Archives - November 2008

November 26, 2008

Obama's Bad Green Deal - President-elect Barack Obama's plan to combat unemployment by creating 2.5 million public works jobs could only be loved by someone ignoring the economic and political realities of public works, alternative energy and the Greens. (Steven Milloy,

This must be activists' fallback panic since the Earth steadfastly refuses to enter meltdown mode: Acidic seas threaten coral and mussels: Impact of rising carbon dioxide levels far worse than previously thought - Rising carbon dioxide levels are increasing acidity in the oceans 10 times faster than scientists thought, posing a greater threat to shell-forming creatures such as coral and mussels.

An eight-year project in the Pacific has found that rising marine acid levels will challenge many organisms, because their shell-making chemistry is critically dependent on a less acidic, more alkaline environment. The study monitored seawater pH levels at the north-east Pacific island of Tatoosh off Washington state in the United States. (The Independent)

So, what's wrong with this picture? Briefly:

  • coastal and shallow water denizens experience wide ranges of alkalinity and salinity because they are subjected to rainfall and land runoff, yet they survive alkalinity much lower (i.e., acidification) than the relatively trivial change due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels
  • marine critters survive quite happily despite there being ocean outgassing zones (where CO2 is transferred from ocean to atmosphere, implying saturation) so changes in the size of these zones (which have existed far longer than has industrialization) implies no disaster
  • previous periods in Earth's history have demonstrated much higher temperatures (e.g. the Cretaceous, with globally averaged temperatures 6-14 °C higher than at present), higher carbon dioxide levels (4-6 times present levels) and simultaneously supporting vast numbers of chalk producing critters (think deposition of the White Cliffs of Dover)
  • then there's current coccolithophores (remember we told you how well these little blighters were doing?)
  • mollusks, corals and other calcium carbonate shell formers evolved in the Ordovician, when carbon dioxide levels were an order of magnitude greater than those of today

Of course, if someone was likely to pay me buckets of money to tool around on my own private 'research' reef I might be tempted to feign concern about these critters too but there is no plausible biological reason to do so.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is Not Pollution - "CO2 for different people has different attractions. After all, what is it? - it’s not a pollutant, it’s a product of every living creature’s breathing, it’s the product of all plant respiration, it is essential for plant life and photosynthesis, it’s a product of all industrial burning, it’s a product of driving – I mean, if you ever wanted a leverage point to control everything from exhalation to driving, this would be a dream. So it has a kind of fundamental attractiveness to bureaucratic mentality." - Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT (Popular Technology)

Scientists urge caution on global warming - Climate change skeptics on Capitol Hill are quietly watching a growing accumulation of global cooling science and other findings that could signal that the science behind global warming may still be too shaky to warrant cap-and-trade legislation.

While the new Obama administration promises aggressive, forward-thinking environmental policies, Weather Channel co-founder Joseph D’Aleo and other scientists are organizing lobbying efforts to take aim at the cap-and-trade bill that Democrats plan to unveil in January.

So far, members of Congress have not been keen to publicly back the global cooling theory. But both senators from Oklahoma, Republicans Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe, have often expressed doubts about how much of a role man-made emissions play.

“We want the debate to be about science, not fear and hypocrisy. We hope next year’s wave of new politics means a return to science,” said Coburn aide John Hart. “It’s the old kind of politics that doesn’t consider any dissenting opinions.”

The global cooling lobby’s challenge is enormous. Next year could be the unfriendliest yet for climate skeptics. Already, House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) has lost his gavel, in part because his peers felt he was less than serious about tackling global warming.  (Politico)

<chuckle> 'Brown clouds' stir Asian conspiracy storm - MUMBAI - A controversial United Nations report claiming "atmospheric brown clouds" generated by Asia are harming the world's climate, agriculture and health has created a storm of controversy in India, which has slammed it as part of Western pressure on Asia's efforts to counter global warming.

The brown cloud was more pointedly called the "Asian brown cloud" in an earlier United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report in 2002, before protests from India and China led it to be changed to the politically-correct "atmospheric brown cloud".

The updated version of the 2002 UN report, released on November 13, says three kilometer-thick brown clouds of soot, particles and toxic cancer-causing chemicals, primarily hovering over the Persian Gulf and Asia, are the latest major threat to global health, food supplies and the environment.

"I expect the atmospheric brown cloud to be now firmly on the international community's radar as a result of the report, " declared Achim Steiner, under-secretary general and executive director of the UNEP.

Steiner can revise his expectations, as so far the report has only raised controversy. India's scientific community have said the atmospheric brown clouds over Asia are a seasonal, temporary phenomena which may look bad, but have none of the catastrophic implications mentioned in the UN report. (Asia Times)

Actually development will clear the Asian Brown Cloud, just as soon as there is ample affordable baseload electricity (and domestic appliances to take advantage of it). This will have the massive spinoff benefit of alleviating a large proportion of chronic female and juvenile respiratory problems endemic in the region from indoor biomass and coal fires used for cooking and heating. Unfortunately everything the greenies and gorebull warming hysterics desire makes the situation worse, especially for Asians and Africans. The absurd carbon dioxide fixation currently so fashionable does immense harm, mostly to impoverished people.

Adjusting Temperatures for the ENSO and the AMO - The essay below has been part of a back and forth email exchange for about a week. Bill has done some yeoman’s work here at coaxing some new information from existing data. Both HadCRUT and GISS data was used for the comparisons to a doubling of CO2, and what I find most interesting is that both Hadley and GISS data come out higher in for a doubling of CO2 than NCDC data, implying that the adjustments to data used in GISS and HadCRUT add something that really isn’t there.

The logarithmic plots of CO2 doubling help demonstrate why CO2 won’t cause a runaway greenhouse effect due to diminished IR returns as CO2 PPM’s increase. This is something many people don’t get to see visualized. (Watts Up With That?)

How not to measure temperature, part 76 - This is the USHCN station of record for Oberlin KS. COOP # 145906 It was installed at this location in March 2008.

The idea behind the surface network is to measure the near surface temperature. Unfortunately, this one does it “nearer” to the surface than others. (Watts Up With That?)

Consensus dissipating on global warming? - Global-warming skepticism has apparently gone mainstream enough to get the attention of Politico. On the cusp of getting the most progressive Congressional leadership in history, the science used to argue for central control of energy production may disappear along with the warming that by all accounts stopped ten years ago: (Ed Morrissey, Hot Air)

Obama Watch - This week President-elect Barack Obama promised to “lead the world toward a new era of global cooperation on climate change" at an international climate change summit in California. In a previously-recorded video message to the 800 attendees, Obama repeated his campaign pledge to push for a cap-and-trade scheme that would reduce U.S. emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Obama also promoted his plan to spend $15 billion annually for ten years to create 5 million green jobs. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

Tracking 'The Gore Effect' - For several years now, skeptics have amusedly eyed a phenomenon known as “The Gore Effect” to half-seriously argue their case against global warming.

The so-called Gore Effect happens when a global warming-related event, or appearance by the former vice president and climate change crusader, Al Gore, is marked by exceedingly cold weather or unseasonably winter weather. (Politico)

Heading for disappointment: How Arctic melting could benefit shippers, oil companies - With global warming melting the Arctic's eons-old ice at an alarming rate, shipping and oil companies are looking ahead at how to exploit the new open waters. (McClatchy-Tribune)

Moonbat squeaks on: The planet is now so vandalised that only total energy renewal can save us - It may be too late. But without radical action, we will be the generation that saved the banks and let the biosphere collapse (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

Here's a newsflash for ya George -- the biosphere is thriving, largely due to human endeavor accidentally returning a resource in desperately short supply: atmospheric carbon dioxide :)

CLIMATE CHANGE: EU Saying, Not Doing, the Right Things - BRUSSELS, Nov 25 - Senior European Union figures are portraying themselves as champions of sound ecological policies ahead of the international climate change negotiations that begin in Poznan, Poland Dec. 1. Stavros Dimas, Europe's environment commissioner, this week described a series of measures being considered by the bloc's 27 governments as "easily the most far-reaching legislative package on fighting climate change anywhere in the world."

Green activists who have assessed the small print of these measures are less impressed, and believe that the EU's rhetoric is not being supported by solid action. (IPS)

PREVIEW - Downturn Tests Resolve At UN Climate Talks - OSLO - The economic downturn will test the world's resolve to do more to fight global warming at 190-nation talks in Poland next week, but the election of Barack Obama as US president should temper the gloom. (Reuters)

INTERVIEW - Italy To Veto New EU Climate Targets If No Changes - ROME - Italy will veto new European greenhouse gas limits for 2020 unless it gets concessions, its environment minister said on Tuesday, suggesting the EU might wait a year before adopting new climate change policies. (Reuters)

UK Says Supports EU Climate Plan Despite Recession - LONDON - Britain supports the European Union's tough climate change proposals even as Europe falls into recession, the UK minister of state for energy and climate change told a conference on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Climate law 'could cost billions' - The UK's Climate Change Bill - due to become law this week - may represent a poor deal for taxpayers, a former Conservative minister has said. (Richard Black, BBC)

Coughing up to curb climate change - The UK's Climate Change Bill, which commits future governments to cut CO2 emissions by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050, is about to receive Royal Assent but at what cost? Peter Lilley MP asks why ministers failed to mention that the legislation could cost each family in the UK up to £10,000. (Peter Lilley, BBC)

EU climate plan could cost more than 100,000 German jobs: report - Germany could lose more than 100,000 jobs if the European Union makes industries pay for pollution rights that are free at present, a press report said on Tuesday, citing an unpublished economy ministry report.

Increased costs stemming from reform of the EU's pollution rights policy would make 12 German industrial sectors less competitive, the daily Die Welt quoted the study as saying.

When indirect effects on subcontrators were factored in, almost 300,000 jobs could disappear by 2020, according to another study by the Muenster-based EEFA research institute. (AFP)

Carbon Offsets Could Swamp EU Carbon Price - Report - LONDON - A ballooning global supply of carbon offsets could flood the European Union's emissions market and dent prices, according to a report to be published next month by Britain's Carbon Trust. (Reuters)

Eastern EU members seek new climate proposal ahead of summit - Eastern EU member states want to see a fresh proposal from France regarding the European Union's planned climate and energy package, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Monday. (AFP)

Japan Aims To Limit Speculation In Emissions Trade - LONDON - Japan's prime minister wants to limit speculative trading in his country's carbon emissions trading scheme, a senior policy negotiator said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

The price of dissent on global warming - WHEN I first stuck my head above the parapet to say I didn't believe what we were being told about global warming, I had no idea what the consequences would be. I am a scientist and I have to follow the directions of science, but when I see that the truth is being covered up I have to voice my opinions.

According to official data, in every year since 1998, world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased. Why, then, do we not hear about that? The sad fact is that since I said I didn't believe human beings caused global warming, I've not been allowed to make a television program. (David Bellamy, The Australian)

Warming Likely from Further CO2 Increases (pdf) - Even though the computer models have never yielded a single result that matches observations, any criticism of the models is met with some sort of complex justification that is beyond the comprehension of the general public so it is readily accepted by the masses and those questioning the validity of the models are vilified by the promoters of the AGW agenda as skeptics and deniers who are in the pockets of big oil.

The sole support for AGW is the climate models, and the sole support for the climate models with respect to CO2 is the forcing parameter. There is no actual physical rational for the forcing parameter, because it was simply contrived from the assumption that observed warming of 0.6C was due entirely to a 100ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. There was never any verification of this parameter either by theory or observation. There is no justification for this parameter based on the physical properties of CO2, because the molecular configuration of the CO2 molecule precludes any significant effect from CO2 beyond a concentration of 300ppmv, and the current concentration is 386ppmv.

There is no justification for this parameter based on observation because the observed notch in the spectrum created by CO2 is virtually identical for both the Earth and Mars, and Mars has over 9 times the physical concentration of CO2 in its atmosphere than the Earth has in its atmosphere. Even the reference temperature value for the parameter is faulty because the maximum temperature increase possibly attributable to human CO2 emissions is 0.1C per century; not the 0.6C that is used in the forcing parameter. (Norm Kalmanovitch, Icecap)

From CO2 Science this week:

Ocean Acidification and Jellyfish Abundance: Does the former promote the latter?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 638 individual scientists from 374 separate research institutions in 40 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Lake Korttajarvi, Central Finland. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Tropical Cyclones (Atlantic Ocean - Global Warming Effects: Frequency, The Past Century): Has 20th-century global warming led to more frequent Atlantic Basin hurricanes, as climate alarmists routinely proclaim it has?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Barley, Garden Bean, Grassland Community, and White Clover.

Journal Reviews:
The Warming-Induced Release of Greenhouse Gases from High-Latitude Permafrost: Will it be as great as climate-alarmist icons have suggested it will be?

A Late Holocene Fire History of East-Central Alberta, Canada: How does it compare with the region's climate history?

Wood Responses to Elevated Carbon Dioxide and Ozone Concentrations in Trembling Aspen and Paper Birch Trees: What are they? ... and how do the effects of the two trace gases compare with each other?

Effects of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on a Marine Diatom: Does CO2-enriched seawater enhance or reduce diatom photosynthesis and growth rates?

Leaf Fluctuating Asymmetry in a Mediterranean Shrub: How has it been affected by multi-generational exposure to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations near a natural CO2 spring? ... and what does the result imply? (

Is Global Warming Spatially Complex? - Originally Posted on September 25, 2005.

The short answer is Yes.

As discussed in Heat storage within the Earth system, the appropriate climate metric to assess global warming is ocean heat content in Joules. As was shown in that 2003 paper, the radiative imbalance of the climate system can be effectively assessed by monitoring changes in Joules of the ocean heat content over time, as the other stores of heat in the climate system are small. For example, in that paper, between the mid-1950s and the mid-1990s, a global radiative imbalance of + 0.3 Watts per meter squared was diagnosed, with half of this heating (+0.15 Watts per meter squared) above 300 m and the remainder between 300 m and 3 km. Since that study, the analysis of Willis et al. 2004 provides more recent ocean heat storage changes. As we diagnosed from their data (see Pielke and Christy), the radiative imbalance for the period 1993- mid 2003 was about 0.62 Watts per meter squared.

However, these estimates are based on a global ocean average heat storage change. The actual spatial trends in ocean heat content are actually quite complex (i.e., see Figure 4 in Willis et al. 2004). They found that most of the heating was in the southern hemisphere mid-latitude ocean down to a depth of 750 m. The sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies mirror this spatial complexity at the surface of the oceans (see for a current map of the anomalies). On September 24, 2005 large areas of cool SST anomalies are evident in the southern hemisphere oceans, while large areas of warm SST anomalies are seen in the northern hemisphere Atlantic Ocean. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Australia cries foul over climate rules on developing countries - CANBERRA is pushing to change the rules for international climate change talks in Copenhagen next year to prevent rich developed countries, such as Singapore and South Korea, being required to do less because the Kyoto Protocol classifies them as developing.

Australia argues that the next global climate change deal should require binding economy-wide targets of developed countries, with unspecified binding "action" required of developing nations. But, in its submission to the UN ahead of next month's meeting in Poznan, Poland, to prepare for the Copenhagen talks, the Australian Government says the Kyoto delineation of developed and developing is unfair.

"Since the convention was adopted in 1992, no work has been done to better differentiate the responsibilities of parties beyond ... simple lists which no longer reflect current realities," the Australian submission says. (The Australian)

California takes steps to combat global warming - California is building a second line of defense against global warming, one that will prepare the state for a harsher environment while the other continues to cut climate-changing emissions.

The two-front approach acknowledges that rising sea levels, bigger floods, greater loss of species and other harsh effects of warming are inevitable, if not already occurring. (Sacramento Bee)

Tell The EPA To “(Not) Regulate This!” - The EPA wants to regulate just about anything … most importantly, the bureaucracy has set its sites on regulating carbon dioxide. It will restrict how much we can emit from, you know, pretty much any economic activity. It’s the proposal — you may have heard of it — that would allow the government to regulate everything down to your lawnmower. (see our recent GoredEarth cartoon embedded in this post.) (The Chilling Effect)

The Gore-ing of the Bull - Liberal pit bull Henry Waxman dethrones liberal old bull John Dingell.

Congressional leadership fights often give the best sense of where the political zeitgeist is drifting. Think of the combative Newt Gingrich narrowly edging the establishment candidate Ed Madigan for House Republican whip in 1989. That contest, hardly noticed outside of conservative Republican circles at the time, would have dramatic implications, auguring the GOP’s 1994 emergence from decades of political desert.

A similar seismic shift may have been signaled last week when Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) challenged fellow Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.) for the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee is among the most powerful on Capitol Hill, and thus its chairman’s influence is outsized. Dingell is a giant on Capitol Hill, irrespective of the power he has wielded as committee chairman. He has served in Congress since the Eisenhower administration, having inherited his long-serving father’s seat. The Dingells have staked a spot in the House chamber since the last few months of Herbert Hoover’s presidency.

Waxman is no spring chicken himself. Representing Hollywood and Beverly Hills, he came to Congress with the Watergate class of 1974. The excesses of that ultra-liberal class were long held in check by the old bulls of the House, and Dingell is among the last remaining. House Democrats voted to remove the Dingell obstacle last Thursday, giving Waxman a 137-122 victory in his bid to wrest the chairman’s gavel from the second-longest-serving member in House of Representatives history. (Max Schulz, NRO)

Major Investors Invited to Compete for Venezuela’s Orinoco Blocks - Venezuela long has been a prime example of a country where promising crude reserves have made above-ground barriers bearable for investors. Even with president Hugo Chávez’s antagonism toward foreign multinationals, companies like Chevron and Total have stuck it out in the South American country, suffering time and time again through oilfield nationalizations and unfavorable price regulations. Simply put, the country's huge oil and gas reserves have made the political headaches worthwhile.

Nowhere is that phenomena more clear than in the country’s latest push to develop new blocks in the Orinoco extra-heavy crude belt. Majors from around the world are lining up to compete for stakes in the blocks, which offer a rare chance in Latin America’s operating environment to buy into independently certified, potentially prolific oilfields. (Randy Woods, Energy Tribune)

Wind Power Exposed: The Renewable Energy Source is Expensive, Unreliable and Won’t Save Natural Gas  - This is not what President-elect Barack Obama's energy and climate strategists would want to hear. It would be anathema to Al Gore and other assorted luminaries touting renewable energy sources which in one giant swoop will save the world from the “tyranny” of fossil fuels and mitigate global warming. And as if these were not big enough issues, oilman T. Boone Pickens’ grandiose plan for wind farms from Texas to Canada is supposed to bring about a replacement for the natural gas now used for power generation. That move will then lead to energy independence from foreign oil.

Too good to be true? Yes, and in fact it is a lot worse.

Wind has been the cornerstone of almost all environmentalist and social engineering proclamations for more than three decades and has accelerated to a crescendo the last few years in both the United States and the European Union.

But Europe, getting a head start, has had to cope with the reality borne by experience and it is a pretty ugly picture. (Peter Glover and Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune)

Russia’s Demographic Demise: The People Lose Faith in a Corrupt System - There has been lots of hand wringing about the rise of Russia as a belligerent power. And those fears were stoked after the country’s recent invasion of Georgia. But there are plenty of reasons to doubt that Russia’s influence will last and many of those reasons are based on the simple mathematics of a population that is rapidly shrinking.

As Nicholas Eberstadt wrote in a recent piece in the New York Times, “Russia is in the midst of a genuine demographic disaster from which its rulers have no obvious exit strategy.” (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)

The Chilling Effect...

This week, a single egg is said to raise our risks for diabetes… not - By this evening, nearly 200 news stories have reported that a new Harvard study had found eggs raise risks for developing type 2 diabetes. Medical professionals could even earn continuing medical education credits by reading a MedPage Today article teaching that men eating seven or more eggs a week “were 58% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not eat eggs, and women were 77% more likely to become diabetic if they ate at least an egg a day.” As the story made its way around the world, it became increasingly embellished, just like that game of telephone you may remember from childhood. (Junkfood Science)

Microsoft Examines Causes of ‘Cyberchondria’ - If that headache plaguing you this morning led you first to a Web search and then to the conclusion that you must have a brain tumor, you may instead be suffering from cyberchondria.

On Monday, Microsoft researchers published the results of a study of health-related Web searches on popular search engines as well as a survey of the company’s employees.

The study suggests that self-diagnosis by search engine frequently leads Web searchers to conclude the worst about what ails them. (New York Times)

Eye roller: Germ alert: Steer clear of flatbed chicken trucks -- You've heard about the chicken that crossed the road. But have you heard the one about the chickens traveling down the road? It's no laughing matter. Crates of chickens being trucked along the highway in the back of an open truck can shoot a bunch of nasty bacteria into the cars behind them, researchers have found.

Drivers stuck behind such a truck should "pass them quickly," advised study co-author Ana Rule, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University.

Even so, it's not clear that germy debris will make you sick. None of the scientists who studied this problem got sick. And the disease-causing bacteria in question are normally spread by food or water, not air. (Associated Press)

The new world devised by Maurice Strong and George Soros - Have you ever wondered how capitalism was pushed over the edge of the cliff just six weeks before the American presidential election? (Judi McLeod, CFP)

Will Any Crumbs Remain After Bankers' Feast? - UNITED NATIONS, Nov 25 - The vast resources the U.S. and Europeans are pouring into ailing financial firms could lead to disastrous consequences for global efforts to reduce poverty and mitigate the impacts of climate change, warns a new study by an independent think tank.

The study, entitled "Skewed Priorities: How the Bailouts Dwarf Other Global Crises", points out that the U.S and European governments are willing to help financial firms in crisis with more than 4 trillion dollars -- an amount estimated to be 40 times higher than what is being spent on measures to fight climate change and poverty. (IPS)

We are not in favor of bailouts but one thing is for sure -- they do far less harm than wasting funds "on measures to fight climate change," none of which do any good for people or planet.

The facts are flooding in - TOO little water in Melbourne; too much in Gippsland. Do I really need to join the dots for the Brumby Government?

Understand at last, guys? Just build that damn dam - and two problems become one cheap solution. (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Can GM save the world? - Genetic modification is one of the great contentious issues of 21st Century science.

To some it is a powerful technology that could boost food production and prevent famines; to others it is a dangerously untested science that threatens environmental disaster.

The BBC Horizon programme sent Jimmy Doherty - an advocate of sustainable farming - on a personal mission to get at some of the truths on GM. (BBC)

November 25, 2008

Incompetent journalist awards? Sustainable Development in a Doomed City - CARTAGENA, Colombia, Nov 24 - The sea encroaching on the streets of this Caribbean resort city in northern Colombia dramatically underlines the challenges that 60 journalists, winners of awards from the Latin American Avina foundation, discussed over the weekend.

The award money is to be used for reporting or making documentaries on sustainable development.

In spite of the lack of rain or other exceptional circumstances, some 50 metres of the street were under water in front of the Almirante Estelar Hotel, where the 2nd Meeting of Investigative Journalism for Sustainable Development, sponsored by Avina, was being held.

Two participants at the meeting were unable to visit the historic centre of the city on the morning of Nov. 21. The avenue they had to take from the hotel's Bocagrande neighbourhood was flooded with water and impassable for cars.

Cartagena appears doomed to be one of the first victims of the rise in ocean levels due to global warming. (IPS)

Fact checking obviously is not within the purview of "Investigative Journalism for Sustainable Development" is it? All they had to do was plug something like "CARTAGENA Colombia subsidence" in to their favorite search engine to find out the place is subject to tectonic subsidence as well as fluvial compaction -- the sea isn't getting taller, the land is getting shorter :)

Gorebull warming is now such an article of faith these dills have stopped looking for any real information.

Last week, more carbon to stay in soil -- this week: Global warming changing organic matter in soil: Atmosphere could change as a result - New research shows that we should be looking to the ground, not the sky, to see where climate change could have its most perilous impact on life on Earth.

Scientists at the University of Toronto Scarborough have published research findings in the prestigious journal, Nature Geoscience, that show global warming actually changes the molecular structure of organic matter in soil.

"Soil contains more than twice the amount of carbon than does the atmosphere, yet, until now, scientists haven't examined this significant carbon pool closely," said Professor Myrna Simpson of environmental chemistry at UTSC, principal investigator of the study. "Through our research, we've sought to determine what soils are made up of at the molecular level and whether this composition will change in a warmer world." (University of Toronto)

Warming could change the molecular structure of soil -- at least if it's done with electric probes heating the ground 3-6 degrees (last we heard that wasn't an expected part of gorebull warming).

Vague about The Hague - I saw little point in even bothering to mention this latest, rumored moonbat effort — the claim, “Class action lawsuit against world leaders for allowing global warming being filed at the International Criminal Court in the Hague,” seeking damages on behalf of “future generations of human beings.” (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

NBC’s failed sweeps stunt: The snowjob of Kilimanjaro - Let’s start your Monday morning off with a triple-snort.

It was ratings sweeps week last week and NBC’s Today Show decided to dispatch its celebrity journalists to all the corners of the Earth to show us that the planet’s melting and it’s all our fault. (Michelle Malkin)

Kind of... Southern Ocean Resilient Against Global Warming - A recent study has found that the Southern Ocean has proved more resilient to global warming than previously thought and remains a major store of mankind's planet-warming carbon dioxide.

Oceans act as a brake on climate change by absorbing large portions of the extra CO2 released by mankind through burning fossil fuels or deforestation and experts say the Southern Ocean is the largest of these "carbon sinks."

Researchers in the past have suggested the vast ocean between Australia and Antarctica was losing its potency because climate change had affected its currents and increased powerful westerly winds.

The analysis between ship-based measurements of the ocean since the 1960s and more recent data from hundreds of robotic floats shows the Southern Ocean has maintained its ability to soak up excess carbon despite changes to currents and wind speeds.

"It's a positive thing. It's one thing it looks like we don't have to worry about as much as we thought," said Steve Rintoul of the Center for Australian Weather and Climate Research, part of a team researchers that also included scientists from the Institute for Marine Research at the University of Kiel in Germany. (redOrbit)

... they are right there is nothing apparently to worry about, ocean currents, while shifting, have not changed strength or direction -- all normal, in other words. The old saw about carbon dioxide and climate is tiresome. As yet there is no evidence we could raise the planet's temperature one whole degree even if we burn all available fossil fuels and even if we could this involves a reduction in extreme cold, not any great increase in warm extremes for the simple reason greenhouse potential is already saturated in the warm zones.

It's even worse! Ocean growing more acidic faster than once thought - University of Chicago scientists have documented that the ocean is growing more acidic faster than previously thought. In addition, they have found that the increasing acidity correlates with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a paper published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Nov. 24. (University of Chicago)

Oh, wait... never mind. These critters evolved under much higher atmospheric carbon dioxide conditions.

2 farces for the price of 1? Nations seek closer ties between UN efforts to save ozone layer and fight climate change - 24 November 2008 – The United Nations should twin its efforts to combat ozone depletion and climate change to reap the greatest economic and environmental benefits, governments concluded at a recent global gathering. (Un News)

We wish it was that cheap but the climate fraud is going to be far more expensive than its ozone precursor.

What a Racket! - California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a declaration this week with Indonesia and Brazil to develop efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation. This treaty-lite will make it cheaper for California businesses to purchase emission credits abroad than reduce their emissions. (Julie Walsh, Cooler Heads Digest)

Urban dwellers hold key to climate-change goals: report - Consumption habits and energy use in Canada's cities must change dramatically to meet climate-change goals established by the Harper government, says a new report to be released today.

The research, produced by a coalition of stakeholders from industry groups, environmental organizations and the government, noted that nearly half of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions are coming from sources in cities, and that these urban communities could play a significant role in building a new economy if the right policies are in place.

The report, drafted by Ken Ogilvie, former executive director of Pollution Probe, also suggests that reducing carbon-dioxide emissions from industrial sectors and energy supplies -- which it describes as "decarbonization" -- will not be enough to meet the government's target of reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2020.

"Urban areas must be part of the solution," said the draft report that will be discussed at a workshop in Victoria this week by dozens of stakeholders. (Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service)

Harvard Project Proposes Rich Nations Cut CO2 First - LONDON - Rich nations should make the first cuts in greenhouse gases while developing countries carry on business as usual for the time being, according to a plan set out on Monday by a Harvard University project.

This is one of four proposals by the American university's Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs to negotiators who meet for UN climate talks next week in Poland.

The current climate pact, the Kyoto Protocol, expires in 2012 and governments are scrambling to agree a new treaty by the end of next year.

"The new agreement should be scientifically sound, economically rational and politically pragmatic," Professor Robert Stavins of the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements said. (Reuters)

We agree with the part "should be scientifically sound, economically rational and politically pragmatic," which means forgetting about carbon dioxide emissions completely. because there is no value but immense harm in attempting to limit them.

Might get some sense out of Europe after all: A Fiery Czech Is Poised to Be the Face of Europe - PRAGUE — In the 1980s, a Communist secret police agent infiltrated clandestine economics seminars hosted by Vaclav Klaus, a fiery future leader of the Czech Republic, who had come under suspicion for extolling free market virtues. Rather than reporting on Marxist heresy, the agent was most struck by Mr. Klaus’s now famous arrogance.

“His behavior and attitudes reveal that he feels like a rejected genius,” the agent noted in his report, which has since been made public. “He shows that whoever does not agree with his views is stupid and incompetent.”

Decades later, Mr. Klaus, the 67-year-old president of the Czech Republic — an iconoclast with a perfectly clipped mustache — continues to provoke strong reactions. He has blamed what he calls the misguided fight against global warming for contributing to the international financial crisis, branded Al Gore an “apostle of arrogance” for his role in that fight, and accused the European Union of acting like a Communist state.

Now the Czech Republic is about to assume the rotating presidency of the European Union and there is palpable fear that Mr. Klaus will embarrass the world’s biggest trading bloc and complicate its efforts to address the economic crisis and expand its powers. His role in the Czech Republic is largely ceremonial, but he remains a powerful force here, has devotees throughout Europe and delights in basking in the spotlight. (Dan Bilefsky, New York Times)

German conservatives press for breaks in EU climate pact - BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced calls from fellow conservatives Sunday to fight to water down a European Union climate pact until the recession-wracked economy is moving again. (AFP)

EU Moves Closer To Agreement On Reducing CO2 Emissions - European Union governments made progress Monday on an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars, but did not reach consensus on the details, diplomats said.

Any agreement must strike the right compromise between the EU’s struggling car industry and the bloc’s priority in fighting global warming through a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The lack of consensus likely means the governments and the European Parliament will not reach a final deal on the matter in subsequent negotiations Monday evening. However, a deal might be reached later in the week. (redOrbit)

Economic Slump May Limit Moves on Clean Energy - Just as the world seemed poised to combat global warming more aggressively, the economic slump and plunging prices of coal and oil are upending plans to wean businesses and consumers from fossil fuel.

From Italy to China, the threat to jobs, profits and government tax revenues posed by the financial crisis has cast doubt on commitments to cap emissions or phase out polluting factories. (New York Times)

Rosenthal might as well have written "Finance squeeze limits stupid acts" for that is what it amounts to. Guess there's an upside to an economic slump after all.

Hansen’s Glacial Recession - A CNN article at the end of last week said that "A team of international scientists led by Dr James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, say that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are already in the danger zone." The ‘danger zone’? Is that ‘science’? Either way, the opinions of these alarmist scientists is hardly news… (Climate Resistance)

UK Announces Sharp Rise In Air Passenger Duty - LONDON - The tax for flying out of British airports is to be raised by at least 10 percent and will double in some cases by 2010, the government said, giving its green credentials a boost and handing the Treasury much-needed income. (Reuters)

Is There a Human Effect on the Climate System? - Originally Posted on August 1, 2005.

As discussed in depth in the NRC (2005) report, the human influences on the climate system are diverse and include, in addition to the radiative effect of the well-mixed greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, diverse influences from aerosols, land-use/land-cover change, the biogeochemical effects of enhanced CO2 and of nitrogen deposition. As concluded in the multi-authored paper Nonlinearities, Feedbacks, and Critical Thresholds within the Earth’s Climate System:

“The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilbria are the norm……..It is imperative that the Earth’s climate system research community embrace this nonlinear paradigm if we are to move forward in the assessment of the human influence on climate.” (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Dead wrong: CEOs Can Have a 'Huge Impact' on Climate Change - Multinationals have both the responsibility and reach to make a difference.

As leaders around the world grapple with how to craft policies to protect the environment, a new report from the United Nations shows what's at stake for Asia. Recently, the U.N. Environment Program released a study of the effects of "black clouds" -- particulate matter and other pollutants released by industry -- and the results are sobering.

According to the U.N., this type of smog blocks between 10% and 25% of the natural sunlight that would otherwise shine on Beijing's crowded streets. Wind and rain "washes" a portion of that smog onto the surface of the Himalayan glaciers, the water source for billions of people in China, India and Pakistan. Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are on the rise; rice harvests are declining. Billions of people are living their lives literally and figuratively under a pervasive brown cloud. This is an environmental crisis with no bailout plan in sight. (Jeff Swartz, Wall Street Journal Asia)

Swartz should actually find out a few things before submitting such tripe. The Asian Brown Cloud is not a result of industry but rather the use of biofuels: dung, grass & wood mainly, in highly inefficient domestic cooking and heating and from agricultural burning (both clearing and stubble fires). The source of the bulk of moisture for Himalayan glaciers is the Indian Ocean and Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall is affected by the Asian Brown Cloud sourced from southern Asia, not China -- Beijing smog can have little to no affect on Himalayan precipitation. The answer in both cases is development of cheap baseload electricity and the modernization of agriculture (mechanization and low till use of enhanced crops) coupled with wealth generation so people can afford electrical appliances.

Just for laughs: Carbon is forever - Carbon dioxide emissions and their associated warming could linger for millennia, according to some climate scientists. Mason Inman looks at why the fallout from burning fossil fuels could last far longer than expected. (Nature)

Something like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, eh fellas? (Yes, we know the Lennon song title was merely an interesting accident.)

LATIN AMERICA: Frightening Numbers - MEXICO CITY - The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean need billions of dollars to deal with the economic impact of climate change -- funding that is not easily found on the international market. (IPS)

I believe they mean "silly numbers" since every dime misdirected toward "addressing" the phantom menace of gorebull warming is a dime wasted.

Model output sillier by the day: Getting warmer? Prehistoric climate can help forecast future changes - The first comprehensive reconstruction of an extreme warm period shows the sensitivity of the climate system to changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels as well as the strong influence of ocean temperatures, heat transport from equatorial regions, and greenhouse gases on Earth's temperature. (United States Geological Survey)

These guys are fixated in carbon dioxide as a driver of global mean temperature, despite the greenhouse enhancement available from atmospheric CO2 increases being virtually exhausted. How do you close a closed window?

Horse spit! Climate change to hit Murray-Darling system hard - CLIMATE change will hit the most productive parts of the Murray-Darling food bowl the hardest, with some farmers to miss out on their full water allocations 80 per cent of the time by 2030.

But they will still fare better than the threatened wetlands of the Lower Lakes and Coorong, near the Murray mouth, which come a poor second to irrigators under the states' water-sharing plans, a study has found.

The final CSIRO report on the Murray-Darling river system, based on the most comprehensive hydrological modelling ever undertaken for the basin, expects the Murray mouth to close almost every second year by 2030 under a median climate scenario. (The Australian)

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology couldn't even predict a wet November for the upper catchment of the Murray-Darling in October of this year and these clowns reckon they can tell us about precipitation more than 20 years hence? What nonsense! And the Lower Lakes and Coorong are normally closed to the sea -- in its natural state the 'mighty' Murray River is a string of billabongs (water holes) and dry river bed unless it is in flood (relatively rare & seasonal state before the Snowy Mountains diversion scheme). People put water in the Murray and people maintain it with locks and weirs, without which it'd normally be a dry watercourse for several months of the year.

Saving the Planet? - Indonesia’s National Agency for Meteorology & Geophysics plays host to the International Symposium on Climate and Weather of the Sun-Earth System in Jakarta on November 24th-26th 2008.

In this article Dr. Willie Soon, geo-scientist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, and Lord Christopher Monckton, chief policy adviser to the Science and Public Policy Institute in Washington DC., urge the assembled scientists to avoid the hysteria of global-warming alarmists, and instead study solar activity. (Indonesia Matters via Greenie Watch)

From Auburn Hills to Beverly Hills - As I wrote in a statement for the press: “This should provide a loud wake-up call to American business leaders that the 111th Congress is not going to play nicely with them on energy rationing policies. I hope that those who have counseled that ‘if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu,’ will now realize that they are on the menu and they’d better get as far away from the table as quickly as they can. The cap-and-trade bill that Chairman Dingell proposed this fall would dramatically raise energy prices for American consumers and producers. Chairman Waxman introduced a cap-and-trade bill in this Congress that would send us back to the Stone Age.” (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Digest)

World on cusp of clean tech revolution: Merrill Lynch - 'History shows that technology revolutions occur about every 50 years . . . Clean tech is at the beginning of a high-growth period' (John Morrissy, Canwest News Service)

Given ML's recent track record in the prediction stakes I think it fair to say "clean tech" is an unlikely candidate for revolutionary status, no? Especially since all technological improvement over the century or so has been in efficiency and "cleaning" of the energy and production stream simple continued improvement seems more reasonable.

Court Voids Shell's Beaufort Sea Drilling Plan - ANCHORAGE - The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday blocked a major oil-drilling program in the Beaufort Sea, ruling that federal officials failed to address environmental impacts when they granted permission to Shell Oil to drill wells over a three-year period. (Reuters)

In Alaska, The Drill Is Gone - Remember those 68 million acres House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the oil companies had to use or lose? According to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, they can't drill there either. (IBD)

Coal's return raises pollution threat - Rising prices are spurring plans for a big increase in mining despite a threat to climate change goals (The Observer)

Polish Miners, Greens Clash On Eve Of Climate Talks - WARSAW - Greenpeace protesters clashed with coal miners at a new opencast mine on Monday in an incident highlighting Poland's environmental dilemma on the eve of a major UN-led conference on climate change.

The western Polish city of Poznan will be the venue for the Dec. 1-12 conference aimed at agreeing a new global climate package to replace the Kyoto protocol which expires in 2012.

But Poland still relies on polluting coal for more than 90 percent of its growing energy needs. Along with other ex-communist European Union states, it opposes parts of an EU climate package forcing big cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. (Reuters)

Get rid of the greenies, it's way better for the planet and people too.

Gas pains: Southwest Florida boaters say ethanol is harming engines - NAPLES — There’s an ailment afflicting boats in Florida and elsewhere with symptoms of poor performance and clogged fuel systems.

The problems may be staved off by preventive measures, but boat owners caught off guard may face repairs that can cost hundreds of dollars -- or even thousands.

The culprit is ethanol in gasoline, required in Florida following passage of a law this past spring that gasoline contain 10 percent ethanol, which is called E10 fuel, by the end of 2010. A half-dozen other states have similar laws. (Naples News)

Energy security will be hit by global slowdown - Cuts and delays to investment in Europe's energy infrastructure caused by the financial crisis and the recession will weaken future energy security and undermine the fight against climate change, a leading consultancy has warned.

Projects including new wind farms, gas pipelines and electricity cables are already being put off or are likely to be deferred. (Financial Times)

Wind farms becalmed by turmoil - The Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms, off the east coast of England, are a flagship project for their operator Centrica, the UK energy group, and for Europe.

Its 54 Siemens turbines have a total capacity of 180 megawatts, making Centrica the leading company in Britain, and Britain the leading country in the world for offshore wind power.

Offshore wind is a vital part of what José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, has described as the “third industrial revolution”: the transformation of the energy industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the European Union’s reliance on gas and oil. If the EU is to hit its target of deriving 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, offshore wind will play a crucial role.

Centrica has big plans to join that revolution, building a total of 1,600MW of offshore wind capacity.

Yet those plans are under threat. Centrica has said it is reviewing that programme, which would demand a further £4bn ($6bn) of investment, as the cost of building offshore wind farms has soared. (Financial Times)

World Health Organization decides the gold standard of scientific evidence is superfluous - One of the biggest science and nutrition news stories — one that will have significant impact on the health of people worldwide — has received no international news coverage. The World Health Organization’s committee that establishes international food standards has changed its definition of “scientific evidence” used to support health claims for all foods and dietary supplements.

No longer will the criteria of scientific evidence for health claims need to be randomized controlled intervention trials on humans. The gold standard of clinical research is considered outmoded.

Scientific evidence can now include “causal relationships” suggested in observational or epidemiological studies, animal and laboratory experiments, generally accepted authoritative information validated over time, and traditional knowledge and experiences of use. The acceptance of these alternative ways of knowing came after years of lobbying by the health foods and dietary supplement industry. (Junkfood Science)

Subtle Science: Heading Off Heart Attacks in Women - Men's and women's hearts are different -- in ways that doctors are still working to understand.

A recent government report adds more mystery: According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or AHRQ, women are far more likely than men to be hospitalized for chest pain for which doctors can't find a cause.

In 2006, the latest data available, 477,000 women were discharged from U.S. hospitals with a diagnosis of nonspecific chest pain, compared with 379,000 men. That diagnosis is often given to patients who are admitted for a possible heart attack that turns out not to be one.
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Affairs of the Heart: Have you or a loved one experienced a heart attack? What do you wish you'd known in advance?

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both sexes, claiming more lives each year than all cancers combined. More women than men have died from heart disease in the U.S. every year since 1984, and they are twice as likely as men to die after a heart attack, according to the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

But heart attacks often look different in women than men. (WSJ)

Scientists discover 21st century plague - Bacteria that can cause serious heart disease in humans are being spread by rat fleas, sparking concern that the infections could become a bigger problem in humans. Research published in the December issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology suggests that brown rats, the biggest and most common rats in Europe, may now be carrying the bacteria. (Society for General Microbiology)

Environment Agency rounds on plan for third Heathrow runway - Building a third runway at Heathrow would make it “impossible” to meet legally binding targets on air pollution, according to Lord Smith, head of the Environment Agency.

In a speech tomorrow the government’s own green watchdog will increase pressure on ministers not to approve the expansion. (The Sunday Times)

It is way past time these misanthropic environment wallahs were made to get real jobs.

Recyclables stacking up - As worldwide demand for recycled materials plummets, prices drop 80% in a year and storage becomes an issue

As consumers and companies alike cut back on spending, manufacturers around the world have sharply cut back on the use of recycled materials for making everything from cardboard boxes to polyester clothing.

The market for recycled materials has collapsed, stunning analysts and industry veterans with the swiftness and severity of the fall. Prices for many materials have plunged more than 80 percent in the last year, forcing garbage haulers in Sonoma County and across California to start storing trash they once sold to mills in the United States and overseas.

The situation is approaching a crisis point in many communities, driving state and local agencies to search for additional storage space to deposit the steady flow of old newspapers, cardboard and plastic recycled by every day by green-conscious Californians. (Press Democrat)

Burn it, ya dopey bathplugs!

Salmon, owls might have ally in White House - WASHINGTON – Here’s the question: What does a community organizer from Chicago who spent four years in the Senate before being elected president know about spotted owls, endangered salmon, mountain bark beetles, Western water rights, old-growth forests and the maintenance backlog in the national parks?

The answer: Probably not much.

President-elect Barack Obama has offered only scattered clues as to where he stands on the most pressing public lands and endangered species issues.

In reading the tea leaves, however, environmental groups are optimistic, timber industry and land-rights groups are wary, and an influential lawmaker is excited about having an ally in the White House. (News Tribune)

The man's been a community organizer so perhaps he actually likes [gasp!] people. It would be a major improvement if he does favor people over bugs.

November 24, 2008

Waxman's Lunch - The House Democratic Caucus voted yesterday to replace Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) as Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. This should provide a loud wake-up call to American business leaders that the 111th Congress is not going to play nicely with them on energy rationing policies. (Myron Ebell, CEI)

Global Warming? Bring it On! - The argument propounded by the dubious United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on Anthropogenic (human-induced) Global Warming (AGW) is willfully fraudulent. The report has been vigorously and critically undermined, scientifically denounced and found wanting from both notable scientists here and abroad.

In spite of this fact, it is likely that the new U.S. Democratic Congress and Administration will once again proclaim that they know better than we do about such things. Get ready for them to move surreptitiously under the guise of Global Climate Control in an effort to enhance their own legacies and pocketbooks. To be sure, the Left hears nothing but their own incestuous voices, despite the voices of clarity and reason that abound around them. And there are many, many distinguished dissenters against the charade of AGW. (Gregory Young, American Thinker)

The lunacy begins? Obama's green start - Barack Obama and congressional leaders are preparing rapid legislation to cut US emissions that cause global warming and to kick-start a clean energy revolution.

Two bills are to be introduced as soon as the President-elect takes office in January. One will provide $15bn (£10.1bn) a year to encourage innovation in renewable energies as part of a thorough overhaul of the highly polluting US energy system. The other will pave the way to setting up a system of tradable emissions permits to combat global warming. The moves, to be taken quicker than expected, will galvanise top-level international negotiations on a new climate treaty that reopens in Poznan, Poland, next week, and will greatly boost attempts to bring in a "green new deal" as the best way out of the financial crisis. (The Independent)

Welcome to the American prison - Earth to Barack Obama.

Please pay some attention to what's going on in Germany

It seems Chancellor Angela Merkel isn't happy with the carbon emission caps set by the European Union for industries. Her government wants extensive exemptions for heavy industry because they cost too much.

They held a news conference, and Merkel's chief spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said, "We've got to prevent companies from being threatened by climate protection requirements."

It seems negotiations are under way.

Whoa! What a concept! The leader of a major industrial nation actually concerned about the welfare and survival of critical industries in their country. (Barbara Simpson, WND)

Peter Foster: It's jobless being green - Global cap and trade and forced technology schemes are a lousy way to spend taxpayers’ dollars. They are also wildly impractical. (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

ICC ordered to steal USD 1 billion from skeptical politicians - DeSmogBlog, a propagandistic blog about the climate funded by John Lefebvre, a criminal arrested for money laundering, informs us about a lawsuit filed by Danny Bloom, a radical environmentalist activist.

In this lawsuit, Bloom claims to represent the "future generations of human beings on Earth - if there are any" and he wants to be personally paid USD 1 billion from those world leaders who are skeptical about the catastrophic climate change. This list is supposed to include politicians as undecided as Stephen Harper of Canada.

Bloom claims that he will donate the money to the IPCC. Of course, unless the capital will be needed to repay some money to John Lefevbre and others.

Now, I think that the probability that Bloom could win this absurd case is infinitesimally tiny. Still, it may be a useful exercise to imagine that he will. Just imagine that these internationally organized criminals - John Lefevbre, Danny Bloom, RealClimate.ORG, and many others - will also be able to take over the International Criminal Court and steal billions of dollars from any innocent individuals they dislike, according to their own choice. After the next lawsuit, climate skeptics could perhaps be executed, too.

Climate skeptics would become as threatened by these organized fanatics as the German Jews were around 1938: it became legitimate to steal their ski or furcoats and to break their windows but not to steal billions of dollars from them.

Sane and human countries should leave the International Criminal Court, outlaw the climate activists, and freeze all of their assets. Yes, I am afraid that if things like Bloom's victory in the lawsuit would occur, a world war against the climate alarmists, analogous to the war on terror, would be my preferred next step. (The Reference Frame)

We're not scared anymore Mr Gore Electronic Edition Free Download - An electronic (PDF) edition of We're not scared anymore Mr Gore has now been released. Free to download, but donations are certainly welcome! (the little skeptic)

Problems Plague U.S. Flex-Fuel Fleet - Most Government-Bought Vehicles Still Use Standard Gas

The federal government has invested billions of dollars over the past 16 years, building a fleet of 112,000 alternative-fuel vehicles to serve as a model for a national movement away from fossil fuels.

But the costly effort to put more workers into vehicles powered by ethanol and other fuel alternatives has been fraught with problems, many of them caused by buying vehicles before fuel stations were in place to support them, a Washington Post analysis of federal records shows.

"I call it the 'Field of Dreams' plan. If you buy them, they will come," said Wayne Corey, vehicle operations manager with the U.S. Postal Service. "It hasn't happened."

Under a mandate from Congress, federal agencies have gradually increased their fleets of alternative-fuel vehicles, a majority of them "flex-fuel," capable of running on either gasoline or ethanol-based E85 fuel. But many of the vehicles were sent to locations hundreds of miles from any alternative fueling sites, the analysis shows.

As a result, more than 92 percent of the fuel used in the government's alternative-fuel fleet continues to be standard gasoline. A 2005 law -- meant to align the vehicles with alternative-fuel stations -- now requires agencies to seek waivers when a vehicle is more than five miles or 15 minutes from an ethanol pump.

The latest generations of alternative vehicles have compounded the problem. Often, the vehicles come only with larger engines than the ones they replaced in the fleet. Consequently, the federal program -- known as EPAct -- has sometimes increased gasoline consumption and emission rates, the opposite of what was intended.

The EPAct program offers a cautionary tale as President-elect Barack Obama promises to kill dependence on foreign oil and revive the economy by retooling for the green revolution, experts say. (Kimberly Kindy and Dan Keating, Washington Post)

Solar squabble burns brightly in California - CULVER CITY, Calif. — One neighbor loves his solar panels, which have cut his energy bill and are helping to combat global warming. The other neighbor adores his trees, which boost his property value and capture greenhouse gases.

So what happens when one guy’s greenery casts a shadow on the other fellow’s solar array? (Los Angeles Times)

Hmm... 28.8kWh for perhaps 6 hours per day by what -- 25 days per month under absolutely ideal conditions? Less than 4400kWh/month then. If that is replacing $5,000/month electric bills this guy must be paying over $1/kWh and that is really expensive juice. According to the EIA, California commercial rate is 12.91 cents kWh while the industrial rate (for which a furniture manufacturer should qualify) is 10.17 cents/kWh. He'd be way better off looking for a different provider because he's apparently being ripped off. If, as simple arithmetic suggests, his electric bill was $5,000 per year then his expensive solar array will certainly not last long enough to see break-even in 40 years time. His statements about his power bill and his array capacity are off by an order of magnitude. Something we often find when people are singing the praises of solar arrays.

Hurricane History Lessons - Here we go again – hurricane season has come to an end and yet another year has failed to produce the widespread pain and suffering that can reinforce the claim that the buildup of greenhouse gases is the root cause of all the damage. We have covered this topic dozens of times in the past, but the literature on the subject never seems to stop oozing right through the distortion of the greenhouse crusaders. We get tired of writing about this subject over and over and we suspect you see this as another in a very long line of essays on the topic…we feel each other’s pain. The hurricane story should have been destroyed a decade ago, but for whatever reason, the global warmers continue to insist that hurricanes are increasing in frequency, intensity, and/or duration and the blame should sit squarely on carbon dioxide emissions from the United States. If you want more on the subject, visit literally FIVE million websites on the subject! (WCR)

Wonder if this helps explain hurricane hysteria? Red tape, overruns ground satellites - Billions spent on weather craft that may never make it to space

LOGAN, UTAH — In the high-tech satellite business, where billions flow to wealthy firms headquartered in sleek metropolitan office parks, it seems unlikely that one of the world's most sophisticated weather sensors would be built here, amid the craggy peaks of northern Utah.

Scientists say it has the power to predict tornadoes, enhance hurricane forecasts and help airlines save millions in expensive jet fuel, all by providing precise readings of the swirling winds and vapors that churn severe weather systems.

But instead of barreling through orbit more than 20,000 miles above Earth, this $100 million atmospheric camera, known as GIFTS, spent part of last summer tucked in the corner of a drab storeroom here, covered in tarp and blocking an emergency exit — a fact not overlooked by the local fire marshal, who ordered scientists to haul it someplace else.

For the sensor's creators, it has been a humbling anticlimax: Despite seven years of development and testing, millions in taxpayer dollars, and support from think tanks and governments around the world, GIFTS may never fly in space.

Instead, it provides a vivid if complex example of how bureaucracy, budget cuts and broken promises have driven many of the government's weather and climate satellites into costly and unprecedented decline. (Houston Chronicle)

For the last few years virtually every North Atlantic zephyr has received a name (escalating tropical storms!), whether originating in the tropics or not. Similarly there has been excessive publicity of storms irrelevant to landlubbers as they make their brief appearance far from land and harmlessly run their course far from anyone. Could be that the publicity is no more than a fund raiser.

Models... Brisbane-Toowoomba floods 18-20 Nov 08 highlight failure of 28 Oct BoM rain Outlook - In three short weeks the BoM rain Outlook prediction gets shot to pieces by real world weather. (Warwick Hughes)

So uh, who cares? Explorer with a cause to take on poles, Everest - The prospect of encountering polar bears, cracking ice and frostbite doesn’t horrify Arctic explorer Eric Larsen.

Neither does going nearly 60 days without a shower.

Putting up with team members who chew with their mouths open?

That’s a hardship he doesn’t want to handle when he attempts to ski to the North and South Poles and climb Mount Everest — all within 365 days. (Daily News-Miner)

Are they going to walk/swim to the Poles & Everest? So if gorebull warming actually constitutes some form of danger to frigid zones these guys are going to cause more harm than most, right? They sound like Darwin Award candidates to me.

Stubborn glaciers fail to retreat, awkward polar bears continue to multiply - Second only to the melting of the Arctic ice and those "drowning" polar bears, there is no scare with which the global warmists, led by Al Gore, more like to chill our blood than the fast-vanishing glaciers of the Himalayas, which help to provide water for a sixth of mankind. Recently one newspaper published large pictures to illustrate the alarming retreat in the past 40 years of the Rongbuk glacier below Everest. Indian meteorologists, it was reported, were warning that, thanks to global warming, all the Himalayan glaciers could have disappeared by 2035. (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

Andy Glikson in his best BS mode: 21st century climate tipping points - Recent climate developments in the polar cryosphere and the oceans suggest the atmosphere is tracking toward conditions similar to those of ~ 2.8 Ma (mid-Pliocene: + 2 to 3oC; sea level + 25±12 metres; permanent El-Nino) (Haywood and Williams, 2005; Dowsett et al., 2005) and a possible tipping point. The polar Sea ice and continental ice sheets, which serve as Earth’s climate thermostat, are changing at an accelerated rate. (Andrew Glikson, OpEdNews)

It's always fun to destroy the planet: Apocalypse how? Revealing the next catastrophic threat to our world - A devastating collision with another planet, a supervolcano that killed 60 per cent of the world's population and a 25million-year Ice Age. Our world has faced many catastrophes... so what's coming next?

Earth has been subjected to some apocalyptic events in its 4.5billion-year history. Volcanoes, meteors, fire and ice have almost obliterated all life and threatened the very existence of the planet itself.

Now, a new Channel 4 programme, Catastrophe, looks at the science behind the destruction and reveals the threat our planet could still be under. (Mail on Sunday)

‘There’s a lot of rich people backing this cause’ - A former lawyer for Enron, shocked to discover that his main job would be to help draft a global warming treaty, tells spiked that censorship and conformism are preventing proper investigation of climate change hysteria. (Rob Lyons, sp!ked)

Why is Land Use/Land Cover Change a First-Order Climate Forcing? - Originally posted on August 5, 2005.

As recognized by the National Research Council in 2005, land-use/land-cover change is a first-order climate forcing. However, its role as a regional and global climate influence is not widely recognized, except as it effects the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and the global average surface albedo. In the summary figure from the IPCC Statement for Policymakers (see Figure ES-2 here), in terms of the global mean radiative forcing, only albedo effects of land use/land cover change are identified. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

How not to measure temperature, part 75 - Like tornados and trailer parks, USHCN temperature sensors and barbecues seem to have mutual attraction. (Watts Up With That?)

Can't See the Signal For the Trees - ABSTRACT: A new method is proposed for determining if a group of datasets contain a signal in common. The method, which I call Correlation Distribution Analysis (CDA), is shown to be able to detect common signals down to a signal:noise ratio of 1:10. In addition, the method reveals how much of the common signal is contained by each proxy. I applied the method to the Mann et al. 2008 (hereinafter M2008) proxies. I analysed all (N=95) of the M008 proxies which contain data from 1001 to 1980. These contain a clear hockeystick shaped signal. CDA shows that the hockeystick shape is entirely due to Tiljander proxies plus high-altitude southwestern US "stripbark" pines (bristlecones, foxtails, etc). When these are removed, the hockeystick shape disappears entirely. (Willis Eschenbach, Climate Audit)

Recent figures suggest greater climate debate - Recently, NBC’s chief environmental affairs analyst Anne Thompson once said there is “no doubt that man is responsible for global warming” and every scientist worth their weight in beaker solvent agrees that the globe has been warming steadily over the past four decades.

One problem, though—the past two-plus years have seen a precipitous decline in global temperatures that negated the increase of the prior eight-year period (1998-2006). We’re talking a whole 0.2 degrees Celsius! Then there’s the nasty problem of the “little Ice Age” which appeared to be sending the world into an icy new era during the 1970s.

With world temperatures already depressed far below normal levels, the subsequent rise over the following three decades becomes much more ominous. It is exactly this kind of clever accounting that is responsible for the hysterical call for enormous curbing of carbon-dioxide emissions and the institution of crippling cap-and-trade schemes all across the world which target emission-heavy industries like coal-fired power plants for extinction. (Jeremy Wick, The Daily Cardinal)

The climate change debate - Like climate science, the debate about climate change is complex. Like the science – and despite the protestations of the IPCC, the scientific establishment in most countries and a great number of highly reputable scientists worldwide – the outcome of the debate is far from clear.

The problem is that, just because so many people see it as such a crucial issue, many of them want to close down discussion and get on with tackling the problem. In their view, dissenting voices may reduce the commitment of politicians to taking urgent action, not least because public opinion will not be behind them. (The Scientific Alliance)

PRUDEN: The killer frost for global warming - Turn up the heat, somebody. The globe is freezing. Even Al Gore is looking for an extra blanket. Winter has barely come to the northern latitudes and already we've got bigger goosebumps than usual. So far the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports 63 record snowfalls in the United States, 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month. Only 44 Octobers over the past 114 years have been cooler than this last one.

The polar ice is accumulating faster than usual, and some of the experts now concede that the globe hasn't warmed since 1995. You may have noticed, in fact, that Al and his pals, having given up on the sun, no longer even warn of global warming. Now it's "climate change." The marketing men enlisted by Al and the doom criers to come up with a flexible "brand" took a cue from the country philosopher who observed, correctly, that "if you've got one foot in the fire and the other in a bucket of ice, on average you're warm." On average, "climate change" covers every possibility. (Washington Times)

Physicians, get a life! AMA meeting: Global warming has health toll, delegates warn - Orlando, Fla. -- Most climate scientists say the Earth is getting hotter and that human activity is speeding up the process. At its Interim Meeting in November, the AMA House of Delegates agreed with the scientific consensus.

The house endorsed the findings of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Delegates also warned that climate change could have dramatic public health consequences, causing heat waves, drought and flooding, cutting potable water supplies, displacing populations and spreading infectious diseases.

Policymakers should "work to reduce human contributions" to global warming, says the AMA's new policy, which is based on a report from the Association's Council on Science and Public Health.

"The scientific evidence is clear that global climate change can cause serious health consequences, and we need to be a part of planning as people talk about preparing for climate change occurring," said AMA Board of Trustees member William A. Hazel Jr., MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Oakton, Va. (AMNews)

These guys know how many die in 'flu season, surely? They know that cold kills so many more than heat, right? What the heck are they doing publishing crap like this?

Planes, trains or automobiles? Climate villains revealed - Which has the worst effect on the climate: cars, planes, ships, or trains? According to new research, it's cars - at least for now.

Jan Fuglestvedt of the Centre of international Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) in Norway and his colleagues are trying to understand what different transport systems mean for the climate. Earlier this year, they published findings suggesting that emissions from shipping might actually cool the climate.

However, their study was criticised as "misleading" because it highlighted only the short-term cooling effects of shipping emissions. It stated that "shipping causes net cooling except on future timescales of several centuries", sparking concern that some might think companies could continue to ship goods around the planet without worrying about their effect on global temperatures.

Fuglestvedt and colleagues have now extended their calculations taking into account the different nature and life spans of transportation emissions. (Catherine Brahic, New Scientist)

Always assuming greenhouse gas production is a matter of interest, let alone harmful.

Permanent stagflation: Economic consequences of global warming legislation - Putting the science of global warming aside, imagine “permanent stagflation.” That was the dire warning Heartland Institute’s James Taylor, senior fellow in environment policy, gave to a packed audience at the Independence Institute last Thursday night. Taylor was in Denver to provide the Denver Regional Council of Governments with a free market environmental perspective. DRCOG should be commended for seeking a perspective beyond the prevailing global warming alarmism.

Taylor’s warning referred to the economics of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Security Act, which would have cut green house gas emissions nearly 70 percent by 2050. Fortunately, last summer the bill died in the Senate. Unfortunately, president-elect Barack Obama’s own plan is even more aggressive, cutting emissions 80 percent.

During Taylor’s presentation, he referred to the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), which ran the numbers on Lieberman-Warner. SAIC came up with low cost and high cost scenarios at both the national level and the state level. (Independence Institute, Colorado Libertarian Think Tank)

EU Energy Geopolitics - On the eve of this weekend’s European Union-Russia summit, the first since the Georgian conflict, the EU Commission released a report that says reducing dependence on Russian natural gas is “one of the EU's highest energy priorities.” European countries—but especially Germany, the EU’s largest economy—have become increasingly dependent on Russian natural gas in large part because of environmental regulations targeted at the coal and nuclear energy industries. Moscow, however, has demonstrated a willingness to use its energy supplies to coerce and threaten other countries. As a result, the EU is aggressively pursuing the construction of gas pipelines that would deliver fuel from Central Asia and bypass Russian territory, so that Gazprom, Russia’s state owned monopoly on gas exports, could not influence or inhibit the flow of gas. Former Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to the report by questioning whether Russia should proceed with a major planned pipeline under the North Sea that would deliver Russian gas directly to European markets. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

From Russia With Loathing - SHORTLY before the presidential election, at a discussion about Russian-American relations I attended in Cambridge, Mass., speakers from both countries voiced the hope that the election of Barack Obama would signal the renewal of a beautiful friendship. These hopes were chilled the day after Mr. Obama won. In an address to the Russian Parliament, President Dmitri Medvedev welcomed President-elect Obama with a threat to deploy Russian missiles on the Polish border if the United States put anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe. While some conciliatory signals followed, it seems clear that the Kremlin intends to keep the “new cold war” going.

Just three days before Mr. Medvedev’s speech, the state-subsidized youth movement Nashi staged a Halloween-themed rally in front of the American Embassy in Moscow. Nearly 20,000 young people held pumpkins marked with the names of “America’s victims,” among them the casualties in South Ossetia. In an amateur film shown at the rally, an actor portraying a drunken George W. Bush bragged that the United States had engineered both world wars and the rise of Hitler to expand its power.

Leonid Radzikhovsky, a Russian journalist, has said that “the existential void of our politics has been filled entirely by anti-Americanism,” and that to renounce this rhetoric “would be tantamount to destroying the foundations of the state ideology.” There is a notion, popular in Russia and among some Western analysts, that this anti-Americanism is a response to perceived threats to Russia’s security — above all, NATO expansion and missile defense in Eastern Europe. Yet top military experts like Gen. Vladimir Dvorkin, a former high-level official in the Russian Defense Ministry, are convinced that neither the missile shield nor NATO expansion pose any military threat to Russia. (Cathy Young, New York Times)

They wish... Global Warming Will Help Russia, CIA Says - WASHINGTON — Global warming could be a boon to Russia, a European country could be overrun by organized crime and the dollar — and the United States itself — could further decline in importance during the next two decades, says a U.S. intelligence report with predictions for the world in 2025.

The report, Global Trends 2025, is published every four years by the National Intelligence Council to give U.S. leaders insight into looming problems and opportunities.

The report says the warming earth will extend Russia's and Canada's growing season and ease their access to northern oil fields, which will strengthen their economies. But Russia's potential emergence as a world power may be clouded by lagging investment in its energy sector, persistent crime and government corruption, the report says. (Moscow Times)

Another Misfire From Spies Like Us - Our spy agencies have taken another look into their crystal ball and see a long period of American decline. We're betting they aren't any more accurate on this prediction than they've been on others in the past.

The National Intelligence Estimate put out periodically by the nation's 17 spy agencies is intended to serve as a road map for future policy actions. Unfortunately, the one just released takes a lot of wrong turns.

It warns, for instance, of Russia once again rising in global affairs — in part because global warming will be a boon to that nation's sprawling arctic regions. This is just plain silly. Even CIA chief Michael Hayden noted just a few months ago that Russia's population is imploding — expected to decline by as many as 21 million people by 2030. This is not a country in ascent, but one in collapse. Global warming is irrelevant.

Today, Russia's economy creates little other than headaches for its neighbors. Yes, it's still an oil power. But if crude stays around $50 a barrel, Russia — whose budget is premised on $90-a-barrel-oil — will have trouble making ends meet at home, let alone shine internationally. Its grand ambitions for military expansion will have to be put aside.

Even if oil prices go back up, industrial countries will be moving toward non-oil alternatives. Either way, Russia's current oil clout has a limited shelf life. (IBD)

Indiana coal-to-gas project bucks industry trend - In the heart of southwestern Indiana's coal country, Duke Energy Corp. crews are building what the company's CEO calls the power plant of the future _ a $2.35 billion complex where coal will be turned into a gas, stripped of pollutants, then burned to generate electricity.

The project, one of the "clean coal" technologies supported by President-elect Barack Obama, will become by far the nation's largest coal-gasification plant when it goes online in 2012, generating enough power to light more than 200,000 homes.

But opponents suing to halt the 630-megawatt plant near Edwardsport, Ind., call it a colossal waste of money that will saddle the utility's Indiana customers with years of rate increases and release tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas tied to global warming.

"Once you do all the cost assessments, the fact is this is going to gouge ratepayers. The cost of this just continues to skyrocket," said Bruce Nilles, a Madison, Wis.-based attorney for the Sierra Club, which is suing to stop the plant.

Indiana regulators approved the project a year ago even though utilities nationwide have pulled the plug on 65 coal power plants since early 2007 amid rising construction costs and expectations that Congress will limit greenhouse gas emissions. (Associated Press)

Granted it would be sensible to worry only about real pollution and treat the carbon dioxide produced by combustion as the environmental benefit that it is.

Null Series: Healthy eating for the prevention of type 2 diabetes - Nothing better illustrates the ability of epidemiological studies to lead us astray than when a medical journal publishes two null studies in the same issue: an epidemiological study suggesting a “causal relationship” and a randomized, controlled clinical trial that actually tests the hypothesis. Invariably, it’s the epidemiological study - suggesting some worrisome risk, or magical preventative, for a disease - that comes with the press release and receives the media attention. All studies are not the same or hold similar value, of course, but even untenable correlations from epidemiological studies can seem so convincing and intuitively correct, even healthcare professionals can be taken in. (Junkfood Science)

Actual pictures of childhood ‘overweight’ and ‘obesity’ surprised even most doctors - Researchers in England have inadvertently shown how silly the crisis of childhood obesity has become and how unrealistic the definitions are of overweight and obesity in children. We continually hear parents accused of being in denial and incapable of recognizing their children’s weight “problems.” It turns out, few doctors can correctly identify children in the overweight and obese categories, either. Why might that be? (Junkfood Science)

Government weight loss plan: blobs of fake fat - Healthcare professionals in the UK are being given 5 pound rubber blobs of fake fat to help motivate their patients to lose weight. It’s part of the Obesity Tool Kit being distributed by the Hereford Primary Care Trust and Herefordshire Hospitals NHS Trust. According to the manager of its obesity programme, the replica of body fat can be very helpful in motivating people and they hope the kits will support their GP practices to encourage healthy eating and active lifestyles.

People in the UK have come to see the full reality of what emerges when government officials get together with high level stakeholders and declare a public health crisis that threatens the country’s future unless drastic government action is taken. The government’s idea of science and evidence-based health policies are not how medical professionals or scientists would define them. (Junkfood Science)

A Thanksgiving children’s story - Who would have imagined that a little newspaper column for children would also teach many grown-ups about one aspect of American history and food production that few of us ever learned in school? Our Thanksgiving celebration has become a meld of history, romance and myth but is also one of our most cherished American traditions. While the very first American Thanksgiving celebration wasn’t held by the Pilgrims at Plymouth colony, nor did that feast in 1623 begin our annual Thanksgiving Day, which wasn't officially marked until more than 150 years later, it does commemorate the spirit of early immigrants who came to America. (Junkfood Science)

Drill, Dems, Drill - That an Alaskan senator-elect wants to drill in ANWR is not a surprise. That he's a Democrat is. Were high oil prices what helped push Detroit over the edge?

There were many reasons for the collapse of the domestic auto industry. We have mentioned the high labor costs and bloated union contracts. Others have blamed the manufacture of cars and SUVs no one wanted to buy. We'd also point out that, thanks to OPEC and Congress, fewer people could afford to buy them even if they wanted to. Detroit didn't die just because corporate CEOs had a penchant for private jets.

As long as gasoline was relatively inexpensive, SUVs were all the rage. They afforded us the comfort and safety we sought, particularly after corporate fuel economy standards were forcing Detroit to make smaller and less-safe vehicles. Fuel economy standards did little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil but did raise significantly the cost of operating such vehicles. So did high gas taxes. (IBD)

Detroit Needs Drilling, Not Bailouts

Unfair Competition From Overseas Deadly For American Car Industry - Who killed the U.S. auto industry?

To hear the media tell it, arrogant corporate chiefs failed to foresee the demand for small, fuel-efficient cars and made gas-guzzling road-hog SUVs no one wanted, while the clever, far-sighted Japanese, Germans and Koreans prepared and built for the future.

I dissent. What killed Detroit was Washington, the government of the United States, politicians, journalists and muckrakers who have long harbored a deep animus against the manufacturing class that ran the smokestack industries that won World War II.

As far back as the 1950s, an intellectual elite that produces mostly methane had its knives out for the auto industry of which Ike's Treasury secretary, ex-GM chief Charles Wilson, had boasted, "What's good for America is good for General Motors, and vice versa."

"Engine Charlie" was relentlessly mocked, even in Al Capp's L'il Abner cartoon strip, where a bloviating "General Bullmoose" had as his motto, "What's good for Bullmoose is good for America!"

How did Big Government do in the U.S. auto industry?

Washington imposed a minimum wage higher than the average wage in war-devastated Germany and Japan. The Feds ordered that U.S. plants be made the healthiest and safest worksites in the world, creating OSHA to see to it.

It enacted civil rights laws to ensure the labor force reflected our diversity. Environmental laws came next, to ensure U.S. factories became the most pollution-free on earth. It then clamped fuel-efficiency standards on the entire U.S. car fleet.

Next, Washington imposed a corporate tax rate of 35%, raking off another 15% of autoworkers' wages in Social Security payroll taxes. State governments imposed income and sales taxes, and local governments property taxes to subsidize services and schools.

The United Auto Workers struck repeatedly to win the highest wages and most generous benefits on earth — vacations, holidays, work breaks, health care, pensions — for workers and their families, and retirees. (Patrick J. Buchanan, IBD)

Plumber’s Job on a Giant’s Scale: Fixing New York’s Drinking Straw - All tunnels leak, but this one is a sieve. For most of the last two decades, the Rondout-West Branch tunnel — 45 miles long, 13.5 feet wide, up to 1,200 feet below ground and responsible for ferrying half of New York City’s water supply from reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains — has been leaking some 20 million gallons a day. Except recently, when on some days it has lost up to 36 million gallons. (New York Times)

Should I become an ecotarian? - An environmental diet that helps you shed excess carbon pounds sounds tempting, says Lucy Siegle, but it's not easy (Lucy Siegle, The Observer)

I was going to suggest Lucy try life as a real person but I fear she might have reached her limits already...

Fields of Grain and Losses - WALTERS, Okla. — The farmers said it would not last, and they were right.

When the price of wheat, corn, soybeans and just about every other food grown in the ground began leaping skyward two years ago, farmers were pleased, of course. But generally they refused to believe that the good times would be permanent. They had seen too many booms that were inevitably followed by busts.

Now, with the suddenness of a hailstorm flattening a field, hard times are back on the American farmstead. The price paid for crops is dropping much faster than the cost of growing them.

The government reported this week that the cost of goods and services nationwide fell by a record amount in October as frantic businesses tried to lure customers. While lower prices are good for consumers in the short run, a prolonged stretch of deflation would wreak havoc as companies struggled to stay afloat.

In this lonesome stretch near the Texas border, farmers are getting an early taste of a deflationary world. They have finished planting next year’s winter wheat, turning the fields a brilliant emerald green. But it cost about $6 a bushel in fuel, seed and fertilizer to put the crop in. That is $1 more than they could sell it for today, and never mind other expenses like renting land. (New York Times)

November 21, 2008

Detroit Needs Drilling, Not Bailouts - Looking for the root of the impending car industry debacle? Look no further than the failure of the Big Three and the United Auto Workers to challenge the Green attack on cheap gasoline.

Since the 1980s, the golden goose of the U.S. auto industry has been SUV and light truck sales. Those vehicles were so popular and so profitable that the Big Three could afford to meet UAW demands for high wages and generous benefits. The golden goose even enabled the Big Three to afford the infamous UAW Jobs Bank where thousands of laid-off auto workers were kept on the payroll for years, costing the automakers billions of dollars.

But for decades, the Big Three and the UAW overlooked the linchpin of all these “good times” -- the cheap gasoline that fueled SUV sales. For some strange reason, neither the companies nor the UAW had the foresight or courage to challenge the Green chokehold on our gasoline supply. (Steven Milloy,

HOW YOU CAN HELP Stop the EPA from Hijacking the Economy - This website was created for individuals from agriculture, manufacturing, small business, transportation, nonprofit, and other industries concerned about the economy-wide effects of the potential EPA regulations on greenhouse gases. (Heritage Foundation)

How wrong can they get? Obama brings US in from the cold - In a landmark speech, the next president pledges to revive Kyoto Protocol and end American isolationism over climate change

Prospects for success in the world's struggle to combat global warming have been transformed at a stroke after US President-elect Barack Obama made it clear that America would play its full part in renewing the Kyoto Protocol climate-change treaty.

His words, in effect, brought an end to eight years of wilful climate obstructionism by the administration of George Bush, who withdrew the US from Kyoto in March 2001, thus doing incalculable damage to the efforts of the international community to construct a unified response to the threat.

The Bush withdrawal set back the international effort by nearly a decade – years in which it became increasingly clear that the warming of the atmosphere being caused by greenhouse gas emissions was proceeding much faster than UN scientists thought it would. (The Independent)

Dubya never "withdrew" from Kyoto, which Slick Willy never submitted to the Senate for ratification, mostly because it stood no chance since the Senate had voted 95:0 on Byrd-Hagel (Senate Resolution 98) which precluded US participation in any climate treaty in the form Ozone Al signed at Kyoto (and later symbolically signed by Slick Willy). The only thing Dubya did was honestly state America's position (shocking!). The US "withdrawal" from the unratified Kyoto is a complete fabrication used as a cudgel by the EU, greens, anti-capitalists and anti-Americans generally but it contains no truth whatsoever.

New Senate to get major global warming bill - The US Senate will take up two sweeping global warming bills in January, in the latest sign that Barack Obama's election could quickly reverse years of US footdragging on climate change.

Democratic Senators, openly gleeful that years of fierce struggles against George W. Bush's Republican administration on the issue were drawing to a close, proclaimed the United States would undergo a "sea change" in environmental policy.

"The time to start is now," said Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, vowing to step up to Obama's challenge to combat climate change and create millions of "green jobs" in the reeling US economy. (AFP)

Obama Out-Gores Gore - Over at Reason, Jacob Sullum is not sold on Obama's Green Snake Oil: (Edward John Craig, Planet Gore)

A Global farce? - A number of researchers say that despite public opinion, global warming may be a result of natural causes (Hannah Hoffman, Oregon Daily Emerald)

Is climate change the "defining challenge of our age"? - It seems that every other day someone claims that climate change is the biggest environmental problem facing the globe, or the most important issue facing mankind, or, as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon puts it, the defining challenge of our age. Is there any evidence for such statements or are they mere hyperbole?

I examine this issue in a refereed paper -- Is climate change the “defining challenge of our age”? -- that is due to be published in Energy & Environment. The abstract reads:

Climate change, some claim, is this century’s most important environmental challenge. Mortality estimates for the year 2000 from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate, however, that a dozen other risk factors contribute more to global mortality and global burden of disease. Moreover, the state-of-the-art British-sponsored fast track assessments (FTAs) of the global impacts of climate change show that through 2085-2100, climate change would contribute less to human health and environmental threats than other risk factors. Climate change is, therefore, unlikely to be the 21st century’s most important environmental problem. Combining the FTA results with WHO’s mortality estimates indicates that halting climate change would reduce cumulative mortality from hunger, malaria, and coastal flooding, by 4–10 percent in 2085 while the Kyoto Protocol would lower it by 0.4-1 percent. FTA results also show that reducing climate change will increase populations-at-risk from water stress and, possibly, threats to biodiversity. But adaptive measures focused specifically on reducing vulnerability to climate sensitive threats would reduce cumulative mortality by 50–75 percent at a fraction of the Kyoto Protocol’s cost without adding to risks from water stress or to biodiversity. Such “focused adaptation” would, moreover, reduce major hurdles to the developing world’s sustainable economic development, lack of which is the major reason for its vulnerability to climate change (and any other form of adversity). Thus, focused adaptation can combat climate change and advance global well-being, particularly of the world’s most vulnerable populations, more effectively than aggressive GHG reductions. Alternatively, these benefits and more — reductions in poverty, and infant and maternal mortality by 50-75%; increased access to safe water and sanitation; and universal literacy — can be obtained by broadly advancing sustainable economic development through policies, institutions and measures (such as those that would meet the UN Millennium Development Goals) at a cost approximating that of the Kyoto Protocol. However, in order to deal with climate change beyond the 2085-2100 timeframe, the paper also recommends expanding research and development of mitigation options, reducing barriers to implementing such options, and active science and monitoring programs to provide early warning of any “dangerous” climate change impacts.

A copy is attached for your perusal. If any of your readers want a preprint, they should contact me at (Indur Goklany)

Hypothetically: Sea level rise alters bay's salinity - While global-warming-induced coastal flooding moves populations inland, the changes in sea level will affect the salinity of estuaries, which influences aquatic life, fishing and recreation.

Researchers from Penn State and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are studying the Chesapeake Bay to see how changes in sea level may have affected the salinity of various parts of the estuary.

"Many have hypothesized that sea-level rise will lead to an increase in estuarine salinity, but the hypothesis has never been evaluated using observations or 3-D models of estuarine flow and salinity," says Timothy W. Hilton, graduate student in meteorology at Penn State.

Another demonstration of how 'settled' is the science: Improvement In Carbon Measurements In Global Climate Studies - University of Iowa researchers and their colleagues have found a way to improve existing estimates of the amount of carbon absorbed by plants from the air, thereby improving the accuracy of global warming and land cover change estimates, according to a paper published in the journal Science.

By knowing the effects of plants on the atmosphere, scientists will be better able to determine the amount of human-generated carbon dioxide (CO2) injected into the atmosphere, according to Greg Carmichael, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering in the UI College of Engineering and co-director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER). (SPX)

Dinner With The Green Glitterati - It may be a dirty world, but under the glittering chandeliers of the Waldorf-Astoria's grand ballroom, more than 500 guests at a black tie $1,500-a-plate banquet last week were told they could sup with a clean conscience. The occasion was a "green" dinner, devoted to celebrating "climate heroes." Carbon offsets had been purchased for their travel to the event.

Thus absolved of their climate sins for the evening, the crowd fell on the appetizer of jumbo crab served over the glossy green beans of an edamame salad, accompanied by raisin pecan rolls and olive baguettes, all washed down with a California chardonnay.

Among high-society power brokers, going "green" has become the retort to all vices and ticket to all virtues. What that actually means depends on whom you talk to. But increasingly it entails a mix of earth-tone-themed high-ticket events and plans for international bureaucrats in cahoots with big business to regulate the entire economy of the planet. (Claudia Rosett, Forbes)

NBC's Curry Climbs 'Poster-Child' for Climate Change - 'Today' show anchor misleads viewers about declining Mt. Kilimanjaro ice during network's 'green' week. (Julia A. Seymour, Business & Media Institute)

‘Planet Has Cooled Since Bush Took Office’ – Scientists Continue Dissenting – Gore Admits 'I've failed badly' - Global Sea Ice GROWS! - Global Warming Theory has ‘failed consistently and dramatically’ (E&PW)

Part TWO: ‘Planet Has Cooled Since Bush Took Office’ – Scientists Continue Dissenting – Gore Admits 'I've failed badly' - Global Sea Ice GROWS! - Global Warming Theory has ‘failed consistently and dramatically’ (E&PW)

Back to the alarming future - Even when the weather changes back to how it was, why, that’s consistent with “climate change” theory, too. Ask University of Southern Queensland professor of climate and water resources Roger Stone, who analyses the meaning of the storms over Brisbane: (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Weak economy could curb Obama coal cleanup plan - HOUSTON, Nov 19 - As U.S. president, Barack Obama is likely to tighten environmental regulations on generating power from coal, but his ambitions could be reined in by the cost of such measures given a weak U.S. economy. (Reuters)

What climate change? Meltdown trumps fears at APEC - LIMA, Peru — Countries on both sides of the Pacific have reason to be very afraid of climate change. Rising sea levels could swamp coastal farms, higher temperatures wipe out entire species and increasingly violent storms exact a widening human and financial toll.

But at this week's summit of 21 Pacific Rim nations, global warming is barely on the agenda. In its place: the financial crisis.

"The interest and focus on climate change has dissipated somewhat," said Woo Yuen Pau, CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. (AP)

Global warming ideas disputed by PSU prof - While a large number of people, including some scientists, believe that we are in an unprecedented period of global warming caused primarily by humans, Dr. James Koermer, a meteorology professor at Plymouth State University, would beg to differ. (The Citizen)

Lugubrious Lynas... World saved . . . planet doomed - Green activists are seeing the global economic crisis as an opportunity, but the truth remains: high economic growth cannot be reconciled with limited resources (Mark Lynas, New Statesman)

Good luck fellas: European Union announces interest in Arctic region - BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The European Union's executive body said Thursday that the bloc should try to obtain its fair share of oil, gas, minerals and fish exposed by the melting of the Arctic ice cap.

The move is likely to irk Russia, Canada, the United States and Norway, which are issuing new territorial claims in the polar region.

The European Commission said the 27-nation union, which has three member states in the polar region - Denmark, Finland and Sweden - should particularly get involved in offshore oil and gas exploitation. Denmark controls the semiautonomous territory of Greenland.

The melting of polar ice due to global warming is opening new shipping lanes and exposing valuable natural resources. (Associated Press)

Global Warming Could Lead To More Arctic Energy - BRUSSELS - The Arctic offers new energy and fishing resources as a result of global warming and new technology, the European Union said on Thursday.

Melting ice also presented new navigation possibilities such as a short route to the Pacific Ocean, the EU executive said.

The rapid recession of sea ice, snow cover and permafrost were helping to accelerate global warming and the loss from the Greenland ice sheet would bring a swift rise in sea levels, it said in a paper. (Reuters)

U.K. makes play for Darwin Award: A rod for our backs - Britain decides that climate change is too important to leave to the politicians

“GIVE me chastity and continence, but not yet,” Saint Augustine besought God more than a millennium ago. Those worried by global warming but unwilling to change their behaviour take a similar approach. Evidence of the damage that economic activity does to the planet is mounting, but given the cheapness and convenience of fossil fuels, the temptation to avoid tackling climate change for just another year (and another and another) is hard to resist. This is even truer as economic woes mount.

Britain’s government thinks it has a solution, and it is one that so far no other country has adopted. The approach is rather like that of a desperate dieter padlocking his pantry. If all goes according to plan, a climate-change bill will be passed next week that takes the power to set carbon-reduction goals away from politicians and enshrines them in law. A climate-change committee will recommend five-year carbon budgets for different parts of the economy, such as power generation, transport and manufacturing, with the ultimate goal of cutting emissions by 80% from their 1990 levels by the time 2050 rolls around. (The Economist)

More Darwin Award candidates: Broad Schwarzenegger Emissions Pledge Caps Summit - LOS ANGELES - Impatient with the pace of national governments in fighting global climate change, 13 US state governors joined counterparts from six other countries on Wednesday to pledge cooperation to curtail Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions. (Reuters)

UN Publishes Draft Proposal Ahead of Climate Meet - LONDON - The United Nations published a report on Thursday to help lawmakers meeting at an upcoming UN climate summit to move closer to sealing a new agreement to confront potentially devastating global warming. (Reuters)

Fresh doubts raised over December EU climate deal - EU countries may agree before the end of the year on the basic principles and structure of an agreement on the European Commission's energy and climate package, but it is unlikely that a deal will be finalised, an ambassador of one of the bloc's 27 member states told EurActiv.

Bribe not big enough: Poland unsatisfied with EU proposals to save climate plan: official - WARSAW — Poland has rejected an EU proposal for its coal-fired power stations to be temporarily exempted from buying all their greenhouse gas permits, a move aimed at averting a Polish veto of the bloc's climate package, a senior Polish official said Wednesday. (AFP)

New satellite indicates cycle of global cooling - Several Canadian environmental scientists agree the new Jason satellite indicates at least a 23-year cycle of global cooling ahead.
This oceanographic satellite shows a much larger than normal persistent Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Cooler PDO phases usually last 21 to 25 years, so we could be quite chilly as a planet until at least 2030, maybe longer. (Spokesman Review)

It's completely pointless, so let's do it more... Ozone Treaty Parties Agree to Start Cutting More Climate Emissions - DOHA, Qatar, Nov. 20 -- Today the 193 Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer - representing virtually all countries of the world - agreed for the second year in a row to strengthen their treaty to provide additional protection for both the ozone layer and the climate system. (PRNewswire-USNewswire)

Reality check.

Global militaries enlisted to combat climate change and save ozone layer – UN - 20 November 2008 – The United Nations has recruited the help of militaries in several countries in a unique new partnership in the fight against climate change and the campaign to save the ozone layer.

Australia, the Netherlands and the United States have offered their militaries’ assistance in the safe collection of stockpiles of unwanted, ozone-damaging substances, and their experts will provide advice on how to expedite the shipping of chemicals to disposal centres worldwide. (UN News)

Sheesh! What about leaving our overworked forces do something useful?

GE Uses NBC's "Green Week" To Brainwash Americans - Generally speaking, Americans don’t like being told what to do, so GE uses “Green Week” to propagate global warming alarmism and frighten Americans into accepting rules and regulations that force them to buy GE products. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

Is CO2 a Pollutant? - Originally posted on August 9, 2005.

A recent news article illustrates a popular understanding of carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Referring to carbon permit trading it reports:

“These brokers don’t trade stocks or bonds or gold or oil. What they trade is pollution. To be exact, they buy and sell the right to foul the air with carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that the U.S. National Academy of Sciences says causes global warming.” (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

NASA's curious climate capers - There have been a few red faces at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in recent days, to match the predominant color of its October global temperature map. Based at Columbia University in New York, GISS is the division of NASA that is responsible for global climate data and is used by the media in assessing global warming. After analyzing the data, GISS reported that October 2008 was the warmest October since reliable record-keeping began in 1880. But there was something very wrong with the numbers. (The Register)

In the virtual realm: Hot Days and Nights in Mexico 2090 - UXBRIDGE, Canada, Nov 20 - Climate change will dramatically increase the number of hot, dry days in Mexico in the coming decades, while coastal regions like the Yucatán, in the southeast, will be swamped by sea levels that are half a metre higher than today, a new study has found.

By 2030, Mexico's average daily temperature is likely to climb 1.4 degrees Celsius above what has been the average for the past 30 years. By 2090, this increase could rocket upwards by 4.1 degrees, virtually guaranteeing hot days and nights for 80 to 90 percent of the year, says the Oxford University study financed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (Tierramérica)

This stupidity, again: Malaria and Dengue the Sting in Climate Change - SYDNEY - Southeast Asia and South Pacific island nations face a growing threat from malaria and dengue fever as climate change spreads mosquitoes that carry the diseases and climate-change refugees start to migrate.

A new report titled "The Sting of Climate Change," said recent data suggested that since the 1970s climate change had contributed to 150,000 more deaths every year from disease, with over half of the deaths in Asia.

"Projections of the impact of climate change on malaria and dengue are truly eye-opening," said the Lowy Institute report released in Sydney on Thursday. (Reuters)

How wrong they can be, just by fudging a few assumptions. Take, for example, malaria -- this is not a particularly temperature-sensitive disease since it was endemic from the Equator to at least the Arctic Circle.

Global Warming Legislation Necessary Despite Economic Downturn, Activists Say – A federal cap-and-trade bill is the best way to protect America’s economic interests and environmental health, according to corporate leaders and environmental activists with the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP).

By raising the cost of carbon emissions, cap-and-trade policies would discourage the use of carbon-based energy sources in exchange for “green technologies” that will create new jobs, advocates say.

But with the U.S. economy in a sharp downturn, some lawmakers on Capitol Hill may be reticent to enact new regulations, USCAP members acknowledged at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

Tom Borelli, a fund manager with the Free Enterprise Action Fund, is not so sure there is a “united front,” at least as it applies to the corporate side of USCAP. The Free Enterprise Action Fund is “dedicated to providing both financial and pro-free enterprise ideological returns to investors,” according to its Web site.

“It seems to me the environmental activists were running the show [at the press conference] with just two corporations sprinkled in,” Borelli said. “If you look at the stock performance of the USCAP members, it is nothing to write home about. The corporate entities in attendance seemed to be the ones that have gambled a lot on renewable energy.”

Borelli was particularly critical of Duke Energy.

“As a Duke shareholder, I’m outraged they didn’t learn the last time [with Warner-Lieberman] that cap-and-trade is the death knell to their business,” he said. “No doubt this is their last hail Mary pass to see if they can get some sort of free carbon credits.”

With the Europeans now backing away from “cap and trade” schemes that have proven too expensive, corporate America should pay heed to their example, Borelli argued. (

Ontario Enviro Min. tells Schwarzenegger climate change “deniers” no longer listened to - At a time of worldwide financial crisis and the economy of his own province in decline, Ontario Minister of the Environment John Gerretsen was attacking “climate change deniers” in sunny California this week.

“The climate change deniers are no longer listened to,” Gerretsen told California Governor Arnold Schwarzrnegger’s first of its kind Climate Change Summit.

Since the scientific facts now show that the earth’s temperature may in fact be cooling slightly rather than warming, Gerretsen puts himself in competition with bossman Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who has the dubious distinction of having told more lies in office than any other Canadian politician.

Politicians ridiculing climate change “deniers” has been on the increase since Sept. 19, 2006 when in a now-infamous post on the blog run by Grist, an ultra-left radical environmentalist magazine, armchair autocrat David Roberts wrote of global warming “deniers”: “When we’ve finally gotten serious abut global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these b*****ds—some sort of climate Nuremberg.” (The New American Thinker, March 5, 2007).

Now we’re in “a full scramble” to minimize a worldwide recession, and the Canadian UAW is looking for a bailout to avoid bankruptcy which would claim tens of thousands of Ontario jobs.

But Gerretsen showed no concern for lost jobs at Arnie’s summit this week. (Judi McLeod, CFP)

Rae, Ignatieff, LeBlanc ditch Green Shift - OTTAWA - Liberal leadership candidates Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff would ditch the Green Shift carbon tax, outgoing leader Stephane Dion's signature policy, on grounds it was rejected by voters on election day. (Canwest News Service)

Waxman Wins, God Help Us All - To get an idea of what to expect from Waxman, consider the following quip from CEI’s Chris Horner: “Funny how Dems elected a guy to chair Energy and Commerce who opposes both.” (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

What’s the Point of Daylight Time? - WHY do we — along with 75 other countries — alternate between standard time and daylight time? Although many people believe it has an agricultural provenance, daylight time has always been a policy meant to save energy. As Benjamin Franklin argued, if people moved up their summer schedules by an hour, they could live by “sunshine rather than candles” in the evenings.

Energy conservation was the motivation for daylight time during World Wars I and II and the oil embargo of the 1970s, and it remains so today — even though there has been little scientific evidence to suggest daylight time actually helps us cut back on electricity use.

Recently, however, we were able to conduct a study in Indiana, where daylight time was instituted statewide only in 2006. Before that year, daylight time was in effect in just a handful of counties. This change of policy offered a unique, natural experiment to measure the overall effect on residential electricity consumption. We could compare the amount of energy used by households in the late-adopting counties during the two years before they switched to daylight time with the amounts they used during the year afterward — while using counties that always practiced daylight time as a control group.

We found that daylight time caused a 1 percent overall increase in residential electricity use, though the effect varied from month to month. The greatest increase occurred in late summer and early fall, when electricity use rose by 2 percent to 4 percent. (New York Times)

Peak Oil is a Myth - 175-315 Billion barrels of oil are recoverable at $15 a barrel in the Oil Sands of Alberta, Canada. With a remaining potential of 1.7-2.5 Trillion barrels. In Canada's oil sands alone, the supplies will last over 100 years. (Popular Technology)

Energy Independence Equals Economic Incompetence - One of the hallmarks of a primitive economy is that its exports consist mostly of natural resources. Under-developed nations export their metals, timber, minerals and such because they are too economically incompetent to make much use of these valuable resources themselves. Instead, they trade them to more advanced economies in exchange they get cash which they used to buy finished goods or high-technology products that they cannot make themselves.

Advanced economies, by contrast, have businesses that are more than capable of making use of those raw materials. In fact, really efficient economies will grow until they have consumed not only the raw materials available locally, but also raw materials gathered from great distances abroad. Only an efficient, competitive economy can afford to import such items, since it costs quite a bit to transport most raw materials, which tend to be bulky. Local businesses will always be able to pay the lowest costs for local materials. When a distant competitor can outbid them for these local treasures, it is because the distant enterprise is so efficient that it can pay more for the raw material, pay to ship it long distances and still sell the finished goods at a greater profit.

Thus, it can be said that the strength of an economy can be measured by the the maximum distance over which transport costs can be absorbed and profit can still be made. Incompetent economies cannot even compete for materials from their own location, let alone outbid other nations for resources from afar. (Mac Johnson, Energy Tribune)

New material could make gases more transportable - Chemists at the University of Liverpool have developed a way of converting methane gas into a powder form in order to make it more transportable. (University of Liverpool)

Clean Energy Confronts Messy Reality - President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to promote clean and renewable energy, reiterating this week that his "presidency will mark a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change."

But the nation's power companies suddenly are struggling to turn that promise into reality.

"Funding has stalled," says Ezra Green, chief executive of Clear Skies Solar Inc. The New York company recently canceled plans to build a one-megawatt solar plant in California's Mojave Desert, unable to get financing even though a California utility agreed to buy all the output.

"We've canceled the solar-panel order," Mr. Green says.

Hobbled by the financial crisis, power companies across the U.S. are slashing capital budgets and canceling projects for clean electricity. Financing for new nuclear power plants appears shaky. And some energy companies are even having trouble satisfying their short-term needs for cash. (Rebecca Smith, Wall Street Journal)

Maybe: Aussie Miners Turn To Solar Tower Power - SINGAPORE - Australian mining firms, hit by high fuel costs and falling commodity prices, could soon swap their diesel generators for 24-hour, solar-power systems, the head of a private renewable power firm said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Don’t Celebrate the Death of Coal Power Quite Yet - Now that the EPA has finally been forced to acknowledge CO2 as a pollutant, plans for new coal plants are in limbo, and clean energy backers are happily talking up ideas to replace dirty fuels with wind, solar and other renewables. But wise greens might wait to start counting their victories until the eggs they’ve laid hatch; abruptly killing coal might not be as beneficial as many assume. (Chris Morrison, Energy Industry)

A collapsed hedge fund's overlooked wind wager - Tontine became famous for its large, contrarian bets. When it decided to invest in wind energy, it was able to make a ton of money. (Fortune)

EU Carmaking Nations in CO2 Deal as Italy Signs Up - BERLIN/BRUSSELS - Europe's four big auto making nations have reached agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions from cars after Italy joined a deal between Britain, France and Germany, government sources in Rome and Berlin said. (Reuters)

Survey Says: Parents purportedly want to be screened for alcohol use by their child’s pediatrician - Pediatricians are being encouraged to add another screening test to their lifestyle assessments of the families of their young patients. Medscape just reported on a study in the current issue of the journal Pediatrics telling pediatricians that it had found eight out of ten parents would “welcome or not mind at all” their child’s doctor asking them about their alcohol use and screening them for a drinking problem. Pediatricians also read that one-third or more parents said they would similarly appreciate their child’s pediatrician reporting them to a social worker or making an appointment for them with their own doctor if he/she found they had a drinking problem. (Junkfood Science)

School ban on sugary drinks shows little effect - NEW YORK - Policies that rid Maine high schools of sugary drinks seem to have had little impact on teenagers' overall intake of sugar-laden beverages, according to a new study.

The study compared four high schools that eliminated soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks from cafeterias and vending machines with three schools that did not take such measures.

Researchers found that over one school year, students in both groups of schools cut down on their average daily intake of sugary drinks -- but there was no evidence that the school soda bans led to greater reductions.

The reasons for the findings are not clear, and the study does not mean that getting sugar-laden drinks out of schools is a waste of time, according to the researchers. (Reuters Health)

Hostile Green Takeover: The Auto Industry Faces Environmental Thuggery - Senate Floor Speech - November 20, 2008

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) – Ranking Member, Environment and Public Works Committee

Mr. President, Americans are once again being asked to foot the bill for yet another “urgent” bailout. In October, Congress voted for an unprecedented $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, and now much of the same alarmist rhetoric is being employed to pressure members to act quickly.

The latest bailout demand making the rounds in Washington is for the Big Three auto industry. Democrats would have you believe the proposed bailout is all about saving jobs, but, having been in Washington long enough, my instincts led me to dig deeper where I unearthed green roots hiding beneath the bailout rhetoric.

It now appears that much of what you have heard in the media about the auto bailout being about “jobs” has been misleading. In fact, there are “usual suspects” working behind the scenes to subvert the auto bailout and ultimately betray auto workers. (EPW)

A Green-Tinged Bailout Won’t Save Detroit - Detroit, Mich. — While Planet Congress argues over whether to spend $25 billion to make the deck chairs greener on Detroit’s sinking Titanic, American bankruptcy lawyers have been coalescing around the idea that the Big Three ought to be exploring a government-supported bankruptcy plan to save the ship. (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

Stop the Green Carjacking - Will environmentalists be permitted to transform the Detroit bailout? If so, automakers and taxpayers will suffer.

Always eager to shove their agenda into a seemingly unrelated policy discussion, the green movement has joined the debate over bailing out the Big Three automakers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to tie federal assistance to a requirement that Detroit make more fuel-efficient, eco-friendly cars. “Any car company that gets taxpayer money must demonstrate a plan for transforming every vehicle in its fleet to a hybrid-electric engine with flex-fuel capability, so its entire fleet can also run on next generation cellulosic ethanol,” demands New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Writing in The Washington Post, Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs calls for a “major industry restructuring to position the United States to lead the world in producing cars that get 100 miles or more per gallon.” (Sachs is pinning his hopes on plug-in hybrid vehicles, “fuel-cell cars,” and the much-ballyhooed—but not yet seen or priced—Chevy Volt.)

In other words, at a time when the top Detroit automakers are desperate for financial aid, the federal government should force them to sell more expensive cars that are less profitable. Make sense to you? Me neither. (Kenneth P. Green, The American)

Better than average Chernobyl piece: Radiation Threat Still Permeates Chernobyl's Entombment - Thousands of workers daily take the train from their homes at Slavutich, across 55 kilometers of unpopulated woodland and marsh in northern Ukraine to their workplace. No ordinary commuters, they are workers at the Chernobyl powerplant, scene of the world's worst-ever nuclear disaster. Nearly 4,000 people work at Chernobyl, safeguarding the destroyed reactor building No. 4 and tending to the three surviving shut-down units. Among the construction teams is Alexander Nikolayevich Plotnikov, project manager at contractor Utem Engineering, Bucha. (Engineering News-Record)

Unbearable pursuits - A clash between environmentalists and Inuit rights

“WE DON'T have no vegetarians here,” says James Qillaq, a long-time resident of Kanngiqtugaapik in Canada’s Nunavut territory. North of the 70th parallel, where winter temperatures regularly drop below -30°C, “nothing can grow in the ground, so the only thing we eat is animals.” Inuit like Mr Qillaq have been hunting here for generations, and though sledge dogs and spears have been replaced by snowmobiles and rifles, the prime target remains unchanged: polar bears. (The Economist)

Ecuador Seeks to Sell Rainforest - Ecuador is the first country in the world to announce plans to leave the oil reserves beneath its rainforests in the ground. The country wants foreign businesses, including German companies, to compensate it for making this sacrifice. (Der Spiegel)

Sit down money? Get a life and develop, you idle buggers!

November 20, 2008

Why the EPA should find against “Endangerment” - Back in July, as a result of last year’s Supreme Court ruling on Massachusetts v. EPA, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act” and asked for public comment though November 28, 2008.

Aside from the massive bureaucracy that would be involved in trying to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, the EPA primarily needs to determine whether or not greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are endangering the public health or welfare. The underlying analysis to support/deny an endangerment finding is provided in the EPA’s Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Emissions under the Clean Air Act (Endangerment TSD) which attempts to serve as review of the state to the science concerning the “vulnerabilities, risks and impacts” of climate change, primarily within the United States.

However, the Endangerment TSD is largely a dated document which relies heavily on the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s AR4 was published in the spring of 2007, but to meet the deadline for inclusion in the AR4, scientific papers had to be published by late 2005/early 2006. So, in the rapidly evolving field of climate change, by grounding its TSD in the IPCC AR4 the EPA is largely relying on scientific findings that are, by late 2008, nearly 3 years out of date.

And a lot has happened in those intervening three years. (WCR)

Freeman Dyson Debunks Dire Forecasts on Global Warming and Other Tenets - Freeman Dyson gets around. Last Wednesday, for example, the 85-year-old “retired” physicist regaled a lunchtime audience at the Nassau Club with his “heretical” ideas about global warming. Just a few hours later he could be found once again sharing his thoughts on global warming, as well as on intelligent design, nuclear warfare, extraterrestrial life, and HAR-1 (a DNA component that distinguishes human beings from other animals) with a standing-room-only crowd at Labyrinth Books. (Ellen Gilbert, TownTopics)

The Absurdity of a Reliable Average Global Surface Temperature - ACCURATELY recording the temperature of a body that is not in equilibrium can be complicated. Recording the average surface temperature of the earth reliably, and with such accuracy that one can know with certainty that there has been a less than one degree Celsius change over one hundred years, probably impossible.

Dr Vincent Gray explains why, and begins at the very beginning with an explanation of “temperature” and how it is measured: (

How not to measure temperature, part 74 - Sometimes, words fail me in describing the absolute disregard of the placement of NOAA official climate monitoring sites. For example, this one in Clarinda, Iowa submitted by surfacestations volunteer Eric Gamberg: (Watts Up With That?)

More 'Gore Effect'? Nov 18, 2008: On a cold day, extremely low turnout for DC global "warming" rally

Climate Action Now DC rally: freezing, but fired up for change! | 1Sky

The rally brought together people from all ages and backgrounds. They had two things in common: they were all freezing, and they were all ready to head to the Hill and press for bold climate action!

The blog post above claims that "more than 300" were there, but I'm skeptical that even that many people bothered to show up. (Tom Nelson)

Also see ‘Gore Effect’ history here.

Why? Nike, Starbucks Calling For New US Climate Policy - LOS ANGELES - Nike Inc, Starbucks Corp and investor coalition Ceres are among the founding members of a new coalition calling for strong US climate and energy legislation in early 2009. (Reuters)

Lawyers 'sprint' to be ready on climate change - Climate change is bad for the environment, but it may be good for business. Very, very good.

"Climate change is the growth sector," says Charles Campbell, chief financial officer at Superior Credit Union in Thunder Bay. "Renewable energy has never been more economically viable with the pressures of peak oil and carbon-reduction mandates. The retooling of much of the world's infrastructure to address climate change is also a huge project we face as a civilization."

For lawyers, readying for those opportunities will be more of a sprint than a marathon, at least in the short term. "[Climate change] is a $100-billion market that sprang out of nowhere. It didn't exist five to six years ago," notes Mike Richmond, chairman of the energy law practice at McMillan LLP in Toronto.

Expect increased work in three legal areas, adds Doug Tingey, associate counsel with Davis LLP in Toronto. First is environmental law, particularly compliance. Projects law is also a boom market for those with experience in finance and structuring. Last are new opportunities for growth and business legal work. (Donalee Moulton , Financial Post)

UN climate change chief hails Obama commitments - ALGIERS, Algeria -- The recent commitments on global warming by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama mark a new beginning for world negotiations to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the head of the U.N.'s climate change body said Wednesday.

Obama "indicated that he wants to show leadership both domestically and internationally," said Yvo de Boer, executive director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. "I feel that that's a very important signal of encouragement for all of the countries in these negotiations," he told The Associated Press.

The PIF and the EU Unite Against Climate Change - The Pacific Island Forum and the European Union join up to act against climate change

The Pacific Island Forum and the EU have endorsed a joint Declaration on climate change that outline their common concerns for global warming and their common interest for an ambitious post Kyoto international agreement. (Press Release: European Commission)

Italy, Germany to seek joint approach to climate change - TRIESTE, Italy — Germany and Italy will seek a joint approach to climate change and the environment, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Tuesday after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The two countries agreed to form a joint commission that will work to "bring our positions closer together," Berlusconi said at a joint news conference with Merkel.

"As Germany and Italy are the two main manufacturing countries of Europe, we do not want" new EU rules on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to "have too heavy an impact on our businesses," Berlusconi said after the pair met in the northeastern Italian city of Trieste. (AFP)

UPDATE: Climate Change Rules Shouldn't Hurt Economy - Germany - TRIESTE, Italy -- Italy and Germany agree that measures to cut greenhouse gases shouldn't weigh on the economy, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference Tuesday, indicating government support for tough new measures in Europe is waning. (Dow Jones)

Poles offered break on carbon emissions - Power stations in eastern Europe could receive millions of euros of free carbon emission allowances to overcome opposition to a European Union climate pact.

The French proposal, a copy of which has been obtained by the Financial Times, is intended to address Poland’s concerns about the expansion of Europe’s emissions trading system, a central pillar of the EU’s ambitious plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020.

Poland and other east European member states have strenuously objected to a measure in the original plan that called for electricity utilities to buy all of their emissions allowances at auction, beginning in 2013. (Financial Times)

Climate change momentum fading: Asia-Pacific survey - Climate change is fading as a priority in the Pacific Rim as the gloomy state of the global economy takes precedence, a survey of opinion leaders showed Wednesday.

The Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, a non-governmental group, released an annual survey of leaders in government, business and media ahead of a summit in Peru of 21 Asia-Pacific leaders.

Twenty-four percent of some 400 opinion leaders surveyed said the top priority for Asia-Pacific leaders should be addressing the US-bred financial crisis, far outweighing other issues.

Last year, the top priority was reviving stalled global trade negotiations, at 12 percent, but climate change came close at eight percent. Global warming did not even figure among the top priorities this year. (AFP)

India: 'We Have Accepted a Limit on our Emissions' - With its enormous population and booming industrial economy, India is set to become one of the planet's chief polluters. India's chief climate treaty negotiator, Shyam Saran, talks to SPIEGEL ONLINE his country's role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (Der Spiegel)

Sounds significant, doesn't it? So, what is this limit to which India so startlingly submits?

Even though there is no legal obligation on India in this respect, the Prime Minister of India made a commitment that India's per capita emissions will at no time exceed the average of the per capita emissions of developed, industrialized countries. We have thus accepted a limit on our emissions and at the same time provided an incentive to our partners in developed countries to be more ambitious. The more significant their reductions of emissions, the lower the limit we would need to accept for our own.

In other words India is allowing itself a 10-15-fold increase as a "limit". Ah, diplomacy...

Australians urged to follow NZ lead on ETS review - The Carbon Sense Coalition today called on the Queensland Government to follow the lead of New Zealand and initiate a complete review of the science and the cost-benefits of the proposals to levy a new tax on coal and petrol usage.

“All over the world, three factors are triggering a revolt against the lemming-like rush led by the Anglo-Saxons to commit carbon suicide via emissions trading schemes,” said Viv Forbes, Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition.

“Firstly, the science behind the scaremongering forecasts from IPCC computer models has been shown to be deficient by a growing band of independent scientists.

“Secondly, the globe itself is sending a warning as daily reports of unseasonal frosts, snow and ice make a mockery of the global warming hysteria. We certainly have climate change, but it is natural global cooling, not man-made global warming.

“Thirdly, the world financial collapse has forced alert politicians to focus on the immediate concerns of voters – real jobs, and the security of supply for food and power. (Press Release: Carbon Sense Coalition)

Let Them Eat Shrubbery - Science is often at its most newsworthy when it proves the blatantly obvious: getting drunk makes you more likely to fall over; sunbathing is a risk factor for sunburn, etc. But science that ‘proves’ something that journalists, commentators and policy bods like to think was blatantly obvious can also command more than its fair of column inches. Last year, for example, we reported on how a paper published by the Royal Society had proved once and for all that The Great Global Warming Swindle really did get it wrong about the influence of the sun on global warming, just like the Royal Society had said it had. More recently, there was the news that human activities had been attributed directly to the rise in temperatures at the Earth’s poles: (Climate Resistance)

Linear Climate Trends or Sudden Transitions of Climate - Which is More Likely? - A recent paper in Geophysical Research Letters by K. Zickfeld and colleagues (”Is the Indian summer monsoon stable against global change?” provides an example of investigating multiple climate forcings. According to their study, sulfur emissions and/or land-use changes as they affect planetary albedo, or natural variations in insolation and CO2 concentrations, could trigger abrupt transitions between different monsoon regimes. While the paper uses a simple box model of the tropical atmosphere, it is a start at investigating a set of multiple climate forcings as causing rapid transitions of climate in India. Such rapid transitions are already part of the natural system; see Rial, J., R.A. Pielke Sr., M. Beniston, M. Claussen, J. Canadell, P. Cox, H. Held, N. de Noblet-Ducoudre, R. Prinn, J. Reynolds, and J.D. Salas, 2004: Nonlinearities, feedbacks and critical thresholds within the Earth’s climate system. Climatic Change, 65, 11-38.) (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Oh dear... Global warming data blunder: Worth the fuss? - Despite broad consensus on the existence, origins and potentially catastrophic effects of global warming, a vocal minority continues to question the motives, methods and assumptions of climate scientists sounding the alarm. So when temperature data released by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), one of the leading monitors of climate change, showed an unusually warm October, climate change skeptics cried foul.

As it turned out, the GISS data were flawed. The relatively minor glitch was fixed and the figures updated. End of story? Of course not. Climate change skeptic Anthony Watts called the mistake a "data train wreck" in his blog. Global warming denier Christopher Booker, in a column in the U.K.'s conservative Telegraph, called the error a "surreal scientific blunder."

What Booker fails to mention—apart from the folly of relying on anecdotal evidence—is that even the corrected figures show one of the hottest Octobers on record. (This fact, and many others pertaining to Booker's article, are neatly addressed by blogger Tim Lambert.) It's also worth noting that Booker was recently dubbed the "patron saint of charlatans" by the left-leaning Guardian newspaper for his views questioning both global warming and the documented health hazards of asbestos, a known carcinogen. (John Matson, SciAm)

... Matson isn't too good at this, is he? Satellite data shows the globe had a pretty ordinary October, with most of the globe within ±0.5 °C of average and a smattering of warmer and cooler spots. Overall ranking 10 of 30, so not even in the top quartile. Why Matson clings to the absurd NCDC figure is unclear since it is ~8% higher than the GISTEMP joke and ~43% higher than HadCRUT3.

Because 'everybody says'? Cooling theorist has sunspots in his eyes - Bryan Leyland wrote an article in the Dominion Post and Stuff last week attacking global-warming theories. Ralph Chapman of Victoria University replies. (Dominion Post)

Well, if Chapman is basically going to argue authority perhaps we should counter:

In the words of Thomas H. Huxley: The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
-- Gautama Buddha

Climate change opens new avenue for spread of invasive plants - Plants that range northward because of climate change may be better at defending themselves against local enemies than native plants. (University of Florida)

So, by these guys definition all North American plants north of ~37N are "invasive" since the Laurentide Ice Sheet (principal glacial cover of North America during the Pleistocene Epoch 1,600,000 to 10,000 years ago) pretty much eliminated pre-existing plant cover. Guess what? Climates change and all manner of critters exploit available niches. So what's new?

Climate Action Plans Fail to Deliver: Updated 11-17-08 (Robert Ferguson, SPPI)

Gassiest stunt against gas yet - Reuters snaps the most hypocritical protest against global warming, this one thanks to firey Greenpeace protesters in Germany. (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Really? Energy security 'must not be excuse to expand coal power' - Government must not allow construction of coal power stations without carbon capture storage, say researchers (The Guardian)

And why is that?

Moore’s Curse and the Great Energy Delusion - Big Ideas Our transition away from fossil fuels will take decades—if it happens at all.

During the early 1970s we were told by the promoters of nuclear energy that by the year 2000 America’s coal-based electricity generation plants would be relics of the past and that all electricity would come from nuclear fission. What’s more, we were told that the first generation fission reactors would by then be on their way out, replaced by super-efficient breeder reactors that would produce more fuel than they were initially charged with.

During the early 1980s some aficionados of small-scale, distributed, “soft” (today’s “green”) energies saw America of the first decade of the 21st century drawing 30 percent to 50 percent of its energy use from renewables (solar, wind, biofuels). For the past three decades we have been told how natural gas will become the most important source of modern energy: widely cited forecasts of the early 1980s had the world deriving half of its energy from natural gas by 2000. And a decade ago the promoters of fuel cell cars were telling us that such vehicles would by now be on the road in large numbers, well on their way to displacing ancient and inefficient internal combustion engines.

These are the realities of 2008: coal-fired power plants produce half of all U.S. electricity, nuclear stations 20 percent, and there is not a single commercial breeder reactor operating anywhere in the world; in 2007 the United States derives about 1.7 percent of its energy from new renewable conversions (corn-based ethanol, wind, photovoltaic solar, geothermal); natural gas supplies about 24 percent of the world’s commercial energy—less than half the share predicted in the early 1980s and still less than coal with nearly 29 percent; and there are no fuel-cell cars.

This list of contrasts could be greatly extended, but the point is made: all of these forecasts and anticipations failed miserably because their authors and promoters ignored one of the most important realities ruling the behavior of complex energy systems—the inherently slow pace of energy transitions. (Vaclav Smil, The American)

Did Hated Speculators Lower Oil Prices? - Whither the speculators? They were this summer's front-page news, the subject of congressional hearings, editorials and nightly newscasts. The claimed culprits of oil's price rise, everyone fell over themselves to be tougher on them. (J.T. Young, IBD)

A Chance In Shale - New drilling techniques may open up a 14-year supply of natural gas trapped in porous rock in the Northeast. That is, if environmentalists in New York and elsewhere don't keep it trapped in the ground. (IBD)

Yeah, green jobs will save us... Closure of solar plant casts cloud over industry - IN A body blow for Australia's solar industry, the nation's biggest solar-panel factory will close early next year, taking 200 skilled jobs with it, equal to one-eighth of the total Australian solar workforce. (Sydney Morning Herald)

UK Law's Passage Arouses Dispute Over Green Energy - LONDON - A move approved by Britain's lower house, to expand a price support plan for households making green energy to larger renewables projects, could undermine a vital existing scheme, big energy producers said. (Reuters)

Hypersafe for a mill-yun years: Nuclear planning to the year 1,002,008 - YUCCA MOUNTAIN, Nevada - Will this barren mountain rising up to 4,950 feet from the Mojave desert look roughly the same in the year 1,002,008? That’s a million years into the future.

The question may sound bizarre but its answer is key to the future of a decades-old, controversial project to store America’s nuclear waste in the belly of Yucca Mountain, on the edge of a nuclear test site and 95 miles from Las Vegas. The narrow road from there winds through a desolate landscape of sparse vegetation — creosote scrub, cactus and gnarled Joshua trees.

“This is probably the world’s most intensely studied mountain,” says Michael Voegele, one of the senior engineers on the project, standing beside the “Yucca Mucker”, a 720-ton cylinder-shaped machine that has drilled a five-mile tunnel into the mountain. “And yet, there will be even more study.”

Indeed. In September, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised its original safety standards for what would be the world’s first deep underground nuclear mausoleum. Those standards were meant to protect the health of people living near Yucca Mountain for 10,000 years from the time the mountain is filled with 70,000 tons of radioactive nuclear waste.

Ten thousand years is roughly twice mankind’s recorded history. But a court in Washington ruled in 2004 that protection should reach farther into the future. The new standards “will protect public health and the environment for 1 million years,” according to the EPA. “The Yucca Mountain facility will open only if it meets EPA’s standards…” (Reuters)

Null Series: B vitamins for preventing mental decline as we age - Remember that mischievous little African bee and the epidemiological study that recently claimed to show that low vitamin B12 levels were associated with brain atrophy? As we uncovered, the study had actually found no tenable correlations between the B vitamin and brain size, and the Oxford authors were unable to give a biologically plausible explanation for how vitamin B12 levels might facilitate brain atrophy. Even so, they had concluded that a randomized clinical trial of high dose vitamin B12 supplementation was needed to see if the vitamin could help prevent cognitive impairment among elderly. (Junkfood Science)

Posole-gate - It’s already being called Posole-gate.

“The more we look to the government to protect us, the more freedoms we lose,” said one resident. This became a reality today when government health officials went after an 84-year old tradition and told the nuns at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that their church dinner of homemade posole, tamales and biscochitos was against the law. Every December 14th, after the Our Lady of Guadalupe procession, church ladies have served traditional posole and biscochitos for parishioners and the public. The Environment Health Department, however, determined the potluck was a threat to public safety and a violation of the city’s food ordinance. (Junkfood Science)

Indoctrination alert: Arthur Goes Green in New Board Game: Arthur Saves the Planet - CHICAGO, Ill. — Cameron McCandless, U.S. Marketing Director of FRED Distribution, Inc. announced this week that the popular book and public television character, Arthur, embarks on a mission to “go green” in a new award-winning children’s board game - Arthur(TM) Saves the Planet, One Step at a Time. And, the release of this new game coincides perfectly with National Games Week - November 16 to 29. Arthur Saves the Planet aims to inspire children six years and older to take simple steps to care for the environment, in short, to go green. This environmentally-friendly board game has also won the Preferred Choice Award from Creative Child Magazine and is endorsed by PBS Kids. (eNewsChannels)

We Have Become A Nation Of Thieves - Evil acts can be given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution or caring for the less fortunate. Let's think about socialism.

Imagine there's an elderly widow down the street from you. She has neither the strength to mow her lawn nor enough money to hire someone to do it. Here's my question to you, and I'm almost afraid of the answer:

Would you support a government mandate that forces one of your neighbors to mow the lady's lawn each week? If he failed to follow the government orders, would you approve of some kind of punishment ranging from house arrest and fines to imprisonment? (Walter E. Williams, IBD)

Use Flower Power To Save Europe's Bees - EU Lawmaker - STRASBOURG - Honey bees, whose numbers are falling, must be given flowery "recovery zones" in Europe's farmlands to aid their survival, a leading EU lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Bees pollinate numerous crops and scientists have expressed alarm over their mysterious and rapid decline. Experts have warned that a drop in the bee population could harm agriculture.

"If we continue to neglect the global bee population, then this will have a dramatic effect on our already strained world food supplies," said Neil Parish, who chairs the European Parliament's agriculture committee.

Parish, a British conservative, said vast swathes of single crops such as wheat often made it difficult for bees to find enough nectar.

But he said farmers could help bees by planting patches of bee-friendly flowers -- including daisies, borage and lavender.

"We're talking about less than one percent of the land for bee-friendly crops -- in corners where farmers can't get to with their machinery, round trees and under hedges." (Reuters)

November 19, 2008

Schwarzenegger opens climate change summit - BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opened his climate change summit on Tuesday by telling attendees from around the world that they can balance environmental protection with economic growth.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican who has gained notoriety for his global warming efforts in California, hopes the summit will influence negotiations over a new climate treaty during a U.N. gathering in Poland next month.

Just how countries will cut emissions remains a topic of intense debate, especially as the world grapples with the worsening financial crisis. U.S. and foreign businesses, as well as some European countries, have questioned whether cutting emissions will cost too much. (AP)

The question none of these stampeding fools have bothered to pose is should we limit atmospheric carbon dioxide at all? The answer, of course, is that there is significant cost to the environment and society of doing so but absolutely no discernible benefit, so why do it?

Is that global warming? No, just the sauna. - Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will join some of her fellow governors this week in Los Angeles for the Governor's Global Climate Summit. The event, hosted by Gov. Schwarzenegger, brings together several governors, policy leaders and international experts.

So where will this august gathering be? Why, the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel, of course, just a short SUV drive from the private jet. (Prime Buzz)

Blood Forests - "Building on (California's) success in forming de facto treaties with international entities, Schwarzenegger will sign a declaration with Indonesia and Brazil to develop efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation. The agreement could make it cheaper for California businesses to achieve emissions reductions by allowing them to invest in afforestation projects abroad," according to E and E today.

But the guilt-laden Californians will be doing more harm than good. The countries where they will supposedly be investing in forests have proven records for corruption. Brazil tied with China and India on the 2006 Transparency International Perceptions of Corruption Index. And Indonesia tied with that paragon of virtue, Russia, at number 143.

Who will really profit from the boatloads of money California sends these countries? (Julie Walsh, CEI)

Obama promises leadership on climate change - WASHINGTON — Calling climate change an urgent challenge, President-elect Barack Obama promised Tuesday that Washington would take a leading role in combating it in the United States and throughout the world.

"My presidency will mark a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change," Obama said in a video message to governors and others attending a Los Angeles summit on the issue. (AP)

Leadership? Where to? Over a cliff? How did we let a bunch of gibbering loons stampede the mob with nonsense claims of planet cooking with trivial increases in an essential trace gas? Get a grip people! You don't live in a computer-generated virtual world so you are in absolutely no danger from virtual planet cooking.

Obama addresses global warming summit (Boston Globe)

Holder Seen as Pick for Justice Post as Obama Begins to Settle on Team - In his only public appearance on Tuesday, Mr. Obama indicated that he intended to move rapidly on one of the most ambitious items on his agenda, tackling climate change. Speaking to a bipartisan group of governors by video, the president-elect said that despite the weakening economy, he had no intention of softening or delaying his ambitious goals for reducing emissions that cause the warming of the planet.

“Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all,” Mr. Obama said. “Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response.”

Mr. Obama said that although he would not attend a meeting on climate change sponsored next month by the United Nations, he had asked members of Congress who would be attending to report back to him on what the United States could do to reassert leadership on global climate policy.

Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, who has been a consistent skeptic on global warming science and legislation, said Tuesday that Mr. Obama might be getting out ahead of his own party on climate change. Mr. Inhofe noted that nearly a third of Senate Democrats had opposed the similar climate change bill that came to a vote this year.

“President-elect Obama will face an even tougher sell in the years ahead, with economic concerns remaining front and center,” Mr. Inhofe said. (New York Times)

'The Finance Crisis Will Affect Climate Policies' - In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, discusses how the current financial crisis will dampen national initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions and why he still has hopes Kyoto targets can be reached. (Der Spiegel)

India, China React to U.S. Election - Developing countries are worried that they would face increased expectations to commit to economically harmful emissions reductions if President-elect Barack Obama follows through with a campaign promise to align with the European Union and orchestrate a global response to global warming. To date, developing countries have faced little diplomatic pressure to act on the climate because the Bush administration refused to commit to an international climate treaty. As a result, the EU has spent its diplomatic capital trying to convince the U.S. to join and largely has ignored developing countries, even though they account for half of current emissions. If, however, President-elect Obama reversed the Bush administration’s international climate strategy, a united EU-U.S. would likely demand that developing countries commit to steep emissions cuts. So it’s no wonder that China and India chose the week after Obama’s victory in the presidential elections to demonstrate their unwillingness to put global warming over economic growth. China’s government unveiled their climate plan this week. The centerpiece is to exact a commitment from developed countries to give 1% of their GDP—about $300 billion annually—to building a clean energy infrastructure in China and other developing countries. India’s government held a conference in New Delhi, called Climate Change: Business Sustainability and Society, during which Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal announced that a global action plan to fight climate change was unworkable. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

British lawmakers pass landmark climate change bill - Lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to a bill committing Britain to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 -- the first country to have such a legally binding framework on climate change.

Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said the bill, which must now be signed into law by the queen, "makes Britain a world leader on climate policy".

"It's the first legislation of its kind in the world. It will tie this and future governments into legally binding emission targets -- an 80 percent cut by 2050, with five-year carbon budgets along the way," he said.

"It sends a clear message before European and global climate talks that serious action is possible." (AFP)

No Ed, it merely demonstrates that stupidity is common in lawmakers.

Greens Spell Progress R-e-c-e-s-s-i-o-n - Great news for global warm-ongers: New data show the world is on target to meet the Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The bad news: It took a major economic collapse to get it done. (IBD)

Wouldn't it be cool if these dipsticks did something useful? Hollywood aims to put climate change on prime time - LOS ANGELES, Nov 18 - Could TV really save the world from global warming?

Maybe not, but network television writers gathered on Tuesday anyway to discuss how incorporating the growing threat of climate change into primetime storylines could inspire viewers to live green.

Citing evidence that shows like crime drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" inspired a wave of wannabe forensic scientists, Hollywood movers and shakers said they believe more Americans will pay attention to the environment if they learn about global warming through their favorite TV series. (Reuters)

Like maybe draw attention to developing nation health care, provision of potable water, sanitation or some real, addressable problem. Instead they want to push gorebull warming, about which every action does demonstrable harm to the biosphere and society.

Guys, carbon dioxide is a key resource supporting virtually all life on this planet's surface -- we need it, we like it and the biosphere thrives on it.

An Appeal To Reason - Has Al Gore read Nigel Lawson's book?

Nigel Lawson, chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher, and author of three books--including his essential account of the Thatcher years, The View from No. 11: Memoirs of a Tory Radical--had trouble finding a publisher for his most recent book, An Appeal to Reason, which casts a skeptical eye on global warming.

As he notes in the foreword, one rejection letter suggested that "it would be very difficult to find a wide market" for a book that "flies so much in the face of the prevailing orthodoxy." So while Lawson acknowledges that his contribution to the discussion won't "shake the faith" of global warming's true believers, he's written what is a very informative book for those not yet convinced that Armageddon is our future, absent massive worldwide government action. (John Tamny, Forbes)

Missing Radioactivity in Ice Cores Bodes Ill for Part of Asia - When Ohio State glaciologists failed to find the expected radioactive signals in the latest core they drilled from a Himalayan ice field, they knew it meant trouble for their research.

But those missing markers of radiation, remnants from atomic bomb tests a half-century ago, foretell much greater threat to the half-billion or more people living downstream of that vast mountain range.

It may mean that future water supplies could fall far short of what's needed to keep that population alive. (Ohio State University)

Actually it seems to indicate the world is not getting wetter (the alleged enhanced greenhouse positive feedback loop), which would cause more precipitation at these freezing  altitudes. The question is why this one location has not been accumulating snow like the other sites Thompson has drilled. Change in monsoonal wind patterns? Atmospheric drying due to the effects of say, the Asian Brown Cloud? It is not clear and there is nowhere near enough past data to form any conclusions but it sure makes a mess of enhanced greenhouse (again) doesn't it.

Illusions of Climate Science - How have we come to a situation where, as some polls suggest, most Australians are so concerned about dangerous climate change that they will put aside the very tools and technologies that have sustained clean air, clean water, nutritious food and long life? More importantly, is the perceived danger real and will the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions avert the perceived danger? Although there are many uncertainties to be resolved, it is clear that the community has been the subject of more than two decades of heavily biased propaganda. (William Kininmonth, Quadrant)

Global warming predictions are overestimated, suggests study on black carbon -- A detailed analysis of black carbon -- the residue of burned organic matter -- in computer climate models suggests that those models may be overestimating global warming predictions. (

Africa to pay for Europe's "green policies" - In efforts to make quick and symbolic gains in Europe's otherwise failed policies to curb climate gas emissions, environmental and anti-globalisation politicians are aiming at Africa's few economic success stories. Campaigns to buy locally produced food and travel to local destinations particularly hit out against African products. Consumers in Europe are again growing more environmentally conscious and are willing to use their purchasing power to assist in what is widely seen as our era's most pressing problems - the overspending of energy and global warming. Meanwhile, European politicians have been those pressuring strongest to gain support for the Kyoto Protocol while having totally failed to lower emissions of climate gases in their own countries. In every country, emissions have steadily increased. (Global Research)

Waxman in fight to win key House chairmanship - Two Democratic heavyweights, Michigan Rep. John Dingell and Rep. Henry Waxman of Los Angeles, are slugging it out this week over a chairmanship of a key House committee in a fight with major implications for President-elect Barack Obama's agenda on issues from health care to energy to climate change.

Dingell, 82, the longest-serving member of the House and a fierce defender of Detroit's auto industry, has been the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee for 28 years. But he's being challenged by Waxman, a bulldog House investigator and ardent environmentalist, who's promising a more aggressive course on climate change and renewable energy.

The House Democrats' Steering and Policy Committee - which is stacked with loyalists to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has clashed with Dingell - will meet today to recommend one of the men for the job. Whichever candidate is picked, the losing camp will ask the entire Democratic caucus on Thursday to cast secret ballots on who should be the panel's chair. (SF Chronicle)

ETS review scuttles global carbon trader’s launch plan - International carbon trading company EcoSecurities Group has postponed launching an office in this country after National’s decision yesterday to put the Emission Trading Scheme on hold for at least another year. (National Business Review)

Melting ice now main driver of rising sea levels: study - Runoff from ice caps in Antarctica and Greenland along with melting mountain glaciers have replaced expanding oceans as the main driver of rising sea levels, according to a new study.

The rate at which the global ocean water mark rises could have a devastating impact on hundreds of millions of people living in low-lying areas around the world.

Earlier research had shown that sea levels crept up and average of 3.1 millimetres (0.12 inches) per year from 1993 to 2003.

More than half of that increase came from a process called thermal expansion whereby the ocean gains in mass as climate change pushes global temperatures upward.

The other half, climate scientists calculated, was caused by land ice, especially dwindling glaciers in mountain ranges such as the Himalayas and Andes.

The new study, drawing on data from two new observational systems, shows that thermal expansion -- which is cyclical over periods measured in decades -- essentially stopped after 2003.

But sea levels continued to rise, though at the slightly diminished rate of 2.5 millimetres (0.1 inches) per year. (AFP)

This appears to be a panicked effort to get around the increasingly common knowledge that oceans are not actually warming. Perhaps they are hoping to avoid people finding out that sea levels aren't actually rising, only the IPCC's "correction factor" and even then levels have recently shown decline.

From CO2 Science this week:

An About-Face for FACE?: Will government bureaucrats terminate three vital experiments before they have achieved their ultimate objective?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 636 individual scientists from 372 separate research institutions in 40 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Kaldbaksfjord, Faeroe Islands. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Seeds (Trees): How are tree seeds affected by atmospheric CO2 enrichment?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Barley, Black Poplar, Garden Bean, and White Poplar.

Journal Reviews:
Temperature and Precipitation Extremes: Models vs. Reality: How well do climate model simulations replicate real-world observations?

Simulating Arctic Cloud Cover and Sea Ice: How well do simulations of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report models compare with reality?

Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Trends: Have storm numbers and strengths increased in response to recent global warming?

The Arctic Ocean: Melting Its Way to Higher Productivity: It's not just the terrestrial landscape that is "greening" in response to global change.

Double Brooding in Tree Swallows: Even birds become more productive when the climate warms and growing seasons lengthen. (

What is a “Teleconnection”? Why are Teleconnections Important in Climate Science? - Originally posted on August 25, 2005.

Teleconnections are defined by the American Meteorological Society as:

“1. A linkage between weather changes occurring in widely separated regions of the globe. 2. A significant positive or negative correlation in the fluctuations of a field at widely separated points. Most commonly applied to variability on monthly and longer timescales, the name refers to the fact that such correlations suggest that information is propagating between the distant points through the atmosphere.”

This linkage can be accomplished by alterations of regional tropospheric temperatures which create changes in the large-scale pressure and wind fields, and/or by the advection of material from one region to another (such as from blowing dust or emissions of pollutants that are advected by the wind). The National Research Council report discusses teleconnections as related to radiative forcings. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Sunflower sues Kan. over coal plant permit denial - TOPEKA, Kan. - Sunflower Electric Power Corp. said Tuesday it has asked a federal court to block the state from denying the utility an air quality permit it needs to build two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas.

The lawsuit is the latest in the ongoing battle with the state over the October 2007 denial of the permit by Health and Environment Secretary Rod Bremby, who cited potential carbon dioxide emissions and global warming. Many scientists link man-made greenhouse gas emissions to global warming.

The Legislature tried three times this year to pass measures to overturn Bremby's decision and allow the Hays-based Sunflower to build the plants outside Holcomb in Finney County. Each bill was vetoed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who backed Bremby's decision. (Associated Press)

Calif. utilities must use 33 percent renewable energy for power generation by 2020 - California utilities, already struggling to meet a law requiring more renewable energy, saw the bar raised even higher Monday.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order calling on utilities to provide one-third of their power from renewable resources by 2020.

"This will be the most aggressive target in the nation," he said. (Sacramento Bee)

Arnie forgot to mention it's also the stupidest target in the nation.

Just suppose someone (anyone) is foolish enough to invest in producing so much intermittent, unreliable and expensive electrickery -- how does it get to consumers, by wishful thinking? Obviously not, so you need massive new investment in transmission lines, not to mention all the fights with NIMBYs and "Save The Slightly Rusty VW Beetle" antidevelopment nut jobs and front groups whose raison d'être is to obstruct human endeavor.

Europe's $14 Billion Clean-Coal Plan Lacking Backers -- A European proposal to spend 11 billion euros ($14 billion) testing how to pump greenhouse gases underground is itself getting buried.

The plan to subsidize 12 pilot plants that capture and store carbon dioxide blamed for global warming won initial approval by a European Parliament committee on Oct. 7. Germany, Spain, Poland and at least three more countries have since decided to oppose the project, officials said in interviews. Chris Davies of the U.K., who sponsored the proposal in parliament, said it needs to be changed to win a final vote that's not yet scheduled.

At stake is the world's most ambitious research project to demonstrate that coal-burning, CO2-spewing power generators can run without releasing gases that warm the planet. Experimental ``carbon-capture'' technology is vital to the United Nation's goal to halve global emissions by 2050, said Kamel Bennaceur of the Paris-based International Energy Agency.

``It's critical that the world commits to 20 demonstration plants by 2010,'' Bennaceur, a senior energy analyst at the policy adviser to the largest oil-importing nations, said in an interview yesterday. ``Of those, 10 to 12 would be from Europe.'' (Bloomberg)

Why is it critical to waste energy denying the biosphere an essential resource gifted as a byproduct of human endeavor?

Opinion: A Critical Junction: Nuclear Power Faces an Uncertain Future Under an Obama Administration - Illinois produces more megawatts of nuclear power than any other state in the union, accounting for nearly 12 percent of the national total, and Barack Obama, the junior senator from the land of Lincoln, has had a very cosy relationship with the state’s nuclear industry over the years. The employees of the Exelon Corporation, the largest operator of commercial nuclear power plants in the U.S., have donated at least $300,000 to Obama since 2003, and for his part, Obama has danced with those who brung him.

In 2005, when his constituents were outraged to find that Exelon had leaked millions of gallons of radioactive tritium and not informed the public, the young senator took up their outrage, and with much fire and brimstone, proposed the Nuclear Release Notice Act of 2006, a bill that would have made it mandatory for nuclear reactors to disclose to the public when such radioactive releases occur. During the Iowa primaries, he boasted of this legislative success, calling it “the only nuclear legislation I’ve passed.” In reality, the legislation never passed. The bill had Obama’s full-throated support … until he re-wrote the bill, pulled the hard talk of mandated reporting, and then watched this watered-down version die in the Senate.

Maybe Obama simply saw the light — after all, the tritium leakage was never a serious threat to public health — or maybe there was something more. David Axelrod, Obama’s chief political strategist, was a consultant for Exelon as recently as 2002, and the $3 million “overhead projector” earmark that McCain derided in the debates was destined to the Adler Planetarium, whose chairman at the time was one Frank Clark, chief executive of an Exelon-owned utility, ComEd.

When Obama stepped onto the national stage, stories like these would have been an uncomfortable liability with the hard environmental left of his party, and so the young senator tempered his view of nuclear power — specifically by adding ambiguity. On the stump, he was careful to stick to his new and improved view, namely that he supported nuclear power so long as it was “safe and clean.”

What a fantastic caveat, both indisputably sensible and conveniently elastic. Surely no one could support “dangerous and dirty” nuclear power. But Obama’s new line on nuclear power begs the question: How safe is safe? How clean is clean? (Keith Yost, The Tech)

Bills Come Due On the Ethanol Scam - The implosion of the corn ethanol sector continues. Last week, VeraSun Energy Corp. announced that it expects its third quarter loss to reach $464 million – more than four times the amount that it mentioned in an earlier filing.

The news of the expected loss is just the latest twist of events for VeraSun, which declared bankruptcy last month. And the VeraSun saga is emblematic of an existential crisis for the entire corn ethanol industry. Plummeting oil prices – which have been accompanied by falling corn prices and a softening global economy – have torpedoed the sector. (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)

Offshore wind power could alter ocean currents - Change is small but was enough to cause upwelling, according to study

Generating wind power at sea may disturb ocean currents and marine ecosystems, according to a new study.

Offshore wind farms are common in Europe; Denmark, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom all have several active installations. Wind power in the United States is currently confined to dry land, but three installations are planned off the coast of New Jersey, Rhode Island and Delaware, totaling about 1,500 megawatts of generating capacity.

Extracting energy from wind changes regional air currents, which can in turn affect how the nearby ocean circulates, according to Goran Brostrom of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute in Oslo.

In a paper published this month in Journal of Marine Systems, Brostrom shows in a model that winds swirling at 11 to 22 miles per hour downwind of large farms are uneven. As they blow over the ocean they can roil the waters, causing upwelling. (Michael Reilly, Discovery Channel)

Airport expansion must be halted to meet CO2 target, say climate scientists - Only practical solution to meet emissions target is for airline industry to curb demand for flying, says climate scientist. (The Guardian)

Europe's Airlines: ‘No Emissions Trading Without the Single Sky’ - The heads of Europe’s 35 most important scheduled airlines have called upon national governments and the European institutions to better recognize the value of the airline industry. In this perspective they don’t want an Emissions Trading Scheme without a Single European Sky. (

Reflections on today’s news — from the food for thought file… - This news story isn’t about food or weight, chronic diseases of aging or pharmaceuticals, or which unsound initiative our healthcare resources will be squandered on next. This is a story being followed by Uyghur Human Rights Project in China, and reported by Radio Free Asia and China Digital Times, that is so heart wrenching, disturbing and soul-searching on so many different levels, it deserves to be known beyond China’s borders. (Junkfood Science)

Fighting Fake Drugs in India - Recently approved legislation should help India in its battle against substandard pharmaceutical products.

The Indian government has at last signaled its intention to combat the menace of fake pharmaceutical products. Late last month, the upper house of parliament approved measures to create a comprehensive national food and drug authority. Penalties for those manufacturing and trading in fake drugs have been increased, and it will now be easier to capture and convict counterfeiters.

While the food and drug scandals in China have grabbed the recent headlines, India has been dealing with its own problems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently banned a host of drug imports from India’s largest pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy Laboratories, citing alleged breaches in manufacturing practices. The ban will be lifted if Ranbaxy offers credible evidence that its production processes are adequate. (Roger Bate, The American)

No fooling: Experts bemoan loss of kids' play time - NEW YORK -- In one classroom, a group of preschool teachers squatted on the floor, pretending to be cave-dwelling hunter-gatherers. Next door, another group ended a raucous musical game by placing their tambourines and drums atop their heads.

Silly business, to be sure, but part of an agenda of utmost seriousness: To spread the word that America's children need more time for freewheeling play at home and in their schools.

"We're all sad, and we're a little worried. ... We're sad about something missing in childhood," psychologist and author Michael Thompson told 900 early childhood educators from 22 states packed into an auditorium last week.

"We have to fight back," he declared. "We're going to fight for play." (AP)

Auto-Bailout Mechanics - Detroit, Mich. — General Motors is not competitive.

That is the conclusion, not of conservative D.C. critics or Wall Street investors, but of officers with the Detroit auto-parts suppliers who do business every day with America’s largest car company — and with its Japanese competitors.

It is an open secret in the Motor City that — even leaving aside its high labor costs, surplus of brands, and bloated dealer network — GM’s manufacturing culture is inefficient compared to foreign rivals Toyota and Honda. Conversations with numerous supplier reps confirm an antiquated Detroit culture that does not thoroughly engineer products before contracting production with suppliers. As a result, production runs for Detroit automakers like GM are frequently interrupted to change specifications. Those interruptions add costs — costs that Japanese manufacturers rarely incur. The problem is so prevalent that employees for JCI — major international supplier Johnson Controls, Inc. — often joke that their acronym stands for “Just Change It” because its American clients routinely run up unnecessary costs by altering production contracts.

Can a $25 billion taxpayer bailout help General Motors change its culture? “No,” says one supplier executive. “You have to burn them down and start over.” (Henry Payne, NRO)

Help us STOP the Auto Makers Bailout!

Since the 1970s, Detroit's Big Three auto makers have failed to keep up in the competitive auto industry. High labor costs and inflexible work rules, as well as a failure to overcome negative consumer sentiments have combined to bring the Detroit-based auto manufacturers to their knees. Now they are begging the federal government for a bailout to the tune of $75 billion!

Take Action Now and send a message to Congress and the president that taxpayers should not have to pay for decades of bad business decisions by the Big Three auto makers.

Ten years ago the Big Three posted a combined profit of over $16 billion dollars. But management failed to wisely invest these profits.

The Big Three are heavily weighed down by irresponsible labor costs.

The problem in the auto industry is caused by unrealistic union contracts written decades ago. These contracts did not give the industry the flexibility it needed to respond to market changes and burdened the industry with legacy costs. But if Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid have their way, the taxpayers are going to get stuck with the costs of Big Labor's demands! (FreedomWorks)

Brain food no side serve - IT'S not that I hate nature. It's just that I hate lies. And that's what alarms me most about the "we'll-fry-and-die" green movement.

It tells children that lies are fine, if they're told in the "right" earth-saving cause. What good can come of it?

The latest example is McDonald's new "Happy Meals" promotion, which offers young burger-munchers a soft toy of an "endangered animal".

The fact is that the most endangered animal in this promotion is actually the one whose carcass now lies between two sesame-seed buns.

But check the 10 stuffed animals that McDonald's, with Australia Zoo, have chosen to hand out as animals "endangered" by us wicked humans.

Sure, they are fluffy-wuffy cute - perfect to cry over - but how endangered are they really? (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Many say no thanks to no-flush urinals - The influential U.S. Green Building Council promotes no-flush urinals as a way to win its prized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design endorsements. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers specifies them for the service's future construction. Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore is a board member of Falcon Waterfree Technologies of Grand Rapids, Mich., the leading no-flush urinal maker.

Still, an inconvenient truth hovers over the no-flush urinal industry: Many one-time fans say that the urinals are icky, tricky and costly to maintain.

Among those worried about their performance is Mary Ann Dickinson, executive director of the Chicago-based Alliance for Water Efficiency, a nonprofit that promotes water conservation. She fears no-flush urinals will fizzle and deter other water-saving innovations just as underperforming low-flow toilets did in the early 1990s.

"We need to make sure no-flush urinals deliver effective savings before we incentivize their placement," she cautioned. (McClatchy Newspapers)

November 18, 2008

IQ2 U.S.: Do Come, Do Vote Online - On January 13, at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, New York, Bjørn Lomborg, Peter Huber (Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute), and I will be debating the motion ‘Major reductions in carbon emissions are not worth the money’ with Daniel Kammen, Oliver Tickell, and Adam Werbach in one of the now famous blockbuster IQ2 U.S. debates. The moderator will be John Donvan, correspondent for ABC News ‘Nightline’, and the debate will be recorded for airing on BBC World News Television (reaching 280 million households globally) and NPR nationally. (Global Warming Politics)

How Barycentric Orbits Influence Climate - "The projections of the IPCC are simplistic, superficial, and now proven wrong. The whole issue requires a fresh start, based on the mass of irrefutable data which has been assembled. Certainly New Zealand should not incur any expenditure based on the fallacious IPCC Report. Indeed, New Zealand should take a lead internationally to publicise the barycentric science, demonstrating how it explains the recent finding of low sun-spot activity, the very cold winter in Europe, and thereby destroys the whole ‘conventional wisdom’ of so-called global warming. Here is a real opportunity for New Zealand to lead the world." (Dr Jim Sprott, OBE, MSc, PhD, FNZIC, consulting chemist and forensic scientist, Auckland New Zealand)

Partial Carbon Cut From Coal A Good First Step - MIT - NEW YORK - Coal-fired power plants might adopt technology with potential to help fight climate change faster if they used it to capture about half of their greenhouse gas pollution instead of almost all of it, experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said Monday. (Reuters)

No, it's a very bad step, first, last and always. On the one hand it's a serious waste of energy and on the other it is pointless theft of an essential resource from the biosphere. Don't do it! Ever!

D'oh! Soil study muddies climate change debate - Climate change may not be as severe as predicted, suggests an international study that shows current modeling of carbon dioxide emissions from soils are overestimated by as much as 20%.

The view, reported in the latest Nature Geoscience journal, is based on a study of Australian soils that finds the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released by Australian soils is much lower than previously believed.

The finding has major implications for climate change predictions as annual carbon emissions from soils are estimated to be more than all human-made CO2 emissions combined. (Australian Broadcasting Corp)

Uh-huh... Ski industry predicts boom as cold sets in - Early snowfall on Europe's slopes points to bumper season for Alpine resorts. (The Independent)

Flashback: Ski resorts face uncertain future - Global warming could devastate European ski resorts within decades, forcing lower-altitude resorts to close and threatening winter sports which now attract up to 80 million tourists a year.

A report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development yesterday heaped more bad news on Alpine ski resorts, which are already struggling against the warmest weather in 1,300 years, according to Austrian climatologists, with flowers still blooming on some slopes and world ski tournaments being cancelled through lack of snow. (The Guardian)

Forests may play overlooked role in regulating climate - In a study to be published next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists led by a team at the University of New Hampshire show that forests may influence the Earth's climate in important ways that have not previously been recognized.

When sunlight reaches the Earth's surface it can either be absorbed and converted to heat or reflected back to outer space, where it doesn't influence the Earth's temperature. Scott Ollinger, a professor at the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space and the department of Natural Resources and the Environment, and colleagues have discovered that, of the total amount of sunlight that falls on forests, the fraction that gets reflected back to space is directly related to levels of nitrogen in their foliage.

While scientists have long known that nitrogen-rich foliage is more efficient at pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, this new discovery suggests that nitrogen plays an important additional role in the Earth's climate system that has never before been considered. Specifically, trees with high levels of foliar nitrogen have a two-fold effect on climate by simultaneously absorbing more CO2 and reflecting more solar radiation than their low-nitrogen counterparts. (University of New Hampshire)

D'oh! Water vapor confirmed as major player in climate change -- Water vapor is known to be Earth's most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. Using recent NASA satellite data, researchers have estimated more precisely than ever the heat-trapping effect of water in the air, validating the role of the gas as a critical component of climate change. (

There remains no evidence however, that there is any positive feedback from water vapor to render trivial carbon dioxide-driven warming catastrophic gorebull warming.

Slumping Carbon Price Worries Greens - CHURCHVILLE, VA—The price of carbon has slumped in Europe’s emission trading—for the second time in two years. The long-term investments needed to reduce humanity’s greenhouse emissions are being discouraged. The carbon price is meant to offset the economic cost of shifting from coal, gas, and oil to non-fossil energy. If the carbon price is too cheap, however, Greens worry we won’t stop burning the fossil fuels. (Dennis T. Avery, CGFI)

Ex-Soviet Bloc Leads CO2 Emissions Rise Since 2000 - OSLO - Economic revival in the former Soviet bloc has been the main driver in pushing up industrialised nations' greenhouse gas emissions since 2000, despite plans to cut them, UN data showed on Monday. (Reuters)

The Problem With a ‘Cap-and-Trade’ System - It will be very costly, but probably ineffective as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Now that Democrats have won the presidency and expanded their majorities in both houses of Congress, they will be under enormous pressure from environmentalists to implement a “cap-and-trade” system for regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Barack Obama has called for significant reductions in GHG emissions, and he favors a cap-and-trade approach. According to recent polls, a bare majority of Americans say they support government regulation of GHG emissions, and 59 percent support a cap-and-trade program.

However, Obama will inevitably find that establishing the type of cap-and-trade scheme he endorsed during the campaign may not be possible—or desirable. In recent years, various cap-and-trade bills have been proposed on Capitol Hill, but none has come close to passing. The most recent casualty was the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which died in the Senate this past June.

The premise of cap-and-trade legislation is that the social costs of GHG emissions—which scientists believe are contributing to global warming—are not reflected in their actual costs. By bringing the actual costs of GHG emissions more in line with their social costs, the thinking goes, we would create a more efficient system and slash our emissions. Because GHG emissions are a byproduct of energy production, basic economics tells us that a cap-and-trade regime should lead to higher energy costs. (Abigail Haddad, The American)

If everyone is supposedly so all-fired keen to include "externalities" why is it they seek only costs? Why isn't the enormous service value of returning a trivial amount of desperately sparse essential trace gas to the atmosphere ever mentioned in the supposed cost-benefit analysis? Granted, it is highly unlikely that anyone will ever be able to charge the biosphere for this service but surely it should count when tallying "externalities", which are presently booked only as unpaid charges against human endeavor. My guess is that it is purely because misanthropists are cooking the books in their unceasing efforts to hamper humanity. Why the antisocial ratbags are obsessed with that task I can not guess.

Would-be wealth redistributors still trying: Greens at G-20 Summit Call for ‘Rich’ Nations to Fund Underdeveloped Countries - Green energy advocates called on “rich,” industrialized countries to pony up the money to make the world less dependent on carbon and to subsidize the efforts of underdeveloped countries to reduce emissions in a G-20 publication distributed at a global economic summit Saturday.

Real action “relies on the rich, industrial countries demonstrating that they are ready to take the lead on cutting greenhouse emissions and to invest in building a low carbon economy,” wrote Camilla Toulmin, director of the International Institute for Environmental Development. (

No? Duh! Obama Won't Visit UN Climate Talks In Poland - UN - OSLO - US President-elect Barack Obama will not attend United Nations talks in Poland next month working on a new treaty for fighting global warming, the UN Climate Change Secretariat said on Monday. (Reuters)

Wising up at last: Business leaders cheer Key Cabinet - Business leaders are praising incoming Prime Minister John Key's ministerial picks for their strong business and economic experience.

National leader John Key picks up the tourism portfolio and second in command Bill English takes on both Finance and Infrastructure. National number three Gerry Brownlee takes on Economic Development and Energy and Resources.

"Finance and Infrastructure are inextricably linked, and so are Economic Development and Energy, so the EMA is very happy to see [English and Brownlee] take up these critical positions" says Goldsworthy.

Both Walley and Goldsworthy were highly positive of Tim Groser's appointment as Minister for Trade and Associate Minister for Climate Change.

Walley notes Groser's vast experience with international negotiations and Goldsworthy welcomed Groser's associate role with climate change.

"Conservation and climate change is in the realm of international negotiations, so it's good to know someone in that role knows their way around the traps," said Goldsworthy. (Business Day)

Global cooling prediction of guest speaker - A professor from Carleton University may get the cold shoulder from environmentalists when he speaks in London tomorrow.

Tim Patterson, a paleoclimatologist from the department of Earth sciences, will give an opposing view to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Patterson is speaking at a Canadian Club of London luncheon.

He believes we should expect global cooling rather than global warming in the coming years.

"We're off on the wrong foot," he says. "There's been no global warming in the 21st century."

Climate change is not caused by humans, but by natural forces, Patterson says. (London Free Press)

Cold, Hard Facts - Despite record snows and low temperatures around the world last month, a major Al Gore supporter says October was the hottest on record. The only thing being cooked here is not the Earth, but the books.

James Hansen, head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and global warming alarmist, is Al Gore's favorite scientist, part of that mythical global warming "consensus" that says we are doomed and man is the culprit. On Nov. 10 he announced that last month was the hottest October on record and we were still doomed.

Snowboarders march through snow in Saas-Fee, 1,800 meters above sea level, in Switzerland on Oct. 30 after Snowboard World Cup qualifying was canceled due to heavy snowfall.

Dr. Hansen has not only become global warming's Robin to Al Gore's Batman, he has also been a critic of the "deniers," those who dare to insist that the debate is far from over, and that the computer models used can't even predict the past, much less the future. (IBD)

OK, What Caused the Problem? (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

What is Climate? Why Does it Matter How We Define Climate? - The title of this weblog is “Climate Science,” so the first thing we need to do is define “climate.” For many, the term refers to long-term weather statistics. However, on this blog we are adopting the definition that is provided in the 2005 National Research Council (NRC) report where the climate is the system consisting of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere. Physical, chemical, and biological processes are involved in interactions among the components of the climate system. Figure 1-1 and 1-2 in the report illustrate this definition of climate very clearly. In the NRC report, climate forcings were extended beyond the radiative forcing of carbon dioxide to include the biogeochemical influence of carbon dioxide, but also a variety of aerosol forcings (see Table 2-2 in the report), nitrogen deposition, and land-cover changes. Each of these forcings has been determined to influence long-term weather statistics as well as other aspects of the climate.

However, this concept of climate and its alterations by humans, has been generally ignored. The NRC report listed above certainly appears to have been incompletely missed by policymakers. As an example, at the G-8 meeting, the term “climate change” is used interchangeably with “global warming.” However, the human influence on climate is much more complex and multi-dimensional than captured by the term “global warming” (see, for example, here; here and here). The term “global warming” is generally used to refer to an increase in the globally-averaged surface temperature in response to the increase of well-mixed greenhouse gases, particularly CO2.

If, however, we are interested in atmospheric and ocean circulation changes, which, after all is what creates our weather, we need to focus on how humans are altering these circulations. Ocean heat content changes are the much more appropriate metric than a globally-averaged surface temperature when evaluating “global warming” in any case (see). (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Greenhouse Misconceptions - As a retired chemist with experience in absorption and emission spectroscopy, I've noticed basic errors in arguments promoted by speculators of man-made climate change and propagated in the popular media. Specifically, they've incorrectly compared absorption behavior of carbon dioxide gas to a functioning greenhouse, erroneously equated infrared (IR) radiation to greenhouse-energizing radiation from the sun, and distorted textbook science. (Tom Kondis,

Transcript: Ian Plimer joins Lateline Business - Professor Ian Plimer is one of the few scientists roundly disagreeing with the theory of human induced climate change. (Lateline Business)

A Glimpse Inside the Global Warming Controversy - Why You Need to Consider Both Sides - Many proponents of the IPCC’s AGW hypothesis consider the evidence for their theory incontrovertible and view it as “settled science.” They reject all skepticism as mere denial, and appeal to the consensus of the climate science community against the “deniers.’ There are, of course, crackpots on both sides of the issue who receive frequent attention from the media. However, the “skeptics” are by no means without credentials. They are former NASA scientists, university professors, physicists, climatologists, and National Academy of Science researchers, who are highly respected in their fields. (Dr. William DiPuccio, Icecap)

Two-Mile-Deep Antarctic Ice Core Reveals Stupidity of AGW Catastrophism - The extraordinary conclusions of the Epica 2008 “Quaternary Climate” scientific conference in Venice (Nov 10-13, Venice, Italy) have elicited little interest in the media. (OmniClimate)

Scare-Mongering on Steroids: NBC Warns Oceans Could Rise 200 Feet! - Forget Al Gore's measly 20-foot sea level rise from "An Inconvenient Truth." That's small potatoes compared to the kind of catastrophe Meredith Vieira was talking about last night. Kicking off NBC's Global Alarmism Green Week during the halftime of Sunday Night Football, Vieira raised the specter of the seas rising . . . 200 feet! Al imagined much of Manhattan under water, but if Meredith's scenario comes true, we're near to talking Manhattan, Kansas By The Sea!

Just one little problem: Meredith's talk of 200 feet exaggerates the increase predicted by scientists by . . . literally hundreds of times. (NewsBusters)

Warmest October ever ...Not! - Last week, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) -- one of four agencies responsible for monitoring the global temperatures used by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- released its statistics for October. According to the GISS figures, last month was the warmest October on record around the world.

This struck some observers as odd. There had been no reports of autumn heat waves in the international press and there is almost always blanket coverage of any unusually warm weather since it fits into the widespread media bias that climate catastrophe lies just ahead.

In fact, quite the opposite had occurred; there had been plenty of stories about unseasonably cool weather. London had experienced its first October snow in 70 years. Chicago and the Great Plains states had broken several lowest-temperature records, some of which had stood for 120 years. Tibet had broken snowfall records. Glaciers in Alaska, the Alps and New Zealand had begun advancing.

Moreover, sea ice expanded so rapidly it covered 30% more of the Arctic than at the end of October, 2007. (Of course, you saw few stories about that, too, since interest in the Arctic ice cover is reserved for when it's melting.)

So the GISS claim that October was the warmest ever seemed counterintuitive, to say the least. (Lorne Gunter, National Post)

Restoring EPA’s “Scientific Integrity” - From Inside EPA, in case you’re wondering what they’ve got in store for you. Comment is unnecessary. As is, apparently, the accountable-to-the-voters Congress actually daring to say this is what they want: (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Mutter, mutter... Safe storage of greenhouse-gas carbon dioxide - To prevent global warming, researchers and policymakers are exploring a variety of options to significantly cut the amount of carbon dioxide that reaches the atmosphere. One possible approach involves capturing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide at the source — an electric power plant, for example — and then injecting them underground. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

No! No! NO! Supercritical CO2 boosts super optimism in sequestering greenhouse gas -- Scientists appear to have the rock-solid evidence that suggests carbon dioxide can be safely and permanently sequestered in deep, underground basalt rock formations, without risk of it eventually escaping to the atmosphere. The findings have potential implications for sequestering carbon in other reservoir systems as well. (

Why would we waste energy denying the biosphere an essential resource in critically short supply?

Global financial leaves thinking on climate exposed - THE global financial crisis showed how foolish the Rudd Government would be to base its climate change response on economic forecasts for the coming century, academic and Reserve Bank board director Warwick McKibbin said yesterday. (The Australian)

US Gasoline Closer To $2, Cheapest Since March 2005 - WASHINGTON - The average US retail price for gasoline is closing in on $2 a gallon after falling another 15 cents over the last week to the lowest level since March 2005, the US Energy Department said on Monday.

The national price for regular unleaded gasoline fell for the ninth week in a row, sinking to $2.07 a gallon, down $1.03 from a year ago, the department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly survey of service stations.

Seventeen states have gasoline prices that average under $2 a gallon, according to the AAA travel club. (Reuters)

EPA Raises '09 US Renewable Motor Fuel Requirement - WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency Monday increased the amount of renewable motor fuels, mostly ethanol, required to be sold in the United States next year.

The higher standard is required by a law that boosts the use of renewable fuels steadily each year to 36 billion gallons by 2022 to help make gasoline burn cleaner, stretch available US motor fuel supplies and reduce petroleum imports.

Renewable fuels will have to make up 10.21 percent, or 11.1 billion gallons, of the 138.5 billion gallons of gasoline expected to be consumed in the United States during 2009, the EPA said.

That's up from 7.76 percent, or 9 billion gallons, in renewable fuel this year. (Reuters)

The correct answer is to get rid of the EPA and all associated green nut jobs.

Coal regains crown as slump in nuclear output raises fears of power shortages - Power suppliers are turning back the clock to use coal-fired plants as their main source of electricity in a bid to avert potential shortages this winter.

Latest figures from the National Grid show that the fuel accounted for 42.5% of all power generation, overtaking natural gas production for the first time in years.

The surge, from a usual level of little more than a third of total output, comes as the major networks seek to fill a gap caused by a slump in nuclear energy output at East Kilbride-based British Energy.

Nuclear power accounted for as little as 10.5% of output during peak times last week. This is roughly half the levels of a couple of years ago and there had been fears that we could see the first power shortages as early as this month. (Sunday Herald)

ANALYSIS - Recession, Cheap Coal To Cut UK Winter Gas Demand - LONDON - A global recession and cheaper coal are likely to cut Britain's demand for natural gas this winter, possibly speeding up the fall in gas prices which have so far lagged behind the slump in oil markets. (Reuters)

About time: Gift to Oil Industry Rushed Into Federal Register Before Bush Leaves Office - WASHINGTON, D.C.— Ignoring the wishes of two governors and numerous members of Congress, the Bush administration announced today final regulations for a commercial oil shale program affecting almost 2 million acres of public lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. These regulations lay out the rules governing royalty rates, evaluation of lease bids, mitigation requirements, and other technical and procedural elements of commercial oil shale leasing and production. (Press Release)

Although this lot seem miffed about it.

UK Needs More Nuclear Plant Builders, Minister Says - LONDON - Britain needs more than one company to build nuclear power stations to meet the government's long-term carbon emissions targets and provide affordable electricity, UK energy minister Mike O'Brien said on Monday.

Speaking at a conference on nuclear energy in London, O'Brien welcomed the plan by France's EDF to build four nuclear power stations in Britain by 2025 but said more were required to replace Britain' ageing state-built reactors, all but one of which will close over the next 17 years. (Reuters)

French Wind Farm Firm Theolia Blown Off Course - PARIS - French alternative energy firm Theolia announced a strategy turnaround on Monday as it scales down its ambitions and reduces costs to focus on cash generation amid the financial crisis. (Reuters)

"Gulf War Syndrome" is real, report finds - WASHINGTON - A report released Monday concluded that "Gulf War Syndrome" is a legitimate condition suffered by more than 175,000 U.S. war veterans who were exposed to chemical toxins in the 1991 Gulf War.

The congressionally mandated report could help veterans who have battled the government for treatment of a wide range of unexplained neurological illnesses, from brain cancer to multiple sclerosis.

The Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses concluded that Gulf War Syndrome is a physical condition distinct from the mental "shell shock" suffered by veterans in other wars. Some earlier studies had concluded it was not a distinct illness.

"Scientific evidence leaves no question that Gulf War illness is a real condition with real causes and serious consequences for affected veterans," said the committee, which has been looking into the problem since 2002.

The committee, composed of independent scientists and veterans, said Congress should boost funding for research on Gulf War veterans' health to at least $60 million per year. (Reuters)

While symptoms may be real and there is a natural inclination to help those who serve this is a dreadful decision. It's no more rational nor medically sound than say, blaming gorebull warming for AIDS (OK, so that's probably already been done).

Sacré bleu! French Court Fines Power Grid For Harming Animals - PARIS - A French court has ruled that power grid RTE must pay 390,000 euros (US$493,200) to a farming family after a high-voltage line caused its animals to fall sick, a prosecutor said on Monday. (Reuters)

This idiocy, again: Klaus Bosselmann: Putting steel into the fight to save Earth - Humans have overstepped the threshold of sustainability. In the mid-1980s, the capacity of the planet to sustain its human population had reached 100 per cent. The current population now has an ecological footprint equal to 1.25 planets.

If those people who live in the so-called Third World catch up with the lifestyle in the US or New Zealand, we need 4.5 planets.

We are facing one simple loss - our own disappearance from the planet, which itself will continue to live. We need to drastically reduce our ecological footprint. (New Zealand Herald)

No, we don't use anything like the carrying capacity of the Earth and, partly because we mine carbon stored over millions of years, we can increase Earth's carrying capacity tremendously through crop and nutrient manipulation. The myth of the world being used up is simply recycled misanthropy.

Change We Can't Believe In - Economists often talk about "revealed preferences." If Uncle Stu says that he wants to watch his weight but continues to gorge himself like a wild boar, it's clear that his preference to eat outweighs any desire to drop a few pounds.

Similarly, although this election was viewed as a victory for the environmental movement, it also revealed an important truth about how most Americans view environmental issues. They may agree that protecting the environment is important in the abstract but when they go into the voting booth they weigh green initiatives against other concerns and often refuse to cast green ballots. (Eric Heidenreich & Jeremy Lott, American Spectator)

People talk green because they believe society and their peers expect it of them but the truth generally emerges with the pocket book. See, for example, Green space no guarantee of greenbacks, where "contingent valuation" (people's alleged willingness to cough up a few bucks, even in good times) was actually put to the test. The study is particularly telling in that only people who would benefit from the green space project were given questionnaires, of that 2700 households half (1350) were solicited for donations to the project, of which 10 actually gave (amount unspecified) and none did so from the 1350 not specifically solicited.

That only 1 in 270 households was physically prepared to contribute cash to a green space project everyone allegedly wants really tells you everything you need to know about people's willingness to part with the green for green, doesn't it?

Environmentalists' hysteria loses - Last Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court overturned a 9th U.S. Circuit injunction prohibiting certain Navy training exercises in the Pacific Ocean. The decision was a big win for the Navy and for America's national security interests.

The court's ruling was an ever bigger victory for the role of common sense in the realm of environmental regulation. After 30 years of the federal courts acting as a rubber stamp for the fear mongering of environmentalist groups, the high court has finally restore a modicum of balance to the law. (David Stirling and Steven Gieseler, Washington Times)

Film-makers taking on our 'global warming hysteria' - A new Irish film claims that climate change guru Al Gore is an alarmist and that those who think they are saving the planet are only hurting the poor

IF THE ADVANCE publicity is anything to go by, Not Evil Just Wrong will do for Al Gore what Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 did for George W Bush.

"This is the film Al Gore and Hollywood don't want you to see," declares the website for the latest work by film-makers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. The site even features a big picture of Gore, with his lips in the photograph seemingly digitally enhanced to make them look like Heath Ledger's Joker from the latest Batman film.

The website goes on to say that their latest film - which takes on what are described as global warming alarmists - is "the most controversial documentary of the year". Indeed, it could very well be the most controversial. And Al Gore and Hollywood may well not want you to see it. And in that respect, Gore and co are actually succeeding for the moment. Because there is no completed film. Not yet anyway.

McElhinney and McAleer have raised almost $1 million (€799,000) but need a total of $4.5m (€3.6m) to allow for a full cinema release. They say they were acutely disappointed at being turned down for funding by the Irish Film Board, especially its conclusion that it was "repetitive and creatively thin".

Instead, they have gone onto the internet hoping to solicit donations in the style of Barack Obama. The finished product will be around 90 minutes long. Both film-makers rebut the Film Board's criticism by pointing out that a near-complete version of the film has been chosen in the audience category at the Amsterdam Film Festival later this month.

However, for now, there is no finished product. And that creates a bit of a difficulty. The merits of the case put forward in the film can only be judged - for now - on a short trailer and on the spirited arguments put forward by its two creators, and not on the work itself.

McElhinney and McAleer, who are a married couple, are former journalists. McElhinney broke the Tristan Dowse story and the questionable money-making industry that had grown up around adoptions abroad. McAleer is a former journalist with the Sunday Times and the Financial Times, who worked as a correspondent in Bucharest for a number of years. (Harry McGee, Irish Times)

Acid soils in Slovakia tell somber tale - Increasing levels of nitrogen deposition associated with industry and agriculture can drive soils toward a toxic level of acidification, reducing plant growth and polluting surface waters, according to a new study published online in Nature Geoscience. (United States Geological Survey)

November 17, 2008

Same way they measure temperature :-) Thousands walk against warming - Tens of thousands have gathered in Sydney's CBD to urge the Federal Government to adopt a swifter response to the climate crisis.

Despite grey skies, a colourful crowd showed up in Martin Place today to support the Nature Conservation Council of NSW's fourth Walk Against Warming march.

Some were dressed as polar bears. Others wore windmills on their backs. Others carried placards of penguins with messages that read: "Don't build your home on my home", and "Some like it hot, penguins not". (Sydney Morning Herald)

From the publicly-funded hype factory: Thousands march in protest against global warming - About 2,000 people have marched through central Sydney as part of a national day of protest action on global warming. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Reality: Sydney contact reports a mixed bag of greenies, anti-poverty protesters, anti-capitalists, anti-globalists and mostly people who'd heard there was a free concert amounted to at least 200.

Yup, people sure are frantic about this gorebull warming thing on a cool, grey day in Sydney...

Warming emperors shiver without clothes - Once again theories of global warming smack into the fact of cooling:

Thousands have taken part in marches around Australia calling for action to stop climate warming… A colourful crowd showed up in Martin Place, despite the grey skies.

Well, part of a crowd showed up. Tim Blair notes such a cooling of support that the crowd this year was in fact down by 90 per cent - to just 2000. (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Are Multi-decadal Climate Forecasts Skillful? - Originally posted on July 22, 2005.

In one of our July 11, 2005 posts, climate was defined so that climate forecasts are forecasts of the future state of the atmosphere, oceans, land, and continental glaciers, as defined using physical, chemical, and biological variables that we can measure. We can apply local, regional, or global averages over any time period we choose to characterize the future state of the climate. Weather forecasts are a subset of climate forecasts, in that we limit our forecasts to weather conditions, averaged over 12-hour periods, for example, out to a week or more, and generally assume a number of climate variables, such as vegetation and sea-surface temperatures, are invariant over this time period. It is important to note that the averaging time is not what distinguishes weather from climate (e.g., although called “seasonal climate predictions”, these forecasts are more accurately “seasonal-averaged weather predictions”). (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

This could be embarrassing for them... Updating the Science of Global Warming: A Q&A with Marine Biologist Katherine Richardson - An international climate change congress aims to gather the world's top scientists to update the book on global warming (David Biello, SciAm)

... since there has been no statistically-significant warming since 1995.

The world has never seen such freezing heat - A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years. (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

GISS, NOAA, GHCN and the odd Russian temperature anomaly - “It’s all pipes!” - As most readers know by now, the problematic GISTEMP global temperature anomaly plot for October is heavily weighted by temperatures from weather stations in Russia. (Watts Up With That?)

Questions on the evolution of the GISS temperature product - The last time I checked, the earth does not retroactively change it’s near surface temperature. (Watts Up With That?)

Nevada USHCN Station Surveys are done - Thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers, we continue to complete surveys of the 1221 USHCN climate stations in the USA. Last week thanks to a business trip, I was able to complete the final two stations in Nevada: Wells, and Austin. (Watts Up With That?)

Shriek! 'Jelly balls' may slow global warming - VAST numbers of marine "jelly balls" now appearing off the Australian east coast could be part of the planet's mechanism for combating global warming. (Sydney Morning Herald)

"The Planet" does not have a "mechanism for combating global warming" or anything else -- the planet simply is.

If "the planet" were a sentient being and if it valued abundant life then it would surely want to be warmer, with considerably more-prolific atmospheric carbon dioxide than today's miserable trace level simply because those are conditions under which life on Earth is most abundant.

The "planet's mechanism for combating global warming." Sheesh! Geoff Strong you are an idiot and if CSIRO's Mark Baird actually said such a stupid thing he should be escorted from the premises, never to return.

How did this mystic pap about "Earth Mothers" and "Spirit Trees /Bears /Daffodils /whatever" infiltrate science and mainstream reporting? And why didn't Strong's editor rip him a new one for tendering such gibberish?

“Global warming spreads malaria” - The scare: The Times of India reported in the autumn of 2008 that James H. Diaz, program director for environmental and occupational health at Louisiana State University, had said that as international travel increased and climate patterns changed the US was becoming a more stable ecosystem for malaria mosquitoes. Diaz said that warm, dry summers followed by heavy rain caused mosquitoes to rush their breeding and to seek out more blood meals, which in turn bred more mosquitoes in less time. He added that warmer climate in major US cities with heavy international air traffic, such as New York and Los Angeles, seemed to have created an environment in which infected mosquitoes could survive.

Diaz said that the cycle began with a mosquito transported during an international flight from a malaria-endemic region. Once the infected female mosquito left the aircraft, it could survive long enough to seek blood meals and transmit the disease to other humans within the airport. This type of international transmission created an increased possibility for the reintroduction not only of malaria, but also of other vector-borne diseases such as dengue haemorrhagic fever and Chikungunya virus.

People infected with malaria could travel anywhere in the world in 24 hours or less. As long as the malaria-transmitting mosquitoes were present, countries might face larger local outbreaks of imported malaria, according to a release issued by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

The truth: According to Professor Paul Reiter of the Institut Pasteur, the world’s foremost expert on vector-borne infectious diseases, the anopheles mosquito that carries the plasmodium parasite that causes malaria is almost entirely insensitive to ambient temperature. It needs a temperature of at least 59 degrees F (15 degrees C) during the breeding season, but is otherwise capable of surviving in the open at temperatures as low as –25 degrees C.

Since most regions of the planet reach 15 degrees C in the summer, malaria is not – repeat not – a tropical disease. There is almost no region where the anopheles mosquito is incapable of surviving. For instance, the largest outbreak of malaria in modern times occurred in the 1920s and 1930s in northern Siberia, a territory not noted for its tropical climate. During the epidemic, some 13 million people were infected and 600,000 died; 30,000 of them as far north as the port of Arkhangelsk on the Arctic Circle. (SPPI)

Nasa fights global warming with bathtime favourite - The idea to use bathtub toys for ice-cap research came from Alberto Behar, a rocket scientist and world authority on space robotics who works at the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles.

For years he had been desperate to find out more about exactly how and why the ice-caps are melting in Greenland. His research has so far focused on the Jakobshavn Glacier, probably the source of the iceberg that sank the Titanicin 1912. “It’s a beautiful place to visit,” he said in a recent interview.

“You can watch these icebergs continuously march across and fall into the ocean. [But] it’s not understood what causes the glaciers themselves to ‘surge’ in the summer.”

When glaciers surge, they move at up to 100 times their usual speed. Scientists believe that surging could be caused by water from melting ice on the top of a glacier flowing into tubular holes and eventually reaching the base, where it acts as a lubricant, speeding the movement of the glacier towards the coast. (The Times)

Slowdown in Greenland - No self-respecting global warming presenter would ever miss the chance to warn the audience that higher temperatures could melt ice in places like Greenland, the melting water could lubricate the interface between ice and rock, and watch-out … the ice could increase its velocity, fall or move quickly into the sea, and cause a rapid rise in sea level. If you happen to be Al Gore, you might show us melting ice, water pouring into some moulin (Figure 1), and then cap it off with an image of water drowning out the World Trade Center Memorial. This story in its near infinite varieties appears on literally thousands of websites dealing with the global warming issue. (WCR)

Al Gore needs a new poster - Al Gore launched An Inconvenient Truth at just the right time to exploit fears that Hurricane Katrina was a sign of things to come. Check his poster. And when a cyclone hit Burma, there was Gore again, picking over the corpses for more “proof” of his theory: (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Is Our Climate Changing? A Study of Long-Time Temperature Trends - Thanks to Richard Mackey and John McLean this blast from the past. This 1933 paper, ”Is our climate changing? A study of long-term temperature trends” by J B Kincer of the U S Weather Bureau in Washington DC published in the Monthly Weather Review Vol 61 pages 251 to 259, has an eerie resonance with the current debate. (Icecap)

Global Warming Mocumentary (ConservativeCavalry)

Here we go again: Floods under Antarctic ice speed glaciers into sea: study - PARIS — Scientists unveiled Sunday the first direct evidence that massive floods deep below Antarctica's ice cover are accelerating the flow of glaciers into the sea.

How quickly these huge bodies of ice slide off the Antarctic and Greenland land masses into the ocean help determine the speed at which sea levels rise.

The stakes are enormous: an increase measured in tens of centimetres (inches) could wreak havoc for hundreds of millions of people living in low-lying deltas and island nations around the world.

Researchers discovered only recently that inaccessible subglacial lakes in Antarctica periodically shed huge quantities of water. (AFP)

Guess what? This effect has apparently been ongoing for millennia and there is no indication of accelerating sea level rise.

Global Warming Is Good - Here’s another way of looking at things: global warming is good.

And if there’s any bad news at all about global warming, it’s that it might be about over.

The debate about global warming will go on forever. But while we may spend the rest of eternity trying to figure out where our weather is headed, one of the best ways of finding out where we’re going is to simply look at where we came from.

When you look back across thousands of years of weather, climate and climate change, many stories are told. Some of these deal with the end of civilizations. Others with the migration of entire nations. But whether it’s good or bad, they all deal with man’s reaction to his environment. Or they’re a consequence of it. (Vance Ehmke, AgWeb)

The green pseudo-revolution - Whatever the enviro-lobbyists say, subsidising inefficient green industries is not the way to tackle climate change (Björn Lomborg, The Guardian)

Dangerous Economics - We hear a great deal about ‘dangerous climate change’ from the likes of Al Gore and Nicholas Stern. By contrast, I wish to speak about dangerous ‘Green’ economics.

We forget at our peril that a significant portion of the ‘Green’ movement has striven for over 40 years to undermine the whole of our economic system, and to replace it with a ‘Green’ autocracy that can rule all our lives and decisions. Unfortunately, until the present economic crisis, too many of our bien pensant classes, along with their preferred media, such as the BBC and the New York Times, have been happy to play along with this trope, paying lip service to it intellectually and at dinner parties, if not much in practice. The trope has been reinforced by a legion of sloppy-minded university products from far too many ill-conceived MAs and MScs in development studies and environmental studies.

These forces have worked hard to undermine the economic world by adopting three quite deliberate tactics. (Global Warming Politics)

Schwarzenegger orders climate change strategy - SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday ordered state agencies to begin preparing for the projected impacts of global warming on California's economy, people and natural resources.

The executive order calls on state officials to develop a “comprehensive climate adaption strategy” to cope with rising sea levels, higher temperatures, increased flooding, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather events. (Associated Press)

Enter new 'climate villain' (they're going to miss Bush): Russia the next climate recalcitrant - THE melting of the Arctic ice cap has created an awkward new threat to international climate change talks by convincing senior officials in Moscow that Russia stands to reap an economic bonanza from ice-free northern oceans.

Sightings of exhausted polar bears swimming in waters that were once thick with ice floes have fuelled calls for more urgent action on climate change, but the heaviest thawing in thousands of years has also raised hopes of new shipping routes and access to long-frozen oil and gas fields.

"The Russians are now showing a dangerous indifference to the whole issue of climate change because they have this perception they might actually benefit from climate change," says former British government adviser on environment policy Nick Mabey, who heads E3G, a London-based environmental lobby group and think tank.

"That perception is not supported by the science, because the drastic climate change we are seeing in the Arctic will have enormous effects right around the world. But the worrying thing is that they (the Russian Government) do seem to think they won't be severely damaged by climate change."

Analysts and negotiators in Moscow and other capitals say Russia has taken "a backseat role" in negotiations about a new treaty to fight global warming, and warn that Russia could replace the Bush administration as the leading obstacle to a new Kyoto-style agreement. (The Australian)

At least China is helping the planet: China's noxious coal fires add to global warming - Some have been burning for more than a century; others range over thousands of miles (McClatchy-Tribune)

Congratulations Guardian News & Media: A climate for change - By far our biggest influence as a company is through our editorial coverage, though we also recognise the importance of practising what we preach.

Joint Guardian deputy editor, Ian Katz, who is in charge of the strategic direction of our environmental coverage across the Guardian, Observer and, makes our position clear: "Climate change is the preeminent challenge facing the world. We have this small window of opportunity to head off real disaster, so it is absolutely legitimate that we prioritise it. We have a duty to make people aware of the urgency of the problem and the inadequacy of the political and international response to it. (The Guardian) would like to extend particular thanks to The Guardian stable of publications.

No media organization save perhaps The Independent has done more to highlight the absurdity of gorebull warming hysteria, albeit with unwitting satire, nor given so many complete maniacs space to destroy their own credibility on climate and science in general.

So take a bow, Guardian, for you have done more than we in exposing the farce of catastrophic enhanced greenhouse. Only in our dreams could we turn so many people from global warming hysteria as you have managed to do with your unfailing efforts to increase the din of ridiculous claims.

Ladies and gentlemen... Guardian News & Media!

Mad Dogs And Englishmen - “The political class of Britain is in denial. They just don’t see or they don’t want to see that they are on their own now. No other country is following. It’s exactly the opposite, they are all retreating, whereas Britain is saying, ‘Oh, we are not going far enough, we need even more reductions.’ Apart from the question whether it’s actually feasible economically and energy wise and so on, it’s politically nonsensical.” [Dr. Benny Peiser, ‘Is the tide turning on climate policy?’, Local Transport Today (LTT), November 14] (Global Warming Politics)

Oh... MBA's face up to the cold, hard facts about global warming - Climate change students are shocked and depressed by what they learn, but business can also influence the outcome (Stephen Hoare, The Times)

... no wonder they are shocked with the utter garbage spouted about gorebull warming these days. Hopefully they are been taught a very cautionary tale about the hazards of relying on 'models' -- after all, predictions are very hard to make, especially about the future ;).

Pachauri still playing his interesting games: Brown clouds seasonal in nature: Experts - NEW DELHI: The haze, or an atmospheric brown cloud hanging over major Asian cities including Delhi and Mumbai, essentially affects local conditions and can be swept away by a new weather system or winter rains as is often the case in the Capital.

A day after the UNEP released a report pointing out that the haze could impact health and food supplies, experts feel that the phenomenon is not very new and its linkages to global warming are suspect. The brown cloud could remain suspended over cities for a while but could also dissipate just as quickly.

R K Pachauri, chairman of the inter-governmental panel on climate change, said, "Unlike CO2 and other greenhouse gases which mix freely in the atmosphere irrespective of where they are emitted, soot and fine particles don't. Since they absorb incoming heat from the sun, they impact local climate." It is the fine soot particle which do not settle and deflect the incoming radiation.

But Pachauri disputed the argument that brown clouds are a substantive factor in global warming. "The issue here is that we have not yet been able to arrive at any clear cut conclusions. The UNEP report has spoken specifically about changes in rain and temperature patterns in India but research on it is still on, it is not possible to ascertain this." (Times of India)

He chairs a group demanding developed world compensation for gorebull warming 'damage' while participating in the production of domestic reports declaring gorebull warming to be a non-issue (which he likely believes since he is willing to fly from the US to India and back just to attend a practice session for his cricket team and again to play in the game).

'Brown clouds way of getting at India, China' - NEW DELHI: While the west sees atmospheric brown clouds as a major climate change factor in global warming, India sees the charge that its "traditional" bio-fuels are the primary reason for the toxic haze as an attempt to put the developing world on the back foot over climate change. (Times of India)

Europe, Japan Face $46 Billion Global-Warming Penalty -- Twenty nations including Japan, Italy and Australia may be releasing more greenhouse-gas pollution than they agreed to under the Kyoto treaty to curb global warming.

They're failing to rein in carbon-dioxide output enough to meet their pledges signed in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, according to reports by individual countries. As a penalty for missing their goals under the treaty, the nations are required to buy permits for every excess ton of the heat-trapping gas released through 2012. That will total 2.3 billion permits for 20 nations, New Carbon Finance, a research firm in London, has estimated.

The potential penalty, 36 billion euros ($46 billion) for the group based on current permit prices, and the fact that only a minority of 37 Kyoto signatory nations may meet their pledges bodes poorly for international efforts to limit global warming.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which guided the Kyoto talks, aims to negotiate a new treaty for the post- 2012 period at a meeting next year in Copenhagen. Failure by countries to meet their Kyoto targets suggests there's no point in agreeing to a new deal, said Lomborg.

``It questions the whole idea of getting together in Copenhagen next year and making even more ambitious promises when we haven't even been able to fulfill our promises so far,'' said Lomborg, an economist and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, an economic advisory body. (Alex Morales and Jeremy van Loon, Bloomberg)

Playing high-stakes chicken: Germany wants CO2 relief for energy guzzling firms - BERLIN, Nov 14 - The German government wants extensive exemptions for energy intensive industrial sectors for their carbon emissions caps from 2013, Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief spokesman said on Friday.

"We've got to prevent companies from being threatened by climate protection requirements," government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm told a news conference. Wilhelm gave no further details and said negotiations were taking place.

The Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported on Friday that Germany wants to liberate companies from charges for EU allowances (EUAs) if they produce more than 4 kilograms of CO2 per 1 euro of turnover.

That would free companies in the steel, glassmaking, cement, paper, ceramic, and chemical sectors from paying for permits. (Reuters)

How rude: EU looks toward Obama to break global climate deadlock - European negotiators believe a global climate deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol can be achieved, with Barack Obama’s help. (ClimateChangeCorp)

Europe essentially says they think Obama is a naive twit that can be talked into committing America to decline and irrelevance. He may be untested but that's unfair -- there's still a very good chance reality will intrude.

INTERVIEW - Climate Progress Unlikely At Global Meeting - GEF - WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's lame-duck status means major progress on climate change will be unlikely at an international meeting next month, the chief of a multibillion dollar environmental group said Friday.

Monique Barbut, who heads the Washington-based Global Environmental Facility, had doubts about any big agreements from December's meeting in Poznan, Poland.

Bush is not now and never has been the reason people can't control the climate.

Resolve to Tackle Climate Change Crumbling Internationally - The resolve in Europe to make meaningful emission reductions’ is crumbling by the day in the wake of the financial credit crunch sweeping the globe, bringing with it fears of a global economic recession.

Europe looks to be beating a hasty retreat from ambitious emission reduction goals (20% by 2020), with the realization that the goals will be hugely economically challenging in what will be tough economic times. The EU will not finalise their emission reduction plans until December this year, but the signals do not look good. Even if the EU confirms the 20% emission reduction goal, new “flexibility” provisions that take account of various counties “individual circumstances” which will ensure plenty of wriggle room.

The revolt is being lead by Germany , Italy and Poland , and includes all the former communist countries Hungary , Bulgaria , Estonia , Latvia , Lithuania , Romania and Slovakia . They are all fearful that the cost of additional emission reductions will harm their economies, forcing energy intensive industry to exit Europe and set up in parts of the world where there will be no carbon charge. (Catherine Beard, NZCPR)

Climate change review echoes world trend - As the new National government charts its course toward the brighter future promised to the electorate, John Key and his team will undoubtedly be mindful of avoiding the imposition of unnecessary regulations and restrictions, but also reviewing and removing those that are unnecessary.

This is something for the incoming government to keep in mind when undertaking the review of climate change legislation announced at the weekend, since an emissions trading scheme was always going to be a major cost on New Zealand’s productive sector and a significant impediment to growth. (National Business Review)

Japanese study emphasizes importance of China, India, U.S. in post-Kyoto emissions protocol - TOKYO -- If $50 were spent on reducing 1 ton of carbon dioxide emissions, a large quantity of global emissions could be curbed by 2020, with 53 percent of the potential reduction achievable by China, India and the United States, a study has found.

According to the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth, this could be realized by the three countries, if they took such measures as installing energy-efficient infrastructure. The three countries are not obliged to cut emissions under the Kyoto Protocol between 2008 and 2012.

The data compiled by the institute, administered by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, demonstrated the importance of the inclusion of China, India and the United States in a new, post-Kyoto framework to cut CO2 emissions, which are blamed for global warming. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

Global Warming --A Political Context - European and American statists, including activist NGOs like the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), assert that the moderate climate warming that occurred until 2002 is a man-made catastrophe, and have embraced the dystopian fantasy that coercive policies for the elimination of fossil fuel production and usage can prevent or turn back the current warming cycle. They have, thus, made the "global warming planetary emergency" into the central plank of their ongoing campaigns for more centralized government. (Robert Ferguson, American Thinker)

Setback for carbon-trapping technology in EU talks - BRUSSELS, Nov 14 - Plans to put billions of euros of public funds behind cutting-edge technology to trap and bury global warming gases suffered at setback in European Union talks on Friday.

France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said a European Parliament proposal to give around 10 billion euros ($12.7 billion) to power generators to explore the technology should be scaled back by some two thirds.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is seen as a potential silver bullet to curb emissions from coal-fired power plants, which are multiplying rapidly worldwide and threaten to heat the atmosphere to dangerous levels. (Reuters)

Good, the world neither needs nor would benefit from such a stupid waste of energy.

Green Is for Sissies - SIX years of relentlessly rising prices have showered the oil industry with record profits even as whipsawing energy costs have left many Americans alternately furious and baffled.

Now that the roller coaster ride appears to be screeching to a halt, one corporate giant remains confident it can weather the slowdown and uncertainty better than its rivals. (New York Times)

The Great Arctic Game: Russia’s Attempt to Claim the Arctic’s Vast Energy Resources - If the conflict with Georgia revealed anything, it is that Vladimir Putin does not play by the rules. Take the Great Arctic Game. In May, Russia met with Canada, Norway, Denmark (through its sovereignty of Greenland) and the U.S. (the four other nations bordering the Arctic) and agreed to abide by U.N. adjudication (what we will call Plan A) regarding the Arctic territory and mineral rights. Unfortunately, the U.N. does not have a good track record in resolving complex territorial disputes and defusing associated potential conflicts. Putin knows this. He also knows that the U.S. has yet to sign the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention of 1982.

Therefore, given the uncertain geopolitical realities and the importance of an energy-rich Arctic, one might think that all five nations would have a clear Arctic back-up policy, a Plan B, should the U.N. route fail. Plainly, Russia is already running with one: a pre-emptive power play designed to create “facts on the ground,” or, as we shall see, in the air and in the icy Arctic waters. What is all too transparent is that the four NATO states have no Plan B. They need to get one. Here's why. (Peter C. Glover, Energy Tribune)

Natural gas rush stirs environmental concerns -- Advanced drilling techniques that blast millions of gallons of water into 400-million-year-old shale formations a mile underground are opening up "unconventional" gas fields touted as a key to the nation's energy future. (AP)

Tide turns against 'dirty' oil sands - Tim Webb explains why falling prices may have led to a slowdown in the rush on the oil sands of Alberta, but environmental concerns are rising (The Observer)

Centrica Says Reviewing New Wind Farm Economics - LONDON - Britain's Centrica is reviewing the economic viability of planned wind farms due to soaring costs and the credit crunch, the owner of British Gas said. (Reuters)

Argentina Vetoes Glacier Law That Curbed Mining - BUENOS AIRES - Argentina's president has vetoed a law protecting the country's glaciers that would have restricted mining and oil drilling, officials and environmental campaigners said on Friday.

The law, which was passed by Congress last month, might have complicated plans by the world's biggest gold miner, Barrick Gold Corp, to build a $2.4 billion mine straddling the snowy Andean peaks between Argentina and Chile.

But President Cristina Fernandez used her veto, saying in a decree that governors in Andean provinces feared the glacier law could threaten economic development in their regions. (Reuters)

Terence Corcoran: CTV’s W-Five drops the bomb on Port Hope - W-Five willfully ignored the available science on the safety of Port Hope (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

Can we trust the published results of clinical trials? - News coverage of the long-awaited session of this week’s American Heart Association’s scientific meetings that had promised to constructively address uncomfortable issues surrounding recent statin clinical trials is virtually nowhere to be found. There was no AHA press release and only one reporter even covered it at all. (Junkfood Science)

The Null Series — Vitamins for cancer prevention - Good news — that isn’t trying to scare us into doing something, buying something, or eating something — means there’s nothing to sell us. That may explain why good news is considered bad news and studies showing there’s nothing to worry about rarely make headlines. Yet, those unpopular “nothing to fear here” studies, also known as “null studies,” are some of the best kinds. They help us feel less stressed out and enable us to protect ourselves from being taken advantage of. (Junkfood Science)

Null Series — Vitamins and wholegrains for heart disease prevention - Beliefs and ideologies can be stronger than the science, especially when it comes to our diets. Sadly, so can our fears. Millions of Americans take vitamins and worry about what they eat, fearing that if they fail to eat loads of antioxidants, free radicals will lead to heart disease, cancers and other chronic diseases of aging. Yet, the strongest studies continue to show these concerns to be unsupported.

Remember, science can never prove something beyond all doubt, but it can disprove an hypothesis or scary claim. That’s why sound clinical trials, designed to be fair tests of hypotheses, that fail to support a belief, and show us there is nothing to worry about, are the most important of all. But for those null studies to help us, we first have to hear about them. (Junkfood Science)

The Wrong Message in a Bottle - IN late September, the authorities in Belgium seized more than two million counterfeit painkillers and antimalarial drugs that had been manufactured in India and were en route to Africa. It was the largest seizure ever of fake pharmaceuticals in Europe.

The incident shines a light on one of the most pressing problems in delivering life-saving medicines to the world’s poorest patients: the proliferation of low-quality and counterfeit products, many of which are dangerous. If aid organizations are serious about combating the spread of deadly diseases in the developing world, they must do more to ensure the safety and quality of drugs.

Thirty percent of the world’s population lacks access to essential medicines, according to the World Health Organization. In some Asian and African countries, the number is as high as 50 percent. And this problem cannot by solved by supplying bogus medicines. (Roger Bate, New York Times)

Welcome to the new Sunday `World of the Global Citizen’ - All is quiet on the Western Front today, even though world governments taking virtual control of world economies is now complete. (Judi McLeod, CFP)

Inhofe: Cancel the 'blank check' (Tulsa World)

Inhofe: Roll Back the Bailout - Lays Out Legislative Plan for Lame Duck Session

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), in a letter to his Senate colleagues, laid out his plan to push for legislation that will require Secretary Paulson's plan for the remaining $350 billion in authorized Troubled Asset Relief Program funds to be ratified by an affirmative vote in the U.S. Congress. In the letter, Senator Inhofe writes that the lame duck session provides Congress a tremendous opportunity to change course. Below is the text of the letter. (Press Release)

Right Side News endorses Senator Inhofe's call to Roll Back the Bail Out! - Right Side News is encouraged that there are real Senators with backbone in DC, and Senator Inhofe's call to "roll back the bailout" is the right direction for Americans who have been taken to the cleaners by their own elected representatives. The run-a-way US government needs to be bridled and tamed by their employer, the American people. We hope this is a crack in the Paulson hijacking, and that the next step is the call for Paulson's resignation. (Right Side News)

:-) Deodorant Manufacturer's Seek Government Bailout - Washington DC: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has met with representatives (not lobbyists) of America's largest deodorant manufacturers. "A stinking world crisis is looming, which we need $5 Billion to alleviate" said the meeting participants as they exited the conference room.

Alleged global warming temperature increases combined with a 21st century population explosion has caused the planet to develop a redolence not seen before in history, even during the Middle Ages when the mass's of people did not bathe and chastity belts were in vogue. Illegal immigration plays only a minor role, as the Law of Conservation of Pew is applicable; the pungency is only moved to a different location with no net gain or loss of efflux.

While the Multiculturalists would have you believe all societies are equal, some people and places do stink more than others. This statement is predicated on various worldly observations such as this place is the "arm pit (or other body part) of the world" or we live "down under."

Since body odor (BO) was invented by Madison Avenue to sell soap, BO scientists have brought products to market that are designed to reduce pungency, snuff out stench and turn an obnoxiously large profit. A new breed of scientists, called Body Odor Operational Bailout Specialists (BOOBS), will use the US taxpayer money to perform "stinking research" to develop cutting edge essence extinguishers that leave the consumer smelling like a bouquet of fresh fleeced daisies.

Additionally, in order to control spurious noxious emanations, not neutralized by "essence extinguishers," a Federal Tang Tax will be imposed on all aroma producing products. This tax exempts perfume essence and coffee roasters, but includes onions, garlic, cow farmers owning gas producing cows and human gas passing. Tang Tax credits may be bought sold or traded, e.g. sewer plant operators, when industrial strength "essence extinguishers" fail to eliminate the effluvium musk. (The Spoof)

Water restrictions ordered to help California fish - SAN FRANCISCO - California officials ordered on Friday an additional 17 percent cut in the amount of water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect a fish in the most populous U.S. state's fresh water hub.

Combined with a prior U.S. court order to reduce pumping to protect another fish in the delta, the amount of water drawn from it by state and federal water systems will be cut by nearly half from average levels, said Don Strickland, a spokesman for California's Department of Water Resources. (Reuters)

Oh, it's ForTheChildren™ As First Plan Stalls, Mayor Tries New Push for Green Taxis - After a federal court ruling stalled a city initiative to make most new taxis hybrid vehicles, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Friday that he would seek another way, announcing new financial incentives aimed at pushing taxi owners to buy the more environmentally friendly gas-and-electric cars.

The goal of the new incentives, which involve changes in how much fleet owners can charge drivers for the use of cars, was to make it more expensive for the owners to use the Ford Crown Victoria, the most common cab today, and more profitable to use hybrids like the Ford Escape and other fuel-efficient vehicles that cause less pollution.

“By modifying the leasing fees on fleet vehicles, we could level the playing field for drivers while also providing financial incentives for owners to purchase hybrids,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a news conference at a taxi garage in Long Island City, Queens.

City officials said that the new rules did not place an outright ban on particular cars based on fuel efficiency, and the mayor said that the rules would stand up to legal tests.

“It has nothing to do with imposing mileage standards,” he said. “It’s totally voluntary.”

The mayor lashed out at critics, saying that the pollution from gas-guzzling taxis hurt city children. Told that critics found the new incentives “deeply troubling,” the mayor snapped, “I think it’s more deeply troubling that they’re trying to kill our kids.” (New York Times)

Rightly: Green issues leave students colour blind - Australian teenagers just aren't ready to change their lifestyle to protect the environment, writes Caroline Milburn.

Australian teens are not strong supporters of tougher environmental laws and most are not concerned about problems such as energy shortages, species extinction and forest clearing.

The findings from an international survey of 15-year-old students punch a hole through the popular belief that the young care deeply about green issues. (The Age)

November 14, 2008

Greens Pave Way for Republican Comeback - If congressional Republicans -- or what's left of them -- are looking for the path out of the political wilderness following last week’s electoral drubbing, there’s a shortcut to victory in 2010 being paved for them by the Greens.

Last weekend on Fox News Sunday, Barack Obama's transition chief, John Podesta, said the Obama administration would act quickly to reverse a recent Bush administration move opening up public lands in Utah to oil and gas drilling. Podesta said that it was a “mistake” for the Bush administration to allow drilling “in some of the most sensitive, fragile lands in Utah…”

So, GOP, the battle lines are drawn. Since declining oil and gas prices are likely only temporary, we remain in an energy crisis. The problem could be solved by increasing domestic oil and gas production, but the Obama administration apparently aims to stand four-square against this. (Steven Milloy,

Water Laws May Be Used to Fight Warming - Environmental groups have sought to force the federal government to restrict carbon dioxide emissions using the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act (because of threats to polar bears from global warming) and other federal laws, and now they are poised to add the Clean Water Act to the list. (Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times)

This despite knowledge that marine critters are at zero risk from atmospheric carbon dioxide (they evolved when Earth had many times greater levels than are anticipated whether humans participate or not). It's a good example of why innocuous-sounding legislation like the "clean water act" should never be entertained and should be expunged from existing legislation -- they are no more or less than bludgeons wielded by antidevelopment misanthropists to beat down humanity at every opportunity. We are not allowed to eliminate the misanthropists so we really need to disarm them.

Put global warming on to-do list - Fellow Canadians, it's time to start thinking of "fixing" global warming the same way we do "ending" child poverty. Or "settling" native land claims. Or "shortening" medical wait times.

Like these other issues, "fixing" global warming has become yet another meaningless promise that all politicians of all stripes will be paying lip service to in perpetuity.

One they will spend billions of our dollars "fixing" year after year. To no avail.

In the end, "fixing" global warming will be a boon only to present and future generations of lobbyists, activists, consultants and other rent-seekers who will be, in the famous phrase coined by Tom Wolfe, "mau-mauing the flak catchers" into eternity.

"Mau-mauers" are the professional whiners who perpetually haunt the corridors of federal, provincial and municipal governments, demanding ever-increasing amounts of our money to "fix" global warming.

In response, the "flak catchers" -- complicit and cowed politicians -- will keep shovelling our money out the door to appease them, although nothing will ever be "fixed," prompting new demands for more money.

Don't look to the media for help. (Lorrie Goldstein, Edmonton Sun)

No, it's actually time to run, not walk, run away from this nonsense: Time to focus on climate change - As world leaders gather in Washington, they would do well to remember that we face two crises. The global financial crisis is most immediate; the more existential is climate change. The urgency of the first is no excuse for neglecting the second. To the contrary, it is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

Put aside the familiar arguments: that the science on climate change is clear, that every day we do not act the problem grows worse, that fighting global warming is a moral imperative. Instead, let us make the case purely in terms of pragmatic economics.

Global growth is slowing. Budgets are tightening. We will most likely have fewer resources to tackle a lengthening agenda of global problems. What steps can we take, then, to create jobs and spur growth? How can we assure energy supplies at affordable prices? What must we do to insulate the global financial system from recurring shocks and cyclical bubbles, so that people of all nations can enjoy the promise of development and live in economic security? (Ban Ki-moon, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Donald Tusk and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Sydney Morning Herald)

Give the rainforests our word and bond - Faced with a global credit crunch, the governments of the world are coming together to act with urgency. But faced with a far more serious climate crunch, we have yet to show our mettle. (Nicholas Stern, The Times)

Better yet, give rainforests more atmospheric carbon dioxide -- it's what they really thrive on.

Excuse du jour: Giant Asian Smog Cloud Masks Global Warming Impact - UN - BEIJING - A three-kilometre thick cloud of brown soot and other pollutants hanging over Asia is darkening cities, killing thousands and damaging crops but may be holding off the worst effects of global warming, the UN said on Thursday.

The vast plume of contamination from factories, fires, cars and deforestation contains some particles that reflect sunlight away from the earth, cutting its ability to heat the earth.

"One of the impacts of this atmospheric brown cloud has been to mask the true nature of global warming on our planet," United Nations Environment Programme head Achim Steiner said at the launch in Beijing of a new report on the phenomenon. (Reuters)

Now it's the Asian Brown Cloud (ABC) "hiding" the gorebull warming that would otherwise occur. Small problem, much of the ABC is composed of soot (black carbon particulates) that allegedly warms the atmosphere and planet. Oh well... any excuse for a failed hypothesis, eh?

Haunting Asia, a brown cloud blots out sun - BEIJING: A noxious cocktail of soot, smog and toxic chemicals is blotting out the sun, fouling the lungs of millions of people and altering weather patterns in large parts of Asia, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations.

The byproduct of automobiles, slash-and-burn agriculture, wood-burning kitchen stoves and coal-fired power plants, these plumes of carbon dust rise over southern Africa, the Amazon basin and North America but are most pronounced in Asia, where so-called atmospheric brown clouds are dramatically reducing sunlight in many Chinese cities and leading to decreased crop yields in swaths of rural India, says a team of more than a dozen scientists who have been studying the problem since 2002.

Combined with evidence that greenhouse gases are leading to a rise in global temperatures, the report's authors called on governments rich and poor to address carbon emissions. (Andrew Jacobs, IHT)

Coastal military facilities are threatened by rising sea levels, Really? (Richard Courtney, CO2sceptics)

Schwarzenegger and global warming - It might be better if our governor just vents concern about climate change and doesn't sign any global deals at an upcoming summit. (Los Angeles Times)

INTERVIEW - Obama Should Compromise On Carbon Policy - NEW YORK - President-elect Barack Obama may have to compromise on a key point in his proposed climate policy if he wants to push through a program to regulate greenhouse gases, said the lead author of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study on cap-and-trade markets. (Reuters)

Andy's ecomentia decline continues -- poor blighter: More Earthly Advice for Obama - Former Vice President Al Gore and Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the prize-winning ecologists and authors at Stanford University, have weighed in with suggestions for President-elect Barack Obama. Mr. Gore gave his updated prescription for climate and energy policy in an op-ed article in The Times on Sunday. It’s similar to his speech earlier in the year, reprising his call to wean the United States from coal-generated electricity within a decade. (Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times)

Polish PM Says EU Nearing Climate Deal In Dec - PARIS - Poland's prime minister said on Thursday he believed a deal in December on a European Union climate package had come closer following his talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the issue. (Reuters)

Still guessing about the carbon cycle: Corralling the carbon cycle -- Scientists may have overcome a major hurdle to calculating how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed and released by plants, vital information for understanding how the biosphere responds to stress and for determining the amount of carbon that can be safely emitted by human activities. The problem is that ecosystems simultaneously take up and release CO2. The key finding is that the compound carbonyl sulfide, which plants consume in tandem with CO2, can be used to quantify gas flow into the plants during photosynthesis. The research is published in the November 14, issue of Science. (

States revolt over Rudd's carbon plan - PREMIERS are in revolt over Kevin Rudd's plans for an emissions trading scheme, urging changes to the proposed formulas for compensating export industries to ensure they are not pushed offshore.

The premiers of South Australia and Tasmania have written to the Prime Minister raising specific concerns about the design of the scheme, its impact on major industries and expressing fears that the ETS will spark major losses of jobs and revenue.

Queensland, Victoria and the West Australian Liberal Government have raised concerns about the effects on emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries.

The concerns come as one of the world's largest petroleum companies warned that a $7billion gas project could literally be floated out of Australian waters to avoidthe impact of the Government's ETS.

Woodside chief Don Voelte said the company would consider locating a floating LNG plant in Timor Leste waters to process gas from its Sunrise fields rather than pipe it to Darwin. (The Australian)

When will this idiotic fad end? Carbon permits face pressure on price from global crisis - THE global financial crisis could force up the price of the developing-country carbon permits that the Rudd Government is hoping will provide a cheap source of greenhouse gas reductions for Australian companies under its new emissions trading scheme.

Recently released Treasury modelling calculates that overseas-purchased carbon permits will deliver 20 per cent or more of the greenhouse gas reductions demanded of Australian businesses by 2020, because they would be cheaper than many of the options to cut emissions in their domestic operations.

But key participants in the global carbon market have warned the Carbon Forum Asia conference in Singapore that the rapid drying-up of financing for the developing country emission reduction projects (CERS) that generate the credits could result in a shortage, just as the permits are sought by countries introducing emission trading schemes, such as Australia and New Zealand. (The Australian)

From the fevered imagination bureau: Study: Global warming could be costly for California - California could face as much as $3.9 billion in annual damages caused by wildfires, rising sea levels and extreme weather events if not enough is done to combat global warming, according to a report released Thursday.

The study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley seeks to quantify the possible long-term economic damage that climate change could cause in the state over the next century.

Global warming threatens about $2.5 trillion of California's $4 trillion in real estate assets, as well as trillions of dollars worth of property and infrastructure related to water, energy, transportation, public health, agriculture, tourism and recreation, the report found. (Associated Press)

What Are Climate Models? What Do They Do? - Climate models are comprised of fundamental concepts and parameterizations of physical, biological, and chemical components of the climate system, expressed as mathematical formulations, and then averaged over grid volumes. These formulations are then converted to a programming language so that they can be solved on a computer and integrated forward in discrete time steps over the chosen model domain. A global climate model needs to include component models to represent the oceans, atmosphere, land, and continental ice and the interfacial fluxes between each other. Weather models are clearly a subset of a climate model (a discussion of mesoscale weather models is given in Pielke, R.A., Sr., 2002: Mesoscale meteorological modeling. 2nd Edition, Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 676 pp), where the basic framework of all scales of weather models is presented). On the global scale, it is very important to distinguish global atmospheric-ocean circulation models (AOGCMs) from global climate models. Global climate models need to include all important components of the climate system as discussed in a 2005 National Research Council report, while AOGCMs up the present have not. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Model fantasy: Will the Next Ice Age Be a Very Long One? - A new analysis of the dramatic cycles of ice ages and warm intervals over the past million years, published in Nature, concludes that the climatic swings are the gyrations of a system poised to settle into a quasi-permanent colder state — with expanded ice sheets at both poles. (Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times)

More On Whether a Big Chill Is Nigh - I was on the road yesterday and had no time to collate earth scientists’ reactions to the Nature paper positing that the world, after 450,000 years of climatic turmoil (the ice ages and warm spells) is poised to enter a quasi-permanent big chill (unless we avert it, after dealing with near-term warming, with a subsequent buildup of greenhouse gases). (Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times)

Andy has unwittingly provided everyone with a brief climate scientist evaluation guide -- actual scientists call this trivial model exercise what it is: fiction and nonsense while climate fakers can't tell PlayStation® climatology from the real thing. See especially the gibberish from Hansen about humans precluding ice ages (through GHG emissions) although the planet plunged into an ice age in the Ordovician when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were 4,000+ ppmv and rising. Good work Andy, you've highlighted a few climate charlatans even though you didn't mean to do so.

Al Gore/AIT Index currently at -.37° F. since An Inconvenient Truth was released - Each month the GORE LIED graphics department marks up Dr. Roy Spencer's monthly UAH Globally Averaged Satellite-Based Temperature of the Lower Troposphere to illustrate Gore's personal inconvenient truth. (Gore Lied)

Even if it is not meant to be a joke: Polar Bear Lifejackets? - Swedish design group ADDI has come up with an cutting-edge polar bear lifejacket design concept to help polar bears navigate the changes in their habitat. They offer the following explanation for their lifejacket design:

A dog who lives most of its days carried around in an expensive handbag, doesn’t need a camouflage hoodie and a small cap over its ears. There are a few others who we should give at least the same attention. This concept is not a solution for the endangered species, its purpose is to show one of the many areas where people could have done something good with our knowledge, and instead we keep our eyes closed. Hopefully you won’t support cheap crap anymore, save your money for those who really need to be saved. Polar bears are drowning because the ice is melting. They have to swim up to 10,000 km to find food. Global warming needs to be stopped.
—ADDI (GreenMuze)

If these bears are swimming to the equator, which is where you end up travelling 10,000Km from the North Pole, to find food then it's highly unlikely they are in need of floaties :)

Forecast for oil price slashed by IEA - The International Energy Agency (IEA) slashed its oil price forecast for 2009 from $110 to $80 per barrel yesterday in the face of looming recession in the world's developed economies. (Sarah Arnott, The Independent)

and yet, just the day before:

IEA warns of oil supply crunch - The world faces an oil supply crunch that could push prices above this summer's eye-watering $147 per barrel high if falling prices put the brakes on exploration and production expansion, the International Energy Agency said yesterday. (Sarah Arnott, The Independent)

Chevron's Orwellian Crude Discovery - Chevron has unveiled a revolutionary new way of finding oil. It doesn't involve satellite telemetry or seismic imaging or some other high-tech means of exploration. It involves advertising.

Chevron has a new ad campaign to get its customers to use not more oil, but less. In Chevron's words, "Energy Saved Is Energy Found." The new ads feature people promising to carpool, to use fluorescent bulbs, even to "take my golf clubs out of the trunk."

We've heard these energy-saving tips countless times (except perhaps the one about the golf clubs). What's new is the spectacle of a major corporation urging people to cut back on its core product, as part of "one of the most important efforts of our time — using less."

This is a far cry from Chevron's history and from its technological expertise. Half a century ago, Chevron's predecessor helped discover the world's largest oil field. Two years ago, Chevron drilled a record-setting well more than five miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico. These were oil finds in the real sense.


But what Chevron now calls "found energy" is as far removed from discovering oil as a dieting book is from producing food. Chevron seems to have become more apologetic about oil than drug pushers are about drugs. Has it been taken in by the notion of our alleged "addiction to oil"? (Sam Kazman, IBD)

‘Peak oil’ adherents grow in number and influence - What do former Vice President Al Gore, Wall Street Journal columnist Neil King and Long Island City Business Development Corp. director Dan Miner have in common?

It turns out all three men have, to varying degrees, allied themselves with a “peak oil” theory once dismissed as a crackpot concept lurking in the darkened corners of the Internet.

But in the last few years, with oil skyrocketing to over $140 a barrel in July before free falling to below $60 at press time, the theory has attracted plenty of followers who predict disastrous consequences for all humankind if governments around the world do not drastically change their energy policies. (Queens Chronicle)

Silly, to begin with peakers omit unconventional hydrocarbon resources, which are abundant.

Thawing Fuel For Palin's Pipeline - Sometimes, America lucks out. From the Arctic, a new energy source has emerged called frozen gas. It could cut prices and bring independence. We hope Democrats and Republicans can work together on this. (IBD)

Really stupid: Utah coal plant permit blocked by EPA panel - WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency was blocked Thursday from issuing a permit for a proposed coal-burning power plant in Utah without addressing global warming. The ruling by an agency appeals panel means the Obama administration probably will determine the fate of other similar plants.

The panel said the EPA's Denver office failed to adequately support its decision to issue a permit for the Bonanza plant without requiring controls on carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas.

The matter was sent back to that office, which must better explain why it failed to order limits on carbon dioxide. This is "an issue of national scope that has implications far beyond this individual permitting process," the panel said. (Associated Press)

Wyoming, GE want coal research plant by 2012 - CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Representatives of the University of Wyoming, the state and General Electric Co. say their goal is to build a coal research plant by 2012.

The research plant will study ways of turning Wyoming coal into a synthetic natural gas as well as develop "clean coal" technologies.

Wyoming is the nation's leading coal producer, but most current coal gasification uses drier eastern coal.

The project's purpose is to try to make sure Wyoming coal remains a viable energy source as conventional coal burning loses favor because of global warming concerns.

Wyoming is expected to commit $50 million for the project, which officials have said could ultimately cost $100 million.

The plant's developers said Thursday that the process of establishing criteria for a plant site will begin next week. (Associated Press)

Today's energy waste: Coal trial to lower carbon emissions - WORK begins today on a world-first low-emission coal project that could slash greenhouse gases from existing power stations.

The Callide Oxyfuel demonstration plant in Biloela in Queensland will showcase technology capable of reducing emissions from typical coal-fired power stations by 90 per cent.

Low-emission generation relies on separating carbon dioxide from the other gases produced when coal is burned.

The Callide Oxyfuel Project will involve retrofitting an existing power station with technology that burns coal in oxygen and recirculated gases rather than in air, creating a concentrated stream of CO2 that can then be captured and stored. (The Australian)

EU Seeks New Gas And Wind To Boost Energy Security - BRUSSELS - Europe must harness more energy from the wind, sun and sea and tap new gas sources in Africa and the Caspian, the European Commission said on Thursday, as the EU seeks to limit its growing dependence on Russian gas. (Reuters)

Here's some bad news for you fellas: wind is no path to "energy security".

Germany Defends Pipeline Project After Putin Warning - BERLIN - Germany defended plans for a Baltic Sea gas pipeline on Thursday after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned European partners that Moscow may scrap the project. (Reuters)

Questions the media didn’t ask - You’ve no doubt heard about a study presented this week at the American Heart Association conference in New Orleans that's being reported as finding “striking evidence” that children who are fat or with ‘high’ cholesterol have early signs of heart disease. The thickness of the inner walls of their carotid arteries (“carotid intima-media thickness” measurements or CIMT) was reported as resembling those of a 45-year old, someone 30 years older than their actual age. This has made news headlines around the world as “alarming” proof that fat children are at risk for early heart attacks, strokes and death.

No it isn’t.

As has become routine, the strength of the science is inversely related to the amount of media coverage. When hundreds of news outlets around the world report on a single study, of the hundreds released each day, all saying exactly the same thing, you can be sure someone issued a press release. Sure enough, this paper came with a press release, too. Marketing departments issue press releases. (Junkfood Science)

Your secret's safe with us — more electronic health information news - Two stunning stories came out today from the federal advisory committee formulating the government’s action plan for accelerating the adoption of a national electronic health database (Health IT). The American Health Information Community’s final meeting was today. (Junkfood Science)

From the department of silly guesses: California Dirty Air Costs Over $28 Bln/Yr - Study - SAN FRANCISCO - California is losing $28 billion annually in health-related costs because of air pollution in and around Los Angeles and in its San Joaquin Valley, according to a report released Wednesday. (Reuters)

Not Everyone Likes the IPCC - It seems that the international biodiversity community is leery of empaneling an equivalent body to the IPCC, due to the political implications of such a panel in policy making. From the AFP today (emphasis added): (Roger Pielke, Jr., Prometheus)

November 13, 2008

Sense, at last: U.S. Supreme Court OKs Navy use of sonar - Reporting from Washington -- The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a defeat to environmentalists today and cleared the way for the Navy to use high-powered sonar off the Southern California coast even if it poses a threat to whales and other marine mammals.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts said the Navy needs to train its crews to detect enemy submarines, and it cannot be forced to turn off its sonar when whales are spotted nearby. "The public interest in conducting training exercises with active sonar under realistic conditions plainly outweighs" the concerns voiced by environmentalists, he said for a 5-4 majority. (Los Angeles Times) | U.S. top court rules for Navy in whales-sonar case (Reuters)

Always trying to crowd people into the minimum volume: Asian cities should grow up, not linearly, to reduce CO2 - Bangkok - To reduce carbon dioxide emissions - blamed for global warming - Asian cities of the future should grow vertically instead of horizontally, a leading transport expert said Wednesday.

"In many Asian cities, people are building new housing developments 20, 30, 40 or 60 kilometres out of town and this means people are taking longer to get to work," said Charles Melhuish, technical director with the UK government's Transport Knowledge Partnership. (DPA)

And crowding works so well, too: One mln Bangladesh cyclone survivors await homes-Oxfam - DHAKA, Nov 12 - Over a million people are struggling without proper homes and at greater risk of disease than before, almost one year after cyclone Sidr ravaged parts of Bangladesh, Oxfam said on Wednesday.

Cyclone Sidr, the country's worst cyclone since 1991, ripped through over a dozen coastal districts on Nov. 15 last year, killing more than 3,300 people and displacing millions.

Despite funding pledges from foreign donors and non-governmental organisations to help build new homes for around 78,000 families, only about one-quarter of these planned homes, designed to be more resilient in future storms, have been built, said a new documentary, Our Home After Sidr, produced by Oxfam. (Reuters)

Luckily: Northern tropical cyclone activity hits 30-year low - The past two years have seen a "remarkable" downturn in hurricane activity, contradicting predictions of more storms, researchers at Florida State University say.

The 2007 and 2008 hurricane seasons had the least tropical activity in the Northern Hemisphere in 30 years, according to Ryan Maue, co-author of a report on Global Tropical Cyclone Activity.

"Even though North Atlantic hurricane activity was expectedly above normal, the Western and Eastern Pacific basins have produced considerably fewer than normal typhoons and hurricanes," he said.

Maue's results dovetail with other research suggesting hurricanes are variable and unconnected to global warming predictions, said Stan Golden-berg, a hurricane researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"The simplistic notion that warmer oceans from global warming automatically lead to more frequent and or stronger hurricanes has not been verified," said Goldenberg, whose research points to periods of high and low hurricane activity that last several decades each. (USA Today)

But that doesn't stop nonsense claims like this: CUBA: No Choice but to Adapt to Storms - HAVANA, Nov 12 - Three hurricanes have caused a total of 10 billion dollars in damages in Cuba in less than three months, according to the latest official estimates, while highlighting the vulnerability of Cuban housing to storms.

"As a result of climate change, hurricanes are going to become increasingly frequent and intense. We have no choice but to adapt," President Raúl Castro said this week on a tour of Camaguey and Las Tunas, two east-central provinces whose coastal areas were pounded by Hurricane Paloma on Saturday. (IPS)

How climate changes shook up history: Experts to speak - Between 880 and 1250 A.D., climate change allowed Europe to thrive while the Mayan civilization collapsed. In the 1400s, another climate shift led to torrential rains and crop failure in Europe, starving 1.5 million people.

Throughout history, some civilizations weathered cold and hot spells, droughts and floods, while others were devastated. A number of researchers are trying to understand why.

"Climate change goes back at least 400,000 years," said Brian Fagan, an emeritus anthropology professor from the University of California, Santa Barbara, "but until 10 years ago, nobody studied the impacts on ancient civilizations." (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Fagan's books The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History - 1300-1850 and The Great Warming are available through our store. See also The Holocene: An Environmental History (Neil Roberts) and After the Ice: A Global Human History 20000-5000 BC (Steven Mithen) for longer perspective.

The Futile Quest for Climate Control

The idea that human beings have changed and are changing the basic climate system of the Earth through their industrial activities and burning of fossil fuels—the essence of the Greens’ theory of global warming—has about as much basis in science as Marxism and Freudianism. Global warming, like Marxism, is a political theory of actions, demanding compliance with its rules.

Marxism, Freudianism, global warming. These are proof—of which history offers so many examples—that people can be suckers on a grand scale. To their fanatical followers they are a substitute for religion. Global warming, in particular, is a creed, a faith, a dogma that has little to do with science. If people are in need of religion, why don’t they just turn to the genuine article?
—Paul Johnson

Climate change knows three realities: science reality, which is what working scientists deal with every day; virtual reality, which is the wholly imaginary world inside computer climate models; and public reality, which is the socio-political system within which politicians, business people and the general citizenry work.

The science reality is that climate is a complex, dynamic, natural system that no one wholly comprehends, though many scientists understand different small parts. So far, science provides no unambiguous evidence that dangerous or even measurable human-caused global warming is occurring. (Robert M. Carter, Quadrant)

Quick! It's even worse! Existing climate actions 'not good enough', EU warned - Global warming is driving major environmental changes more quickly than expected, with the Earth's average temperature racing towards dangerous levels and the transition to a low-carbon economy stalling, leading climate experts say.

The world is in even "more dire straits" than the worst predictions set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Environment Institute, told a climate change conference in Brussels yesterday (11 November).

Oceans, forest and other natural systems are losing their ability to absorb CO2, according to Rockström, who warned that "we cannot exclude disastrous tipping points even today". (EurActiv)

Things must be desperate in climate activist town, all this blasted cooling makes gorebull warming a poor performer in the fundraising stakes.

Another dumb climate stunt from NBC - climbing Kilimanjaro - You may recall NBC’s Today show sending out their correspondents to all ends of the earth to highlight “climate change”.

Well, they are at it again. (Watts Up With That?)

Weather Eye: an expected tornado hits UK - The weather on Monday was a surprise. Deluges of rain, violent winds and a cold blast swept much of the country. Apart from flooding and fallen trees, a tornado also ripped across part of Suffolk, tearing off roof tiles, smashing greenhouses and sending trees tumbling (report, November 12). The tornado left a trail of devastation around nine miles (15km) long, before fizzling out not far from Sizewell nuclear reactor.

This tornado was not quite the freak event that was reported, however.

Britain has one of the highest frequencies of tornados in the world, partly because of its weather patterns, and partly they are easily spotted in a densely populated country. Tornados at this time of year are not unusual, because the sea temperatures are relatively warm and cause instability in the atmosphere, sending strong weather fronts across the UK. In fact, forecasters at the Met Office and the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation had expected tornado activity on Monday. (The Times)

Just Another Day in Alarmist Land - If ever there were two items fairly capturing much of the theme of Red Hot Lies — cruising up the charts nicely here in its first few days off the press, thanks to all — these are the two: (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Groan... IEA stokes doubts over world's climate fight - LONDON - The world will have to bet on extreme measures to avoid serious global warming, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday, adding to growing worries that governments have under-estimated the problem.

The world will have to suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere because it was too late to rely on gradual curbs in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, it said. (Reuters)

Returning some carbon previously lost to the biosphere is the best thing humans have ever done for life on Earth. Why would we want to undo any of that good? Even in the increasingly unlikely case atmospheric carbon dioxide levels above those of today have any discernible effect on global mean temperature why would anyone assume temperature increase is bad? Do they think tropical forests, savannahs and reefs support abundant life because they are cold?

IEA World Energy Outlook - Today the IEA released its World Energy Outlook 2008. Here are some interesting excerpts from the Executive Summary here in PDF:

First, the IEA comes down clearly on the debate over whether stabilization at 450 ppm can be achieved with existing technologies. They say no way: (Roger Pielke, Jr., Prometheus)

Dr. Michael Oppenheimer to Speak at World Wildlife Fund - WASHINGTON, Nov 12, 2008 -- Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University professor and a leading scholar on global warming, will discuss "Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference: The Latest Insights" at World Wildlife Fund on Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 4:30 p.m. The lecture is part of the Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Seminar series, which brings distinguished scientists from a variety of fields to Washington, D.C. to present cutting edge research of central importance to international conservation. (BUSINESS WIRE)

"Leading scholar on global warming"? Very dubious -- and he's not even in contention as the leading hysteric, having long been displaced by the likes of Gore & Hansen et al.

Calif. emissions plan hits snag - SAN FRANCISCO - California's blueprint to address global warming won't include details of an emissions-trading program as regulators try to build consensus on how best to organize the market-based system.

The California Air Resources Board will begin a rule-writing process after next month's approval of what is called a scoping plan and is seeking outside help from specialists to recommend ways to build a cap-and-trade system, said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the rule-making panel. Under state law, the program must be ready to begin by 2012.

"It's very disappointing because it's another delay to the structure of the cap-and-trade system, and that's what everybody wants to know," said Alex Rau of Climate Wedge Ltd., an advisory firm in San Francisco focused on emissions markets. "They were a long way off at approaching consensus on the major design elements."

Nichols told venture capitalists and clean-energy executives last week in Mountain View, Calif., that she was "thinking of punting," saying the specifics of the emissions-trading program may not be ready for one to two more years. (Bloomberg)

Japan CO2 Hits Record, Risking Kyoto Failure - TOKYO - Japan's greenhouse gas emissions rose to a record high in the year to March, putting the world's fifth-largest carbon dioxide producer at risk of an embarrassing failure to achieve its Kyoto target over the next four years. (Reuters)

Where have these people been? Kyoto was a failure before it was even penned.

Finally looking for the real problem: Global Warming Link To Amphibian Declines In Doubt — Evidence that global warming is causing the worldwide declines of amphibians may not be as conclusive as previously thought, according to biologists. The findings, which contradict two widely held views, could help reveal what is killing the frogs and toads and aid in their conservation. (ScienceDaily)

Beating a Dead Frog - Just in case there are still some folks out there who continue to insist that there is a firm cause-and-effect relationship between anthropogenic global warming and the decline of amphibian species around the world despite our pointing out on numerous occasions just how tenuous such a linkage is (pay attention here Al), we present the following abstract of a paper by Jason Rohr and colleagues titled “Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian decline,” published November 11, 2008 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS): (WCR)

New Arcsine Climate Forecast: Hot and Cold! - If you weren’t worried before, then take a look at this shocking new climate forecast! (William M Briggs, Statistician)

Corrected NASA GISTEMP data has been posted - After GISS’s embarrassing error with replicating September temperatures in the October analysis, the NASA GISTEMP website was down for awhile today (at least for me).

This evening, the new gridded data was posted, and I generated a world temperature anomaly map with the new data. It clearly has some changes in it from the previous erroneous version. (Watts Up With That?)

Hmm... newly generated anomaly maps still look highly suspect. For example many southern hemisphere countries have been reporting record cold temperatures and yet GISTEMP shows them with 1-4 °C positive anomalies?

It seems GISTEMP and its incestuously related NCDC time series are so hopelessly corrupted they should be dropped from discussion of Earth's temperature trends. As yet in HadCRUT3 no such problems have been exposed (although Phil Jones maintains a complete black box) so that should probably be the reference near-surface set if required while the latest RSS self-declared improvement makes their time series virtually indistinguishable from the UAH MSU set, making these broad coverage, near UHIE-proof series pretty much the gold standard in global temperature time series. Don't hold your breath waiting for them to be recognized as such in the climate community though, since they offer zero support for the catastrophic global warming scam (hard to get politicians to throw buckets full of public money at you when there is no problem to solve).

Gavin Schmidt: "The processing algorithm worked fine." - In the last few days, NASA has been forced to withdraw erroneous October temperature data. The NASA GISS site is down, but NASA spokesman Gavin Schmidt said at their blog outlet that "The processing algorithm worked fine."

Schmidt blamed the failure on defects in a product from a NASA supplier and expressed irritation that NASA should bear any responsibility for defects attributable to a supplier: (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

The Globally-Averaged Surface Temperature Trend - Incompletely Assessed? Is It Even Relevant? - The globally-averaged surface temperature trend has been highlighted as an icon of climate change. For example, a meeting was held In Exeter, United Kingdom from Feb 1-3, 2005 entitled “Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change.” The focus on a globally-averaged temperature trend was clear in the emphasis at the meeting. The Hadley Centre brochure relevant to this meeting stated “Once a tolerable (i.e., non-dangerous) change has been determined - say in terms of a global temperature rise - we then have to calculate what this corresponds to in terms of tolerable greenhouse concentrations in the atmosphere.” The message is that a clear global surface temperature threshold exists over which there are dangerous effects on the climate system.

This perspective however, avoids discussing the real issue associated with long-term variability and changes in climate. (Roger Pielke Sr.)

We wish! Earth would be heading to a freeze without CO2 emissions - PARIS — Scheduled shifts in Earth's orbit should plunge the planet into an enduring Ice Age thousands of years from now but the event will probably be averted because of man-made greenhouse gases, scientists said Wednesday.

They cautioned, though, that this news is not an argument in favour of global warming, which is driving imminent and potentially far-reaching damage to the climate system.

Earth has experienced long periods of extreme cold over the billions of years of its history.

The big freezes are interspersed with "interglacial" periods of relative warmth, of the kind we have experienced since the end of the last Ice Age, around 11,000 years ago.

These climate swings have natural causes, believed to be rooted particularly in changes in Earth's orbit and axis that, while minute, have a powerful effect on how much solar heat falls on the planet.

Two researchers built a high-powered computer model to take a closer look at these intriguing phases of cooling and warmth. (AFP)

If only atmospheric carbon dioxide really were a major determinant of global mean temperature... alas, it's but a trivial player in a complex system and has no hope of staving off ice ages -- nor any that it can trigger "runaway" gorebull warming on our water-rich world.

US senator says Congress delays global warming law - WASHINGTON: Congress will not act until 2010 on a bill to limit the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming despite President-elect Obama's declaration that he will move quickly to deal with climate change, the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee predicted Wednesday.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman said that while every effort should be made to cap greenhouse gases, the economic crisis, the transition to a new administration and the complexity of setting up a nationwide market for carbon pollution permits preclude action in 2009.

"The reality is, it may take more than the first year to get it all done," Bingaman told a carbon markets conference here. (Associated Press)

The cost and futility of trading hot air - Why carbon ‘cap-and-trade’ is an immoral non-solution to a non-problem (Christopher Monckton, SPPI)

Global Warming and local politics - A fairly obscure local race in Arizona may have national implications. One of our Arizona Corporation Commission Republican candidates has apparently won his tight race against a hugely funded Democrat candidate. Of the more than 1.6+ million votes cast for the two, the margin of victory was 462. A conservative majority in the ACC, which regulates our electric utility companies, may single-handedly initiate the debate that never happened on AGW. Only one candidate was needed to accomplish that majority. (Russell Cook, American Thinker)

Where Have You Gone, Gray Davis? - California is headed toward fiscal disaster, thanks to the worst performance by any state, ever. So what does Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger do? Convene a big meeting on global warming, of course. (IBD)

An easy climate change / energy quiz  - Here is a simple, fun, 10 question quiz that covers a sample of climate change and/or energy issues. Simply check the appropriate box and push the “vote” button for each question. After you have pushed the vote button you will see the accumulated wisdom of everybody who has answered that question so far. You can even leave a comment for any question, which I encourage.

Note that several of the questions requiring numerical answers have “order of magnitude” choices. That is, they require “back of the envelope” type approximations, not high precision.

At the bottom of the quiz you will find a link to a solutions page, with links to supporting evidence, and “back of the envelope” calculations. If you want, you can look at the solutions first and then take the quiz - but that would be cheating!

After enough people have answered the questions I will post the results at ClimateSanity.

Chevron Chief Calls On Obama To Create Energy Policy - NEW YORK - The head of oil giant Chevron Corp on Wednesday called on President-elect Barack Obama to create a national energy policy that promotes efficiency, opens up new areas for oil production and sets a clear policy on carbon dioxide emissions. (Reuters)

What about a sensible policy on carbon dioxide emissions, like ignoring them!

Reality bites Barack - I feel sorry for Barack Obama. Notwithstanding his comfortable victory last week and his remarkable oratory skills, he does not have a hope in hell of living up to the “supernova” expectations that now engulf him.

In saying this, I draw a lesson from the last American “supernova.” (Keith Orchison, Business Spectator)

Hawaii's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program is Equivalent to Economic Suicide - In inexplicable acts of government opposition to its basic sources of Hawaii’s electricity, Hawaii state government is now calling for public hearings on greenhouse gas emissions on Thursday Nov. 13th. (See "Public Hearing on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions to be Held at State Capitol Auditorium" )

More than any other state, Hawaii gets most of its energy from imported oil and coal. (Michael R. Fox., Hawaii Reporter)

Yes, we can strike a balance on the oil sands - Developing the oil sands is vital to Canada’s economy. But can industry balance extraction and environment? (Bruce March, Financial Post)

Alaska found to contain another kind of exploitable energy - WASHINGTON - Frozen crystals packed with concentrated natural gas and buried 2,000 feet below the permafrost on Alaska's North Slope could become the next major domestic energy source, according to an assessment released Wednesday by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The study finds that in the North Slope, frozen methane-and-water crystals known as hydrates contain as much as 85.4 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. That's enough to heat 100 million homes for as long as 10 years, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said.

New research into how to extract those resources has moved the possibility of recovering the usable energy from the realm of "science and speculation" to that of the "actual and useful," Kempthorne said Wednesday.

Globally, "hydrates have more potential for energy than all other fossil fuels combined," he said. "This can be a paradigm shift." (McClatchy Newspapers)

Czech CEZ hopes crisis will stall EU climate package - PRAGUE — Central Europe's top power producer, Czech-based CEZ, is pinning hopes on the financial crisis to thwart the approval of the EU's green package, saying it would hit hard at the region's coal-dependent industry.

The EU's climate-energy package seeks to raise the share of renewable sources in power production by 2020, boost energy savings and tighten the rules for trading in CO2 emission permits in a bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Martin Roman, CEZ chairman and chief executive, said in an interview with AFP that a "yes" vote on the package from EU members in the region would be "economic suicide." (AFP)

Is Carbon Capture and Storage the Fix? - Promoted in Europe, the technology for storing CO2 emissions underground could someday transform electric utilities and other industry into eco-friendly businesses (Mark Scott, BusinessWeek)

Bigger question: is anything actually broken for this to "fix"? The answer at present is: not so far as anyone can tell.

China Cools To Clean Diesel For Vehicles - Paper - SHANGHAI - As China struggles to choose the best powertrain for future vehicles, an influential minister has gone cold on clean diesel in favour of gasoline hybrids and electric drive trains, the Automotive News said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

UK experts give blackouts warning - Some energy experts asked by BBC News warn the UK could face an unacceptable risk of major blackouts in less than 10 years unless policy is improved.

They said the government has dithered for too long over policies vital to energy security and climate security.

But they added that forecasts of an imminent power crisis were far-fetched.

The possible energy gap is being created because of the impending closure before 2015 of nine of our major coal and oil-powered plants. (Roger Harrabin, BBC News)

JA Solar Cuts Forecast, Sees Solar 'Panic' - NEW YORK - Chinese solar cell maker JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd said on Wednesday the global economic slump had triggered a "panic" in the solar market, prompting it to slash its sales forecasts and sending its shares down more than 30 percent. (Reuters)

Electronic medical records — different perspectives sharing the same news pages - Do we want to make all of our medical records, lab and diagnostic results, and pharmacy records electronic and linked into a national Health IT database? (Junkfood Science)

Leaving kids a bad taste for science - Even science articles for elementary school children have become venues for scaring them about their food and health and spreading pop myths about good-bad foods, rather than offer opportunities to teach science and make science and food fun. This week it was salt. (Junkfood Science)

A Chance To Turn Around The FDA - One of the least visible but most important of the Obama administration's appointments will be the head of the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates products worth more than $1 trillion, or 25 cents of every consumer dollar. (Henry I Miller, IBD)

New EU Pesticide Regulations Will Increase Disease - Washington, DC - Today 160 senior scientists from around the world release a petition against proposed EU pesticide regulations which they believe would shrink the global insecticide markets, leaving millions of people in poor countries at an increased risk of malaria and other insect-borne diseases.

The letter of petition is signed by eminent scientists such as Sir David King, former Senior Scientific Advisor to the UK Government, and Sir Richard Feachem, former Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.

It demands that the EU measure the likely impacts of the regulation, and revise the proposals.

If the current regulations were to be enacted, the market and supply of effective insecticides would shrink, resulting in price hikes for public health insecticides. The production of certain insecticides, such as those used in malaria control, could cease altogether as production would be financially unviable for the smaller public health market. (IPN)

Looking at drugs in water - RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK - Despite rising fear -- and rhetoric -- about the presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, there is actually very little evidence of whether there are health risks related to the issue.

That was one main message from 150 researchers and public health experts who huddled at the N.C. Biotechnology Center this week. The two-day conference, the first by a collaborative group of Triangle environmental health experts, was an attempt to answer some of the questions being raised by regulators, scientists and lawmakers. (News & Observer)

Painting Pictures of Poverty - It’s Oxfam. Again. Some people have been a little confused about our ‘attacks’ on Oxfam. Why would we want to criticise nice people who are trying to do good?

We are interested in the ideas which Oxfam use to understand and explain the problems they hope to answer. Intending to good is one thing. The ideas being to put into practice are another. (Climate Resistance)

The Prince of Angst: Troubled Charles turns 60 amid concerns over Camilla and being King - Four years ago, an old friend of the Prince of Wales congratulated him on his 56th birthday. The Prince's response was gloomy. 'Yes,' he said, 'but I'm now the age at which my grandfather died.'

Charles's grandfather was King George VI who died from cancer in 1952 having reigned for 14 years.

What was clear from Charles's remark, says the friend, was that he was thinking, 'and I haven't even begun to reign yet'. (Mail Online)

Hopefully the damn fool never will be king. He's the definitive case for skipping a generation.

November 12, 2008

Tactics of Global Warming Alarmists - This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 10, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Greenpeace calls him a climate criminal, but some think Chris Horner is the only one uncovering the truth about global warming. His new book, "Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmist Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed." That's what it's called. Horner warns of the alarmist green agenda, which he claims may reach new heights under the new administration.

Joining us the author, Chris Horner.

I guess we've got to be really scared, as Dick Morris said, about Obama, radical lefty. We're going to scare people about the incoming president, right, Chris? (FNC)

Buy this book through our store

Air Capture Costs Too Much? Baloney! - James Hansen and colleagues have a new paper out. I notice that the press release that accompanies the paper includes the following claim:

[Hansen et al.] also dismiss the notion of “geo-engineering” solutions, noting that the price of artificially removing 50 ppm of CO2 from the air would be about $20 trillion.

Well, how does 50 ppm of CO2 for $20 trillion compare to other ways of reducing CO2?

One ppm of CO2 contains about 2.1 billion tonnes of carbon (a gigatonne, abbreviated GtC). So 50 ppm is about 105 GtC. At $20 trillion this equates to about $190 per ton of carbon, or about $52 per ton of carbon dioxide (you need about 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide to get one tonne of carbon). To 2030, $20 trillion represents about 1.5% of cumulative global GDP. How do these values compare to, say Stern, IEA, or IPCC estimates? (Roger Pielke, Jr., Prometheus)

Young Roger feels action to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide is a good thing while we view any loss of this essential resource is an environmental cost too far. Regardless, it is good to see 'pa Hansen admitting carbon dioxide reduction is horrendously expensive and not worth doing even if you consider it a problem.

2008 set to be about 10th warmest year: expert - OSLO - This year is on track to be about the 10th warmest globally since records began in 1850 but gaps in Arctic data mean the world may be slightly underestimating global warming, a leading scientist said on Tuesday.

A natural cooling of the Pacific Ocean known as La Nina kept a lid on temperatures in 2008 despite an underlying warming trend, said Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England. (Reuters)

Seems plausible, many of the time series have recorded months around the 10th warmest, at least in the last 30 years, so overall 10th sounds fair enough. Also there is an underlying warming trend of about one half of one degree (0.5 K) per century which may or may not be due to enhanced greenhouse effect (or recovery from the Little Ice Age or something else entirely -- we don't know and nor does anyone else). This background warming rate appears fairly constant since ~1650.

RealClimate: Gavin Schmidt puts on a brave face after yet another fiasco (Tom Nelson)

Correcting Ocean Cooling: NASA Changes Data to Fit the Models - NASA scientist, Josh Willis, was so concerned that his data, showing ocean cooling, did not fit the official consensus on climate change that he searched for a solution. Eventually he “applied a correction” so the historical ocean temperature record showed a relatively steady increase in line with the climate models.

Perhaps Dr Willis really did get it wrong between 2003 and 2005 when his data showed a large decrease in the heat content of the ocean. But after reading his justification for the correction, I am not convinced. Indeed and I am left wondering how to ever trust the official temperature record again. (Jennifer Marohasy)

What is the Importance to Climate of Heterogeneous Spatial Trends in Tropospheric Temperatures? - Originally posted on July 28, 2005.

The 2005 National Research Council report concluded that:

“regional variations in radiative forcing may have important regional and global climate implications that are not resolved by the concept of global mean radiative forcing.”

And furthermore:

“Regional diabatic heating can cause atmospheric teleconnections that influence regional climate thousands of kilometers away from the point of forcing.”

This regional diabatic heating produces temperature increases or decreases in the layer-averaged regional troposphere. This necessarily alters the regional pressure fields and thus the wind pattern. This pressure and wind pattern then affects the pressure and wind patterns at large distances from the region of the forcing which we refer to as teleconnections. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

The “Near-Virtual Reality Of Man-made Global Warming - CHURCHVILLE, VA— “As Barack Obama shifts from a waking dream to the real world, he faces the near-virtual reality of climate change. He has to move decisively.” (Ian McEwan, “A New Dawn,” Wall Street Journal, Nov8/9.)

What is near-virtual reality? I’m fascinated that McEwan starts his sermon upholding his belief in man-made global warming by quoting George Berkeley, the 18th-century Irish philosopher. Berkeley contended that the physical world does not exist; that it’s a “virtual” product of our minds.

That’s pretty much the case with man-made global warming. (Dennis T. Avery, CGFI)

Even gravy train tickets expire, eventually... Government Wants To Change Course Of Forest Experiments; Some Climate Change Scientists Upset - For more than a decade, the federal government has spent millions of dollars pumping elevated levels of carbon dioxide into small groups of trees to test how forests will respond to global warming in the next 50 years.

Some scientists believe they are on the cusp of receiving key results from the time-consuming experiments.

The U.S. Department of Energy, however, which is funding the project, has told the scientists to chop down the trees, collect the data and move on to new research. That plan has upset some researchers who have spent years trying to understand how forests may help stave off global warming, and who want to keep the project going for at least a couple of more years. (Associated Press)

Yikes! Obama's Cabinet: Start With Al Gore - If there is a single appointment Barack Obama could make to signal how dramatically things will change in Washington, it would be to name Albert Gore Jr. -- former House member, former senator, former vice president, former presidential nominee and current Custodian of the Planet -- as secretary of state. For all the other aspirants to the job, sorry -- this is an inconvenient truth.

Can you imagine a bolder statement about a new direction when it comes to global warming and the general care of our abused planet? Gore has won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in this area (and an Oscar, to boot), and his appointment would signal a dramatic shift from the indifference of the Bush era with its cold shoulder to the Kyoto treaty. In one stroke, the United States would emerge as the leader of nations in the effort to save the planet from ourselves -- and could prepare for the consequences of a changed world. (Richard Cohen, Washington Post)

Fortunately Don Alberto Gorleone is making far too much money from the gorebull warming scam to take such an offer seriously but what does it say about Richard Cohen that he would float such a horrendous prospect?

Must see--2 more minutes of outright fraud from Al Gore (Tom Nelson)

Obama team study c-charge - BARACK Obama's transport advisers are studying Greater Manchester's congestion-charge plans - to see if they could work in the US.

The President-elect's team have asked an American consultant who helped draw up the proposed charge to provide information about this scheme and similar systems around the world.

Jack Opiola - who previously worked on congestion charging in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Italy and the US - said the move proved `the eyes of the world' were on Manchester. He said: "In the US, Greater Manchester is being held up as a shining example of dynamic new thinking."

Mr Obama, who takes over at the White House on January 20 after his historic election victory last week, stood on a manifesto that included pledges to cut traffic and boost public transport.

He recently praised plans - which were later scrapped - to charge motorists to enter Manhattan in New York as 'thoughtful and innovative'. (Manchester Evening News)

ANALYSIS - Cheaper Oil Won't Scuttle Obama's Efficiency Plan - NEW YORK - Companies specialising in home energy efficiency should get a boost under US President-Elect Barack Obama's administration despite a slowing economy and a sharp drop in oil prices. (Reuters)

'Green jobs' could be costly for Michigan - Gov. Jennifer Granholm has been drinking the "green jobs" Kool-aid, recently announcing that she is creating an energy department and naming an energy czar to pursue "alternative" energy and "create thousands of jobs." Yet in these times of economic distress, the governor's priorities are misplaced.

Environmental protection comes at a price -- after all, someone has to pay to keep air and water clean. However, politicians like Granholm claim that clever government policies can result in environmental protections that simultaneously grow the economy.

If something sounds too good to be true, it is. Environmental protection still comes at a price, and Granholm's green jobs initiative threatens Michigan's ailing economy. (William Yeatman, Detroit News)

Uh-huh... Global investors urge action on climate change - WASHINGTON - Global institutional investors holding more than $6 trillion in assets pushed policymakers Tuesday to quickly hash out a binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean technology. (Reuters)

... if investors are such superior judges of required actions and the smart course, why is so much public money being to diverted to address the global financial crisis that was, uh... caused by investors? And now they want lawmakers to mandate their profits too?

A climate change conversion - Can the climate change crisis be answered purely by science and technology, or does it need to be understood as a moral and spiritual issue too? In a lecture for the Christian climate change agency, Operation Noah today, Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth Abbey that featured on the TV series The Monastery, will make a compelling case that it is very much the latter. (Mark Vernon, The Guardian)

Czech president explains his views on global warming to Irish - At the reception at the Dublin City Hall, Mayor Eibhlin Byrne said jokingly she would like to sit at one table with Klaus and former U.S. vice-president Albert Gore whose views on global warming Klaus criticised in his book.

Klaus presented his book to Byrne who described him as a man of strong views whom he admired.

In his book Klaus warns against panic the advocates of the global warming theory are provoking. Klaus believes that the world debate on global warming is absolutely irrational. (ČTK)

Farmers Want Special Deal On Carbon Emissions - CANBERRA - Farmers want a special deal in global climate negotiations to make sure they are not saddled with excessive costs for curbing Greenhouse gas emissions, the head of the world's leading farming lobby said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

From CO2 Science this week:

The State of the World's Mammals: What are the greatest threats to their continued existence? ... and what is the most important factor in maintaining their current level of global species richness?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 633 individual scientists from 370 separate research institutions in 39 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Kongressvatnet, Svalbard, Western Spitsbergen, Norway. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Medieval Warm Period (Arctic): Is the footprint of the Medieval Warm Period evident in the paleoclimatic records of the northernmost part of the planet?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Barley, Garden Bean, Paper Birch, and Wheat.

Journal Reviews:
The Paleoclimate of the USA's San Francisco Bay Watershed: How did the climate of medieval times compare with that of modern times?

A Brief (One Millennium) History of the Gulf Stream: Is its strength enhanced or diminished by global warming?

Plant Productivity Responses to Experimental Ecosystem Warming: Have they been mostly positive or negative?

The Water Use Efficiency of Silver Fir Trees in a CO2-Accreting Atmosphere: How did it vary in French forests of the Jura Mountains between 1860 and 1980?

Thrips Feeding on Clover: Are the little plant-juice suckers helped or hindered by rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations? (

Oh... Climate change helps some invasive species - VALENCIA, Spain, Nov. 11 -- A British study suggests climate change has assisted some invasive species to advance in a much quicker fashion.

Nova Mieszkovska from the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom said her study showed invasive species of marine macroalgae spread at 50 kilometers (31 miles) per decade -- a distance far greater than that covered by invasive terrestrial plants.

Mieszkovska said the difference might be due global warming and the resulting rapid dispersion of macroalgae propagules in the ocean. (UPI)

One time biologists knew species dispersed rapidly in marine environments due to currents and coastal shipping -- now they guess it's the gorebull warming that so clearly shows in their computers but can't be found in the real world.

Again with this rubbish? Report: Greenhouse gases imperil oceans' web of life - WASHINGTON — Corals, lobsters, clams and many other ocean creatures — including some at the bottom of the food chain — may be unable to withstand the increasing acidity of the oceans brought on by growing global-warming pollution, according to a report Tuesday from the advocacy group Oceana. (McClatchy Newspapers)

Marine critters allegedly of concern actually evolved during periods when Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were many times those of today. In fact, levels as low as now are quite rare in the history of life on Earth.

Flood of misinformation likelier to drown Maldives - ABC Radio's Peter Cave reports the IPCC claim the island nation is in imminent danger of climate-induced flooding

MOHAMED Nasheed (the new Maldives President) has named battling the effects of rising sea levels as a key priority. He's hatched an audacious plan to buy his people a new homeland and one of the destinations he's considering is Australia.

Andrew Hewitt, executive director of Oxfam Australia: What will be needed is international action and co-ordinated action to respond to the consequences of climate change. And that will mean the richer countries who have been responsible for the climate change crisis coming to grips with the reality that people will be on the move.

And people who will be on the move now will need to find a refuge somewhere, and that may mean something along the lines that the new President of the Maldives is talking about, or it may mean some other mechanism.

But is the Maldives really about to be flooded because of climate change? Not according to a project conducted by Nils-Axel Morner, former head of the department of paleogeophysics and geodynamics at Stockholm University: (The Australian)

Childish: Santer Refuses Data Request (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

Activist hypocrisy? What a surprise... Former ‘James Bond’ Star Arrives in Limo to Receive Environmentalist Award - Former “James Bond” actor Pierce Brosnan arrived at the Jane Goodall Institute awards ceremony – where he was honored for his commitment to environmental education – in a luxury Lincoln Town Car. (

Reality hits Gore's world - Gore envisions a nationwide “Smart Grid”–a massive underground network of electrical power lines that would be powered by massive solar panel installations in the Southwest, and huge wind turbine installations in the Pacific Northwest. The Smart grid would dole out power and regulate itself using 21 Century computer technology, Gore said. Gore said such a system would cost $600 billion to build, but that it would pay for itself quickly. (Julie Walsh, CEI)

PSC rejects Alliant's proposed coal plant - The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Tuesday unanimously denied Alliant Energy Corp.'s proposed 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant, despite the utility's plans to burn "clean coal" and biomass as fuel.

In a press release, the PSC said commissioners decided that the $1.26 billion project was too costly when weighing it against other alternatives such as natural gas generation and the possibility of purchasing power from existing sources. Concerns over construction costs and uncertainty over the costs of complying with future possible carbon dioxide regulations were all contributing factors to the denial. (Business Journal of Milwaukee)

Out of Sight, Out of Mind - The Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, just released its report on the status of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology and its view of the technology’s future development challenges. In general, the GAO concludes that the technology faces grave technological, regulatory, economic, and legal barriers that will not be easily overcome. This is the first time a government agency has come clean on CCS and shown it not to be the panacea for greenhouse gas regulation, as it is often painted by opponents of coal-fired power generation. (Dr. Robert Peltier, Coal Power Magazine) -- h/t Icecap

Cars Disproportionately Blamed for Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Electricity, not transportation is responsible for the largest share of emissions (Skaidra Smith-Heisters, Hawaii Reporter)

Iran Promotes Gas - For years, Iran has debated whether to use its huge natural gas reserves, second in size only to Russia’s, to become a significant exporter. Doing so would entail the politically risky move of cutting gas subsidies for domestic consumers, one that should cut skyrocketing demand. But a series of internal and international factors – the biggest of which may be U.S. political pressure – seem to have finally convinced the Islamic Republic to push for more gas exports.

Over the past few weeks, top officials in the Iranian oil ministry have announced a series of plans aimed at attracting foreign investors. Iran has scrapped plans to build expensive natural gas liquefaction plants and will instead use the gas for exports via pipeline to Persian Gulf neighbors, Asia, and Europe. (Andres Cala, Energy Tribune)

Nuclear waste arrives at German dump - A RADIOACTIVE waste shipment arrived at a German dump today after the biggest anti-nuclear protests in years, pointing up the fierce opposition to reversing Berlin's phase-out of atomic energy.

The protests, the biggest since 2001 with thousands of police deployed over the weekend, caused the 123 tonnes of nuclear waste to arrive around 20 hours late at the Gorleben disposal site in northern Germany.

The waste originated in German nuclear power stations before being sent to a reprocessing plant in La Hague in northwest France. (Agence France-Presse)

We wish... National Ignition Facility Promises Endless Carbon-Free Power - LIVERMORE, California, November 11, 2008 - Forty miles east of San Francisco, scientists are constructing a miniature Sun within a stadium-sized building at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Called the National Ignition Facility, it will use 192 of the world's most power lasers to ignite a hydrogen fuel pellet, fusing its atoms, and producing enormous amounts of energy from that fusion. (ENS)

If a Tree Falls in the Forest, Are Biofuels To Blame? It's Not Easy Being Green - Biofuels are under siege from critics who say they crowd out food production. Now these fuels made from grass and grain, long touted as green, are being criticized as bad for the planet.

At issue is whether oil alternatives -- such as ethanol distilled from corn and fuels made from inedible stuff like switch grass -- actually make global warming worse through their indirect impact on land use around the world. (Stephen Power, Wall Street Journal)

Amyris is brewing up barrels of clean biofuel - Men in white lab coats tend gleaming metal vats filled with yeast and sugar. The air inside the converted Emeryville warehouse smells vaguely like hops.

But the factory, built by Amyris Biotechnologies, doesn't make beer, at least not most of the time. Instead, the vats and the yeast churn out a clear liquid that mimics diesel fuel. Blend it with some regular diesel, stick it in an engine, and it works.

"It performs just like the diesel you'd get from dinosaur juice," said Amyris co-founder Jack Newman, referring to fossil fuels. (SF Chronicle)

'Biofuel key reason for high food prices' - UNITED NATIONS - Rising investment in grain-consuming biofuels is a key reason food prices will stay high for at least a decade, an influential study released Thursday says.

But the report by two leading international bodies also warns that claims biofuels will resolve an array of concerns - from rendering the air cleaner by replacing fossil fuels, to reducing individual countries' reliance on fuel imports - may be deceptive.

"Analysis to date suggests that the energy-security, environmental and economic benefits of biofuels production based on agricultural commodity feedstocks are at best modest, and sometimes even negative," says the 73-page study from the UN's Food & Agriculture Organization and the 30-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (Steven Edwards, Canwest News Service)

Tackling obesity is going to take time ... but it will be worth the effort - Complex problems like criminal behaviour or obesity can’t be solved overnight. Tackling them requires a robust evidence base and a lot of patience, Professor Paul Wiles tells Alison Thomas

The call for more joined-up government has almost become a cliché. But it is nonetheless true that the biggest, most challenging issues demand a coordinated response. And social science has a contribution to make to all of them, from crime to climate change, says Professor Paul Wiles, the government’s chief social scientist and head of the Government Social Research Unit. (Public Service UK)

I admit as far as I'm concerned "social science" is when real scientists discuss physical science over a few drinks and has nothing to do with the emotional pap that currently gathers under that name. Worse, Socialists and others with a similar dictatorial bent try to use it as justification for their insane machinations.

Big test for disease hope - Researchers trying to create the world's first malaria vaccine are starting a large medical trial as early as next month involving 16,000 children.

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is teaming with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, an anti-malaria charity funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and clinics and research centres in Africa to develop a malaria vaccine.

"This is probably going to be one of the largest studies in infants and in children in Africa," said Joe Cohen, a vaccine researcher for GlaxoSmithKline. (Associated Press)

The metastasizing UN: Possible Global Body Slated To Tackle Biodiversity - The possibility of establishing a United Nations-supported scientific intergovernmental body to address biodiversity loss and protect ecosystems is being discussed at a global conference which kicked off in Malaysia today.

Representatives from governments worldwide are in Putrajaya, near the capital Kuala Lumpur, for three days to discuss creating a body similar to the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was set up in 1988 by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO). (Press Release: United Nations)

Fish farms among new chances for arid nations - OSLO - Solar energy, ecotourism and even fish farms can create new jobs in arid regions of developing nations as global warming strains scant water supplies, a U.N. report said on Tuesday.

A four-year study of drylands in eight countries, ranging from China to Tunisia, showed that people could shift to less water-intensive farming and set up new businesses, sometimes helped by microcredits, to cope with climate change.

"We have to think outside the box, look at options where dependence on water resources is much lower," said Zafar Adeel, a co-author and director of the U.N. University's International Network on Water, Environment and Health (INWEH)

"Agriculture takes up to 70 to 90 percent of freshwater supply in drylands," he told Reuters by telephone, quoting from a 42-page study entitled "People in Marginal Drylands" issued at a conference in Turkey.

One project near the Cholistan desert in Pakistan showed that largely untapped brackish water could be used for farming fish, a new source of protein for local people that could also be sold in local towns.

Ponds used for "arid aquaculture," using inland fish able to withstand high salt levels, produced more food than if the same volume of water was used to irrigate fields.

"If you can use the water for different purposes you multiply the benefits," Thomas Schaaf, a co-author and head of the Ecological Sciences and Biodiversity section at UNESCO, told Reuters. Pond sludge could be used as fertilizer. (Reuters)

Japan scientists say pot plants may one day absorb toxic gas - A worker waters newly potted plants. As well as brightening your room, potted plants may one day help to prevent headaches in "sick" houses by absorbing toxic gas, according to Japanese scientists.

As well as brightening your room, pot plants may one day help to prevent headaches in "sick" houses by absorbing toxic gas, according to Japanese scientists.

Researchers have genetically engineered plants that can absorb formaldehyde, a pungent chemical compound used as adhesive in building materials and furnishing, one of the researchers said Tuesday.

Formaldehyde is seen as a major factor in what is known as sick-house syndrome -- headaches, dizziness and other health problems triggered by chemical substances in the home.

"We expect the plants to absorb it steadily" along with carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, said Katsura Izui, a professor of molecular plant physiology at Kinki University in western Japan. (AFP)

November 11, 2008

Gavin's come out to play :) Climate doubts based on short-term irrelevancies - The opinion piece by Michael Duffy contains multiple errors of fact and plenty of errors of interpretation ("Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored", November 8-9).

The site was not founded by an environmental organisation but by nine scientists, including me, who were fed up with disinformation about climate science.

Our web server is hosted by Environmental Media Services, but it has never had any input into content, nor paid contributors. This information has been public since the founding of realclimate in December 2004.

Realclimate is not "alarmist". Posts frequently debunk overheated claims in the media as well as criticising disinformation efforts. Acknowledging that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that its concentration is rising rapidly due to human activities may be alarming, but it is not alarmist. (Sydney Morning Herald)

And the climate model's attack puppy is after Mike Duffy with RealKlimate's cant, too.

Now, Pachauri could be seen as technically correct in the sense that warming in the post-1975 period exceeds that of the previous three decades (when there was none and the planet cooled, causing the looming ice age alarm).

Duffy is quite correct about the decline sine 1998 and in fact there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995.

The bottom line though is that there is no difference between apparent warming rates before and after that cooling of the 1950s through 1970s despite significant difference in atmospheric carbon dioxide accumulation in the two periods. In fact atmospheric carbon dioxide increased far more in the cooling period 1945-1975 than it did in the warming period 1910-1944. So much for carbon dioxide abundance being a dominant driver of global mean temperature.

The 'lecture' in contention is here. Readers and interested parties can address replies to Gavin's waffle here.

Meanwhile, back at fake trend central: GISS Releases (Suspect) October 2008 Data - October 2008 “warmest” October on record (according to GISS)
2005 temperature revised upward

Update: Thanks to an email from John S. - a patron of - we have learned that the Russian data in NOAA’s GHCN v2.mean dataset is corrupted. For most (if not all) stations in Russia, the September data has been replicated as October data, artificially raising the October temperature many degrees. The data from NOAA is used by GISS to calculate the global temperature. Thus the record-setting anomaly for October 2008 is invalid and we await the highly-publicised corrections from NOAA and GISS. (Watts Up With That?)

RSS MSU: 0.013 deg C month-on-month cooling - RSS MSU (a satellite-based team to measure the temperature on Earth) has switched from v3.1 of their dataset to v3.2 of their temperature listings.

The latter, newer version already contains the October 2008 figures. With its 0.181 °C anomaly, it was 0.013 °C cooler than September 2008 and 0.044 °C cooler than October 2007.

Their competition at UAH MSU - John Christy et al. - claim to be more accurate and have released their October 2008 data, too, indicating a tiny 0.006 °C warming: see Anthony Watts.

See also the previous monthly report about September 2008.

Hansen: Russia warms by 12 deg C a month

While the satellite data indicate that the October anomaly was cooler than in the previous month, James Hansen's GISS claims that it was a whopping 0.28 °C warmer than in September 2008, reaching the warmest temperature anomaly ever.

Because it seems somewhat surprising to accumulate a discrepancy of more than 0.3 °C between two methodologies in as little as one month, Steve McIntyre looked at more detailed data leading to the GISS's final figure. (The Reference Frame)

We hope they're right... The Sun Shows Signs of Life - After two-plus years of few sunspots, even fewer solar flares, and a generally eerie calm, the sun is finally showing signs of life. "I think solar minimum is behind us," says sunspot forecaster David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. (PhysOrg)

... because, unlike gorebull warming, global cooling is something to worry about.

Indian temperature rise will exceed projected rainfall, say scientists - Washington, Nov 10 : Scientists have determined that the estimated temperature rise in India will far exceed the increase in projected rainfall by the end of the century.

According to a report in ENN (Environmental News Network), this makes it all the more important for the country to address the impact of climate change on its agriculture, water resources and health “right away”.

If India makes no efforts to cap its current emissions of greenhouse gases, then the country could face a temperature increase of four degrees Celsius by 2100, according to Kankicharla Krishna Kumar, head of the new climate change research centre at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).

But there will be no matching increase in monsoon rainfall until 2040, Kumar added.

Krishna Kumar’s warning is based on projections by regional climate change models developed at IITM. (ANI)

Is that right? So, uh, how have monsoon predictions gone so far? Oh, like this, huh... Oh well, keep trying (can't get much worse, eh?).

SEQ beaches to disappear - Australia's east coast faces unprecedented erosion within the next decade, heading into a storm period made worse by climate change, new research predicts.

The seven-year study suggests sandy coasts, such as those in south-east Queensland, northern NSW and parts of Sydney are most at risk of major erosion as storms and high tides hit.

The research, conducted by the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, examined some of the worst storms to hit the east coast since European settlement.

It suggests storm periods have been cyclical over the past 200 years and Australia, having experienced its last major storm period in the 1970s, is due for another. (Brisbane Times)

No, it won't be a new phenomenon and no, there is absolutely no indication of gorebull warming's influence (Australia's east coast tends to get its greatest thrashings during cooler periods).

Financial crisis puts heat on Australian govt over climate plan - Australia's lunatic- centre-left government is under pressure to water down its plans to tackle climate change as the global financial crisis threatens jobs and economic growth, experts say.

Less than a year after winning office on a strongly pro-green platform, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd faces calls to amend his vision for a carbon emissions trading scheme to begin operating across Australia in 2010.

Opinion polls show wavering public support for dealing with climate change if the economic cost is too high and a number of the firms that will be hit hardest by the plan have urged the government to proceed cautiously. (AFP)

What is Climate Change? - For the next several weeks Climate Science is reposting a number of weblogs that are worth repeating. We have quite a few more readers now than we did when my weblog started. The first reposting appears below. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Did Napoleon Use Hansen's Temperature Data? - It's colder in Russia in October than in September, as Napoleon found out to his cost in 1812.

Flash forward almost 200 years later. NASA has just reported record warmth in October throughout Russia, with many sites experiencing similar temperatures in October as in September - perhaps the sort of situation that Napoleon had hoped for (not similar as anomalies, but similar in actual temperatures in deg C.)

Actually, many stations didn't just experience similar absolute monthly temperatures. Many stations had exactly the same monthly temperatures in October as in September. (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

Climate Action Plans Fail to Deliver: Updated 11-10-08 - Around the country, localities, states and multi-state regions are convening Climate Change Task Forces aimed at developing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As the name suggests, these groups have been created to develop Climate Action Plans that are intended to lessen the projected impacts of anthropogenic climate change around the world in general, but more particularly, in each state.

In every case, the Action Plans include a lengthy list of cookie-cut, prescribed actions spread across all segments of society, and that are aimed towards reducing future emissions of greenhouse gases to a level below some arbitrarily set target. In no case do any of the Plans lay out what quantified effects their recommended emissions cuts will have on local, regional or global climate. The reason why not? None of the Climate Action Plans will have any meaningful effect on the climate – or any change in future temperatures or sea levels.

Here’s why. (Robert Ferguson, SPPI)

Cost, biofuels smudge lines in debate on coal-fired power plant - Cassville — Lawrence Roe seems an unlikely opponent of the $1.3 billion coal-fired power plant Alliant Energy Corp. wants to build in Wisconsin's southwest corner. A 1933 graduate of Cassville High and a retired mining engineer, he was a vocal supporter of the Crandon mine, a controversial project opposed by conservationists.

Yet as he sits on a bench in a park nestled between two other coal plants, Roe looks out at the Mississippi River and makes it clear he opposes this plan to build yet another coal-fired plant. He fears more pollution, and wants his boyhood town to build its future on tourism - attracting birdwatchers and other lovers of nature and the outdoors.

Roe is but one example of what has turned out to be an unusual coal plant debate, taking place during a time of growing concern about emissions linked to global warming and concerns about whether the project is too expensive given a slowing economy.

Some business groups that have endorsed the construction of coal plants in the past - because the energy they produce could be comparatively cheap - are opposed to the Alliant project, arguing it has simply grown too expensive.

At the same time, some conservationists who have spoken out against other energy projects because of their potential disruption of the environment are supporting the Alliant proposal, because the new plant would burn not only coal but also wood waste, switchgrass and cornstalks - homegrown energy crops that could help preserve habitat for prairie chickens and pheasants. (Thomas Content, Journal Sentinel)

Obama's Looming Energy Disaster - I subscribe to an Internet newsletter called Energy Central and the news is getting more depressing every week. Every time I scan the headlines I realize I'm looking at another piece of a gathering energy debacle.

Take last Thursday's edition. Right at the top of the page was the story, "Xcel Energy, eXco Join in Major Wind Farm Developments in Minnesota, North Dakota." It's like this every day. Wind farms of sprouting up all over the country like 65-story mushrooms. The North American Reliability Council estimates we will have 175,000 megawatts of new capacity by 2017 (that's the equivalent of 175 major coal or nuclear plants). Unfortunately, it admits, "only approximately 23,000 MW…is projected to be available on peak." That means these windmills will be idle most of the time. Coal plants operate at 65 percent capacity, nuclear rims at 90 percent. But at best windmills produce only 30 percent of their "nameplate capacity" and they are almost useless on torpid summer days. California has found its windmills running at only 3 percent capacity on hot summer days. (William Tucker, American Spectator)

Green Power Needs Reliable US Grid Planning – NERC - NEW YORK - As the United States attempts to lower carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, it needs a national policy on climate change to help ensure reliable power delivery, said the US watchdog for electric reliability. (Reuters)

Ethanol will curb farm income until economy rebounds, economist says - Ethanol helped drive two years of record profits for grain farmers, but also will hold income down during a looming recession that has already sliced crop prices in half, a University of Illinois economist says.

Scott Irwin says agriculture's fortunes are now tethered more to ethanol than food, making crop growers vulnerable to sharp price swings at filling stations rather than the typically slower cost shifts at grocery stores. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Utilities To Test Solar Power At Traditional Plants - LOS ANGELES - A US utility group announced on Monday a plan to test adding solar thermal energy to natural gas and coal-fired power plants in a move designed to cut fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. (Reuters)

EU To Launch Plan For Caspian Gas, Wind Power - BRUSSELS - Europe should erect more wind turbines, keep a closer watch on oil stocks and improve access to Caspian gas, Europe's energy chief will say this week.

The 27-nation bloc is seeking to reduce its reliance on Russian gas after pricing disputes between Russia and transit states disrupted supplies in recent years and Russia's invasion of Georgia in August stoked tensions. (Reuters)

Greenpeace Says Blocks Palm Oil Ships In Indonesia - JAKARTA - Greenpeace has blocked three tankers due to transport crude palm oil to China and Europe from leaving an Indonesian port in a bid to highlight deforestation caused by the cash crop, the environmental group said on Monday.

The rapidly expanding palm oil industry in Southeast Asia has come under attack by green groups for destroying rainforests and wildlife, as well the emission of greenhouse gases. (Reuters)

Police clash with protesters over nuclear waste train - BERLIN: German police wielding truncheons yesterday beat back environmentalists trying to block a train carrying radioactive nuclear waste from western France to a dump in Germany.

In the largest and most violent anti-nuclear protests in Germany since 2001, activists set fire to barricades on the tracks in the north of the country. Police extinguished the blaze with water cannon, and several protesters and police were injured in the confrontation, police said. (The Australian)

When the news sounds too good… statin, the new wonder drug - “It's a breakthrough study. It's a blockbuster. It's absolutely paradigm-shifting.” — Dr. Steven E. Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio (Washington Post, November 9, 2008)

The news has been nothing short of breathless, as every major news publication has come out with a story on the clinical trial of the statin rosuvastatin (Crestor). Each news story has been more sensational than the last, describing the study’s results as dramatic, huge, spectacular and unprecedented and statins as the wonder drug of hope. The practice of preventive medicine will be forever transformed as a result of this landmark study and the clinical guidelines will be rewritten because of its extraordinary findings, we’ve heard. (Junkfood Science)

A loss for all - Dr. Michael Crichton (1942 – 2008) (Junkfood Science)

Rebecca Goldin on the Use and Abuse of Statistics in the Media - The numbers may be against us because reporters and readers too often fail to dissect the statistics in news reports.

A large audience at the MAA's Carriage House Conference Center on Oct. 28, 2008, absorbed this message when mathematician Rebecca Goldin of George Mason University illustrated how the media miss the mark in the use and presentation of statistics in stories about the economy, health, science, and education. Goldin titled her talk "Spinning Heads and Spinning News: Statistics in the Media."

But that doesn't let readers and consumers off the hook. They need to be aware that inaccurate representations of science shape public policy and legislation and affect people's choices, Goldin warned. Everyone should have some understanding of statistical concepts and their use in such fields as epidemiology and toxicology.

Key concepts include: the meaning of statistically significant; causation versus correlation; relative risk versus absolute risk; scales and orders of magnitude; and margin of error. (STATS)

Police warn of growing threat from eco-terrorists - Police have warned of the growing threat of eco-terrorism after revealing they are investigating a group which has supporters who believe that reducing the Earth's population by four-fifths will help to protect the planet.

Officers from a specialist unit dedicated to tackling domestic terrorism are monitoring an eco-movement called Earth First! which has advocates who state that cutting the Earth's population by 80 per cent will ease pressure on other species. Officers are concerned a 'lone maverick' eco-extremist may attempt a terrorist attack aimed at killing large numbers of Britons. (The Observer)

The Protein Pyramid - Per capita meat consumption more than doubled over the past half-century as the global economy expanded. It is expected to double again by 2050. Which raises the question, what does all that meat eat before it becomes meat?

Increasingly the answer is very small fish harvested from the ocean and ground into meal and pressed into oil. According to a new report by scientists from the University of British Columbia and financed by the Pew Institute for Ocean Science, 37 percent by weight of all the fish taken from the ocean is forage fish: small fish like sardines and menhaden. Nearly half of that is fed to farmed fish; most of the rest is fed to pigs and poultry. (New York Times)

Cyanide to be recycled for drinking water in Queensland - A WIDE range of industrial contaminants including cyanide, pesticides, grease and fertilisers can be included in waste that will be recycled as drinking water for the 2.6 million residents of southeast Queensland.

The Bligh Government insists the contaminants will not pose a health risk as the levels are low.

Industrial and hospital effluent dumped in the sewers of Brisbane and Ipswich will constitute 12 per cent of the wastewater to be recycled. (The Australian)

Plastic additives leach into medical experiments, research shows -- Researchers in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry have shown that using plastic lab equipment can skew or ruin the results of medical experiments.

The researchers identified two classes of chemical compounds in commonly-used plastic lab ware that leach could into solutions. They further demonstrated that the compounds interacted biologically with, and changed the behaviour of, human enzymes and brain receptors in different experiments.

The researchers describe their findings in an article that appear in the latest issue of the academic journal Science. (

November 10, 2008

On Concerns Over Gun Control, Gun Sales Are Up - DENVER — Sales of handguns, rifles and ammunition have surged in the last week, according to gun store owners around the nation who describe a wave of buyers concerned that an Obama administration will curtail their right to bear arms.

“He’s a gun-snatcher,” said Jim Pruett, owner of Jim Pruett’s Guns and Ammo in northwest Houston, which was packed with shoppers on Thursday.

“He wants to take our guns from us and create a socialist society policed by his own police force,” added Mr. Pruett, a former radio personality, of President-elect Barack Obama.

Mr. Pruett said that sales last Saturday, just before Election Day, ran about seven times higher than a typical good Saturday.

A spot check by reporters in four other states easily found Mr. Pruett’s comments echoed from both sides of the counter.

David Nelson, a co-owner of Montana Ordnance & Supply in Missoula, Mont., said his buyers were “awake and aware and see a dangerous trend.” (New York Times)

Quick! Panic! (Oh, and make me a green billionaire): The Climate for Change - THE inspiring and transformative choice by the American people to elect Barack Obama as our 44th president lays the foundation for another fateful choice that he — and we — must make this January to begin an emergency rescue of human civilization from the imminent and rapidly growing threat posed by the climate crisis.

The electrifying redemption of America’s revolutionary declaration that all human beings are born equal sets the stage for the renewal of United States leadership in a world that desperately needs to protect its primary endowment: the integrity and livability of the planet.

The world authority on the climate crisis, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, after 20 years of detailed study and four unanimous reports, now says that the evidence is “unequivocal.” To those who are still tempted to dismiss the increasingly urgent alarms from scientists around the world, ignore the melting of the north polar ice cap and all of the other apocalyptic warnings from the planet itself, and who roll their eyes at the very mention of this existential threat to the future of the human species, please wake up. Our children and grandchildren need you to hear and recognize the truth of our situation, before it is too late. (Al Gore, New York Times)

The Climate-Change Reformation - Al Gore — outdone only by L. Ron Hubbard in his ability to weave science fiction into a religion — is reforming the climate change faith, and turning it toward the discussion of energy independence and American financial viability. The truth, alas, has proved too inconvenient to ignore. Among non-partisan researchers, there is now little doubt that human-generated carbon dioxide makes only an insignificant contribution to climate change. More importantly, there is agreement among virtually all climatologists that the planet is experiencing the beginnings of a cold spell, expected to last as long as 30 years, due to a decrease in solar activity. Most significantly, however, the tangible financial crisis has displaced concerns over the invisible climatological one. With the mercury plunging alongside the Dow Jones, the Gore age is on the way out. (Abe Greenwald, Commentary Magazine)

Fevered imaginings: Changing climate may push more countries past the brink of war - A warmer planet could find itself more often at war.

The Earth’s fast-changing climate has a range of serious thinkers — from military brass to geographers to diplomats — predicting a spate of armed conflicts driven by the weather.

Shifting temperatures lead to shifting populations, they say, and that throws together groups with longstanding rivalries and thrusts them into competition for food and water.

“It’s not hard to imagine violent outbursts,” said Julianne Smith of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. (Kansas City Star)

The wildest imaginings being that we can control the planets' climate.

The end is... overdue?  Revised Theory Suggests Carbon Dioxide Levels Already in Danger Zone -- If climate disasters are to be averted, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) must be reduced below the levels that already exist today, according to a study published in Open Atmospheric Science Journal by a group of 10 scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

The authors, who include two Yale scientists, assert that to maintain a planet similar to that on which civilization developed, an optimum CO2 level would be less than 350 ppm — a dramatic change from most previous studies, which suggested a danger level for CO2 is likely to be 450 ppm or higher. Atmospheric CO2 is currently 385 parts per million (ppm) and is increasing by about 2 ppm each year from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) and from the burning of forests. (Yale University)

What a crock of utter nonsense. What makes them think the recent (in planetary terms) dearth of an essential resource is desirable? Why would you aspire to such a thing?

Spencer update November 9, 2008: The two papers we had submitted to Geophysical Research Letters have both been rejected, with instructions to not resubmit either one. The first paper showed how none of 18 IPCC climate models, in over 1,000 years of global warming simulations, ever exhibits the negative feedback we have measured from global satellite data.

The second paper revealed new satellite evidence that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation modulates the Earth's radiative balance by an amount that, when put into a simple climate model, can explain 75% of global warming over the 20th Century....including the slight cooling between 1940 and 1980.

Since our previous publications have been basically censored by the news media, and I have now experienced scientific censorship (which I suppose was long overdue), I have decided to take my message to the people in a second book.

In anticipation of trouble getting these papers published, I had already started the book awhile is now about 80% finished, heavily illustrated. The working title is: The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World's Top Climate Scientists. My book agent is currently scouting for publishers. (Roy W. Spencer, WeatherQuestions)

Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth - Abstract: The global atmospheric temperature anomalies of Earth reached a maximum in 1998 which has not been exceeded during the subsequent 10 years. The global anomalies are calculated from the average of climate effects occurring in the tropical and the extratropical latitude bands. El Nino/La Nina effects in the tropical band are shown to explain the 1998 maximum while variations in the background of the global anomalies largely come from climate effects in the northern extratropics. These effects do not have the signature associated with CO2 climate forcing. However, the data show a small underlying positive trend that is consistent with CO2 climate forcing with no-feedback. (David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, arXiv)

Paradise almost lost: Maldives seek to buy a new homeland - The Maldives will begin to divert a portion of the country's billion-dollar annual tourist revenue into buying a new homeland - as an insurance policy against climate change that threatens to turn the 300,000 islanders into environmental refugees, the country's first democratically elected president has told the Guardian.

Nope: Coastal flooding; myths and facts in past, present and future sea level changes (Nils-Axel Mörner, Paleogeophyscs & Geodynamics)

Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored - Last month I witnessed something shocking. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was giving a talk at the University of NSW. The talk was accompanied by a slide presentation, and the most important graph showed average global temperatures. For the past decade it represented temperatures climbing sharply.

As this was shown on the screen, Pachauri told his large audience: "We're at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate [than before]".

Now, this is completely wrong. (Michael Duffy, Sydney Morning Herald)

CO2-hysteric Pachauri now has a blog--with a comment section (Tom Nelson)

A New Dawn - The benefits of climate-change policies are limited and costly. Instead, the president-elect needs to coolly evaluate competing priorities, says Bjørn Lomborg.

Most generations face large and daunting challenges. But few generations have the promise of leadership that could address them rationally. Fortunately, President-elect Obama is uniquely positioned to achieve such a feat and help the world solve some of its most entrenched issues.

He will be swamped with suggestions as to what to do first -- perhaps none more impassioned than those who advocate dealing with man-made climate change. He will be told that it is the biggest threat facing humanity and that its solution is the mission of our generation. In many quarters, global warming is now positioned as a kind of uber-issue: a challenge of such enormity that it trumps all others.

Science and economics say otherwise. The United Nations science consensus expects temperature increases of 3 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, leading to (for example) sea-level increases of between one-half and two feet. Yet such a rise is entirely manageable and not dissimilar to the sea-level rise of about one foot we dealt with over the past 150 years. And while warming will mean about 400,000 more heat-related deaths globally, it will also have positive effects, such as 1.8 million fewer cold-related deaths, according to the only peer-reviewed global estimate, published in Ecological Economics -- something that is rarely reported. (WSJ)

Copenhagen Business School professor Bjørn Lomborg is the organizer of the Copenhagen Consensus and author of "Cool It."

Lomborg believes the global warming hype, we don't and we see no plausible physics to suggest catastrophic gorebull warming is remotely possible. That said, he is right about the need to prioritize effort and spending on the most urgent addressable problems.

On the other hand: A New Dawn - As Barack Obama shifts from a waking dream to the real world, he faces the near-virtual reality of climate change. He has to move decisively, Ian McEwan writes. (WSJ)

Fitting that such fantasy comes from a novelist, no?

From the "Why should anyone care?" department: This year’s Antarctic ozone hole is 5th biggest - From NASA News: This is considered a “moderately large” ozone hole, according to NASA atmospheric scientist, Paul Newman. And while this year’s ozone hole is the fifth largest on record, the amount of ozone depleting substances have decreased about 3.8% from peak levels in 2000. The largest ozone hole ever recorded occurred in 2006, at a size of 10.6 million square miles.

The Antarctic ozone hole reached its annual maximum on Sept. 12, 2008, stretching over 27 million square kilometers, or 10.5 million square miles. The area of the ozone hole is calculated as an average of the daily areas for Sept. 21-30 from observations from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite. (Watts Up With That?)

Stratospheric ozone levels are seasonal and irrelevant to life on Earth.

The UN dream of their own global tax revenue lives on: Tax polluters for global warming funds: UN - BEIJING: The global financial gloom will make citizens of rich nations reluctant to use their taxes to fight global warming and any plan to help poor nations should make the polluters pay, a top U.N. climate official said.

His warning cast doubt on a Chinese proposal to ask the world's rich nations to devote up to 1 percent of their total economic worth to pay for cleaner expansion in the poor world. (Reuters)

UN seeks broad Obama role on climate - BEIJING - The head of the UN climate change body has called on the United States to take a more active role in fighting global warming once Barack Obama becomes president.

"With President-elect Obama, my hope is that the US can take on a leadership role and help to move the negotiations forward," said Yvo de Boer, executive director of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

He spoke at a UN-sponsored climate change conference in China's capital that concluded yesterday. The meeting focused on technology transfers between nations, including setting up public-private partnerships that could help developing countries pay for improved energy systems. (Associated Press)

Germany Has Doubts About Obama's Green Commitment - Germany's foreign minister says US climate protection plans will take a back seat to economic concerns, even under a President Obama. Various groups are calling for Obama to back up his green campaign talk.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday he does not expect a radical change in US climate policy after Barack Obama takes over as president.

"America as a whole is not ready for the contribution it needs to make in order to lessen the negative affects of global warming," Steinmeier said.

"The dominant issue in the US has always been energy security. In addition, there are the considerations on how it can make itself independent of uncertain suppliers like Venezuela," the foreign minister said. (Deutsche Welle)

Gone With The Wind - From California to Missouri, four of five environmental initiatives lost at the ballot box. Voters are clearly still not ready for exorbitant costs and excessive regulation without clear benefits. (IBD)

Party tussle ensnares Obama's climate goals - WASHINGTON - Democrats are fighting over control of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the outcome could affect President-elect Obama's efforts to limit the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. (Associated Press)

Harper starts the ball rolling with President-elect Obama - The prime minister has tried to dovetail our climate-change needs with the U.S. (The Gazette)

Why Obama’s ‘Green Jobs’ Plan Won’t Work - It would indeed create jobs, but it would do so by killing other jobs. Is that really what Americans want? (Kenneth P. Green, The American)

Put your hands in the air and step away from that button! World needs climate emergency backup plan, says expert - In submitted testimony to the British Parliament, climate scientist Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution said that while steep cuts in carbon emissions are essential to stabilizing global climate, there also needs to be a backup plan. Geoengineering solutions such as injecting dust into the atmosphere are risky, but may become necessary if emissions cuts are insufficient to stave off catastrophic warming. He urged that research into the pros and cons of geoengineering be made a high priority. (Carnegie Institution)

If the sun does not go into a funk then we are looking at about 0.5 K (°C) warming this century from enhanced greenhouse, something no one will notice. On the other hand the sun could remain quiescent, in which case we are looking at catastrophic cooling.

PREVIEW - Japan Set To Say Emissions Rebounded Last Year - TOKYO - Japan's greenhouse gas emissions rose last year, government data is set to show, underscoring the huge challenge the government faces in meeting its targets under the Kyoto Protocol climate pact. (Reuters)

Course change for Kyoto country: Conservative former trader wins New Zealand vote - WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealanders chose a wealthy, conservative former financier Saturday to help navigate the country through the global financial meltdown, handing long-serving left-wing Prime Minister Helen Clark a crushing election defeat.

John Key, the 47-year-old leader of the conservative National Party, swept easily to power in this South Pacific country of 4.1 million people, ousting Clark's Labour Party after nine years in office.

Key has promised a more right-leaning government than Clark's, which for almost a decade made global warming a key policy issue. (Associated Press)

Lawrence Solomon: Green market risk - If you think the causes of the financial crisis are complicated, just wait until we start trading carbon (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

Carbon scheme: Wong quiet on possible delay - Climate Change Minister Penny Wong gave away no clues yesterday about whether the Federal Government was considering delaying or altering the emissions trading scheme in light of the global financial crisis.

In Melbourne to launch a report on the impact of climate change on Australia's infrastructure, Senator Wong said only that the Government would take economic circumstances into account when designing the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. (Canberra Times)

Carbon crash hits Europe's emission trading scheme - WHILE you were distracted by crashing banks and clashing US senators, you may have missed a small environmental earthquake.

The price of carbon has collapsed. (The Australian)

Recession smudges carbon outlook - The prospect of a full blown global recession could threaten the health of the carbon trading markets, according to carbon market analysts IdeaCarbon, as the slowdown in economic activity across Europe threatens to slash the projected shortfall between European Union carbon allowances and European industry emissions. (Investors' Chronicle)

Oh boy... My View: Carbon bank demands an honest accountant - California's forests have always been an important part of our heritage and our daily lives. We rely on them for water, wood and recreation. We are likely to rely on them even more as a powerful resource to help combat climate change.

Recent polls indicate that almost 90 percent of Californians support protecting forests because they naturally remove global warming pollution from the atmosphere. The good news is that the state's Air Resources Board, charged with implementing California's landmark global warming policy, wisely included forests among the sectors that must help the state meet its targets for reducing carbon dioxide, the primary global warming pollutant. (Laurie Wayburn, Sacramento Bee)

... gorebull warming pollution. About the only real "pollution" in that respect is all the media and activist blathering because increased carbon dioxide-forced global mean temperature change is trivial and as yet undetectably small. It is possible there has been some CO2-forced warming over the 20th Century but the enhanced greenhouse contribution is not yet quantifiable (and it may never be).

Red Hot New Book a Must-Read for Climate Realists - From the author of the New York Times bestselling Politically Incorrect Guide(tm) to Global Warming (and Environmentalism) comes Red Hot Lies, an exposé of the hypocrisy, deceit, and outright lies of the global warming alarmists and the compliant media that support them. Did you know that most scientists are global warming skeptics? Or that environmental alarmists have knowingly promoted false and exaggerated data on global warming? Or that in the Left's efforts to suppress free speech (and scientific research), they have compared global warming dissent with "treason"? Shocking, frank, and illuminating, Chris Horner's Red Hot Lies explodes as many myths as Al Gore promotes. Click here to purchase. (Cooler Heads)

ExxonMobil and polar bear research - Your article (October 1) inaccurately implies that I wrote a paper demonstrating that none of the published studies on the imagined threat to polar bears from imagined "global warming" had followed the established scientific norms for population forecasting because I had received a grant from ExxonMobil. Not so. The rules of the leading journals in which my research is published are clear: the sources of funding must be openly declared in the paper, so peer reviewers can take them into account when deciding whether the scientific analysis has sufficient merit to justify publication.

Since 2002 ExxonMobil has also supported 22 other studies on Arctic wildlife and ecosystems. Main authors of these papers included researchers who proposed the (pointless) listing of polar bears under the US Endangered Species Act. There is, therefore, no more basis for your implication that my results were tainted by ExxonMobil's funding than that other similarly funded results that better suited your editorial prejudice in favour of the alarmist "consensus" were tainted. (Willie soon, The Guardian)

Polar Bear Blog - November 6, 2008 - The Jokes On You - This could be just as good as Pat Broe's honourary degree... Looks like there's no polar bear cam this year, it was bad enough that it was going to start on November 10th (???) but now the swindle is complete folks... This is from the National Geographic site... (Polar Bear Alley)

Climate theory 'like Y2K scam' - The Federal Government's emissions trading scheme has been likened to the ''Y2K scam'' by climate change sceptic Professor Ian Plimer.

In a wide-ranging speech aimed at debunking commonly held views on climate change the professor of mining geology at Adelaide University said the Nationals were the only political party that included climate change sceptics.

''I don't think it's true that all the political parties are supportive of the current government's policy,'' he said.

''Many [rural people] that vote are really going to suffer from any emissions trading.''

He said he would ''really like to know the detail'' of any carbon emissions trading scheme.

''If you thought Y2K was a scam, you wait for this one,'' he told a Sydney Mining Club lunch yesterday. (Canberra Times)

Climate Change. Interview with Hans Labohm (Parts 1 - 4) - In this interview by Kate & Richard Mucci for Matrix News Network (USA), Hans Labohm, expert reviewer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, takes issue with the man-made global warming dogma. Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4

RSS Global Temperature for October: RSS revises data to improve quality - There is some interesting news in the October RSS global temperature anomaly numbers. We are still cooler than one year ago, and the 12 month trend continues to drop. But, the big news is that RSS has revised their dataset to reflect improvements in quality control. (Watts Up with That?)

UAH for October sneak peek - I sent a query to Dr. John Christy, curator of the UAH global temperature anomaly dataset, inquiring about some of the changes in the RSS dataset. In addition to commenting on that, he was also kind enough to send along an advance copy of the soon to be posted UAH data for October, which you can see here.

Here is the plot, not much change, essentially steady up .006°C to 0.167°C from 0.161°C (Watts Up With That?)

Oh... Temp Trends on Rise -- Jennie Williams, of Flintstone, Ga., said she knows the warmer temperatures are unusual, but that's all right with her.

"I love it because I love warm weather," she said. "But I do notice more bugs and pests."

The heat is on in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama.

Temperatures in six Southeastern cities, including Chattanooga; Atlanta; Athens, Ga.; Augusta, Ga.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Birmingham, Ala., ranked in the top 50 of cities across the country showing above-normal average temperatures.

"The climate has been warming. It's pretty unprecedented," said Stephen Konarik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga. (Chattanooga Times/Free Press)

John Christy helpfully provides: This must be a joke. No one compares a single year's temps to the 1971-2000 year normals (a very cool period) as evidence for anything. Mr.Konarik needs to look at the period 1925-1954 - by far the warmest such 30-year summer period in Huntsville AL (see plot of the most rigorous, published time series of North Alabama). The draft CCSP synthesis did the same sort of funny business - comparing current temps to those in the coolest period of record (roughly 1960-2000) rather than the entire period of record.

Along with these graphics.

Another one: Countdown to perilous global warming - The climate clock is speeding up. Governments must take responsibility and protect their people from disaster (Andrew Simms, The Guardian)

Holland Inundated: Another Opinion - Guest Weblog by Hendrik Tennekes - My weblog of October 28 stirred up quite some dust here in Holland. The Director-in-chief of KNMI was upset enough to send me an e-mail (the first ever!) explaining the official position of his institute. He wrote that KNMI supports the choice of 130 cm of sea-level rise as a worst-case estimate based on the worst-case scenario of IPCC. I responded by writing that I felt it was his duty to declare in public that Professors Kabat and Vellinga had made statements that go far beyond this extreme scenario, and were badly damaging legitimate concerns about climate change that way. He did not respond to that. I also sent him a draft of this second weblog, giving him the chance to respond or to prepare a weblog himself. He didn’t react to that either.

In the meantime, my mailbox was inundated. One Dutch climate scientist, who wishes to remain anonymous because of possible loss of job security, sent me the letter reproduced below. I need not comment on the Climate of Fear apparently prevailing in the Dutch climate research community. (Climate Science)

Population: The Critical Component in Global Warming - As I've considered the evidence for global warming and massive climate change over the past fifteen years, I was only vaguely aware of the eight hundred pound gorilla among all the scientific research, a gorilla that had the last say on whether we save our planet or not. That gorilla was the planet's population. Unless we address the population explosion in a comprehensive way, not much else we do will matter as runaway global warming wrecks the planet. (Craig Etchison, Appalachian Independent)

'Runaway global warming'? Not even physically possible on our watery planet. As the World Wildlife Fund announced, "human activities are causing the most rapid decline in species since the extinction of the dinosaurs." We've consigned about 25% of our animals to extinction in the last 35 years so far. Really? Can you name any? Any at all? Actually people have had a hand in several extinctions, mostly through transport of ferals to islands (rodents & cats, mostly accidentally, pigs and goats as emergency supplies for stranded mariners). Most of these have been isolated island subspecies of lizards and the flightless birds of New Zealand (although that was more than five centuries ago during Maori settlement of the islands). A quarter of all animal species over the last 35 years? Utterly stupid and baseless claim.

As far as contemporary species eliminated by man go I can think of one: smallpox and hopefully polio is soon to follow.

This, again: Global Climate Change May Spur Seasonal Sniffles - Many scientists now believe that global climate change is affecting various aspects of human health, including nasal allergies. There is scientific evidence that higher levels of carbon dioxide are warming the atmosphere, which in turn may be increasing plant growth and the pollen that is known to trigger nasal allergy symptoms.

"Global climate change has also been shown to cause allergy season to start earlier and even make pollen more potent," said Matthew Clarke, M.D., board-certified family physician in private practice in New York City. "This may help explain why my patients with seasonal nasal allergies are seeking treatment earlier and earlier each allergy season." (NAPSI)

Global Warming’s Cold Propagandists: Attacking Michael Crichton (Chilling Effect)

Another Parting Gift - Gale Norton has to be happy. In 2003, Ms. Norton, then President Bush’s secretary of the interior (and now a senior oil executive at Royal Dutch Shell), struck a deal with the governor of Utah that would open about 3 million pristine acres of federal land to oil and gas drilling.

Environmental groups and the courts managed to keep the drillers at bay. No longer. In the last few days, the Bureau of Land Management has completed six long-range management plans for Utah that will expose these acres (and as many as 6 million more) to some form of commercial exploitation. (New York Times)

Green giant step for mankind - THE clue to its ambition is in the name. Barack Obama says his No 1 priority on getting into the Oval Office will be something he calls "the Apollo project".

By giving his plans for a green energy revolution, the same name as Nasa's programme to put a man on the moon, he has shown the importance he attaches to it, and signalled the amount of effort and vision it will require to work.

American political analysts believe Obama sees this as one of his legacy projects, one of the epoch-making advances for which his administration will be remembered. (Scotland on Sunday)

Hanging his legacy on fighting a phantom menace...

Meanwhile, in the land of fruits and nuts: California Study Shows High Cost Of Renewable Power - LOS ANGELES - If California expands its renewable power generation to be a third of electricity delivered in the state by 2020, it may cost $60 billion, the state's utility regulator said in a report issued on Thursday.

It is more costly to make electricity with renewable power -- solar, wind, geothermal and other sources that emit no or low amounts of global-warming greenhouse gases -- than with natural gas, nuclear and coal power plants. (Reuters)

Punitive Taxation Of Profitable Oil Industry Won't Break Dependence On Foreign Crude - FLINT, Mi. — With joblessness and serious economic problems rising, the last thing we need is public policy that makes them rise even faster. Yet, there is a danger this could happen if President-elect Obama's proposed punitive taxes on the oil industry are enacted and lead to less energy development. (Mark J Perry, IBD)

If Not Coal, Then What? - Coal is the redheaded stepchild of the American energy business. Yes, coal is dirtier than the other fossil fuels. Yes, it pollutes the air and emits more carbon dioxide per unit of energy than oil or natural gas. And of course, coal mining is a dirty business that scars the earth.

But the U.S. has a surfeit of coal. On a percentage basis, the U.S. has more coal than Saudi Arabia has oil. The U.S. sits atop some 242 billion tons of coal, about 28.6 percent of the world’s coal. At current rates of extraction, the U.S. supply could last 234 years. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, sits astride a mere 21.3 percent of the world’s oil, and at current rates of extraction will run out in about 69 years.

Despite increasing rhetoric about the need for “energy independence” and the rush to build more electric cars in order to fight the scourge of foreign oil, regulators at the state and federal level have imposed a neartotal ban on new coalfired power plants in the U.S. And they are doing so despite steadily increasing electricity demand. In 2007, electricity consumption grew by 2.3 percent over 2006 levels and that rate of growth has been fairly consistent over the past decade.

Coalfired power plants now provide almost half of this country’s electricity. From a cost perspective, it would make sense for the U.S. to continue building more coal plants, particularly if they have scrubbers to reduce their emissions of mercury, sulfur compounds, and other pollutants. But concerns about global warming have largely derailed coal plants. All of which raises the obvious question: If not coal, then what? (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)

$60 on the way to $200 - In 2005, when oil prices were about $60, I predicted on CNBC that the price of oil was inexorably moving towards $100. Others at the time were talking about pulling back to a more “logical” $40.

What happened? The price of oil began steadily climbing, and earlier this year (yes it may seem a lot longer ago) hit the century mark and then proceeded to climb to almost $150. But in September the credit crisis hit. And in October, it became a tsunami that surprised all, including me. Oil dropped back to $60, and it continues to languish at around that price.

In mid-October, OPEC tried to stem the tide by announcing a reduction in production quotas. The market shrugged it off. The price of oil declined that day by $4.

The price gyrations point to a key point with regard to oil prices: there is no linear relationship between supply and demand. This is a margin business where 1 percent of over- or under-supply can bring havoc to the oil price with 50 percent fluctuations down or up. (Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune)

European Union alters climate plan - BRUSSELS, Nov. 6 -- Global concern about the ailing economy has led the European Environment Committee to revise its energy package.

The committee announced that it agreed the European Union should revise key clauses in its climate and energy package to adjust for the current financial crisis. The economic slowdown has hurt carbon credit demand and pricing. (UPI)

EU newcomers want energy security included in bloc's climate deal - Seven European Union newcomer states want the security of energy supplies to be included in the bloc's planned climate strategy, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday.

"The entire European Union has understood the need for secure energy supplies. We want to deftly tie this to the climate package," Tusk told reporters in Warsaw after talks with six other prime ministers.

"Not all the proposals in the (EU's) climate and energy package increase the security of energy supplies from our point of view. This is why we will be looking for real security of supply," he said.

In a bid to curb global warming, the European Commission has set a December target for the EU to adopt a package cutting emissions of greenhouse gases by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. (EUbusiness)

INTERVIEW - Dutch Seek LNG Ties To Boost Energy Independence - AMSTERDAM - The Netherlands is building closer contacts with liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters and developing alternative energy sources to strengthen its negotiating power with large energy exporters such as Russia. (Reuters)

Energy island to supply green power when wind drops - A man-made island housing a hydroelectric plant and generating enough electricity to supply two million Dutch homes is planned for the North Sea by 2020. (The Times)

U.S. Decides One Nuclear Dump Is Enough - WASHINGTON — The Bush administration will recommend that Congress give up the idea of a second nuclear waste dump, dropping a grand bargain struck in the 1980s, and instead vote to enlarge the repository now proposed in Nevada, the director of the Energy Department’s civilian radioactive waste management program said on Thursday.

The director, Edward F. Sproat III, who is in charge of work on the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, said that the process of trying to open one repository had been so slow and expensive that this was not a good time to start looking for another.

The future of the entire repository program may be in flux anyway because President-elect Barack Obama has called for finding another solution. But Mr. Sproat noted that the law called for his department to pursue the opening of the Yucca site. (New York Times)

End ban on new nuclear plants - It should already be clear to lawmakers that the state can no longer afford to rule out the construction of nuclear power plants in Wisconsin.

But if the newly-elected Legislature needs more confirmation on the desirability of nuclear power, it can take a cue from President-elect Barack Obama.

Obama may not be among the most gung-ho supporters of nuclear plant construction. But he made his position clear in two important campaign statements.

"I favor nuclear power as one component of our energy mix."

"It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power from the table." (Wisconsin State Journal)

Finland sets energy targets, may need more nuclear - HELSINKI, Nov 6 - Finland set targets on Thursday to rein in power consumption and raise the share of renewable energy to meet European Union goals for 2020, and flagged the possible need for more nuclear power. (Reuters)

Govt eyes solar power generators for schools - Public middle and primary schools nationwide are to be encouraged to introduce solar power generators as part of efforts to cut greenhouse emissions, the government announced Friday.

Under the new system, companies will be asked to provide financial support for the purchase of solar power generation systems for schools. This financial support would then be counted toward greenhouse gas emission targets introduced as part of a trading plan launched in October.

Efforts by schools and other public bodies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are seen as lagging those of the private sector. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

ANALYSIS - Problems Threaten To Blow UK Wind Energy Off Course - LONDON - The British government insists it is on track to hit ambitious renewable energy targets, but the industry says a swathe of problems in developing wind farms threaten to blow the plans off course. (Reuters)

Can anyone be taking this seriously anymore? - The more the evidence keeps failing to support an obesity-related international health crisis, the more hysterical and frantic the claims become. This week, our friends in the UK have been threatened with proclamations that obesity is the new Black Death and will kill as many of their children and that the obesity crisis will cause cancer deaths to double in the UK by 2050. There can be no other response to predictions with no science behind them than to look to British comedian Dr. Graham Chapman (1941-1989), who would appear in the middle of a skit as the Colonel and pronounce: “You’ll have to stop this now. It’s getting altogether too silly.” (Junkfood Science)

Teaching tots — what our youngest children are internalizing from the war on obesity - This is one of the most heartbreaking studies you may read about this year. Within its findings is the hurt felt by every child who is born with a body that doesn’t fit the norm. This small study of disadvantaged, minority preschoolers in a Southwest community won’t likely make major news. There is nothing to interest commercial or political stakeholders, and nothing to sell … but the need for compassion and understanding. It calls upon us to stop, look and listen what our culture and well-intentioned health interventions are teaching children.

By the age of four they have learned prejudice. Not only towards others, but are also internalizing it against themselves. (Junkfood Science)

Children’s stories with not so happy endings - This is why sound science matters and how stereotypes can hurt the most innocent.

How many children’s books out there have become venues to teach young people prejudice and reinforce stereotypes of others? How many children’s books are being published to scare young girls about their bodies and health, convince them that they have emotional problems, and that their self worth depends on what they look like? The fact this book was published at all, let alone applauded in mainstream media, is the saddest testament of all to the failure of science education. (Junkfood Science)

All of that for not — eliminating sweet drinks in schools fails to reduce overall consumption - To receive federal funds for school meal programs, schools have been required since 2005 to implement local wellness policies addressing food and beverages available for sale, as part of the national agenda to lower obesity rates. School vending machines are a source of sodas and other sweetened drinks, mostly only available at the high school level, and become a focus of efforts to reduce the sweet drinks consumed by young people, under the belief they contribute to obesity. But, to date, there's been no data on whether restricting or eliminating sodas from schools actually matters and has any significant effect on the total sweet drinks and other beverages high schoolers consume. (Junkfood Science)

A new shock ad campaign - Catching up on medical news from the UK, one can’t help but look in wonderment at the logic of allocating limited public healthcare resources. These stories appearing in juxtaposition are a case in point. (Junkfood Science)

PC version: Oversize becomes the norm for children - DEMAND for supersize school chairs that can withstand up to 225kg is growing as schools try to accommodate increasingly overweight students.

One company supplying furniture to schools said the extra-wide seats measuring 522mm across were becoming the chair of choice for schools.

Woods Education Furniture said the German-designed chairs now made up 25 per cent of its total orders, compared with less than 1 per cent five years ago. (Sunday Herald Sun)

Correct version: School chairs built to handle 225kg - But it's not all about size. Mr Webster said the chairs were also proven to help children learn, as they were more comfortable and allowed a range of sitting positions.

"It means they are more attentive, the classroom is quieter and the teaching outcomes are better," he said.

Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Associations president Margaret Black said there was growing evidence that children were outgrowing their chairs.

"We have had complaints that the chairs aren't supportive enough. It's not just an obesity thing. Some of these kids are six-foot (1.8m) tall." (The Sunday Mail (Qld))

Creationism should be taught as science, say 29% of teachers - Twenty-nine per cent of teachers believe that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as science, according to an online survey of attitudes to teaching evolution in the UK. Nearly 50% of the respondents said they believed that excluding alternatives to evolution was counter-productive and would alienate pupils from science. (The Guardian)

Creationism survey is not all it seems - I'm not quite sure what to make of this survey from the website and TV station Teachers TV. It apparently shows that 29% of teachers think creationism should be taught as science and 18% of science teachers think evolution and creationism should be given equal status.

To anyone who cares about science, evidence and rational argument these results should be shocking. Any science teacher who is at all ambiguous about the difference between a scientific based explanation for the diversity of life and a faith based one that contradicts a mountain evidence is not doing their job.

But we should take this survey with a pinch of salt. Firstly, the sample of 1210 is self-selecting - these are people who responded to a survey that was emailed to 10,600 education professionals. So it is possible that people at both extremes of the debate would be more likely to reply.

Also, only a minority of the respondents would actually be teaching evolution anyway - 336 were at primary school, 61 weren't teachers at all and just 248 are actually science teachers. Does it matter what an English or Religious Education teacher thinks about what is taught in science lessons? (The Guardian)

The evolution of science teaching - Keep creationism off the curriculum but train teachers to deal with questions about intelligent design (Adam Rutherford, The Guardian)

Enviro-cranks' poster boy RFK Jr.: Too controversial for EPA? - Some energy and environmental lobbyists are worried that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s controversial past would thwart his Senate confirmation if President-elect Barack Obama tapped him to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

A well-respected climate lawyer, Kennedy has also been in the spotlight for his controversial environmental statements. Last year, for instance, he said that global warming skeptics should be treated as “traitors,” which garnered the ire of Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, whose deep skepticism about the causes of climate change is well-known.

“Robert Kennedy calling me a traitor would be like me calling Robert Kennedy a patriot,” Inhofe retorted on Fox News. (Politico)

Actually the fool could damage the EPA far worse than Browner did, possibly even to the extent of finally convincing voters all things environment should be expunged from the statutes. Touchy-feely voters are long overdue coming to the realization environmentalism is the new name for misanthropy. People first, last and always.

“Environmental Justice” – a Fiction - Oxfam, with the Climate Justice Program and Advocates for International Development are running a competition.

We are calling on lawyers, academics and law students worldwide to put forward the strongest legal case possible to demonstrate that rich countries’ greenhouse-gas emissions are violating the human rights of people in developing countries

The group want entrants to base their imaginary case on the fictional victims of climate injustice in the made up country ‘Algoria’. (Al-Gore-ia. Geddit?) (Climate Resistance)

More dumb green: In Mayor’s Plan, the Plastic Bag Will Carry a Fee - In its struggle to make New York more green, the Bloomberg administration has tried discouraging people from using plastic bags. It has taken out ads beseeching residents to use cloth bags and set up recycling bins for plastic bags at supermarkets.

But now the carrots have been put away, and the stick is out: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has called for charging shoppers 6 cents for every plastic bag needed at the register.

If the proposal passes, New York City would follow the lead of many European countries and become one of the first places in the United States to assess a so-called plastic bag tax.

Seattle voters will weigh in on a similar measure next year, and other places, like Los Angeles and Dallas, have studied the idea. (New York Times)

So naturally, The Crone is all for it: It’s Not Easy Being Green - When Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his grand plan to make New York City “the first environmentally sustainable 21st-century city,” he offered a banquet of 127 excellent ideas. They included congestion pricing, more parks, windmills to produce energy and a promise to plant one million trees in the next 10 years. But as he has learned since that heady day more than a year ago, greening the apple is not automatic. (New York Times)

Putting Gov't First - Two prominent "Republicans" are using the financial crisis as cover to raise taxes. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger must not escape blame.

The Ego That Ate New York is joining forces with the Tax-inator to give the post-election Republican Party a bad name. Of course, longtime Democrat Mayor Bloomberg was only a Republican when it suited his purposes, and left the GOP in 2007. (IBD)

'Clean-up' bees could save endangered hives - Plan to use genetically programmed 'hygienic' breeds to combat parasites (The Observer)

November 7, 2008

The First Green President - President-elect Barack Obama could be the nation’s first green president -- whether he likes it or not. The Greens’ early investment in Obama’s political soul has matured, and they’re already angling for -- and even demanding -- payback. (Steven Milloy,

Vigilance Required - Earlier this afternoon, Rush Limbaugh read from Quin Hillyer’s analysis of what we can expect from an Obama presidency coupled with a highly partisan Democrat Congress. The Democrats, Hilyer argued, would seek “to drastically tilt the playing field, seed our side of the field with land mines and, in short, rig the process to make it next to impossible for the political right, or Republicans, to recover. It will begin with their efforts to secure a filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators (including the two independents).”

This brought to mind a gambit that Team Obama may use to get around the Senate’s decade-long opposition to the Kyoto Protocol — and it is an alarming one.

I will write in more detail on this later, but for now suffice it to say that Sen. Obama has bought into a proposal, drawn up for the Brookings Institution and Resources for the Future by Clinton-Gore Kyotophile Nigel Purvis, to classify Kyoto (II) as an executive agreement (EA), thereby skirting constitutional impediments like the requirement in Article II, Section 2 for the Senate’s “advice and consent” on treaties requiring approval by two-thirds of the Senate. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

The U.N.’s “Green New Deal” - “You can’t pick an empty pocket,” lamented Yvo de Boer, director of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change. With this telling statement, Mr. de Boer expressed his concern that a global recession would decrease the amount of money developed countries could transfer to developing countries for expensive green projects.

These are tough times for the unabashed wealth-spreaders. Yet, as the global economic downturn puts expensive carbon-reduction schemes on hold in country after country, the United Nations remains undaunted — and moves to Plan B. Last month, the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) announced a Green New Deal for the global economy, recalling Franklin D. Roosevelt’s federal “cure” for the depression of the 1930’s. (Kathleen Hartnett White, Planet Gore)

Does Green Energy Add 5 Million Jobs? Potent Pitch, but Numbers Are Squishy - Calls for a clean-energy system in the U.S. have long met with sticker shock. Now, the cost of making the transition -- hundreds of billions of dollars -- is being touted as a selling point.

President-elect Barack Obama and his energy advisers have been making the case that a multibillion-dollar government investment in everything from wind turbines to a "smart" electrical grid is just what's needed to help revive the economy. The lure is millions of government-subsidized "green jobs." (Jeffrey Ball, Wall Street Journal)

ANALYSIS - Investors Want Proof Of Obama "Green" Change - LONDON/SINGAPORE - President elect Barack Obama faces demands for proof of a change in US tack on the climate from "green" investors and businesses around the world. (Reuters)

Wannabe green billionaire: Al Gore Group Urges Obama To Create US Power Grid - WASHINGTON - Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection has some environmental advice for the incoming Obama administration: focus on energy efficiency and renewable resources, and create a unified US power grid. (Reuters)

How sweet! Al recommends the naive president-elect directs public spending to Al's profit-making ventures.

Gore increasingly realizes that a shrinking number of Americans still believe in his climate scam (Tom Nelson)

Green, easy and wrong: Why a verdant New Deal would be a bad deal - TWO pressing problems face the world: economic meltdown and global warming. Conveniently, a solution presents itself that apparently solves both: governments should invest heavily in green technology, thus boosting demand while transforming the energy business.

This notion is gaining credence around the world. Last month the United Nations called for a “Global Green New Deal”. But it is in America that the idea is really taking off. The United States Conference of Mayors reckons that green investment should provide 2.5m jobs. The Centre for American Progress, a leftish think-tank, thinks $100 billion worth of spending in the area would spawn 2m jobs. The new president tops both. Barack Obama proposes spending $150 billion over ten years, thus helping, he says, to create 5m jobs.

There is a historical parallel to this synergy between two worthy aims. Just as military spending at the end of the 1930s defeated both fascism and the Depression, so spending on fighting climate change should both wean mankind off fossil fuels and avert what might otherwise turn into the most serious downturn since the 1930s. Isn’t that neat? (The Economist)

Actually any effort to address the phantom menace of gorebull warming is waste to be avoided.

Germany Urges Obama To Give World New "Green" Deal - BERLIN - The United States after Barack Obama becomes president must work closely with Europe to fight climate change, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday.

"The world needs a 'new green deal'," Germany's Vice Chancellor said in a speech opening a two-day conference "Climate Change as a Security Threat". Steinmeier has warned climate change is a cause of friction and a threat to peace. Germany long has been a leading critic of US President George W. Bush's resistance to cuts in greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. (Reuters)

ANALYSIS - Credit Crisis A Threat To Obama's Carbon Plans - SINGAPORE - US President-elect Barack Obama's credentials may be green, but gathering financial gloom means fixing the economy will take priority on his agenda before dealing with national carbon trading and clean-energy investment. (Reuters)

Nunavut rejects call to curb polar bear hunt - Nunavut has decided to leave unchanged the number of polar bears it allows to be killed each year in one of the largest areas of the territory, rejecting calls for tighter restrictions on hunting to allow the carnivores' populations to recover.

The Ministry of Environment has left unchanged the annual quota of 105 polar bears from the Baffin Bay region. A formal announcement of the decision is expected as early as today. Setting the quota has been highly controversial because it fixes the number of the animals that are available for both Inuit hunting and international big-game hunters.

The Baffin population straddles Canada and adjacent areas of Greenland. The number of polar bears has dropped from an estimated 2,100 in 1997 to about 1,500 today, due to high levels of hunting by Inuit in both countries. (Globe and Mail)

What do people expect? You keep claiming polar bears will crash to extinction due to gorebull warming why shouldn't the Inuit harvest all they can (everyone knows they are toast anyway...)?

Turtles alter nesting dates due to temperature change - Turtles nesting along the Mississippi River and other areas are altering their nesting dates in response to rising temperatures, says a researcher from Iowa State University. (Iowa State University)

Blimey! Critters that have been adapting to changes in local conditions for millennia, like, adapt! And I thought this Non Sequitur strip was a joke.

About as right as they can get by being completely wrong: EU Global Warming Limit May Not Be Possible - IEA - LONDON - A European Union target to limit warming of the planet to no more than 2 degrees Celsius may not be technically achievable, the International Energy Agency said in a report to be published next week.

"Even leaving aside any debate about the political feasibility ... it is uncertain whether the scale of the transformation envisaged is even technically achievable, as the scenario assumes broad development of technologies that have not yet been proven," said the IEA's World Energy Outlook. (Reuters)

Granted, there is no feasible way of protecting standards of living and the economy while completely eliminating fossil fuel use (which is required to achieve the silly atmospheric carbon dioxide level limits supposedly desired). That said there is no possibility humans will drive a 2 °C global mean temperature increase, so technically 'success' is guaranteed. Stupid game...

Are they really this stupid? ANALYSIS - Obama Climate Shift Could Add Pressure On China - OSLO - The United States has a chance to regain lost leadership in fighting climate change under President-elect Barack Obama that would add pressure on countries such as China to do more, experts say. (Reuters)

Developing countries are not about to abandon development just because America chose The One. Sheesh!

China Climate Exchange Sees Cash In Govt Promises - BEIJING - China's first emissions exchange hopes to capitalise on the country's pledges to shift towards cleaner growth, even in the absence of any government caps on production of pollutants, its chief executive told Reuters.

PREVIEW - China Set To Take The Initiative In Climate Talks - BEIJING - China is seeking to seize the initiative in talks on cutting the world's greenhouse gas pollution, pressing rich nations even as global financial turmoil and Barack Obama's victory recast climate change diplomacy. (Reuters)

China Advisor Outlines Climate Tech Proposal - BEIJING - China is promoting a plan to dramatically boost the flow of greenhouse gas-cutting technology from wealthy economies to developing countries (Reuters)

Fossil-fueled helicopters now to battle killer frost that hundreds of years of CO2 emissions couldn't prevent (Tom Nelson)

Cloud radar with a silver lining - it can really predict the weather - A revolutionary system with a signal that reaches twice as high as a plane will enable more localised - and accurate - forecasts (The Guardian)

'Aliens Cause Global Warming' - From a lecture delivered by the late Michael Crichton at the California Institute of Technology on Jan. 17, 2003:

Cast your minds back to 1960. John F. Kennedy is president, commercial jet airplanes are just appearing, the biggest university mainframes have 12K of memory. And in Green Bank, West Virginia at the new National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a young astrophysicist named Frank Drake runs a two-week project called Ozma, to search for extraterrestrial signals. A signal is received, to great excitement. It turns out to be false, but the excitement remains. In 1960, Drake organizes the first SETI conference, and came up with the now-famous Drake equation:

N=N*fp ne fl fi fc fL

Where N is the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy; fp is the fraction with planets; ne is the number of planets per star capable of supporting life; fl is the fraction of planets where life evolves; fi is the fraction where intelligent life evolves; and fc is the fraction that communicates; and fL is the fraction of the planet's life during which the communicating civilizations live.

This serious-looking equation gave SETI a serious footing as a legitimate intellectual inquiry. The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. And guesses -- just so we're clear -- are merely expressions of prejudice. Nor can there be "informed guesses." If you need to state how many planets with life choose to communicate, there is simply no way to make an informed guess. It's simply prejudice.

The Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless, and has nothing to do with science. I take the hard view that science involves the creation of testable hypotheses. The Drake equation cannot be tested and therefore SETI is not science. SETI is unquestionably a religion. . . .

The fact that the Drake equation was not greeted with screams of outrage -- similar to the screams of outrage that greet each Creationist new claim, for example -- meant that now there was a crack in the door, a loosening of the definition of what constituted legitimate scientific procedure. And soon enough, pernicious garbage began to squeeze through the cracks. . . .

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had. (Michael Crichton)

New Paper On Dynamic Downscaling Of Climate Models By Rockel Et Al. Published - Our paper Rockel, B., C. L. Castro, R. A. Pielke, Sr., H. von Storch, and G. Leoncini (2008), Dynamical downscaling: Assessment of model system dependent retained and added variability for two different regional climate models, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D21107, doi: 10.1029/2007JD009461 has been published [this paper was also discussed on the Climate Science weblog of September 8 2008]

Our paper has wide significance on the claims made in reports, such as “Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources Management and Adaptation for the Colorado Water Conservation Board” by Andrea J. Ray, Joseph J. Barsugli, Kristen B. Averyt, Martin Hoerling, and Klaus Wolter, that there is regional multi-decadal prediction skill. This is claim, however, is not supported by the scientific evidence. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Limestone Gives Clues On Rise, Fall Of Dynasties - HONG KONG - Scientists have found a giant 1,810-year-old limestone in a cave in northwest China which offers clues on the strength of Asian monsoons in the past and how they may have affected China's political history.

Certain limestones -- in this case in a stalagmite -- are made up of plenty of oxygen and carbon traces, which provide a valuable record of past precipitation, temperature and vegetation changes. (Reuters) | Dry spells spelled trouble in ancient China: Weakening of summer monsoons to blame (National Science Foundation)

Note the NSF graphic -- so much for Mann's 'vindicated' hockey stick, eh? The Medieval Warm Period is back, making the Modern warm look pretty darn insipid by comparison.

After 2 centuries of shrinking, Alaska glaciers got thicker this year - Two hundred years of glacial shrinkage in Alaska, and then came the winter and summer of 2007-2008. Unusually large amounts of winter snow were followed by unusually chill temperatures in June, July and August. (Anchorage Daily News)

More 'could if might but maybe' from the virtual world: Global warming predicted to hasten carbon release from peat bogs - Billions of tons of carbon sequestered in the world's peat bogs could be released into the atmosphere in the coming decades as a result of global warming, according to a new analysis of the interplay between peat bogs, water tables, and climate change.

Such an atmospheric release of even a small percentage of the carbon locked away in the world's peat bogs would dwarf emissions of manmade carbon, scientists at Harvard University, Worcester State College, and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology write in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

"Our modeling suggests that higher temperatures could cause water tables to drop substantially, causing more peat to dry and decompose," says Paul R. Moorcroft, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "Over several centuries, some 40 percent of carbon could be lost from shallow peat bogs, while the losses could total as much as 86 percent in deep bogs." (Harvard University)

There's about half a dozen variations of this been block released: 'Unprecedented' warming drives dramatic ecosystem shifts in North Atlantic -- While the planet has experienced numerous changes in climate over the past 65 million years, the most significant climate change of the last 5,000 years has been in recent decades. That change is global warming.

A Cornell study reports that as a result of this warming, which has caused Arctic freshwater ice to melt and flow southward, the ranges of some cold-water, northern marine species have been moving down the North American coast -- a counterintuitive finding.

The paleo-climate record shows very rapid periods of cooling in the past, when temperatures have dropped by as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) in a matter of years to decades, but "the rate of warming we are seeing [now] is unprecedented in human history," said Cornell oceanographer Charles Greene, the lead author of the study, published in the November issue of the journal Ecology (Vol. 89, No. 11).

During the past 50 years, melting Arctic ice sheets and glaciers have periodically released cold, low-salt water from the Arctic Ocean into the North Atlantic. This has led to dramatic ecosystem shifts as far south as North Carolina and extensive geographic range shifts of many plant and animal species, he said. One microscopic algal species from the Pacific Ocean, not seen in the North Atlantic for over 800,000 years, has reinvaded the North Atlantic from the Arctic Ocean during the past decade. (

Uh-huh... and this reinvasion has nothing to do with the primary agent of aquatic transfer we hear so much about -- namely ships' ballast water transfer?

What? The sun influences Earth's climate? Sunlight has more powerful influence on ocean circulation and climate than North American ice sheets - A study reported in today's issue of Nature disputes a longstanding picture of how ice sheets influence ocean circulation during glacial periods.

The distribution of sunlight, rather than the size of North American ice sheets, is the key variable in changes in the North Atlantic deep-water formation during the last four glacial cycles, according to the article. The new study goes back 425,000 years, according to Lorraine Lisiecki, first author and assistant professor in the Department of Earth Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. (University of California - Santa Barbara)

Flimflam man blathers again: Flannery says farming's the answer - Farming and forestry hold the keys to resolving global warming, because carbon trading by itself “is nowhere near sufficient” to deal with the crisis, prominent scientist Tim Flannery said last week.

Addressing the CarbonExpo 2008 conference on the Gold Coast, Professor Flannery said there needs to be a renewed emphasis on working with the living planet to address global warming, because by digging up vast quantities of fossil fuel and releasing its carbon into the atmosphere, humans are knocking off-balance the biological systems that create the conditions that make the planet habitable.

“In my view, the global carbon trading scheme is absolutely necessary in order to deal with this crisis,” Prof. Flannery said. “But it is nowhere near sufficient." (The Land)

Calif gov urges tax on oil extraction in state - SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 6 - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Thursday that lawmakers should approve a severance tax on oil production in the state to raise revenue to help close a state budget shortfall that has swollen to $11.2 billion.

"We have drastic problems that require drastic and immediate action -- we must stop the bleeding right now," the Republican governor said in a statement a day after two top lawmakers in the state's Democrat-led legislature also called for an oil severance tax.

Schwarzenegger has previously allied with Democratic lawmakers on a number of environmental initiatives, including a landmark law requiring cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, but has resisted calls from Democrats to increase taxes in general. (Reuters)

Agency Predicts a Return of Triple-Digit Oil Prices - The global economic slump that has curbed energy demand and pushed oil prices down in recent months may provide only a short-lived respite for consumers, according to the world’s top energy forecaster.

The International Energy Agency, which advises industrialized nations on energy policy, warned on Thursday that the supply shortfalls that pushed oil prices into triple-digit territory this year are far from resolved, and could lead to a new period of high prices. (New York Times)

Oil Majors Await Obama's Plan - Anticipating a stronger emphasis on renewable fuels from President-elect Barack Obama, oil-industry executives say they want to see a substantial increase in federal research funding before they commit considerable muscle.

During the campaign, companies were criticized for spending too little of their record profits on developing new fuel sources. But oil companies contend the technology for cleaner energy sources, such as plant-derived fuels, isn't yet ready for wide-scale deployment. Their money is better spent finding new supplies of fossil fuel, they argue.

ConocoPhillips said this week it is deferring an "aspiration" to become a broader energy supplier, and will remain focused on its traditional oil and natural-gas businesses. (Wall Street Journal)

Ottawa swoops in with climate-change offer - OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper is proposing to strike a joint climate-change pact with president-elect Barack Obama, an initiative that would seek to protect Alberta's oil sands projects from potentially tough new U.S. climate-change rules by offering a secure North American energy supply.

Key federal ministers issued the call for a climate-change pact yesterday, less than 24 hours after Mr. Obama won his historic election victory, in a clear bid by Ottawa to carve out a key place for Canada on the new administration's agenda. (Globe and Mail)

Shell secures 25-year access to Iraq's oil, gas - A joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Iraq's state-owned South Gas Co. could give Shell a 25-year monopoly on production and exports of natural gas in much of southern Iraq - the biggest foreign role in Iraq's oil and gas sector in four decades. (UPI)

Gathering clouds: The economic slowdown casts a shadow over the prospects for clean technology - EARLIER this year, with the oil price at record heights, T. Boone Pickens, a celebrated Texas oilman, seemed to confirm the unstoppable growth of the clean-technology industry when he announced plans not only to build the world’s biggest wind farm, but also to spend $58m of his personal fortune promoting the cause of wind power. On October 30th, with oil prices having fallen by more than half, he told a television reporter that the boom he had foreseen in wind would be “put off”, due to the unexpected fall in the price of fossil fuels and the sudden difficulty of borrowing money. (The Economist)

Blow to Brown as BP scraps British renewables plan to focus on US - BP has dropped all plans to build wind farms and other renewable schemes in Britain and is instead concentrating the bulk of its $8bn (£5bn) renewables spending programme on the US, where government incentives for clean energy projects can provide a convenient tax shelter for oil and gas revenues.

The decision is a major blow to the prime minister, Gordon Brown, who has promised to sweep away all impediments to ensure Britain is at the forefront of the green energy revolution. BP and Shell - which has also pulled out of renewables in Britain - are heavily influential among investors. (The Guardian)

Britain burying huge amounts of potential fuel - Britain's biomass industry will miss targets necessary to meet renewable energy goals by 50% unless "blockages in the system" are removed by the government. In a letter to the new energy and climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, representatives from the wood industry say urgent action is required to put biomass back on track. (The Guardian)

Eight Nations Warn EU Over Biofuel Barriers - BRUSSELS - Eight developing nations warned the European Union on Thursday they could file a World Trade Organisation complaint over what they see as unfair barriers being raised against their biofuels. (Reuters)

Scientists perfecting spray-on solar cells - CHICAGO–Researchers have developed some of the tiniest solar cells ever made and said today the organic material could potentially be painted on to surfaces.

So far, they have managed to pull 11 volts of electricity from a small array of cells, which are each just a quarter of the size of a grain of white rice, said Xiaomei Jiang of the University of South Florida, who led the research. (Reuters)

Can living in rainy areas really cause one-third of autism cases? - At first, this study sounded like it might have been published in the Journal of Spurious Correlations or an entry for the Spurious Correlations Contest and would provide a note of levity.

A few years ago, three economists had self-published a paper reporting a correlation between rising rates of cable television subscriptions and autism in Northwest coastal areas since the 1970s. That was funny because, of course, anything that has increased since the 1970s could be said to spuriously correlate with autism; nor had they made any effort to see if the autistic children had even watched more television.

One section of that original paper has just been republished in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association. For real. It reported a correlation between higher amounts of rain and snowfall during 1987-2001 in Northwest coastal areas and autism rates among school-aged children in 2005.

That’s it. (Junkfood Science)

Recycling this one, again: The disappearing male: Studies show rise in birth defects, infertility among men - Are males becoming an endangered species?

That's the question scientists and researchers have been pondering since alarming trends in male fertility rates, birth defects and disorders began emerging around the world.

More and more boys are being born with genital defects and are suffering from learning disabilities, autism and Tourette's syndrome, among other disorders.

Male infertility rates are on the rise and the quality of an average man's sperm is declining, according to some studies.

But perhaps the most disconcerting of all trends is the growing gender imbalance in many parts of heavily industrialized nations, where the births of baby boys have been declining for many years.

What many scientists are calling the most important -- and least publicized -- issue surrounding the future of the human race will be highlighted in a CBC documentary that features two Windsor researchers who've studied the phenomenon. (Windsor Star)

Don't worry girls, numbering more than 3 billion human males are hardly endangered.

Michael Crichton’s Question - In memory of Michael Crichton, who died Tuesday, let us consider a question that preocuppied him: How do we separate science from religion in environmentalism? As a spinner of sci-fi horror stories himself, he had a finely honed skepticism for the apocalyptic scenarios presented by environmentalists. In a speech in 2003, he argued that environmentalism was a modern remapping of Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths: (John Tierney, New York Times)

Ol' Night Soil speaks again: Garrett's green talk makes opposing forces see red - Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has been warned against presenting Australia's environment and economy as competing forces in the wake of a controversial speech in Melbourne at the weekend.

Unions, business groups and the Opposition urged caution from Mr Garrett yesterday after he declared the environment was bigger and more important than the economy.

As Australia faced the worst economic downturn in decades, Mr Garrett told the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand that his priorities were clear.

"Given the serious environmental and economic challenges we face it is worth restating that the environment is not a subset of the economy. (The Land)

No booming economy, no environmental sops, period. Apparently the Midnight screamer hasn't figured out that when faced with a choice between falling living standards for people or bugs, rational people don't choose bugs.

Recycling waste piles up as prices collapse - Thousands of tonnes of rubbish collected from household recycling bins may have to be stored in warehouses and former military bases to save them from being dumped after a collapse in prices.

Collection companies and councils are running out of space to store paper, plastic bottles and steel cans because prices are so low that the materials cannot be shifted. Collections of mixed plastics, mixed paper and steel reached record levels in the summer but the “bottom fell out of the market” and they are now worthless. The plunge in prices was caused by a sudden fall in demand for recycled materials, especially from China, as manufacturers reduced their output in line with the global economc downturn.

Local authorities and collection companies are so concerned about the mountains of paper, plastic bottles and cans that they are having to store that they have called for storage regulations to be eased. (The Times)

Lump together and like it: The problems—and benefits—of urbanisation on a vast scale - IN JANUARY this year a vast number of would-be travellers were stranded at railway stations and on roads in China, after an unusually heavy snowfall blanketed the south of the country just before the country’s new-year festivities. What amazed the world (in addition to the unusual sight of a prime minister apologising for his government’s slowness) was the unprecedented scale of the disruption: an estimated 200m people were on the move.

Governments in many poor countries react with a shudder to this sort of news item—and indeed to any news that seems to expose the fragility of newly urbanised economies. Most of those frustrated Chinese travellers were migrant workers going from cities to their families in the countryside or vice versa. Movement on such a scale seems inevitable, given the sort of urbanisation China and others have experienced: over the past 30 years, the world’s urban population has risen from 1.6 billion to 3.3 billion, and over the next 30 years cities in the developing world are set to grow by an extra 2 billion. But many governments have become doubtful of their ability to cope with urbanisation on such an enormous scale; some have concluded that they ought to slow the process down in order to minimise social upheaval. This view owes as much to anti-urban bias as it does to sober analysis. (The Economist)

People bad... unless they're not: Loss of hill farms could destroy rare upland landscape, experts warn: National parks fear a knock-on effect on precious environments if sheep and cattle farms collapse

Precious upland landscape in Britain will be changed forever if hill farmers are driven out of business because of changes to the way their funding is allocated, national park chiefs have warned.

New figures show that profits on many sheep and cattle farms are likely to drop by up to 40% in the next five years, which could spell the beginning of the end for wild and iconic landscapes that have been grazed for more than 3,000 years.

Experts fear the loss of hill farms in areas like Dartmoor and the Lake District will have a disastrous impact on nature, tourism, water supplies and even climate. (The Guardian)

Peter Foster: Just plain bananas - Two years ago, the U.K.’s appallingly biased Stern Review on the economic impacts of climate change suggested that new taxes be installed to discourage the long haul of exotic fruits. The arch villain was identified as the humble kiwifruit. In May of this year, the Democratic National Convention in Denver demanded that all its food be sourced locally. In 2007, the term “locavore” (one who eats locally grown food) was crowned Word of the Year by the Oxford American Dictionary.

One of the offshoots of climate change hysteria has been a simplistic concern with “food miles,” the distance any comestible has to travel to your plate. Since carbon-fuelled transportation has become a mortal sin, food from far away is declared to be necessarily tainted. Many large corporations have signed up for, or are examining, the long march to shorten food routes. These include British supermarket giant Tesco, mega retailer Marks & Spencer and, in Canada, the foundering but ever politically correct Loblaw Companies.

Food miles have in fact already come under attack as a vacuous concept, but a final recycled nail for the cornstarch coffin comes in a recent study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University by University of Toronto geographer Pierre Desrochers and consultant Hiroko Shimizu. Titled Yes, we have no bananas: A critique of the ‘food miles’ perspective, the study does an excellent job of dispatching the dim bulb notion on a one-way trip to the green bin of history. (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

Food mile myths: Buy global - The ‘food mile’ perspective severely distorts the environmental impacts of agricultural production (Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu, Financial Post)

Even The Guardian knows Charlie is full of it: Indian farmer suicides not GM related, says study - Suicides among Indian farmers have not increased as a result of the introduction of GM crops, according to a large scientific study.

The finding runs counter to arguments often cited by NGOs in the country such as Gene Campaign that oppose GM crops. They say that the supposed hike in suicides is a tragic social consequence of farmers being forced into debt as a result of growing the crops.

Farmer suicides were recently cited by Prince Charles in a lecture via video link to the New Delhi based NGO Navdanya as one of the ills of GM technology. He spoke of "the truly appalling and tragic rate of small farmer suicides in India, stemming in part from the failure of many GM crop varieties."

But the new analysis suggests that if anything, suicides among farmers have been decreasing since the introduction of GM cotton by Monsanto in 2002. "It is not only inaccurate, but simply wrong to blame the use of Bt cotton as the primary cause of farmer suicides in India," said the report from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington DC. "Despite the recent media hype around farmer suicides," it added, "fuelled by civil society organisations and reaching the highest political spheres in India and elsewhere, there is no evidence in available data of a 'resurgence' of farmer suicide in India in the last five years." (The Guardian)

November 6, 2008

Can't say you weren't warned: Environmentalists see high hopes for new Congress - WASHINGTON--Environmental officials said on Tuesday they expect major legislative victories in the new Congress on climate control, chemical plant security, an EU-like chemicals controls bill and a new pollution tax on chemical producers.

As US citizens went to the polls on Tuesday to elect what is expected to be a much stronger Democrat majority in both the US House and Senate, environmental activists are already working up wish lists for key legislation they expect to get through the 111th Congress that will convene in January.

Those expectations are even more optimistic if, as election-day polling suggests, Illinois Democrat Senator Barack Obama wins the White House as the nation’s 44th president.

“The big thing we’re looking for in the next Congress is passage of a cap-and-trade bill,” said Dan Cronin, spokesman for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). (ICIS news)

Obama May Put Renewable-Energy Plan Ahead of Climate Package - Nov. 5 -- President-elect Barack Obama may pursue legislation early next year to speed a transition to an economy fueled by renewable energy sources and delay a fight on climate change until the economy improves.

With unemployment at a five-year high, an early effort to create jobs by encouraging electricity production from solar and wind will get top priority, energy lobbyists and analysts said. A more far-reaching effort on a climate-change bill may be delayed until late next year or 2010. (Bloomberg)

Eye-roller: Bring On the ‘Reality- Based Community' - It took a while to discern the guiding ideology behind the Bush administration's poisonous science policies. The real problem wasn't tax cuts and war spending, even though the combination did strangle domestic programs so severely that scientists at the nation's premier physics lab were ordered to take unpaid leave, and the government is allocating 13 percent less to biomedical research in 2009 than it did in 2004. Nor was the culprit the sop that Bush offered the religious right in 2001 by banning the use of federal money for research on new lines of human embryonic stem cells, paralyzing the field for eight years and sending some of the nation's most promising young biologists overseas. It wasn't even Bush's refusal to take any action to reduce greenhouse gases, allowing U.S. emissions to grow by 178 million tons during his years in the White House and making the needed cuts that much deeper now. No, Obama and Congress can reverse all of that if they want to. The truly poisonous legacy of the past eight years is one that spread to much of society and will therefore be much harder to undo: the utter contempt with which those in power viewed inconvenient facts, empiricism and science in general. (Sharon Begley, Newsweek)

Global Warming Talk Is All Just Hot Air - For a lot of years when I worked in presidential and congressional elections, we lost. Like most of my colleagues, I joined in the finger pointing, blaming the people in charge for running inept campaigns and suggesting that what had not been done was the reason for the losses.

I'm too old and I hope a lot wiser now to take part in that useless exercise. I'll let those sleeping dogs lie, and try to concentrate on what is really important: what the future holds for all mankind. In that context the only part the new political situation plays is Barack Obama's determination to deal with a threat that does not exist — he wants to further cripple the economy by combating global warming that isn't happening when the real threat is global cooling on a massive scale.

As a result, when our attention should be focused on how we can deal with a real and immediate major shift in the global climate, it is concerned instead with how we should approach what is probably an imaginary threat based on imaginary science. Belief that the planet is fast approaching a conflagration that will deep fry the Earth is a triumph of fiction over fact. To waste our time and treasure combating a ginned-up threat, while at the same time ignoring the real challenge is nothing short of blithering idiocy. (Phil Brennan, Newsmax)

Could Obama appoint a "climate czar"? - WASHINGTON - U.S. environmental groups see Barack Obama's presidential victory as a chance to undo the Bush legacy on global warming, and one idea they are discussing is the possibility of a White House "climate czar". (Reuters)

Oh Bill... President Obama’s Big Climate Challenge - As he assumes the presidency, Barack Obama must make climate-change legislation and investment in green energy top priorities. And he must be ready to take bold — and politically unpopular — action to address global warming. (Bill McKibben, Yale 360)

Funny: Climate talks: Obama victory offers hope - One of Barack Obama's first tasks will be to lead the United States back into the heart of the global debate on climate change, ending the country's years of isolation and scepticism.

His victory will spark intense relief among negotiators in Europe and Asia.

Obama has pledged nothing less than a demolition of the policies that since March 2001 have left America friendless and at times a pariah on the issue of global warming.

But analysts caution those who believe Obama's win will now smash the deadlock gripping a new UN deal on greenhouse gases.

On one side, Obama has to swiftly persuade the world that his country is now keen on tackling its colossal emissions of heat-trapping carbon.

But he also has to deal with the lengthy post-inauguration processes in Washington - and secure support for emissions curbs when millions of Americans are worried by their country's sick economy. (AFP)

Regardless of whether Obama and the Democrat regime decide to destroy America's economy there still will not be any agreement on global carbon dioxide emission control because developing countries will not commit economic suicide to appease some Western eco-deity (and they may sabotage the talks to avoid having their best customers committing economic suicide too) while the EU is already learning the costs and running away with as much decorum as shear panic will allow.

Speaking of which: China, Emerging Asia to Fight `Protectionist' Obama - Nov. 5 -- Asia's leaders, led by an ascendant China, say they hope Barack Obama didn't really mean those campaign promises to protect American trade. And if he did, they are in better shape to object than ever before.

To Asian ears, Obama's calls for tougher labor and environmental rules and steps to reduce the U.S. trade deficit sound like thinly veiled protectionism, just as a global financial crisis makes exports more crucial than ever. (Bloomberg)

See also: New EU States Team Up Against Parts Of Climate Plan - WARSAW - Seven eastern members of the European Union on Wednesday upheld a joint stand against parts of the bloc's climate package, which they fear could harm their economies, their leaders said. (Reuters)

And: Carbon Market Slumps on the Back of Widespread Policy Uncertainty and Market Turmoil - The European Environment Committee has backed plans to revise key clauses in the landmark climate and energy package just as the financial turmoil and the expected protracted economic slowdown place severe downward pressures on carbon credit demand and pricing.

Over the past few weeks, several EU Member States have sought revisions of the landmark climate and energy package in order to protect some of their key industries.

Eastern European countries - namely Bulgaria, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Poland - have been vocal critics of the proposed shift from the current free allocation system to the proposed pan-European auctioning mechanism, as fears that this policy would undermine their respective economies set in.

Prime ministers from most of these Eastern European countries had warned fellow EU Member States in Western Europe that they would only support the EU climate policy if their proposed changes were acknowledged. This involved lobbying major Member States - namely France, Germany and Spain - to force major revisions to the EU's plans for the third phase of the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). (Datamonitor)

Even Andy realizes political reality will intrude: The Presidency and the Climate Challenge - Whoever is elected tonight, it’s clear that the next president will face a profound challenge if he wants to make global warming and nonpolluting energy a high priority. A host of surveys show that most Americans remain doubtful, disengaged, or confused about the basic science pointing to centuries-long changes in climate patterns and coastlines if greenhouse gas emissions from burning fuels and forests are not reduced. (Andrew C. Revkin, NYT)

Carbon-Capturing Rock: Geologists discover that certain rock formations could sequester large amounts of carbon dioxide. - Chemical reactions that pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it in the form of solid rock inside geological formations could offset billions of tons of carbon-dioxide emissions each year, according to researchers at Columbia University, in New York. The scientists say that research done on large rock formations in Oman suggests new ways to sequester carbon-dioxide emissions to help lessen global warming. (Technology Review)

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is a resource and we should not be trying to limit it. The great gorebull warming farce has much to answer for.

Pitch from GIM[me your money]:  We Need Sustainable Capitalism - When greeting old friends after a period of absence, Ralph Waldo Emerson used to ask: "What has become clear to you since we last met?"

What is clear to us and many others is that market capitalism has arrived at a critical juncture. Even beyond the bailouts and recent volatility, the challenges of the climate crisis, water scarcity, income disparity, extreme poverty and disease must command our urgent attention.

The financial crisis has reinforced our view that sustainable development will be the primary driver of economic and industrial change over the next 25 years. As a result, old patterns and assumptions are now being re-examined in an effort to find new ways to use the strengths of capitalism to address this reality. Indeed, at the Harvard Business School Centennial Global Business Summit held earlier this month, the future of market capitalism was one of the principal themes discussed. (Al Gore & David Blood, WSJ)

BBC Shunned Me For Denying Climate Change - FOR YEARS David Bellamy was one of the best known faces on TV.

A respected botanist and the author of 35 books, he had presented around 400 programmes over the years and was appreciated by audiences for his boundless enthusiasm.

Yet for more than 10 years he has been out of the limelight, shunned by bosses at the BBC where he made his name, as well as fellow scientists and environmentalists.

His crime? Bellamy says he doesn’t believe in man-made global warming.

Here he reveals why – and the price he has paid for not toeing the orthodox line on climate change. (Daily Express)

Dr Roy Spencer Censored by the Guardians of Politicised ‘Official’ Science? - On November 3rd 2008, two technical papers that Dr Roy Spencer had recently submitted to the journal Geophysical Research Letters were outright rejected in back-to-back emails and on the same day all 78 reviews of his book ‘Climate Confusion’ on were removed from that website. Ironically, this coincides with the publication of his Journal of Climate paper, blogged by Climate Research News here. (Climate Research News)

Parenthetically, the CET results are out for October. Unless the Central England region records an unusually warm final 2 months of the year a top-30 finish looks highly unlikely for 2008 in the "warm rankings" -- in fact a top-50 finish is rather dubious at this point (monthly figures of late have been in the region of 150/350 rank).

Where Have All the Hurricanes Gone? - Ryan Maue of Florida State University documents that Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclone activity is the lowest that has been observed in the past 30 years. Before you get all excited and jump to conclusions, I am happy to report that the latest research shows that more, less, or the same level of tropical cyclone activity is perfectly consistent with predictions of climate models. So the record inactivity should definitely be seen as vindicating the prediction of climate models as well as a potential harbinger of things to come, or perhaps the calm before the storm, or something. (Roger Pielke, Jr., Prometheus)

David Archibald compares various sunspot metrics with the current Solar Cycle (SC) transition, SC23 - SC24 - In the last week or so David has sent me the following graphics illustrating where we might be in the current SC23-SC24 transition period. These warrant an article on their own. I have changed the order from the original post. Comments mainly from David. (Warwick Hughes)

Nighttime tornadoes are worst nightmare -- A new study by Northern Illinois University scientists underscores the danger of nighttime tornadoes and suggests that warning systems that have led to overall declines in tornado death rates might not be adequate for overnight events, which occur most frequently in the nation's mid-South region. (

New Article In Physics Today Titled “A Broader View Of The Role Of Humans In The Climate System.” - Physics Today has just published an invited opinion piece Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: A broader view of the role of humans in the climate system. Physics Today, 61, Vol. 11, 54-55. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

That poor virtual world: Climate change to hit electricity, dams, footpaths - All forms of infrastructure in Australia including electricity, dams, roads and even footpaths will be severely affected by climate change, a new report has found.

Experts from the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering have assessed the impact of global warming on infrastructure.

The report, released today, warned electricity would be hardest hit and more interruptions to supply could be expected.

Drought would slash hydroelectric generation, while hot temperatures interfered with power plants and increased demand for electricity.

More frequent bushfires would interrupt supply. (AAP)

Another one to add to the list: Climate change pushes lemmings to the edge - ONCE famous for their numbers, Norwegian lemmings are disappearing, say scientists who point the finger at global warming. (The Australian)

Global Warming - Who really decides if it exists - Agree with it or not, global warming and greenhouse gas talk is everywhere. And whether it scientifically exists and is man-caused or not, federal agencies are going to have to deal with it as the agencies authorize actions, and comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) and the endangered Species Act (“ESA”). So while many of us are not convinced that global warming is anything except a natural phenomena if it scientifically exists at all, the legal fact is that in getting a federal agency to complete the necessary NEPA documentation and ESA Section 7 consultation to renew a livestock term grazing permit, authorize a mine, develop an oil and gas field, construct or maintain a road, prepare a land use plan, or even authorize a crop payment or EQUIP grant, global warming has to be part of the consideration if the agency wants its decision to survive a challenge in court. (Ag Journal)

Green Initiatives Get Slaughtered in California, Will Media Notice? - Californians by very wide margins defeated two green initiatives that anthropogenic global warming enthusiasts in the media and in legislative houses across the fruited plain should take heed...but will they? (NewsBusters)

America Did Not Elect Al Gore - Chris Horner notes below that Democrats may be reshuffling their Congressional leadership in alarmingly climate-alarmist ways. But do they really have a mandate? (Edward John Craig, Planet Gore)

Obama tries to hide the costs of his global warming solution. - The Apollo Alliance, a coalition of environmentalists and labor unions, wants the federal government to spend $500 billion over 10 years to "build America's 21st century clean energy economy" and thereby "create more than five million high quality green-collar jobs." Barack Obama says he can accomplish the same goal for only $150 billion, which gives you a sense of how reliable these projections are. (Jacob Sullum, Reason)

Under Obama, Dark Days Seen Ahead For Fossil Fuels - WASHINGTON -- Under President-elect Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the fossil fuels industry may face "dark days ahead," while alternative energy sectors are likely to flourish.

Although it will take years to engineer and implement, an Obama administration energy and environment policy marks a tectonic shift for the nation. He would move the U.S. away from petroleum as its primary energy source and towards renewable energy, advanced biofuels, efficiency and low greenhouse-gas-emitting technologies.

Obama won the U.S. presidential race Tuesday evening, sweeping battleground states such as Ohio and Florida.

Sen. Obama's lynchpin policy is a climate change bill that would cap emissions such as carbon dioxide and auction greenhouse gas credits to encourage a fundamental transition away from high emitting industries to low-carbon alternatives. Obama said such a policy would be more aggressive than any other cap-and-trade system proposed.

As part of that policy shift, renewable energy, natural gas, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and advanced electricity transmission are forecast to receive a major boost. Sen. Obama has proposed using $150 billion from the emissions auction to fund such low-carbon alternatives over the next decade. (Dow Jones)

Dark days for a while, probably -- but not for very long as reality intrudes and the need for energy sweeps aside the watermelons' nonsense.

Cutting emissions 'could' reduce revenues - Report by the European Commission argues that reduced energy consumption could lower governments' tax revenues and highlights risk of 'carbon leakage'.

A report due to be presented at a meeting of EU finance ministers tomorrow warns about the economic costs of the EU's proposed energy and climate-change package, arguing that tax revenues could fall.

In its report, seen by European Voice, the European Commission's Economic Policy Committee's working group states that a strong pursuit of the goals set out in the package, which the EU presidency wants agreed this year, would reduce energy consumption and, with it, tax revenues. It also warns that rising energy bills might result in stronger calls for governments to help poorer members of society, which, if heeded, could increase public spending. (European Voice)

The High Price of Higher Energy Costs - Dr. David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation, a past interviewee at The Chilling Effect, has a new web memo on continuing efforts to make power consumption more expensive. This is just one tidbit from “Impact of CO2 Restrictions on Employment and Income: Green Jobs or Gone Jobs?”: (The Chilling Effect)

Berlin urged to speed up energy projects - Germany’s energy regulator is urging politicians to speed up the approval of infrastructure projects to ensure that the country can avoid a looming threat of power shortages.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Matthias Kurth, president of the Bundesnetzagentur, said Germany must do “everything possible to get these things delivered in time” and ensure it was no longer “possible that it takes 10 years to roll out a grid”.

Germany urgently needs new energy transmission grids because of a decision in 2000 to phase out the country’s 17 nuclear reactors. Much of the power that will replace them is going to come from wind turbines built in the north of the country, far from major population centres and industry in the west and south.

Although wind power is popular among the German public, the construction of the high-voltage cables needed to take it to consumers is not. New coal-fired power stations, which will also be needed, are equally unpopular and planning permission can take years. (Financial Times)

The Death of Ethanol: One Thing Wall Street Saw Coming - Once upon a time, ethanol was seen as the future of clean energy and as leading the U.S. to energy independence.

That was 2004, but Wall Street wised up fast that ethanol was ready for a bust. So, in 2006 and 2007, when Wall Street firms started investing their own money in renewable energy companies, they left ethanol far behind.

“It’s such a waste that the government gave free handouts and subsidies to grow a business that wasn’t sustainable,” said one investment banker familiar with the sector. (Heidi N. Moore, WSJ)

Wanted: A Viable Arizona Biofuel Crop -- Researchers at The University of Arizona are considering various crops for bioenergy production that could be grown in Arizona. Bioenergy is the name given to renewable energy made available from materials derived from biological sources. (

Yeah, a lot of people are looking for a viable biofuel crop...

and not just in Arizona: Starving and penniless, Ethiopian farmers rue biofuel choice - With a slight reeling in his gait, Ashenafi Chote ventures into his small plot of land and shakes his head, his eyes full of regret: "I made a mistake".

For the last 10 years, his plot in southern Ethiopia had kept his family of four alive by supplying enough food to eat and even surplus to sell, in a region often ravaged by drought and food shortages.

But since swapping from a subsistence to a biofuel crop several months ago, his once treasured source of income has dried up and, worse still, he and his family are now dependent on relief from aid agencies.

"I used to get four quintals (100 kilograms, 220 pounds) of maize from my land from every harvest and earn more than 2,400 birr (240 dollars). But now, I have lost my precious source," the 25-year-old father of two said. (AFP)

Paper churning - It is a cliche, but it is true, that academics must publish or perish. Papers, and more papers, and more papers still, are what makes for a professorial life.

It’s often—it’s very often—not the quality of the papers that counts, it’s the count of the papers that qualifies one for promotion, tenure, and other glories. In many, or even most, places an informal target number exists, saying have this many or it’s out the door you go.

So it should not be surprising that people eek out every ounce of information from a study and try to write it up in as many ways as possible. If you run, say, a clinical trial, and you can only get one paper out of it, then, if you’ll pardon me saying so, there is something wrong with you.

What usually happens, in for example clinical trials, is that a paper is written describing the trial methodology, even if the study design is no different than dozens of hundreds of other studies. Another paper is written with the main results. Then as many as can are done on subsets of the data, or on the data with various “scales” that are added on to pad out a trial. A “scale” is a questionnaire about a subject like quality of life. Any good clinical trial should be able to generate a minimum of eight papers, and a dozen or more is not unheard of. (William M Briggs, Statisitician)

Government program tied to weight gain in adults - NEW YORK - A Mexican government program that offers cash assistance to encourage healthy habits may paradoxically result in excess weight gain and higher blood pressure in some adults, a study suggests.

The program, which gives impoverished families cash in exchange for attendance at annual medical check-ups and nutrition classes, has been held up as a model for the rest of the world.

But the new study, by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the World Bank, suggests that the program, called Oportunidades, may be having unintended consequences.

The researchers found that among nearly 3,700 adults who entered the program 5 to 6 years earlier, those who received larger cash amounts were more likely to be overweight or obese or to have elevated blood pressure.

For each doubling in cash amount over the years, the risk of being overweight or obese climbed by 41 percent to 57 percent -- even when a number of other factors, like the participants' education levels and household assets, were weighed. (Reuters Health)

No link between gut bugs and obesity -- The types of bacterial bugs found in our guts are not a major cause of obesity, according to latest findings from Aberdeen researchers. (

Peter Foster: Save Capitalism from Harper's - We should remember how little use Sarbanes-Oxley was in heading off current problems

As Barack Obama climbs that steep learning curve on the economy, let’s hope aides shielded him from the latest issue of Harper’s. A series of articles on “How to Save Capitalism” in the latest edition of the magazine invites as much skepticism as would, say, a series on “How to Save Communism” in The Wall Street Journal. Still, at least it amounts to some kind of acknowledgment that capitalism is here to stay, even if Harper’s ideas of salvation would be toxic. (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

Requiem In Pax: Michael Crichton, `Jurassic Park' Creator, Dies at 66 - Nov. 5 -- Michael Crichton, the best-selling novelist whose books such as ``Jurassic Park'' and ``The Andromeda Strain'' envisioned unexpected, catastrophic consequences from scientific exploration, has died. He was 66.

Crichton died yesterday in Los Angeles ``after a courageous and private battle against cancer,'' according to an announcement on his Web site. It said Crichton's works ``challenged our preconceived notions about the world around us.'' (Bloomberg)

The Greens and the Bell-Curve - A little article on the Times website caught our eye.

Cleverer children are more likely to vote for the Green Party or the Liberal Democrats in a general election than other parties when they become adults, research suggests. The study, by the University of Edinburgh and the UK Medical Research Council and published in the journal Intelligence, indicates that childhood IQ is as important as social class in determining political allegiance. The IQs of more than 6,000 subjects were recorded at the age of 10, before any secondary schooling. Twenty-four years later they were asked about their voting habits.

This contradicts our experience of Greens. But this is science. So let’s not put our experience above the scientific method. (Climate Resistance)

Who'd a thought? Stressors affect plants: Extreme weather postpones the flowering time of plants - Extreme weather events have a greater effect on flora than previously presumed. A one-month drought postpones the time of flowering of grassland and heathland plants in Central Europe by an average of 4 days. With this a so-called 100-year drought event equates to approx. a decade of global warming. (Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres)

Argentine Cow Clones May Help Boost Milk Output - BUENOS AIRES - Argentine scientists have found a way to make cows produce more milk by injecting them with a bovine growth hormone produced by cloned and genetically modified dairy cows.

Synthetic bovine somatotropin, which is also called rbST, is already injected into cows to boost milk production, but Argentine researchers say their method is cheaper and produces a natural bovine hormone. (Reuters)

November 5, 2008

The Over-Hyping Of Green - The US green movement is moving forward with its agenda to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) gas emissions. Colorado Governor Ritter has proposed various CO2 reduction measures. Many US state legislatures are beginning to mandate that various percentages of future electrical energy generated come from renewable energy sources. Renewable energy is currently much more expensive than traditional fossil fuel energy. Many cities and states across the US are starting to implement costly programs to reduce CO2 emissions. I doubt that the public is aware of the heavy economic penalties to be paid by efforts to substantially reduce CO2 gases. These CO2 reduction efforts are beginning to be made just at the time we must start to adjust to the serious economic problems associated with the recent severe stock market downturn. (William M. Gray)

The Great Global Warming Swindle - Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Martin Durkin, the producer of the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle. (

Eye-roller: This year's Antarctic zone hole is 5th biggest -- This year's ozone hole over Antarctica was the fifth biggest on record, reaching a maximum area of 10.5 million square miles in September, NASA says. That's considered "moderately large," NASA atmospheric scientist Paul Newman said in a statement. (AP)

Actually we have no indication whatsoever that humans have anything to do with the annual Antarctic Ozone Anomaly (a.k.a 'the ozone hole').

EU Climate Policy Update - The European Union’s climate agenda further disintegrated this week after member states watered down a major renewable energy law. In 2007, EU countries agreed to ambitious greenhouse gas emissions cuts of 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. In early 2008, the EU Commission developed a comprehensive strategy to achieve the emissions targets, which must be accepted by member states before it is implemented. Like all policies that call for significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions, the EU Commission’s climate plan is economically harmful—Open Europe, an independent think tank, estimates that the Commission’s policies would cost the EU $93 billion a year by 2020. With that much at stake, member states have spent all of 2008 protecting their economic interests by weakening the Commission’s strategy with exceptions and exemptions. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

Global warming melts from view now the economy's on ice - GIVEN that we, at least everybody with a government-guaranteed bank account, are all socialists now, everybody understands how cruelly incompetent capitalism is. Especially people who bet big in the prophecies of doom market.

This side of Wall Street there is no better example of a bizarre bazaar where stocks soar and prices plummet, where a jeremiad that was trading at many multiples of its intellectual content one day has no buyers the next, where well-capitalised warnings that the end is nigh are shorted by spivs who have found worse news to invest in.

Consider the sad circumstances of the climate catastrophists. Just weeks ago their arguments were hot stuff, the hottest, accepted as fact by everybody who knew anything about environmental science and many more who didn't. With every announcement that the Barrier Reef was becoming beige, every denunciation of China's outrageous aspiration to provide everybody with electricity, every appeal to supply sunscreen to polar bears, demand for the doomsters' opinions heated up.

They were so successful that when they demanded Kevin Rudd do something about global warming, he did. This was terrific news for the greenhouse gloomsters, which gave the climate change lobby the chance to explain that it was not enough and that the world had 15 minutes max to avoid the environmental abyss.

This in turn generated more attention so that the phone numbers for media-savvy scientists plus Green politicians and their comrades in the commentariat were every ABC producer's go-to guys and girls for explanations of everything involving the weather.

Then the boom went bust and all of a sudden global warming was off the agenda. People became more interested in the state of their superannuation than greenhouse gases. And as for the damage done by economic growth, instead of worrying that there was too much of it the big issue became whether there would not be enough. (Stephen Matchett, The Australian)

Alarmists Still Heated Even As World Cools - It's been a bad year for global warming alarmists. Record cold periods and snowfalls are occurring around the globe. The hell that the radicals have promised is freezing over. (IBD)

If You Don’t Like History, Change It! - Recently I was looking at some graphical temperature data from NASA. I was able to find a graph of United States temperature from 1880 up to 1999. I then went to the NASA GISS site and found the most recent plot of this data. I wanted to compare the two and see if there had been any changes in the trends. Each graph was on a different scale so I had to fit one to the other so they could be compared. After that I saved each image and opened them each in a simple paint program. In this way I could toggle between the two and visually see any changes that might have taken place. (Art Horn, Icecap)

Telling the truth about climate change has become a revolutionary act - Alan Greenspan former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board, a position touted as one of the most powerful unelected offices in the world, in a hearing before Rep. Henry Waxman’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said he got it wrong in answer to questions about his role in the recent financial meltdown. His extremely mobile face deadpanned that his economic models, which he had relied on for 40 years, were wrong. He did not apologize; it was merely a statement of fact that portrayed no irrational exuberance. He gave no hint of concern about the massive damage his reliance on the models had done. Huge losses of money among those who exploited the situation his models allowed, garnered no sympathy. However, the dashing of hope at the bottom of the economic pyramid, the disaster of losing one’s home or job, the stress created by worrying about losing either, and a myriad other such stories in the US and across the world appeared to be dismissed with a wave of the academic and intellectual hand. (Tim Ball, CFP)

Is Climate Change A Co-Equal Threat As Global Urban Unemployment in the Future? - A remarkable news article appeared in The Times by Sean O’Toole with respect to global urban unemployment and crime entitled “The Big Picture: ‘It’s equal to climate change as a future threat’“.

A self-taught photographer David Lurie….[a]n old-school documentarian, using only black and white photography, he has in the past exhibited his stern photos under such heart-warming titles as “Struggling to Share the Promised Land”…… Lurie summarises his interest in the economically marginal communities at the centre of SA’s current crime wave with an analogy: “The global urban unemployment crisis is co-equal to climate change as a threat to our collective future.”

Lurie has a show with his photographs in South Africa as reported at the above website.

What is remarkable about his statement is the important and accurate message that there are major societal problems which need to be dealt with separate from climate.

However, the unfortunate message (or at least one that needs to be definitively shown) is the claim that climate change is equal to the threats posed by urban unemployment and crime. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Observed Climate Change in Florida - In October 2008, the Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change released a draft version of its 14-month effort of developing an Action Plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Florida. The impetus behind the creation of the Action Team and the development of the Action Plan grew out of a summit on climate change (“Serve to Preserve: A Florida Summit on Global Climate Change”) hosted by Governor Crist in July of 2007. This event “gathered leaders of business, government, science, and advocacy to examine the unique risks of climate change to Florida and the nation, and to explore the economic development opportunities available through an aggressive response to climate change.”

Interestingly, while the term “climate change” is splashed all over the place, presumably as the underlying reason for the need of the “Florida Energy and Climate Change Action Plan” in the first place, nowhere within the entire Action Plan is there an analysis performed which demonstrates the impact the that Action Plan’s regulations and recommendations will have on “climate change.” The Action Plan prominently touts its projected impacts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Florida, but nowhere translates the projected emissions reductions to projected mitigation of climate change. Without a quantification of the climate impacts, the value of the Action Plan in achieving its primary goal of protecting Floridians from “climate change” cannot be assessed.

How could such a glaring oversight occur? Simple. The Governor’s Action Team on Energy and Climate Change has a dirty little secret it doesn’t want you to know about—the Action Plan will have absolutely no meaningful impact on the future course of global (much less statewide) climate change. (Robert Ferguson, SPPI)

Reframing the climate change challenge in light of post-2000 emission trends - Abstract: The 2007 Bali conference heard repeated calls for reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions of 50 per cent by 2050 to avoid exceeding the 2°C threshold. While such endpoint targets dominate the policy agenda, they do not, in isolation, have a scientific basis and are likely to lead to dangerously misguided policies. To be scientifically credible, policy must be informed by an understanding of cumulative emissions and associated emission pathways. This analysis considers the implications of the 2°C threshold and a range of post-peak emission reduction rates for global emission pathways and cumulative emission budgets. The paper examines whether empirical estimates of greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2008, a period typically modelled within scenario studies, combined with short-term extrapolations of current emissions trends, significantly constrains the 2000–2100 emission pathways. The paper concludes that it is increasingly unlikely any global agreement will deliver the radical reversal in emission trends required for stabilization at 450ppmv carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Similarly, the current framing of climate change cannot be reconciled with the rates of mitigation necessary to stabilize at 550ppmv CO2e and even an optimistic interpretation suggests stabilization much below 650ppmv CO2e is improbable. (Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows, Phil Trans. R. Soc. A) --h/t GreenieWatch

Poland Proposes EU Carbon Price Cap And Floor - BRUSSELS - Poland has proposed upper and lower limits to the price of permits to emit carbon dioxide in the European Union's flagship Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) at a meeting of EU finance ministers. (Reuters)

Step Aside, Mr. President, Why the Next EPA Chief Could Be America's Most Powerful Leader - The most powerful person who will set forth the vision and tone for America's future may not be Barack Obama or John McCain. It may in fact be the next director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In the race to "do something" about climate change and curb man-made greenhouse gases (GHG), many are turning to the EPA and the Clean Air Act, which empowered the federal government to enforce clean air standards to improve human health and living conditions.

Last week, Barack Obama declared that he would classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant to be regulated by EPA, a major reversal of policy from the Bush administration that could dramatically change the everyday lives of Americans.

While the Clean Air Act has been appropriately used to curb smog, pollution, acid rain and ozone depletion, using it to combat greenhouse gases makes about as much sense as using a power drill to do brain surgery. (Dr. Margo Thorning, DC Examiner)

From CO2 Science this week:

The Carbon-Sequestering Status of Old-Growth Forests: Are they losing or gaining carbon? ... or are they carbon neutral?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 621 individual scientists from 366 separate research institutions in 39 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Pampa del Tamarugal Basin, Atacama Desert, Chile. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Nitrogen (Progressive Limitation Hypothesis - Grasslands): What does it suggest? ... and what do most experiments suggest about it?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Blue Grama, Paper Birch, Western Wheatgrass, and Wheat.

Journal Reviews:
West Greenland Warming: 1991-2004: How dramatic was it? ... and how unprecedented?

Winter Droughts of the Upper Rhine River Basin: How have they varied over the past four and a half centuries?

Winter Floods of the Vistula River: How have they varied over the past millennium?

Engineering Crops to Better Cope With Global Warming: Is it imminent reality? ... or is it merely wishful thinking?

We Live in a Complex World ... and so do Grasshoppers: How does the combination of anthropogenic-induced changes in three environmental factors influence the growth of grasshoppers?

The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change: The Conference will take place in New York City on March 8-10, 2009 (Sunday - Tuesday), at the Marriott New York Marquis Times Square Hotel, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY. Sponsored by the Heartland Institute. For more information, click on the link above. (

CO2 Truth-Alert: The Past Half-Century of Sea Level Rise: In his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives' Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, NASA's James Hansen stated "there is increasing realization that sea level rise this century may be measured in meters if we follow business-as-usual fossil fuel emissions." Agreeing with Hansen, many people have been quick to jump on the CO2-induced global warming/rising sea level bandwagon. But how close to reality are the projections of a future sea level rise that is measured in meters? (

Mount Shasta’s glaciers- proxy for what? - The photo below I took this weekend on my way back from a station survey in the remote northestern corner of California. It shows Mount Shasta getting it’s first significant snow of this precipitation season here in California. (Watts Up With That?)

ANALYSIS - US Vote Seen As One-Way Bet For Solar, Wind Power - SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES - An anticipated Democratic US election sweep is thrilling solar and wind power investors because that outcome is seen as a big step toward establishing federal requirements for alternative power generation.

Analysts said a national mandate for generating renewable power would be a relatively easy first step in any "green" agenda because dozens of states already have such policies, and the cost to a cash-strapped government would be negligible. (Reuters)

Really? What about the cost to cash-strapped consumers?

Bankrupt with the Facts - The blog headline read: "Obama Tells SF Chronicle He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry" and the author charged that the audio of the meeting with Obama "(had) been hidden from the public."

One problem: The charge is utter crap. Far from hiding the meeting, the Chronicle posted audio and video of Barack Obama's meeting with the editorial board on Jan. 17, 2008.

And Obama did not say that he will bankrupt the coal industry. To the contrary, he said, "this notion of no coal, I think, is an illusion." He then explained that he believed in setting emission limits, and letting industry -- including coal -- figure out how to operate within those limits. And: "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."

I was in the room and my ears did not perk up as if Obama had issued a headline-commanding quote, when he said the above. (Debra J. Saunders, Rasmussen Reports)

Energy and the Election - But the key point is that both presidential candidates strongly support a major policy that will not lower energy prices, but raise energy prices significantly. Too bad it wasn’t discussed in the campaign. It will be interesting to see how the American people react to this surprising news in a few months. (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Digest)

Good one! :) Can't we just make diesel so expensive that Antarctic researchers are forced to make do with wind and solar? (Tom Nelson)

Back to burning wood? Economic growth found in forests - Plans to use Scotland's forests to fuel economic growth and increase renewable energy capacity have been unveiled by Environment Minister Mike Russell. A consultation paper wants communities, landowners and the forestry sector to "unlock" the potential of woodlands. Its launch took place on the Annandale Estate in Dumfries and Galloway. Mr Russell said the nation's forests - worth about £850m - could make a vital contribution towards a "greener and wealthier Scotland". The consultation paper - Climate Change and the National Forest Estate - outlines a number of proposals. They include plans to develop renewable energy projects and plant more trees to increase the area covered by woodland. Mr Russell said Scotland's forests could help the country meet its target of 50% of energy being produced by renewable sources by 2020. "Scotland's forests are one of our greatest natural assets and also hold huge potential for greener energy," he said. (BBC)

Licht Sees Crisis Slowing 2009 World Ethanol Growth - PARIS - The world's fast-expanding ethanol industry will be hit by the financial crisis next year as the credit crunch halts or slows expansion in many regions, commodities analyst F.O. Licht said.

In documents made available at the World Ethanol Conference in Paris this week, the analyst estimated world ethanol output will reach about 90 billion litres in 2009, up from 79 billion this year. (Reuters)

ANALYSIS - Solar Sector Shakeout Looms As Credit Crunch Bites - FRANKFURT - Many of the world's solar energy companies could fail or fall into the arms of stronger rivals as the financial crisis raises borrowing costs and as solar module prices fall.

Any such shake-out would in turn precipitate consolidation in the industry, which has for years been attracting heavy investment and government subsidies that have driven supply ahead of demand.

"In our view, too much solar capacity has been added relative to demand, and will lead to oversupply," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote, adding that the consequences would drive module prices down by about 15 percent next year. (Reuters)

Rule of law still applies in Australia, at least: Greenpeace trio fined thousands over smoke stack stunt - Three Greenpeace activists who scaled a smoke stack at a power station west of Brisbane have been ordered to pay more than $23,000 in damages.

Pete Cooper, Paul Grajewski and Julien Vincent, all from Sydney, pleaded guilty in the Ipswich Magistrates Court today.

In July, the protesters scaled the 140-metre high tower at Swanbank and painted the words 'Go Solar' in giant letters.

No convictions were recorded but they were each fined $500 and ordered to pay the clean-up costs. (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

Data dredge of the day: exercise and breast cancer - On Friday, news began reporting that postmenopausal women can cut their risks for breast cancer by 30% with vigorous exercise, and that even moderate physical activity won’t cut it. This was shown, we heard, in a huge study of over 32,000 women followed for 11 years, conducted by scientists at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

We can be certain that no reporter or editor read the study or, more importantly, understood what it had shown. Or, did they really believe it provided evidence that elderly women need to do 23 hours every week of strenuous exercise — like chopping wood, running, competitive tennis or biking uphill — to reduce their risks for breast cancers? (Junkfood Science)

Say what? Autism linked with rainfall in study - WASHINGTON - Children who live in the U.S. Northwest's wettest counties are more likely to have autism, but it is unclear why, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

Michael Waldman of Cornell University and colleagues were searching for an environmental link with autism, a condition characterized by learning and social disabilities.

They got autism rates from state and county agencies for children born in California, Oregon and Washington between 1987 and 1999 and plotted them against daily precipitation reports.

"Autism prevalence rates for school-aged children in California, Oregon and Washington in 2005 were positively related to the amount of precipitation these counties received from 1987 through 2001," they wrote in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. (Reuters)

What is their proposed mechanism? Television viewing -- but they have no idea how much viewing these kids actually did/do. Say it was reduced sunlight exposure and low vitamin D levels (some biological plausibility, at least), why would there be similar autism levels seen in say, Australia, with its relatively low rainfall and high sun exposure? Are north-western 'wet' counties also more likely to have tofu munchers than beef eaters and would this explain the differences observed? As studies go this looks like a washout.

Study links child's autism, parents' mental illness - CHICAGO - In another sign pointing to an inherited component to autism, a study released on Monday found that having a schizophrenic parent or a mother with psychiatric problems roughly doubled a child's risk of being autistic.

"Our research shows that mothers and fathers diagnosed with schizophrenia were about twice as likely to have a child diagnosed with autism," said Julie Daniels of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who worked on the study.

"We also saw higher rates of depression and personality disorders among mothers, but not fathers," she said in a statement. (Reuters)

Gene for brain connections linked with autism - WASHINGTON - A gene that helps the brain make connections may underlie a significant number of autism cases, researchers in the United States reported on Tuesday.

Disruptions in the gene, called contactin 4, stop the gene from working properly and appear to stop the brain from making proper networks, the researchers reported in the Journal of Medical Genetics.

These disruptions, in which the child has either three copies of the gene or just one copy when two copies is normal, could account for up to 2.5 percent of autism cases, said Dr. Eli Hatchwell of Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York, who led the study. (Reuters)

Snake bite is a 'neglected tropical disease' - Snakes kill more people than either dengue fever or skin cancer, according to a new worldwide estimate.

Cobras, vipers, black mambas and other venomous snakes take between 20,000 and 94,000 lives each year, and bite another 421,000 to 1,841,000 people.

However, the economic toll of snakebites could be far greater than many infectious diseases, says Janaka de Silva, an epidemiologist at the University of Kelaniya in Ragama, Sri Lanka, who spearheaded the new report.

De Silva is hoping the study will raise the profile of snakebites. "We want to get the snake bite classified as a neglected tropical disease," he says.

His team trolled published papers, national and regional health data, and hospital records to establish a snake bite death rate for 169 countries where attacks are a problem. ( news service)

Old Europe sees G20 opportunity - Stand back, everybody, the Europeans are coming. It's the end of capitalism, and what we are apparently going to get in its place is some real economic leadership from hard-nosed European interventionists. The days of free-wheeling U. S. laissez-faire are over, welcome to Euro dirigisme.

This Old World Order is apparently going to unfold at the Nov. 15 Summit of G20 leaders, where it looks like French President Nicolas Sarkozy intends to seize the reigns of global economic hegemony from the limp grasp of lame-duck U. S. President George W. Bush. A statement from his office yesterday said Mr. Sarkozy wants "swift, concrete decisions and the definition of a roadmap for the coming weeks."

In partnership with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Mr. Sarkozy is aiming high, nothing less than a "new Bretton Woods," modestly described as a redesign of the post-war global financial architecture. It's highly unlikely this or any other ideas to reshape the world economy will emerge out of the Washington summit, but the bravado out of Europe is certain to grab the headlines.

As of tomorrow, with Barack Obama likely to rise as the dashing new symbol of America, the Bush administration will seem even lamer than past administrations caught between a November election and inauguration day in January. Into this vacuum Mr. Sarkozy apparently plans to inject large volumes of old-style European statism. (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

Killer living wages - The newest social justice fad is another sop to unions that has nothing to do with poverty (Peter Shawn Taylor, Financial Post)

Feds propose much fewer snowmobiles in Yellowstone -- A cap on snowmobile use in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks would be lowered by 40 percent under a federal proposal released Monday in response to a judge's rejection of earlier plans.

Parks officials had proposed allowing up to 605 snowmobiles a day in the two parks, but U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected that plan in September, agreeing with plaintiff environmental groups that it would increase air pollution, disturb wildlife and cause too much noise.

The new plan calls for a cap of 318 snowmachines a day in Yellowstone and another 50 in Grand Teton to the south. Park administrators said they expect it will be adopted by Dec. 15.

Yellowstone winter use planner John Sacklin said the new cap would meet Sullivan's concerns while park administrators again try to form a long-term plan for the machines. The cap would expire after three years. (AP)

Consumer not ready for tailor-made nutrition - In the near future it will be possible to customise the food we eat to individual needs, based on the genetic profile of the individual. Dutch researcher Amber Ronteltap suggests that the consumer market is not yet ready for this so-called nutrigenomics. Ronteltap concludes that many obstacles must be overcome before products based on nutrigenomics become a reality. (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)

November 4, 2008

Oh for goodness sake! Drought land 'will be abandoned' - Parts of the world may have to be abandoned because severe water shortages will leave them uninhabitable, the United Nations environment chief has warned.

Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, said water shortages caused by over-use of rivers and aquifers were already leading to serious problems, even in rich nations. With climate change expected to reduce rainfall in some places and cause droughts in others, some regions could become 'economic deserts', unviable for people or agriculture, he said.

Steiner argued that only urgent action to combat global warming and poverty could prevent the creation of thousands of 'environmental refugees'. Previous UN agreements to reduce global warming emissions and the Millennium Development Goals on poverty had not been met. His warning echoes those of other environment leaders, who have said that water shortages could be the greatest threat posed by climate change. (Juliette Jowit, The Observer)

Yes, providing safe potable water is a critical element of poverty abatement. No, it is not dependent on 'fighting climate change' -- rather just the opposite applies since the world cannot afford gorebull warming claptrap.

If gorebull warming theory (actually the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis) has any validity then the very same marvelous magical multiplier required to boost trivial possible carbon-dioxide-driven warming to catastrophic heating -- increased evaporation and atmospheric water vapor (the only truly significant greenhouse gas) -- then drought becomes less likely. Moreover, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide radically improves plant water use efficiency, making plants less susceptible to drought and increasing surface water runoff into watercourses and impoundments.

Finally, the picture chosen by The Observer demonstrates either their ignorance or deception. Leigh Creek is a coal mining town in South Australia's arid north and far north of Goyder's Line (the 12" rainfall line). While some beef cattle and sheep are raised in these desert conditions it is perfectly normal for large areas to be completely barren (as shown in the picture). What The Observer does not say or does not know is that the carcasses are arranged in a line like that because that is where the property owner dumps dead stock (dragged to a grazed out or perpetually barren area so as not to foul grazing, feeding or watering points). One inevitability of having livestock is that you will also have to contend with deadstock and this is how they are dealt with in the 'outback'. The picture is not the result of a mass die-off of stock but the carcasses of normal mortalities collected from watering points over probably hundreds or even thousands of square miles of very marginal country, where good season stocking rates are measured not in head of livestock per acre but rather the number of square miles per head.

Natural or Anthropogenic Effects on Atlantic Hurricanes, Past, Present, Future? - We have often discussed the observed patterns of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity and what may lie behind them, and we generally have concluded, based upon both our analysis of the data, along with a thorough review of the scientific literature, that identifying a statistically significant and robust human signal in the observed history of Atlantic basin tropical cyclones, whether over the past 100+ years, or in recent decades, is untenable. (WCR)

What is really happening to Greenland icecap? - The Greenland ice cap has been a focal point of recent climate change research because it is much more exposed to immediate global warming than the larger Antarctic ice sheet. Yet while the southern Greenland ice cap has been melting, it is still not clear how much this is contributing to rising sea levels, and much further research is needed. (Huliq News)

Selling Global Warming - Network television and other media are using global warming to sell the news. I’ve been a television meteorologist for 29 years, and have been affiliated with CBS, ABC, NBC, and PBS. Over nearly three decades of weather forecasting on television, I have seen many changes. The least of these changes have been in the atmosphere. By far the greatest changes have been in the television industry itself.

The major television networks, newspapers, magazines, and other media are not in the truth business – they are in the news business. This is not to say they are in the lying business however, what they consider to be news and truth is blurred due to the need to produce a profit in a “climate” of shrinking revenues. There’s an old maxim in the business: “If it bleeds it leads.” If a story has blood and drama it will be the first one on the news. Global warming stories are now bleeding all over the headlines.

What I’m saying is this: all those stories you’ve seen about drowning polar bears, bigger hurricanes, more droughts, increased wildfires, and melting polar caps may not be true. (Art Horn, Energy Tribune)

Are Evangelicals On the Global Warming Bandwagon? - For more than three years, a number of politicians and media observers have prophesied about the fracturing of the coveted “Evangelical Vote” over the issue of environmental stewardship. And during the same period, a handful of evangelicals have toiled to persuade the faithful that manmade global warming is such a serious threat that it deserves top priority in their social witness.

Now, as Election Day approaches and both parties vie for that Evangelical vote, one can’t help reminding the candidates that global warming hype, despite all the media buzz, is not an issue that evangelicals embrace.

National Association of Evangelicals Vice President for Governmental Affairs Richard Cizik and Evangelical Environmental Network President Jim Ball, among others, have spoken at hundreds of churches, colleges, and other venues promoting the “Green” evangelical cause. Two years ago they even managed to persuade 86 high-profile pastors, college presidents, and others to sign “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action” – a declaration heralded by mainstream media that normally ignore evangelical pronouncements on other, less politically correct issues.

Yet there was less to that document than met the eye. Its backers fell short of their main goal: endorsement by the National Association of Evangelicals, representing over 30 million evangelicals. (Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation)

ANALYSIS-European climate backlash puts global deal at risk - BRUSSELS, Nov 3 - Europe's plan to lead the world towards a deal on fighting climate change has been seriously imperilled by a backlash by Italy, Poland and other east European nations wary of the short-term costs. (Reuters)

China Sends Global Warming Ransom Note - China has now destroyed Western hopes for a new global warming agreement, just weeks before global talks in Poland aimed at writing a successor for the Kyoto Protocol- which expires in 2012. China has attached a ransom note to its Polish meeting RSVP: They might go along with a new warming pact if the rich countries agree to hand over 1 percent of their GDP-about $300 billion per year-to finance the required non-fossil, higher-cost energy systems the West wants the developing countries to use. (Dennis T. Avery, Right Side News)

Canada An Environmental Slouch, Study Says - TORONTO - Canada's environmental record is among the worst in the industrialized world, due in part to its poor performance fighting global warming, according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada on Monday. (Reuters)

The anti-Australia Institute: Australia Carbon Scheme Should Omit Agriculture - Report - SYDNEY - Australia's $29 billion-a-year agricultural industry should be charged for polluting rather than included in a carbon emissions trading scheme planned by the Australian government, an independent public policy research group said on Monday. (Reuters)

RBA board member Warwick McKibbin urges delay on emissions trading scheme - KEVIN Rudd's 2010 timetable for an emissions trading scheme is under fire from a Reserve Bank board member who has backed the Coalition's push to delay the scheme.

Climate change economist and RBA board member Warwick McKibbin, who has proposed his own alternative trading scheme, recently warned that the Government's proposed carbon trading scheme will make Australia's economy more vulnerable to global economic shocks.

But as the RBA prepares today to release its interest rates decision, Professor McKibbin has gone a step further, calling on the Government to delay the proposed 2010 start to it emissions trading scheme. (The Australian)

October becomes warmest on record for L.A. - Thanks to an 11-day heating streak, October 2008 has become Los Angeles' toastiest in history.

Climatologists called it an upset because they expected a cool down in the last few days of the month. But because of the heat-trapping effects of urban development and global warming, L.A. has been getting progressively warmer in the last century. (Los Angeles Times)

Global warming? Not even - it's called the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE). Berkeley Lab have a good example here: "Cities all over the world have been warming up in the summer over the years. Los Angeles is a striking example of how a city was transformed into an urban heat island. In the 1930s, Los Angeles was an area covered with irrigated orchards. The high temperature in the summer of 1934 was 97°F. Then, as pavement, commercial buildings, and homes replaced trees, Los Angeles warmed steadily, reaching 105°F and higher in the 1990s."

FACT: Only Computer Illiterates believe in "Man-Made" Global Warming - What people do not understand is that there is no proof of "Man-Made" Global Warming without using irrelevant computer models. Yes computer models have a place in engineering but are utterly useless at fortune telling, I mean "climate prediction". With engineering you can build and test in the real world to confirm the computer model's accuracy. You can do no such thing with the planet Earth and it's climate. You cannot build a planet and it's atmosphere to "test" your computer climate model.

I am a computer analyst and can program a computer model to do whatever I want. If you program a computer model so that X amount of CO2 increase "forces" X amount of temperature increase then it will happen, this does not make this true in the real world. (Popular Technology)

I don't think the claim is accurate, at least not literally so. The bigger problem is that quite computer literate people do not know enough of other disciplines to realize how bad climate models truly are, so they believe the output. Others (probably most) are unaware that gorebull warming is model-driven at all, so their computer literacy is irrelevant. The one truly appalling part of this is that climate modelers have divorced themselves from real-world research to the extent they believe their process models capable of prognostication and that model output constitutes and can substitute for actual data. While driven by subterfuge and misdirection by a relative few the scam thrives because most researchers assume published papers must be accurate and so base their assumptions on supposedly demonstrated affects which do not exist. A classic example being the 2.5 times magnifier of warming expected from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide due to water vapor enhancement. In the real world increases in water vapor appear to inhibit enhanced greenhouse as a net effect and actual climate sensitivity is between one-fifth and one-tenth that imagined by the model fraternity. Empirical data shows they should be dividing by a similar factor as they are multiplying -- but that won't generate any "climate emergency" to keep the politicians throwing our money at them, will it?

“Beware of geeks bearing formulas” - Those are the words of Warren Buffet, who warned of the coming credit crisis. Buffet—one of the very few—had little faith in the “complicated, computer-drive models systems that many financial giants relay on to minimize risk.”

Reader Dan Hughes reminds us of this article in today’s Wall Street Journal, which looks at why AIG did so miserably.

AIG built a lot of models which attempted to quantify risk and uncertainty in their financial instruments. They, like many other firms, tried to verify how well these models did, but they only did so on the very data that was used to build the models.

Now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that we often talk about how easy it is to build a model to fit any set of data. In fact, with today’s computing power, doing so is only a matter of investing a small amount of time.

But while a model fitting the data that was used to build it is necessary condition for that model to work in reality, it is not a sufficient condition. Any model must also be tried on data that was not used—in any way—to build it.

What happened at AIG, and at other financial houses, was that events occurred which were not anticipated or that had not happened before. Meaning, in short, that the models in which so many had so much faith, did not work in reality.

There is only one true measure of a model’s value: whether or not it works. That it is theoretically sound, or that it uses pleasantly arcane and inaccessible mathematics, or that it matches our desires, or that “only PhDs can understand” it are all very nice things, but they are none of them necessary. Many complex models which are in use are loved and trusted because of these things, but they should not be. They should only be valued to the extent that they accurately quantify the uncertainty of the real-life stuff that happens (climate models anyone?). (William M Briggs, Statistician)

Which is it? Trees Cool Or Heat the Planet? Studies Give Contradictory Results - Marc Morano has alerted us to an interesting contradiction with respect to how landscape affects the climate system which he headlines “Subject: Which is it? Trees Cool Or Heat the Planet? Studies Give Contradictory Results “. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Obama and Your Energy Bills - Sean Hannity takes on Obama's gleeful promises to bankrupt coal companies and cause your electricity rates to skyrocket: (Edward John Craig, Planet Gore)

Video of Obama's Bankrupting Coal Industry Remarks - On Sunday, my colleague P. J. Gladnick helped break the story about Barack Obama discussing how his carbon cap and trade proposals would bankrupt coal-fired power plants. (NewsBusters)

Obama's Mine Shaft - Barack Obama's plan to bankrupt anyone building a new coal plant prioritizes global warming myths over U.S. energy independence. It also wields government power punitively and will hurt the economy. (IBD)

A Bankrupt Media, Too - I can’t let Obama’s San Francisco Chronicle quote on coal go by without sharing a couple of comments from inside the belly of the MSM beast. Because the story is as much about the media as it is about Obama’s green radicalism. (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

Coal Association Calls Obama-Biden a Disaster, Will Media Notice? - The Ohio Coal Association, in response to revelations about Barack Obama's extremely hostile position towards coal-fired power plants, issued a statement Monday claiming, "the Obama-Biden ticket spells disaster for America's coal industry and the tens of thousands of Americans who work in it." (NewsBusters)

Gulf petrodollars help UK go green - The fight against climate change will get an unexpected boost today from oil-rich Gulf states which will pledge to invest some of their petrodollar profits in British green energy projects.

The surging oil price over the past year has left parts of the Middle East awash with cash as the rest of the world is squeezed by the credit crunch, making Arab royals some of the few active investors worldwide. The Gulf states have enjoyed a $1.4 trillion windfall from higher oil prices since 2003. (The Observer)

What to do when 'green' industry goes bust? Try to flog it to cashed-up Arabs, of course. At least it's one last straw for these poor guys to clutch at:

A Splash of Green for the Rust Belt - LIKE his uncle, his grandfather and many of their neighbors, Arie Versendaal spent decades working at the Maytag factory here, turning coils of steel into washing machines.

When the plant closed last year, taking 1,800 jobs out of this town of 16,000 people, it seemed a familiar story of American industrial decline: another company town brought to its knees by the vagaries of global trade.

Except that Mr. Versendaal has a new factory job, at a plant here that makes blades for turbines that turn wind into electricity. Across the road, in the old Maytag factory, another company is building concrete towers to support the massive turbines. Together, the two plants are expected to employ nearly 700 people by early next year. (New York Times)

May: European Emissions Trading Plan 'Contrary to International Law' - The Air Transport Association, industry trade organization for a number of US airlines, expressed harsh opposition this week to the European Parliament's October 24 final approval of legislation covering the world's airlines under the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

In a speech delivered before the European Aviation Club in Brussels, ATA President and CEO James C. May drew attention to a proliferation of new aviation taxes and charges within the European Union (EU), pointing out how these taxes and fees are counterproductive to the industry's ongoing environmental progress. May said that, "Masquerading under the banner of supposedly 'protecting' the environment, these measures threaten to stifle the growth of the industry, compromise our environmental progress and, ultimately, raise prices for consumers, leaving them to take alternative, less safe, higher emitting modes of transportation."

May also emphasized that the EU legislation adding aviation to the ETS -- opposed by the United States and many other countries -- violates international law and reverses the progress being made with ongoing fuel-efficiency and environmental innovations. It is estimated that this European cap-and-trade system would impose an annual cost to airlines (over and above the cost of jet fuel) of several billion dollars in 2012, tripling in 2020. (Aero-News Network)

A new epidemic: kidney stones in children? - This is a pop quiz of critical thinking skills: (Junkfood Science)

Child's sleep linked to adulthood obesity risk - NEW YORK - Consistently getting a good night's sleep may help protect children from becoming obese as adults, a study published Monday suggests.

Researchers found that among more than 1,000 people followed from birth to age 32, those who got too little sleep as children were more likely than their well-rested counterparts to become obese adults.

Even with a range of other factors considered -- like childhood weight and TV habits, and adulthood exercise levels -- there remained a link between sleep deprivation during childhood and obesity risk later in life. (Reuters Health)

Study links teen pregnancy to sexy TV shows - CHICAGO - Exposure to some forms of entertainment is a corrupting influence on children, leading teens who watch sexy programs into early pregnancies and children who play violent video games to adopt aggressive behavior, researchers said on Monday.

Researchers at the RAND research organization said their three-year study was the first to link viewing of racy television programing with risky sexual behavior by teens.

"Our findings suggest that television may play a significant role in the high rates of teenage pregnancy in the United States," said Anita Chandra, a behavioral scientist who led the research at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.

"We're not saying we're establishing causation, but we are saying this is one factor that we were able to prospectively link to the teen pregnancy outcome," Chandra said in a phone interview. (Reuters)

Business braces for more government regulation - WASHINGTON - Business groups are bracing for a wave of new regulation next year, no matter who wins the White House. And some lobbyists already are pushing back by warning that too much regulation would worsen an ailing economy.

"The pendulum never stops in the middle," said Bruce Josten, chief lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Others, such as groups representing financial services, are seeking to use regulatory overhauls to advance their own priorities. Some industry groups are even replacing Republican lobbyists with Democrats, in anticipation of a larger Democratic majority in Congress, if not a victory for Sen. Barack Obama.

Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing "an enormity of costly new government programs" that would burden the economy and small business, Josten said. (AP)

Mammoth step in bringing back extinct species - Resurrection of frozen extinct animals, such as woolly mammoths, could be a step closer to reality, with scientists cloning mice from the brain cells of dead mice which had been in a deep freeze for more than a decade.

The cloned mice were able to reproduce normally and have healthy babies.

It had been thought this approach would not work with frozen animals, because ice crystals in their cells would have damaged their DNA.

But a Japanese team of researchers, led by Teruhiko Wakayama of the RIKEN research institute in Kobe, developed techniques to get around this problem, producing clones from mice which had been kept at -20 degrees for 16 years. (Sydney Morning Herald)

November 3, 2008

Atlantic SSTs and Saharan Dust (and Hurricanes) - In our last World Climate Report article, we described new findings that verified older findings that the patterns of sea surface temperature (SST) variations in the Atlantic Ocean (including in the tropical Atlantic region which is the birthplace of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes), are largely a reflection of natural variability, with some anthropogenic warming thrown in for good measure.

This time, we report on new research that finds that rather than a large dose of anthropogenic warming, a decline in the amount of dust coming off of the Saharan desert may have collaborated with multidecadal natural oscillations to produce the observed warming trend in Atlantic tropical SST over recent decades. An implication of this finding is to further lessen any impact than human emissions of greenhouse gases may have had on the observed behavior of Atlantic hurricanes, including the recent upturn in activity. (WCR)

With all respect to the guys at World Climate Report they just don't get it.

  • Humans are liberating previously lost (sequestered) carbon, returning it to the atmosphere and biological availability.
  • Plants are thriving with the reducing scarcity of this essential resource.
  • Some of this increase in bioactivity is reducing plants' water requirement.
  • This increased drought resistance and vigor is greening the Sahel and Sahara.
  • Oil-rich Arab States are also actively planting on sand dunes to reduce wind-borne dust and sand storms.

Note that these actions are driven by fossil fuel use and the profits there from and that they are reducing the dust that inhibits hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin. Q.e.d. people and carbon dioxide are increasing the ferocity of Atlantic hurricanes. What greater demonstration of evil corporate influence on the world do these guys need?

Atlantic Hurricane Season 2008 Withers on the Vine - The North Atlantic hurricane season has nearly come to an end. As November progresses, the chance of another storm developing becomes smaller. Climatology (last 60 years) tells us that roughly 4 in 10 years see a November storm formation including 4 in 2005 (Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon), Hurricane Michelle (2001), Hurricane Lenny (1999), and Hurricane Kate (1985). Jeff Masters from the Weather Underground has an image of previous early-November storm tracks especially clustered in the Western Caribbean.

So, what has the 2008 season wrought in the North Atlantic and how well did the seasonal prognosticators fare? (Climate Audit)

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Global Warming Fantasies Meet Financial Contraction - Whoever is elected president, global warming legislation is going to be passed in Washington next year.

Legislation proposed by both John McCain and Barack Obama will require that the cost of energy to become so high that people will avoid using it. The serious question is: why would we do this in the current economic environment? Why would we take away capital that people would otherwise use to invest in companies that produce efficient things when that capital is already being destroyed at an alarming rate?

Other nations that embraced the abject environmental failure known as the Kyoto Protocol and imposed higher energy costs are fleeing from climate change policies as their economies implode. Only the U.S. seems eager to commit economic suicide over global warming. (Patrick J. Michaels, Cato)

Climate Change Bill makes chilling reading - Who says the Almighty has not got a sense of humour? Last Tuesday MPs spent yet another six hours discussing what is potentially the most expensive single piece of legislation ever put through Parliament.

The Climate Change Bill, which had its third reading, commits Britain (uniquely in the world) to an 80 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

As MPs droned on about the need to fight global warming, Peter Lilley drew the Speaker's attention to the fact that, outside on the streets of Westminster, snow was falling. It was London's first October snowfall for 70 years, and similarly unseasonal snow was carpeting a wide swathe of Britain.

In all that six hours of debate, only two MPs questioned the need for such a Bill, which had swept through its second reading with only five opposed.

The sole MP who tried to raise the matter of the cost of the Bill - which could run to trillions of pounds if all its measures were implemented - was Mr Lilley. He was ruled out of order by the Speaker.

If the Bill's intent is taken seriously, the cost of cutting our CO2 emissions by 80 per cent would cripple our economy, closing down much of what remains of our industry and rendering most motorised transport impossible.

But the cloud cuckoo land that our politicians have floated off into no longer touches scientific or practical reality at any point. (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

Save us, please, from those who would save the earth - Snow fell on London this last week, a beautiful blanket of snow -- the first to fall in the month of October since the year of grace 1922 -- while the Mother of Parliaments gave third reading to an extraordinary piece of legislation, which will put a huge new bureaucracy in place to monitor and fight global warming, sucking taxes from a shrinking British economy.

This is an example of what is now called, in urban parlance, the "Gore effect," after the Nobel-prize-winner and former U.S. vice-president. It is defined as, "The phenomenon that leads to record cold temperatures wherever Al Gore goes to deliver an important statement on global warming, or by extension, to sharp temperature drops wherever a major discussion of global warming takes place." (David Warren, The Ottawa Citizen)

The true cost of emissions trading - One of the problems of being a sceptic about Australian carbon price policy – as opposed to a denier about greenhouse gas science – is that the Canberra bureaucrats seem unable to perceive, let alone concede, the central fallacy of their “it won’t really hurt” advice to the Rudd government.

Advice, it would seem from his Brisbane speech last Thursday, that has been swallowed hook, line and sinker by Treasurer Wayne Swan.

The latest modelling from the Treasury keeps rolling right along the yellow brick road laid down by Ross Garnaut in asserting that the net economic effect of introducing emissions trading will be benign.

However, as polling is starting to show, at least some voters are beginning to understand that the eagerness of ETS brigade to look way out to 2050 for positives might gloss over some real pain in the here-and-now. (Business Spectator)

Hmm... wonder if this is why we aren't hearing much about the Arctic at present? Daily Updated Time series of Arctic sea ice area and extent derived from SSMI data provided by NANSEN. (Arctic ROOS)

Great Barrier Reef could adapt to climate change, scientists say - THE prediction of a prominent marine biologist that climate change could render the Great Barrier Reef extinct within 30 years has been labelled overly pessimistic for failing to account for the adaptive capabilities of coral reefs.

University of Queensland marine biologist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg said yesterday that sea temperatures were likely to rise 2C over the next three decades, which would undoubtedly kill the reef.

But several of Professor Hoegh-Guldberg's colleagues have taken issue with his prognosis.

Andrew Baird, principal research fellow at the Australian Research Council's Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, said there were "serious knowledge gaps" about the impact rising sea temperatures would have on coral.

"Ove is very dismissive of coral's ability to adapt, to respond in an evolutionary manner to climate change," Dr Baird said.

"I believe coral has an underappreciated capacity to evolve. It's one of the biological laws that, wherever you look, organisms have adapted to radical changes." (The Australian)

Oh brother... Coming up in the next two weeks: 3-5 November, Paris, France. THE IMPORTANCE OF MILITARY ORGANISATIONS IN PROTECTING THE CLIMATE: 2008. This Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development workshop aims to summarise emerging and available climate protection technologies suitable for military and civilian applications; focus on military-unique problems not solved by technology developed for civilian applications; and present case studies of military and commercial leadership to protect the climate. A conference report will be published with consensus findings, including proven strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving military effectiveness. (ICTSD)

Probably what the watermelons have against warming: Summer Births, Winter Deaths - July is the most hectic month at maternity wards in Finland nowadays. But in the 1970s, early spring was the busiest season for births. Meanwhile more deaths are occurring during the winter than ever before. (YLE)

Global warming: Good news for California's coast? - Two weeks ago in Southern California, Santa Ana winds threatened to drive two fires in Simi Valley — the Porter Ranch and the Sesnon Fire — on a path through the sun-baked hills towards the ocean. But instead of building in strength and destructiveness, as the winds often have in the past, the Santa Anas died down after a couple of days, much to the relief of firefighters and homeowners in the area.

Could this diminution of wind be traced to global warming? (Ventura County Reporter)

Could it be traced to gorebull warming? Why not? Most everything else is.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Mock Global Warming - I saw this tonight on TV during commercial break for an episode of The Simpson’s and looked it up, just to make sure it wasn’t a joke. It isn’t. (Watts Up With That?)

Interview On Mother Jones - Mother Jones has just published an interview with me by Kiera Butler that was conducted several months ago: Q&A: Roger A. Pielke Sr. It is discussed very effectively by my son on Prometheus yesterday (see).

As written in the Prometheus weblog, it is a pretty good interview (although some editing would have made several of the issues clearer and the header to the interview oversimplifies my perspective). Nonetheless, presenting my different perspective, which is broader and more inclusive than reported in the IPCC and CCSP reports, is an example of open-minded and effective journalism. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Magnetic Portals Connect Sun and Earth - During the time it takes you to read this article, something will happen high overhead that until recently many scientists didn't believe in. A magnetic portal will open, linking Earth to the sun 93 million miles away. Tons of high-energy particles may flow through the opening before it closes again, around the time you reach the end of the page.

"It's called a flux transfer event or 'FTE,'" says space physicist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Ten years ago I was pretty sure they didn't exist, but now the evidence is incontrovertible." (Science @ NASA)

Evidence of sunspot involvement in climate change compelling - Over the last few years, the evidence that sunspots on our sun are directly related to climate change on earth has been steadily increasing.

I explained the exact proposed mechanism in some detail previously. Great work in this field is being carried out by Dr Henrik Svensmark and coworkers in Denmark and elsewhere.

Briefly, the mechanism is that cosmic rays impact on the earth from deep space. These cosmic rays penetrate our atmosphere and lead to the formation of cloud cover. The cosmic rays nucleate sites in the atmosphere, from which clouds form from the natural water vapour. (Kelvin Kemm, Engineering News)

They laughed at Reagan for saying something similar: Chemical released by trees can help cool planet, scientists find - Scientists discover cloud-thickening chemicals in trees that could offer a new weapon in the fight against global warming. (The Guardian)

Reagan was right though, trees do contribute quite a lot of emissions to the atmosphere, some of which are smog ingredients. Forests also affect weather and ultimately climate in a number of ways: evapo-transpiration; aerosols; surface wind speed (topography and drag) and albedo, to name just a few. The net sign of forest-induced/related feedbacks to the climate system is unknown, see, for example, Can’t See the Warming for the Trees.

Fewer than 1 in 10 young travelers fall for carbon scam: Gen Y not as green as it thinks - Contiki is the biggest youth travel company in Australia and it takes the pulse of the market with an annual survey. This year the much-talked-about issue of green travel is the focus, with Contiki attempting to find out whether talk about responsible travel is just hot air.

The Shades Of Green report, which records the answers of 515 people between 18 and 34, makes for interesting reading. Not least is the figure showing that a surprisingly low percentage of young travellers, 9 per cent, put their money where their mouth is to offset their travel, even though 54 per cent say they believe in carbon-neutral travel. (The Age) [em added]

What people say in polls is no guarantee anyone's willing to pay for what they say they desire: Greenspace no guarantee of greenbacks (.pdf). You'd think at least politicians would have figured that out by now.

Alarmist Naomi Oreskes: 15-minute video - At the 12-minute mark, Oreskes expresses frustration because the American public, especially Sarah Palin, doesn't share Oreskes' severe CO2-phobia. (Tom Nelson)

U.S. must rally to fight climate change, Thomas Friedman says - While sharing a taxi cab with Al Gore, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asked the former vice president - who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for drawing the world's attention to the problem of global warming - for a written apology.

"I wanted him to write a column in which he apologized for underestimating climate change," Friedman told a crowd of about 250 people Thursday at Corte Madera's Book Passage, his only Bay Area appearance.

Friedman was only partially joking. Although he's written extensively about terrorism, globalization and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Friedman believes climate change may be the greatest threat the United States - and the world - has ever faced.

"Climate change is bringing about 'global weirding,'" said Friedman, the author of "Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution And How It Can Renew America."

"Hot weather will get hotter, wet weather will get wetter, droughts will last longer and violent hurricanes will become more frequent." (Marin Independent Journal)

Treasury is no longer a bastion of reason - ON Sunday, October 12, Treasury signed off on Kevin Rudd's unlimited bank deposit guarantee.

On Thursday, the Treasury modelling on his emissions trading scheme was released. These events bookend the shredding of Treasury's credibility over 18 days in October.

The first was inexcusable, creating a mess for markets and investors. The second was disgraceful, a statistical fraud on the Australian people. Apart from the sheer waste of time and resources -- and balloons of carbon dioxide released. (The Australian)

Sheesh! World Bank Tries To Keep Global Warming On Agenda - The World Bank's private-sector investment arm said Friday that climate change remained on the agenda despite the turmoil currently afflicting global financial markets.

"We need to think about both the short term... but also about the long term, future generations," Lars Thunell, executive vice president of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), told a briefing in Beijing.

He said that climate change "will continue to be on the top of everybody's agenda, and should be." (AFP)

Hidden Audio: Obama Tells SF Chronicle He Will Bankrupt Coal Industry - Imagine if John McCain had whispered somewhere that he was willing to bankrupt a major industry? Would this declaration not immediately be front page news? Well, Barack Obama actually flat out told the San Francisco Chronicle (SF Gate) that he was willing to see the coal industry go bankrupt in a January 17, 2008 interview. The result? Nothing. This audio interview has been hidden from the public...until now. Here is the transcript of Obama's statement about bankrupting the coal industry (NewsBusters)

Obama: I’ll make energy prices “skyrocket” - In another clip from the same January 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in which Barack Obama promised to bankrupt anyone foolish enough to build coal-burning power plants, he also made an interesting admission about his entire energy plan. Obama told the editors that his policies would make energy prices “skyrocket” as the energy industry passed along the exorbitant costs of his cap-and-trade policy: (Ed Morrissey, Hot Air)

The Battle Over Coal - The future of coal use is inextricably bound up with the climate debate. While nuclear power’s carbonneutral credential has split climate alarmists, the reemergence of King Coal the bête noir of ecowarriors everywhere as the fuel of choice for power plants has reunited them. The result is an outright declaration of war on coal use. For Greens of all shades, coal and its carbon dioxide emissions represent nothing less than the apocalyptic tipping point for the planet’s future. And in its cause, governments are to be swayed, courts besieged, and the battle taken to the streets. (Peter C. Glover, Energy Tribune)

Everyone but the US? Brazil’s Petrobras agrees to explore for oil offshore Cuba - Brazil is scheduled to sign on Friday an agreement with Cuba for deep-water oil and gas exploration and production. The event is considered the highlight of the two day visit of President Lula da Silva to the island beginning late Thursday. (Mercopress)

Judge Kills Mayor’s Try at Greening Taxi Fleets - A federal judge dealt a blow on Friday to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s efforts to improve air quality in the city, blocking a rule that all new taxis must meet stringent fuel efficiency standards.

The rule, which was scheduled to take effect on Saturday, would have made it mandatory for most cabs to be hybrid gas-and-electric vehicles by 2012. In response to the judge’s order, the city signaled that it would seek to achieve similar results by other means, perhaps by creating a system of incentives that would effectively push most cab owners to buy hybrid vehicles instead of the less fuel-efficient Ford Crown Victoria model that is the workhorse of today’s taxi fleet.

Fleet owners and other industry members had filed a lawsuit against the rule, which is a major component of the mayor’s effort to make city policies more environmentally responsible.

The judge, Paul A. Crotty, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, issued an injunction to stop the city from enforcing the rule because, he said in a written order, the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in a key legal argument —that only the federal government has the right, under existing laws, to set fuel efficiency standards. (New York Times)

Italy Resists As EU Carmaking Nations Sign CO2 Deal - BRUSSELS - Italy stood by small car makers like Fiat on Friday, refusing to join France, Germany and Britain in a deal to cut carbon dioxide emissions. (Reuters)

Pickens delays world's biggest wind farm project - The multibillion dollar project to build the world's biggest wind farm in Texas has been delayed because of the fall-out from the credit crunch and the drop in the price of natural gas, it emerged today.

T Boone Pickens, a renowned Texan oilman who is raising the capital for the wind farm, told a US television station today that the twofold problem was slowing down his ambitious plan. Pickens, who made a fortune from the oil industry but has been converted to renewable energy as a means of ending US dependence on foreign oil, announced the original plan for the wind farm last year and construction was supposed to start in 2010. (The Guardian)

Another one bites the dust: Ethanol maker VeraSun files for bankruptcy protection - VeraSun Energy Corp., the second-largest U.S. ethanol producer, filed for bankruptcy protection after making bad hedging bets on corn, a raw material used to make the fuel.

The petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Wilmington, Del., listed both assets and debt of more than $1 billion. The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based producer and seller of ethanol, which was formed in 2001, has 16 production facilities in eight states and an annual capacity of about 1.64 billion gallons of ethanol, according to its website. (Bloomberg News)

Banana bread diet - Remember Google Health? Sure you do. We were invited to type in personal information about ourselves — diet and lifestyle habits, smoking and alcohol intake, medical history, family history, screening and lab tests, prescription medications, weight, age, ethnicity, etc. — at Google Weaver online. In return, Google would offer custom “health guides” that would provide health information targeted for us by Google’s trusted advisors to help us make the right healthcare decisions. While there’s no legal protection for how that personal information about us can be used or who it can be shared with or sold to, we were told to trust Google to keep it private.

At Harvard Medical School in Boston on Tuesday, Google co-founder, Adam Bosworth (no longer at Google), revealed more insights into his newest healthcare marketing enterprise, called Keas, Inc.. He said this new online technology will offer a highly personalized web-based program “to enable people to change their lifestyles — to make them part of the solution.”

“The solution to what?”

Obesity. (Junkfood Science)

Twas the night of Halloween - It’s that time of the year again, when scary stories of spooky dangers hiding behind every door go into high gear. It’s not ghosts and goblins some parents fear, but candy and sweets, razor blades in apples, and Halloween madmen.

Trick-or-treating has long been a night of fun, when kids get to dress up, eat gobs of candy and bring their fantasies to life, but for some parents it’s a witching night that threatens to permanently tempt children to the dark side of unhealthy eating. (Junkfood Science)

Definitions are everything - A medical journal editor with a sense of humor or, perhaps, making a comment on current disclosure guidelines? (Junkfood Science)

“Sustainability” runs amok in my town of Chico - About two years ago I was asked by my local city councilman Larry Wahl to serve on the city of Chico “sustainability task force”. I was initially enthusiastic, but the talk soon turned away from alternative energy solutions that I embrace, to getting a city wide inventory of carbon emissions. The task force, chaired by Vice Mayor Ann Schwab didn’t seem the least bit interested in solutions, but focused on tallying carbon emissions in town. That effort didn’t make a lot of sense to me then, since it gained the city nothing.

Now I know why, it was a prelude to taxation followed by wanton spending. They had to inventory to know how to tax. The “greenhouse gas” report they issued on September 2nd of this year had a number of oddball fees, taxes, giveaways, and edicts, such as a city wide gasoline tax, and even free electricity handouts to city employees for sustainable commuting. All of this while we are in an economic downturn and city financial crisis. This is why I can no longer support Ann Schwab, even though I worked with her. (Watts Up with That?)

In Bush's end-game, lots of changes on environment - WASHINGTON - As the U.S. presidential candidates sprint toward the finish line, the Bush administration is also sprinting to enact environmental policy changes before leaving power.

Whether it's getting wolves off the Endangered Species List, allowing power plants to operate near national parks, loosening regulations for factory farm waste or making it easier for mountaintop coal-mining operations, these proposed changes have found little favor with environmental groups.

The one change most environmentalists want, a mandatory program to cut climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions, is not among these so-called "midnight regulations."

Bureaucratic calendars make it virtually impossible that any U.S. across-the-board action will be taken to curb global warming in this administration, though both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama have promised to address it if they win Tuesday's U.S. presidential election. (Reuters)

America: We will still hate you - ‘Anti-Americanism didn’t begin with George Bush and it won’t end with an Obama presidency’ (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

What utter rubbish: The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops - When Prince Charles claimed thousands of Indian farmers were killing themselves after using GM crops, he was branded a scaremonger. In fact, as this chilling dispatch reveals, it's even WORSE than he feared. (Andrew Malone, Daily Mail)

Biotech is not at fault, grinding poverty, failure to prevent fraudulent seed sales and discriminatory agricultural policies are. Four-day tourist Andrew Malone talked to a couple of people and drank deeply of antidevelopment Kool-Aid.

GM bean could help prevent heart attacks - The first genetically modified foods with direct benefits for human health should be available within four years after successful experiments in the United States.

A GM soya bean that can help to prevent heart attacks has passed the first phase of trials, clearing the way for its use in foods such as spreads, yoghurts, cereal bars and salad dressings.

The research, at the University of South Dakota, has shown that oil from the GM soya can raise blood concentrations of long-chain omega3 acids, which are found chiefly in oily fish such as salmon, trout and fresh tuna. They protect against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and help the growth of brain cells in the young.

Omega3 acids are regarded as so important that the Food Standard Agency (FSA) recommends a portion of oily fish every week, although 70 per cent of adults ignore the advice.
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Efforts to promote fish consumption have raised concerns about fragile marine stocks, but the GM soya offers a sustainable, fish-free way in which people can maintain a diet rich in omega3 fatty acids. (Mark Henderson, The Times)

EU Agency Says French GMO Maize Ban Unjustified - PARIS - Europe's top food safety agency said on Friday that France's ban on a genetically-modified maize developed by US biotech giant Monsanto was unjustified. (Reuters)