubious claims." (Molly Lee, Boca Raton News)

"Four big, fat myths" - "The Government wants to set up a database to monitor every child in the country — including their diet. But are our children as obese and unhealthy as we are told? And what about us? Health researchers argue that being overweight is actually beneficial: it's dieting that kills." (Patrick Basham and John Luik, Sunday Telegraph)

"Dietary fat may not raise breast cancer odds" - "NEW YORK - Contrary to some earlier research, a large U.S. study finds no evidence that a high-fat diet raises older women's risk of breast cancer. In a study that followed more than 80,000 women for 20 years, Harvard University researchers found that fat intake during middle age or later was largely unrelated to breast cancer risk after menopause. Nor was there evidence that any specific type of fat, such as saturated fat from animal products, altered a woman's odds of developing the disease." (Reuters Health)

"On the Move to Outrun Climate Change" - "SEATTLE -- As the Bush administration debates much of the world about what to do about global warming, butterflies and ski-lift operators, polar bears and hydroelectric planners are on the move. In their separate ways, wild creatures, business executives and regional planners are responding to climate changes that are rapidly recalibrating their chances for survival, for profit and for effective delivery of public services." (Washington Post)

"Arctic Gull Recorded in Southern California" - "A small white gull with an ordinary name had bird watchers flocking to the Salton Sea for what they call a "mega-rarity." The Salton Sea, a 35-mile-long lake stretching across the Imperial and Riverside county line, is a popular stop for birds heading south, and Guy McCaskie, co-author of "Birds of Salton Sea," believed he spotted a Ross' gull there a week ago. The appearance of the arctic bird nearly 100 miles east of San Diego would be the first reported in California and would place it hundreds of miles farther south than it had ever been seen. The gull, which normally breeds in Siberia or Greenland, rarely appears south of Alaska, and is only spotted in even the northern part of the lower 48 states every few years." (Associated Press)

So, if tropical or temperate birds appearing outside their normal range generate considerable media waffling about "signs" what should we make of this wayward Arctic traveler? Time to dust off the "looming ice age" scare again, maybe?

"UK: Met Office predicts hottest Autumn for 300 years" - "Britain is on course to record the warmest Autumn for nearly 300 years, according to the Met Office. Forecasters claim that temperatures for the combined period of September, October and November have not been as high since 1731. Although September 1 to November 21 was the warmest since 1772 if the average temperature for the three months stays above 11.8C for the remainder of the season it will become the warmest Autumn on record." (Evening Standard)

So, no warmer than three centuries ago? But atmospheric carbon dioxide was about 100 ppmv lower then. No change at all going from ~280 to ~380 ppmv? Gosh, that's not what the models say...

"Talk about climate change!" - "We were basking in warmth this time last year." (Edmonton Journal)

"Seattle Nears Rain Record" - "Some wonder whether this month will break the single-month record for rainfall in Seattle, 15.33 inches, set in December 1933." (New York Times)

"Climate Measurements Better from Siberia" - "PARIS - A metal tower standing some 300 metres tall in Siberia, where temperatures can vary 80 degrees Celsius over the course of a year, may produce data that prove essential to understanding global climate change." (Tierramérica)

Actually I think they're referring to atmospheric trace gas measures (which may or may not have great climate relevance).

"Scientists: Climate change clues in sky" - "EUREKA, Nunavut Territory - Scientists are peering into the clouds near the top of the world, trying to solve a mystery and learn something new about global warming.

The mystery is the droplets of water in the clouds. With the North Pole just 685 miles away, they should be frozen, yet more of them are liquid than anyone expected.

So the scientists working out of a converted blue cargo container are trying to determine whether the clouds are one of the causes - or effects - of Earth's warming atmosphere.

"Much to our surprise, we found that Arctic clouds have got lots of super-cooled liquid water in them. Liquid water has even been detected in clouds at temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 F)," said Taneil Uttal, chief of the Clouds and Arctic Research Group at the Earth Systems Research Laboratory of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

"If a cloud is composed of liquid water droplets in the Arctic, instead of ice crystals, then that changes how they will interact with the earth's surface and the atmosphere to reflect, absorb and transmit radiation," said Uttal.

"It's a new science, driven by the fact that everybody doing climate predictions says that clouds are perhaps the single greatest unknown factor in understanding global warming." (Associated Press)

UAHMSUglobe-m.png (30256 bytes) This piece goes on to repeat the claim of 2005 being a record warm year. Maybe or maybe not -- even if we believe the apparently increasingly corrupted near-surface data set -- the atmosphere, however, suggests the El Niño year 1998 was significantly more impressive.

True, there has been an apparent step warming early in the new millennium but mostly in the lower troposphere and less so in the mid. This directly contradicts the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis which, very loosely translated, postulates increased tropospheric sensitivity to additional greenhouse forcing with altitude but this is obviously not occurring.

MaunaLoaCO2.png (22204 bytes) There is no obvious correlation between increased atmospheric temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide, now 0.038% of the atmosphere compared with 0.028% in the pre-industrial era.

Despite pieces like this: "Greenhouse emission rate doubles" - "Global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions have had little impact with the rate of emissions more than doubling since the 1990s." (Sydney Morning Herald) it is obvious that "doubling the rate of emissions" is of relatively little significance with a barely perceptible increase in rate of accumulation. It is a fact that humans are contributing to the increase in this trace gas. It is also true that efforts to reduce these emissions have little effect -- in fact they'll have no perceptible effect on global temperature whatsoever. This is of no significance to the planet.

The greatest potential for harm related to carbon emissions comes from politicians and activists wanting to meddle with them. Leave it alone -- the planet's doing fine and so will people provided we ignore the climate panic-merchants.

"Impact of climate change in Africa" - "Africa is the continent that will suffer most under global warming. Past history gives us lessons on the likely effects of future climate change. Of greatest concern are the 'large infrequent disturbances' to the climate as these will have the most devastating effects. In a remarkable study from the Kenyan Tsavo National Park published today in the African Journal of Ecology, Dr Lindsey Gillson uncovers evidence for a drought that coincided with the harrowing period of Maasai history at the end of the 19th century termed "Emutai" meaning to wipe out." (Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)

Obligatory eye-roller: "Editorial: The climate won't wait" - "Post-Kyoto emissions targets are needed more urgently than ever." (New Scientist)

II: "British coast faces 2ft rise in sea levels" - "BRITAIN’S coasts and oceans are being changed for ever by rising sea levels, bigger waves and stronger storms, a government report will warn this week. The study, the most thorough yet carried out into the impact of climate change on the country’s marine environment, warns that sea levels could rise by as much as 2ft-3ft by 2080 and that the height of the biggest waves hitting our shores is already rising. Such factors, combined with the likelihood of more and bigger storms, will, says the study, dramatically alter Britain’s shores, affecting the wildlife and people that live around them." (Sunday Times)

Any excuse... "Insurance Company Is Making the Most of Climate Change" - "It is clear that climate change will have ever larger economic ramifications. One Munich-based reinsurance company has already started offering appropriate products." (Deutsche Welle)

"Hot Supreme Court Battle Brewing" - "Nov. 24, 2006— The Supreme Court is set to enter the debate on global warming for the first time next week when 12 states and several environmental groups argue that the Bush administration should regulate the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles." (ABC News)

"An Inconvenient Case for Supreme Court" - "WASHINGTON -- Things are bound to heat up at the Supreme Court Wednesday, when justices weigh whether the Clean Air Act requires the Bush administration to do something about global warming." (Wall Street Journal)

"$20B warning on Kyoto" - "OTTAWA - Meeting Kyoto targets will cost the Canadian economy a third of its output or force Ottawa to spend $20-billion by 2012 to buy international credits, says one of the country's leading business groups." (Paul Vieira, Financial Post)

"Europe accepts its role as the green pioneer of the world" - "The EU will not put the challenge of tackling global warming in the 'too difficult' pile, says European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, who will tomorrow present UK bosses with his arguments for vital groundbreaking action." (The Observer)

"European policies behind the times" - "Some Americans look to European countries such as France, Germany and its Scandinavian neighbors and suggest that we adopt some of their economic policies. I agree, we should look at Europe for the lessons they can teach us. Dr. Daniel Mitchell, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, does just that in his paper titled "Fiscal Policy Lessons From Europe."

Government spending exceeds 50 percent of the GDP in France and Sweden and more than 45 percent in Germany and Italy, compared to U.S. federal, state and local spending of just under 36 percent. Government spending encourages people to rely on handouts rather than individual initiative, and the higher taxes to finance the handouts reduce incentives to work, save and invest. The European results shouldn't surprise anyone. U.S. per capita output in 2003 was $39,700, almost 40 percent higher than the average of $28,700 for European nations,.

Over the last decade, the U.S. economy has grown twice as fast as European economies." (Walter E. Williams, Sun News)

"Industry Chief Backs 'Realistic' EU Emissions Goal" - "BRUSSELS, Nov 24 - The European Union's industry commissioner has urged the 25-nation bloc to set a "realistic unilateral" target for cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2020 and offer to go further if other nations join the drive." (Reuters)

You've been warned, repeatedly: "Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Governments can tackle climate change by giving everyone their own carbon allocation" - "One of the most shocking and, regrettably in some respects, galvanising statistics of the week was the news from the Office for National Statistics that environmental taxes have fallen to their lowest level as a share of the economy - just 2.9 per cent - in at least 18 years." (London Independent)

"EU: Barroso to tackle climate change" - "State-protected energy markets on the continent are to be liberalised by the European Commission to combat climate change and stem the growing influence of Russia. The move is the top priority of EC President Jose Manuel Barroso. France, Germany and much of Scandanavia are closed to overseas energy firms, although the UK has long allowed foreign companies to operate here." (The Observer)

"Secret plan to impose EU-wide carbon limit" - "Industry commissioner urges introduction of unilateral emissions target by 2020" (London Independent)

Ridiculous propaganda of the moment... "Time to Accept The Obvious" - "To be pro-growth, we need to be pro-green. The costs of action are smaller than the cost of business-as-usual—by a factor of five to 20." (David Miliband, Newsweek International)

... probably to suit this: "UK: Green taxes imminent" - "Airline passengers and drivers of gas-guzzling four wheel drive cars will be penalised under a raft of new "environmental" tax measures the Chancellor plans to announce in next month's pre-budget report. Green taxes have found purchase since the Government-commissioned Stern report called for urgent action to address climate change. A rise in air passenger duty, currently at £5 for short flights and £40 for premium long haul, is expected. The duty raises the Treasury £1bn a year. Drivers of the most fuel hungry vehicles, who already face a £25 daily congestion charge in London, will also be hit by proposed higher taxes." (London Telegraph)

"UK: New tax is set to hammer all your holidays" - "MILLIONS of families were facing a new wave of taxes on their holidays last night. Chancellor Gordon Brown will announce his latest cash raid in the run-up to Christmas. Middle Britain will be hammered by a series of stealth taxes which will be disguised as green measures. Holiday and business flights along with family cars are set to be the target of the new squeeze. Mr Brown, who has devised more than 80 ways of increasing tax since taking over at the Treasury, will say the higher levies are vital to save the planet from global warming." (Daily Express)

"UK: Voters 'do not trust green taxes'" - "Most voters believe "green taxes" are more about raising money than helping the environment, a BBC poll suggests. All three main parties say they want to use the tax system to encourage more environmentally-friendly behaviour. But the Populus poll suggests they may have a fight on their hands convincing voters there is not a hidden agenda." (BBC)

"UK: Brown refuses to tax passengers off planes" - "Gordon Brown will adopt a softly-softly approach to taxes on air travel in next month's pre-budget report as the government seeks to fulfil its ambitious pledges on tackling climate change without a confrontation with popular cut-price carriers. Reflecting the government's view that a full-scale attack on the cheap flights offered by companies such as Ryanair and easyJet would be politically impossible, the chancellor is planning to announce increases in air passenger duty on December 6, but has no intention of using the tax system to price passengers off planes." (The Guardian)

"UK: Sins of emission" - "... Meanwhile, according to a University of Oxford study, carbon dioxide from UK aviation will be four to 10 times above 1990 levels by 2050, wiping out the effect of the reductions made by all other businesses. So the only solution - and it’s an unpalatable one for most people - is to stop flying, or at least cut down drastically. Politically, it is a hard sell." (Fiona Harvey, Financial Times)

"UK: Tories to publish carbon tax plans" - "The Conservatives will on Monday publish plans to raise more revenue from the taxation of carbon emissions by energy users, in the first concrete indication of the green tax rises they would impose if they came to government. Until now George Osborne, shadow chancellor, has given only a general commitment about green tax policy, stating he wants revenues from green taxes to go up as a proportion of overall taxation." (Financial Times)

Right... "UK: Cameron holds secret talks with EU leader over climate change" - "David Cameron has held secret talks with the head of the European Commission over tackling climate change, a sign that he is prepared to work with Brussels on his green agenda." (London Times)

... another sign the eco-toff is prepared to hand complete control of the UK to the EU bureaucracy.

"Why cut emissions if India's are on the up?" - "The subcontinent's boom has raised environmental alarms. But it could prove a wake-up call for the west, says Lucy Siegle." (The Observer)

Well Lucy, if your only purpose is to reduce carbon emissions to "address climate change" then you have no purpose -- don't bother.

"Spain To Cut 16 Percent Of CO2 Rights In New Plan" - "MADRID, Nov 24 - Spain said on Friday it would cut 16 percent off industry's greenhouse gas emissions quotas from 2008-12 in the second phase of the European Union's carbon trading scheme, in line with guidance given in July." (Reuters)

"Now hot in Brazil: 'carbon credits' to fight global warming" - "Programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions are blossoming in Brazil, with the "carbon credit" system winning interest from companies in industrialized countries." (AFP)

"Carbon Fund Planned to Provide Projects with Upfront Finance" - "Manila, Nov 26, 2006 - The Asian Development Bank Board of Directors approved the establishment of a carbon market trust fund to boost the number of clean energy projects in Asia and the Pacific.

The Asia Pacific Carbon Fund (APCF), part of ADB's broader Carbon Market Initiative (CMI) under development, will provide an additional source of finance at the early stage of project formulation by providing payments for Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) that are expected to be generated later. It will be combined with ADB's public and private sector financial services to provide upfront capital and enable clean energy projects - addressing renewable energy and energy efficiency - to move forward.

The target fund size is $150 million and ADB has already received several expressions of interest to the fund from its member countries." (ACN Newswire)

"Canada could be hurt by Kyoto retreat, says head of UN Environment Program" - "NAIROBI, Kenya - Canada's repudiation of its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol could harm its economy in coming years, warns the head of the United Nations Environment Program. Achim Steiner says Canadian business could be left out of major profit opportunities created by an international emissions trading system that he predicts will be worth $100 billion in 10 years." (CP)

The minuscule possibility Canada could be hurt by not committing suicide by Kyoto against the certainty of significant harm if it does... Now lemme think a moment...

"An Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore Can’t Give Junk Science Away" - "This is pretty hysterical, folks, and certainly requires all drinking vessels to be placed at a safe distance from nearby electronic equipment. Laurie David, the global warming alarmist and spouse of comedian Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), wrote an op-ed published in Sunday’s Washington Post. In it, she stated that the company which produced Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” wanted to donate 50,000 DVD copies of the schlockumentary to the National Science Teachers Association so that educators around the country could brainwash America’s youth with Gore’s junk science. Thankfully, the NSTA said, “No Thanks”: “In their e-mail rejection, they expressed concern that other ‘special interests’ might ask to distribute materials, too; they said they didn't want to offer ‘political’ endorsement of the film; and they saw ‘little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members’ in accepting the free DVDs.” (News Busters)

The beldame's at it again: "Taming King Coal" - "The front page of this newspaper’s business section recently featured two articles about the world’s most plentiful fuel, coal. Written from different parts of the globe, they framed the magnitude of the task confronting international negotiators and the newly empowered Democrats in Congress who want to put the brakes on emissions of carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas." (New York Times)

"Clean Coal Power Plant Planned For 2011 In Norway" - "OSLO, Nov 27 - An international group of companies launched a plan on Monday to build a novel coal-fired power plant in Norway by 2011 that would curb global warming by capturing 95 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted." (Reuters)

"Can we lock greenhouse gases away in rocks?" - "RICHLAND — Pete McGrail knelt at the base of a towering basalt cliff, picked up a chunk of rock and tilted it to catch the sunlight. "That's what we're interested in," he said, pointing to a Swiss-cheese network of tiny holes. "That porosity." The cavities are the remnants of gas bubbles trapped in lava that flooded the Pacific Northwest millions of years before humans appeared on Earth. Now, McGrail hopes these rocks will help solve a man-made problem of global proportions: reducing greenhouse-gas emissions." (Seattle Times)

"Energy Firms Come to Terms With Climate Change" - "While the political debate over global warming continues, top executives at many of the nation's largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inevitable." (Washington Post)

"WaPo Cherry-Picks Speech to Make Shell President Look Like a Global Warmingist" [that's a noun now?] - "On Saturday, the Washington Post effectively demonstrated how the press cherry-pick snippets of speeches that political and business leaders give in order to completely alter their intent (hat tip to NB member crshedd). In an article entitled “Energy Firms Come to Terms With Climate Change,” authors Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin took a few quotes -- one of them actually errant -- out of a 3,610-word speech that Shell Oil President John Hofmeister gave about a month ago to make it look like he’s totally bought into the myth of global warming." (News Busters)

"Brother, Can You Spare 22 Terawatts?" - "The flip side of the climate change conundrum is energy. Burning fossil fuels—coal, oil, gas—produces 80 percent of the world's commercial energy. They also produce 61 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that are thought to be increasing the earth's average temperature. In the past, energy production scaled directly with a country's gross domestic product (GDP). More energy produced more GDP. But some analysts believe the connection between GDP growth and energy is loosening, which, if true, is good news because it means that fueling future economic growth will be easier to achieve." (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

"Australia: Nuclear report may lead to carbon tax" - "Finance Minister Nick Minchin says the government will consider a carbon tax on industry if other countries introduce carbon pricing as part of a global agreement to cut emissions. But the government would not introduce a carbon tax just to make nuclear power more competitive with coal, he said." (AAP)

"How mirrors can light up the world" - "Scientists say the global energy crisis can be solved by using the desert sun." (The Guardian)

"Ontario takes wind out of turbines" - "Private wind developers looking to erect wind turbines in Lake Ontario and other major lakes have been told by the Ministry of Natural Resources to put their plans on hold. The provincial ministry, in a note sent this week to prospective developers, said new applications for offshore wind projects are no longer being accepted and all existing proposals are being deferred until offshore energy resources and potential environmental impacts are more thoroughly studied." (Toronto Star)

The antis are winning: "UK: Council set to reject Stansted expansion" - "The dangers of climate change will be used this week as a reason to ditch a plan to double passenger numbers at London Stansted airport, the home of Ryanair. A local council is expected to turn down planning permission, partly on the grounds that the Stern review and other studies have highlighted the danger of rising carbon emissions." (The Guardian)

II: "UK: Travel firm wants you to pay for emissions" - "Lastminute.com, the travel company, is to encourage air passengers to offset the damage caused by the emissions from their flight when booking a ticket. It will be the first company to incorporate "carbon offsetting" into its web-based ticket booking system, so that people see the carbon dioxide emissions produced by each flight and the amount needed to offset them. The option to make a contribution, which costs between 50p and 90p for every hour flown, will be available on flights operated by all the company's 300 airline suppliers." (London Telegraph)

"Don't use biofuels to power farm industry" - "The main purpose of promoting biofuels for vehicles is to help prevent global warming, rather than shoring up the nation's agricultural industry. Unfortunately, this fact seems to have slipped the minds of some government officials." (Yomiuri Shimbun)

Sorry guys -- that's the only reason to promote biofuels since their use will do precisely zip to predictably adjust the global climate.

"Palm Prices To Soar On Global Biofuel Demand" - "KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 - Palm oil prices are expected to rise further by early next year as stockpiles decline due to robust global demand ignited by the rapidly expanding biofuel industry, a leading analyst said on Friday." (Reuters)

"EU project reveals economic potential of plants as raw materials" - "Plants could provide alternative sources of raw materials for energy, fuel and everyday products in as little as 10 to 15 years, according to a new series of reports from the EU-funded EPOBIO project." (Cordis)

"Home renovation to make the rest go to water" - "Everyone agrees Sydney faces a water crisis, but the city seems incapable of significant action. Today I want to celebrate a Turramurra couple who have accepted responsibility for their water use. It's a story of triumph, but also of frustration in dealing with government. To understand this, you need to see why the State Government's management of water is so deeply dysfunctional.

I have a copy of the Sydney Water Board's 1991 water supply strategy review, and have confirmed with former senior staff that it represents informed opinion at the time. It pointed out that the city's population had doubled since 1960 but its water storage capacity had increased by only 2 per cent. It said: "If measures are not taken to provide Sydney with additional storage, early in the next century there will be a real risk of serious water restrictions being necessary."

The reason for this did not involve apocalyptic events such as climate change or a one-in-a-thousand-year drought. It was mundane: you cannot increase a city's population without increasing its water supply." (Michael Duffy, Sydney Morning Herald)

"Bayer's GMO rice safe without oversight -- USDA" - "WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday formally approved a strain of genetically engineered rice whose discovery in commercial stocks earlier this year triggered a food market dispute with the European Union and Japan. "The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that after a thorough review of scientific evidence it will deregulate genetically engineered LLRICE601 based on the fact that it is as safe as its traditionally bred counterparts," USDA said in a statement." (Reuters)

"Trade ruling on GM foods should help Canadian farmers" - "The Canadian government says farmers stand to make big gains from a trade ruling that opens European markets to genetically modified organisms (GMOs)." (CBC News)

"Hungary Set To Pass 'Strictest' GMO Crop Law" - "BUDAPEST, Nov 24 - Hungary is set to impose strict rules on genetically modified crops that would mostly block their cultivation even if the EU overturns the country's GMO ban." (Reuters)

November 24, 2006

"Cranberry Health Claims: A Thanksgiving Turkey?" - "Research shows benefits of cranberries" proclaimed an Associated Press headline this week – a gentle nudge, I suppose, just in case you forgot to make cranberries part of your Thanksgiving dinner. But what's the truth? Does research really "show" that cranberries provide health benefits?" (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"A Doctor and Documentarian Against the DDT Ban" - "Besides being a film producer, I have a preventive medicine practice in Los Angeles. As it happens, California is currently leading the nation in West Nile virus, and I was being asked about it more frequently by my patients. Meaning only to get up to speed on vector-borne diseases, I found myself reading volume upon volume of studies on malaria and vector-borne diseases. I was feeling like a budding Albert Schweitzer M.D., wondering what I could do to actually make a difference. Well, like Schweitzer, I could go abroad and work on one patient at a time, but from what I was finding, this would hardly be efficacious." (Dr. D. Rutledge Taylor, Hawaii Reporter)

"Watching Out for JunkFood Science" - "A new blog by a registered nurse and award-winning food journalist takes a critical look at the way the media covers food and health." (STATS)

"For Healthy Coral: El Niño, Bad; Atmospheric Aerosols, Good" - "Whether Caribbean coral reefs retain their vibrant colors or turn a deathly white depends in part on how much dust there is in the atmosphere. Climate scientists have long known that aerosols cool the atmosphere and that the Pacific warming called El Niño globally influences the climate and warms the Caribbean, but now researchers have shown that these effects influence bleaching of the over a million square miles of Caribbean coral reefs." (Scientific American)

"El Nino's Wrath Seen Muted in Asia, Sparing Crops" - "SINGAPORE - The rise of the 'little' one out of the warm Pacific waters might not be so menacing for Asian farmers this time around. The much-feared El Nino, which means "little boy" in Spanish, is now forming in equatorial waters of the Pacific, raising fears of past events which triggered drought in Asia and downpours in the Americas." (Reuters)

"Hurricane Watchers Say Calm 2006 'only a Respite'" - "NEW YORK - The 2006 hurricane season is ending on Nov. 30 with US homeowners and insurers unscathed, but forecasters warn that the years ahead will not be so calm." (Reuters)

Still a lot to learn about carbon cycles: "Resilient form of plant carbon gives new meaning to term 'older than dirt'" - "A particularly resilient type of carbon from the first plants to regrow after the last ice age – and that same type of carbon from all the plants since – appears to have been accumulating for 11,000 years in the forests of British Columbia, Canada. It's as if the carbon, which comes from the waxy material plants generate to protect their foliage from sun and weather, has been going into a bank account where only deposits are being made and virtually no withdrawals. Modelers of the Earth's carbon cycle, who've worked on the assumption that this type of carbon remains in the soils only 1,000 to 10,000 years before microorganisms return it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, will need to revise their thinking if findings reported in the Nov. 24 issue of Science are typical of other northern forests." (University of Washington)

A New Paper On The Need To Assess The Importance Of Ocean Heat Content Changes In The Assessment of Global Warming (Climate Science)

Should Scientific Societies Issue Position Statements? by Ross McKitrick (Climate Science)

In the virtual realm: "Climate change storms to impact reefs" - "INCREASINGLY violent storms under global climate change will have major effects on coral reefs and their future management, experts said today. A scientific team from the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) at James Cook University produced a paper on the subject in the international scientific journal Nature. They put together the world's first engineering model to predict how much damage a reef is likely to suffer when confronted with the might of an angry sea." (The Australian)

"That sun is hot" - "It is amazing to me, that there is very limited analysis into temperatures at certain times of the day. Even the IPCC Climate Change 2001 report only looks at maximum and minimum temperatures. We concluded here that minimum temperatures have increased significantly from about the 1980’s, but have stayed around the same level since then. The increase in Australia has been 0.3 degrees since 1980. We also concluded here that there has recently, especially in the last 5 years been an increase in Australia’s maximum temperature, however the increase is statistically insignificant. The graph on this link clearly shows an increase in maximum temperatures since around 1960, but not quite to the level that they were in the 19th century." (Gust Of Hot Air)

"The Sun causes warming? No, surely not!" - "Recently we showed that when Australian maximum temperatures increased, the actual temperature only increased when the sun was out. Likewise, from 1947 to 1970 when temperatures decreased, the decrease only occured when the sun was out. Hence, when maximum temperatures are up or down, we are not seeing an increase/decrease throughout the day of temperatures but only at the heat of the day (around 3pm) when the sun is at it's hottest." (Gust of Hot Air)

"'No hope' for Kyoto's greenhouse gas goal" - "THE world has "no hope" of meeting the Kyoto Protocol targets on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, but is slowly moving in the right direction, with America set to join the fight against climate change, according to one of Britain's leading environmentalists. Sir Crispin Tickell, the UK's former ambassador to the United Nations and the man credited with convincing Margaret Thatcher of the obligation to take action to address global warming, said there was a need to "keep the heat up on the Americans." (The Scotsman)

"Global Warming Insurance is a Bad Buy" - "Does global warming threaten to permanently cripple the global economy? According to a new report from the British Treasury prepared by economist Nicholas Stern, that's exactly what will happen unless we cut greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below current levels by 2050. Should we do it? A close reading of the report reveals that the answer is "not necessarily."

Not to be flip about it, but why should the relatively poor (us) sacrifice for the relatively rich (our children and grandchildren)? The Stern Report argues that the emissions cuts necessary to stave off disaster will likely cost about 1 percent of global GDP every single year, or about $1,154 in current dollars per household in the United States. A small price to pay, we're told, when GDP losses will likely total 5-10 percent of global GDP every year if we do absolutely nothing." (Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren, Cato Institute)

"Green laws ‘may harm Europe’s economy’" - "Europe is damaging its competitiveness by moving faster than the rest of the world to tackle climate change, the European Union’s industry commissioner has warned." (Financial Times)

"Unilateral action on climate change could ruin economy, says CBI chief" - "The government will put jobs and investment at risk if it adopts a go-it-alone approach to tackling climate change, says the new director general of the Confederation of British Industry." (The Guardian)

"Carbon Trading" - "Enthusiasm is spreading for cap-and-trade systems to regulate the amount of CO2 emitted to Earth's atmosphere. In 1990, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set a limit on SO2 emissions from obvious point sources and allowed those who emit less than their quota to trade excess allowances. As a result, regional acid deposition was dramatically reduced. Can the world do the same for CO2?" (William H. Schlesinger, Science)

"Oil companies turn to Alberta for carbon harvesting" - "The Edmonton region could become a place to store carbon dioxide harvested from oil industry smokestacks, says a member of a federal advisory group." (CBC News)

"Post-Kyoto Climate Talks May Last to 2010 - Expert" - "OSLO - Talks on extending a UN-led fight against global warming beyond 2012 may last until 2010 to allow a wider US role after President George W. Bush steps down, a UN expert said on Wednesday.' (Reuters)

Indeed, the U.S. may be the most powerful nation the Earth has ever seen but it just can't command the climate.

"Report confirms Tory’s green goals unreachable, environmentalists say" - "OTTAWA — The Conservative goal of cutting Canada’s greenhouse gases in half by 2050 will be out of reach by the time industries are forced to deliver concrete reductions. That’s according to a new federal government report submitted to the United Nations. The government has set a target of cutting the pollution that is blamed for causing global warming by up to 65 per cent below 2003 levels by 2050. But the report predicts greenhouse gas emissions would increase by nearly 20 per cent in Canada by 2020." (CanWest News Service)

"Portugal to Invest 354 Million Euros to Meet Kyoto" - "LISBON - Portugal plans to invest 354 million euros (US$456 million) in a fund it will use to buy carbon credits to ensure it meets Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas emissions targets, environment secretary Humberto Rosa said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"INTERVIEW - UK Power Lobby Fears Excessive Environment Rules" - "LONDON - The UK government should focus on creating a clear investment environment for power companies, rather than imposing more environmental regulations, said David Porter, the CEO of the Association of Electricity Producers." (Reuters)

"UK: Brown to raise duty on 4x4s and air travel" - "Air travellers and owners of gas-guzzling cars, like the drivers of widely demonised four-wheel drive vehicles, face a substantial increase in taxes as part of Gordon Brown’s pre-Budget report. The chancellor, anxious to steal a march on David Cameron’s Conservatives on the environment, is preparing to increase the top rate of vehicle excise duty for the most polluting new cars." (Financial Times)

"UK Transport Plan Backs Road Charge, Air Travel" - "LONDON - A plan for Britain's transport system from 2015 will back national road pricing, streamlined planning decisions and air traffic expansion but rule out new high-speed rail lines, sources close to an inquiry said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Too much hot air over plane travel" - "Aviation's contribution to global warming is much less than touted, writes Giovanni Bisignani." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Danish Vestas Shares Soar as Wind Power Market Booms" - "COPENHAGEN - Booming global demand for renewable energy boosted shares in Vestas Wind Systems AS, the world's biggest maker of wind turbines, to a 4-1/2 year high on Wednesday as the company said it was struggling to meet demand." (Reuters)

"Dramatic shift from simple to complex marine ecosystems occurred 250M years ago at mass extinction" - "CHICAGO--The earth experienced its biggest mass extinction about 250 million years ago, an event that wiped out an estimated 95% of marine species and 70% of land species. New research shows that this mass extinction did more than eliminate species: it fundamentally changed the basic ecology of the world's oceans.

Ecologically simple marine communities were largely displaced by complex communities. Furthermore, this apparently abrupt shift set a new pattern that has continued ever since. It reflects the current dominance of higher-metabolism, mobile organisms (such as snails, clams and crabs) that actually go out and find their own food and the decreased diversity of older groups of low-metabolism, stationary organisms (such as lamp shells and sea lilies) that filter nutrients from the water." (Field Museum)

"Taking wheat to its wild side boosts nutrients" - "WASHINGTON - Scientists have found a way to boost the protein, zinc and iron content in wheat, an achievement that could help bring more nutritious food to many millions of people worldwide. A team led by University of California at Davis researcher Jorge Dubcovsky identified a gene in wild wheat that raises the grain's nutritional content. The gene became nonfunctional for unknown reasons during humankind's domestication of wheat. Writing in the journal Science on Thursday, the researchers said they used conventional breeding methods to bring the gene into cultivated wheat varieties, enhancing the protein, zinc and iron value in the grain. The wild plant involved is known as wild emmer wheat, an ancestor of some cultivated wheat." (Reuters) | Wheat gene may boost foods' nutrient content (University of California - Davis)

"EU to debate approving first "live" GMO in 8 years" - "BRUSSELS, Nov 23 - The European Union will venture into the sensitive area of "live" genetically modified (GMO) crops next month, for the first time in eight years, when EU experts debate whether to let farmers grow biotech potatoes. EU countries have been divided for years over GMO policy and even the idea of how biotech crops should be separated from traditional and organic varieties has proved controversial. So to approve another "live" GMO will be difficult, diplomats say. The EU's last approval of a GMO product for cultivation was in 1998. Shortly after, the bloc started its de facto moratorium on new biotech authorisations that ended in 2004. Still, no more "live" GMOs have gained EU approval since that time." (Reuters)

November 22, 2006

"Malaria: no time to pass the buck" - "THIS week, Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are marking Malaria Week by holding a ministerial conference in Namibia. The theme of the conference is Scaling up Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) with DDT. IRS involves spraying small amounts of insecticide inside houses and although it is highly effective in malaria control, it was shunned by most donors and for years. It was also discouraged by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to avoid environmental and political scorn, not for scientific reasons. Now the tide has turned and the emphasis on IRS is encouraging. However, SADC and other African countries have to get a lot more right before they can beat malaria." (Richard Tren, Business Day)

"Namibia: DDT Spray the Only Solution - Kamwi" - "While some people argue that the use of treated mosquito bed nets prevents the spread of malaria, the Minister of Health and Social Services , Dr Richard Kamwi, says this exercise has proved to be self-deceiving if not futile.

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) are a highly effective way for individuals, families and communities to protect themselves from malaria. Consistently sleeping under an ITN can decrease severe malaria by 45%.

However, according to Kamwi, promoting the indoor spraying of houses using dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) is the only solution to fighting malaria in Namibia and southern Africa at large." (New Era)

"Uganda: New form of DDT to fight malaria" - "THE health ministry is to use a form of DDT that sticks to walls to minimise leakages. “We are not using an aerosol or oil form that spreads out. It is a special type that sticks firmly on walls. The dosages to be used are absolutely limited. Even if you spray for 10 years, you cannot exceed the minimum residual limits required by the european commission,” Dr. John Bosco Rwakimari said." (New Vision)

"Media Distort Health Risks, Say Experts" - "A report from the Foundation for American Communication’s seminar on covering health risks at Columbia University." (Maia Szalavitz, STATS)

Special blog exclusive: Have your steak and enjoy it too! (Junkfood Science)

Keep an eye open for Sandy's Thanksgiving feature that looks at hunger in America, economic growth and the war on poverty, and the impact of rising fuel costs on hunger.

"Blocking an inter-generational cycle of obesity" - "Being exposed to high levels of nutrition before birth can influence the development of networks within the brain that regulate appetite to permanently set a pattern of appetite for life, according to researchers from the University of South Australia." (Research Australia)

"Historic volcanic eruption shrunk the mighty Nile River" - "Volcanic eruptions in high latitudes can greatly alter climate and distant river flows, including the Nile, according to a recent study funded in part by NASA. Researchers found that Iceland's Laki volcanic event, a series of about ten eruptions from June 1783 through February 1784, significantly changed atmospheric circulations across much of the Northern Hemisphere. This created unusual temperature and precipitation patterns that peaked in the summer of 1783, including far below normal rainfall over much of the Nile River watershed and record low river levels." (NASA/GSFC) | Icelandic volcano caused historic famine in Egypt, says Rutgers-based team (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)

Grandpa Warming's getting garrulous again: "INTERVIEW - World Has Under Decade to Act on Climate Crisis" - "LONDON - The world has less than a decade to take decisive action in the battle to beat global warming or risk irreversible change that will tip the planet towards catastrophe, a leading US climate scientist said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Not that long ago Hansen claimed to have found the global warming "smoking gun" only that turned out to be a nonsense piece of "wiggle fitting" too. Just look for the smoking gun and clown gun graphics in this document and you can read all about it (strangely the mainstream press forgot the follow-up as yet another apocalypse was cancelled).

Here's Grandpa babbling on again with model output when he knows and admits models do not represent reality -- see his own pending paper where section 2.4, "Principal Model Deficiencies," begins with:

"ModelE (2006) compares the atmospheric model climatology with observations. Model shortcomings include ~25% regional deficiency of summer stratus cloud cover off the west coast of the continents with resulting excessive absorption of solar radiation by as much as 50 W/m2, deficiency in absorbed solar radiation and net radiation over other tropical regions by typically 20 W/m2, sea level pressure too high by 4-8 hPa in the winter in the Arctic and 2-4 hPa too low in all seasons in the tropics, ~20% deficiency of rainfall over the Amazon basin, ~25% deficiency in summer cloud cover in the western United States and central Asia with a corresponding ~5°C excessive summer warmth in these regions..."

It is somewhat difficult to sort out the effect of a Watt or two's change in forcing when your base model can't get within tens of Watts over significant chunks of the planet. More importantly, transport (convective adjustment) is a hugely important factor in maintaining global surface temperatures and excessive surface pressure in cold regions, coupled with deficient pressure in warm regions makes a total shambles of modeled transport. GISS Model E is no worse than most -- all AOGCMs are by necessity kludge boxes since the atmosphere simply has too many variables for us to attempt to compute in real time and far too many unknowns for us to do other than make rough guesses.

It's about time Jim admits to the fawning media that he's guessing and his favorite computer game has no realistic expectation of ever producing a usable "forecast." What a crock.

It's alright though -- the worldwide font of nonsense loves him... "WWF award for Nasa scientist who sounded climate alarm" - "A leading Nasa researcher who pioneered the case for tough action to combat climate change in the US has been awarded the WWF's top conservation award. James Hansen, whose testimony to the US senate on global warming is featured in Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, received the medal from the Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony yesterday at St James's Palace in London." (The Guardian)

... and he's well sauced (-;

How Well Do Multi-Decadal Global Climate Models Represent The Radiative Effect of Well-Mixed Greenhouse Gases? Part II (Climate Science)

Monckton of Brenchley replies - Gore gored

From CO2 Science this week:

The Drying of Costa Rican Tropical Montane Cloud Forests: What is responsible for it: global warming or upwind logging?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Cold Air Cave, Makapansgat Valley of South Africa. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Carbon Dioxide (Urban CO 2 Dome - Other U.S. Cities) -- Summary: What do studies of U.S. cities other than Phoenix, Arizona, reveal about the urban CO 2 dome phenomenon? ... what do they reveal about the phenomenon's current impact on urban plants? ... and what do they portend for much of the planet's non-urban plant life in the future?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Annual Bluegrass, English Ivy, Perennial Ryegrass, and Pothos.

Journal Reviews:
The Medieval and Roman Warm Periods in Antarctica: An important new study indicates they were both warmer than the Current Warm Period.

Millennial-Scale Climate Change in New Jersey, USA: It likely has its origin in the millennial-scale variability of solar activity that produced the Current Warm Period, as well as the Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, Dark Ages Cold Period, Roman Warm Period, and so forth ad infinitum back through time.

The Hydrologic Cycle on the Tibetan Plateau: 1961-2000: How has it changed over the last forty years? ... and what do the results imply about the veracity of the IPCC's climate model projections?

Biogenic Methyl Iodide Production in the World's Oceans: What drives it? ... and how does it relate to global warming?

Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO 2 on the Growth of a Common Microalga: How significant are they? ... and what do they imply about the future rate of rise of the air's CO 2 content? (co2science)

"Summary Of The Twelfth Conference Of The Parties To The Un Framework Convention On Climate Change And Second Meeting Of The Parties To The Kyoto Protocol" - "From 6-17 November 2006, a series of climate change meetings took place at the UN Office at Nairobi, Kenya. The “UN Climate Change Conference – Nairobi 2006” included the twelfth Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and second Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 2). These events drew over 5,900 participants, including 2,300 government officials, over 2,800 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations, and 516 accredited members of the media." (Earth Negotiations Bulletin)

"ANALYSIS - Carbon Price Remains Elusive after UN Talks" - "LONDON - A clear, global carbon price remains elusive after United Nations talks last week hinted at a climate change deal no sooner than 2009 -- uncertainty which undermines the drive to make industry invest in clean energy." (Reuters)

"EU must be tougher on CO2 emissions - Barroso" - "PARIS, Nov 21 - The European Commission must take a tougher approach to limiting the emission of gases like carbon dioxide blamed for climate change, Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Union executive, said on Tuesday. "We have to resolutely attack the problem of climate change," Barroso wrote in France's La Tribune newspaper." (Reuters)

Far more sensible: "Africa: Development Only Option to Combat Future Effects of Climate Change - Expert" - "None other than pursuing development agenda could salvage the African continent which will continue to be affected by climate change, a pertinent issue for Africa since it has assumed global proportions, a visiting expert in the field said on Monday. Sir Nicholas Stern, Economic Advisor of the British government on the economics of climate change and development, said Africa will be badly affected by climate change, and that the continent had better scale up its economic development. "There is no sensible alternative to building adaptation in to development policy. And development itself will be a crucial defense against the effects of climate change," he said," he said presenting on potential impacts of climate change on the African continent during a visit to the African Union." (Daily Monitor)

The Stern Review may be based on ridiculous premises but development and adaptation is the appropriate path, especially for the underdeveloped regions.

The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change [.pdf] (William Nordhaus, Yale)

Comments on the Stern Review's Economics of Climate Change [.pdf] (Partha Dasgupta, Cambridge)

"Minister for Climate Change values UK's environmental industries" - "Climate Change and Environment Minister Ian Pearson MP today praised the enormous contribution made by the environmental goods and services sector in tackling problems and providing solutions to challenges facing 21st century society." (Defra)

"Nations Sign Pact to Make Fusion Reactor" - "PARIS - Physicists have dreamt about it for decades: harnessing the fusion process that powers the sun to make clean, safe and limitless energy. A multinational pact signed Tuesday may bring that dream a step closer to reality. Seven partners representing half the world's population have agreed to build an experimental fusion reactor in southern France that could revolutionize global energy use for future generations. Yet it is also just an experiment - a bold, long-awaited, $12.8 billion experiment - and it will be decades before scientists are even sure it works." (AP)

"Biomass has Future in Ethanol, but Hurdles Loom" - "WASHINGTON - The United States could soon use a billion tons of cellulosic biomass to ease the country's dependence on corn to make renewable fuel, but it must first address costly issues tied to harvest, storage and transportation, a report showed on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Wood fuel brings trees back into bloom" - "National Tree Week, which starts on Thursday, is a time to think about uses for woods. Fuel which keeps us warm could help keep the planet cool, writes HANNAH PITT, policy officer for The National Trust." (Western Mail)

But wait! Biomass burning apparently releases methane -- a much more potent greenhouse gas than lowly carbon dioxide.

"Australia: Pouring cold water on the drought" - "Farmers, politicians and the media are doing their bit to exaggerate the crisis, writes Ross Gittins." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Protection Racket" - "Free trade is a key to prosperity. Why do Democrats fight it?" (Pete du Pont, Opinion Journal)

Communists also suffer inequities? "In China, Growth at Whose Cost?" - "BEIJING -- China's economic miracle has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, but the country is showing signs that its poorest citizens are falling further behind. The success of China's transformation into a manufacturing powerhouse has allowed Beijing to dismiss criticism of the downside of Chinese-style economic reform: a dismal environmental record, a repressive political climate and the breakdown of the country's health-care system. As long as the country's newfound wealth eventually trickled down to everyone, the reasoning went, the benefits outweighed the problems. But now, as the Chinese government worries about social stability and amid questions about the social costs of China's rapid growth, new figures suggest the poorest of the country's 1.3 billion people are getting even poorer."

Gosh, that's not in the brochures!

"CHINA: 'World Must Share Blame for Industrial Pollution'" - "BEIJING - Repeatedly cited for pollution, China has launched a counter-attack saying it is mainly because the country has been the world's workshop in the past twenty years, producing and exporting goods for a multitude of nations, while keeping the waste and ecological degradation for itself." (IPS)

"Australia: The good behind the bad and the ugly" - "THERE may be a surprise silver lining to the cane toad's relentless march across Australia. Research suggests cane toads may be an ally in the war against another pest, the mosquito.

Professor Shine said yesterday there was evidence Australia's native wildlife was evolving, or at least learning to cope with the invader. And the toad could even offer benefits for human health." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"EU Won't Appeal WTO Ruling on GMO Moratorium" - "BRUSSELS - The EU will not appeal against a World Trade Organisation ruling that it illegally blocked genetically modified (GMO) food imports, a case which pitted the bloc against the United States and other biotech crop producers." (Reuters)

November 21, 2006

"Namibia: Cross-Border Initiative Launched Against Malaria" - "DESPITE increased investments to combat malaria, the disease remains a huge challenge in Africa, Lesotho's Health Minister Dr Matlahealo Mhooko said on Friday when he launched a SADC cross-border initiative against malaria at Ondangwa.

Dr Mhooko, who is the chairman of the Committee of SADC Ministers of Health, said the initiative by Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe was based on the success of a similar malaria-control programme between South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland.

That programme has led to a 90 per cent reduction in the number of malaria cases reported in the South African and Swaziland districts where it was implemented, and a 70 per cent reduction in the Mozambican districts, he said." (The Namibian)

"Namibia: Fighting the Mosquitoes" - "In the light of the above average rainfall forecast this coming season, Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, has appealed to all Namibians to support health teams who are involved in indoor residual spraying exercises in malaria-prone areas." (New Era)

"Zimbabwe: Anti-Malaria Drive Gets Boost" - "ZIMBABWE will receive 70 tonnes of DDT to strengthen ongoing programmes to combat malaria, a World Health Organisation official has said. WHO's representative to Zimbabwe Dr Everisto Njelesani last Friday said 60 tonnes would be shipped in from Mauritius, while 10 tonnes will come from South Africa." (The Herald)

"Safer method for large-scale malaria screening developed" - "Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Malaria Research Institute have developed a new test for detecting the malaria parasite in human urine and saliva. Although not a diagnostic test for determining treatment, the method could potentially reduce the need for blood sampling in epidemiological studies where large-scale malaria screening is required. Drawing blood increases the risk of spreading HIV and other diseases, particularly in those developing countries where both HIV and malaria are prevalent. Blood drawing must also be performed by trained personnel, whereas urine and salvia sampling does not. The study was published online in the November 8, 2006, edition of Malaria Journal." (Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health)

One more spasm in the death of a culture (Number Watch)

"Health fears lead schools to dismantle wireless networks" - "Parents and teachers are forcing some schools to dismantle wireless computer networks amid fears that they could damage children’s health. More schools are putting transmitters in classrooms to give pupils wireless access from laptops to the school computer network and the internet." (London Times)

And these are the same kiddies they expose to massively greater radiation on beach and/or ski holidays? Right...

"Make poverty history: first by getting rid of the greens" - "AT U2's Sydney concerts last week, Bono urged the audience to text their names to a Make Poverty History phone number. Later he flashed the names on a big screen and sent a thank you text to all those mobile phones in Telstra Stadium. As an act of charity it doesn't come much easier, unless you count wearing wristbands.

This is not to sneer at Bono for raising consciousness of the world's poor, or his audience for making a gesture.

But as protesters and green activists gather in Melbourne this weekend to lay the usual blame for poverty on the greed of developed nations, a powerful new documentary shines light on a different villain.

Mine Your Own Business, which opens this week, shows that the "powerful group telling the world's poor how to live, how to work, even how to think" are not the world leaders gathered in Melbourne. They're not even wealthy multinational corporations, but wealthy multinational environment groups such as Greenpeace.

"Upper-class Western environmentalists" are the greatest enemy of the world's poor, says the documentary's maker, self-described left-wing journalist Phelim McAleer, from Northern Ireland." (Miranda Devine, Sydney Morning Herald)

How Well Do Multi-Decadal Global Climate Models Represent The Radiative Effect of Well-Mixed Greenhouse Gases? Part I (Climate Science)

Biomass burning responsible for methane increases? "Level of important greenhouse gas has stopped growing: 7-year stabilization of methane may slow global warming, UCI scientists say" - "Irvine, Calif., Nov. 20, 2006 -- Scientists at UC Irvine have determined that levels of atmospheric methane -- an influential greenhouse gas -- have stayed nearly flat for the past seven years, which follows a rise that spanned at least two decades.

This finding indicates that methane may no longer be as large a global warming threat as previously thought, and it provides evidence that methane levels can be controlled. Scientists also found that pulses of increased methane were paralleled by increases of ethane, a gas known to be emitted during fires. This is further indication that methane is formed during biomass burning, and that large-scale fires can be a big source of atmospheric methane." (University of California - Irvine)

So, would switching to biomass decrease or increase anthropogenic GHG emissions? With recent announcements that trees are actually a previously unrecognized methane source, and now biomass burning, we are beginning to see some acknowledgement that we do not really have this atmosphere and greenhouse thing near as well sorted as previously claimed. This is a very good thing but we must prevent precipitous action for action's sake to "address global warming" because we stand at least as great a chance of causing harm as not. We are not ready to predictably "adjust" the climate -- we may never be -- and we certainly should not be reducing our ability to deal with whatever change might occur by hampering global development and wealth generation.

False Alarm (WCR)

"Arctic cooling - again" - "Recent collaboration between the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom) has resulted in the compilation of instrumental data for 13 stations along the southern and western coasts of Greenland that date back to 1784. The data represent the addition of 74 complete winters and 52 complete summers to the previous record along roughly the southern two-thirds of the western Greenland coastline. The researchers found Greenland's warmest year on record to be 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the warmest decades on record." (Climatic Research Unit)

Extending Greenland Temperature Records into the late 18th Century (.pdf), doi:10.1029/2005JD006810, J. Geophys. Res., 111, D11105

"An Antarctic Ecosystem Shows Signs of Trouble as a Tiny Worm Turns" - "... But in the past 10 years, Dr. Wall and her colleagues have documented some striking changes in the natural laboratory of the Dry Valleys. While the temperature across much of Antarctica is rising, the Dry Valleys experienced a regional cooling period, which in turn led to cooler and drier soils. As a result, the Scottnema population has shrunk by 65 percent since 1993."

So the um, "problem" ... is that these critters are troubled by cooler and drier conditions? And this indicates global warming may be an even larger problem? Sure...

By the way, since when did a couple of percent become "much of Antarctica"? The vast majority of Antarctica, with virtually the only exception being the northern extremity of the Antarctic Peninsula (which is not even within the Antarctic Circle), is cooling slightly while the atmosphere above shows negligible change in recent decades.

"Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore -- Episode 1: "Pollution" - “We have vastly increased the amount of carbon dioxide—the most important of the so-called greenhouse gases.” (AIT, 25)

Hold on a minute there, Al. The picture you’re showing us is misleading; it’s manipulative. You want us to think we’re literally seeing carbon dioxide pour out of those smokestacks. But carbon dioxide is as invisible as oxygen. You present a picture of what looks like air pollution and call it carbon dioxide. Throughout the film you refer to carbon dioxide as “global warming pollution.” (Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI)

"Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore -- Episode 2: "Hurricane Catarina" - “Textbooks had to be re-written in 2004. They used to say, ‘It’s impossible to have hurricanes in the South Atlantic.’ But that year, for the first time ever, a hurricane hit Brazil.” (AIT, 84)

Gore would have us believe that global warming and the associated rise in sea surface temperatures created Hurricane Catarina, the first hurricane on record ever to strike Brazil. But that’s just not true." (Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI)

"Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore -- Episode 3: "Warming Rate" - “And in recent years the rate of increase has been accelerating." (AIT, 72)

That’s just plain wrong. Over the last 30 years, the warming rate has been remarkably constant—about 0.17 degrees Celsius per decade. And for 25 years before that, the world was actually cooling!" (Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI)

"Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore -- Episode 4: "Moulins" - “When the [melt-]water reaches the bottom of the ice, it lubricates the surface of the bedrock and destabilizes the ice mass, raising fears that the ice mass will slide more quickly toward the ocean.” (AIT, 192)

Seems plausible, but only because Gore rips these images out of their context. The photograph and diagram come from a NASA study published in Science magazine in 2002. The study found that “moulins”—vertical water tunnels formed from pools of melt water at the surface of the ice sheet—accelerate glacial flow in the summertime, but the increase in speed over the entire year is no more than a few percent. For example, in 1998, moulins contributed such a tiny additional amount of movement that, were it not for satellite measuring systems, nobody would even notice." (Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI)

Progress? "UK and Germany hail progress on climate change but demand more" - "Greater urgency must be injected into international climate change negotiations if the world is to face up to its responsibilities in tackling climate change, according to the governments of the UK and Germany. Environment Secretary David Miliband and German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel were speaking at the end of two weeks of climate change talks in Nairobi, Kenya. "There have been important steps forward during these climate change talks, the first to take place in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Mr Miliband and Mr Gabriel in a joint statement. “The issues facing Africa have rightly been placed at the top of the agenda." (Defra)

"Will Forests Adapt to a Warmer World?" - "TORONTO - Deforestation remains the greatest current threat to the world's forests, claiming 10 to 15 million hectares of tree-covered areas every year, but climate change may represent a bigger challenge in the long term, scientists say." (IPS/IFEJ)

"EU urged to take the lead on climate change" - "The EU has been urged to take a more aggressive stance on carbon emissions in the wake of “disappointing” climate change talks in Nairobi. Green campaigners said that the talks, which ended on Friday, had failed to take into account the rapid pace of global warming and that faster progress was needed." (EUpolitix)

Translation: Quick! Quick! Lock people into foolish actions before cooling becomes obvious!

Hmm... "EU Emissions Trade Worth 18 Billion Euros So far - Analyst" - "LONDON - The EU's emissions trading scheme, launched in 2005 as its main tool to meet its Kyoto Protocol goals, has traded contracts totalling an estimated 18 billion euros (US$23.1 billion), market analysts Point Carbon said on Monday." (Reuters)

... people might have paid that, mostly by government mandate, but that doesn't make them worth anything to the planet or society.

CT's latest scam: "Scheme to cut 'carbon footprint'" - "A scheme designed to help companies measure the total amount of carbon emissions from their goods and services has been launched by the Carbon Trust." (BBC)

"UK: Government 'underestimates' air travel boom" - "The government has "seriously underestimated" future demand for air travel and the impact of an associated rise in passenger numbers, a Local Government Association (LGA) report warned today. A full review of the government's 2003 aviation white paper and its forecasts for air traffic growth is now essential, according to the LGA's strategic aviation special interest group. "The aviation white paper may only be three years old, but it is already self-evident that its forecasts of future demand for air travel, which underpin the government's aviation policies, have seriously underestimated future demand," said Councillor Richard Worrall, who chairs the strategic aviation group." (Guardian Unlimited)

"Australia: Report predicts a nuclear future" - "AUSTRALIA could have about 20 nuclear power stations built as part of a wholesale switch to atomic power, according to a landmark report to be released today." (The Australian)

"Atomic Bullets Bring Life Not Death To Early Earth" - "Frenzied star-making in the Milky Way Galaxy, starting about 2,400 million years ago, had extraordinary effects on life on Earth. Harvests of bacteria in the sea soared and crashed in a succession of booms and busts, with an instability not seen before or since." (SPX)

"'Green revolution' hero" - "Though he never became a household name, 92-year-old agricultural scientist Norman Borlaug should make any list of the greatest living Americans. Mr. Borlaug, an Iowan who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, ushered in the "green revolution" by developing new plant strains that thrived in countries where there previously were food production problems. He remains the only Peace Prize laureate honored for scientific achievement. The Senate has passed a resolution to award him the Congressional Gold Medal and the House should too when it gets back to business after Thanksgiving." (Washington Times)

"Got cotton? Texas researchers' discovery could yield protein to feed millions" - "COLLEGE STATION -- A scientific method used to explore cancer and HIV cures now has been successfully used by agricultural researchers in the quest to develop food for the world's hungry.

"The exciting finding is that we have been able to reduce gossypol – which is a very toxic compound – from cottonseed to a level that is considered safe for consumption," said Dr. Keerti Rathore, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station plant biotechnologist. "In terms of human nutrition, it has a lot of potential." The cottonseed from these plants meet World Health Organization and U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards for food consumption, he said, potentially making the seed a new, high-protein food available to 500 million people a year." (Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications)

"Uzbek cotton goes at one third of the price a decade ago" - "Two hundred and fifty companies from 36 countries participated in the Second International Cotton Fair in Tashkent. This year, Uzbekistan is expected to produce more than one million tons of cotton, and 700,000 or 800,000 of them will be exported (that makes Uzbekistan the second largest exporter of cotton after the United States).

Demand for cotton growing, its average price per ton has remained at the level of $570-590 for the second year. It makes is approximately one third of what it used to be, say, a decade ago. Plantations of genetically modified cotton are the reason. These days, they account for nearly 40% of all plantations in the world. Cost price of this cotton is fairly low, and the growth is immune." (Ferghana.ru)

November 20, 2006

Hmm... "Global delinquency" - "One of the most important changes that may result from the shift in power in Congress may be the new focus that Congress will be able to give to the problem of global warming." (Rutland Herald)

Hansen again claims his work has been "distorted." So, who or what is distorting Hansen's work? Could it be NASA's GISS press office, with their ridiculous claims of wildly inaccurate climate models reconciling with measured 0.85 Wm-2 oceanic heat storage? Or maybe Hansen himself since he's lead author of Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications, where the abstract states: "Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse gases and aerosols, among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85 ± 0.15 watts per square meter more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space. This imbalance is confirmed by precise measurements of increasing ocean heat content over the past 10 years."? At the time some of us pointed out the dangers of claiming ~1 Wm-2 precision in models with known errors of 20-50 Wm-2 over huge slabs of the modeled planet (nothing serious -- just regions like the tropics and large chunks of oceans to the west of continents...). We'll let Professor Roger Pielke Sr. explain what happened next: Mismatch Between Multi-decadal Global Climate Models Predictions And The Global Radiative Imbalance.

Here's Al... "At stake is nothing less than the survival of human civilisation" - "We have the opportunity to become the Greatest Generation, responding to our climate debate – but only if we take urgent action to limit global warming." (Sunday Telegraph)

... any chance you're ever going to get into a real debate Al? After all, it's been nearly a year since you expressed interest you didn't mean.

I admit I didn't get very far into Al's "debunking" since he's patently full of it -- that the NAS panel "vindicated" the "hockey stick" is a nonsense since they basically disavowed estimates prior to c.1600 when the Earth was in the grip of the Little Ice Age. We don't even know the current global mean temperature within ± 0.7 °C and we certainly are not sure about contemporary warming, which the IPCC puts at 0.6 ± 0.2 °C.

Think about that for a moment. If the calculated 288 K is the "correct" temperature for Earth and we use GISTEMP's 2005 Jan-Dec average of 14.68 °C (287.78 K) then Earth is probably still a bit on the cool side of "normal." We don't know, of course, because the temperature could be anywhere between 14 and 15-something °C.

There's a good reason we don't rely on climate model forecasts for a few months or years hence -- because they're really crappy at it. I don't even know of one that can manage a few days "forecast" when starting from measured conditions. We don't know what the planet's temperature really is, we're not altogether sure what it should be and we're powerless to predict what it will do or predictably change it even if we don't like it. What a silly game.

Al the Obscure (Number Watch)

Climate Audit discussion on Al's letter.

No shortage of nitwittery: "Get Rich Off Global Disaster!" - "There should be little doubt that global climate change is now inevitable. Studies in Britain, the UN and most respectable scientific institutions now unanimously agree that humanity will reap what it has sown. There are opportunities to negate some of the climate changes if action is taken now. However, there seems to be little likelihood that these actions will be taken by Western nations in general and the U.S. specifically. So we are all in for an interesting ride." (Philip F. Harris, American Chronicle)

"The Baptist and the Bootlegger" - "An unlikely coalition for climate control" (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

"'Climate Change Tourists' Go Home!" - "The Nairobi global warming conference grinds to an end" (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

The infamous Kyoto talk fest can be fairly easily described -- an agreement was reached to continue meeting in as many exotic locations and as frequently as possible for as long as the easily-duped shmucks at home will keep on paying. All other agenda business deferred for another meeting.

"UN Climate Talks Struggle to Agree Tiny Steps" - "NAIROBI - Global talks to widen a fight against climate change reached gridlock on their final day on Friday after scant progress overnight to encourage rich nations to help Africa." (Reuters)

"UN talks focus on adapting to climate change" - "Floods that ripped through north-eastern Kenya this month have displaced 80,000 people from their homes, while representatives from more than 180 countries were meeting in Nairobi to discuss climate change. Floods like this will become more common as the earth warms, scientists have warned. As Kenya appealed to the international community for aid, the United Nations talks on the Kyoto protocol focused on how rich countries could help the poorest to adapt to events such as these, and other effects of global warming." (Financial Times)

"Little progress at climate summit" - "Environmental campaigners expressed anger last night after a UN climate change conference in Nairobi seemed to be about to end without major breakthroughs." (The Guardian)

"Big Conference on Warming Ends, Achieving Modest Results" - "NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 17 — The yearly United Nations conference on climate change ended Friday with only modest results after delegates failed to establish a timetable for future cuts on pollution linked to global warming. Despite nearly two weeks of meetings, which drew 6,000 participants to Nairobi from around the world, the delegates could not agree on a number of issues, especially how to move beyond the Kyoto Protocol, which requires cuts in emissions by most industrialized countries but expires in 2012. Two persistent problems were American reluctance to agree to any mandatory emissions limits and increased stubbornness by China and India, two of the world’s fastest-growing polluters, which face no penalties under the Kyoto agreement for all the heat-trapping gases they pump into the atmosphere." (New York Times)

"Little urgency as climate conference fizzles out" - "A UN climate change conference has set a timetable for reaching a new agreement to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, but activists warn the world is still moving too slowly and selfishly in the fight against global warming." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"U.N. Nations Reach Deal to Cut Emissions" - "More than 180 nations at the U.N. climate conference agreed Friday on the next steps toward negotiating deeper future cuts in global-warming gases, after conceding to China that developing nations won't be pressed immediately to reduce emissions." (AP)

"Post-Kyoto UN deal out of reach - Miliband" - "A global post-Kyoto agreement is still out of reach as the UN summit on climate change concludes its final day of talks in Nairobi, David Miliband admitted today. Speaking exclusive to Guardian Unlimited on the closing day of a fortnight of talks, the environment secretary said the summit had failed to gain sufficient momentum to agree a deal on greenhouse gas emissions because of a glaring "gap" between science and politics." (Guardian Unlimited)

"Slow talks could leave climate deal in 'tatters'" - "A new global agreement to tackle climate change may be scuppered by cumbersome international bodies and a lack of political will, David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, fears." (London Independent)

"Greenhouse Gas Targets Elusive After Climate Talks" - "NAIROBI - International talks on climate change held at a conference in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, ended Friday without having established a solid timetable for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions after the Kyoto Protocol expires." (IPS)

"U.N. climate talks gridlocked on Kyoto, Russia" - "NAIROBI - U.N. talks on fighting climate change were gridlocked on their final day on Friday as organizers faced criticism of scant progress in aiding Africa and slowing global warming. Rich and poor countries are split at the 189-nation talks about how to extend the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, the main U.N. plan for fighting global warming, beyond 2012 to help avert climate change that could batter the world economy." (Reuters)

"UN Global Warming Talks Go Nowhere - As Usual: Nairobi Negotiations All Rhetoric, No Substance" - "As the United Nations climate negotiations in Nairobi, Kenya come to an end, the failure of the path embodied by the Kyoto Protocol has become increasingly clear. Despite the participation of thousands of delegates from 190 countries, participants in the annual Framework Convention on Climate Change talks have been unable to commit to any meaningful advances in their stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions." (CEI)

Why? "Kyoto Protocol lurches towards next decade" - "NAIROBI -- Herding cats is never one of the easiest tasks in life, yet that is what lies ahead in the campaign to deepen cuts in carbon pollution next decade under the UN's Kyoto Protocol." (AFP)

For heaven's sake put the damn thing out of all our miseries.

"UN climate pact unlikely until after Bush: experts" - "NAIROBI - This week's U.N. climate talks kept a plan for fighting global warming on track for expansion beyond 2012, but breakthroughs look unlikely before U.S. President George W. Bush steps down, experts said on Saturday." (Reuters)

"Nice hair, shame about the emissions" - "What federal Environment Minister Rona Ambrose doesn't understand about the greenhouse gas emission and Kyoto protocol debate is that you don't have to actually cut emissions to win accolades from environmentalists. All you have to do is say you'll cut them and that you're "committed" to Kyoto targets. It's a very important distinction." (Tom Brodbeck, Winnipeg Sun)

"Viable post-Kyoto approach" - "The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol covers the five years from 2008 to 2012. Now is the time to start discussing the international framework for the second commitment period, which begins in 2013." (Japan Times)

"UN Climate Talks Delay Decision on Carbon Capture" - "NAIROBI - UN climate talks in Nairobi have delayed a decision on whether to include carbon capture and storage under a Kyoto carbon trading framework called the Clean Development Mechanism, the head of the UN's climate body said." (Reuters)

"Nobel Laureates Back Case Pushing Bush to Act on Global Warming" - "Environmentalists concerned about global warming want the U.S. Supreme Court to turn up the heat on President George W. Bush." (Bloomberg)

"Global Warming on Trial" - "Traditionally, individuals who feel they've been harmed by a substance or product sold to the public have sued the manufacturer under state tort law. The suits often allege that the manufacturer caused a specific harm. Such was the theory under which many tobacco claims were brought.

Recently, however, governmental entities have started bringing suits against industry under a different theory, called "public nuisance." Under the law of public nuisance, it is sometimes enough to show that industry has contributed to conditions that endanger the safety or health of a large number of people. A plaintiff need not show actual harm to individuals.

Earlier this year, a Rhode Island jury found a handful of paint manufacturers liable for lead-contamination under the state's public nuisance law. The case is still on appeal and damages haven't yet been determined, although the state estimates that a cleanup of contaminated properties could cost the industry between $1.4 and $3.7 billion. More recently, the state of California sued the world's six largest auto makers under a theory of public nuisance, demanding they pay for environmental damage caused by their cars' emissions.

Critics of public nuisance suits accuse plaintiffs of improperly using the courts to push through regulatory or legislative change. Supporters argue that the courts are the right vehicle through which to vindicate past allegedly harmful behavior.

In our latest Legal Banter column, Russell Jackson, a defense-side lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York and David Bookbinder, a senior attorney at the Sierra Club in Washington, D.C., square off over the issue." (Wall Street Journal)

Obligatory eye-roller: "IMF warns Australia on climate" - "CLIMATE change could have a devastating effect on the Australian economy, if the projections of the Stern report on global warming were true, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned today." (The Australian)

"Christopher Pearson: Hotheads warned, cool it" - "JOHN Howard's new position on greenhouse gas emissions is a bitter disappointment to many of his supporters, but it comes as no surprise. The writing was on the wall in March last year, when a Lowy Institute opinion poll found 70per cent of Australians were worried about global warming. Perhaps no prime minister seeking another term in office these days can hope to withstand that tide of public opinion, irrespective of the merits of the case. Changing tack and leaving the Labor Party looking economically subliterate over its commitment to a collapsing Kyoto model is plainly the right way to get re-elected.

Even so, there is something terribly galling about the federal Government deciding to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on controlling emissions of what will turn out to be, in all probability, a perfectly harmless gas. I hope Howard is still enough of a conservative at heart to be haunted by that thought for the rest of his career." (The Australian)

Draft American Meteorological Society Statement on Climate Change (Climate Science)

"False Alarm: Atlantic Conveyor Belt Hasn't Slowed Down After All" - "A closer look at the Atlantic Ocean's currents has confirmed what many oceanographers suspected all along: There's no sign that the ocean's heat-laden "conveyor" is slowing." (Richard A. Kerr, Science)

"Holocene elephant seal distribution implies warmer-than-present climate in the Ross Sea" - "We show that southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) colonies existed proximate to the Ross Ice Shelf during the Holocene, well south of their core sub-Antarctic breeding and molting grounds. We propose that this was due to warming (including a previously unrecognized period from ~1,100 to 2,300 14C yr B.P.) that decreased coastal sea ice and allowed penetration of warmer-than-present climate conditions into the Ross Embayment. If, as proposed in the literature, the ice shelf survived this period, it would have been exposed to environments substantially warmer than present." (PNAS)

This was sent in for comment -- some of which is already taking place over at Climate Audit.

When icebergs attack! (mongabay.com)

Iceberg Spotted from New Zealand Shore (Climate Science)

Cooling the Debate: A Longer Record of Greenland Air Temperature (WCR)

"Polar Expedition To Siberian Lake Will Yield Details Of Past Climate" - "An international team of scientists led by Julie Brigham-Grette of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has received $3.2 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund an expedition to a polar lake in Siberia, which should yield data that will provide the most detailed record of past Arctic climate to date." (SPX)

"Global warming hot air? Geologist disputes claims human activity heating the earth" - "A northern Alberta geologist has embarked on a crusade to stop what he says is the madness of the prevailing wisdom that human activity is heating the Earth. "The truth has to start somewhere," said Bruno Wiskel in an interview with the Sun yesterday. Wiskel, who teaches a University of Alberta faculty of extension course, says climate change is an eons-old force that has nothing to do with people. Current global warming, he said, has been going on for about 18,000 years, with glaciers retreating and sea levels rising ever since. "If this happened once and we were the cause of it, that would be cause for concern," said Wiskel. "But glaciers have been coming and going for billions of years." (Edmonton Sun)

"Party Shift May Make Warming a Hill Priority" - "Dramatic changes in congressional oversight of environmental issues may pump new life into efforts to fight global warming, activist groups and lawmakers said yesterday." (Washington Post)

"INTERVIEW - Washington Rejects Senators' Calls on Climate Caps" - "NAIROBI - George W. Bush's administration on Friday rejected calls by top US Democratic senators to cap greenhouse gas emissions, saying the president's policies were working better than those of many other industrialised nations." (Reuters)

"Blair: Who says I'm not green?" - "Britain is seeking international agreement on a global target for stabilisation of greenhouse gases, which would halt the progress of global warming, Tony Blair has told The Independent. The radical measure would be a major leap forward from the Kyoto agreement and the biggest step yet in the fight to combat climate change." (London Independent)

"Weather-watch for economists" - "Global warming's side-effects, such as hurricanes and mudslides, have not greatly affected economies and investor returns ... yet. But analysts suspect that might be about to change, and they are trying to anticipate it by building climate change's influence into their forecasts." (Reuters)

"ANALYSIS - Global Warming too Arcane for Currency Players so far" - "NEW YORK - Global warming is likely to impact economies and currencies but in ways that few can foresee given the phenomenon has not happened before in recent history." (Reuters)

Nope: "Climate change hits hard in the Australian outback" - "BOURKE, AUSTRALIA – The once mighty Darling River, Australia's longest waterway, is dwindling by the day beneath a blazing blue sky, its sluggish waters an unhealthy shade of pea-green.

The Darling is the lifeblood of Bourke, one of Australia's most celebrated outback towns. Located in the parched west of New South Wales state, the expression "back o' Bourke" is understood by all Australians to mean in the middle of nowhere. But the town's legendary resilience has been pushed to a breaking point by six years of drought, the worst "big dry" since the British settlement of Australia in 1788." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Despite all the hype and nonsense Australia witnessed at least two worse drought events in the Twentieth Century (search "Federation Drought," for example) -- the current inconvenience is largely a result of State governments failing to keep infrastructure in line with population and development. Australia's Bureau of Meteorology Regional Rainfall Trends page opens with the statement: Australia's annual mean rainfall has increased slightly over the last century. If that's climate change then Australians will likely say: Bring it on! Why would Australians want change? Dorothea MacKellar (1885 - 1968) said it so well in "My Country" and her words resonate as strongly today.

"A Troubled River Mirrors China’s Path to Modernity" - "Women carry produce along the Yellow River in Shanxi Province, China. Other areas along the river's path are rapidly modernizing. The polluted Yellow River is being sucked dry by factories, growing cities and farming — with still more growth planned." (New York Times)

"Backstory: Greenhouse masses" - "One New England church makes global warming a crusade – but finds sacrifice isn't always easy." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Propaganda working in Europe? "Europeans ‘would accept climate change curbs’" - "Europeans are overwhelmingly convinced that human activity is contributing to global warming, and a majority would be prepared to accept restrictions on their lifestyle to combat it, according to a poll for the Financial Times. Research carried out this month by Harris Interactive in Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain found that 86 per cent of people believed humans were contributing to climate change, and 45 per cent thought it would be a threat to them and their families within their lifetimes. More than two-thirds – 68 per cent – said they would either strongly or somewhat support restrictions on their behaviour and purchases in order to reduce the threat." (Financial Times)

Maybe, you never can tell though...

"Feel less than green? Buy back your pollution" - "It sounds simple. Buy a cross-country flight, and pay extra to "offset" the greenhouse gases generated by the airplane. Or buy a pair of skis -- and add 50 cents to your purchase to clean the environment, too. Just like that, you're carbon-neutral. A couple of years ago, most people had never even heard of a carbon footprint -- the amount of pollution generated through electrical use and travel. Today, it seems everyone from the Dave Matthews Band to Ford Motor Co. is throwing dollars at environmental firms that promise to help Americans go "carbon-neutral." (Seattle P-I)

And every last one of 'em is getting ripped off.

"Technologies could fill climate-change legislative gap" - "A recent EU-funded study shows that better use of technology can combat air pollution and lower the impact of those greenhouse gases not covered by the Kyoto Protocol." (EurActiv)

"UK parliament urges more tax breaks for biofuels" - "LONDON - Britain has fallen far behind its own target for increasing biofuel usage, and the government should consider extra tax incentives to encourage uptake of the renewable energy source, a parliamentary report said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Will there be enough corn?" - "Washington, D.C. - Iowa helps feed the country, and increasingly fuels the country's cars. The question is how long it can do both." (Des Moines Register)

Ah, the Duguids:) "Is a wind turbine worth the risk?" - "Congratulations on buying an EziBreze! The perfect present for your children's children! In just under three generations (based on normal usage and average to gale force winds) your Ezibreze will have paid for itself ... Making clean, free electricity all the way!" (Will Duguid, The Guardian)

"Green turns to gold in global warming battle" - "LONDON, Nov 17 - A green goldrush is under way in the hunt for low carbon technologies to beat global warming. Billions of dollars are involved, from trading in rights to emit greenhouse gases to funds supporting green technologies and backers of big projects like wind and solar farms. The stakes are high -- the planet's climate." (Reuters)

"Nuclear fusion: A necessary investment" - "World governments are about to sign off on the biggest and most expensive scientific experiment since the space station: a project to build an experimental nuclear fusion reactor. In this week's Green Room, the Iter programme's Director-General Nominee, Kaname Ikeda, argues that the considerable sums of money involved are a very worthwhile investment for the world." (Kaname Ikeda, BBC)

Hmm... "Hot, polluted days a deadly mix - study" - "SOARING temperatures and heavy pollution are a deadly mix for asthmatics and people vulnerable to heart problems, a study of hospital admissions has found. Australian research has found that the incidence of heart attacks, strokes and respiratory problems skyrocket on days that are both hot and polluted." (The Australian)

As I recall the results actually indicate high pollutant loads reduce the positive effect of temperatures rising above ~25 °C (77 °F), although I grant that just doesn't have the headline grab of the way this is expressed.

Uh-huh... "'Smart' homes to eat their rubbish" - "Chief scientist targets a zero-waste Britain to absorb the shock of global warming" (The Observer)

"Call for new 'green tax' on disposable goods" - "Shoppers should pay new "green" taxes on disposable and hard-to-recycle goods, according to a report by an influential think-tank." (London Telegraph)

The EU and their greenie mentors construct a ridiculous edifice of laws centralizing waste disposal while making it harder to do and then wonder why more rubbish is illegally dumped -- silly buggers.

"Scrap tires can be used to filter wastewater" - "Every year, the United State produces millions of scrap tires that clog landfills and become breeding areas for pests. Finding adequate uses for castoff tires is a continuing challenge and illegal dumping has become a serious problem throughout the nation. Dr. Yuefeng Xie, associate professor of environmental engineering at Penn State Harrisburg, has developed a method that uses crumb rubber to filter wastewater, which can help ease the tire problem and clean up the environment at the same time." (Penn State)

Fight between adherents of the same superstitious beliefs? "Thousand 'cleansing' fires anger Indian activists" - "KOLKATA - Hindus in India's West Bengal state began burning wood and herbs in over a 1,000 deep pits on Friday in a ceremony they said will heal the ozone layer and cure disease, drawing anger from green campaigners. Billowing smoke from 1,008 fires, which will blaze for three days, will wipe out parasites which cause outbreaks of dengue fever and malaria, local religious leaders said, and help boost the earth's natural defences. But environmentalists warned the thick blanket of smoke generated would only pose a serious health hazard and dismissed the beliefs as foolish. "The smoke will cause a deep haze and the ozone layer will only weaken with such foolish acts," Subhas Dutta, an activist warned. "Someone must stop this madness before it is too late." (Reuters)

A bit rich for Gaia nuts to be whining about other Earth worshippers and their cleansing and healing rituals, isn't it?

"It’s the Exhaust Fumes, Stupid" - "New car smell health scare stinks: Ecology Center study measures use of plastics not level in car air." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"30% of children, women die of malaria" - "ABOUT 30 per cent of death of children under the age of five and that of pregnant women in Nigeria are caused by malaria infection." (AFM)

"Canadian Red Cross protects children in Sierra Leone from malaria" - "OTTAWA, Nov. 17 - Canadian Red Cross is launching its sixth and largest Preventing Malaria in Africa campaign, protecting all children in Sierra Leone under five years of age from this deadly disease. Between November 20 and 26, with support from the Canadian Red Cross, over 4,000 volunteers from the Sierra Leone Red Cross will distribute 875,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated bed-nets, which will provide protection for up to four years." (CNW Telbec)

"Helen Hughes: Aid no place for preaching pop stars" - "Rockeconomics is no path to development and poverty reduction." (The Australian)

"Bumpy road for science" - "The American people voted for change and they voted for Democrats to take our country in a new direction," said a triumphant Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat poised to become speaker of the House. This might turn out to be a case of being careful what you wish for, lest it come true.

Not only is Mrs. Pelosi herself radical, but many of the powerful Democratic committee chairmen-in-waiting are members in good standing of what long-time, bipartisan presidential adviser David Gergen has called the "loony left."

Much of American commerce that depends on innovative science and technology will likely suffer in the new regime. From my days as an official at the Food and Drug Administration during the '80s and early '90s when the Democrats were in the congressional majority, I recall the incessant, uninformed and highly politicized meddling by prominent members of Congress. They did incalculable damage to science and technology and their regulation. And they're baaack." (Henry I. Miller, Washington Times)

Apparently not satirical... "Martha Rosenberg: We're drinking WHAT?" - "Look at photos of the gigantic udders on rBST treated dairy cows and it's not hard to imagine the artificial hormone's role in increasing U.S. rates of breast and prostate cancer, precocious puberty and obesity." (YubaNet)

"Implants and Science" - "It took 14 years, but science finally trumped politics Friday, with the Food and Drug Administration's lifting of its longstanding ban on silicone-gel breast implants. Women will at last be allowed to make their own decisions about cosmetic surgery. This is especially welcome news for mastectomy patients.

The FDA removed them from the market in 1992 during the reign of Commissioner David Kessler, a politically ambitious bureaucrat who was courting support from the left. The agency cited health concerns that have long since been debunked, and silicone-gel breast implants have since been at the heart of one of the trial bar's biggest scams. Class-action lawsuits raked in billions of dollars and drove implant makers out of the business. Dow Corning went into bankruptcy. Throughout it all, the trial bar was abetted by a gullible press, only too happy to ignore the science and play up sensationalist stories of supposed "victims." (Wall Street Journal)

"Food for flight: Monarch butterfly migration and forest restoration" - "US Forest Service (FS) research in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas suggests that decades of fire suppression have reduced the area's food supply for migrating monarch butterflies—and that restoration efforts that include prescribed burning can reverse this trend. Craig Rudolph and Ron Thill, research ecologists with the FS Southern Research Station (SRS), along with SRS ecologists Charles Ely, Richard Schaefer and J. Howard Williamson, report their findings in the latest issue of the Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society." (Southern Research Station - USDA Forest Service)

"Germany to fight fat with EU presidency" - "ISTANBUL - Slimming European waistlines will be a priority of the German EU presidency with a focus on obesity in the lower income population, Germany's deputy health chief said on Friday. Amid World Health Organisation (WHO) forecasts that one in five adults in Europe and Central Asia could be obese by 2010, Berlin said the problem will be prominent on its health agenda when it takes over the rotating EU presidency in January." (Reuters Life!)

"Buenos Aires lawmakers make fat their latest beef" - "BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Buenos Aires lawmakers are waging war on bulging waistlines -- ordering the city's famous steakhouses, cafes and ice cream parlors to offer a separate menu of healthy options. Argentines are proud of their food, but obesity rates are causing concern and a new health law is set to come into force in the capital's eateries in the next few months to encourage diners to choose low-fat, sugar- and salt-free options." (Reuters)

"The truth about food fraud" - "Is that tuna in your sandwich? Or was the fish in the can a different species altogether? Was the corn-fed, free-range egg you ate for breakfast actually battery-farmed? From careless labelling to outright deception, food fraud in Britain has reached epidemic proportions - and most of us have no idea what we're being sold. How can we sort the organic wheat from the GM chaff? Kate Ravilious uncovers the tricks of a very dirty trade." (London Independent)

Well, first self-defensive advice -- if you're being told "organic" is in any way superior you are being subjected to food fraud.

"Fifty Million Farmers" - "There was a time not so long ago when famine was an expected, if not accepted, part of life. Until the 19th century—whether in China, France, India or Britain—food came almost entirely from local sources and harvests were variable. In good years, there was plenty—enough for seasonal feasts and for storage in anticipation of winter and hard times to come; in bad years, starvation cut down the poorest and the weakest—the very young, the old, and the sickly. Sometimes bad years followed one upon another, reducing the size of the population by several percent. This was the normal condition of life in pre-industrial societies, and it persisted for thousands of years." (Richard Heinberg, Energy Bulletin)

"Genetically modified crops may get biofuels injection" - "THE growing emphasis on biofuels in Europe could pave the way for genetically modified grains to gain acceptance, according to Australia's leading farming body." (The Age)

"ARGENTINA: Residents Say 'Stop the Spraying!'" - "BUENOS AIRES, Nov 17 - Cultivation of genetically modified soybeans is expanding in Argentina, and with it, the use of herbicides. The "Paren de fumigar" (Stop the Fumigation) campaign warns against agro-chemical spraying in urban areas, as activists collect information about its impacts in order to denounce it." (Tierramérica)

"GM cottonseeds could feed world’s starving millions" - "SCIENTISTS have genetically modified the cotton plant’s naturally toxic seeds to turn them into a potential food source for millions of people. Researchers have found a way of reducing gossypol, a powerful toxin in the seeds, to a negligible level that allows them to be consumed by humans. At present they are thrown away or fed to cows." (The Sunday Times)

"Annan Warns of 'Catastrophic' Biotech Danger" - "ST. GALLEN, Switzerland - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned that potential dangers from the rapidly growing biotechnology industry were increasing exponentially and urged creating global safeguards." (Reuters)

"India: Increase in acreage indicates its popularity" - "Genetically modified crops have been at the centre of agriculture, public policy and public debate during the last 10 years of their commercial existence in the world. Perhaps the most violently debated technology that is ever used in agriculture." (Financial Express)

November 17, 2006

"No Beef to Breast Cancer Scare" - "'Breast cancer risk linked to red meat, study finds,' headlined the Washington Post's front page last Tuesday. 'Younger women who regularly eat red meat appear to face an increased risk for a common form of breast cancer, according to a large, well-known Harvard study of women's health,' began the Post's report." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Ovarian cancer rates lower in sunny latitudes" - "NEW YORK - Women in the sunnier regions of the world have a much lower risk of ovarian cancer than those who dwell in colder climates, a new study has found. The findings, say researchers, suggest that sun exposure -- and, more precisely, vitamin D production in the body -- help prevent this cancer." (Reuters Health)

It's actually taking rather a long time to undo some of the collateral damage wrought by the embellishments and outright rubbish distributed by ozone/sunshine hysterics. Your skin's synthesis of vitamin D from its cholesterol precursor is powered by sunshine and this is undeniably a good thing to do since vitamin D is known to be protective against various cancers, bone disorders and other morbidities and mortalities. Avoid burns and hysterics, not sunlight.

"UK: Those who walk under trees are at risk from these terrorising inspectors" - "The Health and Safety Executive has become a monster out of control. It is the Guantánamo Bay of defensive administration." (Simon Jenkins, The Guardian)

"Plastic-bag ban, 'jobs will be at risk'" - "ENVIRONMENT Minister Carwyn Jones has been accused of being badly-informed about plastic bags - and warned that his idea of banning them in supermarkets could cost Welsh jobs." (Western Mail)

We have to wonder...

... when all the weird and wonderful artificial construct of "global warming" will come crashing down, as inevitably it must.

From two largely disconnected facts:

  • that the world is apparently a bit warmer now than it was in the early 19th Century and for some centuries before and;
  • that human activity has increased the atmospheric level of the essential trace gas, carbon dioxide, along with a few other minor players in the greenhouse game

we have constructed an enormous and complex risk scenario.

The measured global mean temperature change is really quite trivial, from an estimated 287.0 kelvins (K) in the latter 19th century to perhaps 287.6 K at the end of the 20th Century according to the IPCC, although this is smaller than apparent measurement error (at least some portion of it is likely factual). We have no reason to suspect the apparent warming over this period is anything other than beneficial (it certainly beats the harsh winters and failed crops of the era known as the Little Ice Age).

Since the Industrial Revolution atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen from about 0.028% of the atmosphere to about 0.038%. This is sufficient to raise global mean temperature by about 0.15 K and the per unit effect of adding more carbon dioxide is diminishing as the atmosphere approaches complete opacity in the appropriate infrared wavebands.

That's about it.

Against or on top of these relatively insignificant facts we have plastered layer upon layer of "if," "could," "might" and "maybe" magnifier effects in computer models to produce scary scenarios and alarming outputs. These same models then have to cancel significant amounts of this imaginary warming by yet more fantastic schemes and scenarios that we do not even know to be physically possible in order to claim to be able to reproduce past measured reality. Even then they are at best exercises in "wiggle fitting" tuned to emulate a specific result. The 16 "most trusted and stable" models produce a range of roughly 285-290 K for their guesses at Earth's mean temperature without messing with changes in solar or greenhouse forcing. The likes of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies' state of the art model, Model E (of James Hansen fame), is out by sufficient wattage in the tropics that it must presumably be "flux adjusted" to avoid crashing into an ice age, unless the fact that it overcooks the world in huge slabs west of the continents (who put that tropical sea in the Bering Strait?) and ridiculously heats significant portions of the continents to such an extent that it balances out -- kind of. It does not, however, represent the real world in any meaningful fashion. Climate models are process models, they help us untangle the processes we have observed. They are not of any known value forecasting the future. How could they be when they employ climate sensitivities 5-10 times larger than that observed in the real world?

This is a very silly game of a few mildly interesting facts spun into a massive scare industry. Sooner or later the entire unstable edifice must come crashing down for the foundation is virtually nonexistent.

The science is settled? In the pretend realm of computer modelers, maybe but in the real world, we're not even close.

This could be fun: "Weird Science Getting New Respect, Just in Case" - "Some weird science is getting serious looks by leading climate experts who say it would be folly not to prepare emergency measures to try to stop global warming in its tracks. This is going on despite the well known risk of unintended consequences whenever humans meddle with nature." (ABC News) | Could smog protect against global warming? (Associated Press)

Can't wait to see the reaction when someone proposes irradiating the lower troposphere to exploit the Svensmark Effect, increase albedo, cool the planet and alleviate droughts -- all at once. Wonder if we could get a grant to study that? Sure not the silliest proposal...

All this angst and hand-wringing based on nothing more than the output of climate models with zero known prognostic skill trying to estimate the effect of a potential increase of less than 4 Watts per meter squared from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide when these same models have known errors of ~50 Watts per meter squared over huge chunks of the planet and make a total hash of handling clouds and moisture.

What is Wrong with Politically-Motivated Research? (Prometheus)

Merger Of Air Quality Studies and Weather And Climate Research (Climate Science)

"Forest fires may lead to cooling of northern climate: Brighter, snowy surface offsets impact of greenhouse gases, UCI study finds" - "Irvine, Calif. -- Countering hypotheses that forest fires in Alaska, Canada and Siberia warm the climate, scientists at UC Irvine have discovered that cooling may occur in areas where charred trees expose more snow, which reflects sunlight into space." (University of California - Irvine) | Fires in far northern forests to have cooling, not warming, effect (University of Florida)

For the following reports and more: U.S. Climate Policy Puts Action Over Image; Kofi Annan Apparently Uncertain About Global Warming; "Africa's Schoolchildren Should Not Have to Study by Candlelight" says African-U.S. NGO Coalition; COP-12 Report: Fear From Crime Trumps Fear from Climate Change; COP-12 Report: Environmentalists in Nairobi Issue Dire Predictions of Drought Even as Rain Falls on Conference; COP-12: Surviving the Carbon-Neutral Life (National Center for Public Policy Research)

"Al Gore rains on his party" - "AL GORE flies in to warn about global warming and -- he's done it again! -- Victoria gets snow in November." (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Queensland to Al: Go away! "Cold snap brings snow to Sunshine State" - "FOR the first time in recorded history today snow fell in Queensland in November as the nation's eastern states continued to experience strange and unseasonal weather. A cold pool of air that had brought winter back to southern states moved north over the border ranges, bringing snow to the Sunshine State for the first time in more than 60 years." (The Australian)

"Record cold in Australia" - "Eastern Australia hasn't seen this November cold for 100+ years: it was the coldest November day in a century. Recall that "November" in Australian can be translated as "May" in the British or U.S. English. ;-) Nevertheless, they have had mushy snow in Canberra, a blast of Antarctic magic. A goosepimply, teeth-chattering Sydney has another reason to shake its collective head at the weather gods today.

In spite of the records, enlightened and concerned journalists immediately explain us that the cooler weather and fewer hurricanes do not lessen global warming trends because weather is not climate, just like religion is not faith. ;-) The climate and the climate change are not only independent of the weather but they are independent of all other things that can be measured, too." (Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame)

"Global warming: Tibet's lofty glaciers melt away" - "Research by scientists shows that the ice fields on the roof of the world are disappearing faster than anyone thought." (London Independent)

Oops! "Himalayan Glaciers Resist Melting - Chinese Scientist" - "BEIJING - Glaciers in the Himalayas have not drastically shrunk despite global warming and are unlikely to melt away in coming decades, a Chinese scientist said. Zhang Wenjing, glacier expert at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, discounted previous forecasts that glaciers across western China could disappear in decades or the Himalayan glaciers could melt away 50 years, Xinhua news agency reported. "Those predictions may be excessively pessimistic," he said. "So far glaciers in the middle and eastern part of the Himalayas have not shrunk on any large scale." (Reuters)

"Warming Arctic trying to keep its cool, study finds" - "An international team of scientists Thursday reported that rising temperatures were steadily transforming the Arctic — warming millions of square miles of permafrost, promoting lush greenery on previously arid tundras and steadily shrinking the annual sea ice. Yet the researchers also found new patterns of cooling ocean currents and prevailing winds that suggested the Arctic, long considered a bellwether of global warming, may be reverting in some ways to more normal conditions not seen since the 1970s." (LA Times)

"Democrats press Bush to reverse course on global warming" - "WASHINGTON: Three Democratic senators poised to head committees grappling with global warming pressed President George W. Bush for mandatory U.S. limits on greenhouse gases. In a letter to Bush on Wednesday, Sens. Barbara Boxer, Jeff Bingaman and Joe Lieberman said voters in the election last week demanded that the government reduce America's heat-trapping greenhouse gases that are contributing to the Earth's warming." (Associated Press)

Statement by Chairman of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) at a press conference on Capitol Hill: "Thank you for joining us today. As you know, we had an election last week in the U.S. Many of you might be thinking that the Democrats’ razor thin majority means that global warming legislation is somehow going to sail through the next Congress. Well, I can assure you that will not happen. I look forward to leading the effort in the Senate to oppose any such legislation and am confident we will prevail." (US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works)

"US senator calls UN climate meeting 'brainwashing'" - "WASHINGTON, Nov 16 - The U.S. Senate's most vocal global warming skeptic, James Inhofe, on Thursday dismissed a U.N. meeting on climate change as "a brainwashing session." Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who will step down as chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee in January, told a news conference, "The idea that the science (on global warming) is settled is altogether wrong." (Reuters)

"Atomic Warming" - "The secretary-general of the United Nations gets around to making a serious statement on the state of the planet, but the statement turns out to be just plain silly. But he's not the only one making it. Addressing the U.N.'s annual climate change conference in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday, Kofi Annan said global warming is as much of a threat as weapons of mass destruction. We suppose we could dismiss the silly statement as that of a world figure playing to an audience on his way out of office. But we've heard the same statement too often from other supposedly rational leaders to brush it off." (IBD)

Political peacocks strutting the Kyoto stage: "Campbell upsets China with greenhouse gas claim" - "Australia has upset Chinese delegates at the Climate Change Conference in Nairobi with claims the Asian giant is set to become the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases. A press release from Australia's Environment Minister, Senator Ian Campbell, asserts the Kyoto protocol fails to curb China's greenhouse gas emissions. China has responded by pointing out Australia emits more greenhouse gases than China per head of population." (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

II: "French minister slams Canada's Kyoto retreat" - "Environment Minister Rona Ambrose spent another day on the defensive at the UN Climate Conference as her French counterpart slammed Canada for abandoning emissions-cutting targets under the Kyoto protocol. "I am very disappointed at Canada's retreat. I hope it is temporary," French Environment Minister Nelly Olin said Thursday. "It's a shock for us, a shock for all who support Kyoto. And above all, it's a shock, I think, for the Canadians who I think are generally supportive of Kyoto." (CBC News)

III: "Editorial: Kyoto discord" - "Just in time for the first major blizzard of the year, Canada has received the Fossil of the Day Award. The insulting tribute came from a previously unheard-of-in-these-parts outfit called the Climate Action Network. Yet the anti-Conservative media was giving this group all the legitimacy of the Nobel Peace Prize committee in its cynical attempt to score a "gotcha" on Edmonton-Spruce Grove MP and federal Environment Minister Rona Ambrose.

What incredible rubbish. And to rank Canada just ahead of Kazakhstan, because Ambrose has quite correctly rejected the fairy-tale targets of the deeply flawed Kyoto greenhouse-gas emissions accord, is just plain dumb." (Edmonton Sun)

Dopey blighters... California Plots Greenhouse-Gas Strategy (Wall Street Journal)

"Carbon storage eyed in new US-Australian climate change projects" - "NAIROBI - The United States and its ally on the global warming issue, Australia, added new projects, including carbon storage, to a bilateral initiative on climate change, according to a press statement." (AFP)

"INTERVIEW - Next Kyoto Climate Goals May be Longer - UN Expert" - "NAIROBI - Some nations favour targets of up to 10 years for deeper cuts in greenhouse gases beyond 2012 to give industry longer-term certainty, the head of a key committee at UN climate talks said on Thursday. Environmentalists, however, favour sticking with five-year periods in any extension of the UN's Kyoto Protocol for fighting global warming, saying politicians will not keep promises made years ago by another government." (Reuters)

"UK: Turn up the heat" - "Climate change has already led to lots of talk. Now it may be starting produce action as well. The Queen's speech included plans to legislate against rising carbon emissions, Britain's response to what the UN secretary general described this week as "an all-encompassing threat" to the world. In the Commons, all the main parties say they back legislation. So there will be a law. But what it says, and so what it might achieve, remains an open question." (The Guardian)

Doesn't matter what it says or intends, it sure won't make any predictable adjustments to global temperature or climate.

"No 10 gets ready to resist rebellion over 'toothless' pollution controls" - "DOWNING Street has made an early attempt to face down a backbench rebellion over its flagship Bill on climate change. Critics say that the Bill will be toothless without a commitment to annual reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. But yesterday officials dismissed such an approach as unworkable. They attacked the Conservatives for getting “quite fixated” on setting yearly goals and said that policy would not be dictated by a political bandwagon." (London Times)

"CLIMATE CHANGE: Latin America Failing to Adapt" - "MEXICO CITY - Latin America and the Caribbean are not prepared to confront the problem of global warming, to which the region is contributing with growing emissions of greenhouses gases, says a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)." (IPS)

"Sand dams: low-tech weapons against climate change" - "Sand dams and raised water pumps that dig deeper into the ground were just a couple of the low-tech ways of dealing with the consequences of climate change presented in Nairobi, Kenya recently. Nearly 500 delegates took time off from the main programme of the annual UN conference on climate change to discuss the importance of preparing for global warming's inevitable effects, including longer periods of drought and more severe flooding." (NewScientist.com news service)

New Scientist somewhat dishonestly refers back to Ocean heat store makes climate change inevitable. We now know those models are not even close because continued measure shows the oceans were already cooling before these model runs were even completed. No matter what spin advocates may want to put on it the oceans have yielded back roughly one-fifth of all heat accumulated since 1955 and have done so in just a few years. That's not a "global warming speed bump" as NASA attempted to spin it, but an apparent unpredicted trend reversal with cooling 5 times more rapid than prior estimated warming.

"Pollution Penalties for the US?" - "EU climate policy is gearing up to confront the US. Imports from countries that refuse to ratify the Kyoto Protocol could be subject to punitive tariff duties -- a new measure intended to pressure the Bush Administration. A climate tax on flights may also be introduced." (Der Spiegel)

You have to give points to AGW advocates for managing to rebrand an essential trace gas "pollution" -- a most prodigious effort.

Carbon Offsetting: Does it Work? (Reuters)

As in predictably affecting global climate? No.

"Talks On Post-2012 Kyoto Format Hit Political Snag" - "Efforts to deepen action against climate change struggled against political obstacles on Thursday, the penultimate day of marathon UN talks to address the world's most pressing environmental threat. Negotiators battled for consensus among industrialised countries over the shape of a poker game, due to start next year, on future commitments for cutting greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol, delegates said." (AFP)

"Rich, Poor Nations Wrangle on Global Warming" - "NAIROBI - Rich and poor nations wrangled on Thursday about how to widen a fight against global warming beyond 2012 to salvage UN talks on combating what many delegates call one of the biggest threats to life on the planet." (Reuters)

"India Presses Nuclear Case for Uranium With Australia" - "SYDNEY - India's finance minister on Thursday pressed Australia's prime minister to give India access to the country's uranium, arguing it needs nuclear power if it is to reduce carbon emissions." (Reuters)

Indeed, why wouldn't the developing world exploit the Wealthy West's ecochondria?

"Natural Political Gas" - "Congress will return for one more lame-duck go-round after Thanksgiving, and if it wants an easy victory for the U.S. economy it'll whip through the offshore drilling bill that has passed the Senate and awaits action in conference.

The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, crafted by New Mexico's Pete Domenici, would open 8.3 million acres of the Outer Continental Shelf to oil and natural gas drilling. The bill doesn't go nearly as far as we or many in the House would like, but it's the best opportunity for new U.S. energy exploration in years.

While this Gulf acreage is known to hold oil reserves, the real significance is its bonanza of natural gas. Unlike the global oil market, most natural gas is produced regionally. Short supplies and high prices are punishing American industry, causing plant closures and job flight overseas. It is one of the larger economic messes in recent history, yet the political class barely mentions it -- perhaps because the politicians have done more than anyone to cause it." (Wall Street Journal)

"Microorganisms one part of the solution to energy problem, says report" - "The answer to one of the world's largest problems – the need for clean, renewable sources of energy – might just come from some of the world's smallest inhabitants – bacteria – according to a new report, Microbial Energy Conversion, released by the American Academy of Microbiology" (American Society for Microbiology)

"Tilting at windmills" - "The clean-energy business is turning into the next big investment boom, in which risks are lightly brushed aside." (The Economist)

"LATIN AMERICA: Kids Pay Dearly for Lack of Clean Water" - "MEXICO CITY - In Latin America and the Caribbean, one-third of childhood deaths are the result of diarrhoea. The problem could be resolved with clean water and appropriate sanitation systems, but millions of people, especially the indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, lack access to either." (IPS)

"Pressured by predators, lizards see rapid shift in natural selection" - "CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Countering the widespread view of evolution as a process played out over the course of eons, evolutionary biologists have shown that natural selection can turn on a dime -- within months -- as a population's needs change. In a study of island lizards exposed to a new predator, the scientists found that natural selection dramatically changed direction over a very short time, within a single generation, favoring first longer and then shorter hind legs." (Harvard University)

November 16, 2006

Somewhat bizarre stretch: "Exposure to dioxins influences male reproductive system, study of Vietnam veterans concludes" - "DALLAS – Nov. 16, 2006 – A dioxin toxin contained in the herbicide Agent Orange affects male reproductive health by limiting the growth of the prostate gland and lowering testosterone levels, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in a cohort study of more than 2,000 Air Force veterans who served during the Vietnam War." (UT Southwestern Medical Center)

Veterans with higher TCDD levels suffer less frequently from enlarged prostates is what they actually found. They did not discover any other meaningful association.

"Red Meat Increases Risk of Breast Cancer -- or Does It?" - "Should women stop eating red meat to avoid or lessen the risk that they'll develop breast cancer? Taken at face value, a new study suggests that might be a good idea -- but a more careful consideration does not support this interpretation." (Ruth Kava, ACSH)

"Obesity could hit economies as hard as malnutrition" - "ISTANBUL - Obesity could knock economic output as severely as malnutrition, which shaves as much as 3 percent off production in the poorest countries, a World Bank specialist said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"EU resists calls for junk food ad regulation" - "ISTANBUL - European Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou defended on Wednesday self-regulation of junk food advertising, despite calls from the WHO and others for tighter rules on commercials aimed at children." (Reuters)

JunkScience.com welcomes a new blog: "Junkfood Science" - "The truth about food, fat and health. Learn the science that mainstream media doesn't report and how to critically think about the junk they do that's not fit to swallow." (Sandy Szwarc, RN, BSN, CCP)

The redoubtable Sandy Szwarc has joined the blogosphere. Why not click on in and check out the day's weighty issues?

"Pattern of human Ebola outbreaks linked to wildlife and climate" - "A visiting biologist at the University of California, San Diego and her colleagues in Africa and Britain have shown that there are close linkages between outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in human and wildlife populations, and that climate may influence the spread of the disease." (University of California - San Diego)

That's climate as in drought may force stressed animals into close proximity around limited water resources and so opportunity for infection is increased while resistance is lowered.

"Biased information" - "I've spent a quarter century in the Senate and as governor working for enlightened development of Alaska's tremendous resources: oil and gas, other minerals, vast forests, abundant fish and wildlife and land suitable for agriculture. However, responsible use of resources is too often opposed by environmentalists. Information is often selectively presented to give a biased view against development. Such information is used in a bewildering array of regulations and laws to stop legitimate resource use." (Frank Murkowski, Washington Times)

Imagine that, people before critters... "Wildlife Law Adds to Woes of India's Tigers" - "NEW DELHI — A new Indian wildlife law offers too much protection to people living in forests and threatens to further undermine efforts to save an endangered population of tigers, conservationists said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

Yet another desperate release to coincide with CoP12: "Global Warming Reduces Polar Bear Survival" - "Researchers for the first time have shown a connection between global warming and decreased polar bear survival." (Newswise)

What they really found was some temperature association with polar bears' southern occasional pack ice range (when there's no ice there it's not part of the bears' occasional pack ice range -- duh!).

Look out! Insomniac bears! "Warm weather wrecks Russian bears' winter slumber" - "Nov 15, 2006 — MOSCOW - Insomniac bears are roaming the forests of southwestern Siberia scaring local people as the weather stays too warm for the animals to fall into their usual winter slumber. The furry mammals escape harsh winters by going to sleep in October-November for around six months, but in the snowless Kemerovo region where the weather is unseasonably warm, bears have no desire yet to hibernate." (Reuters)

Documentation Of Surface Temperature Observation Sites in Mongolia (Climate Science)

Stalagmite Story (WCR)

Looking Away from Misrepresentations of Science in Policy Debate Related to Disasters and Climate Change (Prometheus)

"Seattle's wettest November: We're awash in a sea of global climate change -- and it's not over yet" - "Many records are fun, or at least interesting: The most hotdogs consumed in 12 minutes, biggest pumpkin, longest toenails. But the most rain ever in what is usually the Northwest's wettest month? Even for mossy natives, it's a little too much to swallow.

Although the recent storms can't be blamed on global warming, "the fact that we've been getting more of them, and they're getting more frequent, is consistent with climate change," Salathe said.

Many local researchers have a sunnier outlook. They said they have little confidence in predictions about our future rainfall. The current models, scientists said, aren't good enough for that kind of speculation." (Seattle P-I)

"Consistent with climate change"? What isn't when they've predicted hotter/colder/wetter/drier/everything-elser?

"A warm and fuzzy feeling" - "Yes, the world is getting warmer, but the Earth does this roughly every 1,500 years, and we cannot stop it. The good news is humans and most other species tend to do better during the warm periods." (Richard W. Rahn, Washington Times)

"Solar activity during the last 1000 yr inferred from radionuclide records" - "Abstract: Identification of the causes of past climate change requires detailed knowledge of one of the most important natural factors—solar forcing. Prior to the period of direct solar observations, radionuclide abundances in natural archives provide the best-known proxies for changes in solar activity. Here we present two independent reconstructions of changes in solar activity during the last 1000 yr, which are inferred from 10Be and 14C records. We analyse the tree-ring 14C data (SHCal, IntCal04 from 1000 to 1510 AD and annual data from 1511 to 1950 AD) and four 10Be records from Greenland ice cores (Camp Century, GRIP, Milcent and Dye3) together with two 10Be records from Antarctic ice cores (Dome Concordia and South Pole). In general, the 10Be and 14C records exhibit good agreement that allows us to obtain reliable estimates of past solar magnetic modulation of the radionuclide production rates. Differences between 10Be records from Antarctica and Greenland indicate that climatic changes have influenced the deposition of 10Be during some periods of the last 1000 yr. The radionuclide-based reconstructions of past changes in solar activity do not always agree with the sunspot record, which indicates that the coupling between those proxies is not as close as has been sometimes assumed. The tree-ring 14C record and 10Be from Antarctica indicate that recent solar activity is high but not exceptional with respect to the last 1000 yr." (Quaternary Science Reviews)

"U.S. rejects Annan plea to cut greenhouse gases" - "NAIROBI - Washington rejected pleas by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and dismissed his charge that there was a "frightening lack of leadership" in combating global warming." (Reuters)

"Climate change: Key countries stick to old stances despite UN appeal" - "Key countries in the fierce debate over tackling climate change struck familiar negotiating stances on Wednesday, despite warnings from UN chief Kofi Annan that goodwill and fresh action were desperately needed." (AFP)

"Australia can force US to act on climate: Gore" - "FORMER US vice-president Al Gore believes Australia is uniquely placed to force the US to face its responsibility to act on climate change." (The Australian)

Australia has more US domestic political clout than the man a literal heartbeat from the US Presidency? Ozone Al planted a worthless scrawl on a treaty appendage that Byrd-Hagel ensured could never be presented to the Senate for ratification expressly because no caps were proposed for emerging economies. The Protocol was known from day one to be completely useless for the purpose it was allegedly designed to serve - it encourages movement of energy intensive industries to unregulated regions where simple logistics of energy supply dictate that net global emissions will rise rather than fall and, even if by some serendipitous means emissions fell by the desired amount, could not restrain guesstimated global mean temperature increase by any magnitude that we can measure. It's a stillborn crock - get over it.

"Canada Says Committed to Kyoto but Goals Very Hard" - "NAIROBI - Ottawa is strongly committed to the UN's Kyoto Protocol but it will be very hard for Canada to achieve promised cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases, Canadian Environment Minister Rona Ambrose said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Climate change: Canada's domestic dispute spills into UN arena" - "A bitter national row over Canada's policy on climate change erupted at a UN conference here Wednesday, when Environment Minister Rona Ambrose accused the previous Liberal-led governments of sloth and grandstanding." (AFP)

"London's early festive lights turn greens into grinches" - "All that extra electricity is going to bring heat – not peace – on earth, say British environmentalists. Bah humbug, say the retailers." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Homes Dangle on English Cliffs as Global Warming Erodes Shore" - "Happisburgh illustrates the decisions U.K. authorities face: where to build defenses to protect the coast and where to let nature take its course. With global warming forecast to hasten the sea's encroachment, the government estimates that 140 billion pounds ($267 billion) of homes, roads and businesses are at risk." (Bloomberg)

This erosion has been going on for thousands of years but now it's due to AGW?

"UK: Miliband denies cabinet split over climate bill" - "David Miliband today denied a cabinet rift over the government's climate change bill, claiming reports of a clash with chancellor Gordon Brown were "ridiculous". Speaking to Guardian Unlimited, the environment secretary insisted the government would not be outflanked by the Tories on the environment as he insisted that the UK was seen as a world leader in tackling climate change." (Guardian Unlimited)

Yet another layer of bureaucracy: "UK: Climate bill sets carbon target" - "A climate change bill will make the UK government's long-term goal of a 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 a legally binding target. The bill, outlined in the Queen's Speech, will also establish a "Carbon Committee" to ensure the target is met. But it makes no reference to annual CO2 reductions targets, which opposition parties and environmentalists deem necessary to tackle global warming." (BBC)

"Swiss step up calls for global CO2 tax" - "Swiss President Moritz Leuenberger has called for the introduction of an international tax on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to fight global warming." (swissinfo)

"Climate change: US objects to French tax proposal" - "The United States on Wednesday set down an early marker of objections to a French proposal for an EU carbon tax on industrial products from countries that refuse to join the Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gases from 2012." (AFP)

"Pay It Forward" - "What can carbon markets do for economic development?" (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

"Germany Weighs Tougher 2008-12 Emissions Caps" - "NAIROBI - Germany expects by the end of this month to have a clearer idea of how much it will tighten limits on greenhouse gas emissions from 2008-2012, Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"HK: Caution urged in greenhouse gas regulation" - "Secretary for the Environment, Transport & Works Dr Sarah Liao says the Government must fully consider Hong Kong's affordability before evaluating the need to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from specific industries." (HK Gov.)

"EU to hit airlines with unilateral CO2 emission caps" - "Airlines flying into and within Europe are to be hit with EU CO2 emissions rules by 2011 under Brussels proposals to be tabled on December 20. Leaks of draft legislation come as environment commissioner Stavros Dimas intervenes in UN climate change talks held in Nairobi on Wednesday. He is pushing for more action to combat climate change on the world stage after 2012, when existing Kyoto targets expire." (EUpolitix)

"EU flights in green tax plan" - "Airline passengers will have to pay £27 in green taxes for each return flight landing in the EU, regardless of their origin or destination, under new plans set to infuriate American operators." (London Times)

"Aviation industry alarmed at EU's proposed emission rules" - "The aviation industry voiced concern Wednesday at European Commission plans to hit airlines with carbon dioxide emissions rules from 2011. All airline flights leaving or entering the European Union would have to respect carbon dioxide emission rules from 2011, according to the draft proposal, which will be presented on December 20 by the EU's executive arm. The draft, which has been obtained by AFP, says that aircraft operators "will be able to buy allowances from other sectors in the Community scheme for use to cover their emissions" over their allocated limits." (AFP)

"Honda to Start U.S. Leasing of Fuel-Cell Cars in California" - " Honda Motor Co., Japan's third- largest automaker, plans to make California as its first U.S. market for leasing fuel-cell cars to individuals, taking advantage of the state's plans for a hydrogen-fuel network." (Bloomberg)

"Oil expert doesn't see supply crisis soon" - "Study says world's reserves are triple the estimate of theorists." (Sacramento Bee)

"Imperial's oil sands project under attack" - "Ottawa — Imperial Oil Ltd. has come under fire for proposing a new oil sands project that opponents say will be among the country's worst greenhouse gas emitters, even as the federal government faces increasing pressure to toughen its approach to climate change." (Globe and Mail)

"Ontario Urged to Keep Coal-Fired Power Plants Open" - "TORONTO - The Ontario Power Authority, which is responsible for carrying out Ontario's energy plans, recommended Wednesday that the province keep half its remaining coal-fired power stations open for another eight years." (Reuters)

"Netherlands Seeks Cheaper Renewable Energy Policy" - "THE HAGUE - The Dutch government wants to introduce a more cost-efficient way of promoting renewable energy as the previous system of subsidies was too expensive, Economy Minister Joop Wijn said in Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Asia Coal-to-Liquids Faces More than Cost Constraint" - "SINGAPORE - Countries looking at developing coal-to-liquids projects should be net energy importers with state backing, ideally with deregulated fuel prices and no carbon constraints as well as large coal and water resources, an executive said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"France's Royal Says Nuclear Share Should be Lowered" - "PARIS - France's socialist presidential hopeful Segolene Royal on Wednesday said the high share of nuclear power in the French electricity mix should be gradually lowered to allow a place for more renewable energy." (Reuters)

"Edge density key to controlling gypsy moth spread" - "Controlling population peaks on the edges of the gypsy moth range may help to slow their invasion into virgin territory, according to a team of researchers. "Slowing the spread of the gypsy moth is a priority in forest management in the U.S.," says Ottar Bjornstad, associate professor of entomology and biology, Penn State. "Understanding the underlying patterns in the spread of invasive species is important for successful management." (Penn State)

"Lemurs' fur color may not define species" - "Different coat colour might not correspond to different species for nocturnal lemurs. In a study published today in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, researchers find that lemurs that appeared to belong to different species because they have strikingly different coat colours, are in fact genetically related and belong to the same species." (BioMed Central )

"Rare Indian Bamboo Bloom Brings Rats, Threatens Crops" - "GUWAHATI, India - Tribal villagers in India's Mizoram state are killing hundreds of thousands of rats as the rodents, drawn by the rare flowering of a wild bamboo, devour rice fields. Hordes of rats have swept through the forests of Mizoram, feasting on the fruits of wild bamboo, which flowers every 48 years. As they gorge on the small, green fruits, their population is soaring. In areas where they have finished off the fruits, the rats have turned their attention to farmers' crops." (Reuters)

"Monsanto: giant of the $6.15bn GM market" - "Last year marked the first decade of the commercialisation of genetically modified crops and the planting of the billionth GM acre. The global market for such seeds and traits – the GM portion of the technology added to seed – is growing at 10 per cent a year as farmers increasingly look to protect crops from insect damage and disease." (Financial Times)

"Groups seek ban on engineered trees" - "UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 15 -- Environmental groups urged United Nations treaty signers to bar genetically engineered trees from the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions." (UPI)

"Greenpeace calls for protection of rice" - "Genetically modified crops, including rice, are dangerous and governments and research institutes across the world should concentrate on the protection of the world's most important staple food, a new report says." (Press release)

"Tamil Nadu farmers destroy genetically-modified rice crop" - "Alandurai village (Tamil Nadu), Nov 11: Farmers in Tamil Nadu have raised a stink about the necessity for field trials of genetically-modified rice, and destroyed the crops at the testing site in Alandurai village. The protesting farmers claim that genetically-modified crops will pollute the environment will be poisonous for human consumption." (ANI)

"Scientists set 'Five Grand Challenges' for nanotechnology risk research" - "WASHINGTON, D.C.--Fourteen top international scientists in the field of nanotechnology have identified Five Grand Challenges for nanotechnology risk research that must be met if the technology is to reach its full potential. Their findings are the subject of a major paper published in the November 16th issue of the journal Nature." | Specter of possible harm threatens nanotech development, experts say (Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies)

November 15, 2006

"Liberia: Malaria Remains Number One Killer" - "The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, says malaria remains the number one killer disease in the county, accounting for 47 percent of the country's total death rate." (The Inquirer (Monrovia))

"Penises in Peril!" - "Cosmetics are getting the meth treatment from the media. But when it comes to warning about the connection between nail polish and penile problems, the old journalistic adage still applies: show, don’t tell." (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Red meat link to breast cancers" - "Eating large amounts of red meat may double young women's breast cancer risk, a study suggests." (BBC)

Low-Fat Diet Myth Busted; No Beef Behind Red-Meat Cancer Scare

Tell me the old, old story (Number Watch)

"Chocolate 'offenders' teach science a sweet lesson" - "Some "chocoholics" who just couldn't give up their favorite treat to comply with a study to test blood stickiness have inadvertently done their fellow chocolate lovers - and science - a big favor. Their "offense," say researchers at Johns Hopkins led to what is believed to be the first biochemical analysis to explain why just a few squares of chocolate a day can almost halve the risk of heart attack death in some men and women by decreasing the tendency of platelets to clot in narrow blood vessels." (Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions)

Holier than thou crowd make bazillions by... polluting: "Film industry pollution clogging skies over Hollywood: study" - "Hollywood is responsible for creating an unwanted special effect in the skies above Los Angeles: pollution, new research published Tuesday showed. A study by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Institute of the Environment said the film industry was responsible for sending 140,000 tonnes of pollutants into the atmosphere every year. Ozone and diesel emissions from trucks and generators used on movie sets as well as pyrotechnic explosions for special effects all contributed to the layer of smog that hangs over Los Angeles." (AFP)

Mercury mania: "EU Lawmakers Put Mercury Thermometers out in Cold"  -"STRASBOURG - European Union lawmakers voted on Tuesday in favour of an EU-wide ban on mercury in thermometers in a bid to cut the risk posed by the toxic heavy metal to humans, the ecosystem and wildlife." (Reuters)

"Ancient Crash, Epic Wave" - "Did catastrophe fall from above in 2807 B.C.? Mega-tsunamis following meteor impacts left their mark, researchers say." (New York Times)

"Boxer plans Senate hearings on global warming" - "WASHINGTON - Automakers and manufacturers, beware: There's a new environmental policy boss in town, she scowls a lot, and two of her favorite phrases are "global warming" and "extensive hearings." (McClatchy Newspapers)

"Why the next Congress will be 'greener,' but only by a few shades" - "Fiscal restraints and newly elected moderates make radical changes in environmental policy unlikely, activists predict." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Figures. Now an extinct bird threatens development: "Conservationists And Pilots File Suit Against FAA's $331-million Florida Panhandle 'Airport To Nowhere'" - "WASHINGTON (November 14, 2006) -- The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) recent approval of a new Florida Panhandle airport violated federal law, according to a suit filed today by two conservation organizations and a Panama City, Florida, pilots group." (NRDC)

Eek! Global warming! "Keppel Island coral reefs 'completely' dead" - "HARD coral on a large network of shallow reefs near Keppel Island have been completely killed off, Central Queensland University researchers confirmed yesterday. Marine biologist Alison Jones said that instead of monitoring this year's coral spawning event she had witnessed widespread coral bleaching. "(It) resulted in 100 per cent mortality of all hard coral species on the reef flats at Middle, Shelving, Monkey, Miall and Halfway reefs," she said. "Even anemones were bleached white." (The Courier-Mail)

Um... not really:

"We think that this may have been caused by a coincidental heavy downpour and extreme low tide just after midnight on Friday, November 3.

The deeper corals were untouched and sections of reef that had good current movement survived because the fresh water would have been quickly mixed with seawater.

A synthesis study... "Global warming increases species extinctions worldwide" - "AUSTIN, Texas -- Global warming has already caused extinctions in the most sensitive habitats and will continue to cause more species to go extinct over the next 50 to 100 years, confirms the most comprehensive study since 2003 on the effects of climate change on wild species worldwide by a University of Texas at Austin biologist. Dr. Camille Parmesan's synthesis also shows that species are not evolving fast enough to prevent extinction." (University of Texas at Austin)

... and the extinctions are synthetic since, as far as I'm aware, not one species is known to have plunged into extinction due to the 0.6 ± 0.2 °C temperature increase believed to have occurred since the late 19th Century.

Evidence Of The Role Of Aerosols In Altering Regional Weather Patterns (Climate Science)

"Greens sue Bush administration over global warming report" - "SAN FRANCISCO - Environmentalists sued the Bush administration Tuesday for failing to produce a report on global warming's impact on the country's environment, economy and public health. The lawsuit seeks to compel the U.S. Climate Change Science Program to issue the national assessment, which should contain the most recent scientific data on global warming and projections for its future impacts. The plaintiffs claim the government must complete such a report every four years under the Global Change Research Act of 1990." (Associated Press)

Indoctrination special: "Scholars learn to communicate plainly the science of climate change" - "The Woods Institute for the Environment this month launched the Inter-University Scholars Training Program to improve understanding and communication between university researchers and California policymakers working on climate change." (Stanford Report)

Yes, that Stephen Schneider.

An Assessment of Kyoto and Emerging Issues for the 12th Conference of the Parties: Europe's Performance, California Dreaming, Trade Wars and Waiting for Godot [.pdf] (Christopher C. Horner European Enterprise Institute)

"Canada Says it Remains in Kyoto Climate Pact" - "MONTREAL - A Canadian cabinet minister insisted on Tuesday that Ottawa has not abandoned the Kyoto Protocol, but he reiterated the Conservative government's position that the country cannot meet its emissions targets." (Reuters)

"China Defends Record on Fighting Global Warming" - "BEIJING - China defended itself on Tuesday against charges it is not doing enough to fight climate change, as a government think-tank said global warming was shrinking glaciers and exacerbating water shortages in the parched country." (Reuters)

"EU says radical changes to emissions trading will wait until 2013" - "BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Commission said Monday that any radical changes to its carbon dioxide emissions trading program would have to wait until 2013." (Associated Press)

"Environment ministers gather for three-day climate wrangle" - "Environment ministers from around the world were gathering in Nairobi on Wednesday for three days of talks aimed at stepping up action against the peril of climate change. Ministers or their stand-ins at the 189-nation meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are under pressure to spell out their commitments for deepening cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions. The spotlight is being placed on Brazil, China and India -- big-population developing countries whose carbon pollution has surged in line with their economic growth." (AFP)

"Discussing Climate Change In Kenya" - "World leaders meet to discuss improbable solutions to a questionable problem that may not be solvable." (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

Bizarre disconnect: "Call to cut gas emissions for poor to benefit" - "Developing countries will have to continue suffering the effects of greenhouse gas emissions until a worldwide reduction level is achieved.

Africa especially has been a victim of climate chaos caused by greenhouse gas emissions from industrialised countries, delegates attending a climate change conference in Nairobi heard.

Speaker after speaker at a sideline meeting at the All Conference of Churches offices noted that developing nations were also facing energy problems such as lack of electricity and high-poverty levels." (Daily Nation)

"U.N. talks seek extended Kyoto 'as soon as possible'" - "NAIROBI - A U.N. climate change conference has reaffirmed a goal of agreeing an extension of the Kyoto Protocol on curbing global warming "as soon as possible" beyond 2012 but without setting a deadline." (Reuters)

"Uganda: 'Return Our Forest'" - "It was an act of defiance when Henry Tekei and his Ndorobo tribesmen over-ran a protected forest reserve in eastern Uganda last April and hacked down thousands of trees planted by a Netherlands-based firm. "No one should say that we don't respect the forest," says Henry Tekei, controlling the anger in his voice as he points up to the strikingly green Mount Elgon National Park, where tribesmen axed the trees in a four-month destruction spree. They cut the trees not to disrespect the forest, but to reclaim land they had lived on for generations, he says." (PANOS)

Funny, doesn't look like they want their homes turned into a carbon credit farm for wealthy developed worlders.

"Disasters losses may top $1 trillion/yr by 2040-UN" - "NAIROBI, Nov 14 - Losses from extreme weather could top $1 trillion in a single year by 2040, a partnership of the United Nations Environment Programme and private finance institutions (UNEP FI) warned on Tuesday. Speaking at a major U.N. climate meeting in Kenya, they said the estimated cost of droughts, storm surges, hurricanes and floods reached a record $210 billion in 2005, and such losses linked to global warming were seen doubling every 12 years. "This is an unequivocal statement by 15 of the largest financial institutions: Climate change is now certain," Paul Clements-Hunt of UNEP FI told a news conference." (Reuters)

Climate change is always certain -- it's anthropogenic influence that's uncertain, dopey. As far as disaster losses go, this isn't even linked to "climate change" but simply an extrapolation of cost trends.

"More Climate and Disaster Nonsense" - "Debunking nonsense related to disaster losses and climate change is getting to be a full time job. The latest misleading information is uncritically reported by Reuters and comes from a report commissioned by UNEP." (Prometheus)

Really? "Disease outbreaks blamed on climate change" - "NAIROBI, 14 November - Climate change is to blame for health problems such as increasing epidemics of malaria and water-borne diseases in Africa, heat wave-related deaths in Europe and the high incidence of cerebral-cardiovascular conditions in China, specialists said on Tuesday while calling for appropriate public-health responses to tackle the problem." (IRIN)

If that's from allegedly warm conditions how was the associated reduction in cold-related deaths?

"Global Warming Triggers North Sea Temperature Rise" - "The North Sea's water temperature rose to a record average of 2.4 degrees Celsius in October compared to the same period between 1963-1993 in the latest climate-change spinoff, a new German study found Tuesday." (AFP)

"Climate insurance urged for poor" - "The UN wants insurance companies to help protect the world's poor against the impacts of climate change." (BBC)

Reality check: "Carbon Reduction or Poverty Reduction, Not Both" - "NAIROBI - Immediate steep global reductions in the emissions of the chief greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, turn out to be a fantasy. This was made plain by a panel discussion today which featured the release of a report by the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies. The panel aimed to outline the "economic case for action on climate change, but the realities of global poverty overwhelmed it." (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

"Climatologists hit the skies to talk global warming" - "A group of climate scientists from the UK's Met Office have flown to Nairobi to meet colleagues from around the world to discuss climate research and present their most recent findings.

However, nowhere in the government announcement of the visit is there a calculation of the amount of carbon that will be produced by sending all these climatologists to Nairobi, when they could all have stayed home and had a video conference instead. Tch tch." (The Register)

"No excuse for soft climate change laws" - "The Government's new climate change policies will fail unless they have real legal bite, says an environmental law expert." (Michael Woods, London Times)

On the basis of Al's "movie" and the Stern Review...

If you say it often enough? "US climate change efforts 'vital'" - "Environment Secretary David Miliband has said it is "absolutely vital" that the US is at the centre of global efforts to overcome climate change. President George W Bush could leave "no greater legacy" than working with the Democrats, who now control Congress, on environmental protection, he said. The US created 25% of global emissions and had to be "part of the solution." (BBC)

Miliband is typically misinformed (or full of it) since the IPCC suggests humans collectively are responsible for less than 2.6% of global carbon emissions and that was before we found trees and vegetation are significant methane emitters. How could the US be "responsible" for 10 times more than humans collectively? And what happened to the great North American carbon sink as reforestation means more carbon blows onshore than blows offshore from continental North America? The U.S. may not even be a net contributor to global carbon emissions at all.

"US 2005 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rise 0.6 Percent - Govt" - "WASHINGTON - The amount of US greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming that were released into the air increased 0.6 percent last year, but fell in intensity when based on economic output, the government said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Silly buggers: "UK: Labour aims high on CO2 reduction to avoid backbench revolt" - "The government has moved to head off a potential backbench rebellion over its climate change bill by promising five-year targets to cut British carbon dioxide emissions, and suggesting that an independent commission - rather than ministers - would set the targets." (The Guardian)

"Blair shuns yearly targets to reduce carbon emissions" - "The Government is to set five-yearly targets for reducing Britain's carbon dioxide emissions in an attempt to head off the mounting pressure for a law to enforce year-on-year cuts." (London Independent)

"Australia gets heated over French global warming threat" - "Australia hit back at France Wednesday over its threat to impose a tax on industrial goods from countries that ignore the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Prime Minister John Howard described the plan as "silly", while the mass-circulation Daily Telegraph headlined its report: "Back off, Frogs". Running across a picture of a French nuclear bomb explosion in the Pacific in 1971, a subheading read: "The French did this to our backyard and they have de Gaulle to attack us on Kyoto." (AFP)

"Al Gore: I have a big ally - reality" (New Zealand Herald)

Really Al? Any chance you're likely to get in touch with it?

"Global warming: An alternative view" - "Vulnerability to nature is, unfortunately, characteristic of life for most Africans. Millions of people live in conditions of poverty, malnutrition and disease, and are vulnerable to natural disasters and weather-related events like floods and droughts.

At the UN’s global warming conference in Nairobi, activists and government agencies are touting these problems as evidence that the continent is already experiencing the devastating effects of global warming.

The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that water will be drastically affected by the earth’s rising temperatures, especially through a decline in rainfall on the African sub-continent. This, it is alleged, will cause more droughts and damaging floods, resulting in threats to water supplies, harming agriculture, human health and the natural environment.

Yet current predictions of adverse effects of global warming on water supplies, floods and droughts on the African continent are completely unfounded, both in theory and measurement." (Will Alexander, Daily Nation)

Darn Drought Data (WCR)

From CO2 Science this week:

Holocene History of Glacial Activity in the Swiss Alps: What does it suggest about 20th-century global warming?

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

Subject Index Summary:
Aquatic Plants (Marine - Macroaglae): Does atmospheric CO 2 enrichment benefit marine macroalgae?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Common Water Fern, Corkscrew Vallisneria, Rice, and Water Hyacinth.

Journal Reviews:
Galactic Cosmic Rays, Clouds and Climate Change: Are the related? ... and if so, how?

Past Solar Effects on Climate: How significant were they? ... and what do they imply about recent global warming?

The Indian Summer Monsoon-Solar Activity Link: How strong is it?

Some Responses of Black Spruce Seedlings to Elevated CO 2 : What are they, and what do they imply about the productivity of such plants in a CO 2 -enriched world of the future?

Eight Years of Free-Air CO 2 Enrichment of Loblolly Pines: Are the growth-promoting effects of atmospheric CO 2 enrichment decaying with the passage of time? (co2science.org)

"Nuclear Power Concerns Cloud US Emissions Benefits" - "NEW YORK - Nuclear power may help the United States cut greenhouse gas emissions one day, experts said, but the industry first must overcome high costs and concern about potential accidents." (Reuters)

"MIT math model could aid natural gas production" - "CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--MIT engineers have developed a mathematical model that could help energy companies produce natural gas more efficiently and ensure a more reliable supply of this valuable fuel. The researchers are now collaborating with experts at Shell to apply the model to a natural gas production system in Malaysia." (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

"US Muni Bonds Fund Groundbreaking Methane Plant" - "NEW YORK - US suppliers of renewable energy are tapping the high-yield municipal bond market to help pay for novel plants that turn cow manure into methane, refine it into natural gas and sell it to utilities via pipelines." (Reuters)

"Japan: Bioethanol projects slowly gathering speed" - "An attempt to introduce a mixture of bioethanol and gasoline as an automobile fuel has started across the nation. The scheme aims to make bioethanol a substitute for oil resources; prevent global warming; and help develop agriculture and forestry." (Yomiuri Shimbun)

"Europe Seeks to Impose Airline Emission Controls" - "PARIS, Nov. 14 — In a move to raise the stakes in global environmental policy, the European Commission said Tuesday that it would seek to impose emissions controls on all flights in and out of Europe, according to a draft of a proposed law. The proposed policy could drive a wedge between Europe and its trading partners, who are wary that the push for tighter standards could mean higher costs for carriers. The United States government, along with many airlines, favors a global system that avoids regional variations. They are likely to bristle at the prospect of a costly new regulation on carriers." (International Herald Tribune)

"London Targets Gas-Guzzlers with Congestion Charge" - "LONDON - Drivers of gas-guzzling cars could be charged 25 pounds a day to enter the central London congestion zone, under an emissions-based scheme put forward by mayor Ken Livingstone." (Reuters)

November 14, 2006

"Bush to host summit on malaria" - "WASHINGTON -- The White House will hold a summit next month seeking strategies for combating malaria, a largely preventable disease that kills 3,000 children every day and claims nearly a million lives a year in Africa." (AP)

"Blue Ribbon Campaign Launched by Malaria Foundation International to End Malaria" - "Stone Mountain, GA, November 13, 2006 -- Who could object? Malaria finally has a symbol representing the fight against this deadly disease, which kills 3,000 people each day. Business leaders and community groups are called to action. This is no longer a silent disease. “We are gaining momentum, and no one will want to be left out. Everyone counts who is suffering from this disease, and everyone counts who can help rid the world of this scourge”, said Dr. Mary Galinski, Founder and President of the Malaria Foundation International (MFI) and a Professor of Medicine and Global Health at Emory University, Atlanta GA." (PR.COM)

"Malaria still major cause of death" - "LETLHAKANE - Malaria remains a major cause of ill health, disability and death in the SADC member states says local government minister Mr Ambrose Masalila. Speaking during SADC malaria commemoration at Rakops in the Boteti Sub-district Mr Masalila said more than 21 million people got sick from malaria each year and about 300,000 die of malaria annually.

In response to the development of insecticide resistance, he said the SADC ministers of health, during their meeting last year in South Africa underscored the importance of the use of DDT as a primary preventive strategy to address malaria in the region. He told the audience that DDT was used in Botswana to combat malaria from 1950 until 1970, adding that the reason for discontinuation was not because it was banned in the country, but was as a result of lack of suppliers following the campaign by environmentalists against DDT." (Botswana Press Agency (BOPA))

"Malaria poses additional risks for first-time mothers" - "One of the consequences of malaria has been shown in new research to be an increased likelihood for women in their first pregnancy to develop preeclampsia (very high blood pressure and protein loss in the urine), which carries high risks for both mother and child." (Public Library of Science)

"Hormone linked to brain's cravings for food and other energy sources" - "Ghrelin, a hormone produced in the stomach, induces food intake and operates through a brain region that controls cravings for food and other energy sources, researchers at Yale School of Medicine report in the October 19 online issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Ghrelin was previously associated with growth hormone release, appetite, learning, and memory and has now been linked with the reward circuitry of the brain that regulates food cravings." (Yale University)

"Everyone's going conkers" - "Will a traditional, 'nutty' rite of British childhood fall to modern 'antirisk' culture?" (The Christian Science Monitor)

"ESSP launches project on the effects of global environmental change on human health" - "(Beijing, 10 November 2006) -- The Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) today launched a new research initiative on "Global Environmental Change and Human Health (GECHH)". The project, co-sponsored by the World Health Organisation, aims to create an international network of researchers who can identify and quantify health risks posed by global environmental change, and develop adaptation strategies that are cost effective for reducing health risks." (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research)

"Lewis and Clark data show narrower, more flood-prone river" - "A geologist at Washington University in St. Louis and his collaborator at Oxford University have interpreted data that Lewis and Clark collected during their famous expedition and found that the Missouri River has markedly narrowed and its water levels have become more variable over the past two hundred years.

This narrowing, or channeling, created by wing dikes and levees constructed mainly in the 20th century, has put the Missouri River at an increased risk of more damaging floods, the authors say. They blame the fact that the river cannot spread out as it did naturally at the turn of the 19th century, thus forcing water levels higher. River narrowing also leads to greater fluctuation in day-to-day and seasonal water level height which may be partly to blame for declines in river wildlife, especially shallow-water spawning fish, birds nesting on sandbars, and wetland vegetation." (Washington University in St. Louis)

"World's Forests are Making a Comeback - Study" - "WASHINGTON - Many of the world's forests appear to be making a comeback, and some are more thickly forested now than they were nearly 200 years ago, a new study reported on Monday. The United States and China had the greatest gain in forests over the last 15 years, while Brazil and Indonesia lost the most, according to the study published in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." (Reuters) | End of deforestation in view? Experts advance new way to size up global forest resources (University of Helsinki)

"Scientists fear climate change will hurt efforts to fight fires" - "SAN DIEGO – Some scientists fear global warming could stoke ferocious wildland fires in parts of the world, disrupting fragile ecosystems and hampering efforts to protect communities." (AP)

"Studies Find Danger to Forests in Thinning Without Burning" - "MISSOULA, Mont. — Thinning forests without also burning accumulated brush and deadwood may increase forest fire damage rather than reduce it, researchers at the Forest Service reported in two recent studies." (New York Times)

"The striking deep current reversal in the tropical Pacific Ocean" - "Scientists are currently seeking to describe ocean circulation and improve on data acquired, aiming to identify the physical mechanisms that regulate climate variability. The impact of the ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) event on the climatic situation in the southern Pacific Ocean is still not well known, for instance. In two oceanographic cruises run in October 1999 and April 2000 as part of the IRD's ECOP programme, the Institute's researchers were able to study this region and, in particular, the ENSO. The latter has a determinant effect on the distribution of ocean water masses, ocean/atmosphere exchanges in the tropical southern Pacific and many anomalies of climate that occur on the continents that border the Pacific. Physical determinations of currents and masses of water under transport were made from the surface down to 1 200 m over a large area, 1700 km in length, along the Equator (between the Equator and 10° S latitude, between 165° and 180° E longitude), using a Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (L- ADCP) (2) installed aboard R/V Alis, the IRD oceanographic research vessel." (Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement)

Poor ol' Moonbat: "This is a dazzling debunking of climate change science. It is also wildly wrong" - "Deniers are cock-a-hoop at an aristocrat's claims that global warming is a UN hoax. But the physics is bafflingly bad." (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

I haven't done more than quickly eyeball his diatribe so I don't know if he buried some facts in there or not. The reason I didn't devote any effort to it (or get to the end of it) is that he republishes this false impression:

Most importantly, "the UN repealed a fundamental physical law", doubling the size of the constant (lambda) in the Stefan-Boltzmann equation. By assigning the wrong value to lambda, the UN's panel has exaggerated the sensitivity of the climate to extra carbon dioxide. Monckton's analysis looks impressive. It is nonsense from start to finish.

Sorry George, whether Monckton wrote it badly or not (I didn't look) climate models do use seriously flawed lambda values and guesses about future climate states are based on them, rendering model-generated guesses about future climate states utter rubbish:

  • the textbook derivation of steady-state greenhouse: G = σ(Ts4 - Te4) = σTs4 - OLR = 390 - 240 = 150 Wm-2 where G is the global average greenhouse effect, σ is the Stefan-Boltzmann Constant, Ts = 288 K, Te = 255 K and OLR signifies Outgoing Longwave Radiation, delivers a figure of 150 Wm-2 (our ΔF) and net warming of 33 °C (ΔTs).
  • from the IPCC Third Assessment Report (Equation 6.1): "The climate sensitivity parameter (global mean surface temperature response ΔTs to the radiative forcing ΔF) is defined as: ΔTs / ΔF = λ.
  • the S-B-derived blackbody climate sensitivity, λ (lambda), is then 0.22 K/Wm-2, as per IPCC TAR Eq. 6.1
  • Earth is not a perfect blackbody and various feedbacks distort the response
  • substituting the values from Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget (Kiehl and Trenberth, 1997) produces a λ value of ~0.1 K/Wm-2, as does using values derived by Professor Roger Pielke, Sr. and this is in agreement with the sensitivity derived by Idso in eight natural experiments described in CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic’s view of potential climate change
  • Earth then responds at less than half the rate of a perfect blackbody
  • climate models use 0.75 ± 0.25 °C per Wm-2, λ values 5-10 times greater than empirical measures support
  • Hansen (and GISS model E) prematurely claimed support for these extreme values in Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications, releasing Earth’s Energy Out of Balance: The Smoking Gun for Global Warming -- bad idea
  • continued measurement showed model E was incorrectly dumping heat into the modeled oceans at a rate of more than 0.8 Wm-2 when it should have been removing it at about -1.0 Wm-2 (a net error greater than the estimated ΔF from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide since the Eighteenth Century), destroying the claim of agreement between model and real world.

The modeling fraternity (a.k.a. "virtual worlders") like to claim this is a naïve exercise because it "ignores feedbacks," presumably the sulfate aerosols they like the claim are hiding the warming that would otherwise occur in accord with their models. On the contrary, using the real world response actually includes real world feedbacks which, unlike the models' amplification factors, are actually a net negative tending to suppress the enhanced greenhouse effect. The Argo project is showing that the oceans are not, in fact, "hiding" the "missing" heat that "should" be building up from enhanced greenhouse and comparison of empirical measure with modeled Earth response shows one set to be wildly inaccurate. Which, do you suppose? More detail available here.

We know you're trying to flog your book on global warming George but models have zero demonstrated prognostic ability and your trying to muddy the waters about blackbody and graybody radiation don't make them any better.

"For Clues on Climate, Seeing What Packrats Kept" - "Large nests, known as middens, provide a picture of historical temperature shifts in the Southwest." (New York Times)

"Lifestyles of the Ethical Consumer" - "Recently, the celebrity gossip blog, DMZ, took a swipe at celebrities “who claim they’re green, but guzzle gas”. George Clooney, among others, was mocked for his ‘I drive an electric car so I’m environmentally conscious—except when I’m flying to Tokyo in my private jet’ hypocrisy. But besides delivering a smacking to self-righteous celebrities, such an expose illustrates the sizable gap that exists between the attitude and behavior of “ethical” consumers." (Isaac Post, Townhall.com)

"Congress to Address Global Warming, NASA" - "Washington's view of global warming, alternative energy and the future of the space program may change under the new Democrat-controlled Congress." (UPI)

"Environmentalists See Boon in US Congress Power Shift" - "WASHINGTON - US environmentalists see a bonanza for green issues like sustainable energy and the push to mitigate global warming coming with the shift in Congress toward eco-friendly Democrats." (Reuters)

Indeed, it will be most interesting to see what actions they take, if any, regarding the "planetary emergency" of "global warming." You'll know whether the Democrats actually believe any of this tripe by whether they upset voters with whopping carbon (read: energy) taxes or whether they keep their eyes firmly fixed on the 2008 Presidential elections and dance around the "issue."

"Environmentalists, Though Winners in the Election, Warn Against Expecting Vast Changes" - "WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 — Last week’s election whipsawed the Congressional committees that are crucial battlegrounds for environmental and energy legislation. But even many environmentalists believe that an ambitious new agenda is unlikely." (New York Times)

"Political Science" - "One of the investigations Democrats may mount is whether the Bush administration is muzzling global warming scientists. Meanwhile, Democrats try to muzzle those who think the debate isn't over." (IBD)

"Consensus is Nonsensus in Scientific Matters" - "The concept of consensus means little more than a majority of opinions on a given matter. In politics this is the best we can do in making decisions to proceed with political actions. In the scientific world consensus is meaningless, and often unscientific, and worse, often wrong. Even the act of seeking such a consensus as a form of proof is not science." (Michael R. Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

"New UN Children’s Book Promotes Global Warming Fears to Kids" - "Nairobi, Kenya – A new United Nations children’s book promoting fears of catastrophic manmade global warming is being promoted at the UN Climate Change Conference in Kenya. The book's main character, a young boy, is featured getting so worried about a coming manmade climate disaster that he yells “I don’t want to hear anymore!” The new children’s book, entitled “Tore and the Town on Thin Ice” (http://www.unep.org/PDF/TORE.pdf) is published by the United Nations Environment Programme and blames “rich countries” for creating a climate catastrophe and urges children to join environmental groups." (US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works)

"David Miliband: Denial won't halt global warming" - "THE debate is over. For many years, sceptics of the Kyoto protocol used to base their objections on the science of climate change. But when the scientific evidence became overwhelming, many shifted their ground to economic criteria. They argued that action on emissions was too costly and should be left to the future when new technologies would make it easier." (The Australian)

Curious, repetitious false claims created it...

"Britons Convinced About Global Warming" - "Many adults in Britain believe climate change is a reality, according to a poll by YouGov published in the Daily Telegraph. 85 per cent of respondents believe global warming is taking place at the moment. In addition, 38 per cent of respondents believe the issue calls for immediate steps, while 49 per cent think more work should be done to understand it." (Angus Reid Global Monitor)

TV Interview “Global Warming Week: Issue politicized” (Climate Science)

CO2 Emissions Link to Temperature Trends: A Quandary? (WCR)

"Report to offer climate change evidence" - "NAIROBI, Kenya - A long-awaited report by an international scientific network will offer much stronger evidence of how man is changing Earth's climate, and should prompt balky governments into action against global warming, the group's chief scientist said Monday. The upcoming, multi-volume U.N. assessment - on melting ice caps and rising seas, with authoritative new data on how the world has warmed - "might provide just the right impetus to get the negotiations going in a more purposeful way," Rajendra K. Pachauri said in an interview midway through the annual two-week U.N. climate conference." (Associated Press)

Wonder if that'll include information from project Argo? Since coming online Argo data has reversed the sign of estimated ocean heat storage and effectively destroyed the "smoking gun for global warming."

Obligatory eye-roller: "Global Warming Could Wipe out Most Birds -- WWF" - "NAIROBI - Unchecked climate change could drive up to 72 per cent of the world's bird species into extinction but the world still has a chance to limit the losses, conservation group WWF said in a report on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Warming is draining Canada's rivers, lakes" - "NAIROBI, Kenya - Canada is being especially hard hit by climate change and its freshwater reserves are in danger, a study released today by two environmental groups warns, giving Environment Minister Rona Ambrose something else to deal with as she steps onto the international stage at a United Nations climate-change conference to sell her government's plan to fight global warming." (Canadian Press) | Global warming threatens Canada hydro power, oil exports: report (AFP)

Good excuse to raise premiums (and margins): "Climate Change Means Big Business for Reinsurers" - "ZURICH - Climate change is boosting business for reinsurers, as rising claims from floods and storms mean higher costs but also more scope to raise prices, the world's biggest reinsurer Swiss Re said." (Reuters)

"Sweden tops climate change efforts, U.S. near bottom, environmentalists say" - "NAIROBI, Kenya — Sweden, the United Kingdom and Denmark are doing the most to protect against climate change, but their efforts are not nearly enough, according to a report released Monday by environmental groups." (AP)

Yeah, that'll help... "McCain heads overseas to observe global warming effects" - "Arizona Sen. John McCain will visit Greenland, Turkey, Georgia, Montenegro and Italy as part of a Senate delegation headed overseas during Congress' summer break. McCain and the other Republican senators want to observe the effects of global warming while in Greenland. They also will attend an A-list economic and political conference at a swanky northern Italian resort." (The Business Journal of Phoenix)

"Some animals won't adapt to climate change" - "In a fascinating study appearing in the November issue of The American Naturalist, biologists investigated the response of small animals to climate change on a remote sub-Antarctic Island. From an evolutionary standpoint, acclimatizing to a change in circumstances seems to make evolutionary sense. However, Steven Chown and Jacques Deere (both of Stellenbosch University) found that terrestrial animals don't adapt. Why not?" (University of Chicago Press Journals)

"Climate change creates dramatic decline in red-winged black bird population" - "URBANA -- Global warming strikes again. A University of Illinois researcher reports that a red-winged black bird population in Ontario, Canada has decreased by 50 percent since 1972. The decrease is related to a positive shift in the North Atlantic Oscillation which has resulted in warmer, wetter winters in the southeastern United States." (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

"The decrease is related to a positive shift in the North Atlantic Oscillation ..." -- probably not what most people have in mind when you mention "climate change."

"Global warming isolates Canadians in far north" - "TORONTO, Ontario -- Aboriginal communities in Ontario's far north are becoming increasingly isolated as rising temperatures melt their winter route to the outside world and impede their access to supplies." (Reuters)

"Climate change action must include peatlands" - "The degradation of peatlands from logging, drainage or fires in South-East Asia is a huge yet neglected source of carbon dioxide emissions, the main gas responsible for climate change, warns a new report. It is therefore crucial that these emissions be included in strategies to tackle climate change, says the report released by Wetlands International at the UN climate talks currently underway in Nairobi, Kenya." (SciDev.Net)

"U.N. eyes climate change plan for Africa" - "NAIROBI - U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan will announce a two-year plan to help Africa respond to global warming when he speaks to an international climate change conference in Nairobi on Wednesday, a U.N. source told Reuters." (Reuters)

"UN Global Warming Treaty Restrictions Would Spread Misery and Poverty in Africa, Policy Groups Say" - "Nairobi, Kenya - Citing the harm the United Nations' global warming treaty brings to developing nations, The National Center for Public Policy Research and the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) are distributing "Kyoto Protocol Survival Kits" containing items that symbolize life in an energy-restricted world at the United Nations Global Warming Conference in Nairobi." (Press Release)

"ANALYSIS - UN Climate Fight Seen More Flexible after 2012" - "NAIROBI - A UN-led fight against global warming is likely to be more flexible after 2012 in hopes of enlisting outsiders such as the United States and China, delegates at UN climate talks say." (Reuters)

"Kyoto deal on HFC funding delayed to 2007 -UN" - "NAIROBI, Nov 14 - Delegates at a U.N.-backed climate change conference have deferred a deal to allow new refrigerant plants in China and India to get lucrative funding under the Kyoto global warming pact, a U.N. official said. "China, Brazil, Argentina and the European Union could not reach agreement," the official said on Tuesday, adding the next conference in 2007 would take up the issue. Existing refrigerant plants produce as a by-product the super greenhouse gas HFC 23, but under Kyoto carbon trading rules factory owners can sell lucrative carbon credits by destroying this gas." (Reuters)

"Germany Vows Crackdown after Emissions Rise" - "BERLIN - Breaking vows to cut greenhouse gas emissions, German industry has actually been pumping more pollution into the atmosphere and will face tougher scrutiny, Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Monday." (Reuters)

"French PM Proposes Taxing States that Shun Kyoto" - "PARIS - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin proposed on Monday introducing punitive taxes on imports from countries that refused to sign the UN's Kyoto Protocol, which is aimed at curbing global warming." (Reuters)

"Green policies will hurt economy, says BA" - "British Airways has warned that businesses will quit Britain if the battle against global warming dictates the government's aviation policy and plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport are delayed." (The Guardian)

"EU Seeks to Expand, Strengthen CO2 Trading Scheme" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union sought to advance its emissions trading system on Monday, saying it would look at adding greenhouse gases and lengthening trading periods to make the scheme more effective at fighting climate change." (Reuters)

"Australia: Howard leads push for carbon trading" - "JOHN Howard moved last night to take the lead on creating a global emissions trading system, establishing a taskforce to find ways of reducing greenhouse gases without damaging Australia's economy. Stressing that he would not accept a "new Kyoto that damages Australia", the Prime Minister said: "We need a new Kyoto that includes Australia, but includes Australia on a basis which is appropriate to our interests and our needs." (The Australian)

"Near-term EU carbon prices fall away" - "Recent sharp falls in prices for EU carbon emissions allowances (EUAs) for the first phase of the EU ETS have accelerated this week, reaching levels rarely seen since the early days of the market in the first months 2005. Prices for contracts in the second phase beyond 2007, however, are holding their ground. The emphasis is now quickly shifting towards this end of the market, where the real carbon play begins under the Kyoto commitment period.

The price of benchmark Dec 06 EUAs has now fallen €7, or more than 40 per cent, on the European Climate Exchange over the past two months. The Dec 07 contract has seen even steeper falls, closing yesterday at around the €9.70 level." (carbonpositive)

"Emissions trading permits will lose value in a year, says dealer" - "Prague, Nov 7 - The prices of emissions trading permits on carbon dioxide will slump in a year on excess supply and the end of the first allocation plan in 2007, Jan Pravda, chief executive at emissions dealer Pravda Capital, said at a conference today.

"I suppose the price will drop to EUR 2 per permit or even lower. A very conservative estimate is that the probability is 80 percent," he added." (CTK)

"What will we do when America’s lights go out?" - "Soon after the widespread blackouts of 2003, the Electric Reliability Organization was etablished, and it recently issued its first report. That report makes for grim reading because the nation’s electric power infrastructure is on the brink of collapse. Misguided environmental regulations, green obstructionism and the NIMBY (Not-in-my-backyard) syndrome have combined to delay the construction of desperately needed new power plants and transmission lines. The result is an infrastructure that will soon be unable to meet the demands of the American economy. Policy makers must act now to re-empower America." (Iain Murray, The Washington Examiner)

"It heats. It powers. Is it the future of home energy?" - "Residential 'micro-combined-heat-and-power' units are efficient furnaces that create electricity." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"US to Publish New Efficiency Rules for Appliances" - "WASHINGTON - The US Energy Department will impose stricter energy-efficiency standards for 22 categories of appliances over the next 5 years as part of a court settlement made public Monday." (Reuters)

"Tyson Foods Wants to Turn Animal Fat into Fuel" - "CHICAGO - The largest US meat producer, Tyson Foods Inc., produces 2.3 billion pounds of animal fat a year and the company thinks that could be turned into fuel, Tyson officials said Monday." (Reuters)

Hosing down extravagant claims: "Australia: Reserve rejects one-in-1000-year drought claim" - "THE Reserve Bank has thrown cold water over claims that the drought is the worst in 1000 years or even 100, pointing out that drought was more widespread as recently as 2002. More of the country was also struck by the droughts of the 1980s and 1940s, and the average rainfall this year has been above the level in many previous droughts." (The Australian)

"Rain capture answer to water woe" - "Rainwater harvesting could prove a cheap, easy solution to Africa's water woes, according to a UN report. Scientists found enough rain falls in some countries to supply six or seven times the current need, and provide security against future droughts. A pilot project in a Kenyan Maasai community has improved supplies and done away with the daily trek to collect river water." (BBC)

"Developing uses for sugar-cane bagasse: Biotechnology applied to the paper industry" - "The principal raw material used for manufacturing paper pulp is wood. However, growing demand in the paper industry, at a time of dwindling forest resources, have compelled the sector to turn to other sources of raw materials, such as cereal straw, reeds, bamboo or sugar-cane bagasse. This residue, obtained after crushing of the cane, is already used as a source of paper-making fibres in producer countries (in South America and India for example, where it represents 20 % of the paper production). The industry absorbs 10% of the world bagasse production. This material offers several advantages: rapid growth of the sugar-cane plant, widespread cultivation, lower energy and bleaching chemical requirements for bagasse refining. Such a process is also a convenient means of usefully clearing this voluminous sugar refinery waste product: indeed, one tonne of refined sugar results in two tonnes of bagasse. However, whatever the raw material used, paper pulp has to undergo processing stages of delignification and bleaching to turn it into high-strength and durable paper. In some countries the chemical processing involved still entail the use of chlorine, dangerous for both health and the environment." (Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement)

"India: Bt cotton bubble set to burst: Experts" - "Even though the Indian biotech industry is gung-ho over the success of Bt cotton in the last four years, crop scientists caution that in another few years the genetically-modified crop would not be able to kill the dreaded bollworm. As the success of Bt cotton relies on its pesticide-producing capabilities, it would become useless if the bollworm develops resistance against the toxin. And apparently, that’s happening in some regions of Gujarat, where illegal Bt cotton cultivation has been going on for the last six years with hardly any governmental control." (Deccan Herald)

"Green Activists Board Ship in Protest" - "Three activists from the international environmental organization Greenpeace on Monday chained themselves to a cargo ship carrying more than 5,000 tons of genetically modified soya en route from Amsterdam to St. Petersburg. Greenpeace has been campaigning in the past several years for a complete ban on production of GM soya." (The St. Petersburg Times)

November 13, 2006

"Why Consensus In Malaria Policy Is a Killer" - "Last week the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership, a coalition of multilateral organizations whose aim is to halve malaria by 2010, joined World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz in musical concert at the Bank to remind the public that the disease is still the leading killer of African children. They called upon development experts and anti-malaria advocates to "Unite Against Malaria," a disease which kills at least a million people worldwide each year. Yet RBM is unlikely to revive its failing campaign by demanding consensus." (Roger Bate, TCS Daily)

"SADC Ministers meet on Malaria" - "Windhoek, 12 Nov Namibia will next week host a five-day annual Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Health Ministers meeting. The meeting is scheduled to take place from 13 to 17 November 2006 under the theme "Scaling up Indoor Residual Spraying (IRHS) with Dichloro-Diphenyl Triethane DDT", reported local news agency Nampa." (Prensa Latina)

"Enemies of science" - "Spin doctors and government agencies are undermining the quest for knowledge." (The Guardian)

Not convinced modern media are exactly "allies of science" but prepared to take this at face value.

"Mothers with poor diets put babies at higher risk of asthma" - "Pregnant women who lead a couch potato lifestyle are condemning their unborn children to an increased risk of asthma in later life, scientists believe. Two studies will show that levels of vitamin D in mothers-to-be have a pronounced effect on the chances of their children developing the condition. Experts believe that a lack of vitamin D, found in foods such as oily fish and boosted by exposure to natural sunlight, hinders the development of the child's lungs and immune system while in the womb. They fear that the offspring of pregnant women whose lifestyle consists of languishing in front of the television and eating unhealthy food are most at risk." (London Telegraph)

"EFSA urges action on food labels to fight obesity" - "MILAN - The European Union needs to speed up work on implementing new food labelling laws aimed at fighting obesity and other diet-related problems, Europe's Food Safety Agency said on Friday. "There is an urgent need for action. Children eat too much salt, sugar, fat and not enough fruit and vegetables...that will lead to further spread of obesity," said EFSA's Science Director and Deputy Executive Director Herman Koeter." (Reuters Life!)

"Pushing environment onto the radar" - "It has been a long time since the environment has been a major political issue in Canada — not since the election of 1985 in Ontario, and perhaps never federally. But that may be about to change." (Toronto Star)

Really? "Ailments Surge as Ozone Hole Widens" - "TORONTO - Skin cancer, eye lesions and other infections are on the rise, a reminder that the Antarctic ozone hole continues to be a serious problem, especially for southern Argentina and Chile, where ultraviolet radiation during the spring months increases 25 percent." (Tierramérica)

We beg to differ. Check out this monthly time series, note that spring increases of 25% and more are the expected norm. Note further that 50S receives about the same irradiation as 50N over the year with the only difference being the hemispheric reversal of seasons. Argentina and Chile are no more seriously afflicted by the "ozone hole" than are Vancouver and Seattle.

"Tropical Storms: An INTERVIEW with Dr. Chris Landsea" - "According to our Special Topics analysis of tropical storms research over the past decade, the work of Dr. Chris Landsea ranks at #2, with 9 papers cited a total of 312 times. His most-cited paper is "The recent increase in Atlantic hurricane activity: causes and implications," (Goldenberg SB, et al., Science 293[5529]: 474-9, 20 July 2001). At the time of our analysis, this paper had been cited 69 times; at present, it has 88 cites in Essential Science Indicators. Dr. Landsea is a hurricane specialist with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. In the interview below, he talks with correspondent Gary Taubes about his hurricane research." (Essential Science Indicators)

"Natural Disasters Linked to Weather, Climate Changes" - "About 90 percent of the world disasters are related to weather or climate, Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said on Thursday. Meeting with the press, he stressed the importance of weather and climate in human lives and referred to the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan as an example. ``The earthquake itself is not weather-related, but when the cold winter came right after the disaster, collaterals doubled,'' said Jarraud, who came to Korea to preside over the 16th special congress of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which opened in Seoul yesterday for an eight-day run." (Korea Times)

"Global warming and obesity: the links revealed" - "The day will soon come when we shall be roused from our beds, not by the ringing of the alarm clock, but by the rising sea levels slapping us on our slumbering faces. That is how serious global warming is. What makes it worse is that we shall all be so morbidly obese by then we won't be able to rise from our beds to save ourselves. There is absolutely, positively no question whatsoever that we are in the midst of a climate change crisis. It is also categorically and undeniably beyond any dispute that it is man-made. Maybe." (Jim Schembri, The Age)

"Carbon emissions rising faster than ever" - "Far from slowing down, global carbon dioxide emissions are rising faster than before, said a gathering of scientists in Beijing on Friday. Between 2000 and 2005, emissions grew four times faster than in the preceding 10 years, according to researchers at the Global Carbon Project, a consortium of international researchers. Global growth rates were 0.8% from 1990 to 1999. From 2000 to 2005, they reached 3.2%. Though alarming, the figures confirm expectations. "They make intuitive sense to me," says Jim Watson, deputy leader of the energy programme at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UK." (NewScientist.com news service)

"That Other Greenhouse Gas" - "Somewhat mysteriously, the rise in atmospheric methane levels has ceased." (David Schneider, American Scientist)

"Critics say U.N. climate talks lagging" - "NAIROBI, Kenya - Environmentalists complained Friday that negotiators for industrial nations are moving too slowly at a U.N. conference to set controls on global-warming gases after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. A leader of the talks said, however, that slow might be better if eventually the United States signs on to mandatory emissions reductions." (Associated Press)

"UN climate change negotiations progressing – UN official" - "10 November 2006 – Climate change negotiations at a United Nations conference in Nairobi are progressing toward decisions on key issues that include adaptation, financial mechanisms, deforestation, technology transfer and capacity building, officials there said today. Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said countries, in discussions on reducing future emissions, were focusing on a workplan for subsequent negotiations. They have agreed that the next step should focus on “mitigation potential,” or “what can we actually do to reduce emissions of industrialized countries.” (UN News)

"Frustration as climate change talks stall" - "Representatives of 190 countries have been playing a diplomatic poker game at the UN Climate Change Summit in Nairobi for the past week, with almost none of them prepared to spell out what they intend to do about global warming. Developed countries who have taken on targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol are reluctant to enter into further commitments after it expires in 2012 without indications that developing countries such as China are prepared to climb on board. Many of the 56 developed countries that have ratified the protocol are finding it difficult to achieve even the fairly minimal curbs on emissions required by Kyoto, and some of them - including Ireland - have fallen way behind in terms of meeting their commitments." (Irish Times)

"Kyoto Countries Seen Agreeing Steps to Extend Pact" - "NAIROBI - No breakthrough will happen next week in talks to extend the Kyoto pact on global warming, but a softening of stances will produce an agreement on next steps to take, senior negotiators have told Reuters." (Reuters)

A New Perspective For Assessing The Role Of Agriculture In The Climate System And In Climate Change (Climate Science)

Competition's alive and well in the apocalypse stakes: "Snowballing costs" - "Stern's study may underestimate the costs of climate change: there could be more weather variability, a major shift of the Gulf Stream and a flourishing of disease." (Joseph Stiglitz, The Guardian)

"AFRICA: Changing Climate, Changing Lives" - "NAIROBI - Marginalised communities attending a United Nations conference on climate change being held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, have given accounts of how their lives are being altered for the worse -- something they blame on climate change." (IPS)

Perhaps so but Africa has been plagued by changing climate as long as there have been people and the desiccation of Africa long predates the Industrial Revolution. Better to develop and adapt than blame irrelevancies, no?

Yet another set of 'first victims': "African nomads to be first people wiped out by climate change" - "Kenya's herdsmen are facing extinction as global warming destroys their lands." (The Observer)

"UK presses for climate change fund for Africa -- Sub-Saharan region is 'victim of aid injustice'" - "A multimillion dollar plan to help sub-Saharan African and other poor countries adapt to climate change is being formulated by British diplomats on the eve of a key international meeting." (The Guardian)

Sadly, sub-Saharan Africans are more victims of kleptocrats and tribalism than anything else. Africa has been drying due to ongoing climate change fro thousands of years but you can't blame industry for that.

"Cash row looms at climate talks" - "Disagreement over management of a fund to help poorer countries adapt to climate change threatens the second week of UN climate talks in Nairobi. Western nations want control to lie with a body tied to the World Bank, while developing countries argue they should decide how funds are allocated. Adaptation is the main focus of the 12th round of UN climate negotiations." (BBC)

"Green blinkers" - "The sheer vitriol is the most striking thing. Reputable scientists who raise questions about climate change, backing their doubts with data, are howled down as heretics. The UN-Stern-Kyoto thesis is considered to be above criticism. Simply to point out that there are few hard facts to go on, and that we are all necessarily engaging in a degree of guesswork, is to open yourself to the charge of being in the pay of the oil corporations. This allegation, when you think about it, is daft. No one would condemn his grandchildren to extinction simply to suck up to ExxonMobil. Yet such paranoia is no longer confined to Greenpeace. It can be found, too, in the statements of the Royal Society, and even of government ministers." (London Telegraph)

"Wrong problem, wrong solution" - "Christopher Monckton created considerable controversy last week with his article questioning the science that claims human activity is responsible for climate change. Now he challenges the economic assumptions of the Stern report" (London Telegraph)

"Interview with Richard Tol" - "The German magazine WirtschaftsWoche has posted online (im Deutsch) an interview with economist Richard Tol discussing the economics of climate change. Benny Peiser has provided an English translation which we are happy to re-post here in full." (Prometheus)

"Democrats purge climate-change sceptics" - "Environmentalists in the United States say they hope the removal of global-warming sceptics from powerful positions on Capitol Hill will present a new opportunity to force the Bush administration to tackle climate change." (London Independent)

Today's meaching: "Britain 'at war' on climate change" - "Britain is "at war" on climate change and Labour needs to rally the country into the sort of collective action seen during the Second World War, a former environment minister said.

Michael Meacher, who last week launched a campaign to move the party in a new direction, said action on global warming could provide the "new vision" it needed." (Ananova)

Making free with your money: "Greens to make you pay for your own emissions" - "THE Green Party is prepared to drop its controversial policy for a carbon levy in favour of radical proposals to allot a carbon quota to every person in the country. Last night Dan Boyle, the Green Party spokesman on finance, told the Sunday Independent that the Greens were examining proposals to give every citizen a carbon dioxide emission limit. If they kept within the allowed quota they would be entitled to a rebate. If they exceeded it, they would pay a carbon levy." (Irish Independent)

"Colorado Town Passes First US Carbon Tax" - "NEW YORK - Voters in a Colorado university town nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains have passed the country's first municipal carbon tax to fight global warming. Boulder, Colorado, will charge residents and businesses the carbon tax based on how much electricity they use. Most electricity in Boulder is generated at plants that use coal, which produces more of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, than natural gas or oil." (Reuters)

"UK: Poll delivers blow to government's climate change policy" - "Government attempts to be at the forefront of the fight against climate change are undermined today by an opinion poll showing its key energy review document is deemed ineffectual, while critics say some official policies are contradictory. The scepticism has been increased by a warning from Brussels that Britain will be taken to the European Court of Justice for failing to curb greenhouse gases in commercial buildings. Barely a week after environment secretary David Miliband announced far-reaching climate change legislation and publication of the Stern Review, there is widespread concern about where the government is going." (The Guardian)

"Blair faces revolt over C02 targets" - "Tony Blair faces a major Commons revolt over his refusal to commit Britain to annual cuts in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. The opposition parties and more than 200 Labour MPs have demanded that the Climate Change Bill, which will be announced in this week's Queen's Speech, include a promise to reduce C02 emissions by 3 per cent each year." (London Independent)

"How the wrong sort of radio adds to C02 emissions" - "Digital broadcasting is increasing the threat of global warming by pumping massive amounts of extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, official figures suggest. The millions of Britons who listen to the radio through their power-hungry digital televisions and computers together release an extra 190,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year." (The Guardian)

"Is the Kyoto Protocol just a cop out?" - "Many critics of Australia's response (or lack thereof) to its greenhouse gas emission complain that we've got the highest emissions per capita of any country on earth. Well, so what? The reality is that Australia, for some commodities, is the world's leading supplier. Aluminium metal is the most obvious, but there are others, including titanium dioxide pigment and semi-processed nickel matte from Kambalda. But what would global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions be like if, instead of Australia doing this processing with modern plants using the world's best technologies, China and India were operating their own plants? My guess is that these countries would be using old plants with old technology and, for electricity production, they'd be using some of the dirtiest coal produced anywhere on the planet. Sure, Australia's GHG emissions would be lower, but overall global emissions would be far higher." (Bernie Masters, Online Opinion)

"Australia's hi-tech challenge to polluters" - "AUSTRALIA will urge the world's biggest polluters to embrace breakthrough technology to cut carbon emissions under a more aggressive push to forge a "new Kyoto" pact." (The Australian)

Hot air on hot air trades: "Australia: Carbon trading loses its murky image" - "THE federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, has softened his opposition to carbon trading as the Government cranks up its green credentials in Sydney's west today with the announcement of a $35 million energy-saving project. The Prime Minister, John Howard, is expected to unveil in Blacktown a scheme to provide thousands of households and businesses with subsidised solar heating devices, free energy-saving advice and "smart" electricity meters. Yesterday Mr Costello left open Australia joining carbon trading schemes aimed at reducing pollution emissions saying, "If the world starts moving towards a carbon trading system we can't be left out of that." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Howard supports Costello's carbon talk" - "PRIME Minister John Howard has denied any shift in government policy on climate change following Peter Costello's talk on carbon trading. Federal Treasurer Peter Costello yesterday declared carbon trading an inevitable tool in fighting global warming and said Australia could not afford to be on the sidelines of such a scheme. His comments appeared at odds with Mr Howard, who has repeatedly said carbon trading is no silver bullet solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But Mr Howard today there was no collision of views between he and the treasurer. Mr Howard said the Government had long acknowledged Australia would be part of a carbon trading scheme - as long as the whole world was involved in it." (The Australian)

"Australia: Blair agrees Kyoto inadequate: PM" - "BRITISH Prime Minister Tony Blair believes the Kyoto Protocol on climate change is not enough to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, Prime Minister John Howard has said." (The Australian)

"Canada Faces UN Grilling over Kyoto Abandonment" - "OTTAWA - This is likely to be another rough week for embattled Canadian Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, who must explain to a summit on global warming why Ottawa has effectively abandoned the Kyoto protocol on climate change." (Reuters)

How about because it's the most expensive means possible of not addressing a non-problem?

"Canada wants to join Asia-Pacific climate change pact" - "OTTAWA -- Canada wants to join the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, a senior official said ahead of APEC talks in Hanoi, Vietnam next week. "We're looking very carefully at that as an interesting and innovative example of a region moving forward in a direction that we support," the official said during an APEC briefing." (AFP)

He's ba-ack! "The poor will pay for global warming" - "Tackling climate change is about more than science or economic policy - it is a human rights issue." (Fred Pearce, New Scientist)

Actually, to some extent we agree with Freddie, global warming hysteria is certainly harmful to the poor.

"INTERVIEW-Climate change affects health too-scientist" - "BEIJING, Nov 10 - Deadly heatwaves, hurricanes and spreading malaria infections appear to be just the obvious toll of global warming on people's health, said a scientist leading efforts to unravel how environmental change threatens lives. "The thing that excites our governments most, and the public, is the prospect of climate change doing damage to the economic system," Tony McMichael, a professor at Australia's National University, said in Beijing on Friday. "But much worse, of course, in terms of real sustainability is damage to the life-support system." (Reuters)

Lean recycles, inter alia, Oreskes: "News analysis: Climate Change" - "In the future we may each have our own personal emissions allowance. When that happens, we will truly have entered the carbon age. Until then, this is how a world of national CO2 targets looks," (London Independent)

Agreement at last: "Chemicals Trapped Between Treaties Undermine Progress on Climate" - "NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 13, 2006 - Environmentalists attending the climate treaty negotiations in Nairobi have called for an immediate freeze in the production of a rapidly increasing greenhouse gas in countries that are receiving billions of dollars under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism to mitigate it effects.

The environmentalists' appeal follows a report by UN experts that warned that the continued production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) would add over one billion carbon dioxide-equivalent tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in 2015 - double the total CO2-equivalent emissions of France in 2004. More recent estimates suggest the global warming impact could be up to twice as much as the report indicated.

Last week countries meeting for the ozone layer treaty in New Delhi issued an alarm specifically about the rising production of hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22 (HCFC-22). During the meeting, government representatives cautioned that unintended incentives created by the climate change treaty's Kyoto Protocol threaten to block their efforts to phase out HCFC-22, a gas used for air conditioning and refrigeration systems, and which has a global warming impact 1700 times that of carbon dioxide.

"We're shooting ourselves in the foot," said Alexander von Bismarck, Campaigns Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a green watchdog group attending the climate negotiations, "we are paying billions of dollars a year to make the problem worse." (GreenBiz.com)

Greens and the agreements they press for make the situation worse. As a general statement we could probably agree with that.

"Hybrid Hypocrisy" - "Nov. 10, 2006 - As gas prices have plunged since topping $3 a gallon this summer, a startling shift is taking place in the car market. Hybrid sales are slowing and SUV sales are speeding up." (Newsweek)

"Fixing the energy crunch" - "Could our nation's energy sector weather another Hurricane Katrina? There was plenty of discussion about that at the recent Energy Summit 2006, hosted by the Louisiana State University Center for Energy Studies. But whether or not Louisiana experiences another Katrina, participants in the two-day seminar agreed plenty of challenges face the nation's energy infrastructure." (Ben Lieberman, Washington Times)

"Bill Allowing More Drilling Along Coasts Appears Dead" - "The recent Democratic victory likely obliterates the chance to open the seas off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to oil and gas drilling." (New York Times)

"Coal's pitfalls and promises: One change seems certain in tackling warming: Electric rates will rise" - "For decades, Kentucky and Indiana have relied on cheap electricity from vast reserves of coal to light their homes and power energy-intensive industries, from manufacturing plants to aluminum smelters. But now, because of fears about human-caused global warming, coal has become an international villain, and some say it's only a matter of time before the coal-fired power plants of the South and Midwest feel political heat -- and consumers here get an economic wallop." (The Courier-Journal)

"New Zealand sites sought for carbon dioxide storage" - "Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd., the country's biggest coal miner, is looking for underground sites to store carbon dioxide as part of a plan to develop a $670 million synthetic fuel plant. The government-owned miner will spend the next six months assessing potential locations in Otago and Southland on the country's South Island, Chief Executive Officer Don Elder said. The region holds about three-quarters of the nation's coal, and is where the company is considering building a coal-to-liquid fuels plant to utilize local lignite reserves." (Bloomberg News)

"Investors Back Experimental Ethanol Plant" - "The Mascoma Corporation plans to announce Monday that it has received $30 million in financing for a plant to produce ethanol from nontraditional sources." (New York Times)

"Renewable Fuels May Provide 25% of U.S. Energy by 2025" - "WASHINGTON -- A new Rand Corp. study showing the falling costs of ethanol, wind power and other forms of renewable energy predicts such sources could furnish as much as 25% of the U.S.'s conventional energy by 2025 at little or no additional expense. A second renewable-energy report soon to be released by the National Academy of Sciences suggests wood chips may become a plentiful source of ethanol and electricity for industrial nations because their forested areas are expanding, led by the U.S. and China. Because use of renewable fuels to replace oil and cut emissions of carbon dioxide is an area on which Congress's coming Democratic leadership and the Bush administration agree, the studies are likely to hasten efforts to increase production incentives next year, either in a new energy bill or a farm bill." (Wall Street Journal)

"The buzz over solar" - "The Ontario Power Authority says there's great potential for solar power in the province, but sometimes you have to wonder whether it truly believes what it says." (Toronto Star)

"Uranium now a hot commodity: Growing demand for nuclear power fuels a major rally" - "Uranium is the energy investment of choice for a growing number of hedge funds, which claim a sixfold gain since 2001 is just the beginning of a rally that will last years. "We're in a historic uranium shortage," said James Passin, who manages $580 million at New York-based Firebird Management and began buying shares of uranium producers five years ago. "We're in a global nuclear revival." (Bloomberg News)

The incredible shrinking drought: "Australia: Not worst in 1000 years, but 'pretty big'" - "THE Murray-Darling basin is in the midst of a long-term drought similar to that experienced at Federation - not the worst in 1000 years. River and climate experts disagree with the one-in-1000-years call by South Australian Premier Mike Rann this week. Murray-Darling Basin Commission general manager David Dreverman told the water summit hosted by John Howard on Tuesday that the inflow into the Murray last month was so low as to be classed as a one-in-1000-year event. National Climate Centre meteorologist Blair Trewin said the current drought was "in a similar ball park to the Federation drought" of 1895-1903." (The Australian)

"Agricultural Biotechnology: Overregulated and Underappreciated" - "The pursuit of an integrated action plan, including regulatory reform, will help the United States and the world reap enormous benefits that now are thwarted." (Henry I. Miller and Gregory Conko, Issues)

"Monsanto Stands Firm on GM Maize in Mexico" - "MEXICO CITY, Nov 10 - The powerful biotech corporation Monsanto, which anti-genetic modification activists charge is corrupt, maintains that it has a positive image around the world and announces that it will continue to fight to ensure that Mexico, birthplace of maize, will open its doors to transgenic varieties of the grain." (Tierramérica)

"Farmers' fears on GM crops allayed" - "Coimbatore, Nov 12: Allaying the fears of farmers regarding genetically engineered rice, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) has clarified that it has been proved through "precise bio-safety experiments" that proteins contained in such crops is non-toxic to human beings and animals. Reacting to a recent incident at Alandurai, about 20 km from here, where a group of farmers and green activists had destroyed GM rice crops, the TNAU said in a release that the development of genetically modified (GM) crops has been recognised the world over for the past two decades as a method of crop improvement. Modern biotechnological approaches were employed to improve specific desired traits of crops, which were otherwise difficult through conventional methods, it said." (Chennai Online)

November 10, 2006

"Trans Fat Hysteria Could Be Lawsuit Bonanza" - "The takeover of Congress by Democrats could result in a big payday for trial lawyers at the expense of the feckless food industry." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Firefighters face increased risk for certain cancers" - "CINCINNATI -- University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health researchers have determined that firefighters are significantly more likely to develop four different types of cancer than workers in other fields. Their findings suggest that the protective equipment firefighters have used in the past didn't do a good job in protecting them against cancer-causing agents they encounter in their profession, the researchers say." (University of Cincinnati)

"4 plead in ecoterror case: 5- to 8-year sentences recommended" - "EUGENE, Ore. – Four more people pleaded guilty Thursday to federal conspiracy and arson charges stemming from a five-year string of firebombings by radical environmentalists. Three other suspects remain fugitives. Prescott, Ariz., bookstore owner William C. Rodgers, described as the leader of the Eugene-based cell known as The Family, committed suicide in jail. “The pleas of these individuals today together with (earlier guilty pleas) have effectively dismantled the Northwest cells of the organizations operating loosely under the mantles of ALF and ELF,” U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut said in Portland." (AP)

"Enviro fog calculus" - "A new report by the World Wildlife Fund says if current trends continue, the Earth will be too small to sustain humanity. "Pressures on the Earth's natural systems are both predictable and dire," says the Living Planet Report 2006. But if current trends continue, such environmentalist predictions will continue to be wrong -- and dangerous.

Environmentalists have been making such wrongheaded -- anti-growth, anti-technology -- predictions since Rachel Carson launched the movement with her 1962 book "Silent Spring." She warned of an impending cancer epidemic unless we stopped using many manmade chemicals -- particularly the pesticide DDT. It didn't happen.

Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich warned in 1969 that American life expectancy could be reduced to only 42 years by the 1980s because of an epidemic of cancer caused by modern chemicals and pesticides. It didn't happen.

In the 1970s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors published the book "Limits to Growth" warning that if policymakers didn't limit growth, the world would run out of resources and suffer economic collapse. They even developed an elaborate computer model to prove their point. But it didn't happen.

In the real world, resources increased and economies expanded, particularly in places that allowed the most economic freedom. There, human ingenuity produced wealth, discovered new resources and developed technologies that improved human well-being." (Angela Logomasini, Washington Times)

"ANALYSIS - Making Growth Greener a Tall Task for Economists" - "NEW YORK - Economists and ecologists have always made awkward bedfellows, but alarming new evidence of accelerating environmental decay has some experts scrambling to put a greener touch on growth." (Reuters)

"Why relentless green drive may end up costing us the earth" - "SPRING in Malaysia is even more silent than it was when I reported how the indigenous jungle is being destroyed to provide palm oil for the Soil Association's "environmentally-friendly" pesticide soft soap. More great swathes of the eco-system are being replaced by oil palms to supply Europe with the biodiesel it must have by next year to comply with Directive 2003/30/EC requiring 5 per cent of road fuel to come from biological sources. Both outcomes are typical results of green intervention in the market. They have not grasped that, to succeed, intervention must be complete and global - anything less merely creates a distortion used by shrewd businessmen to exploit the public purse, usually with further damage to the environment." (John Stewart, The Scotsman)

Caused by very early SUVs? "Reef warns of sea level rise" - "Margaret River in WA, famed for its wine, is about to become famous for another reason: warning coastal dwellers what they may have to cope with under global warming. A fossil coral reef, lying several metres above today's high tide mark at Foul Bay near Margaret River, points to the high point of the last major sea level rise. Investigators from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) consider the reef – the most southerly coral reef yet known – is a harbinger of what could happen again as global CO2 levels and temperatures rise during the 21st century. "We've dated the reef to about 128-125,000 years ago, right in the middle of the last interglacial, or the last period of global warming before our most recent ice age," says Professor Malcolm McCulloch, deputy director of CoECRS and an earth scientist at The Australian National University. "The reef lies about 2.5 metres above the current high tide zone, which means that for it to survive and grow, sea levels would have had to be at least 3 to 4 metres higher than at present." (James Cook University)

A New Paper That Documents Biases and Uncertainties With Land Surface Temperature Trend Assessments (Climate Science)

"Center Studies Hurricane Forecasting" - "BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. -- Scientists at a new research institute are studying ways to improve hurricane forecasts and protect the Gulf Coast's natural resources from storms, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday." (Associated Press)

Not Quiet on the Hurricane Front (WCR)

This old chestnut, too? "Expert Says Oceans Are Turning Acidic" - "The world's oceans are becoming more acidic, which poses a threat to sea life and Earth's fragile food chain, a climate expert said Thursday." (AP)

Strange that corals and reef-building fauna proliferated during the Ordovician, when atmospheric carbon dioxide was an order of magnitude higher than today's panic-inducing levels.

"Boxer pledges shift on global warming policy with new Senate role" - "SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sen. Barbara Boxer on Thursday promised major policy shifts on global warming, air quality and toxic-waste cleanup as she prepares to head the U.S. Senate's environmental committee.

"Time is running out, and we need to move forward on this," Boxer said of global warming during a conference call with reporters. "The states are beginning to take steps, and we need to take steps as well."

Boxer's elevation to chairwoman of the Senate Environmental Public Works Committee comes as the Democrats return to power in the Senate. It also marks a dramatic shift in ideology for the panel.

The California Democrat is one of the Senate's most liberal members and replaces one of the most conservative senators, Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma. Inhofe had blocked bills seeking to cut the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming, calling the issue "the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people."

Environmentalists were overjoyed at the change." (Associated Press) | New Influence Over the Bush Agenda (New York Times)

Coalition Challenges Al Gore to Face the NZ Media (New Zealand Climate Science Coalition)

There's money in it: "Profit of doom: cash for global warning" - "The climate scientist Tim Flannery has been awarded an American prize worth $US150,000 ($195,000) for his skill as a writer." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"INTERVIEW - Asia-Pacific Smokestacks Cleaner for Cheap: US" - "NAIROBI - A US-led coalition of some of the world's top-polluting nations will help clean up industries from coal-mining to steel with "minimal investments", the US chief climate negotiator said. Harlan Watson said the Asia-Pacific Partnership, often dismissed by environmentalists as a weak rival to the UN's Kyoto Protocol for fighting global warming, could make a big difference for smokestack industries in China or India." (Reuters)

"Global climate efforts 'woeful'" - "Efforts to help developing nations adapt to the impacts of climate change have been called "woefully inadequate" by a UN-commissioned report." (BBC)

Same old spin cycle: "Scientists Say Millions Could Flee Rising Seas" - "NAIROBI - Nations must make plans to help tens of millions of "sea level refugees" if climate change continues to ravage the world's oceans, German researchers said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"INTERVIEW - Canada Says no Plans to Pull out of Kyoto - UN" - "NAIROBI - Canada faces an uphill task meeting targets to cut greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol but it has no plans to withdraw from the UN-brokered pact, the head of the UN climate change secretariat said. Canada's conservative government, elected in January, has said the Kyoto commitments it signed up to are unachievable, prompting fears it would follow the United States and Australia and pull out." (Reuters)

"Quebec miffed at Kyoto snub" - "Forty-five seconds is all Quebec demanded to make its case in support of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change at an international meeting in Nairobi. But Thursday, the federal government said no, making it clear that in international forums Canada speaks with one voice. Quebec's unequivocal support of the accord contradicts the position federal Environment Minister Rona Ambrose intends to defend next week at the Nairobi meeting." (Globe and Mail)

"Ambrose says she's considering opposition ideas on climate change" - "OTTAWA - Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has opened the door to adopting some of the opposition's demands for revisions to her climate-change plan." (CP)

"EU's Dimas Challenges States on Emissions Plans" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission renewed its threat on Thursday to reject plans from EU countries that set lax limits on how much carbon dioxide companies covered by the bloc's emissions trading scheme may emit in 2008-2012." (Reuters)

"EU's Dimas Says CO2 Emission Decisions Due Nov 29" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission will issue its decisions to accept or reject some member states' carbon dioxide (CO2) emission allocations plans on Nov. 29, the EU's environment commissioner said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"EU Commission Wants Aviation in Main Carbon Scheme" - "BRUSSELS - The aviation industry should be included in Europe's existing emissions trading system, not a new scheme as proposed by the European Parliament, European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Panel wants overhaul of U.N. projects for poor" - "UNITED NATIONS - A high-level panel called on Thursday for a radical overhaul of a jumble of U.N. development, relief and environmental agencies and programs that waste money in turf battles and duplication." (Reuters)

"Shopping for the Poor: Helping the Third World does not mean forsaking commerce." - "Charity has never been so controversial. Madonna adopts a Malawian child and is blasted both for breaking that country's law and for ignoring orphans in her own land. Drug makers give away their products or slash their prices in poor countries but are assailed for not doing more. On it goes.

This sort of mind-set, which assumes that the only "good" charity is the kind that requires sacrifice and that prosperity is a zero-sum game, has dominated elite opinion for decades. But it's getting a run for its money--literally--because people are starting to notice that there's little to show for the billions of dollars that have been poured into impoverished nations other than the swollen bank accounts of kleptocrats. Rather than redistribute money, the smart thinking now goes, why not create Third World wealth the same way it's been created in the First World: with good governance, property rights and the rule of law." (Opinion Journal)

"Africa: Poor Farmers Face Double Water Crisis: Climate Change and Competition" - "Poor farmers face a potentially catastrophic water crisis from the combination of climate change and competition for scarce water resources, says the 2006 Human Development Report, released today." (United Nations Development Programme)

"A drop-sized way to bring clean water to a thirsty world" - "In a major report on water published Thursday, the UN Development Program (UNDP) takes a radically different approach. The Program's 2006 Human Development Report rejects the gloomy arithmetic. It argues that the poor's lack of water is caused by their lack of political power, rather than by the limits of nature. "The scarcity at the heart of the global water crisis," the UNDP maintains, "is rooted in power, poverty, and equality, not in physical availability." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"U.N. urges rich states to help tackle water crisis" - "CAPE TOWN - The world's richest states must spearhead efforts to tackle a water and sanitation crisis that is killing and spreading disease among millions and holding back economies, especially in Africa, a U.N. report said on Thursday. The United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) 2006 Human Development Report recommended that all governments guarantee every person at least 20 litres of clean water a day and spend at least one percent of GDP on water and sanitation." (Reuters)

"'Nanorust' cleans arsenic from drinking water" - "HOUSTON, Nov. 9, 2006 -- The discovery of unexpected magnetic interactions between ultrasmall specks of rust is leading scientists at Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) to develop a revolutionary, low-cost technology for cleaning arsenic from drinking water. The technology holds promise for millions of people in India, Bangladesh and other developing countries where thousands of cases of arsenic poisoning each year are linked to poisoned wells." (Rice University)

"Uganda: Vitamin A Fortified Potato to Combat Blindness" - "Ugandans can now combat malnutrition and blindness. A team of researchers at Namulonge and Kabanyoro Research Institute have come up with a Vitamin A fortified sweet potato variety. The sweet potato, which is orange, has carotene, the most important source of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for good eyesight and lack of it can cause blindness or, in milder cases, inability to see or drive at night." (New Vision)

November 9, 2006

'So what?' of the moment: "Swedish glaciers suggest global warming" - "SWEDEN'S glaciers were melting at a rate that conforms to global warming climate models, Swedish researchers said." (AFP)

Climate models produce an extraordinary plethora of outcomes, either crashing into ice ages or indicating 'runaway' warming and most everything in between -- how could any part of the globe do anything not represented by some model run or other?

Obligatory eye-roller: "Only a decade left to avoid climate change, says thinktank" - "The world has less than a decade to reverse the growth in greenhouse gas emissions if dangerous climate change is to be avoided, according to a report from a thinktank that goes further than the landmark Stern review last week.

Lord Stern's report said that unless greenhouse emissions were tackled the world faced an economic downturn on a par with the great depression.

Yesterday's report from the Institute of Public Policy Research suggests Lord Stern's analysis was too conservative and governments need to move further and faster. To minimise the risk of a 2C rise - seen as the threshold for dangerous climate change - the authors say global carbon dioxide emissions would need to peak between 2010 and 2013." (The Guardian)

"Indigenous people see harm from Kyoto warming pact" - "NAIROBI, Nov 8 - Indigenous peoples from the Amazon to Asia said on Wednesday that U.N.-backed clean energy projects meant to combat global warming were aggravating threats to their livelihoods. They said hydropower projects or plantations of fast-growing trees, prompted by a billion-dollar scheme under the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol for limiting the planet's dependence on fossil fuels, were damaging nature. "We are not only victims of climate change, we are now victims of the carbon market," Jocelyn Therese, a spokesman for indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin, told a news conference on the fringes of U.N. talks on global warming." (Reuters)

"Climate change policies are 'little benefit to poorest'" - "Policies for combating global climate change do not always benefit the communities that are poorest and most vulnerable to its effects, according to a set of 14 papers published by a UK-based research institute. The papers by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) identify a range of problems with existing policies for combating climate change." (SciDev.Net)

"Merkel Vows to Forge EU Deal on Post-Kyoto Regime" - "BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would press during Germany's upcoming EU presidency for European agreement on a post-Kyoto regime to reduce greenhouse gases." (Reuters)

"Bush won't change climate policy, chief negotiator says" - "NAIROBI - President George W. Bush's chief climate negotiator dashed European hopes of a U.S. shift to tougher curbs on global warming on Wednesday after the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives. "I do not see any change in our policy. We feel very comfortable," U.S. senior climate negotiator Harlan Watson told Reuters during 189-nation U.N. talks in Nairobi on ways to fight global warming." (Reuters)

Further Evidence for Influence of Anthropogenic Surface Processes on Lower Tropospheric And Surface Temperature Trends (Climate Science)

"ESSP launches new Monsoon Asia Integrated Regional Study" - "Almost all aspects of societal and economic activities in the Monsoon Asia region are critically dependent on the monsoon circulation system. It has direct impacts on water resources and air quality, and indirectly affects agriculture, industry, health, urban life and ecosystem services. However, intensive and large-scale human activities may begin to change the monsoon system in Asia." (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research)

"Stern und Drang" - "The Stern Review is out and now that people have had a couple of days to digest the 600 or so pages of heavy verbiage and math, we're starting to see some commentary on how well it's been done. Leave aside the screaming newspaper headlines that shout that we all drowned yesterday and will boil tomorrow and the general reaction from those who know the subject is 'Hunh?'" (Tim Worstall, TCS Daily)

"New sermon from the evangelical pulpit: global warming" - "As a deeply committed pastor in Atlanta's African-American community, the Rev. Gerald Durley had long thought of himself as enlightened and involved when it came to issues that hurt people's lives. He felt he was fulfilling his responsibilities to others. Until, he says, he saw the film "The Great Warming" last May.

"My total perspective on environmental issues and life in general was drastically altered," says the pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church. "This went beyond any political, racial, or gender issues - it is a moral crisis."

Dr. Durley has since shown the documentary on global warming to his congregation and invited ministers, rabbis, and imams to see it. He has gone on radio to discuss the crisis and is promoting sermons on the subject. A discussion he held with Atlanta children has been edited into the latest version of the film." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Turn down the volume and we might listen" - "THE drought is bad enough without Mike Rann channelling Al Gore, as he did at Tuesday's water summit in Canberra. The South Australian Premier stole the limelight from his fellow state leaders at a press conference with the unnecessary claim that the drought is "not a one-in-100-year drought, but a one-in-1000-year drought … [It is] a frightening glimpse of the future with global warming."

But the claim we are suffering the worst drought in 1000 years cannot be substantiated, since records go back only 150 years.

This is just one example of how global warming alarmists get it so wrong. We know we are going through probably the worst drought on record. We don't need apocalypse-merchants exaggerating the threat. All that does is discredit prudent analysis of real environmental problems and invite the sort of mockery that South Park heaped on global warming alarmist Gore." (Miranda Devine, Sydney Morning Herald)

"Ethical questions add new twist to climate-change debate" - "Report seeks stronger focus on ethical issues in negotiations on greenhouse gases." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Uh-huh... "'Start now' to save kiwifruit industry from climate change in 100 years" - "A climate change expert says warmer weather in 100 years' time could have serious consequences for the kiwifruit industry and it is important to prepare now." (NZPA)

... so could a cooler climate and either eventuality is equally likely.

"EU Rebuffs US Opposition to Aviation in CO2 Plan" - "NAIROBI - The European Commission will present a proposal by the end of this year to include all flights into and out of the European Union in its carbon trading scheme, rejecting US concerns, an official said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"The green divide" - "Times poll shows the gulf between words and action on the environment." (London Times)

"Climate Change Seen as Opportunity for UK Business" - "LONDON - The British government said on Wednesday that a commission will investigate how climate change can provide jobs and profits for the country's businesses." (Reuters)

No? Duh! "Investors Wary of Kyoto Carbon Market Controls" - "NAIROBI - Investors in an emerging global carbon market are put off by a lack of expertise in UN-backed controls on trade between rich and poor countries, experts said on Wednesday. "When you're working in this arena and you've got money on the line, it feels like a pretty rinky dink operation," said Dirk Forrister, managing director at Natsource, which has some US$800 million funds under management in the carbon market." (Reuters)

Like a trade in hot air could be anything else?

"EU to investigate Swedish tax breaks" - "NOV. 8 3:22 P.M. ET The EU will probe Swedish plans to give tax breaks to companies taking part in a carbon emissions trading plan, saying Wednesday it believes they might be an unfair state subsidy. Sweden wants to exempt high-energy users in the manufacturing, heat and power sectors from the national carbon dioxide tax on fuel. Without the tax breaks, Sweden says they would be burdened with extra costs without any additional incentive to release less carbon dioxide." (AP)

"EU law will force worst polluting cars off the road" - "Car manufacturers will be forced to produce smaller, more fuel-efficient models under European Commission proposals to be published next month. They may have to withdraw some of their most polluting cars, including 4x4s, people carriers and large saloons, to comply with strict, compulsory targets to reduce environmental damage." (London Times)

"VIP endorsements fail to sell tax on California oil" - "LOS ANGELES - Despite drawing endorsements from celebrities and a former president, the costliest ballot initiative campaign in California history ended Tuesday with the defeat of a measure that would have taxed state oil production to fund alternative energy research. With more than half of precincts reporting, 55 percent of voters said no to Proposition 87 after a high-stakes race that pitted the specter of global warming against the threat of higher gas prices." (Associated Press)

"Centrica Joins UK Clean Coal Power Push" - "LONDON - Britain's Centrica on Wednesday joined a growing number of utilities planning to build clean coal power plants in England and bury the greenhouse gases underground in an effort to cut carbon emissions." (Reuters)

"NZ: Tax likely to doom coal-fired Marsden B, says minister" - "A state-imposed carbon tax could end plans for a coal-fired Marsden B power station, Energy Minister David Parker says. Mr Parker, who is also the Minister for Climate Change Issues, said the Government favoured renewable energy sources over fossil fuels such as coal, and had already signalled a cost on carbon emissions for electricity generators. "So on that basis, Marsden B is unlikely to go ahead," he said." (New Zealand Herald)

"Netherlands Moves to Make Biofuels use Mandatory" - "AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government will publish new legislation by next week, introducing compulsory blending of biofuels with diesel and petrol from the start of next year, the environment ministry said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Farmer hopes switchgrass crop will be an alternative fuel" - "Tom Stickle loves golden switchgrass, as his Monona Farms northeast of Ligonier reveals. Amber waves of switchgrass covering much of his 500 hillside acreage has him seeing as much green as gold. Based on five years of research, hard work, creative thinking and eureka moments, Mr. Stickle is preparing to mow ahead with plans to turn the warm-season grass into a profitable renewable energy crop." (Post-Gazette)

"Green Republicans Lead GOP Losses: Liberal Environmental Records Didn’t Aid Candidates" - "Washington, D.C., November 8, 2006—Green Republicans who have supported higher energy prices and opposed protecting property rights suffered major losses in House and Senate elections, according to an initial analysis by the Competitive Enterprise Institute." (CEI)

"Volcanic aerosol clouds and gases lead to ozone destruction" - "Volcanic eruptions destroy ozone and create 'mini-ozone holes', according to two new studies by researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The new research, spearheaded by Dr Genevieve Millard at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge, discovered that volcanic gases released during eruptions accelerate reactions that lead to ozone destruction. The researchers found that even relatively small volcanic eruptions can destroy ozone and create localised 'holes' in the stratosphere." (University of Cambridge)

"Economist shows good fences do make good neighbors: Contrary to popular belief, space between residents increases interaction" - "Irvine, Calif., Nov. 8, 2006 -- A new study led by a UC Irvine economist debunks a popular argument against urban sprawl -- that living farther from neighbors decreases social interaction. In fact, the data shows that suburban living is better for one's social life." (University of California - Irvine)

"Malaria — Time to Act" - "In the wealthier parts of the world, the death of a child from an infectious disease is a rare tragedy. In poor countries, it is commonplace. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of families have lost at least one child to a treatable infectious disease. Fortunately, with improvements in immunization coverage and public health in recent years, the death toll from killers such as pneumonia, diarrheal disease, measles, and tetanus has fallen. But deaths from AIDS and malaria have increased. It is estimated that 1 million children die each year from falciparum malaria, yet malaria is both preventable and treatable. The main reason why malaria-related mortality has increased while mortality associated with most other treatable and preventable infections has decreased is the continued deployment of ineffective antimalarial drugs in the face of increasing resistance." (Nicholas J. White, NEJM)

"Malaria Drug Seems to Regain Its Punch" - "A crucial malaria drug that lost its punch in most countries because of germ resistance now appears to be highly effective again in one African nation -- a startling shift with implications for other tough bugs. It appears to be the first time a drug widely used against a killer disease has regained effectiveness after a break in use. ''We didn't expect to see this,'' said researcher Dr. Christopher Plowe of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. ''I'm not aware of any case where a drug wasn't working clinically and was withdrawn and now is 100 percent effective again.'' (AP)

"10 million people a year are affected by zoonotic viruses spread by non-human hosts" - "Doctors and veterinarians need to work together to tackle the increasing global threat of zoonotic viral diseases spread by non-human vertebrate hosts – including dogs, cattle, chickens and mosquitoes - according to a review in the November issue of Journal of Internal Medicine. An estimated 50 million people acquired zoonotic diseases between 2000 and 2005 and up to 78,000 have died, reports Dr Jonathan Heeney, Chair of the Department of Virology at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in the Netherlands." (Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)

"Chemicals and Kids' Brains" - "The allegations that millions of children worldwide are suffering from brain impairment due to exposure to chemicals in the environment are without scientific basis. Philip Landrigan, M.D., who has based his career on promoting fears of environmental chemicals, wrote an article, recently published in The Lancet, that makes these dubious claims." (Molly Lee, ACSH)

"Fizzy drinks increase risk of pancreatic cancer" - "The high consumption of sweetened food and drink increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet. A heavy intake of fizzy drinks, creamed fruit and sugar in coffee are three common ways of increasing the risk.

Pancreatic cancer is a very serious form of cancer that is possibly caused when the pancreas produces heightened levels of insulin as a consequence of upset glucose metabolism. A well-known way of increasing insulin production is to eat a lot of sugar. Scientists have now, for the first time, shown that the consumption of sweetened food and drink affects a person's chances of developing pancreatic cancer." (Karolinska Institutet)

PodCast: "Consumer Awareness of Biotechnology - Separating Fact from Fiction" (Terry Etherton, Penn State University)

"India: No way to protest" - "Environment activists have torched experimental transgenic rice fields to lend a fresh stimulus to the debate on genetically modified (GM) plants. While debate on the benefits of GM foods is necessary, vandalism as a form of protest cannot be endorsed. The protestors have also roped in some farmers’ organisations, notably the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) of Mahinder Singh Tikait. The involvement of such bodies will divert attention from serious debate, and shift focus to uninformed action—recall the campaign which said that farmers would not be able to use neem twigs to brush their teeth if the Dunkel draft went through in the last WTO trade round. What farmers need to see is real productivity change, and when they do that they will adopt new technologies, not reject them. This is borne out by the way farmers have lapped up insect-protected transgenic cotton (Bt-cotton) despite intense propaganda against it." (Business Standard)

November 8, 2006

Laying it on with a trowel: "As Climate Changes, Can We?" - "If there were any remaining doubt about the urgent need to combat climate change, two reports issued last week should make the world sit up and take notice. First, according to the latest data submitted to the United Nations, the greenhouse gas emissions of the major industrialized countries continue to increase. Second, a study by a former chief economist of the World Bank, Sir Nicholas Stern of Britain, called climate change "the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen," with the potential to shrink the global economy by 20 percent and to cause economic and social disruption on par with the two world wars and the Great Depression.

The scientific consensus, already clear and incontrovertible, is moving toward the more alarmed end of the spectrum. Many scientists long known for their caution are now saying that warming has reached dire levels, generating feedback loops that will take us perilously close to a point of no return." (Kofi Annan, Washington Post)

The allegedly "clear and incontrovertible scientific consensus" is a complete nonsense. Either the entire concept of the climate sensitivity parameter (global mean surface temperature response deltaTs to the radiative forcing deltaF), which is defined as: deltaTs / deltaF = lambda, (IPCC TAR equation 6.1), is wrong or we've severely messed up either or both the change in surface temperature and/or change in forcing. Three-dimensional atmosphere-ocean general circulation models use lambda values of 0.75 ± 0.25 °C, i.e., for every additional Watt per meter squared forcing the surface should warm 0.5 - 1.0 °C. For our additional forcing of 2.4 Wm-2 from increases in greenhouse gas concentrations, mostly since the 1950s, the models claim we should have witnessed 1.2 - 2.4 °C increase in average surface temperature over that period, although the IPCC evaluation is 0.6 ± 0.2 °C, indicating lambda values should be at most 0.25 ± 0.08 °C/Wm-2 -- that's if we accept the implausible case that all temperature response is due to changes in the atmospheric levels of a few trace gases at a time when the sun is believed to be at its most active for perhaps the entire Holocene (current interglacial period).

The lambda value of 0.75 ± 0.25 °C comes from a guesstimated ice age state with a reduced forcing of 6.6 ± 1.5 Wm-2 and a global mean about 5.0 °C cooler but this steady state simply does not evaluate. From Stefan's Constant we can see that reducing temperature from 288 to 283 K resolves to 390 and 363.7 Wm-2 respectively, so 26.3 rather than 6.6 ± 1.5 Wm-2 and working in reverse, 382 Wm-2 (390 less the approximate maximum value 6.5 + 1.5) yields 286.5 kelvins, not 5 but 1.5 °C cooler to achieve an ice age state. The numbers simply do not work and guesses of future climate based on these models are no more than exercises in the propagation of error.

Take the challenge above, see for yourselves that model-generated claims of "dangerous warming" are complete rubbish.

"Climate Change Issues: The Problem of Unwarranted Trust" - "On 2 November 2006 I took the chair at a talk given in London by Dr Dieter Helm in the Beesley Lectures series on problems of regulation. His subject was ‘Energy Policy and Climate Change’. The procedure for the Beesley Lectures provides for a personal 15-minute contribution by the chairman, to be made after the talk and before the discussion is thrown open. The text that follows formed the basis for the main part of my contribution, which focused on climate change rather than energy policy. It includes some comments on the Stern Review on ‘The Economics of Climate Change’, which had appeared a few days before the lecture, but my main criticisms are directed against the way in which governments across the world are handling issues relating to climate change." (David Henderson, Westminster Business School)

"The Ethics of Shortchanging Present Generations: Comment on the Stern Review, Part 1" (.pdf) - "One of the devices used by the Stern Review (SR) to show that the costs of climate change might reach 20 percent of global GDP is its use of low or declining discount rates which it justifies, in part, on the notion of intergenerational equity (SR, p. 23). However, even if for the sake of argument one accepts the Stern Review’s claim that GDP (or GDP per capita) would be reduced by such an amount, the numbers provided in the Review and the analytical sources that it relies upon indicate that despite any climate change, future generations of both the developing and industrialized countries will be far better off than the present generations inhabiting these areas.

That this is the case is shown in Table 1. Specifically, this table shows that under the richest-but warmest (A1FI) scenario, “net” annual GDP per capita in the “developing” world, after accounting for a 20 percent loss in welfare due to climate change, would be over $53,000 in 2100 compared to $875 in 1990 (the base year used in the IPCC scenarios). Under the poorest but-less-warm (A2) scenario, the net annual GDP per capita for developing countries in 2100 would be $9,500." (Indur M. Goklany)

"Britain's Stern Review on Global Warming: It Could Be Environmentalism's Swan Song" - "To the accompaniment of much fanfare and hoopla, the British government has released Sir Nicholas Stern's Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, a report that it commissioned but that it labels "independent."

The report is a rehash of now standard environmentalist claims concerning alleged disasters that await the world if it continues with its wicked ways of fossil fuel consumption: the disappearance of islands beneath the sea, the flooding of coastal cities, more severe droughts and hurricanes, famines, disease, the displacement of tens of millions of people from their traditional homelands — it's all regurgitated in the report." (George Reisman, Mises.org)

"Stern rebuke" - "Nicholas Stern's report on climate change is flawed, selective and creates a worst-case scenario worse than any others on the table." (Bjorn Lomborg, Financial Post)

Groan: "Malaria surge in Kenyan highlands may be tied to global warming" - "NAIROBI - Warmer temperatures linked to global warming may be responsible for surge in malaria cases in Kenya's highlands, once largely free of the mosquitos that carry the disease. Amid continuing debate over the health consequences of climate change, specifically the spread of vector-borne afflictions like malaria, scientists reported growing cases in the highlands that correspond to higher temperatures." (AFP)

That virtual world again: "Small heat rise may offer big boost for malaria" - "Even small changes in temperature may contribute to the spread of malaria in the East African highlands, a new modelling study has found – a result sharply contrasting with previous research.

The latest work suggests populations of malarial mosquitoes could grow substantially with just a small rise in temperatures. For example, the mathematical models suggest a 3% rise in local temperature from one year to the next can mean a 30% to 40% increase in mosquito abundance. Experts note the new research also uses five more years of temperature data from Africa that previous work did not." (NewScientist.com news service) [my emphasis]

I admit being more than a little irritated by simplistic models and associated hand wringing because this is an issue of great importance and we know it to be far more complicated than simple temperature correlation. Note that if it was dry last year, then wet this year, conditions improved for insects with aquatic larval stages. This is a function of available breeding habitat rather than temperature. Malaria was endemic in Canada, for example, see: The return of swamp fever: malaria in Canadians. Also check out "From Shakespeare to Defoe: Malaria in England in the Little Ice Age" (Paul Reiter, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for a little perspective on that malaria/temperature thing.

Note further that dwellings and living conditions are significant factors, recall this from a few months ago: "Malaria risk 'depends on house'" - "Living conditions may significantly increase a child's risk of malaria attacks, a study has suggested. Wellcome Trust researchers found household differences in a Kenyan village accounted for around a third of the variations in attack rates. In Public Library of Science they said practical measures, such as insecticide use, were more important than gene resistance. Malaria kills around two million people a year, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa." (BBC) | Malaria risk – it's not all in the genes (PLoS) | New malaria vaccine shows promise in early clinical trial (PLoS)

Paying attention to malaria is great, all for it - but throwing irrelevant temperature variation into the mix, particularly at a time when activists and advocates of varied ilk are throwing everything into the 'global warming' pot in the hope of cooking up a crisis, is a distraction that will do no one any good. For those who care about third world morbidity and mortality this is a distraction from useful measures to address the problem and for those who for whatever reason are less than enthusiastic about addressing the issue this is something else to hide behind with a fatalistic shrug and "Oh well, can't do anything about it because we have to 'fix' that warming thing first." Counterproductive trivia - very annoying. </rant>

"Africa's global warming hotspots hit poorest: report" - "NAIROBI - Rwanda, Burundi, large tracts of southern Niger and Chad, and most of Ethiopia are the most vulnerable parts of a continent that could be the biggest loser from global warming, researchers said on Tuesday. Africa has contributed least to greenhouse gases that cause climate change but its underdevelopment means it is also least prepared to deal with the consequences." (Reuters)

And if you believe all the catastrophic warming hype the answer is... development. At no level does the energy rationing desired by wannabe social engineers offer any salve for problems real or imagined.

Trotting out all the usual hand-wringing: "SOUTHERN AFRICA: Climate change threatens regional food security" - "JOHANNESBURG, 7 November - Climate change could force drought-prone areas of southern Africa to abandon agriculture permanently in the next 50 years, according to new research." (IRIN)

"Climate Change Will Affect Future Food Availability" - "WASHINGTON and NAIROBI, Kenya and ROME, Nov. 7 -- Climate change will directly affect future food availability and compound the difficulties of feeding the world's rapidly growing population, FAO said at the opening of a U.N. climate change conference yesterday in Nairobi." (PRNewswire)

Another entry in the disaster prognosticating competition: "Global warning isn't working" - "It will take bodies in the streets before we see serious global action to stop catastrophic climate change." (Peter Tatchell, The Guardian)

Another Paper That Documents An Effect Of Urbanization On Weather and Climate (Climate Science)

No Ramp-Up in Damaging Snowstorms (WCR)

"Researchers link ocean organisms with increased cloud cover and potential climate change" - "Atmospheric scientists have reported a new and potentially important mechanism by which chemical emissions from ocean phytoplankton may influence the formation of clouds that reflect sunlight away from our planet." (Georgia Institute of Technology Research News)

"Curbs on emissions will take a change of political climate" - "What is the chance of effective action to curb climate change? “Not much” is the answer. This is not because the costs of action would be prohibitive, at least according to the report on climate change by Sir Nicholas Stern published last week. It is because the obstacles to achieving the necessary global co-operation are so steep. Sceptics worry that costly action is likely. But believers in climate change have far better reason to be worried." (Financial Times)

That's the crux of the matter, isn't it? Do AGW hand-wringers have a genuine reason to worry? We think not.

"Britain to Start National Carbon Cut Consultations" - "LONDON - Britain will embark this week on a three-month consultation period to consider how to get local businesses to cut climate warming greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters)

"China to Pass U.S. in 2009 in Emissions" - "LONDON, Nov. 6 — China will surpass the United States in 2009, nearly a decade ahead of previous predictions, as the biggest emitter of the main gas linked to global warming, the International Energy Agency has concluded in a report to be released Tuesday.

China’s rise, fueled heavily by coal, is particularly troubling to climate scientists because as a developing country, China is exempt from the Kyoto Protocol’s requirements for reductions in emissions of global warming gases. Unregulated emissions from China, India and other developing countries are likely to account for most of the global increase in carbon dioxide emissions over the next quarter-century.

The agency’s prediction highlights the unexpected speed with which China is emerging as the biggest contributor to global warming. Still, China has resisted limits on its own emissions and those of other developing countries." (New York Times)

"Italy swings its support back to Kyoto and beyond" - "ROME, Nov 7 - Italy has swung back to being a firm supporter of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, with a new Green environment minister saying big polluters like the United States, China and India must also be forced to take action. Environment Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, appointed after the centre left narrowly beat conservative premier Silvio Berlusconi at an April election, said he had reversed his predecessor's policy of pulling out of Kyoto after 2012." (Reuters)

"UN Talks Split on Date for Climate Fight Rules" - "NAIROBI - A UN conference working to fix long-term rules to fight global warming beyond 2012 "as soon as possible" was split on Tuesday over whether that meant an accord should be struck in 2008, 2009 or even 2010." (Reuters)

"UN Clean Energy Windfall Seen Bypassing Africa" - "NAIROBI - Explosive growth in a US$2 billion U.N. carbon market where rich countries pay developing nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions is largely bypassing Africa, delegates told a Nairobi climate change conference on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Bold climate change cure needs record effort - IEA" - "LONDON, Nov 7 - Capping man's contribution to climate change in the next quarter century requires an unmatched technological leap but less ambitious effort could cut energy bills by $8.1 trillion, the International Energy Agency said. Climate change and security of supply are the main energy risks facing the planet, said the IEA's response to G8 leaders' call for a clean energy blueprint. "The current pattern of energy supply carries the threat of severe and irreversible environmental damage," the energy adviser to 26 industrialised countries said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

From CO2 Science this week:

Will a Warmer World Be a Sicker World?: Climate alarmists would have you believe that it will; but the story is not that simple.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the South Fork Payette River Area, Central Idaho, USA. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Urban CO 2 Dome (Cities Outside U.S.): What do the urban CO 2 domes of most cities around the world appear to have in common?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Cucumber, Perennial Ryegrass, Rice, and Thale Cress.

Journal Reviews:
Solar Forcing of Climate: What is our current state of knowledge of the topic?

Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Balance: Ominous news stories periodically warn of CO 2 -induced global warming melting much of the East and West Antarctic Ice Sheets, leading to rapidly rising sea levels and the flooding of coastal lowlands throughout the world. Real-world data suggest otherwise.

Tropical Cyclones of the North Atlantic Basin: Have their intensities increased in response to sea surface temperature increases of the past three decades?

Effects of Elevated CO 2 on Nitrogen Assimilation by Soybeans: Does the fact that soybean is an N-fixing legume enable it to overcome the partial suppression of the aerial fertilization effect of atmospheric CO 2 enrichment that is sometimes imposed by low soil N concentrations?

Resurrecting the Terrestrial Biota of the Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Arc: Warming is especially welcome in places where glacial cold has long kept the land from fulfilling the measure of its creation. (co2sceicne.org)

"IEA backs nuclear power in climate change battle" - "LONDON/PARIS, Nov 7 - The International Energy Agency urged governments on Tuesday to build more nuclear plants to slow climate change and increase energy security, throwing its weight behind the push for atomic power." (Reuters)

"Illinois mulls building greenhouse gas pipeline" - "NEW YORK, Nov 7 - The governor of Illinois is mulling whether the state should help build a pipeline to combat global warming by carrying greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from planned clean coal plants to aging oilfields." (Reuters)

"Drilling Deep in the Gulf of Mexico" - "Thanks to advances in technology used to drill and search for oil in deep water, oil companies hope to find billions of barrels of oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico." (New York Times)

"Imperial Oil accused of not having plan to manage greenhouse gases" - "An extra cent spent on each barrel of bitumen produced could make Imperial Oil’s Kearl project carbon-neutral, said a lawyer for an environmental coalition at the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board hearing that began Monday. But Richard Secord of the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition says that’s not likely to happen because the energy company doesn’t have a progressive greenhouse gas management plan." (Fort McMurray Today)

Carbon neutral? The point of the exercise is to access the carbon.

"World risks 'dirty' energy future" - "The world could be dependent on "dirty, insecure and expensive" energy by 2030, an influential report has warned. Current trends showed that demand for power was set to grow by 53% by 2030, the International Energy Agency said." (BBC)

"The green house of the future - built c.1550" - "The energy-efficient building of the future was constructed 500 years ago, according to a survey published yesterday which suggests the Tudors could have shown New Labour how to save money - and carbon emissions." (The Guardian)

Tests for chemicals, find... chemicals: "A silent pandemic: Industrial chemicals are impairing the brain development of children worldwide" - "Boston, MA -- Fetal and early childhood exposures to industrial chemicals in the environment can damage the developing brain and can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs)--autism, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), and mental retardation. Still, there has been insufficient research done to identify the individual chemicals that can cause injury to the developing brains of children." (Harvard School of Public Health)

"The reality is that everything is made of chemicals" - "Scientists believe in monitoring levels of suspect chemicals and the phasing out of dangerous ones. They are worried about hormone disruptors and the role they may play in affecting normal development. They are always keen to do more research, but they are also concerned that green groups have been playing on widespread "chemical illiteracy" to highlight their campaigns." (Roger Highfield, London Telegraph)

"Vaccine-producing 'plant-factories'" - "A research team at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) has discovered a new route for the transport of proteins in plant cells, a discovery that will enable the biotechnological design of plant factories. Amongst other applications, these can be used to produce oral vaccines which, upon being ingested, will be able to immunise against diseases. Moreover, this discovery opens the door to the design of protein-manufacturing plants of great interest therapeutically and in the development of vaccine antigens." (Elhuyar Fundazioa)

November 7, 2006

"Oil companies tackle malaria in Africa" - "Marathon Oil Corp. and Noble Energy Corp. ventured to Equatorial Guinea four years ago with plans to help develop its rich natural gas reserves. Soon, they were leading a $12.8 million effort to eradicate malaria. And three years into a five-year program, the partners report they have helped reduce malaria-spreading mosquitoes on the island by a "spectacular" 95 percent." (AFM)

"Malaria bed-net program is a foreign-aid success story" - "Let's face it: There are lots of things Canada, and other western countries, would like to do but can't. We can't send troops into every conflict zone. We can't wave a wand and stop nuclear proliferation, or stop global warming. But there is one great contribution Canada can make to the world. We can transform malaria disasters into malaria nuisances. Canada has the expertise and the resources to save millions of lives." (Ottawa Citizen)

"CIDA’s Malaria Meltdown" - "Why is the Canadian International Development Agency perpetuating malaria deaths?" (Amir Attaran)

[Dr. Amir Attaran is Canada Research Chair in Law, Population Health and Global Development Policy at the University of Ottawa, and a former Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund lawyer.]

"SADC commemorates Malaria Day" - "Mutale - The spotlight fell on malaria recently, as the Limpopo department of health and social development hosted this year's Southern African Development Community (SADC) Malaria Day on Friday. "In SADC regions more than 30 000 people die each year after being infected by malaria," the provincial department's spokesperson, Phuti Seloba said. In South Africa however, the tally was much lower, with only about 30 fatalities being reported as a result of the parasitic infection carried by moquitos." (Bua News)

"Eye-opening research provides important diagnostic tool for major childhood killer" - "The eye can provide a very reliable way of diagnosing cerebral malaria, researchers in Malawi have shown. By looking at the changes to the retina, doctors are able to determine whether an unconscious child is suffering from this severe form of malaria or another, unrelated illness, leading to the most appropriate treatment." (Wellcome Trust)

"Scotland: Smoke ban will make lung cancer 'a thing of the past'" - "LUNG cancer will be a thing of the past as more people quit smoking and are no longer subjected to secondhand smoke, Scotland's Chief Medical Officer said today. Dr Harry Burns said that the smoking ban will help to dramatically reduce future lung cancer rates to just a few hundred cases a year." (Evening News)

In an aging population? We'd like to see that.

"Heart disease fears as teenagers' bellies get bigger" - "WASHINGTON - Children and teenagers in the US are getting fatter stomachs, putting them at increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, say researchers. They found the belly fat of children and teens had increased by more than 65 per cent since the 1990s - directly in line with rising obesity rates." (Reuters) | Children's belly fat increases more than 65 percent since 1990s (University of Rochester Medical Center)

"The 10 roads to Fatsville" - "Ask anyone why there is an obesity epidemic and they will tell you that it's all down to eating too much and burning too few calories. That is undoubtedly true - you cannot get round the first law of thermodynamics. It's also true that we live in an "obesogenic environment": calorific food is plentiful and cheap and our lifestyles are increasingly sedentary. Most of us have to make an effort not to get fat." (New Scientist)

"Biting back: the 923-calorie burger that takes 9 miles to walk off" - "It's the calorific equivalent of downing four and a half pints of lager, gorging on five chocolate bars or scoffing 13 digestive biscuits in one sitting. Weighing in at a belt-busting 923 calories, Burger King's Double Whopper with Cheese is so fattening that a typical man would need to walk for nine miles to burn it off. As a new advertising campaign for the Double Whopper targets the supersize burger at men fed-up with healthy "chick food", campaigners yesterday warned that Britain is going through a health food backlash." (London Telegraph)

Well gosh... "UK: Pupils unwilling to join Jamie's healthy revolution" - "Jamie Oliver's school meals revolution has fallen victim to headstrong teenagers only two months after it was imposed on schools. Thousands of secondary school pupils have shunned school meals since "healthy" menus were introduced in September, a survey found yesterday. Local authorities have recorded an average drop of almost six per cent in the number of pupils buying school meals compared to last term, with the figure rising to 30 per cent in some areas, according to a BBC survey." (London Telegraph)

"It says 'healthy' on the package, but so what? U.S. grocer's ratings upset food makers" - "For many grocery shoppers, the feeling is familiar: that slight swell of virtue that comes from dropping a seemingly healthful product into a shopping cart.

But at one New England grocery chain, choosing some of those products may induce guilt instead.

The chain, Hannaford Brothers, developed a system called Guiding Stars that rated the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores on a scale from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford's formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you.

These included V8 vegetable juice (too much sodium), Campbell's Healthy Request Tomato soup (ditto), most Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen dinners (ditto) and nearly all yogurt with fruit (too much sugar). Whole milk? Too much fat - no stars. Predictably, most fruits and vegetables did earn three stars, as did things like salmon and Post Grape-Nuts cereal." (New York Times)

"Accelerating loss of ocean species threatens human well-being: Current trends project collapse of currently fished seafoods by 2050" - "An international group of ecologists and economists has shown that the loss of biodiversity is profoundly reducing the ocean's ability to produce seafood, resist diseases, filter pollutants and rebound from stresses such as overfishing and climate change. Their results are published in this week's issue of the journal Science." (National Science Foundation)

"Governments doubt dire fishing threat" - "Governments and the UN food agency have cast serious doubts on a major scientific study that predicts all marine fish and seafood species face will collapse by 2048. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that the conservation effort must be improved. But it says that it us "unlikely" there would be no seafood on consumers' plates by mid-century, calling the report "statistically dangerous." (Agençe France-Presse) | Vanishing seafood study dismissed (The Guardian) | Global fishery collapse theory draws some critics (The Seattle Times)

"Sunscreens with benzophenone-3 unsuitable for children" - "Sunscreens that contain benzophenone-3 provide effective protection against both UVA and UVB radiation, but these preparations should not be used for young children. The substance can be found in the urine of adults several days after coming home from a holiday in the sun. A doctoral thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy has recently presented these results." (Swedish Research Council)

"NRL sensor to measure natural airglow in the upper atmosphere" - "The second of five Special Sensor Ultraviolet Limb Imager (SSULI) remote sensing instruments, developed by the Naval Research Laboratory, was launched on November 4, 2006 on board the DMSP F-17 satellite. SSULI is the first operational instrument of its kind and provides a new technique for remote sensing of the ionosphere and thermosphere from space. SSULI's measurements will provide scientific data supporting military and civil systems and will assist in predicting atmospheric drag effects on satellites and reentry vehicles." (Naval Research Laboratory)

Full Stern Ahead to Much Waffle and Weeping, Hype and Hubris... (EnviroSpin Watch)

Was The 2003 European Summer Heat Wave Unusual In A Global Context? (Climate Science)

"Many weather factors needed for accurate climate change predictions" - "WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Current climate change impact models that consider only one weather variable, such as increasing temperature, sometimes spawn unsubstantiated doomsday predictions, according to researchers at Purdue and North Carolina universities." (Purdue University)

The Arctic Precipitation Conundrum (WCR)

The Week That Was October 28 , 2006 (SEPP)

In NYT, no less: "In Ancient Fossils, Seeds of a New Debate on Warming" - "In recent years, scientists have made sizable gains in what was once considered an impossible art — reconstructing the history of Earth’s atmosphere back into the dim past. They can now peer across more than a half billion years.

The scientists have learned about the changing makeup of the vanished gases by teasing subtle clues from fossilized soils, plants and sea creatures. They have also gained insights from computer models that predict how phenomena like eroding rocks and erupting volcanoes have altered the planet’s evolving air. “It’s getting a lot more attention,” Michael C. MacCracken, chief scientist of the Climate Institute, a research group in Washington, said of the growing field.

For the first time, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that analyzes global warming, plans to include a chapter on the reconstructions in its latest report, due early next year.

The discoveries have stirred a little-known dispute that, if resolved, could have major implications. At issue is whether the findings back or undermine the prevailing view on global warming. One side foresees a looming crisis of planetary heating; the other, temperature increases that would be more nuisance than catastrophe.

Perhaps surprisingly, both hail from the same camp: scientists who study the big picture of Earth’s past, including geologists and paleoclimatologists." (William J Broad, New York Times)

Hmm... "Global Warming Threatens Poverty Reduction - Kenya" - "NAIROBI - Kenya urged a 189-nation climate change conference on Monday to do more to tackle global warming, which is threatening to undo recent successes in the fight against poverty." (Reuters)

... we disagree. Global warming mass hysteria is certainly a threat but the trivial effect of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide constitutes no emergency.

Oh dear... "Frozen climate talks" - "The presence of global warming and its capacity to jumble climates with devastating consequences for the world's economy, food supplies and living conditions are beyond dispute. How best to proceed has frozen industrialized and developing nations in place." (Seattle Times)

... the populist vision of "catastrophic global warming" is intensely disputed. We'll go so far as to say model output suggesting significant warming from anthropogenic changes to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels is dead, flat, wrong. Plain enough for you?

"Billions of people at risk from climate change-Kenya" - "NAIROBI, Nov 6 - Saying billions of the world's poorest people were at risk from global warming, Kenya urged a 189-nation conference on Monday to do more to fight climate change and help Africa." (Reuters)

"Calls for urgent action on global warming abound at UN climate conference" - "NAIROBI - Environmentalists and officials from around the world have opened a UN climate change conference with appeals for urgent action to curb global warming that threatens billions on the planet." (AFP)

"U.S. defends itself on global warming" - "NAIROBI, Kenya - The United States is doing better lately than some countries in restraining growth of global warming gases, and it isn't likely to change its stand against mandatory controls, a U.S. negotiator said Monday as 5,000 delegates opened the annual U.N. climate conference." (AP)

The silliest part is... "Green groups mock Ambrose for her hair -- Spent more time at hairdresser's than climate change meetings: article" - "OTTAWA - Canadian environmental groups opposed to the federal government's clean air policies are under fire themselves for launching a "sexist and gratuitous" critique of Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, suggesting she spends more time on her hair than she does on the job. The attack was published yesterday in a newsletter distributed to thousands of delegates gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the start of the 12th annual conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change." (CanWest News Service)

... this may be some of the most substantive commentary generated by greenies at the gabfest -- sort of a COP/MOP-top thing.

"Canada’s climate plan illegal: lawyer" - "The Canadian government is in breach of its international climate change contracts and is legally obligated to act, according to a legal opinion commissioned by an international environmental group. In a letter sent last Tuesday to Environmental Minister Rona Ambrose by Friends of the Earth Canada and Friends of the Earth International, environmental lawyer Roda Verheyen wrote that the Conservative government is in violation of the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The letter also suggested that Canada would likely violate the reduction targets mandated by the Protocol unless it acts now to curtail greenhouse gas emissions." (The McGill Daily)

As a climate scientist he's an impressive media magnate: "Murdoch calls for climate deal" - "RUPERT Murdoch has called for the Kyoto Protocol on climate change to be replaced by a new international agreement that can be endorsed by the US and the emerging industrial giants China and India. And the chairman of News Corporation, publisher of The Australian and NEWS.com.au, said that while he had until recently been wary of the global warming debate and apparently far-fetched assertions about its causes, he now believed business must lead the search for solutions. "What is certain is temperatures have been rising and we are not entirely sure of the consequences," he told a Tokyo conference last night. "The planet deserves the benefit of the doubt." (The Australian)

"News Corp chief's call" - "In a speech last night Rupert Murdoch said that, despite his former scepticism about climate change, businesses have a commercial interest, as well as a responsibility, to address environmental anxieties." (London Times)

"Australia: Voters' verdict on climate crisis" - "Almost two-thirds of Australians are prepared to pay more tax and more for essentials if it helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Herald/ACNielsen poll." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Two points: 1) people are constantly bombarded with claims "global warming" constitutes a problem, so how else should the misinformed respond and 2) what people say in phone polls is no guarantee anyone's willing to pay for what they say they desire: Greenspace no guarantee of greenbacks (.pdf).

Everybody's gotta get into the act: "Stern Review A Timely Reminder Of Devastating Health Impact Of Climate Change, Australian Medical Association" - "Australian Medical Association (AMA) President, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, today welcomed the Stern Review as a timely and authoritative reminder of the devastating health impact of climate change on the world's human population if the international community failed to act now." (Medical News Today)

"England Needs Major Flood Defence Work - Insurers" - "LONDON - England must spend up to 9 billion pounds (US$17 billion) bolstering flood defences against a predicted 40 centimetre rise in sea levels due to global warming, insurers said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

Ah! The joys of "anti-global warming" energy pricing: "Give children hats to save on heating" - "Families facing record heating bills are being told by one of Britain's largest energy suppliers to encourage their children to go to bed in woolly hats or clutching "microwaveable rice cloth bags". In a move which critics suggested was patronising, npower published advice saying parents could keep their children as "snug as a bug" by "getting them to wear socks and a hat in bed during the coldest nights, and taking a hot water bottle or microwavable rice cloth bag to bed." (London Telegraph)

"Ghana: NGOs Turn Attention On Climate Change And Point Fingers At Rich Nations" - "A number of international non-governmental organizations led by Christian Aid are now treating climate change as a social justice issue and are arguing that rich countries must not be allowed to get away with degrading the environment.

For this reason, the rights based NGOs now plan to invest resources and energy in lobbying western governments to accept the fact that they have an obligation to pay for the harm they are causing.

Christian Aid in particular, sees climate change as a poverty and justice issue. In a new report, 'The Climate of Poverty: Facts, Fears and Hope", Christian Aid traces the causes of climate change to the doors of rich nations, who through their energy and lifestyle choices are causing unprecedented levels of carbon emissions." (Public Agenda (Accra))

"Canada Raises Kyoto Eyebrows by Killing EU Summit" - "OTTAWA - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has ruffled some European feathers by putting off a bilateral summit with the European Union that was just weeks away." (Reuters)

"Japan to Meet Kyoto Goals but Opposes Penalties" - "NAIROBI - Japan will meet its 2012 goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions under the UN Kyoto Protocol, despite a current overshoot, but opposes penalties for non-compliance, Japan's chief climate negotiator said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Spain Says CO2 Emissions Falling for First Time" - "MADRID - Spain's emissions of the greenhouse gases that are widely held responsible for global warming could be falling for the first time, Environment Minister Cristina Narbona said on Monday.

Spain's carbon dioxide (CO2) output rose 53 percent between 1990 and 2005, while the country has agreed to limit its increase on 1990 levels to 15 percent by 2008-12, which is the second phase of the international Kyoto agreement to curb climate change.

"Emissions of greenhouse gases seem to be slowing in Spain for the first time... We estimate they fell 1 percent in the first half of this year," Narbona told a conference.

That fall would be 1 percent against the first half of 2005, not against 1990." (Reuters)

"Global Climate Market Framework Seen 2010 - UN" - "NAIROBI - A global climate change agreement which would underpin an international carbon market is still four years off, the Head of the UN's climate change body said at a climate change conference in Nairobi." (Reuters)

"Learning how nature splits water: High-resolution structure of photosynthetic catalyst holds promise for clean energy" - "BERKELEY, CA -- About 3.2 billion years ago, primitive bacteria developed a way to harness sunlight to split water molecules into protons, electrons and oxygen, the cornerstone of photosynthesis that led to atmospheric oxygen and more complex forms of life -- in other words, the world and life as we know it.

Today, scientists have taken a major step toward understanding this process by deriving the precise structure of a catalyst composed of four manganese atoms and one calcium atom that drives this water-splitting reaction. Their work, detailed in the Nov. 3, 2006 issue of the journal Science, could help researchers synthesize molecules that mimic this catalyst, which is a central focus in the push to develop clean energy technologies that rely on sunlight to split water and form hydrogen to feed fuel cells or other non-polluting power sources." (DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

"A Breath of Fresh Air for Pig and Dairy Farms" - "Animal-rearing facilities may soon be taking a cue from human hygiene. An Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist in Fayetteville, Ark., has found that aluminum chloride—a common ingredient in deodorant sticks—helps minimize the nose-prickling vapors that tend to concentrate in and around swine and dairy facilities." (ARS)

"How to Make Our Food Safer" - "Food poisoning from food contaminated with microorganisms is very common. A couple of recent outbreaks have garnered a lot of attention. But for some organic marketers, the technology that affords them the best method of safeguarding their customers is the one they've fought hardest to forestall and confound." (Dr. Henry I. Miller, TCS Daily)

"Hundreds of thousands of viral species present in the world's oceans" - "The ocean is full of life--large, small, and microscopic. Bacteriophage (phage) viruses are minute, self-replicating bundles that alter microorganisms' genetic material and moderate their communities through predation and parasitism. Despite their small size, they are astoundingly abundant with about as many of them in a bucket full of seawater as there are humans on the planet. As a result, they can have a huge impact ecologically." (Public Library of Science)

"Bacteria in small sea life yield new way to make potential cancer drugs" - "SALT LAKE CITY -- Researchers led by a University of Utah medicinal chemist have developed a novel method to make drugs for cancer and other diseases from bacteria found in sponges and other small ocean creatures." (University of Utah Health Sciences Center)

"There's no chance that this technology will replace GM" - "Genetic modification will remain a vital tool in the global production of crops, says Tony Combes" (The Guardian)

"Dispute boils over GM rice" - "The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) said yesterday that it has taken all the necessary steps to prevent the sale of illegally imported modified rice in Greece but admitted it has limited power to pull harmful food items off supermarket shelves." (Kathimerini)

November 6, 2006

Not something you expect in mainstream media these days: "Climate chaos? Don't believe it" - "The Stern report last week predicted dire economic and social effects of unchecked global warming. In what many will see as a highly controversial polemic, Christopher Monckton disputes the 'facts' of this impending apocalypse and accuses the UN and its scientists of distorting the truth." (Christopher Monckton, Sunday Telegraph)

"Stern: the ecology equivalent of a Blairite dodgy dossier" - "Economists use a decimal point to prove they have a sense of humour. But Sir Nicholas Stern’s report warning that global warming will cost £3.68 trillion if left untreated shows that economists can also be taken too seriously. His portentious study, The Economics of Climate Change, prepared for the British government, was treated as if it had been carried down from Mount Sinai rather than put together by an ordinary British mandarin. The fawning media classes, which now regard environmentalism as the new religion, immediately took it as gospel (to do otherwise is the new heresy)." (The Business Online)

"The Worst of Both Worlds?" - "Scare stories about global warming may end up justifying policies that hurt the economy without much curbing of greenhouse gases." (Robert J. Samuelson, Newsweek)

"Rhetorical overheating" - "The British government released the Stern Review on global warming by Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist for the World Bank. As an economist, I tend to leave this topic to my Cato Institute colleague Pat Michaels, a professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia. Since Mr. Stern is also an economist, however, the rules of logic and evidence that economists use should also apply to this report. "Economic forecasting over just a few years is a difficult and imprecise task," the review cautions, so forecasting technology a hundred years from now "requires caution and humility." Unfortunately, there is little caution or humility in this report." (Alan Reynolds, Washington Times)

"Leaked UN report shows Stern is wrong on climate" - "The British government has vastly underestimated the costs of its green agenda, which could turn out to be up to five times more expensive than ministers are predicting, according to a leaked United Nations (UN) report obtained by The Business. The action recommended by the British Stern Review – keeping greenhouse gas levels at 550 parts per million – would cost up to 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP), according to the UN. This is in stark contrast with the Stern review, which says it will probably cost only 1%. This much lower number is used by Stern to make the case for immediate action and steep taxes to cut back on the emission of greenhouse gases. But the UN estimate undermine Stern's economic rationale." (The Business Online)

"The real climate catastrophe" - "Our planet is again warming slightly, and the weather keeps taking unexpected turns. Many scientists say this is hardly unprecedented, cause for alarm, or proof that humans are now the dominant factor in climate change. Others disagree strongly, and point to every snowstorm, hurricane, deluge or drought as proof that urgent action is needed to avoid imminent climate catastrophe. "Climate change is real," say the latter. True, but it's always been real." (Paul Driessen, Washington Times)

Hmm... "Chaotic world of climate truth" - "As activists organised by the group Stop Climate Chaos gather in London to demand action, one of Britain's top climate scientists says the language of chaos and catastrophe has got out of hand." (Mike Hulme, BBC)

... given that Tyndall (TCCCR) is a prime source of apocalyptic visions and pronouncements it seems somewhat disingenuous for the Director to claim others are making unwarranted statements about future catastrophe. Nonetheless, it is very good to see Hulme attempting to hose down some of the ridiculous rhetoric.

Ironically on "Comment is free": "Beyond all reasonable doubt" - "Climate change is taking place, so broadcasters should think twice before giving airtime to those who say otherwise." (Tony Juniper, The Guardian)

So, Tony, would you silence TCCCR Director Mike Hulme for daring to pen the above piece?

"It's hype, hysteria and hot air says climate change nay-sayers" - "They believe we've bought into one of the greatest cons of all time, a gigantic fraud. Swept along by alarmist global-warming hysteria, we've been duped by a far-fetched fiction. Their message is simple. The Earth is not warming up. Or if it is, the warming is so insignificant it's not worth bothering about. And pumping more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is just fine. They're politely referred to as climate change sceptics. In New Zealand they congregate at the climatescience.org.nz website and their views are often aired on Leighton Smith's talkback radio show. For their trouble they are often mocked - as a minority of contrarians, cranks and lunatics." (New Zealand Herald)

"Analysis: U.N. to solve emissions crisis?" - "UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 3 -- The United Nations will host a conference on climate change in Nairobi, Kenya, Monday to discuss ways to improve the climate amid British warnings of a worldwide disaster should governments fail to cooperate on global warming." (UPI)

"Talks to Start on Climate Amid Split on Warming" - "Climate negotiators are gathering in Nairobi, Kenya, for their 12th conference since 1992, with the world divided into three seemingly inflexible blocs on what to do about global warming. The conference will begin [today] and continue through Nov. 17. A host of specialists, including economists, environmentalists and United Nations officials, say the challenge this year is more daunting than ever." (New York Times)

"Africa focus for climate summit" - "Delegates are gathering in Nairobi for the latest round of UN climate talks, which will focus on helping poorer countries adapt to a changing climate." (BBC)

Once was a science organization... "Australia: CSIRO predicts grim legacy" - "OUR children will be living as adults in a state with a climate equivalent to the Sahara desert. Average temperatures across NSW will be 6.4C higher and rainfall will fall by up to 40 per cent. This is the grim climate change warning contained in a two-year study released today by the CSIRO." (Daily Telegraph)

"In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible." -- Final chapter, Draft TAR 2000 (Third Assessment Report), IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

"The forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change." -- James Hansen, "Climate forcings in the Industrial era", PNAS, Vol. 95, Issue 22, 12753-12758.

"Because climate is uncontrollable . . . the models are the only available experimental laboratory for climate. . . . However, climate models are imperfect. Their simulation skill is limited by uncertainties in their formulation, the limited size of their calculations, and the difficulty of interpreting their answers that exhibit almost as much complexity as in nature." -- Climate Change Science - An Analysis Of Some Key Questions, p15 (Committee on the Science of Climate Change, National Research Council) ISBN 0-309-07574-2.

"For the global mean [temperature], the most trusted models produce a value of roughly 14 Celsius, i.e. 57.2 F, but it may easily be anywhere between 56 and 58 F and regionally, let alone locally, the situation is even worse." The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT) (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies)

"Energy watchdog doubts carbon trading will work" - "The world's leading energy watchdog gave a lukewarm response to the call by the Stern Review for a global carbon trading system as the way to tackle climate change. The Independent Energy Agency said yesterday it doubted that the scheme would gain sufficient agreement by world governments to be viable." (London Independent)

"The Price of Climate Change" - "The famous old quip about the weather — everyone talks about it but nobody does anything about it — is not as true as it once was. Alarmed by the threat of global warming, lots of people are actively trying to change human behaviors in order to change the weather." (New York Times)

And not thing one of all this effort can have any predictable effect on climate or weather.

"Analysis: Change without regulations?" - "WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 -- To fund a portion of the recently announced Asia-Pacific Partnership projects, the U.S. Department of Energy has pledged $450 million and is looking at another $52 million in budget requests. Critics of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate say that $500 million from the United States is only a fraction of the amount that would have to be spent to meet the targets set in the Kyoto protocol, which Washington is no longer party to." (UPI)

"Japan a new ally in climate change debate?" - "OTTAWA - The Harper government could find itself with a new climate change ally next week as the world gathers in Nairobi, Kenya, to review the United Nations treaty on climate change and its Kyoto Protocol. Although environmentalists have accused the minority Conservatives of turning Canada into an international outlaw for abandoning its Kyoto commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Japan has submitted a proposal to the upcoming conference that could weaken the agreement in its next phase." (CanWest News Service)

"PM opts out of EU summit: report" - "Prime Minister Stephen Harper has cancelled plans to meet with European Union leaders later this month in Finland, according to a media report." (CBC News)

"Beckett tells India to stop stalling on climate change" - "India must join a new global pact to switch to a low-carbon economy or face catastrophic economic consequences, Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday. Her demand came as a poll showed that most people in Britain think climate change is a stark reality." (London Telegraph)

But Maggie, they did -- just not the one you wanted. India apparently prefers technological development over reversion to the stone age:

"India joins team to fight climate change" - "NEW DELHI, NOV 1: India joined the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP) for promoting clean energy technologies for combating global climate change on Wednesday. Other countries in the partnership are Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and the US." (Financial Express)

Doh! "Ireland off target on Kyoto and facing stiff penalties" - "A new set of EU projections shows that Ireland will massively overshoot its Kyoto Protocol target to curb greenhouse gas emissions - unless much stronger measures are taken - thus running the risk of having to pay hundreds of millions of euro in penalties." (Irish Times)

Dopey: "Better Safe" - "Don't climate-change skeptics believe in insurance?" (Washington Post)

Yes -- but not at an annual cost many multiples greater than the risk.

"Space sunshade might be feasible in global warming emergency" - "The possibility that global warming will trigger abrupt climate change is something people might not want to think about. But University of Arizona astronomer Roger Angel thinks about it." (University of Arizona)

"Researchers: Nitrogen-based fertilizers add to global warming" - "The density of dinitrogen oxide (N2O)--a type of gas that contributes to global warming--in the air has increased drastically since the 1950s, and originates from nitrogen-based fertilizers used on farms, it was announced Sunday. A group of researchers from the Frontier Research Center for Global Change at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science Technology and other research organizations analyzed air trapped in layers of ice in Antarctica and other locations to reach their findings. The researchers said expansion of farmland due to the rising global population, and the introduction of chemically synthesized nitrogen-based fertilizers and its overuse likely was the cause of the increase of N2O in the air." (Yomiuri Shimbun)

"Tropical Peat Bogs Stoke Global Warming - Report" - "OSLO - Drainage of tropical peat bogs is a vast uncharted source of greenhouse gases that may be doing more to stoke global warming than fossil fuels, a conservation group and a Dutch research institute said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Green is the new fashion statement for consumers" - "Consumers are more likely to buy products and services from a business they think is tackling climate change, according to the Carbon Trust. Nearly three quarters of UK consumers are concerned about climate change. Two thirds want to know the carbon footprint - a measure of environmental impact - of products and services." (London Telegraph)

Keep advertising that people's "carbon footprint" is important and then conduct a survey to find that people think their "carbon footprint" is important... what a surprise.

"Stephen King: Climate taxes need a step change in thinking" - "Many will see the tax option as simply a way for the Government to raise extra revenues." (London Independent)

Probably because that's the best that can be said about it. Why can't media seem to get an handle on the concept that we can not predictably manipulate climate?

Some realism, at least: "Global warming fears yet few willing to cut back" - "The vast majority of people in Britain believe global warming is a stark reality, according to YouGov's survey for The Daily Telegraph. Most people fear that global warming will make life worse for their children and grandchildren, if not necessarily for themselves. Large numbers are also prepared to support a wide range of green taxes and government-sponsored green incentives. They are even prepared, within limits, to alter their lifestyles. However, almost everyone believes that this country can accomplish little or nothing on its own and that, if global warming is to be slowed or halted, international action is required. Sadly, almost everyone also believes such action is unlikely to be forthcoming." (London Telegraph)

"Public skeptical about global warming" - "WASHINGTON - When it comes to global warming, scientists and the American public aren't talking on the same wavelength. Most scientists believe that humans and their machines are mainly responsible for the 1.4 degree Fahrenheit rise in the world's average temperature in the past 100 years. Most Americans think otherwise." (Robert S. Boyd, The Olympian)

Indoctrination of the moment: "Schools given £375m to teach green habits" - "Schools across England are the latest recruits in the war on climate change. The government will announce tomorrow that it is giving £375m to help them 'go green'." (The Observer)

"We need celebrity scientists to inspire young people, says Blair" - "BRITAIN must stand up to the anti-science brigade by defeating them with rational argument and encouraging youngsters who want to change the world to become scientists, Tony Blair said yesterday." (London Times)

We've persisted with the rational argument bit, Prime Minister, but quite frankly you are not helping with your Chicken Little impersonation over "global warming".

"Icebergs not related to global warming" - "A NIWA scientist is dismissing suggestions the cluster of giant icebergs spotted off the South Island have anything to do with global warming. About 100 of the bergs are floating in waters roughly 260 kilometres south of Invercargill. It is the closest they have been sighted in 70 years." (NZ City)

"Melting Arctic Makes Way for Man" - "Researchers Aboard Icebreaker Say Shipping Could Add to Risks for Ecosystem" (Washington Post)

"Global warming: Media scam" - "At least you have to admire the honesty of ABC News reporter Bill Blakemore." (Joseph Farah, WND)

"Global cooling? Bring it on!" - "As about six inches of snow fell on Calgary and Edmonton last week, and Fahrenheit temperatures plunged to the 20-above zero level and stayed there, the thoughts of some Albertans – of this one, anyway – focused on the subject of global warming." (Ted Byfield, WND)

"Seeing the Climate Policy for the Trees" - "THERE is a little recognized but vital element to re-engaging the United States in solving the problem of global climate change: forests. Creating financial incentives to protect forests and promote tree planting would be attractive to poor nations but also to American companies and farmers, giving the United States government a potent political reason to get involved in international climate policy." (New York Times)

We realize you are paid to peddle tree planting, Stuart but the whole "climate emergency / climate control" thing is a nonsense.

"Climate change? No drought!" - "I nearly choked on my Wheaties as I skimmed the online newspapers. Paul Sheehan, a senior journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald barked at me “it is not a drought. It is climate change.”

Well gee, that sneaky climate change must have crept up on us here pretty darned quickly. On the farm I live on last year was a good season, prices could have been a bit better, but that’s what happens when there’s plenty of grain around. This year the canola is being baled for hay or just left in the paddock for the sheep to eat, the wheat is shrivelling by the day and only the barley might return something; maybe a tenth of a normal season. It hasn’t rained properly since April and the pastures are brown and bare. Looks like drought to me.

Returning to Mr Sheehan, he goes on to say “we changed the landscape. We cut, stripped, gouged, channelled and laid it bare. And thus changed the climate.”

I wonder if Mr Sheehan, and anyone who agrees with his column, enjoyed their Wheaties while reading the paper. I wonder if they made the link between their breakfast and the need for farming to provide that breakfast. And I wonder if any of them ever paused to consider how offensive those words are to the thousands of farmers growing wheat, in drought, who volunteer year in year out at their local Landcare and who adopt conservation farming practices." (Louise Staley, Online Opinion)

"Business should beware of green-clad fundamentalists" - "Last week's Stern report on the economics of climate change made quite a splash. Even though it was billed as an independent report, it had been commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This led to some cynical responses that the report's emphasis on raising the cost of carbon-based fuels to reduce carbon emissions, and thus combat global warming, was really about justifying extra green taxes. But whatever the motives, the cost of carbon will rise." (Ruth Lea, London Telegraph)

"Low-cost carriers hit back on climate change" - "The aviation industry is desperately defending itself against last week's Stern report, which said reducing air traffic to cut carbon and other emissions would be crucial in preventing climate change." (The Observer)

"EU to Propose Law on Car Emissions - Paper" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission will soon propose binding legislation to force auto makers to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from new cars, a newspaper quoted Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas as saying." (Reuters)

"Service Sector Not Off the Hook When It Comes to Greenhouse Gas Emissions" - "The furls of gas that billow from smokestacks on power plants and other heavy industries are a visible source of the greenhouse gas emissions warming our world. But the economy is filled with invisible releases of carbon dioxide and other climate-change-inducing gases that lurk behind everyday products and services. New research shows that the service sector--such as banking, hospitals, computers and retail stores, among other businesses--is responsible for more than one third of industrial greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S." (Scientific American)

"UK: The road to ruin: how pay as you drive could cost families £3,000 every year" - "It has been sold as a price worth paying to free up the roads, not to mention help save the planet, but pay as you drive could cost a typical middle class family an extra £3,000 a year. The potential expense of proposals to be put forward by ministers later this month has been revealed by an investigation using figures from a government transport adviser. Under Government plans, cars will be fitted with tracking devices and their exact movements recorded by satellite. Motorists will then be charged per mile on a sliding scale, depending on the time of day they are driving and the roads they use." (Sunday Telegraph)

Demonstrating readers are better informed than journalists? "Seven out of 10 fear UK energy supplies are at risk" - "Public concern over possible threats to their energy supply still outranks worries over climate change, despite the publication of the Stern review." (London Independent)

"UK: Russian bear could punch our lights out" - "With the clocks now back and the cold weather drawing in, our leaders' minds are turning to the possibility of an energy shortage this winter. Last week, while all eyes were on Sir Nicholas Stern's climate change report, the Commons debated whether we were in for a repeat of January's energy scare, when gas supplies ran dangerously low, causing consumer prices to spike. The Government's reassurances were somewhat half-hearted. "We are hopeful that electricity supplies this winter will be more than sufficient," said Alistair Darling, the Trade & Industry Secretary. Only "hopeful"?" (London Telegraph)

The joys of inadequate supply and distribution... "Europe faces threat of power shortages" - "Europe faces the growing threat of electricity shortages because growth in demand has outstripped investment in new power stations, a leading consultancy has warned." (Financial Times)

"German-triggered blackout exposes fragile European power network" - "BERLIN: European officials and electricity firms were investigating Sunday why a supply problem in Germany left about 10 million people in darkness across the continent." (Associated Press)

Gasp, egad! Other people want affordable electrickery too! "Emissions forecast: more bad news" - "International Energy Agency fears carbon dioxide levels will rise faster than predicted as emerging nations turn to coal for power." (The Observer)

"US Port Urges Ship Emissions Cut as Traffic Surges" - "SHENZHEN, China - The US Port of Tacoma is urging the global shipping industry to curb vessel emissions as the world's fleet expands at breakneck pace to meet soaring demand for ships to move goods across oceans." (Reuters)

"The birth of a quieter, greener plane" - "More and more of us fly every year. As we do so, the political pressure to act to curb greenhouse gas emissions from planes is rising. Now a team of researchers in Britain and the US has come up with a revolutionary new aircraft design that could make a dramatic contribution to curbing climate change." (BBC)

"Australia: Nuclear power on agenda" - "Prime Minister John Howard has put nuclear power firmly on the election campaign agenda, creating a clear demarcation between the coalition and the strongly anti-nuclear Labor and green groups. Mr Howard, attending the Queensland Liberal conference in Brisbane, said he would do nothing to put the mining industry at risk by taking a panicky approach to greenhouse emissions." (AAP)

"Brazilian Ethanol Fantasies" - "One of the latest future energy options has been “biofuels”, especially the “successful” Brazilian experience with ethanol. We are told that thanks to the wide use of ethanol Brazil is independent from foreign oil imports and now is energy independent. The truth has been oozing out from Brazil and it’s not exactly what the advocates have been saying. We have not been told the truth and more importantly, the advocates are repeatedly misrepresenting energy events in Brazil." (Michael R. Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

Recycling "Club of Rome" piffle: "Living beyond our means" - "Since the industrial revolution, the West has enjoyed wealth, health and economic growth. And if it seems to good to be true, it is: our very economic model is unsustainable." (Larry Elliott, The Guardian)

"Cause celeb" - "With more evidence every day that global warming is leading the planet into a desperate future and other indicators of degradation, environmental issues have become the cause du jour of the renowned and famous. But is celebrity support always good for the cause?" (Toronto Star)

More important question: "Are their 'causes' good for people or the planet?" We are not convinced being good entertainers qualifies people to direct or influence public policy. Should we pay attention to the naive ramblings of some bubblehead who romanticizes lack of development and infrastructure because they got to take a dump in the woods? Puh-lease!

"Donor bins are a big business" - "But the nonprofit collecting clothes in the area has ties to a network that's facing worldwide scrutiny." (Sacramento Bee)

"UK: PM attacks 'irrational arguments' on GM food" - "TONY Blair yesterday risked infuriating opponents of genetically modified food - who include Prince Charles - by suggesting that their arguments are not "rational." The Prime Minister was making a keynote speech on science, in which he called for Britain to discuss technological innovations in a more "scientifically literate" fashion." (The Scotsman)

"Greenpeace and Bayer at loggerheads about GM rice and protest e-mails" - "The dispute between the environmental protection organization Greenpeace and the Bayer Group about the cultivation and sale of genetically modified rice is beginning to extend to the Internet as a battleground in more ways than one. According to Greenpeace statements the Leverkusen-based corporate group has recently been pressuring the provider hosting the German Greenpeace website "EinkaufsNetz" [Shopping Net]. The agency responsible for managing the technical side of the site had been asked by Bayer to block the page, Greenpeace stated. The reason for the group's behavior is the ready-made protest e-mails that can be sent via "EinkaufsNetz" to individual Bayer executives." (Heise Online)

"Activists leave occupied Syngenta GMO farm in Brazil" - "SAO PAULO -- Activists from the international anti-transgenic farming and agrarian reform group, Via Campesina, left a Syngenta Seeds experimental farm in Parana state on Friday that some 300 people had occupied since March, the company said." (MarketWatch)

"Militant French farmer Bove detained following violent protest near Bordeaux" - "BORDEAUX, France: Police in southwestern France detained militant farmer Jose Bove after a protest Saturday against genetically modified foods turned violent, local officials said. About 150 activists attacked several silos in the town of in Belin-Beliet, near Bordeaux, dousing water onto dried corn they suspected was genetically modified." (Associated Press)

November 3, 2006

"Celebs Mislead Californians on Air Pollution Threat" - "What do Bill Clinton and Julia Roberts know about air pollution and health in California? The answer can only be "not much," based on their statements in support of the California ballot measure known as Proposition 87 which would tax oil to fund alternative energy research." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"The Economics And Politics Of Climate Change: An Appeal To Reason" -"This is a highly complex subject, involving as it does science, economics and politics in almost equal measure. The Centre for Policy Studies has kindly agreed to publish a greatly extended version of this lecture as a pamphlet, in which I will be able to do greater justice to that complexity and to quote the sources of a number of the statements I propose to make this evening. It will also enable me to deal at slightly greater length with the scaremongering Stern Report, published earlier this week. But the essence of it is what I have to say tonight." (Nigel Lawson, Centre for Policy Studies)

"Stern Measures" - "Averting climate change is surprisingly affordable. Or is it?" (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

Stern didn't write the Stern Review? As suspected, Tyndall had a major input into the Stern Report, even having a "researcher" seconded to the Stern team for a year. This was the Tyndall submission and below are their inputs, including direct editing of the final report by Tyndall staff.

http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/publications/stern_review.pdf Tyndall submission

Tyndall researchers have made major contributions to the Stern Review:

Dr Simon Dietz completed a year-long  secondment to the Review team in partnership with Tyndall, made possible by the UK's Economic and Social Research Funding Council (ESRC).

Tyndall submitted 27 pages of evidence from across a range of its researchers and collaborating Universities. A number were then invited to give direct oral evidence www.tyndall.ac.uk/publications/stern_review.pdf

The Review commissioned four specific analyses: Warren R., Hope C, Mastrandrea M, Tol R S J, Adger W. N., Lorenzoni I., (2006) Spotlighting the impacts functions in integrated assessments.

Research Report Prepared for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. Tyndall Working Paper 91

Warren R., Arnell N. W., Nicholls R., Levy P E, Price J, (2006) Understanding the regional impacts of climate change: Research Report Prepared for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. Tyndall Working Paper 90

Anthoff, D., Nicholls, R.J., Tol, R.S.J. and Vafeidis, A.T. (2006) Global and regional exposure to large rises in sea-level: a sensitivity analysis. Research Report Prepared for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. Tyndall Working Paper 96

Terry Barker, leader of Tyndall's CIAS programme of research (Community Integrated Assessment System) and Director of 4CMR, set up a project to conduct a meta-analysis of the literature on the costs of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation with induced technological change, funded by HM Treasury. This generated a report for the Stern Review: 'A meta-analysis of literature estimates of the costs of GHG mitigation with induced technological change'.

A Tyndall Briefing Note from April 2005 is available on Terry Barkers area of Tyndall Centre research, called 'New Lessons for Technology Policy and Climate Change. Investment for Innovation; a briefing document for policymakers': Tyndall Briefing Note 13  http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/publications/briefing_notes/note13.pdf

Terry Barker, Rachel Warren, Robert Nicholls and Nigel Arnell were asked for their comments on various parts of the draft Stern report. 4CMR's Director, Terry Barker, set up a project to conduct a meta-analysis of the literature on the costs of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation with induced technological change, funded by HM Treasury, employing Mahvash Qureshi for three months' full-time- equivalent research assistance, with help from 4CMR staff. Katie Jenkins assisted and Terry and Jonathan Kohler supervised. This generated a report for the Review:

'A meta-analysis of literature estimates of the costs of GHG mitigation with induced technological change'.

Finally Terry Barker read and edited the Modelling Costs Chapter of the Stern Review. They have of course opened yet another Climate "Research Centre", another example of  creating consensus by setting up new bodies but with the same people involved. This closed network is huge and growing. Government Scientist opens Climate Change Centre January 2006 Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor to HM Government, was in Cambridge on Friday for the official opening if the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research in the University's Department of Land Economy, or '4CMR' as it will be known.

"Climate change is occurring and the causal link to increased greenhouse gas emissions largely caused by the use of fossil fuels is now well established. Carbon dioxide levels are now about 40% higher than at any time in the past 740,000 years at least. The inertia of the global weather system means further warming will occur over the next few decades regardless of action on emissions reduction. As a result, millions of people around the world will increasingly be exposed to hunger, drought, flooding and other serious impacts."

Sounds familiar...

You may also find this enlightening, worth reading right through. http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/publications/TyndallEffect2006.pdf (Dennis Ambler, Investigator at large)

Predictably: "Avoiding Calamity on the Cheap" - "A much-anticipated study on climate change ordered up by Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain has attempted to calculate the economic costs of global warming. Though necessarily conjectural, the study warns that if we continue on our current course, atmospheric temperatures could rise four degrees or so in this century, producing a hugely disruptive mix of rising sea levels and withering droughts." (New York Times)

The big lie: "A new slogan for the environmental pressure groups: Some Gain, No Pain" - "Like almost every other rational human being who is not in the pay of the US oil industry or the Bush White House, I believe that doing whatever we can to prevent, or at least mitigate, global climate change is one of the most important tasks facing the world today. Like almost every other media commentator and economist, I therefore welcome the Stern report published this week by the British Treasury and I strongly support Tony Blair’s promise to take urgent and decisive actions to put its conclusions into effect. In contrast to many of my colleagues, however, I will not respond to Sir Nicholas Stern’s extremely convincing admonitions about the horrors that lie ahead if the world continues to spew out carbon by suggesting that we restrain air travel." (Anatole Kaletsky, London Times)

The problem, Anatole, is that there is zero available gain to go with a world of pain. Note that the fact there is no gain is freely admitted even by AGW proponents like Tom Wigley and the modeling fraternity use truly extraordinary climate sensitivity to trivial changes in atmospheric trace gas levels when performing these calculations. The result being even these immeasurably small but very hopeful estimates are likely an order of magnitude too large.

"Bob Carter: British report the last hurrah of warmaholics" - "The Stern warning could join Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb and the Club of Rome's Limits to Growth in the pantheon of big banana scares that proved to be unfounded." (The Australian)

"UK's Blair pushes to speed up climate change talks" - "LONDON, Nov 3 - British Prime Minister Tony Blair, armed with evidence of the disastrous impact of ignoring climate change, will talk to Germany's leader on Friday about speeding up a drive for a new international pact against global warming. Blair's meeting in London with German Chancellor Angela Merkel comes before United Nations talks in Kenya next week to hunt for new ways to fight climate change. But experts say it may take three years or more to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the U.N. plan for curbing emissions of greenhouse gases which runs out in 2012." (Reuters)

Here's some sad news, fellas, the Stern Review is not "evidence" -- it's cherry-picked scenario-driven speculation based on the output of climate models tortured to inappropriate use.

"Climate threat heats up" - "A British report's numbers may be debatable, but it's clear the issue of global warming is coming to a boil." (LA Times)

Hype, yes -- planet, no.

"Got a problem? Blame global warming!" - "From allergies to maple syrup shortages to yellow fever: apparently every contemporary ill is caused by climate change." (John Brignell, sp!ked)

There, don't you feel better now? "No new ice age for western Europe" - "FEARS that a shutdown of ocean currents is about to plunge Europe into a mini ice age receded last week. New measurements have failed to show clear evidence that the current is weakening, and models of the North Atlantic show that a shutdown would not occur in the way oceanographers had expected." (New Scientist)

"Messy Models" - "The global warming scare comes largely, if not exclusively, from the outputs of numerical climate models. Some of the models are relatively simple in their design while other climate models are among the most sophisticated computer programs ever built. When the concentration of greenhouse gases is increased numerically, almost all models of climate show an increase in global temperature with the most warming occurring in the Northern Hemisphere’s highest latitudes. Predictions involving precipitation, drought, hurricanes, floods, changes in climate variability, and all the rest vary considerably from model to model. Many greenhouse advocates treat the 2 ×CO2 model simulations as predictions for the future with little regard for shortcomings in the way the models numerically represent the 1,000s of complex processes at work in the climate system." (WCR)

Still GIGO, but really fast: "Super fast forecasting tools: Atmosphere center to employ new IBM supercomputers" - "The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder has installed a new IBM supercomputer that's four times more powerful than the agency's existing supercomputer. The new computer will be used to better predict weather and climate change. Nicknamed blueice, the computer is the first of two supercomputers that NCAR will take delivery of between now and June 2008. The second computer will be four times as powerful as blueice." (Rocky Mountain News)

"Calif. greenhouse emissions up 14 pct 1990-2004" - "LOS ANGELES, Nov 2 - Greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming, rose more than 14 percent in California from 1990 to 2004, according to a California Energy Commission report issued this week." (Reuters)

Unlikely: "A climate change on climate change" - "Might Bush shift course and move forward on the Kyoto Protocol?" (Daniel Schorr, The Christian Science Monitor)

"EU warns of four-year delay to carbon trading scheme" - "Tony Blair's plans for aviation to be included in the EU carbon trading scheme are likely to be delayed until the end of the decade, senior EU figures said yesterday.  The disclosure of the delay of up to four years in the aviation scheme will open the Government to renewed charges of talking tough, but doing too little. The Stern report this week warned that urgent action was vital to avert a climate change disaster." (London Independent)

"Australia: PM to look at global emissions trade" - "AUSTRALIA could join a global emissions trading system as John Howard shifts ground on climate change. Under pressure to do more to address rising community concerns, the Prime Minister said he would not be "panicked" into policies that were not matched by other countries. But he put Australian industry on notice that it could face a pricing mechanism to reduce greenhouse emissions, as public sentiment hardens in favour of more urgent action." (The Australian)

"Australia: Climate change action may cost jobs: PM" - "Prime Minister John Howard warned Australia could lose jobs and investment if it placed unreasonable costs on industry in an effort to tackle climate change. He vowed to do all that he could to address the issue of climate change while protecting Australia's comparative advantage in fossil fuels, like coal and gas. Failure to do so could be to the detriment of future generations, he said." (AAP)

"Nullius in Verba" - "In 1663, a group of savants formed a London club to discuss "useful knowledge." John Milton's "Areopagitica" was very much on the minds of those early scientists, for it warned that Puritan control of the press could turn into state control of thought. Dissent could get you killed in Restoration England, at sword's point if gentlemen took umbrage, or on the gallows if it traduced royal policy or Holy Writ. So they were mighty relieved when King Charles II agreed to join them, for, with such a patron, the Fellows of the Royal Society would not fear for their necks or purses when speaking truth to power or questioning authority-at least not until September." (Russell Seitz, Wall Street Journal)

"The Snowe-Rockefeller Road to Kyoto" - "In a recent letter to ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and John Rockefeller (D-WV) urge Tillerson to end his company's support of "climate change denial front groups." The only group they identify by name is the one for which I work -- the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). I guess the Senators haven't been keeping up with the news, because ExxonMobil stopped funding CEI months ago." (Marlo Lewis, American Spectator)

"Exxon gives $1.3 million to carbon dioxide project" - "Donation signals effort to bolster its image on greenhouse gases" (Dallas Morning News)

"'Black cloud' highlights global warming problem" - "WWF-Canada organizers laid out a "black cloud" of balloons in Toronto Thursday to draw attention to the "invisible problem" of global warming. More than 3,000 balloons dotted the grounds of Metro Hall square in the city's downtown. The conservation group, formerly known as World Wildlife Fund Canada, says the balloons represent carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming." (CBC News)

"UK in India climate change plea" - "British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has urged India to help in efforts to tackle climate change." (BBC)

"Climate change report offers opportunities for farmers" - "A heavyweight climate change report commissioned by Chancellor Gordon Brown and published this week will have a far-reaching economic impact on the entire food chain, but could offer opportunities to farmers." (Farmers Weekly)

Wouldn't hold your breath, guys.

"Scotland: Watchdog warns of flood peril to seaside properties" - "NEW flood-risk maps of Scotland, showing storm water covering Edinburgh's multimillion-pound waterfront development, parts of Glasgow city centre and other major urban areas, were unveiled yesterday.

However, a row erupted over the accuracy of the maps, with one city politician claiming the system was helpful as "a map of Holland without the dykes" because the effect of flood defences had not been included. SEPA said the maps, that cost £2 million to produce and can be found at www.sepa.org.uk/flooding/mapping/ were meant to be "indicative" and anyone in a flood risk area should seek more information about the extent of protection. The risk areas show parts of Scotland where there is a 0.5 per cent chance of a flood in any one year." (The Scotsman)

0.5 per cent chance... 1 in 200 year flood maps, in other words, but without the flood defenses being taken into account. You know, if I were one of the taxpayers stumping up for such dazzlingly dysfunctional cartography, I think I'd be upset.

Stupid... "Green Protestors Storm British Power Station" - "LONDON - Environmental campaigners invaded one of Britain's biggest power stations on Thursday, forcing the plant to reduce output on one of the coldest days so far this winter, campaigners and the plant's owner said." (Reuters)

"UK: Push for energy-saving bulbs" - "Moves to ban traditional lightbulbs are being looked at by the government in the battle against climate change. The aim is to encourage consumers to buy energy-saving bulbs, which last on average up to 12 times as long. People using the energy-saving bulbs will also see their electricity bills reduced by up to £9 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust." (The Guardian)

"U of M researchers invent 'flashy' new process to turn soy oil, glucose into hydrogen" - "Anyone who's overheated vegetable oil or sweet syrup knows that neither oil nor sugar evaporates--oil smokes and turns brown, sugar turns black, and both leave a nasty film of carbon on the cookware. Now, a University of Minnesota team has invented a "reactive flash volatilization process" that heats oil and sugar about a million times faster than you can in your kitchen and produces hydrogen and carbon monoxide, a mixture called synthesis gas, or syngas, because it is used to make chemicals and fuels, including gasoline. The new process works 10 to 100 times faster than current technology, with no input of fossil fuels and in reactors at least 10 times smaller than current models. The work could significantly improve the efficiency of fuel production from renewable energy sources." (University of Minnesota)

"Schools are banning tag. What's next: musical chairs?" - "PITMAN, N.J. – More and more elementary schools are banning the game of tag from playgrounds. Why? To prevent accidents (read: lawsuits) and to keep kids' self-esteem intact. But if physical harm and psychological harassment can be hidden in a simple game of tag, surely educational experts must be on alert for other forms of abusive playground games." (Dean P. Johnson, The Christian Science Monitor)

"Bonfire night: an annual display of pyrotechnical correctness" - "Fireworks! How about watching virtual pyrotechnics on a laptop in your bedroom with the curtains drawn, listening to recorded bangs on your iPod with the volume down and enjoying an organic hot dog labelled “This Dog May Be Hot”?

Far-fetched, perhaps. But so are reports that a Devon rugby club is showing a video projection of a bonfire at its fireworks party to avoid the costs of meeting health and safety regulations. Our local school has cancelled its display, because of a shortage of “trained firework lighters” (how long is that course?) and new guidelines on how far fireworks should be from people. We are a long way from the common sense advice on the old family fireworks box to “Light the blue touchpaper and retire immediately”." (Mick Hume, London Times)

"Europe faces obesity epidemic by decade end-experts" - "LONDON, Nov 2 - Europe is facing an obesity epidemic by the end of the decade which will increase health costs and hamper economic development, health experts said on Thursday. Up to 23 percent of men and as many as 36 percent of women in Europe are obese and one third of children are overweight. "If we do not act now, we expect to have 150 million adults and 15 million obese children by 2010. That means between 2002 and 2010 we will have 20 percent more obese people compared to about 10 years ago," Dr Francesco Branca, of the World Health Organisation (WHO), told a news conference. "This really is the description of an epidemic," he added." (Reuters)

''Only 50 years left' for sea fish" - "There will be virtually nothing left to fish from the seas by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a major scientific study." (BBC) | By 2048 all current fish, seafood species projected to collapse (AAAS)

"Blair downplays creationism fears" - "The prime minister has rejected worries about current teaching of creationism - saying it would only be a concern if it became the "mainstream" of education." (BBC)

"Dartmouth study contributes to research addressing malnutrition and iron deficiency" - "HANOVER, NH -- Dartmouth biologists are leading a research team that has learned where and how some plant seeds store iron, a valuable discovery for scientists working to improve the iron content of plants. This research helps address the worldwide issue of iron deficiency and malnutrition. Their findings were published online on Nov. 2 at ScienceExpress, the advance publication site for the journal Science." (Dartmouth College)

"Limagrain, GRDC to bring GM healthy wheat to market" - "A genetically modified wheat variety that has significantly more resistant starch than regular wheat could reach the market in five years, say Australian scientists who have won financial backing to commercialise the crop." (Food Navigator)

"Centre to SC: Use of GM seeds in public interest" - "Advocating the use of Genetically Modified seeds, the Government has said the commercial use of the seeds did not pose any threat to ecology and was beneficial for farmers, though green activists feel otherwise." (PTI)

"Czechs profit by allowing GM crops and conventional crops to co-exist" - "They go together like chalk and cheese. Like orange and green, they should never be seen together. Genetically modified crops just can't be permitted to contaminate conventional or organic ones. But judging by farmer experience in the Czech Republic, where 1290ha of GM maize was grown commercially this year, there is no reason why co-existence can't succeed." (Farmers Weekly)

"Anti-GM-food group protests with pollution" - "Editorial: The release of 13,000 balloons near the Bundestag makes a point, but leaves behind a mess. Campact e.V., a group which lobbies against genetically modified foods, released 13,000 balloons Thursday near the Bundestag as part of their “GM food – no thank you” campaign. But the question we were left with was: is polluting the environment with balloons really the best way to lodge a protest against GM foods?" (The Berlin Paper)

"UK: Channel 4 series plunges into debate on GM farming" - "Down on the farm for a new Channel 4 series, viewers can forget cornfields swaying lazily or lambs gambolling playfully. Glow-in-the-dark pigs and an "allotment" of human noses are instead the produce of the unconventional virtual farm, to be developed as the attention-grabbing hook to a new series examining issues surrounding GM food, cloning and tissue engineering. The series, hosted by the journalist and biologist Olivia Judson, will see her venturing from her farmhouse to investigate a world where sheep have human hearts, pigs manufacture omega-3, goats produce spider's silk and enormous cows double as drugs factories." (The Guardian)

November 2, 2006

Here's a gem... "FEATURE - Aid Groups Drive to Curb Deadly Gas-Guzzling Cars" - "LONDON - Aid workers in risky environments may fear violence but they are more likely to die -- and hurt the people they are trying to help -- in a car crash, logistics experts say.

These specialists are joining a growing initiative to make humanitarian groups more responsible with their gas-guzzling four-wheel-drive cars, which belch out fumes that pollute the local environment and make people sick.

Many agencies campaign on environmental issues, but few people in the aid world are watching fuel emissions of the 60,000 vehicles used in their industry, according to the initiative, called Fleet Forum.

"We're not just delivering aid, but killing the children we're trying to feed," said Rob De Jong, acting head of the Urban Environment Unit of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), one of about 40 groups involved in the initiative." (Reuters)

... aid and/or disaster relief should be delivered over poorly maintained / destroyed / non-existent transport infrastructure -- in a Prius? There's a good reason aid is distributed via 4x4 and heavy transport vehicles -- because there's often no other way to do it. What do these people think, that it's like suburban Meals on Wheels or something?

"Networks Eat Up Food Police Message on Trans Fats" - "ABC, NBC highlight pro-regulation forces and compare obesity to tobacco." (Dan Gainor, Business & Media Institute)

What? The Big Question: What are the properties of trans fats, and should they be banned?

Anti trans-fat campaigners put it more colourfully. "Would you melt tupperware and put it on your toast," they ask.

Anti trans-fat campaigners eat tupperware? Anti trans-fat campaigners watch too much Jackass? Dunno... If you can translate the above quote please share it with the rest of us. Hat tip Dennis A.

Really? "Salt intake is strongly associated with obesity" - "Comprehensive reduction in salt intake would be a powerful means against obesity, claims new study" (University of Helsinki)

Because they have salty alcoholic beverages, maybe? "Alcohol overtakes coronary disease as top killer of Finnish menfolk" - "Last year, alcohol-related diseases and alcohol poisoning together killed more Finnish working-age men than coronary disease, the previous top killer, Statistics Finland (SF) said in a statement Tuesday." (NewsRoom Finland) | Alcohol abuse most common killer of working-age Finnish men (Helsingin Sanomat)

Must be all the salty snacks they have with their booze... or not: "Salt and (fill in the blank)" - "Is the "silly season" of US elections spilling over into anti-salt advocacy? Latest news release: longstanding anti-salt zealots in Finland assert that salt is responsible for the burst in global obesity." (Salt Institute)

"Depleted uranium risk 'ignored'" - "UK and US forces have continued to use depleted uranium weapons despite warnings they pose a cancer risk, a BBC investigation has found. Scientists have pointed to health statistics in Iraq, where the weapons were used in the 1991 and 2003 wars. A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2001 said they posed only a small contamination risk." (BBC)

"Mistaken Theory Harms Conservation Efforts - UK Study" - "LONDON - Efforts to save endangered species have until now been based on a mistaken theory that if one species in an area is under threat, all species there are in danger, according to scientists at London's Imperial College." (Reuters)

"Global map shows new patterns of extinction risk" - "The most detailed world map of mammals, birds and amphibians ever produced shows that endangered species from these groups do not inhabit the same geographical areas, says new research published today." (Imperial College London)

"Ancestor of Modern Trees Preserves Record of Ancient Climate Change" - "About 350 million years ago, at the boundary of the Devonian and Carboniferous ages, the climate changed. There was no one around to record it, but there are records nonetheless. A Virginia Tech professor reports on evidence of climate change that he found in the fossils of the 350-million year-old ancestors of modern trees." (Newswise)

"Climate change blamed for rising mercury levels in whales" - "Rising mercury levels in Arctic marine mammals, especially beluga whales, is due to the changing climate, a federal scientist says. Temperatures in the Mackenzie Basin have risen by three degrees in 30 years, said marine biologist Dr. Gary Stern, who is with the Fisheries and Oceans Department and part of a team aboard the Amundsen Research Icebreaker. The changes have resulted in more forest fires, warmer water and melting permafrost which, in turn, sends more mercury into the Beaufort Sea." (CBC)

"Climate Non-Conformity: Saving lives versus saving planet Earth." - "Two scientific events of note occurred this week, but only one got any media coverage. Therein lies a story about modern politics and scientific priorities." (Opinion Journal)

"Stern Review: The dodgy numbers behind the latest warming scare." - "The report on climate change by Nicholas Stern and the U.K. government has sparked publicity and scary headlines around the world. Much attention has been devoted to Mr. Stern's core argument that the price of inaction would be extraordinary and the cost of action modest. Unfortunately, this claim falls apart when one actually reads the 700-page tome. Despite using many good references, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is selective and its conclusion flawed. Its fear-mongering arguments have been sensationalized, which is ultimately only likely to make the world worse off." (Bjorn Lomborg, Opinion Journal)

All is revealed... "Interview: Tony Blair on science" - "How good were you at science at school? I'm very open about this: I was very poor at science at school. I've become a lot more interested in it in later life, and I've also started to regret that when I was younger I didn't engage with it more fully." (NewScientist.com news service)

... now we know why Tony is so gullible regarding "global warming," don't we?

Hmm... "Stern Report welcomed. UK science now needs to do more." - "Sir Nick Stern has led a major review of the economics of climate change. His report outlines the economic challenges it poses and how they can be met, in the UK and globally. Research carried out at the Met Office, in its world-leading Hadley Centre, formed the backbone of the scientific effort that went into the report." (Press Release)

... "we provided a lot of that scare-mongering pap, now give us more money to generate more garbage, faster." Not a big selling point when we've done the analyses showing climate models have roughly zero prognostic value.

Further, we don't want people to take our word for it -- the calculations are all laid out so you can check for yourselves. An hour should be ample time to check our formulae, workings and references so, either prove us wrong or satisfy yourselves that climate model-generated scares and guess-timations about future climate states are not worth the electricity used to generate them.

Meanwhile, back in the real world: "Britain faces arctic winter" - "AFTER one of the hottest summers on record, Britons have been warned to prepare for the big chill. Weathermen sent out the alert as they told the nation to wrap up for an icy blast from the Arctic. Temperatures are set to plummet to minus 4 degrees celsius (24F) overnight in some parts of the country in what could herald the start of a long and bitter winter. The sheer scale of the change in temperature, dropping up to 24F, will make conditions feel even colder." (Daily Express)

"Attack of the kiwifruit moralists" - "Who would have thought that eating kiwifruit would become a moral issue? Only somebody who doesn't realize that the aim of radical environmentalists -- like their old-guard socialist colleagues -- is to moralize everything." (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

"FEATURE - World's Report on Global Warming: "Must Try Harder" - "HELSINKI - More than a decade after world leaders pledged to avert "dangerous" climate change, a report card on their efforts so far might read: "Must try harder." (Reuters)

"Australia to push for 'New Kyoto' in Asia" - "CANBERRA, Nov 2 - After repeatedly blocking domestic carbon trading, Australia said on Thursday it would now push for Asia-wide emissions trading to combat global warming as part of a planned "new-Kyoto" pact." (Reuters)

"INTERVIEW – Essential that US Joins New Kyoto - UK Minister" - "LONDON - It is vital the United States signs up to a global agreement on climate change, British Environment Minister David Miliband said on Wednesday ahead of talks to agree a successor to the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012." (Reuters)

But important to whom and why?

"UK: The bill for climate change 'may soar'" - "The Government's blueprint for tackling climate change could cost five times more than expected, a leaked United Nations report shows today. The report comes as Lord Lawson, the Conservative former chancellor, launches a scathing attack on "eco-fundamentalism" and says a costly new carbon tax could wreck the economy." (London Telegraph)

GUFFAW! "Climate change special: State of denial" - "KEVIN TRENBERTH reckons he is a marked man. He has argued that last year's devastating Atlantic hurricane season, which spawned hurricane Katrina, was linked to global warming. For the many politicians and minority of scientists who insist there is no evidence for any such link, Trenberth's views are unacceptable and some have called for him step down from an international panel studying climate change. "The attacks on me are clearly designed to get me fired or to resign," says Trenberth." (Fred Pearce, NewScientist.com news service)

Fred Pearce pens an "infamy" piece on behalf of the AGW cheer squad ("In fo' me! They've all got it in fo' me!"). Apparently Fred never read the NAS panel report breaking the "hockey stick" (no confidence pre-c1600...) nor paid any attention to Landsea's concerns or just about anything else -- he prefers to give Trenberth a run from Hansen's playbook ("they're censoring me").

Here's an offer for you, Fred. Presumably you can handle a calculator or spreadsheet program sufficiently to understand and check our analyses of climate sensitivity and enhanced greenhouse forcing, along with modeled past and future climate states (Trenberth is co-author of one of our key source documents and most sources are Government scientists or the IPCC). Show us where we've messed up the calculations and/or why we've drawn invalid conclusions about models vastly overstating current/potential warming and we'll publish a retraction. If all these modelers are right and us nasty empiricists are wrong that should be a snap, shouldn't it? Of course, we'd be expecting you to publicize if you can't find serious error. Drop me a line, Fred, I'm sure we can work something out. (Oddly, Fred doesn't seem to be in my list of regular correspondents so, anyone in contact should feel free to pass this along.)

"Rockefeller, Snowe Target Free Speech" - "Since the advent of the Kyoto Protocol, scores of academics, think tankers, journalists and pundits have been arguing that the treaty designed to combat global warming simply could not achieve its aims. There were technological, economic and political realities that made success highly improbable." (Nick Schulz, TCS Daily)

"Censorship on global warming alleged" - "WASHINGTON - Two federal agencies are investigating whether the Bush administration tried to block government scientists from speaking freely about global warming and censor their research, a senator said Wednesday." (Associated Press)

Improved Methodology For Representing Atmospheric Processes In Weather and Climate Models (Climate Science)

The Green Church selling indulgences: "Planting Trees to Atone for our Environmental Sins" - "Companies offer customers the option of offsetting the CO2 emissions caused by air travel, driving a car or home energy use by paying for environmental projects. But how effective can personal emissions offsetting programs be in fighting climate change?" (Der Spiegel)

"Grape harvest dates are poor indicators of summer warmth" - Douglas J. Keenan (Informath) has reviewed “Grape ripening as a past climate indicator”, Nature, 432: 289–290. doi: 10.1038/432289a -- and another "warmest ever" claim crashes and burns. See the Theoretical and Applied Climatology note here (.pdf)

Letter of the moment: "The Atlantic's current changes are no cause for alarm" - "You published an article about the Gulf Stream that highlights the most speculative and preliminary finding that was presented at the recent Rapid climate change conference (Sea change: why global warming could leave Britain feeling the cold, October 27).

Unfortunately, the information was put in a context that it was never given at the conference and that makes no scientific sense. Some climate models have suggested that as the world will warm, the Atlantic Ocean, overturning circulation (which is only a fraction of the mostly wind-driven Gulf Stream), might dramatically slow down. If that happens it will reduce the atmospheric warming in coastal areas. But in all those scenarios the ocean circulation-induced cooling will not even cancel the (global) warming. So a "new ice age" is not predicted by any model. The current consensus is a 25-30% reduction of the ocean overturning by 2100 and no detectable trend for the next 20 years." (Professor Martin Visbeck, The Guardian)

"Satellites seek global hot spots" - "Where is the world's hottest place? Weather reports are too sparse to tell. But all-seeing infrared heat sensors on satellites can do the trick. A study published last week gives the 2003 honor to Queensland, Australia, with that year's high of 156.7 degrees F. (69.3 degrees C). Iran's Lut Desert claimed the title in 2004 and 2005 with highs of 154.4 and 159.3 degrees F., respectively (that's 68 and 70.7 degrees C). The study published in Eos by David Mildrexler, Maosheng Zhao, and Steven Running at the University of Montana in Missoula illustrates a new phase in climate monitoring. Satellites that survey Earth's surface and instruments that probe beneath the sea provide a continuous overview of global climate." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Shift toward services industries won't end global warming" - "MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL -- The shift toward a service-based economy won't automatically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases (GHS) in the air, a University of Minnesota researcher has found. His research contradicts assumptions about global warming often preferred by some economists and national policy experts." (University of Minnesota)

Encouraging... "No survival blues for Ulysses" - "GLOBAL warming may be threatening lots of things, but the blue Ulysses is not one of them. Experts agree that global warming threatens the survival of several wildlife species restricted to high mountain rainforests in north Queensland's wet tropics. The golden bowerbird and green ringtail possum are among those animals whose habitat appears to be gradually shrinking as global temperatures rise. However, the blue Ulysses butterfly -- which Melbourne newspaper The Age featured in its front page coverage of the Stern report yesterday, under the headline "Beautiful, but will it survive?" -- is a thriving inhabitant of rainforests at all elevations in north Queensland." (The Australian)

... the media beginning to chip each other for dopey AGW reports.

Good start, then they wreck it: "World 'lacks will' on disasters" - "There is a global lack of political will on preparing for natural disasters, according to a report by British MPs. The International Development Committee says donors are unwilling to fund preventative and protective measures. It urges the UK to lobby international partners to spend more on prevention. And it says the government's aim of spending 10% of disaster response funds on preventing future damage should be extended to all humanitarian budgets. The report says two-thirds of natural disasters relate to climatic changes." (BBC)

No one is going to spend big bucks on calamitous climate change when there is no evidence this is likely or even possible.

Always looking to help themselves to your money: "Tax tourist travel to aid climate, says Prof " - "An environmental tax should be placed on airline travel to help finance solutions to climate change, a New Zealand expert has told the Australian tourism industry. Professor Michael Hall told the Ecotourism Australia Conference in Townsville that while the tourism industry was being affected by climate change, it also was contributing to it." (AAP)

"UK: PM's vow to tackle global warming hit by plans to treble flights" - "Airport expansion will treble flights by 2030, flying in the face of vows to cut global warming." (London Independent)

"China to top US as biggest polluter by 2010" - "CHINA'S reputation as the world's biggest polluter is expected to be confirmed next week, posing a new environmental dilemma as Australia confronts the challenge of climate change. A report by the International Energy Agency is expected to show the Asian powerhouse will become the world's biggest polluter by 2010, displacing the US and dramatically bringing forward earlier projections of 2020. The new projection will force the Howard Government to reassess its approach towards China, the only world power to rival the US in economic terms." (The Australian)

Nope. China has long been the bigger "polluter" by virtue of older technology industry, energy supply and lack of affordability, although that is changing with wealth-creation and development. What they really mean is "emitter of carbon dioxide," which has Buckley's and nothing to do with "pollution" and everything to do with a surging economy and increasing standard of living.

Um... no: "Green chimney could save the planet" - "A new power plant chimney that converts greenhouse gases into helpful substances could have a huge impact on global warming." (David Whitford, FSB Magazine)

Might be a nifty thing, if it is economical and cost effective but it will not "save the planet" or "have a huge impact on global warming" for the simple reason carbon dioxide is not a threat to the planet nor does it have a huge impact on "global warming." Do the sums.

Today's featured scam: "Whole Foods Offers Cards to Fund Wind Power Market" - "LOS ANGELES - Top US natural and organic foods retailer Whole Foods Market Wednesday began selling "wind-power cards" that seek to fund and market the growing renewable energy." (Reuters)

"FEATURE - US Coal State Pursues Alternative Energy" - "PHILADELPHIA - Hundreds of millions of tons of waste coal are lying around the mines of Pennsylvania and nearby states, and that gets John Rich excited. Rich is president of WMPI Pty. LLC, in Gilberton, northeastern Pennsylvania, where he is setting up the first plant in the United States to turn waste coal into diesel fuel." (Reuters)

"Costs Limit Bigger US Move to Biomass Ethanol" - "CHICAGO - Scientists have developed ways to make ethanol from corn stalks, switchgrass, wood chips and other plant materials, but high production costs and lack of easy access to those materials have slowed the technology's move to widespread commercial use." (Reuters)

"INTERVIEW - Solar to Become Top Alternative Energy, Author Says" - "NEW YORK - Solar power will become economically viable and available to almost anyone in the next 10 to 15 years, Travis Bradford, a former corporate buyout specialist, says in his book "Solar Revolution." (Reuters)

And it's been just 10-15 years in the future for at least 30 years.

"More species in the tropics because species have been there longer" - "Why are there more species in the tropics than in the temperate regions of the globe? Many of the world's species live in the tropics (perhaps more than half), but the reason has been debated for more than 100 years.

Many researchers have hypothesized that climatic factors somehow cause species to originate more quickly in tropical regions. In a paper appearing in the November issue of The American Naturalist, John Wiens and a group of researchers from Stony Brook University have shown that, contrary to expectations, species seem to evolve at similar rates in tropical and temperate regions. What causes the difference in species numbers between tropical and temperate regions is not something special about the tropics that leads to more rapid speciation, but rather that the temperate areas were colonized more recently, leaving less time for species to originate and accumulate in these regions." (University of Chicago Press Journals)

"Old leaves need to die in time or they will bring a plant down" - "In a study from the November issue of The American Naturalist, researchers Alex Boonman and co-workers from the Netherlands show that it is beneficial for plants growing in a dense stand to shed their oldest, lower leaves once these become shaded. By using transgenic tobacco plants that do not shed their lower leaves, they were able to show that shaded old leaves become a burden to a plant because they no longer photosynthesize but still require energy to be maintained." (University of Chicago Press Journals)

"Fossil is missing link in elephant lineage" - "ANN ARBOR, Mich.---A pig-sized, tusked creature that roamed the earth some 27 million years ago represents a missing link between the oldest known relatives of elephants and the more recent group from which modern elephants descended, an international team that includes University of Michigan paleontologist William J. Sanders has found." (University of Michigan)

"Microbes compete with animals for food by making it stink" - "Microbes may compete with large animal scavengers by producing repugnant chemicals that deter higher species from consuming valuable food resources -- such as decaying meat, seeds and fruit, a new study suggests." (Georgia Institute of Technology Research News)

"Tropic of Hunger" - "Which is the most dreaded disease today: cancer, AIDS? There could be an endless debate on this. But, by all accounts, hunger in its different manifestations is the biggest killer of all. A UN report on hunger states that 854 million out of the world's 6.55 billion people are hungry — undernourished, malnourished or starving. That's more than the combined populations of US, Canada and the European Union. Most of them — 820 million — live in the developing world, 25 million in transitional countries and nine million in industrialised countries. One-third of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished." (Times of India)

November 1, 2006

"CIDA’s Malaria Meltdown" - "Why is the Canadian International Development Agency perpetuating malaria deaths?" (Amir Attaran)

[Dr. Amir Attaran is Canada Research Chair in Law, Population Health and Global Development Policy at the University of Ottawa, and a former Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund lawyer.]

"Urban sprawl not cause of human sprawl" - "As health-spending on obesity-related illnesses continues to rise in the United States, many suggest that urban planning geared towards active and healthy living could be an important tool to curb obesity. But does urban sprawl really cause human sprawl? Not according to research conducted at the University of Toronto, the London School of Economics and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain. In the recently released working paper, Fat City: Questioning The Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Obesity, researchers find no evidence that urban sprawl affects weight." (University of Toronto)

"The CReSA is working on a new strategy to combat spongiforms" - "Researchers at the Animal Health Research Centre (CReSA) are developing immunotherapeutical strategies against diseases produced by prion, such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis. The most recent results, published in the Journal of Virology, show that important advances have been made in tests using DNA vaccines on animal models, enabling a significant delay in the arrival of symptoms. In the long term, this research could lead to the production of treatment for humans." (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

"A potential biological cause for sudden infant death syndrome" - "New autopsy data provide the strongest evidence yet that sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is not a "mystery" disease but has a concrete biological basis. In the November 1 issue of JAMA, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston document abnormalities in the brainstem – a part of the brain that regulates breathing, blood pressure, body heat, and arousal – in babies who died from SIDS." (Children's Hospital Boston)

"And Now a Word From Our Critics" - "Balance is an important conceit of American journalism. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, previously partisan newspapers edged toward respectability and larger profits by telling "both sides of the story" and that convention carried over into broadcast journalism. It's a constraint that still chafes at working journalists with Something To Say." (Jeremy Lott, The American Spectator)

"I'm on the griller" - "ANDREW Bolt writes: How could I sanely think so many were in the grip of neo-pagan hysteria, whipped up by those who profit from the fears of the foolish?" (Herald Sun)

Compare and contrast (Number Watch)

"Reaction To Climate Change Report: Cool To Warm" - "Reactions Tuesday to a major climate change report warning against environmental catastrophe ranged from chilly skepticism in the US and Australia, to tepid-to-warm endorsements in Japan and Europe." (AFP)

"UK: Green tax on holidays and food splits Labour" - "CONSUMERS could be hit by steep price rises for a range of goods from food to hotel breaks under plans to tackle climate change being considered by David Miliband.

The Environment Secretary is consulting taking sweeping powers to extend curbs on greenhouse gas emissions so that they cover many more businesses, including supermarkets and hotel chains — curbs that at present apply only to the big industrial users. The costs incurred are potentially huge and are likely to be passed on to the consumer.

The proposal to take “enabling powers” to extend the carbon-trading scheme to other sectors will be taken in the new Climate Change Bill, Mr Miliband confirmed yesterday.

But amid signs of a government split on how to respond to Sir Nicholas Stern’s report on the impact of global warming, Gordon Brown is to reject Cabinet calls for swingeing tax rises on motorists and domestic consumers, The Times has learnt.

Airline passengers and drivers of large “gas-guzzling” vehicles will bear the brunt of green tax levies, to be introduced by the Chancellor in his last Budget in March. But Mr Brown is opposed strongly to measures that would allow petrol prices to rise even when the world price of oil slumped, as proposed in a leaked letter to him from Mr Miliband." (London Times)

Gordon wants to cede power to the EU? "Give EU more power to tackle climate change, says Balls" - "Gordon Brown's right hand man, Ed Balls, will say today that it is in the UK's national interest to collaborate more closely with the EU and that Brussels should have more powers to deal with issues such as climate change and the single market." (The Guardian)

Maybe you should keep Tony...

"Don't heed stern warning" - "Australians are in danger in talking up climate change scares that may never come to pass, writes economics editor Alan Wood" (The Australian)

From more rational times -- way back in April: "A load of hot air?" - "Hardly a day goes by without a new dire warning about climate change. But some claims are more extreme than others, giving rise to fears that the problem is being oversold and damaging the issue." (BBC)

"OPEC says British climate change report 'unfounded'" - "MOSCOW - A hard-hitting report on climate change published by the British government on Monday has no basis in science or economics, OPEC's Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

The Interlinked Role Of Changes In Radiative Forcings And Hydrology In The Climate System by Dev Niyogi (Climate Science)

Oops! New Northern Eurasian Snow Cover Data Not Cooperating (WCR)

"Ottawa holding up emissions trading" - "A lack of progress toward firm targets in Canada's climate change legislation is delaying efforts to launch what could become the world's largest emissions trading market, the president and chief executive of the Montreal Exchange said Monday." (Calgary Herald)

Socialists' wealth redistribution scheme... "FEATURE-Rich-poor carbon trade could deliver climate deal" - "LONDON, Nov 1 - A multibillion dollar trade deal to help poor countries cut their greenhouse gas emissions may sweeten talks this month on tackling climate change, providing an answer to the question of who pays to save the planet." (Reuters)

... the dozy buggers never figure out the flaw in their doomed plan -- wealth creation works to reduce poverty, redistribution creates poverty.

"Carbon trading costs will fall: Beazley" - "THE cost of a carbon trading regime to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions will come down over time through greater efficiencies, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley says." (The Australian)

No Kim, the price of hot air trades will fall because they are worthless.

"Warm weather hits price of carbon" - "The price of carbon continued to come under pressure yesterday in the European Union market, hitting a five-month low. Despite this week's British Government push on environmental issues, carbon hit €10.40 (£7) per tonne, before gaining slightly to close at €11.10.

Masum Bergmann, a broker at Evolution Markets in London, said that the price had run up above €12 last week on expectations of cold weather - which would have raised demand for power and thereby carbon to offset its use. "As it turned out, the weather was not so cold as the forecasts had predicted," Mr Bergmann said.

Heavy industry such as power generators and refiners have to buy permits to emit carbon dioxide if they exceed their emissions quota, and the demand for permits sags if it is cheaper to burn low-carbon gas and oil than dirtier coal. However, the market has an inbuilt weakness as a surplus of permits for carbon emissions was issued, particularly for the first phase, which runs up to 2008, so emitters do not need to buy more in the market." (London Independent)

"Canada climate-change stand spurs election talk" - "OTTAWA, Oct 31 - Canada's minority Conservative government could face a confidence motion over its climate change policy this week but political strategists said it was unlikely the country would be thrown into a quick election over the issue. The small left-leaning New Democratic Party left open the possibility on Tuesday that it would use Thursday, when it is entitled to set the agenda of the House of Commons, to move that Parliament had lost confidence in the government because of what opposition parties say is its inaction on global warming." (Reuters)

"It's time moderation emerged in debate over climate change" - "If life was black and white, it would be all so much easier, especially for editorial writers. But it's not, it's shades of grey . . . except, of course, when it's green. Then moderate thinking goes out the window and extreme attitudes rule -- especially in British Columbia and especially when it comes to the heated debate about global warming." (The Province)

"Global warming questions: Point of order" - "In a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Massachusetts and several other states are asking the justices to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant." (Tribune-Review)

"Atlantic Legal Foundation Files Amicus Brief in Important Environmental Case in the Supreme Court" - "WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 -- The Atlantic Legal Foundation submitted an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in Commonwealth of Massachusetts, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in which several states and environmental activist organizations are asking the court to order the EPA to regulate some greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The Foundation's brief argues that regulating automobiles' CO2 emissions is not only ineffective in attempting to control global concentrations of "greenhouse gases," but it also may have an economic cost that far exceeds alternatives." (PRNewswire)

"Asia-Pacific Partnership Countries Endorse Clean-Energy Projects" - "Washington – The United States and its five partner countries in the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate have endorsed nearly 100 individual projects for meeting energy and environmental goals, U.S. officials announced October 31." (Washington File)

Well blimey... "MIT survey: Climate change tops Americans' environmental concerns: Results are dramatic shift from three years ago" - "CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--According to a recent MIT survey, Americans now rank climate change as the country's most pressing environmental problem--a dramatic shift from three years ago, when they ranked climate change sixth out of 10 environmental concerns. Almost three-quarters of the respondents felt the government should do more to deal with global warming, and individuals were willing to spend their own money to help." (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

... near-non-stop media hype and coverage of Ozone Man's multimedia show and book deal and this has elevated people's awareness and ranking of "climate change"? And they found this out with a survey, eh?

"Cooling the planet at the gas roots" - "In Vermont, activists want to revive an old water mill to generate electricity. In California, so-called locavores are eating only local food, not food shipped by long-haul trucks. They're part of a bottom-up movement to fix global warming and start adjusting to a post-oil world. But will it work?" (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Coral reefs can be saved from climate change: conservation body" - "GENEVA - Measures to control overfishing and pollution and to protect mangroves would counter the destruction of coral reefs by climate change, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) said." (AFP)

Yes and no, corals have survived through lots of temperature changes, some apparently very rapid and much larger than any possibly associated with human emissions of GHGs so they aren't actually threatened by "global warming" to start with.

"Flat screen televisions 'will add to global warming'" - "The domestic boom in flatscreen televisions could pump hundreds of thousands of tonnes of extra carbon into the atmosphere each, hampering Britain's attempts to cut emissions." (London Independent)

From CO2 Science this week:

Sun's Fingerprints Seen in Northern Hemispheric Temperature Record of Past Four Centuries: Are they distinct enough to positively identify the sun as the party responsible for global climate change on decadal to millennial timescales?

Medieval Warm Period Records of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Records of the Week come from Farewell Lake, Alaska, USA and Lake Edward, Uganda Congo, respectively. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Aquatic Plants (Freshwater - Macrophytes): Does atmospheric CO 2 enrichment benefit freshwater macrophytes, including submersed, floating and emergent species?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO 2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Brown Saiwood, Common Microalga, Cucumber, and Earleaf Acacia.

Journal Reviews:
Last Interglacial Warmth of the Entire Arctic: How does it compare with the Arctic's current interglacial warmth?

Non-CO 2 -Induced Anthropogenic Warming: Its fingerprint is not to be found in climate model simulations but is readily evident in temperature measurements made at the earth's surface and in the lower troposphere.

A Review of World Glacier Trends: The effort produces rather firm conclusions, but not without some significant caveats.

CO 2 , Stem Starch Content and the Freezing Tolerance of Trees: How are they related?

The Urban CO 2 Dome of Cotonou, Benin (West Africa): How does it compare with the urban CO 2 domes of other cities around the world? (co2science.org)

"SaskPower fires up clean-coal plan" - "SaskPower took a big step towards building the world's first full-scale clean-coal plant by selecting the key technology used in the removal of carbon dioxide emissions from the proposed $1.5-billion power project. At a signing ceremony Monday, representatives of SaskPower, Babcock & Wilcox Canada and Air Liquide agreed to jointly develop 'oxyfuel' technology for the world's first near-zero emissions, coal-fired thermal generating station." (The Leader-Post)

"Big Ethanol" - "There'd likely be no alternative energy proposition on the California ballot if one guy, Stephen Bing, hadn't put up $50 million to place it there.

The media is kind to call Mr. Bing a "movie producer"; his fortune was inherited from his grandfather and his dabbling in the film business has been desultory. His misadventures with starlets and models have proved a more lasting claim to notoriety. In fact, he has little record of sustained commitment to anything, which perhaps explains the economic incoherence of the ballot proposal.

You would never say the same about his most visible ally, Vinod Khosla, a highly reputable Silicon Valley venture capitalist, a founder of Sun Microsystems, and now an avid investor in ethanol ventures. Mr. Khosla says what grabs the public's attention is not "facts" but "stories," and he has lustily lent his voice to telling stories about gouging oil companies, the urgent need for energy independence, and other media-ready tropes useful in selling the proposition to California voters.

Under Prop. 87, as the measure is called, California-produced oil would be taxed to fund alternative energy projects. By making domestic energy more expensive, it would increase, not decrease, the clout of foreign suppliers. But never mind. It also includes an absurd and unenforceable mandate that the cost of the tax not be reflected in the price of gasoline.

Even the reliably middle-of-the-road Los Angeles Times calls the proposition economic quackery. What's really going on here?" (Wall Street Journal)

"China Turns to Salt Water to Ease Drought" - "BEIJING - Drought-stricken China, where hundreds of millions of people are without regular access to drinking water, is turning to desalinated sea water to help end the crisis, the government said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Bacteria could make new library of cancer drugs that are too complex to create artificially" - "Researchers at the University of Warwick are examining a way of using bacteria to manufacture a new suite of potential anti-cancer drugs that are difficult to create synthetically on a lab bench. The bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor naturally produce antibiotics called prodiginines." (University of Warwick)

"New cancer-fighting virus kills invasive brain cells" - "CALGARY – Researchers funded by The Terry Fox Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society have found that a cancer-fighting virus called VSV kills the most malignant form of brain cancer in mice. The team also discovered that the virus can be given intravenously and targets invasive tumour cells. The research team first modified the virus by altering one of the genes to make it safer in normal cells but still able to kill cancer cells. They then used a new way of delivering the virus – intravenously instead of directly into the tumour – and were able to target the main tumour as well as the tumour cells that had spread from the main mass." (Alberta Cancer Board)

"ANALYSIS - GMO Traces Pressure Spain's Organic Maize Farmers" - "MADRID - Organic farmers in Spain are abandoning maize after finding traces of genetically modified (GMO) strains in their crops, figures show." (Reuters)

"India warned over GM rice crops" - "Rice traders and environmentalists have issued a stark warning to the Indian government at a meeting in Delhi. They said that trials of genetically modified (GM) rice may harm exports and jeopardise the livelihoods of millions of poor farmers. The campaigners say that they are concerned that commercial rice crops could become contaminated by GM strains which will affect overseas sales. They say that could lead to restrictions on Indian crops abroad." (BBC)

"GM for the cabbage patch" - "Crop and Food Research applies to genetically modify veges to develop resistance to insect pests." (NZ City)

"NZ: Tight security for GM-crop tests" - "Security will be in place to protect field tests for genetically modified vegetables in Canterbury if they go ahead next year." (The Press)

"Seed companies boost crops using traits of relatives" - "SLATER, Iowa -- In a low-slung building amid farm fields, agriculture's second biotechnology revolution is dawning.

Rows of robotic devices are deciphering the DNA in slices of thousands of corn plants sent daily from as far away as Chile and Hawaii. Scientists here search the results for subtle genetic differences that explain why a particular plant is better than others at tolerating cold, repelling insects, surviving drought or making more seed.

Armed with this knowledge, crop breeders can create better corn. But not by gene-splicing, the method that has stirred resistance, especially in Europe, to crops spiked with DNA from other organisms. The new technology uses old-fashioned selective breeding -- finding plants with desirable traits and mating them. Except that in this case, selective breeding is turbocharged." (Scott Kilman, The Wall Street Journal)