Archives - October 2008

October 31, 2008

IgNobels for Obama - Seventy-six American Nobel laureates in science endorsed Barack Obama this week. Despite their scientific successes, their political analysis just doesn't make the grade. (Steven Milloy,

ANALYSIS - Obama To Go Green, But Push Could Be Costly - WASHINGTON - The green revolution has ground to a halt with the collapse in oil prices, right?

Don't bet on it if Barack Obama makes it to the White House with an agenda to create jobs while weaning the country off foreign oil. (Reuters)

Bill McKibben envisions the first year in office for our next Climate Change President - The election campaign has (unofficially) lasted almost two years. It’s featured endless discussions on health care, the housing crisis, and who should get blamed for something their minister said. But when we elect a new leader, among his very first jobs will be figuring out how to deal with global warming. He almost certainly won’t want it to rise to the top of his to-do list, but it will. He who comes next is the Climate Change President. (Bill McKibben, Plenty)

Uh, Bill? you're supposed to be electing the President of the United States, not fantasy world.

NOAA: U.S. breaks or ties 115 cold and sets 63 new snowfall records - Of course many of you that live in this weather already know this, but there is an early start to winter this year, not only in the USA, but also in London, where it snowed in October for the first time in over 70 years.

So far, no mention of this broadly distributed U.S. record event in the mainstream media. There are a few individual mentions or record lows in Florida. (Watts Up With That?)

Global Cooling is Here! Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades - In 2007-2008, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) and computer modelers who believe that CO2 is the cause of global warming still predict the Earth is in store for catastrophic warming in this century. IPCC computer models have predicted global warming of 1F per decade and 5-6C (10-11F) by 2100, which would cause global catastrophe with ramifications for human life, natural habitat, energy and water resources, and food production. All of this is predicated on the assumption that global warming is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 and that CO2 will continue to rise rapidly. (Professor Don Easterbrook, Western Washington University)

Greenpeace Resurrects JFK for Global Warming Ad Campaign - Web video depicts dead president warning climate change 'threatens our very existence,' claims 'technology and renewable energy offers the last remaining hope.' (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

International climate talks are ‘on track’ – Harlan Watson - Discussions on a new global agreement to tackle climate change should be completed in time to meet an end-2009 deadline, according to the US’s chief climate change negotiator.

In an exclusive interview with Carbon Finance last week, Ambassador Harlan Watson said the crisis in the global economy is “clearly not helpful” to negotiations, as it has pushed the climate issue down the political agenda and governments will have less money available. But he said there was still considerable interest at the highest political levels in addressing climate change.

Watson will lead the US negotiating team at the UN’s climate change conference in Poznan, Poland, in December. This meeting will feed into a series of tough negotiations that will culminate in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009, where a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol needs to be agreed in order to give national governments two years to ratify it, before Kyoto expires in 2012.

“It’s considered by many observers that progress is slow, but it’s the normal course of things. If you look back on the history of Kyoto, that was a two-year-plus process. Everything will undoubtedly come together at the end,” Watson said. (Carbon Finance)

On track but to where?

The climate change bill: a futile and very costly folly - It snowed in London last night – the first time it had snowed in October since 1934. And as the temperatures plummeted our elected representatives voted in favour of the climate change bill which includes draconian man-made CO2 emissions cuts of 80% by 2050 (raised recently from 60%) in order to save the planet from “dangerous global warming” and frying to a cinder.

As I discussed on 15 October, there is no dangerous global warming. Indeed there is no global warming - the planet is, if anything, globally cooling. And as I also discussed then, even if one accepts the hypothesis that by cutting man-made CO2 emissions one could “control” climate change, British efforts, unless backed by the other large emitters, would be futile in the extreme. We account for less than 2% of global emissions – and falling. China and India, for a start, have better things to do than comply with westerners’ neo-colonial diktats on reducing their CO2 emissions and restraining their economic development. (Ruth Lea, CentreRight)

FEATURE - "Carbon Army" Hopes To Grab Slice Of New Deal Cash - LONDON - A growing "carbon army" of environmentalists, bankers and investors has seized on official backing last week for major public spending announced in Britain and the United States.

They see it not just as a way to boost flagging economies, but also as an opportunity to promote investment in green energy projects. (Reuters)

Heidelberg attacks EU carbon trading plans - HeidelbergCement says the European Commission's planned extension of its emissions trading scheme in 2013 could threaten cement production in the EU. The company cites studies by management consultants McKinsey and the Boston Consulting Group that say the price of the emissions permits that will be required to produce and transport cement could reduce the price competitiveness of EU-manufactured cement by -50% to -100% by 2020.

HeidelbergCement, which has 36 cement plants in the EU, 12 of which are in Germany, said that in the worst case scenario the scheme could add € 920 million to its annual costs from 2013. "If we were forced to close the German plants, for example, we could offset this with the construction of two new high-performance production facilities in China with an investment volume of € 300 million", said Dr Bernd Scheifele, chairman of the company's Management Board. (Construction Europe)

China’s White Paper on Climate Change - The State Council Information Office issued a white paper today entitled China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change. In the words of the press release the paper describes that China actively participates in worldwide efforts to address climate change, earnestly observes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, and plays a constructive role in international cooperation in this regard.

This new White Paper should be read in conjunction with the China’s National Plan for Coping with Climate Change issued in June 2007 if you want to have the full picture of China’s public pronouncements on climate change.

Because of its importance, CELB has compiled the English translation of the White Paper into one document (”Climate Change White Paper”) which we have placed in the right sidebar under “Laws & Regulations” so that our valued readers won’t have to click through 11 pages on the site.

I’ve only had a chance to quickly scan it, but it seems to be about what you’d expect if you have been paying attention to these issues for awhile.

Lots of talk about adapting to climate change. This should not be surprising. China is fixated on self-sufficiency. If the solution to a problem lies beyond its exclusive power to control (such as climate change), then it will naturally begin to figure out how to cope with the problem.

Any signals it will change its stance in the next round of climate change negotiations? None. The White Paper notes the industrialized nations’ overwhelming contribution to present atmospheric carbon loadings, but does not acknowledge China’s new status at the world’s number 1 carbon emitter. (China Environmental Law)

Predicting the climate future - How successful will efforts to reduce carbon emissions actually be? And what will that mean for our climate and society? These are the billion-dollar questions that everyone working in climate research, conservation, human development, government and even business would love to know the answers to. With that in mind, UK sustainable development charity Forum for the Future has teamed up with Hewlett Packard’s HP Labs to devise five scenarios for the social, political, economic and psychological consequences of climate change by the year 2050. (ERL)

How about dealing with the present?

Are Australians learning yet? 'Stand up to climate change deniers' - Climate Change Minister Penny Wong has hit out at federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull for failing to stand up to the "climate change deniers" within his party.

Comprehensive economic modelling released by Treasury yesterday painted a rosy picture of how emissions trading will affect the economy and Australians, forecasting that the average household bill will rise by just $7 a week.

The modelling predicted the scheme would barely impact on economic growth and incomes, both of which would continue to grow.

But the opposition has described it as badly flawed because it ignores the global financial meltdown. (AAP)

Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme: $1 a day to save planet - THE Rudd Government has moved to ease fears about the impact of its emissions trading scheme, releasing Treasury modelling showing the scheme is affordable, with households paying up to $7 a week more for electricity and gas, and no industries forced offshore.

Long-awaited Treasury modelling released yesterday assumes a modest cut in Australian emissions of between 5and 15 per cent by 2020, and - critically - that next year's UN summit in Copenhagen succeeds in reaching a climate change agreement under which developed countries immediately begin to reduce their emissions and developing countries join in the global effort over time.

But industry groups and the federal Opposition expressed immediate concerns that the modelling does not reveal the costs of Australia pressing ahead with a domestic carbon price in the event the world does not reach such an agreement. (The Australian)

Garnaut's myths of emission - ROSS Garnaut's confident pronouncements in the final report of his climate change review delivered something for everyone.

The voices of apocalypse received a suitably stark picture of the dangers that may lie ahead. The Rudd Government was provided with a neat spectrum for calibrating Australia's medium-term actions to global developments. Even the former Howard government can take some comfort from the fact that Garnaut describes as delusional all those who put their faith in the Kyoto Protocol.

But there remain many loose ends and no shortage of misconceptions as illustrated again yesterday with the release of the Treasury climate modelling. (The Australian)

Emissions trading economic modelling based on an 'ideal world' - THE economic modelling for the Rudd Government's emissions trading scheme is based on unrealistic assumptions of "the world as we would all like it tobe".

But this assessment from industry groups and the federal Opposition was in sharp contrast to that of the Greens, who urged the Government to step up its efforts to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by taking early and strong action to combat climate change.

Releasing the long-awaited modelling of the economic impacts of an ETS, Wayne Swan said yesterday the scheme would shave just 0.1 per cent from economic growth and cost households a dollar a day more for electricity and gas.

But business groups reacted to the predictions with scepticism. (The Australian)

What happens if Copenhagen fails? - YOU don't have to be a Treasury modeller to work out that if the developed world signs up to a global climate change deal next year and the biggest emitters in the developing world agree to follow suit soon after, then "carbon leakage" isn't going to be a huge problem.

Carbon leakage is the spectre raised by many emissions-intensive trading industries - such as LNG, cement and aluminium - that they will be forced offshore if made to bear a domestic carbon price when their competitors overseas pay none.

If their competitors overseas are already paying a price, or are clearly going to have to pay one in the relatively near future, then long-term investment decisions won't be influenced by the international price differentials.

That, effectively, is what the comprehensive Treasury modelling released yesterday assumes.

Given the stated intentions of the European Union and both US presidential candidates, this assumption may prove right.

Given the back-pedalling by some EU members and the political ramifications of the present economic meltdown in the US, it might not be. (The Australian)

Third World to do our dirty work - AUSTRALIA plans to minimise the cost of tackling climate change by paying developing countries such as Indonesia to cut their greenhouse emissions, long-awaited modelling by Treasury shows.

The modelling, released yesterday, gives the Federal Government an economic green light to push on with emissions trading and start cutting greenhouse gas emissions from 2010.

But detailed figures in the study make it clear that meeting our emission targets will be cheap because, among other things, we will buy half or more of our emission permits from other countries. (The Age)

Price hikes under emissions trading scheme to hit single pensioners - SINGLE pensioners will be the most affected by the price increases to flow from emissions cuts, adding to their claims for reform of their benefits. (The Australian)

Future to feed on chooks, not chops or roos - IT'S not kangaroos but chickens that are likely to supplant steaks in the family menu in a carbon-neutral world.

A month after the Government's climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, advocated kangaroo farming as an alternative to methane-belching sheep and cattle, Treasury has suggested the chook might step into the breach.

It predicted yesterday "demand shifts" away from emission-intensive products such as beef to less-polluting produce such as chickens.

Treasury's modelling assumes farming will come under Australia's emissions trading scheme -- due to start in 2010 -- a full five years later. The late start reflects the difficulties in measuring the sector's emissions because the amount of gases released can vary by cattle breed or soil type. (The Australian)

Now available from our store!

Climate Science: Is It Currently Designed To Answer Questions?
by Richard Lindzen, October 30th, 2008
Has global warming alarm become the goal rather than the result of scientific research?

When the history of the early 21st century is written, it may be the financial health of the global economy was rescued by a new currency, carbon. This new asset class, fungible and tradeable, reinflated the balance sheets of governments and international financial institutions alike, and pulled humanity back from the brink of a worldwide depression. That is the hopeful scenario, and not one to be lightly dismissed.

The other outcome that may be our legacy, however, will be that just when technology and capitalism were about to deliver prosperity and security to an unprecedented number of people everywhere, and just at the time when what our financial systems needed was to embark on new investment in cost-effective energy and water infrastructure, we instead committed the wealth of humanity to deploying immature energy technologies, and arcane, projects of no use and stupefying expense - such as blasting CO2 gas into underground caverns.

In either case, what historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world - that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.

In this recently presented paper by Dr. Richard Lindzen, published here in its entirety, he describes the origins of global warming alarm, the political agenda of the alarmists, their intimidation tactics, and the reasons for their success. Also, in painstaking detail, he debunks their key scientific claims and counterclaims. Dr. Lindzen is not alone - he is one of the prominent members of what has become thousands of reputable scientists who have now come forward to dispute the theory that anthropogenic CO2 is a threat to the global climate. Anyone who firmly believes anthropogenic CO2 emissions must be dramatically reduced in order to protect our planet should read this paper by Dr. Lindzen, and other work by reputable skeptics. There is simply too much at stake, and too many sweeping political changes being justified because of CO2 alarm, for any responsible activist or policymaker, media influencer or ordinary voter, to not take a second look. (Ed Ring, EcoWorld)

MIT scientists baffled by global warming theory, contradicts scientific data - Boston (MA) - Scientists at MIT have recorded a nearly simultaneous world-wide increase in methane levels. This is the first increase in ten years, and what baffles science is that this data contradicts theories stating man is the primary source of increase for this greenhouse gas. It takes about one full year for gases generated in the highly industrial northern hemisphere to cycle through and reach the southern hemisphere. However, since all worldwide levels rose simultaneously throughout the same year, it is now believed this may be part of a natural cycle in mother nature - and not the direct result of man's contributions. (Rick C. Hodgin, TG Daily)

Inevitable recycling: Melting Arctic Ocean Raises Threat of ‘Methane Time Bomb’ - Scientists have long believed that thawing permafrost in Arctic soils could release huge amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Now they are watching with increasing concern as methane begins to bubble up from the bottom of the fast-melting Arctic Ocean. (Susan Q. Stranahan, Yale360)

A Mathematical Analysis of the Divergence Problem in Dendroclimatology - Abstract: Tree rings provide a primary data source for reconstructing past climates, particularly over the past 1,000 years. However, divergence has been observed in twentieth century reconstructions. Divergence occurs when trees show a positive response to warming in the calibration period but a lesser or even negative response in recent decades. The mathematical implications of divergence for reconstructing climate are explored in this study. Divergence results either because of some unique environmental factor in recent decades, because trees reach an asymptotic maximum growth rate at some temperature, or because higher temperatures reduce tree growth. If trees show a nonlinear growth response, the result is to potentially truncate any historical temperatures higher than those in the calibration period, as well as to reduce the mean and range of reconstructed values compared to actual. This produces the divergence effect. This creates a cold bias in the reconstructed record and makes it impossible to make any statements about how warm recent decades are compared to historical periods. Some suggestions are made to overcome these problems.

Studies have documented divergence across much of the upper northern hemisphere (but not at all sites), though dendroclimatic studies are rare in warmer climates (see Feeley et al. 2007) so this geographic restriction does not mean it is restricted to the far north. Reduced tree growth in response to warmer temperature was found in Alaska after ~1950 by Lloyd and Fastie (2002), by Wilson and Luckman (2003) in Canada, and in Siberia since 1970 (Jacoby et al. 2000), among other places. In a recent circumpolar satellite survey covering 1982 to 2003 (Bunn and Goetz 2006), it was found that tundra areas showed increased photosynthetic activity, but forested areas showing a change evinced decreased photosynthesis and this effect was greater where tree density was higher. This effect probably reflects moisture limitations at higher temperatures. In some places trees appear inherently insensitive to temperature (e.g. Berg et al. 2007).

Conclusion: In conclusion, the nonlinear response of trees to temperature explains the divergence problem, including cases where divergence was not found. The analysis here also shows why non-tree ring proxies often show the Medieval Warm Period but tree ring-based reconstructions more often do not. While Fritts (1976) notes the parabolic tree growth response to temperature, recent discussions of the divergence problem have not focused on this mechanism and climate reconstructions continue to be done using a linear response model. When the divergence problem clearly indicates that the linearity assumption is questionable, it is not good practice to carry on as if linearity is an established fact. (Craig Loehle via Icecap)

Q&A: Roger A. Pielke Sr. - The controversial climatologist argues that global warming has stopped. (Mother Jones)

Comments on a New Report on Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources Management and Adaptation for the Colorado Water Conservation Board by Ray et al. 2008 - Recently a report titled “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 was released. The report has valuable information on the climate of Colorado and is written by well-respected climate scientists.

However, the Report is has serious flaws in providing guidance to policymakers on dealing with water resource issues in Colorado in the coming decades. Three of the major deficiencies in the report can be summarized as follows: (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Sunspots and the Rio Paraná - From Physics World (sub. req'd):

What do sunspots and the Paraná river in South America have in common? The answer, say physicists in Argentina, is that when the number of sunspots goes up, so does the river's level. Indeed, the correlation between the two is so strong that the physicists believe that solar activity could be used to predict when the Rio Paraná will flood. . . . (Edward John Craig, Planet Gore)

Hard lesson about solar realities for NOAA / NASA - The real world sunspot data remaining quiet month after month are mocking the curved red predictions of NOAA and about to slide underneath. Time for a rethink I reckon NOAA! (Warwick Hughes)

Start squirreling away nuts? - The other day, some weather geek friends of mine and I were exchanging emails about the early snow that was happening in Ithaca, NY.

It reminded Steve Colucci of the start of the Winter of ‘93. That one began with a snowstorm on Halloween and ended with the monstrous nor’easter in March. A particularly brutal year; a long, hard, cold winter.

It was the year Tom Hamill and I started as grad students at Cornell and took Colucci’s dynamics class. I recall trick-or-treating in graduate student housing with some families who had just arrived from Brazil. They and their kids had never seen snow before and were thrilled. They wanted it to go on forever. And it did. They weren’t so thrilled by January when, after yet another night of snow, they had to dig their cars out once more, only to come home and discover that the parking spot they had labored over so long was taken by somebody else. It was that year that I vowed to move to Texas.

This year has started like ‘93, but will it end like it? (William M Briggs, Statistician)

How not to measure temperature part 73, in the middle of nowhere - The idea with measuring climate accurately, is to get as far away as possible from human/urban influences so that those things don’t bias the readings of the thermometer. For example, on my way from Las Vegas to Reno this week, I passed through the near-ghost town of Mina, Nevada, which has a USHCN station. Mina is about as in the “middle of nowhere” as you can be. In fact, the view to the east of the Mina USHCN station is stunning for it’s remote beauty: (Watts Up With That?)

Ah yes--CO2 allegedly caused the Antarctic peninsula to warm; ozone depletion allegedly caused the rest to cool (Tom Nelson)

Our models are crappy, so it must be people: Scientists link human activity to warming in polar regions for first time - Human activity and, in particular, the production of greenhouse gases can be linked definitively to warming in parts of the Arctic and Antarctic, according to a new study that makes the controversial connection for the first time.

Scientists used models to determine the causes of climate change in the two polar regions, finding that only when they included human influences could they explain the rise in temperatures in both areas.

Nathan Gillett, who co-wrote the study appearing Thursday in the online journal Nature Geoscience, said they compared four different models using man-made versus naturally occurring factors on temperatures.

Their stark discovery was that only with the influence of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, could they simulate the warming trend in parts of the remote regions. (Canadian Press)

The Climate Change Bill. Part 1 - They Don’t Work for You. - The third reading of the Climate Change Bill took place in parliament yesterday. More on that later. The reading was preceded by an Early Day Motion (EDM) to include shipping and aviation in the scope of the bill. (Climate Resistance)

The Climate Change Bill. Part 2 - Appealing to Authority. - Here is an exchange between Peter Lilley MP, and other members of the House of Commons on Tuesday’s reading of the Climate Change Bill.

Notice how Elliot Morley cites Stern and Lord Turner as authorities.

It is as if Stern had no critics. The entire house of commons appears to be in his thrall. One man, who now is Vice Chairman of a group of companies with a commercial interest in climate change legislation, is being cited in lieu of democratic debate.

Lord Turner, who is also cited, has written no more than a letter to Ed Milliband. And Lord Turner, as a former Trustee of the World Wildlife Fund, and a former member of the board of advisors at Climate Change Capital, cannot be said to be politically impatial, nor without financial interests.

The house voted hugely in favour of the amendments to the Bill, which means that shipping and aviation will now be included in the 80% target. If the bill is passed, then it will mean big fat profits for Stern, Turner, and their associates as shipping and aviation companies seek their services.

Meanwhile, people in the UK will be unable to afford to travel, facing rising costs, and face job losses. (Climate Resistance)

The £70 Billion Cost of Raising the UK’s CO2 Reduction Target from 60% to 80% - The following is from Hansard (the official transcript of parliamentary proceedings): (Climate Research)

Climate Change To Help Short-Lived Creatures - Study - OSLO - Climate change is likely to disrupt food chains by favouring animals with short lifespans over often bigger rivals that are worse at tolerating temperature swings, scientists said on Thursday. (Reuters)

All this guesstimation based on the premise we face some unusual warming, something of which we have no indication, whatsoever.

US natural gas use to rise under next president - NEW YORK, Oct 29 - With both U.S. presidential candidates calling for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the country's consumption of natural gas should rise under the next administration no matter who wins the White House. Natural gas for electricity generation and industry will be key to the energy plans of either Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama, said experts, who consider natural gas a bridge between oil and future renewable energy sources under development. (Reuters)

No statistically significant risks seen for prostate cancer or diabetes ... - Thousands of men and their loved ones may have been frightened this week by news that the National Cancer Institute had announced it was halting a major multi-center prostate cancer study due to safety concerns. It was a randomized clinical trial of vitamin E and selenium and its suspension brought others to fear their vitamins could be putting them at risk for prostate cancer or diabetes. While the precise findings which led to the decision to prematurely end this trial have not been made public, a better understanding of the science and what is known may help lessen fears and put things into perspective. (Junkfood Science)

Update from UK: fat children taken by the state - As a particularly vocal anti-obesity group in the UK continues to call for fat children to be taken away from their parents and put into state care until they lose weight, earlier this month the Association of Directors of Children’s Services had denied that it was happening. A spokesperson had told The Independent that fat children had not been removed from their parents by child protective authorities. But reporters kept digging. Finally, Councils just released the information following a request filed under the Freedom of Information Act. (Junkfood Science)

Malaria Deaths In Gambia Drop Steeply - Study - LONDON - Providing pregnant women and children with insecticide-treated bed nets has sharply cut malaria deaths in the West African nation of Gambia, according to a study published on Friday.

The findings suggest health officials in other parts of Africa could eliminate the disease as a public health problem in a region where malaria kills a child every 30 seconds, David Conway and colleagues at the Medical Research Council UK reported in the journal Lancet.

"We have seen that it has gone down and stayed down," Conway said. "There is no evidence of an upsurge but we are aware that with an infectious disease you can never know for sure."

The World Health Organization estimates malaria killed 881,000 people and infected 247 million people worldwide in 2006, the latest year for which figures were available. Some malaria experts say those numbers underestimate the problem. (Reuters)

An Obama Win Will Be More Than Historic - Some elections are routine, some are important and some are historic. If Sen. John McCain wins this election, it will probably go down in history as routine. But if Sen. Barack Obama wins, it is more likely to be historic — and catastrophic.

Once the election is over, the glittering generalities of rhetoric and style will mean nothing. Everything will depend on performance in facing huge challenges, domestic and foreign.

Performance is where Barack Obama has nothing to show for his political career, either in Illinois or in Washington.

Policies that he proposes under the banner of "change" are almost all policies that have been tried repeatedly in other countries — and failed repeatedly in other countries.

Politicians telling businesses how to operate? That's been tried in countries around the world, especially during the second half of the 20th century. It has failed so often and so badly that even socialist and communist governments were freeing up their markets by the end of the century.

The economies of China and India began their takeoff into high rates of growth when they got rid of precisely the kinds of policies that Obama is advocating for the U.S. under the magic mantra of "change." (Thomas Sowell, IBD)

CHILE: Maize Contaminated with Transgenics - SANTIAGO, Oct 30 - The Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA) at the University of Chile has detected genetically modified organisms in four samples of conventional maize grown near fields where transgenic maize seeds are being produced for export.

"These results are extremely serious. The question is, who will take responsibility? Who will pay for this contamination?" María Isabel Manzur of the non-governmental Sustainable Societies Foundation (FSS), which along with the Sustainable Chile Programme contracted INTA to analyse 30 maize samples, told IPS.

The maize contaminated with genetically modified (GM) organisms is sold in Chile as corn on the cob, seeds and animal feed. (IPS)

The bigger question is why anyone should care.

October 30, 2008

NOBEL RACIST FOR OBAMA? - James Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA structure, has signed a letter along with 75 other U.S. Nobel prize winners endorsing Barack Obama for President. This is the same James Watson who in 2007 told The Sunday Times (UK) that blacks were not as smart as whites. Here's a portion of the Times' story:

He says that he is "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours -- whereas all the testing says not really", and I know that this "hot potato" is going to be difficult to address. His hope is that everyone is equal, but he counters that "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true". He says that you should not discriminate on the basis of colour, because "there are many people of colour who are very talented, but don't promote them when they haven't succeeded at the lower level". He writes that "there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so".
The comments forced Watson to scrap the lecture circuit. He was also suspended from his post at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Watson ultimately retired -- only to now re-emerge as an Obama endorser.

UHI is real, in Reno at least - A couple of days ago there was a guest post from Russ Steele citing a California study “Feeling the Heat” on global warming that just didn’t seem to add up. One of the stations cited as having climate change related warming was Reno, NV. So, I decided to do a field experiment to test this. The results show clearly that UHI exists in Reno. (Watts Up with That?)

EcoAmerica Poll: Climate skeptics are the majority, not the minority - Only 18 percent of survey respondents strongly believe that climate change is real, human-caused and harmful.

Yes you read that correctly, it is all in this article on the Nature Conservancy webpage. And that goes along with what was discovered in June this year by the newspapers UK Guardian and Observer, which reported that:

The majority of the British public is still not convinced that climate change is caused by humans - and many others believe scientists are exaggerating the problem…

The Nature Conservancy story citing 18 percent, is citing the American Climate Values Survey (ACVS), conducted by the consulting group EcoAmerica It also found that political party affiliation is the single largest indicator as to whether people see climate change as a threat. (Watts Up With That?)

Methane gas levels begin to increase again - The amount of methane in Earth's atmosphere shot up in 2007, bringing to an end a period of about a decade in which atmospheric levels of the potent greenhouse gas were essentially stable, according to a team led by MIT researchers.

Methane levels in the atmosphere have more than doubled since pre-industrial times, accounting for around one-fifth of the human contribution to greenhouse gas-driven global warming. Until recently, the leveling off of methane levels had suggested that the rate of its emission from the Earth's surface was approximately balanced by the rate of its destruction in the atmosphere.

However, since early 2007 the balance has been upset, according to a paper on the new findings being published this week in Geophysical Review Letters. The paper's lead authors, postdoctoral researcher Matthew Rigby and Ronald Prinn, the TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, say this imbalance has resulted in several million metric tons of additional methane in the atmosphere. Methane is produced by wetlands, rice paddies, cattle, and the gas and coal industries, and is destroyed by reaction with the hydroxyl free radical (OH), often referred to as the atmosphere's "cleanser."

One surprising feature of this recent growth is that it occurred almost simultaneously at all measurement locations across the globe. However, the majority of methane emissions are in the Northern Hemisphere, and it takes more than one year for gases to be mixed from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. Hence, theoretical analysis of the measurements shows that if an increase in emissions is solely responsible, these emissions must have risen by a similar amount in both hemispheres at the same time.

A rise in Northern Hemispheric emissions may be due to the very warm conditions that were observed over Siberia throughout 2007, potentially leading to increased bacterial emissions from wetland areas. However, a potential cause for an increase in Southern Hemispheric emissions is less clear. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

So, what could cause simultaneous increase in both hemispheres? Anthropogenic action such as increased drilling and waste gas venting is unlikely (the vast majority of that is in the northern hemisphere and it's believed to take at least a year to equilibrate between hemispheres). It certainly isn't warming causing the release from thawing permafrost (to begin with the southern hemisphere is not warming and the south does not have vast regions of tundra to thaw). About the only way to get such a simultaneous increase would be to alter availability of the hydroxyl free radical with which methane reacts and about the only thing that could do that in both hemispheres at once would be an external forcing -- solar changes, perhaps?

Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice reportedly said.

A Further Look into the AMO (and Atlantic Hurricanes) - There is a degree of disagreement among climate scientists as to whether or not a phenomenon known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) is a true physical mechanism operating in the Atlantic Ocean (e.g., Delworth and Mann, 2000; Knight et al., 2005; Zhang, 2007), or whether it is largely a manifestation of the pattern of the anthropogenic influence on the earth’s climate (Mann and Emanuel, 2006). The subject is of considerable interest in that many researchers have identified other climate phenomenon that seem to be related to the patterns of the AMO—primary among which are the patterns of Atlantic hurricane activity (e.g. Goldenberg et al., 2001). Thus, the source of the AMO likely sheds light on the source of Atlantic hurricane frequency and intensity fluctuations—are they primarily natural in origin, or are they primarily caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols? (WCR)

Romm's world: Palin Shocker: McCain Won't Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Voters who care about either global warming or clean energy have only one choice -- and it isn't McCain-Palin.

It's time to stop trying to guess whether the latest McCain campaign gaffe revision on global warming means the Arizonan has walked away from his previous support for mandatory government control of greenhouse gases. He has. (Joseph Romm, Puffington)

No, Joe hasn't come to his senses -- he really thinks this is a bad thing and that highlighting it will make people vote for the other guy. The Chinese seem to think there's a good chance a committed socialist will capture the Whitehouse and that he and his cohorts will be happy to send your wealth and jobs to Asia:

China toughens stance on role of rich nations in climate effort - China raised the price of its co-operation in the world's climate change talks yesterday by calling for developed countries to spend 1 per cent of their domestic product helping poorer nations cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The funding - amounting to more than $300bn (£190bn, €240bn) based on Group of Seven countries - would be spent largely on the transfer of "green" technologies, such as renewable energy, to poorer countries.

Gao Guangsheng, head of the climate change office at the National Reform and Development Commission, the Chinese government's main planning body, said that even such large funds "might not be enough".

China's toughened stance comes weeks ahead of United Nations talks in Poland aimed at forging a successor to the Kyoto protocol, whose main provisions expire in 2012.

The two-week-long talks scheduled for early December in Poznan, Poland, are not expected to produce much progress in the two-year negotiations, which began last year in Bali and will culminate late next year at a conference in Copenhagen. However, the timing of China's intervention is seen as significant because the Poznan talks will be the first to take place after the US presidential election. (Financial Times)

And India: PM takes dig at West over gas emissions - BEIJING: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday complained that the western nations have not lived up to their commitments for technology transfer and additional financing since the Rio Conference in 1992. He called for a global action plan to promote both food and energy security.

Gas emissions of developed countries is actually rising and progress of the Kyoto Protocol has been slow, Singh told leaders of 43 nations attending the seventh Asia Europe Meeting here on Saturday.

"We should call upon our European partners to do more in this regard. The developing world is committed to doing its share," Singh said. But he also noted that the principle of convergence of per-capita emissions of developing countries with advanced developed countries is gaining wider acceptance.

"We should recognize that each citizen of the world has equal entitlement to the global atmospheric space," he said. (Times of India)

Actually not, try flying over Iran, for example and you will soon find out about sovereignty and airspace exclusivity but that is another matter. As far as atmospheric gas constituents are concerned industrial nations have traditionally boosted global crops and wilderness for free and there are no known plans to charge anyone for their crops' use of carbon dioxide liberated at no small expense. Granted misanthropists are going to extraordinary lengths to try to stop this practice of industrialization gifting essential resources to the biosphere but the people-haters have a long history of particularly disliking "little brown people, breeding with the irresponsibility of codfish" and we recommend developing nations examine the policy implications most carefully.

ANALYSIS - Carbon Market's Future Hangs In The Balance - LONDON - The future of global carbon markets is finely poised as recession threatens the political will to shoulder costs but New Zealand, Australia and Japan follow Europe with their own cap and trade schemes. (Reuters)

Hmm... it's a market that shouldn't exist at all and one highly unlikely to survive the enforced realism of an economic slowdown. A scam whose moment has passed.

Nations See REDD In Rush For Carbon Credits - SINGAPORE - In the far north of Indonesia's Sumatra Island lies a vast stretch of forest brimming with orangutans and rare Sumatran tigers and elephants. In a quirk of fate, a decades-long insurgency in Aceh province prevented illegal loggers from stripping the place bare. Apart from its wildlife and timber, though, the forest is rich in another resource; the carbon locked up in the soil and very trees coveted by loggers -- legal and illegal. Keen to earn money from the forest, called the Ulu Masen ecosystem, the government of Aceh province joined a leading conservation group and the financial market to save it. (Reuters)

Tough 'taters guys, the world is rapidly working out that hot air sales are a scam.

FACTBOX - UN Scheme Aims To Use Carbon Credits To Save Forests - The United Nations hopes to include a market-based scheme aimed at using carbon credits to save rainforests as part of a broader pact to fight climate change. (Reuters)

Snow blankets London for Global Warming debate - Snow fell as the House of Commons debated Global Warming yesterday - the first October fall in the metropolis since 1922. The Mother of Parliaments was discussing the Mother of All Bills for the last time, in a marathon six hour session. (Andrew Orlowski, The Register)

Italy repeats opposition to EU climate plan - ROME - The Italian government on Tuesday said it would stick to its opposition to an EU climate plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by a fifth by 2020, saying it would be too harmful for industry. (Reuters)

China Says Curbing Greenhouse Gases Difficult - BEIJING - China will find it difficult to curb growing greenhouse gas emissions any time soon, the government said, while warning of a huge economic blow from global warming.

Beijing has said it wants to combat climate change yet ensure China's economic take-off is unimpeded, and a government "white paper" on climate change issued on Wednesday reflects the uneasy fit between those imperatives. (Reuters)

Poor Climate Science Article In The Economist On Glaciers - I am a fan of the Economist and have subscribed for several years. It is a very effective magazine with which to learn what is occurring throughout the world. However, its coverage of climate issues has generally been quite poor. The latest article (in the October 25 2008) issue continues this inadequate reporting. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

"Artic Icecap is Melting, Even in Winter" - The scare: Jonathan Leake, in The Times of London on 26 October 2008, says:

1. The Arctic icecap is “shrinking at record rates” even in the winter;
2. “The period in which the ice renews itself has become much shorter”;
3. The “even more alarming” cause of the thinner ice is warmer seas rather than warmer air;
4. “The Arctic is likely to melt much faster than had been thought”;
5. “The summer icecap could vanish within a decade”, according to unnamed “experts”;
6. The Northwest Passage was open in the summer of 2008 for the first time in 30 years;
7. Arctic sea ice is half of its 1976 thickness;
8. “Now the ice is just collapsing”. as shown by “satellite-based observations”;
9. In September 2007 the Arctic icecap had “lost an extra 1.1 million square miles;
10. The icecap was “43% smaller than it was in 1979, when satellite observations began”;
11. Less ice means less sunlight reflected harmlessly back to space and so more warming;
12. “The process accelerates until there is no more ice to melt”; and
13. A scientist has said: “This is one of the most serious problems the world has ever faced”.

The truth: This article, like so many on “global warming”, is rooted in the naïve fallacy that the fact of warming tells us that the cause is anthropogenic rather than natural. We begin this Scarewatch, therefore, with a few truths about how much warmer the climate was before humankind could possibly have affected it significantly (or at all). (SPPI)

In the virtual realm: Rising Sea Levels To Erode Sydney Beaches - Study - SYDNEY - Rising sea levels as a result of climate change will erode Sydney's iconic beaches by 2050, with some at risk of disappearing, and threaten beachfront homes and commercial properties, a new climate change study said.

Sea levels along Sydney's coast are expected to rise by up to 40 cm above 1990 levels by 2050 and by 90 cm by 2100, with each one centimetre of rise resulting in one metre of erosion on low-lying beaches, said the Sydney climate change impact report. (Reuters)

Modelers take their games seriously though: A glacier's life - EPFL researchers have developed a numerical model that can re-create the state of Switzerland's Rhône Glacier as it was in 1874 and predict its evolution until the year 2100. This is the longest period of time ever modeled in the life of a glacier, involving complex data analysis and mathematical techniques. (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

Predict its evolution to the year 2100? No, just make wild guesses according to various assumptions like "a temperature increase of 3.6 degrees Celsius and a decrease in rainfall of 6% over a century". How likely is such a scenario? Probably a lot less than my winning the lottery, even if I bought a ticket.

853% of respondents? Business decries govt policies on emissions levels - To include agriculture in the emissions trading scheme, in the words of one respondent, is

The verdict of the boardroom on the Government's emissions trading scheme is a big thumbs-down.

An emphatic 853 per cent (sic) of respondents say the Government has not got its policy settings on climate change right. Only seven per cent think it has.

Nearly three-quarters believe the Government will miscalculate the liabilities involved.

Half say they are not supportive of the emissions trading scheme (ETS), while 29 per cent are supportive. (New Zealand Herald)

Wow! They must have been emphatic. Nonetheless, the Clarke government has plunged into a ridiculous gorebull warming scheme so it's pretty safe to say the majority of businesses are unhappy with the situation.

Falling oil production 'is greater threat to Britain than terrorism' - The threat to Britain posed by declining oil production is greater than that of terrorism, an industry group has said.

The Peak Oil group warned in a report that the country could begin feeling the effects of a severe lack of oil within five years, as oil-producing countries will be forced to wind down production due to diminished reserves.

Jeremy Leggett, the chairman of the Peak Oil Group and the executive chairman of the alternative energy company Solarcentury, said there was still time for the Government to act to protect the country from the impact of reduced oil supplies by reducing the economy's dependence on the fuel. (Daily Telegraph)

Someone else looking for a gravy train ticket. What all these 'alternative' promoters overlook is that there is never a need to subsidize alternate energy sources -- as oil supplies tighten the price rises and more expensive sources become competitive (sorry guys, there is not now nor ever will be a need to throw money at you). Moreover oil's most likely and virtually unchallenged supplement/replacement is coal-to-liquid, not solar- or wind-powered cars and trucks and we have centuries of supply. Humans will likely be using basically a fission/fossil/hydro mix for a very long time to come while wind and solar remain those somewhat batty aunts irregularly popping in for brief and inconvenient stays.

The most important scenario is missing: Households significantly reduce electricity use when prices rise - A new study in the RAND Journal of Economics examined how quickly households change their electricity use when prices rise and fall rapidly. Results show that when electricity prices increase, the average household rapidly reduces its electricity use. However, when electricity prices then decrease, household energy use returns to previous levels. (Wiley)

What happens when prices are increased and stay that way? Actually people get over the sticker shock and power use returns to prior levels. The only way to price people out of energy use is to cause consumer poverty by pricing the commodity beyond people's affordability (which is where the carbon cranks want to take us).

Signs point toward U.S. bailing out automakers - Ready or not, like it or not, Uncle Sam’s bailout of Detroit automobile makers General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC sounds to be on the verge of happening.

When? Soon.

Why? For a lot of strange reasons, but first let’s address the timing.

Why now? Because U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, via the supreme powers conveyed to him under the nation’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, can now do pretty much whatever he wants to rescue whatever he deems to be a troubled asset.

And that’s what GM and Chrysler, two of the world’s great industrial powers just a few blinks ago, have become.

Troubled assets, because they’re burning through cash so fast they might collapse next year. (Detroit Free Press)

EU Carmakers To Press Call For 40 Bln Euro EU Loan - BRUSSELS - European carmakers will press their call for an EU loan of 40 billion euros (US$50.98 billion) to help develop greener cars in a meeting with the bloc's executive on Wednesday, their industry association chief said. (Reuters)

EU Biofuel Data Change Angers Environmentalists - BRUSSELS - European biofuels could receive a boost from a change in the way the European Union calculates their impact on the environment, a document shows, angering environmentalists who think they do more harm than good. (Reuters)

Election day: Freedom of health care choice - In one week, Arizona voters may make the most important vote in the country. George Will explained why on Sunday: (Junkfood Science)

Fears over ownership of healthcare - A calm, thoughtful article appeared this morning in the Minneapolis Post examining fears of change in who owns our healthcare coverage. For another side of this issue on everyone’s mind, attorney Peter Nelson examines some of the concerns of losing employer-provided health insurance. (Junkfood Science)

Perhaps, even free isn’t worth the price - Tuesday’s free Medscape CME course for doctors and nurses reviewed the latest INTERHEART data dredge. As covered here, it was a null study, finding no tenable link between diet and first heart attacks. Healthcare professionals, however, were given a different interpretation of the study: “Western Diet Increases MI Risk Worldwide.” (Junkfood Science)

US agency faulted over plastic chemical's safety - WASHINGTON - A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday faulted the agency's August draft conclusion that a chemical used in many plastic products -- including baby bottles -- is not harmful.

After reviewing the FDA's assessment that bisphenol A, or BPA, is safe at current exposure levels, the panel of outside experts urged the agency to consider more scientific evidence before issuing a final conclusion on the chemical's safety.

The panel cited "several significant concerns with the assessment in its current form." It said certain studies should not have been excluded from the FDA's earlier report and said research made public since August should be considered. (Reuters)

All this nonsense trying to eliminate one-in-a-bazillion risks (regardless of cost) and yet, without their desired ban-virtually-everything-just-in-case, human life spans and general health continue to increase (except perhaps basket-case African States, where poverty, lack of health care and basic sanitation shorten life spans dramatically). Logically things we have been exposed to for more than 50 years should really be exhibiting some effect by now, no?

Again with the atrazine mania: Agricultural Chemicals Linked to Infections in a Declining Amphibian Species -- Amphibians around the world are on the decline from disease. In an article in this week's issue of the journal Nature, Jason Rohr of the University of South Florida (USF) and colleagues revealed that chemical pollution can increase often deadly trematode (parasitic flatworm) infections in the northern leopard frog, a declining amphibian species. (

Disease expert warns on recycled sewage - ONE of Australia's leading infectious disease experts has claimed technology does not exist to prevent recycled sewage from contaminating the water supply of 2.6 million residents in southeast Queensland.

In February, they will become the first Australians to drink their own waste when 60 megalitres a day of recycled water will be pumped into Brisbane's main water source, Wivenhoe Dam.

Under state government plans, recycled water will account for between 10 and 25 per cent of the region's drinking water supply.

Australian National University microbiologist Peter Collignon said yesterday he had major concerns about hundreds of viruses that could be present in the water.

"I don't believe the technology is there to ensure there are no problems," he said. (The Australian)

This wealth redistribution thing is a worry: Obama's Plumbers - Ohio Democrats refused to act on ACORN's massive vote fraud. Yet they have time to scour the private records of Joe the Plumber. No wonder Barack Obama finds the Constitution an inconvenience.

Joe Wurzelbacher (also known as Joe the Plumber) has learned there's a price to pay for being the one to get Obama to admit that he has a socialist dream to "spread the wealth." Not only are you thrust into the public eye, you get the privilege of having government officials who support Obama rifle through private files looking for dirt on you. (IBD)

The Founding Fathers on redistribution of wealth - “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816

“A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.” — Thomas Jefferson ...  (The Reference Frame)

Steve Forbes Out in Front of U.S. Media in Warning Over Fallout from Weak Dollar - Destructive fiscal practices that debase the value of the U.S. dollar and slow economic growth have both domestic and foreign policy implications that call out for "Reaganesque" solutions Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine, explained during an interview at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va.

This connection between economically destructive practices on the home front and geopolitical tensions abroad has gone missing from most U.S. media outlets reaching back to beginning of the year, a Nexis search shows. (NewsBusters)

All the right code words & ecospeak: Transitioning to Sustainability Through Research and Development on Ecosystem Services and Biofuels: Workshop Summary - The National Research Council's Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability hosted "Transitioning to Sustainability through Research and Development on Ecosystem Services and Biofuels: The National Academies' First Federal Sustainability Research and Development Forum" on October 17- 18, 2007.

The forum discussed sustainability research and development activities related to ecosystem services and biofuels. The objective of the forum was to identify research gaps and opportunities for collaboration among federal agencies to meet the challenges to sustainability posed by the need to maintain critical ecosystem services, to support the development of alternatives to conventional fossil fuels, and to manage oceans and coastal areas. The forum focused primarily on federal activities, but included the participation of representatives from the private sector, universities, and nongovernmental organizations. This book is a summary the discussions from the forum. (NAP)

AFRICA: Water and Improved Livelihoods - JOHNNESBURG, Oct 29 - "Sanitation may hold the key to success or failure of the MDGs. It is really a time bomb in terms of health and the environment, waiting to be detonated," Professor Damas Mashauri told participants at a seminar on water and sustainable development taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Water is a basic necessity, but more than 1.1 billion people across the world lack adequate access.

"That is not the only problem. People cannot access basic sanitation as well," says Mashauri of the University of Dar es Salaam . "Some hard facts about access to various forms of sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa are very scary."

According to Mashauri, 35 percent of Africans do not have access to sanitation of any kind. Fifty-three percent of Africans have access to a pit-latrine toilet -- their own or a neighbours'. Just eight percent have access to a flush toilet. (IPS)

October 29, 2008

Global warming is killing frogs and salamanders in Yellowstone Park -- Frogs and salamanders, those amphibious bellwethers of environmental danger, are being killed in Yellowstone National Park. The predator, Stanford researchers say, is global warming. (

No, wait! Fungus killing off frogs - The world’s frogs are in population decline because a fungal disease is causing extinctions, according to a paper published in the prestigious US publication, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

University of Tasmania scientist, Professor Hamish McCallum, is a co-author of the paper, along with academics from the University of South Florida and Penn State University.

Scientists have known that the cause of many frog extinctions was the fungal disease chytridiomycosis but some suggested that global warming has increased disease impacts.

Others have suggested that the disease has spread following recent introductions. The disease has recently been reported in Tasmanian frogs but has hit hardest in Australia’s wet tropics and in Central and South America.

The PNAS paper, Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread and amphibian declines, comes down firmly on the side of disease spread and against global warming. (ScienceAlert)

Alaska’s Glaciers Are Growing - Alaska’s glaciers grew this year, after shrinking for most of the last 200 years. The reason? Global temperatures dropped over the past 18 months. The global mean annual temperature has been declining recently because the solar wind thrown out by the sun has retreated to its smallest extent in at least 50 years. This temperature downturn was not predicted by the global computer models, but had been predicted by the sunspot index since 2000. (Dennis Avery, CFP)

Once more, with feeling: Australia's Stern review warns of runaway global warming - Carbon emissions are rising so fast that the world has no chance of hitting climate targets, says Australian economist. (The Guardian)

Earth is a water-rich world. 'Runaway' global warming is not possible here for that reason. Latent heat (temporarily bound in evaporating water) and sensible heat (warmth you can feel) are transported aloft by convective towers where the water vapor condenses (releasing latent heat). These towers need only transport 'spare' heat a mere 5500 meters (18,000 feet -- about half the altitude flown by commercial airliners) to bypass half the total mass of the Earth's atmosphere and hence half of all possible greenhouse absorbers. This is how Earth remains so cool despite almost complete absorption of surface emission spectra by greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere. In the absence of this convective adjustment surface temperatures would average 350 K (Möller and Manabe, 1961) rather than about 288 K, as they do now.

Moreover, any warming which increases evaporation (and Earth's surface is seven-tenths water) increases the volume of water vapor carried aloft by convective towers, increases condensation with altitude (clouding) and increases Earth's albedo (reflection of incoming solar radiation). Thus water increases both heat transport from the surface and reduces heat transport to the surface, preventing 'runaway' warming.

Earth can warm although not because the tropics get much warmer but because the moist tropics broaden from the equator and the temperate zones expand polewards, so yielding a higher global mean temperature through regional less colding.

Unless the people-haters we call watermelons find a way of getting rid of all Earth's water there is zero possibility of Earth suffering 'runaway' global warming and if they did manage to do so we wouldn't be worrying about the temperature, would we?

Finally, and people really need to know this, Earth has had sufficient greenhouse gases in its atmosphere to absorb much more outgoing longwave radiation than it does for much longer than there have been people to add to greenhouse gas levels (Ramanathan and Coakley, 1978, Freidenreich and Ramaswamy, 1993). The reason it does not do so is not a lack of absorbers but a lack of energy to absorb. A radiation window is 'closed' when all electromagnetic radiation of that frequency is absorbed and the lower atmosphere is already a closed window where radiation absorbed by carbon dioxide and water vapor are concerned. How good are you at closing a closed window?

Now do people see why we are so dismissive of gorebull warming?

The Skeptics Handbook - Rise above the mudslinging in the Global Warming debate. Here are the strategies and tools you need to cut through the red-herrings, and avoid the traps. (JoNova)

Turning up the heat - A revolution in slow motion, the climate change bill has been two years in the making. In 2006 Friends of the Earth began a campaign, which was picked up first by the Conservatives and soon after by the government, for a law committing Britain to a sharp cut in greenhouse gas emissions. Yesterday evening the bill finished its Commons stages. It was a radical moment, unmatched anywhere else in the world, the drama only slightly diminished by the threadbare debate that preceded it. (The Guardian)

Sheep Vote To Pull The Wool - I must congratulate certain brave MPs, such as Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Chichester, and Rob Marris, the Labour Party Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West, for their bravery in saying this evening “Baa humbug!”, and in trying to inject some much-needed sanity into the debate in the House of Commons on the Government’s wool-gathering Climate Change Bill. Sadly, however, our Parliamentary sheep are set on pulling the wool over the eyes of the British electorate, bleating that they can set meaningful emission targets for over 40 years hence when not one of them will still be an active politician. I have rarely watched such a woolly-minded flock.

I am thus sorry to have to be a party pooper, but the thought of all those MPs flocking into the pen to vote for the Climate Change Bill is enough to keep me awake at night. And counting sheep only gives me a nightmare, for the very idea that MPs voting to curb carbon emissions in the UK will have a predictable effect on climate change must be one of the more ludicrous and dangerous notions since the Witchcraft Act of 1604. But worse, in the current economic crisis, it is mindless folly.

The sad reality is that the Climate Change Bill will have no predictable effect on climate whatsoever, for a gamut of reasons, economic, political, and scientific. (Global Warming Politics)

The New Green Aristocracy - They don't work for you - An aristocracy is a form of government by an elite that considers itself to possess greater virtues than the hoi polloi, giving it the right to rule in its own interests. Aristocrats were referred to as 'the nobility', or 'nobs'. These days we prefer decisions to be made democratically – the idea being that we can judge for ourselves which ideas serve our interests, thank you very much, ma'am.

But in recent years, politicians have sought legitimacy for their positions from outside of the democratic process. A new aristocracy is emerging from the emptiness of UK politics - and it's considerably more virtuous than thou. (Ben Pile, The Register)

Climate change laws to force companies to reveal pollution levels - All UK companies would be forced to reveal levels of pollution under planned new laws to tackle climate change, enabling campaigners to name and shame the worst offenders. (Daily Telegraph)

But they are not talking about "pollution" at all,  just greenhouse gas emissions...

The U.N.'s Candidate - The United Nations prays for an Obama victory so its collectivist agenda can be fulfilled. High on the list is climate change, as Obama prepares to declare our breath a pollutant.

The definition of socialism includes government ownership and control of the means of production, and the Obama administration is prepared to sign agreements and carry out policies that in effect will do just that. The U.N. couldn't be happier.

An informal survey of U.N. officials by the Washington Post found overwhelming support for the former Illinois state senator. One American U.N. employee was surprised that he was even asked who he was supporting. "Obama was and is unstoppable," he said, adding: "Please, God, let him win." (IBD)

As we see it: Aussies won't catch bus to save planet - AUSTRALIANS are seriously worried about climate change but many draw the line at catching the bus, a poll has found. (AAP)

Aussies pay lip service to environmental woe but we sure don't believe that tripe and we certainly won't take a bus just because some nitwit thinks it might cause slightly less colding in the super-cold, super-dry air masses that would kill a black dog on a chain anyway.

George III's heir: Prince Charles says climate crisis trumps economy - Britain's Prince Charles said Tuesday the current financial crisis should not distract from the larger issue of global warming.

"The credit crunch is rightly a preoccupation of vast significance and importance. But we take our eye off the climate crunch at our peril," he said in a speech at a science museum in Tokyo.

The heir to the British throne is visiting the world's second-largest economy for the first time since 1970, and his arrival coincides with plunging global markets and recession fears. But he has made saving the environment the theme of his trip, and spoke Tuesday after viewing exhibits related to global warming at Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

He called on advanced nations to cut carbon emissions by 70 to 80 percent by the year 2050, saying "nothing less than a full-scale transformation to a low-carbon society is needed." (Associate Press)

Yes, there have been eight intervening monarchs and yet you can still pick George III (Farmer George)'s influence. Of course, Americans are more likely to know George III as "Mad King George", likely making Charlie eminently more recognizable.

China Sets Price For Cooperation On Climate Change - BEIJING - China wants rich countries to commit 1 percent of their economic worth to help poor nations fight global warming, and will press for a new international mechanism to spread "green" technology worldwide.

Unveiling the demands on Tuesday, a senior Chinese official for climate change policy, Gao Guangsheng, said the financial turmoil rattling the global economy should not deter a big increase in funds and technology to poor nations. (Reuters)

Why shouldn't they go for it? The West certainly gives every impression of being stupid enough...

Holland Inundated by Alarmist Propaganda: A Guest Weblog By Hendrik Tennekes - Five months ago, I felt that the tide in Holland was turning. Marcel Stive, a civil engineering professor and member of the Delta Committee, a blue-ribbon panel that was going to publish a report on our coastal defenses, said in an interview with an alumni magazine:

“Fortunately, the time rate of climate change is slow compared to the life span of the defense structures along our coast. There is enough time for adaptation. We should monitor the situation carefully, but up to now climate change does not cause severe problems for our coastal defense system. IPCC has given lower estimates for the expected sea level rise in four successive reports.” (I quoted this in my weblog of 14 July 2008).

But what happened? The Delta Committee published its report in September, and based its recommendations on well over a meter of sea-level rise in this century and a tenfold increase in coastal security. Its estimate for the additional funding needed is two billion dollars annually. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Ove's at it again: Rising CO2 Accelerates Coral Bleaching - Study - SYDNEY - Rising carbon dioxide levels in the world's oceans due to climate change, combined with rising sea temperatures, could accelerate coral bleaching, destroying some reefs before 2050, says a new Australian study. (Reuters)

Oregon governor outlines ambitious climate-change agenda - Oregon's governor unwrapped an ambitious 2009 legislative climate change package with proposals for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for homes and buildings by 2030, with benchmarks to be sure the goal is reached. (Associated Press)

Blacks targeted in climate campaign - The growing movement to fight global warming includes entertainers and evangelical ministers, scientists and suburban moms. Even both presidential candidates have called for fewer emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gasses that contribute to climate change.

What it doesn't have a lot of is African-Americans. So environmental activists and like-minded politicians are intensifying outreach to blacks by framing their cause as a new frontier in civil rights. (Houston Chronicle)

You really have to admire the way these ratbags manage to blame development and wealth generation for the very problems their desired actions will either cause or exacerbate. Are African-Americans generally poorer? Apparently yes, they are. Would they (and other poor people) suffer disproportionately from adverse events? Yep. And what actions will most adversely affect poor people (including African-Americans)? Those which hamper development and wealth generation, of course -- and top of the list of such actions are those "to address gorebull warming".

Limiting C02 Emissions Hurts Poor Most - When our economic bus is teetering at the edge of a cliff, it's a bad time to throw on some extra weight.

Yet government-mandated restrictions on carbon emissions would do precisely that, adding enormous additional weight to an economy already reeling. This additional weight shouldn't just be thrown from the bus — it should be thrown under it.

Most econometric studies agree that restricting greenhouse gas emissions would slow our already sluggish economy.

A study by the National Association of Manufacturers projected that emissions caps, similar to those rejected earlier this year by the U.S. Senate calling for a 63% cut in emissions by 2050, would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by up to $269 billion and cost 850,000 jobs by 2014.

The Heritage Foundation estimated that such restrictions would result in cumulative GDP losses of up to $4.8 trillion and employment losses of more than 500,000 per year by 2030.

Other studies suggest smaller economic costs: Duke University's Nicholas Institute estimates a GDP loss of $245 billion by 2030, while the Environmental Protection Agency forecasts a GDP drop of between $238 billion and $983 billion.

Sharp emissions restrictions would also push the costs of energy and other consumer products higher. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the restrictions could raise gasoline prices by 29%, electricity prices by 55% and natural gas prices by 15% by 2015.

The people most vulnerable to such price increases are the poor. A 2007 report by the Congressional Budget Office, examining the costs of cutting carbon emissions just 15%, noted that customers "would face persistently higher prices for products such as electricity and gasoline. Those price increases would be regressive in that poorer households would bear a larger burden relative to their income than wealthier households would."

Indeed, the lowest quintile income group would pay nearly double what the highest quintile income group would pay, as a proportion of income, in increased energy costs.

And it appears that all this economic pain would be an utterly meaningless gesture. (David A. Ridenour, IBD)

Another imaginary endless feedback crashes and burns:  Study helps clarify role of soil microbes in global warming -- Current models of global climate change predict warmer temperatures will increase the rate that bacteria and other microbes decompose soil organic matter, a scenario that pumps even more heat-trapping carbon into the atmosphere. But a new study led by a University of Georgia researcher shows that while the rate of decomposition increases for a brief period in response to warmer temperatures, elevated levels of decomposition don't persist. (

Another eye-roller: Long term strategy needed for reducing greenhouse gases - Carbon dioxide will continue to rise even if current national and international targets for reducing emissions are met, scientists warn. But, they say, strong action taken now – such as the 80% target recently announced by the UK government – will continue to have benefits a long time into the future.

A group of scientists led by the University of Bristol have, for the first time, combined the outcomes of proposals by the G8 countries and the UK Government’s Stern Review with the latest knowledge of climate change feedbacks relating to the carbon cycle (the way carbon moves between the oceans, atmosphere and land).

Their findings, published in Environmental Research Letters, show that short-term cuts alone will not solve the problem and that policy makers need to plan for hundreds of years into the future. (University of Bristol)

All this from models and dodgy reconstructions while we know that life on Earth thrived when either or both temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were much higher. There is no known reason to aspire to lower carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, ever.

Scientists probe Antarctic glaciers for clues to past and future sea level - Scientists from the U.S., U.K. and Australia have teamed up to explore two of the last uncharted regions of Earth, the Aurora and Wilkes Subglacial Basins, immense ice-buried lowlands in Antarctica with a combined area the size of Mexico. The research could show how Earth's climate changed in the past and how future climate change will affect global sea level. (University of Texas at Austin)

From CO2 Science this week:

Another Test of the CLAW Hypothesis: What do the results suggest about the ability of oceanic phytoplankton to buffer earth's climate against greenhouse-gas-induced global warming?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 616 individual scientists from 363 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Western Slope of the Northern Okinawa Trough, East China Sea. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Medieval Warm Period (Regional - Africa): What do we know about it? And how did we figure it out?

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: Eastern Cottonwood, Japanese Knotweed, Scots Pine, and White Potato.

Journal Reviews:
Tropical Cyclone Genesis: How is it affected by rising sea surface temperatures, according to a recently modified model?

Australian-Region Tropical Cyclone Characteristics: How have they varied over the last 3.5 decades?

Rapid Evolution of a Plant in Response to a Change in Climate: What life history traits were altered? ... and how rapid were the alterations?

The Carbon Balance of Old-Growth Forests: Is it positive, neutral or negative?

Leaf-Galls and Leaf-Mines of Mature Oak Trees: How are they affected by medium-term atmospheric CO2 enrichment? (

Is Big Oil for Obama? - Some of the leading players in the U.S. energy business can’t wait for George Bush and Dick Cheney to leave office.

Among Democrats, it is widely accepted that George Bush and Dick Cheney are in the tank for Big Oil. Yet some of the leading players in the U.S. energy business can’t wait for them to leave office.

Last week, I was invited to a luncheon. There were several tables. There were no name cards or reserved seats. I picked a table and sat down. A few seconds later, the spot to my left was taken by the CEO of one of America’s biggest integrated oil companies. (Since this was a casual meeting and there were no ground rules laid out, I will not name the executive or his company.) I introduced myself to him, and to the other men seated at the table.

After talking broadly about energy issues, I asked the CEO a fairly routine question: what’s the hardest part of your job? He didn’t waste a moment before responding that his toughest challenge involves risk assessment. The largest international oil companies are increasingly being shut out of the resource chase. About 90 percent of the world’s oil and gas reserves are controlled by state-owned or state-run energy firms. This is making life ever more difficult for the international investor-owned oil companies. Given that they have access to such a small slice of the world’s available energy resources, these companies are being forced to make multibillion-dollar bets on ventures that entail huge geologic and political risks. (Robert Bryce, The American)

The only sensible reason for CO2 injection: Abu Dhabi $3 Bln Carbon Capture Project Set For 2013 - ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi's ambitious $3 billion Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) project will be operational by early 2013, allowing for enhanced oil recovery and providing alternative energy for power and transport, the project's developer said on Monday.

Abu Dhabi government-owned Masdar's CCS project, being developed by Hydrogen Energy, a joint-venture between BP and Rio Tinto, is the first commercial scale and countrywide scheme globally.

"When the project is commercially operational in the first quarter of 2013, the initial carbon capture will be around 2 million tones per year for use in Abu Dhabi's oilfields to enhance recovery," David Binnie, General Manager, Hydrogen Energy said during a conference.

"Every tonne of carbon dioxide injected can lead to an extra 2.5 to 3 barrels of oil," he said. (Reuters)

ANALYSIS - German Coal Plant Build To Slow As Crisis Bites - FRANKFURT - The global financial crisis could prevent Germany from building enough coal-fired power plants to safeguard its future electricity supply.

Germany needs to replace most of its coal-fuelled stations over the next decade and many new coal plants are planned because of strong public opposition to nuclear power and concerns about relying too heavily on gas.

New coal projects already face strong public opposition over their carbon emissions and tougher penalties for operators under the European Union's emissions trading scheme.

These obstacles now seem less important than the rising cost of scarce capital to build the new power stations Germany needs. (Reuters)

Brazil Ethanol, Sugar Sector Sees Hard Times Ahead - SAO PAULO - The global credit crunch delivered the latest punch to the gut of Brazil's ethanol and sugar industry, which has been struggling with low margins over the past couple of years. (Reuters)

ANALYSIS - 'Green' Loses Cachet On Wall Street - LOS ANGELES - "Going green" doesn't have quite the cachet it used to, at least on Wall Street.

Investors in renewable energy stocks have seen their sector hit hard in recent weeks on concerns that tightening credit and a weak global economy could arrest growth of the high-flying industry despite its long-term promise.

"The general economic slowdown is taking everybody's eyes off what was an increasing momentum around concerns of climate change and the cost of energy," said Paul Maeder, a general partner with venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners.

Until credit becomes more available, big solar and wind projects will be more difficult to finance, and certainly more expensive. A drop in demand will also mean lower prices on solar panels and wind turbines, hurting manufacturers' profitability. (Reuters)

ANALYSIS - Wind Turbine Sales May Take Big Recession Hit - LONDON - Investors are deserting a wind power sector which until now had benefited from twin climate and energy concerns, as a debt squeeze forces developers to re-think projects. (Reuters)

Are P4P measures discriminatory? - Government-funded healthcare through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a pay-for-performance system that links reimbursements to hospitals according to their adherence to certain process performance measures. Hospitals are also graded based on these P4P measures and the CMS makes their grades public record, to increase the incentives of hospitals to abide by them. A new study evaluating a P4P program for the management of heart attack patients has been reported in this week’s news as finding that hospitals caring for vulnerable populations — the elderly, women, the poor, uninsured and minorities — are most penalized by Medicare P4P measures and receive less funding than those caring for young, wealthier, insured and white Americans.

That’s not quite what the study found. The story is more complex than that and doesn't just affect hospitals, but each of us. (Junkfood Science)

Schools 'should keep pupils on premises at lunchtime to fight obesity' - Teenagers should be forced to stay in school at lunchtimes to stop them going out for junk food, Schools Secretary Ed Balls said yesterday. (Daily Telegraph)

Does Mould Make You Sick? Doctors Seek Answers - WASHINGTON - Fungus expert Joan Bennett did not believe in so-called toxic mould-- the cause of "sick building syndrome" and many lawsuits -- until her New Orleans home was flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

When she got a whiff of the foul air that the black goo had created in her home, she decided to change her research focus and try to find out how and if the fungi that took over most of the flooded homes on the Gulf Coast might make people ill.

"The overwhelming obnoxiousness of the odour and of the enveloping air made me start to believe in something that I had never believed in before -- sick building syndrome," Bennett, of Rutgers University in New Jersey, told a news conference.

But it has been more difficult than she thought.

Bennett believes that moulds could potentially cause illness in certain susceptible people via volatile organic compounds -- gassy versions of chemicals produced as the organisms metabolize food.

She has been unable to show this in the lab so far. (Reuters)

Gas heaters, stoves may worsen kids' asthma - NEW YORK - Use of natural gas-powered space heaters, ovens, and cooking stoves in the home may worsen asthma symptoms in preschoolers, study findings suggest.

In the study, Dr. Gregory Diette, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and colleagues found that asthma flare-ups in young children were directly related to high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in the inner city homes they studied.

Any household device that uses natural gas, especially one that is improperly vented, can release nitrogen dioxide into the home, Diette told Reuters Health. (Reuters Health)

Study: Smog chops 2 months off Mexicans' lives -- Mexicans would live an average of two months longer if they breathed cleaner air, Harvard researchers conclude in a study published Monday. The study found that some 7,600 people's lives were cut short each year by diseases related to air pollution between 2001-2005, representing about 1.6 percent of annual deaths in Mexico.

The highest proportion of those deaths - 38 percent - were in Mexico City, a mountain-ringed valley long known for its dense layer of smog.

Mexico's average life expectancy - 72.3 years for men and 77.8 for women - would be longer by 2.4 months if urban air quality were improved, according to the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Associated Press)

WHO: People Under Age 60 Account For Half of Global Deaths - A World Health Organization study finds half of all deaths in Africa are children under 15, and people under age 60 account for half of all deaths around the world. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from WHO headquarters in Geneva on the latest assessment of the Global Burden of Disease. (VOA)

On the other hand that means half of all people now make at least 60 years. That's pretty impressive.

WHO: Heart, infectious diseases, cancer kill most - GENEVA — Heart ailments, infectious diseases and cancer remain the world's top three killers, the U.N. health agency said Monday.

Heart attacks and related problems are the top killer, claiming 29 percent of people who die each year, the World Health Organization said in a report on the global burden of disease. In second place, infectious diseases lead to 16.2 percent of worldwide deaths.

Cancer, in third, claims 12.6 percent of global deaths, said the 146-page report, which is based on death registration data from 112 countries and estimates where reporting is incomplete.

The figures are from 2004, the most recent records available on a wide scale, officials from WHO said. But the rankings are unchanged since 1990 when WHO first did a global check. (AP)

WHO slashes AIDS mortality projections - GENEVA — The number of deaths arising from HIV and AIDS is expected to peak in the next five years, the World Health Organization said Monday, as it sharply cut an earlier mortality forecast. (AFP)

WHO: Nine out of ten children succumb to malaria, Aids in Africa - The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday released its State of the World`s Health report, which shows that Africa accounts for 9 out of every 10 child deaths due to malaria. (IPP Media)

Axis Of Bias - A major newspaper suppresses damning video of Barack Obama partying with pro-terrorism radicals. Meanwhile, Obama punishes news outlets that do their jobs. Fairness Doctrine anyone?

Los Angeles Times owner Sam Zell must have thought of the Chicago Cubs when he OK'd the layoff of 75 editorial employees this week. Zell owns the lovable loser Cubs, who haven't won the World Series in a century, and the liberal media are turning into the Cubs of modern communications.

But news-hungry consumers don't find it lovable when the media elite keep important stories to themselves. John McCain has demanded that the L.A. Times release its videotape of a 2003 farewell party in Chicago at which Obama is said to have grandly toasted guest of honor Rashid Khalidi, the late PLO head Yasser Arafat's spokesman. (Ex-terrorist Bill Ayers may have been there too.)

But the Times apparently doesn't think Americans are entitled to see Obama praising a terrorist mouthpiece before they decide whether to make him president for four years. Similarly, major news outlets buried this week's story of Obama calling for "major redistributive change" in a newly discovered 2001 radio interview.

But if you think we've got an unholy alliance between liberal Democrats in Washington and this country's media elite now, just watch what happens if Obama becomes president with a Democratic Congress — especially if it features a filibuster-proof Senate.

Major Democratic congressional leaders like Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois, 2004 presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi want the reinstitution of the outdated, pre-Internet "Fairness Doctrine." They want to counter the news revolution in which blogs and talk radio have taken on the Big Three TV networks. (IBD)

Using Wolves to Hunt Republicans

Wildlife Group Asserts Goal is to ‘Replace Problem Officials’

This report is part of an ongoing oversight investigation into the funding and partisan political activities of environmental groups.

This election season, Republicans are being hunted by wolves, and it appears that these wolves have hit the campaign trail with a targeted agenda. They are blaming high gas prices on Republicans, calling Republicans corrupt, and criticizing Republican energy policy, all at the expense of the American taxpayer and courtesy of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund is registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization, a status granted because of their cause to champion wildlife preservation. The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund bills itself as protecting wildlife and their habitats; one of its top causes is preserving wolves and their habitat, even featuring them on their official seal and their material. So this election season, instead of advocating for wolves and raising issues about wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund have been abusing their tax-exempt status to attack Republicans on issues completely unrelated to their mission. (EPW)

World is facing a natural resources crisis worse than financial crunch - The world is heading for an "ecological credit crunch" far worse than the current financial crisis because humans are over-using the natural resources of the planet, an international study warns today. (The Guardian)

Well, we better feed the biosphere at lot more carbon dioxide to boost its productivity then. These stupid "we'll all be ru'ned" how-many-planets-does-it-take fantasy pieces are really beginning to annoy me.

The temples of doom - Population explosion, ecological disaster and weak leadership ... that's what probably killed off the Maya at the height of their powers. Are the modern-day parallels too close for us to ignore? Rory Carroll reports (The Guardian)

Three billion Asians face food crisis threat: research -- The escalating cost of rice and other foodstuffs across Asia could cause the reversal of policy reforms, social unrest and deepening poverty for over 3 billion Asians – according to new research. (

October 28, 2008

Skeptical scientist has university certification revoked! - For ten years or more, professor David Deming has taught a course in environmental geology at the University of Oklahoma. In October 2008, he was informed that the "general education" certification for his course was being revoked. Under the University of Oklahoma system, this means that student enrollment in the course is likely to drop by two-thirds.

This is a course which receives outstanding student evaluations.

Professor Deming is well-known to be a global-warming skeptic. In 2006, he testified before the US Senate that media coverage of global warming had descended into "irrational hysteria."

Professor Deming is unaware of any other case in the history of the University of Oklahoma where the "gen ed" certification for a course has been revoked.

It would appear possible that professor Deming's position on global warming was a motivating factor. But in this case, the tragedy is that the people being punished are the students, not the professor.

Those who wish to express their concern can do so by writing or calling University of Oklahoma President David Boren.

David Boren, President
University of Oklahoma
110 Evans Hall
Norman, OK 73019
telephone: 405-325-3916
Note changed email address: email:

What the Public Doesn't Understand About Climate Change - As I report on climate change, I come across a lot of scary facts, like the possibility that thawing permafrost in Siberia could release gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, or the risk that Greenland could pass a tipping point and begin to melt rapidly. But one of the most frightening studies I've read recently had nothing to do with icebergs or megadroughts. In a paper that came out Oct. 23 in Science, John Sterman — a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Sloan School of Management — wrote about asking 212 MIT grad students to give a rough idea how much governments need to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to eventually stop the increase in the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. These students had training in science, technology, mathematics and economics at one of the best schools in the world — they are probably a lot smarter than you or me. Yet 84% of Sterman's subjects got his problem wrong, greatly underestimating the degree to which greenhouse gas emissions need to fall. When the MIT kids can't figure out climate change, what are the odds that the broader public will? (Bryan Walsh, Time)

Wrong according to whom? As yet people have no idea how much the apparent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is actually a result of temperature change and without knowing that or what future temperature trends might be all answers are dubious. These guys assume an awful lot of facts not in evidence.

So, 82% get it: 18% - Climate Change - Climate Change survey in America: Only 18% believe it's real, caused by humans, and harmful (Tom Nelson)

Heat? - Dear FRONTLINE:

Your 2-hour program broadcast on 21 Oct 08 called HEAT followed the script of the self-appointed priests of global warming exactly. There was no attempt at balance. Those who might have provided it were marginalized as "Deniers" with no names and were accused by innuendo of being paid by the fuel industry. A Canadian reporter who was also an environmentalist discovered that many "Deniers" were highly qualified scientists who would better be called the less pejorative name "Climate Realists." His book is: Lawrence Solomon, The Deniers: The World-Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud (and Those Who Were Too Fearful To Do So), 2008.

Many Climate Realists are Professors Emeriti or retirees from government service who were prevented from promoting climate realism while serving. One such is Prof. Roy Spencer, NASA scientist, whose satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature indicate 9 years of global cooling since 1998, as do rural ground temperatures. His book is: Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor, 2008. (Joel M. Kauffman,

The Week in D. C. - It will be up to the next President to decide whether to use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. As Marlo discussed in last week’s Digest, a key adviser for Senator Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) campaign recently said that an Obama Administration would use the Act to require emissions reductions. Senator John McCain’s (R-Az.) campaign advisers said that McCain has not decided whether to do so. Both candidates favor enactment of cap-and-trade legislation to reduce emissions by rationing use of coal, oil, and natural gas. (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Digest)

Where's the Warming? - Every fall I pray for global warming to intensify. I realize it is supposed to mean the doom of the planet, but I keep thinking about all of the ways in which warm weather is so much more pleasant than the cold. I know that is short-sighted, but despite all of the warnings of disastrous warming, WHERE IS IT? There’s been no warming over the last decade. So what does the concept of “global warming” mean if there is no warming? (Doug Bandow, Open Market)

Big decline in depth of Arctic winter sea ice - The thickness of sea ice in the Arctic dramatically declined last winter for the first time since records began in the early 1990s. The research by British scientists shows a significant loss in the thickness of the northern ice cap after the record loss of ice in the summer of 2007, although the weather was not abnormally warm.

The findings, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, raise the possibility that the loss of the Arctic sea ice could accelerate, because as the ice recedes the water temperature rises. This summer the sea ice recorded its second-lowest extent after the record low of 2007, again despite relatively cool air temperatures.

However, Katharine Giles of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at University College London, who led the study, said it was too soon to say whether the downward trend would continue and lead to summer sea ice disappearing even faster than forecast. "It's dangerous to extrapolate out because colder weather would mean the ice could recover again," said Giles. "This data will help climate modellers to validate their models and make them more accurate." (The Guardian)

Risks Of Global Warming Greater Than Financial Crisis - Stern - HONG KONG - The risks of inaction over climate change far outweigh the turmoil of the global financial crisis, a leading climate change expert said on Monday, while calling for new fiscal spending tailored to low carbon growth. (Reuters)

Climate change expert? Stern? Meanwhile: Stock Market Has Fallen Steadily Since Bailout Bill Signed – The U.S. stock market has lost 1,417 points--a decline of nearly $3 trillion in value--since President Bush signed into law a $700-billion financial industry bailout bill that was supported by both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. Last week, stock markets closed at a loss for the third straight week since the bailout’s enactment. (

Young turning against Rudd Government's 2010 ETS deadline - YOUNGER people - the strongest supporters of an emissions trading scheme to cut greenhouse gases - are turning against the Rudd Government's 2010 deadline for the implementation of such a scheme.

In a reversal of support, those aged between 18 and 34 years old are now most strongly in favour of a delay in the implementation of an emissions trading scheme, The Australian reports. (The Australian)

Crisis puts ETS on back burner: Newspoll - FEARS of the global financial crisis are driving people from the Rudd Government's carbon reduction plans, with most Australians now either against an emissions trading scheme or wanting it delayed beyond 2010. (The Australian)

Govts must be tough on ETS assistance: IEA - Governments should not offer assistance to trade exposed, energy intensive industries under an emissions trading scheme without doing more work on accurately measuring the true impact on each affected sector, a new report warns.

The report, Issues Behind Competitiveness and Carbon Leakage, by the International Energy Agency (IEA), suggests that developed world governments are not yet in a position to assess the true potential for a carbon price in one country or region to push industry offshore. The modelling work and the practical experience so far are just not enough.

So-called ‘carbon leakage’, where pricing carbon by a cap or tax in one place just moves greenhouse emitters elsewhere and dilutes the emissions reduction effort, is at the core of debate in developed countries currently designing or refining cap and trade schemes. The report summarises the action being considered in the EU, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland. (Carbon Positive)

Facing New European CO2 Rules, Airlines Promise Higher Fares - Feeling guilty about air travel? Soon you could be flying frequently to Europe with fewer qualms — but you’ll probably pay more for the privilege.

By early next decade most of the jets that take off or land from busy airports in cities like London, Paris and Frankfurt will have to comply with European rules on greenhouse gases. The system will include non-European carriers like American Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

Most airlines are furious about the new law, which received final approval from European Union governments on Friday.

United States-based carriers and officials in Washington say that including airlines in regional greenhouse gas initiatives will do little to reduce emissions. They also argue the Europeans should wait for a global deal covering flights in all countries. But the Europeans say there has been too little progress at the International Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. body, so they are proceeding with their own system. (New York Times)

Global airlines blast EU ETS decision - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has condemned a decision by EU ministers to ignore the current economic downturn and approve a compromise deal on including aviation activities in the bloc's emission trading scheme (EU ETS). (EurActiv)

Featured stupidity: The Clean Air Act: Jump-Starting Climate Action - Rather than wait for action by Congress, the next president should employ an existing tool for tackling climate change: using the Clean Air Act to control greenhouse gas emissions and to establish a national cap-and-trade program. (Michael Northrop and David Sassoon, Yale 360)

New Article On The Need To Move From Dubious Multi-Decadal Regional Climate Predictions To The Assessment of Regional Vulnerabilities - The Colorado Foundation for Water Education is a statewide non-profit, non-advocacy organization providing water resource information and education. They publish invaluable reports on Colorado (and western USA) water issues.

They have just released the latest in their Citizen’s Guide series which is titled Citizen’s Guide to Colorado Climate Change. The Guide was authored by multiple experts in the field, and contains details on current climate change research in Colorado. While there is a long article on the prediction of Colorado climate decades into the future (which Climate Science and others have concluded have no skill), I was invited to write a short article for the publication. It is titled Global Climate Models: Many Contributing Influences and is reproduced below. My article questions the value of the multi-decadal regional climate model predictions as the primary information to provide to policymakers. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Ice from ancient global warming heats debate - TORONTO | Canadian researchers studying the Arctic´s ancient permafrost have discovered 700,000-year-old ice wedges buried in the soil that have survived earlier periods of global warming, adding complexity to predictions about the impact of contemporary climate change.

Duane Froese, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science at the University of Alberta, found what he describes as "the oldest ice in North America" in the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory about 10 feet below the surface.

Because these ice wedges were found under a layer of volcanic ash, researchers from the University of Toronto and the Geological Survey of Canada were able to use a technique known as "fission track dating" of the ash to date it at roughly 700,000 years old.

This means the ice was older than the ash and older than the previous record holder - 120,000-year-old ice wedges found in Alaska.

"The fact that this ice survived the interglacials about 120,000 and 400,000 years ago, which we think were warmer than present, really illustrates how stubborn permafrost can be in the face of climate warming," Mr. Froese said. (Barry Brown, Washington Times)

Hmm... Climate change affecting Walden Pond plants - Naturalist Henry David Thoreau might well be surprised that while much of the land around Walden Pond remains undeveloped, many of the plants he knew so well are gone, probably a result of climate change. (AP)

Climate change causes rare swans to stay in 'warm' Siberia instead of returning to UK - Hundreds of swans due to return to an English nature reserve for the winter are staying put in Siberia because climate change has made the region a warm haven, it emerged today.

Around 300 Bewick's Swans were expected at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre on October 21, but experts say the Arctic weather is now so warm there is no need to rush back.

In other years the swans have been one or two days late in flying in from their breeding grounds, but the week-long delay is unheard of, Slimbridge revealed. (Daily Mail)

Licence to dissent - British journalism lecturer and warming alarmist Alex Lockwood says my blog is a menace to the planet. Sceptical bloggers like me need bringing into line, and Lockwood tells a journalism seminar of some options: (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Beware the new faith (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Can Smoke And Mirrors Ease Global Warming? - OSLO - Backers of extreme technologies to curb global warming advocate dumping iron dust into the seas or placing smoke and mirrors in the sky to dim the sun.

But, even though they are seen by some as cheap fixes for climate change when many nations are worried about economic recession, such "geo-engineering" proposals have to overcome wide criticism that they are fanciful and could have unforeseen side effects.

"We are at the boundaries, treading in areas that we are not normally dealing with," said Rene Coenen, head of the Office for the London Convention, an international organisation that regulates dumping at sea.

The London Convention, part of the International Maritime Organisation, will review ocean fertilisation at a meeting this week. (Reuters)

DR VINCENT GRAY UPDATES 'GLOBAL WARMING SCAM' PAPER (pdf) - Dr Vincent Gray, expert reviewer of IPCC Assessment Reports since their inception, has up-dated his extensive paper, "The Global Warming Scam", in which he shows that none of the evidence presented by IPCC confirms a relationship between emissions of greenhouse gases and any harmful effect on the climate. (Climate Science NZ)

Enron costs: Hidden Cost Of China's Coal Is $250 Bln – Survey - BEIJING - China's dirty and dangerous coal mining industry cost the country a hidden $250 billion last year in lost and damaged lives, wasted energy and environmental devastation, according to a survey launched on Monday.

Pollution affected water, land and air around mines, thousands died and many more were hurt in mining accidents, and acid rain-causing sulphur dioxide and mercury were among dangerous emissions when coal is burnt in factories and power plants.

None of this is reflected in low coal and power prices, according to "The True Cost of Coal", researched over three years by Chinese economists and environmentalists. (Reuters)

Enviros do this a lot -- they make up all sorts of "environmental" costs and charges and book them up as "coal expenses" the same way Enron imagined profits.

World Can Halt Fossil Fuel Use By 2090 - Green Study - OSLO - The world could eliminate fossil fuel use by 2090 by spending trillions of dollars on a renewable energy revolution, the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and environmental group Greenpeace said on Monday. (Reuters)

On the other hand, we could do something useful with the money.

Now this is a shame: Economic Fallout: West Virginia Coal-to-Liquids Plant Shelved - Add another notch to the tally of credit-crunch casualties: West Virginia’s planned coal-to-liquids plant. Consol Energy and Synthesis Energy Systems pulled the plug on the project, which aimed to produce 100 million gallons of gasoline from coal.

SES president and chief executive Tim Vail blamed the credit crunch: “Given the current state of the U.S. credit markets, SES is proactively reevaluating domestic capital investments at this time,” he said in a release. SES will build a coal-to-liquids facility in China, where credit is easier to come by. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Nuclear Power No Panacea For Poor Nations - IAEA - UNITED NATIONS - Nuclear energy is undergoing a worldwide renaissance, but poor nations yearning to develop need to realize that it is no panacea to profound poverty, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog said on Monday. (Reuters)

Spain Probes Wind, Solar Power Subsidy Claims - MADRID - Spain's energy watchdog, the National Energy Commission (CNE) will inspect solar parks in the renewables energy-dependent country to verify they met deadlines that entitle them to subsidies, the CNE said.

Spain has boosted renewable energy in recent years to cut its heavy dependence on oil and gas imports, but has scaled down "feed-in" tariffs designed to gradually make wind and solar competitive with conventional generators. (Reuters)

Group To Cut Spending, Wind Power Growth - NEW YORK - FPL Group, the largest operator of wind-power generation in the United States, said Monday it would slash its 2009 spending because of the economic slump, reducing its wind turbine additions. (Reuters)

A Sound Dollar is the Key to Recovery - Without it, we will be facing stagflation.

“Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch its currency,” John Maynard Keynes once wrote. “Lenin was surely right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

Those words seem especially relevant today. The Wall Street meltdown has provoked a frenzy of finger-pointing among politicians and pundits. Yet few commentators have identified the root cause of the crisis: the Federal Reserve’s weak-dollar policy. Instead, they have blamed deregulation, “Wall Street greed,” a global savings glut, and the sharp decline in U.S. housing prices. Some have mentioned the rank corruption of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which indeed played a significant role in triggering the crisis. But Fannie and Freddie’s high leverage and asset growth were ultimately a result of easy money. Their abuses would have been far fewer in a sound money regime. (John L. Chapman, The American)

Brave New Scientist - The magazine uses the canard that money doesn’t buy us happiness, echoing the Soviets’ Central Plan

With the threat of worldwide economic stagnation, and given the central role of governments both in creating and exacerbating the current global financial debacle, a clarion call for much greater government control of a deliberately no-growth world seems almost satirical. And yet the British magazine New Scientist recently devoted an issue to “Beyond Growth.” This equates to an economic journal producing a “science” issue promoting alchemy or necromancy. (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

Defining Problems With Socialism For The Post-Cold War Generation - John McCain has finally called Barack Obama's agenda by its proper name. But if he assumes voters understand what he means when he uses the word "socialism," he assumes too much.

To slap a label on it isn't enough. Sadly, most people under 60 in this country went to schools and universities where socialism isn't considered a bad thing.

McCain has to educate them about what socialists believe and how they want to rebuild "the world as it should be," as Obama quotes his socialist hero, Saul Alinsky.

In this final week of the campaign, McCain should draw contrasts between socialism and capitalism and free enterprise. He should also explain in detail what economic freedoms are at risk if liberal socialists get their way in reshaping the country from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. (IBD)

Dangerous times: Media's Presidential Bias and Decline - Columnist Michael Malone Looks at Slanted Election Coverage and the Reasons Why

The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game -- with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates.

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I've found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.

But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I've begun -- for the first time in my adult life -- to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was "a writer," because I couldn't bring myself to admit to a stranger that I'm a journalist. (ABC News)

Even Osama could donate to Obama - No one has raised so much money for a US election campaign as Barack Obama, with $600 million raised so far and counting. If he were a Republican the media would scream about the buying of this election.

But attorney Scott Johnson at the New York Post says the Obama campaign’s famed on-line donation system “invites fraud”: (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Obama on redistribution of wealth - The third most discussed YouTube video today has terrified me, too. And I am not even an American. What did Obama reveal about the ideas hiding behind his moderate face?

The courts succeeded in giving blacks human rights but they failed to break the tight constraints drawn by the founding fathers and to reinterpret the constitution so that it is used to redistribute wealth and to achieve "economic justice". The civil right movement hasn't been radical enough. Because it was focusing on courts, redistribution of wealth couldn't be achieved. We still suffer of this "tragedy". In another audio, he calls the failure of the Constitution to redistribute wealth to be a fundamental flaw of this country and an enormous blind spot of this culture. Wow.

Instead of courts, it is better to rely on a coalition of power on the ground in order to bring [communism to America]. Wow.

One detail. The interview took place in 2001. But that's not such a long time ago. Would it be reasonable to think that Obama has changed his mind in these fundamental matters? Or has he just optimized his strategy to achieve his monstrous goals? He was already a Senator at that time.

Let me tell you. Certain election and other victories of this kind can change countries for 40 or 70 years. The founding fathers had very good reasons for having written what they wrote and for not having written what they didn't write. The American success is largely a success of the specific rules that they introduced. (The Reference Frame)

Obama: a natural-born U.S. citizen? - I learned about this story two days ago, from a Czech online newspaper, The Invisible Dog. At the beginning, the idea that Barack Obama was not constitutionally eligible to become the U.S. president sounded completely insane to me. Hasn't anyone among 300 million people noticed for 4+ years?

However, I soon realized that people don't really want to find problems that are inconvenient for them and many others are afraid to find any problems because they could become politically incorrect or "racist" in the eyes of the first group. These are circumstances in which the classic Emperor's new clothes may emerge in megalomanic proportions. (The Reference Frame)

Stranger Than Fiction - Earlier this year, I wrote an eco-satirical column under the pseudonym Ethan Greenhart, in which I (or rather, Ethan) called upon Greens everywhere to pray for an economic downturn. The column argued that nothing would benefit our human-ravaged planet more than a “big, beautiful, stock-crashing, Wall Street–burning, consumer-baiting, home-evicting, bank-busting recession.”

We need something to stop humans “raping the planet,” I said, tongue pressed ferociously against my cheek, and “the recession might just be the chemical castration for the job.” A recession could be the “antibody Gaia so desperately needs to deal with her human itch,” since it would force people to buy less and live more humbly.

The column said recession would be a just punishment for the “lunatics” of humankind, before the arrival of the “final big disease” — that glorious moment when a rampant sickness will “reduce the human population to sustainable levels” and “end industrialism . . . just as the Plague contributed to the demise of feudalism.”

I was going too far, right? Yes, there are super-aloof Gaia worshippers who, caring little for the living standards of their fellow men, argue that a recession would be a good thing – and, sure, they deserve a few satirical darts tossed their way. But surely no right-minded Green (assuming such a thing exists) would celebrate the depletion of mankind by a “preferably painless but speedily contagious disease”?

You’d be amazed. (Brendan O’Neill, Planet Gore)

Branding Environmentalism - Another day, another expensive advert from the environmental movement. Not Oxfam this time, but Greenpeace, who must spend a significant portion of the $hundreds of millions they make on their campaigns. (Climate Resistance)

Bolivia To Tap Huge Lithium Deposit In Salt Lake - LA PAZ - Bolivia is moving ahead with plans to tap potentially huge lithium reserves at Uyuni, the world's biggest salt lake and one of the country's top tourist attractions, as demand for lithium-ion batteries surge.

Stretched between distant Andean peaks like a shimmering white carpet, the Uyuni salt lake is home to pink flamingos, 1,000-year-old cacti, rare hummingbirds and hotels built entirely from blocks of salt.

The lake may also hold one of the world's biggest deposits of lithium, and the government is investing $6 million in a pilot plant to help it figure out the best way to mine the soft alkali metal used in rechargeable batteries. (Reuters)

Canada Lobster Fishers Feel Pinch Of Global Crisis - OTTAWA - People eating in restaurants are spending less and avoiding pricier foods, which means you can now add Canada's lobster fishermen to the long list of those hurt by the global financial crisis. (Reuters)

October 27, 2008

Reason to vote for the other guy? At the U.N., Many Hope for an Obama Win - UNITED NATIONS -- There are no "Obama 2008" buttons, banners or T-shirts visible here at U.N. headquarters, but it might be difficult to find a sliver of territory in the United States more enthusiastic over the prospect of the Illinois senator winning the White House.

An informal survey of more than two dozen U.N. staff members and foreign delegates showed that the overwhelming majority would prefer that Sen. Barack Obama win the presidency, saying they think that the Democrat would usher in a new agenda of multilateralism after an era marked by Republican disdain for the world body. (Washington Post)

Given that the UN is far more trouble than it is worth having degenerated to an obstructive and diseased bureaucracy, refuge of despots and scoundrels, why would The Post run this as though it was a plus for Obama? Why do they want to cede American sovereignty to global governance?

How global governance emerged - October 24 was U.N. day, celebrated by many as the birthday of the United Nations. In its 63 years of operation, it has spent untold billions of dollars in its quest to create global governance. Its goal is almost in its grasp. European leaders are pushing for a summit meeting with President Bush to create a new global “central bank,” with the authority to control global monetary policy in much the same way U.S. monetary policy is controlled by the Federal Reserve.

The U.N. has failed miserably at most of its major projects. Its first task, to create a two-state solution in Palestine in 1948, was a disaster. Other projects have been even worse. The genocide in Rwanda; the Oil-for-food scam with Saddam Hussein; and the on-going sex abuse by U.N. Peacekeepers are but a few examples.

In recent years, however, the U.N. has been extremely effective in influencing U.S. domestic policy, more than people realize. Few people know that current U.S. land use policy is deeply rooted in, and reflective of the policies set forth in a 1976 document adopted by the U.N.Conference on Human Settlements. U.S. wetland policy is the result of the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. U.S. law relating to endangered species is the direct result of the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. The Human Rights Commissions of the 1960s were created to comply with a variety of Human Rights treaties adopted by the U.N. (Henry Lamb, CFP)

The Commissars Of Climate Change - It’s not just income taxes that might trash the dreams of Joe the Plumber.

Ready or not, Joe and the rest of us are also about to get mugged by the commissars of climate change. On this, I’ve got a bipartisan beef, since both John McCain and Barack Obama have bought into the panicked Al Gore storyline that the earth has a man-made “fever.” Both candidates are promising to meet it with dramatic and costly new forms of government control.

This comes even as Europe, after its fling with the Kyoto treaty, is backing off from grand pledges to cut carbon dioxide emissions, having decided that the whole thing is too expensive. But United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls climate change the “defining issue of our time,” and the U.N. early last year announced that scientific “consensus” had been reached: The climate is in crisis, and it’s man-made. At the U.N. this has morphed into calls for wealthy countries to choke their own productivity and compensate the rest of the world for the weather. (Claudia Rosett, CFP)

Indoctrination or terror campaign? Children Artists Join Forces with the UN to Combat Climate Change - Young artists from around the world are lending their support to global efforts to combat climate change through Paint for the Planet, an exhibit and auction of children's art in New York.

Launched on October 7, 2008, the Paint for the Planet website features a selection of stand-out entries from nearly 200,000 paintings the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) International Children's Painting Competition received.

Showcasing children's hopes and fears for the planet, the paintings are a powerful plea from children for leadership on climate change before it is too late. (UNEP)

Bing: Enough of the apocalypse already! - This doomsday business just gets old after a while, you know?

And the land was overrun by prophets of doom, and with them came four horses, and on those horses were four riders, and the names of those riders were Fear and Anger and Gloom and Panic.

And these gloomy, mostly pudgy and balding prophets shouted from the rooftops, predicting the end of happiness, the end of the dollar, the onset of starvation, the collapse of markets globally, and the hegemony of China. And those who prophesied the worst got the most airtime.

And darkness reigned upon the waters, and a cloud of verbose unknowing spread across the globe. (Fortune Magazine)

The Green Religion - Most people almost instinctually try their best to be responsible stewards of this earth’s valuable natural resources. But the abrasive approach and militant tactics of many who fill the ranks of the environmentally conscious have led me to believe that the movement has gradually devolved into a kind of Religion. In fact, if we look closely at some of the social initiatives and assorted orbiting causes that are championed by the so called “green movement”, one may discern some eerie similarities with some less well organized religions. (Miguel A. Guanipa, CFP)

Obsessed with saving the planet? There are worse fates - Do you feel anxious when you see a television set left on standby? Does the sight of a plastic bottle haphazardly tossed into a paper-only recycling bin make you feel nauseous? Are you consumed with rage when someone has left an empty room and not switched off the light?

Have you recently found yourself overcome with a desire to spit on your car-driving friends and family? When a loved one tells you that he is flying off for some winter sun, do you feel like bludgeoning him over the head with a blunt instrument until he appears no longer to be breathing?

If so, don't worry! You are probably suffering from "carborexia", Or "energy anorexia". Psychiatrists in America have identified a new mental illness that threatens the very fabric of society: an obsession with saving the planet. Some people are so addicted to cutting their carbon emissions that they seem to have gone quite mad. (Daily Telegraph)

Whaddya mean "seem" to have gone quite mad? Climate change leads to psychiatric illness: WHO (PTI)

More green dementia: Completely Unplugged, Fully Green - SIMON WOODS, who is 6, would like to play on a baseball team. His mother, Sharon Astyk, is sympathetic, but is also heavily committed to shrinking her family’s carbon footprint. “We haven’t been able to find a league that doesn’t involve a long drive,” she said. “I say that it isn’t good for the planet, so we play catch in the yard.”

That is one way that Ms. Astyk, a mother of four, expresses her concern for the environment. She has unplugged the family refrigerator, using it as an icebox during warmer months by putting in frozen jugs of water as the coolant (in colder weather, she stores milk and butter outdoors). Her farmhouse in Knox, N.Y., has a homemade composting toilet and gets its heat from a wood stove; the average indoor winter temperature is 52 degrees.

Many people who can comfortably use “carbon footprint,” “global warming” and “energy offset” in a sentence will toss a bottle or can into a blue recycling bin and call it a day. Those who are somewhat more committed may swap incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents, rely on cloth shopping bags and turn to mass transit.

Then there are people like Ms. Astyk, 36, a writer and a farmer who is trying, with the aid of a specially designed calculator, to whittle her family’s energy use to 10 percent of the national average. She and her husband, Eric Woods, a college professor, grow virtually all their own produce, raise chickens and turkeys, and spend only $1,000 a year in consumer goods, most of which they buy used. They air-dry their clothes, and their four sons often sleep huddled together to pool body heat. (New York Times)

Britain threatens plan for climate spy in space - A major programme to monitor climate change from space could be in jeopardy after it emerged that the British government is poised to slash funding for the project.

Climate scientists and campaigners have expressed deep concerns over the likely cut to the £128m promised to the Kopernikus programme, which came to light just days after the government stepped up its commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

'The worry from the scientists is that it is essential to understand and monitor this change globally and it's not clear at this stage whether we're going to have the essential measurements to do that,' said Paul Monks, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Leicester. (The Observer)

So what? It was primarily an antidevelopment spy anyway. Sod the misanthropists, they cause enough trouble without giving them gifts like that.

Speed-Reading at Interior - In its closing months, the Bush administration is pulling out all the stops in its eight-year effort to undermine the Endangered Species Act. In mid-August, the administration proposed two dangerous regulatory changes. One would free the government from considering the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on polar bears and other imperiled wildlife. The other would eliminate some expert scientific reviews of federal projects that could harm endangered species. (New York Times)

Bass-ackwards pal. Any law valuing critters above people is an inherently bad law and should be expunged. Where's your problem?

This silliness is recycled at lot: Tropical cyclones can bury greenhouse gases-study - OSLO, Oct 19 - Tropical cyclones may be a tiny help in slowing global warming by washing large amounts of vegetation and soil containing greenhouse gases into the sea, scientists said on Sunday.

A study in Taiwan of the LiWu river showed that floods caused by typhoon Mindulle in 2004 swept into the Pacific Ocean an estimated 0.05 percent of carbon stored in leaves, branches, roots and soil on the hillsides being studied. The carbon sank to the seabed.

"Tropical cyclones could have a significant role in the transfer of atmospheric carbon dioxide to long-term deposits in the deep ocean," according to the findings in the journal Nature Geoscience. (Reuters)

Tropical cyclones do reduce planetary temperature. They do this mainly in two ways, they transport heat from the ocean to the upper atmosphere past the bulk of the greenhouse effect, thus increasing the speed of radiation to space and they increase the amount of cloud reflecting incoming solar radiation. While associated rains do wash carbon-bearing sediment into the ocean the reduction in heating potential is immeasurably small. In a rational world it would be viewed as a loss of soil nutrients but in these absurd times irrelevant greenhouse gas potential rates a mention. Go figure!

New theory predicts the largest ozone hole over Antarctica will occur this month - cosmic rays at fault - From a University of Waterloo press release (h/t to commenter Rob)

WATERLOO, Ont. (Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008) — A University of Waterloo scientist says that cosmic rays are a key cause for expanding the hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole — and predicts the largest ozone hole will occur in one or two weeks. (Watts Up With That?)

See also our ozone page.

A hole lot of warming lessons - Another fiercely-defended scientific consensus is questioned - billions of dollars later: (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Nonsense recycled: CO2 curbs may be too late for reefs, study warns - A new global deal on climate change will come too late to save most of the world's coral reefs, according to a US study that suggests major ecological damage to the oceans is now inevitable. (The Guardian)

Corals evolved when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels where many times those anticipated.

Chicken Little, Half Truths And The Loss Of Freedom - The media and alarmist scientists give the public the impression that Antarctica is warming so fast that it is causing catastrophic melting, when in fact the warming is only occurring in the ocean along the western Antarctic Peninsula. (Michael S. Coffman,

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Diet - Why is the world’s foremost environmental crusader not a vegetarian?

“The rule of reason,” Al Gore ’69 declared to a packed Tercentenary Theater a Wednesday, “must dictate our actions towards the environment.” His speech pushed this theme, urging listeners to take drastic actions now for “the survival of our human civilization.”

As the world faces the existential threat of climate change, the former Vice President has embarked on an admirable quest to reform carbon-heavy habits. Yet despite his talk of making inconvenient choices, Mr. Gore continues to indulge in one of the most environmentally irrational habits of all: eating meat. (Lewis E. Bollard, Harvard Crimson)

Personal sacrifice? Al? Are they nuts? This is a money making scam for Albert & co. to enjoy more of the good life, not less -- dopey blighters.

Students watch ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ - It’s “an inconvenient truth,” but only about 25 people showed up for a Harvard screening Sunday (Oct. 19) of a film by the same name, which earned former Vice President Al Gore ’69 both an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize. (Harvard Gazette)

Climate Alarmism's Flimsy Foundation - Forget pretty much any news reporting you see that attributes disastrous phenomena to global warming, because it's all designed to create a fog surrounding the core issue: is climate change human-caused or not? (Paul Chesser, American Spectator)

Feeling the Heat, is it real or is it ASOS? - Guest post by Russ Steele (Watts Up With That?)

Climate of fear - Can Stavros Dimas successfully defend the environment against economic gloom? (The Economist)

A clear and present danger: Scientists with political motives - A major problem with the climate change debate is scientists, especially those in government or academia, claiming or pretending they have no political motive. There is a lesson for all in what is happening in Canada, because it is true in most countries and at the UN, especially the IPCC, as I have documented in articles in Canada Free Press. (Tim Ball, CFP)

<chuckle> Salt levels in the ocean reflect human-induced climate change - Global warming is changing levels of salt in the ocean leading to different weather patterns on land, meteorologists have found.

The Met Office and researchers at the University of Reading looked at levels of salinity in the Atlantic Ocean.

In the subtropical zone salt has increased to a level outside natural variability over the last 20 years, suggesting less rainfall and increased evaporation caused by human-induced climate change.

However in the North Atlantic, where there are more changeable weather patterns, an increase in salt levels was put down to natural variation.

This reverses previous fears that fresh water from the melting ice caps is diluting the north seas at such a rate it will reverse the warm Gulf Stream current, leading to a significantly colder climate for Europe - although over the long run the North Atlantic is expected to become less salty. (Daily Telegraph)

Hasn't read the script: An ailing island in the sun - As the jet turns in crisp blue equatorial skies on its approach to Kiribati's capital, Tarawa, the vulnerability of the ribbon of atolls unfolds.

It is possible to watch the tide batter the fraying edges of the 30-odd km stretch of little atolls which make up Tarawa - never more than a couple of hundred metres wide.

But new sea level data analysis suggests the danger of Kiribati disappearing beneath the Pacific, unlike the neighbouring atoll nation of Tuvalu, is no longer as immediate as previously believed. Estimates of 20 to 50 years have stretched to 80 to 100 years. (New Zealand Herald)

Actually Tuvalu is not in any imminent danger from 'rising sea levels' either.

Original Mountain Marathon runners rescued from freezing gale - HUNDREDS of marathon runners had to be rescued yesterday after horrendous weather swept through northern England, causing flooding and freezing conditions.

About 700 were competing in the Original Mountain Marathon in the Lake District when torrential rains and near freezing Arctic gale force winds blew in. (News Limited newspapers)

It's almost November, ya dopey buggers! What, did someone convince them the weather would be nice due to gorebull warming or something?

Cheap Carbon: Slowdown Makes Pollution Permits Cheaper, Too - Leila Abboud reports from Paris:

Big polluters in Europe, rejoice! The global financial crisis and looming recession might actually make it cheaper to comply with Europe’s increasingly stringent caps on greenhouse gas emissions by pushing down the price of carbon-emissions permits (along with everything else traded on a market). The environmental downside? The economic slowdown and cheaper permits could mean less progress actually cutting emissions. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Here's old Boringtheme again: 2 greenhouse gases on the rise worry scientists - WASHINGTON — Carbon dioxide isn't the only greenhouse gas that worries climate scientists. Airborne levels of two other potent gases — one from ancient plants, the other from flat-panel screen technology — are on the rise, too. And that's got scientists concerned about accelerated global warming.

The gases are methane and nitrogen trifluoride. Both pale in comparison to the global warming effects of carbon dioxide, produced by the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels. In the past couple of years, however, these other two gases have been on the rise, according to two new studies. The increase is not accounted for in predictions for future global warming and comes as a nasty surprise to climate watchers.

Methane is by far the bigger worry. It is considered the No. 2 greenhouse gas based on the amount of warming it causes and the amount in the atmosphere. The total effect of methane on global warming is about one-third that of man-made carbon dioxide. (AP)

Oh so selective! Methane (CH4) is the #2 non water vapor greenhouse gas (NWVGHG), at about 1.7 parts per million by volume (ppmv) and with a global warming potential (GWP) of 21 (that is, it is thought to be 21 times more effective than carbon dioxide) it is equivalent to about 40 ppmv CO2, making it about 10.5% of NWVGHG. Water vapor accounts for about 95% of tropospheric greenhouse effect so in total methane is about 10% of 5% or about 0.5% of the net tropospheric greenhouse effect. As predicted by non-hysterics, methane levels stopped rising. More importantly, methane competes with water vapor and there is already near 100% absorption of available outgoing infrared in the electromagnetic frequencies of interest. Similarly there is very little "spare" energy for carbon dioxide to capture, which is why catastrophic gorebull warming is and always will be a total nonsense. The amount of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) in the atmosphere is too trivial to even rate at less than 0.05% equivalence of carbon dioxide or about 0.0025% NWVGH effect or 0.000125% net greenhouse effect.

Image source and notes.

The Case for Global Warming Skepticism - One of the hot-button environmental issues is Global Warming. While some people argue we must be more specific and refer to “anthropogenic Global Warming,” I do not do so. Not because I think humans are not affecting the environment in any way, but because I think it is scientifically impossible to accurately measure the temperature and compare it to historical trends in the first place. And if it is scientifically impossible to do so, then all Global Warming (anthropogenic or natural) is unscientific.

In order to demonstrate the scientific problems with Global Warming, we must first understand a bit of how scientific experiments work. The two key concepts will be our understanding of precision and accuracy. Without these two ideas firmly in place, we cannot even begin to weigh the evidence presented for Global Warming. (Triablogue via Tom Nelson)

UK MPs In Cloud Cuckoo Land - On Tuesday, UK MPs will vote, like bleating sheep, for the Climate Change Bill, for mandatory cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. They are increasingly a Pavlovian ‘Ship of Fools’. Our MPs are inhabiting a dangerous and unrealistic ‘ideal’ of Cloud Cuckoo Land - Aristophanes’ Νεφελοκοκκυγία (Nephelokokkygia). If poor six-year olds are now to have to face up to sex education in schools, then it is high time that our MPs were taught some basic facts of life as well, for, in the long-term, the electorate will not be generous. Here are some of those facts: (Global Warming Politics)

Wow! Just wow! Top British scientist says New Zealand should become “Lifeboat” for global warming survivors - NEW ZEALAND10/25/08– Leading British scientist James Lovelock said in a recent radio interview in New Zealand that New Zealand is wasting its time trying to pass an Emissions Trading Scheme, or ETS for short. He said on the Radio New Zealand program during a 4-minute interview from his home in Cornwall, England that New Zealanders should put their sights on thinking of their island nation as a lifeboat for survivors of global warming events in the distant future.

“I think the role of New Zealand, similar to that of the UK and other island nations, is to be a lifeboat, because the world may get almost intolerable during the coming century,” Lovelock said. “And you see that happening already in Australia — the desert is spreading and things just won’t grow. And island nations like New Zealand will be spared that kind of damage.”

“New Zealand could lead the world by being the perfect ‘lifeboat’ and taking that just right number of people that you can support and feed and the rest of it, and doing it building proper cities,” Lovelock added. “That’s going to take the money and the effort. Trying to stop global warming is almost a certain waste of time.” (RUSHPRNEWS)

Port Authority to Let Commuters Buy Emissions Credits - Drivers who commute by car between New York and New Jersey will be able to assuage their guilt beginning in early 2009. (New York Times)

Financial Crisis Takes Toll On Australia Carbon Scheme - CANBERRA - Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd won office promising to be a climate change warrior but his chief weapon -- a carbon trade scheme to slash emissions -- is falling victim to shifting politics and world financial tumult. (Reuters)

Carbon tax is just tilting at windmills - THE one certainty of climate change (anthropogenic or not) is that it is unstoppable. Government advertisements suggest worst-case scenarios but they do not concede that these are no less likely should Australia cut its carbon dioxide output. Whether or not you believe in man-made climate change, it's out of our control.

More significantly, it is out of the control of every political leader. There is no prospect that nations will agree on global action sufficient to reduce the total level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

At some point, probably about the time the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill - a carbon tax - comes before parliament and in the lead-up to the next election, the electorate will realise they are being asked to pay for something they cannot have: a guarantee against climate change.

What they can have is a plan to adapt to climate change, as and when it occurs. This plan is not much in evidence. The politics of such a plan are easy: do not waste money on a carbon tax. What is the betting that in the political void created by the realisation that resistance to climate change is futile, a No Carbon Tax Party will emerge? (Gary Johns, The Australian)

Green shift: a loser worldwide - Remember when Liberal leader Stephane Dion unveiled his carbon tax plan earlier this year? The green lobby was thrilled. It had finally found a mainstream politician ready to fight an election on a promise to implement a tax on heating fuels, diesel and other traditional sources of energy that households consume. Environmentalists were convinced voters would rally around the plan, particularly since the carbon tax and ensuing higher energy prices would be offset with tax cuts targeted to low-and modest-income earners. Canada was set to become a world leader in the climate change debate.

Dreams of a carbon tax are dashed now, although few environmentalists will publicly say so. More likely, they will soon assert the messenger failed, not the carbon tax idea. But of course, we know this is bunk. The Liberals campaigned unequivocally on a revenue-neutral carbon plan to save the planet. It was soundly rejected. (John Williamson, National Post)

Minister bows to calls on climate change bill - The government is to announce tomorrow that it will include rapidly growing aviation and shipping emissions in Britain's commitment to curb its carbon footprint by 80% by 2050.

Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change secretary, will bow to pressure from environmentalists and rebel Labour MPs by announcing he will accept an amendment to include these emission sources in the climate change bill which is due to become law next month.

The decision not to include aviation and shipping, which account for 7.5% of all emissions, was seen as a gaping hole in the government's legislation, which is the first measure of its kind in the world. Up to 86 MPs threatened to back an amendment in the Commons tomorrow, tabled by Elliot Morley, a former environment minister, to include these sources. (David Hencke, The Guardian)

Europe Forcing Airlines to Buy Emissions Permits - European Union governments approved a potentially costly system capping greenhouse gases from any airline flying into or out of the trade bloc. (New York Times)

OPEC Says It Will Cut Oil Output - VIENNA — Stung by what it called “a dramatic collapse” in crude prices, the OPEC cartel said on Friday that it would reduce output by a steeper-than-expected 1.5 million barrels a day. But that action failed to brake the price decline, and oil dropped 5 percent more by the end of the day.

The oil cartel swiftly agreed to the cut in an emergency meeting at its headquarters here, and its president suggested afterward that still more production cuts were coming as OPEC struggled to get ahead of an economic slowdown so severe it could leave the world awash in oil.

The stunning decline of oil prices in recent weeks has left oil-exporting countries fearful that they will have to cut government budgets, including the popular social programs that cement many leaders’ hold on power.

Oil dropped to $64.15 a barrel on Friday, from a high close of $145.29 on July 3, a 56 percent decline in 16 weeks and one of the steepest in the oil markets. (New York Times)

Quick Sand: Credit Crunch and Falling Oil Hit Oil-Sands Projects - From Canada, more signs that the oil industry is starting to feel pinched.

Two big Canadian oil-sands producers are delaying oil-production projects and scaling back capital expenditure. Suncor and Petro-Canada both pushed back plans to install “upgraders” that can turn tar sands into crude oil.

It’s unclear whether the pullback owes more to the financial crisis or to falling oil prices, which make exotic oil fields such as tar sands less economically-appealing. Either way, it shows how oil-gathering efforts that were said to make sense a year ago no longer seem so economic. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

India Shopping for Coal Mines in Appalachia - As Clifford Krauss pointed out last spring, the United States, in response to increasing global demand, has become a major exporter of coal for the first time in years, forcing domestic buyers to compete with others from countries like Germany and Japan.

Now it appears that India — a giant in coal production itself — is doing some window-shopping of its own in American mine towns, not just to secure exports, but to invest.

(And all this at a time when the globe is ostensibly embracing a migration away from fossil fuels and the reduction of C02 emissions.) (Tom Zeller Jr., New York Times)

A number of reports of this from the Netherlands, not apparently picked up by international media:  Dutch company breaks deadlock over nuclear energy - The dutch company [Google-translated page] is the first power company worldwide to deliver electricity that is exclusively generated by nuclear power plants. '', which translates literally into is an initiative from two young entrepreneurs from the Netherlands (Amsterdam) Jacques Klok and Sjef Peeraer who were unhappy with the fact that power companies only allow their customers a choice between green electricity on one side and grey (oil, gas and coal) on the other side, but say 'no' when people ask for nuclear generated electricity. While there is currently a controversy in the Netherlands about whether the much hyped green energy really originates from green production facilities, there is no doubt a lot of nuclear generated electricity available from e.g. France. A market poll convinced the two dutchmen that more than a 100.000 people in the Netherlands would be interested in selecting them as a provider. Main arguments were the fact that nuclear power plants do not contribute CO2, allow independence from Russian and Arab energy and doesn't depend on government subsidies like wind and solar generated electricity. They obtained a licence from Dutch government and are now attacking the market. Initial response is favorable. The price per kWh is average, though Kolk/Peeraer expect it to go down soon while prices of green electricity will likely go up in the near future. To counter the argument that nuclear waste is an insurmountable problem, they offer their customers a fake barrel of nuclear waste that represents the amount that is produced for a family on a yearly basis. This amounts to only 10 grams, which resulted in a barrel that hangs on a key chain (picture). In a 100 years of time even these 10 grams will be reduced by natural decay to one tenth, so we are confidently told. (Translation courtesy Theo Richel)

Greenpeas are a little miffed, apparently.

Nuclear Power May Be in Early Stages of a Revival - Concerns about global warming and dwindling supplies of fossil fuels have rekindled interest in building nuclear power reactors. (New York Times)

Gordon Brown puffs the great wind scam - Even in these dark times, it is still possible to be shocked when our Prime Minister personally endorses a flagrant perversion of the truth. Last year, for example, many of us felt outraged when Gordon Brown pretended that the Lisbon Treaty was somehow totally different from the EU Constitution, in order to wriggle out of his party's manifesto promise of a referendum. Last week Mr Brown in effect did it again when he endorsed the deception at the heart of his Government's wildly exaggerated claims about the benefits of using wind to make electricity. (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

National Grid delays ‘will mean that climate targets are missed’ - Renewable energy and climate change targets for 2020 will be missed unless the National Grid speeds up the rate at which new generators are connected, leading industry figures have said.

The grid is undergoing its biggest upgrade since the 1960s as part of a £14 billion investment project by 2012 and up to £13.5 billion more by 2020.

Unless it is made easier, however, for renewable energy generators, particularly wind farms, to connect to the grid, the investment will fail to enable Britain to meet its 2020 targets. (The Times)

US Ethanol Profits Soft On Weak Motorist Demand - NEW YORK - Average US ethanol distillers profits were narrowly positive this week on soft input costs like those for corn and natural gas, but remained tough overall on weak fuel demand, analysts said. (Reuters)

KENYA: Biofuels Boom and Bust - NAIROBI, Oct 24 - The Kenyan government has hailed bio-diesel as an innovation that combines green politics with poverty reduction. But recent drops in biofuel prices have caused concern about the sustainability of alternative fuel production.

Rural farmers who have invested all their savings into growing oil seeds now fear they have opted for the wrong venture. (IPS)

D'oh! ANALYSIS - Funding Becoming Harder To Get For Green Startups - LOS ANGELES - Saving the planet is looking a lot less profitable than it was a few months ago, and investors once enamoured with finding the next high-flying alternative energy startup are retrenching. (Reuters)

JFS Special: Food and heart attacks — is a link for real? - According to food headlines this past week, a new study has shown that a Western diet causes 30% of all the heart attacks … throughout the whole world. A Western diet, defined as one based on fried and salty foods, eggs and meat, was said to exemplify a bad diet. Taxes on harmful greasy foods is one possible solution to the Western diet crisis, said lead investigator, Salim Yusuf, DPhil, FRCPC, FRSC, Professor of Medicine, McMaster University, and director of Population Health Research Institute in Ontario. “Just like with tobacco, we could have safety warrants for foods with high salt,” professor Yusef said. In contrast, eating a “prudent” healthy diet of fruits and vegetables was said to lower the risk of a heart attack by a third. (Junkfood Science)

Ovarian cancer screening — a developing story that can help us, too - Today, one of the nation’s largest commercial clinical laboratories took a new ovarian cancer screening blood test off the market after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had issued the company a warning letter on September 29th. The company revealed its decision Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some news stories are suggesting that this has raised questions about whether the FDA should be regulating medical diagnostic tests and that it’s just an attempt to squelch innovation and universities from profiting from their research — after all, everyone knows screening tests save lives.

That’s not even close to the real story. (Junkfood Science)

Sidebar: Understanding screening tests: sensitivity versus specificity, false positives and false negatives, and probabilities of having a disease - There are important differences in the meanings and consequences of the words used to describe the accuracy of a diagnostic or screening test. A test that can correctly identify a disease among a group of people with a disease (sensitivity), is different from a test that can correctly identify those without a disease among a group of healthy people (specificity). No one wants a screening test (which is done on a group of asymptomatic people) that identifies a bunch of them as being disease-free when they’re not (false negatives), or identifies a bunch of them as having the disease when they don’t (false positives). The consequences can be costly and deadly. (Junkfood Science)

Reagan + Friedman + Keynes: We Need All the Help We Can Get - Back in early 1981, when I went to Washington to work for President Reagan, one of the architects of supply-side economics, Columbia University's Robert Mundell, visited my OMB budget-bureau office inside the White House complex. At the time, we were suffering from double-digit inflation, sky-high interest rates, a long economic downturn and a near 15-year bear market in stocks.

So I asked Prof. Mundell, who later won a Nobel Prize in economics, whether Reagan's supply-side tax cuts would be sufficient to cure the economy. The professor answered that during periods of crisis, sometimes you have to be a supply-sider (tax rates), sometimes a monetarist (Fed money supply) and sometimes a Keynesian (federal deficits).

I've never forgotten that advice. Mundell was saying: Choose the best policies as put forth by the great economic philosophers without being too rigid. (Lawrence Kudlow, Rasmussen Reports)

The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Financial Crisis - The news media are in the process of creating a great new historical myth. This is the myth that our present financial crisis is the result of economic freedom and laissez-faire capitalism. (George Reisman's Blog)

George Reisman, Ph.D. is the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996) and is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics.

Many Pesticides In EU May Damage Human Brain - Study - OSLO - Many pesticides used in the European Union may damage brain growth in foetuses and young children, according to a study published on Friday. (Reuters)

No evidence that they do or that people are overgrown insects -- just another alarmist guess that could if might maybe...

Water worries temporary: report - MELBOURNE will have so much water in the next few decades it will no longer make economic sense to install rainwater tanks or greywater systems in new homes, a State Government-commissioned report has found.

The Government's big water projects, including the controversial desalination plant and north-south pipeline, will eliminate the need for ambitious water saving targets for new homes, apartments and renovated houses, according to the report by the Institute of Sustainable Futures, based at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Despite Melbourne Water chairwoman Cheryl Batagol last week expressing concern that the Government's water plan "may not be enough", the report said the $4.9 billion projects will yield an extra 240 billion litres "resulting in a likely surplus … until well beyond 2050".

The report will heighten the fears of environmentalists who believe the State Government will back off its water saving strategies, reduce support for rainwater tanks and allow the state to rely on energy-hungry desalinated water.

Politically, the advice strengthens the argument of those cabinet ministers who do not believe rainwater tanks and other water substitution measures should be mandated in new homes.

The institute was asked to advise the Government on water-saving targets for new dwellings and what measures - such as rainwater tanks or more efficient taps, toilets and showers - should be made compulsory. (The Age)

Genteel custodian of grand houses turns eco-warrior to save green spaces - The National Trust is to take up an aggressive eco-stance to protect green spaces and prevent desecration of the countryside.

The trust, one of the country’s biggest landowners, has decided to shift its focus to become the leading champion for the protection of green fields - a move that puts it on a collision course with the Government over housebuilding, development of eco-towns and the proposed expansions of Heathrow and Stansted airports. (The Times)

ARGENTINA: Caution and Enthusiasm for Fish Farming - BUENOS AIRES, Oct 25 - Fish farming is expanding in Latin America, fuelled by the demands of a global market that is facing the stagnation of commercial fishing. But some people are warning about the limits of industrial production of fish and the environmental and social risks.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 45 percent of the fish consumed in the world comes from fish farms. Today that means 48 million tonnes, but by 2030 that volume would have to be doubled because of the decline in commercial fishing and the increasing demands of a growing population.

In Mexico, aquaculture dates back to the pre-Hispanic era. Historians say that several species were raised in ponds and that the Maya Indians controlled fish reproduction in natural pools known as "cenotes".

Currently, fish farms in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru produce volumes that are the envy of Argentine producers. But in Argentina, the continent's southernmost country, the climate and topographic conditions are not conducive to developing large-scale fish farming, say some experts and activists. (Tierramérica)

To Counter Problems of Food Aid, Try Spuds - VITORIA-GASTEIZ, Spain — With governments having trouble feeding the growing number of hungry poor and grain prices fluctuating wildly, food scientists are proposing a novel solution for the global food crisis: Let them eat potatoes.

Grains like wheat and rice have long been staples of diets in most of the world and the main currency of food aid. Now, a number of scientists, nutritionists and aid specialists are increasingly convinced that the potato should be playing a much larger role to ensure a steady supply of food in the developing world.

Poor countries could grow more potatoes, they say, to supplement or even replace grains that are most often shipped in from far away and are subject to severe market gyrations.

Even before a sharp price spike earlier this year, governments in countries from China to Peru to Malawi had begun urging both potato growing and eating as a way to ensure food security and build rural income. (New York Times)

Purple tomatoes: The richness of antioxidants against tumors - Researchers from the John Innes Centre in Norwich, Great Britain, in collaboration with other European centres participating to the FLORA project, have obtained genetically modified tomatoes rich in anthocyanins, a category of antioxidants belonging to the class of flavonoids. These tomatoes, added to the diet of cancer-prone mice, showed a significant protective effect by extending the mice lifespan. The research has been published in the 26 October issue of Nature Biotechnology. (Catholic University)

Too little, far too late: Europe's secret plan to boost GM crop production - Gordon Brown and other EU leaders in campaign to promote modified foods

Gordon Brown and other European leaders are secretly preparing an unprecedented campaign to spread GM crops and foods in Britain and throughout the continent, confidential documents obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal.

The documents – minutes of a series of private meetings of representatives of 27 governments – disclose plans to "speed up" the introduction of the modified crops and foods and to "deal with" public resistance to them.

And they show that the leaders want "agricultural representatives" and "industry" – presumably including giant biotech firms such as Monsanto – to be more vocal to counteract the "vested interests" of environmentalists. (The Independent on Sunday)

October 24, 2008

Greens: ‘Economic growth is killing the planet’ - If you need more evidence that the Greens intend to destroy our standard of living, you need not look further than the Oct. 18 issue of New Scientist magazine -- the cover of which reads, “The Folly of Growth: How to stop the economy killing the planet.” (Steven Milloy,

The idiocy continues: Dynegy To Disclose Climate Change Risks - NEW YORK - Power producer Dynegy Inc will disclose its financial risks from global climate change under an agreement with the state of New York, former US Vice President Al Gore and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

Dynegy will provide the information in its annual 10-K filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission under the agreement, which came after Cuomo's office investigated whether energy companies had properly disclosed their risk of climate change.

Cuomo, who had reached a similar agreement with Xcel Energy, said it was imperative that companies which produce carbon from their operations let investors know the risks they face. (Reuters)

The 'risk' is from AGW zealots, not planetary temperature...

Nope: Climate Science Temperature Discrepancy Cleared Up - Since I have been doing this blog over the past couple of years there has been a fair amount of criticism (some of it justified) within the comment section of this blog against climate modeling and its accuracy. Here is a new study that could restore lost confidence in temperature modeling, at least in the tropics. Brett. (AccuWeather)

What Benny Santer & co. have done is try to adjust reality to fit the models -- total nonsense. As we've shown you before, the definitive signature of anthropogenic global warming (actually enhanced greenhouse), the tropical hotspot, has simply failed to materialize -- it does not exist:

Climate Science Overstatement By Bob Schieffer In the Final Presidential Debate - At the last McCain/Obama debate, Bob Schieffer had the following question:

“SCHIEFFER: Let’s go to — let’s go to a new topic. We’re running a little behind.

Let’s talk about energy and climate control. Every president since Nixon has said what both of you…

MCCAIN: Climate change.

SCHIEFFER: Climate change, yes — has said what both of you have said, and, that is, we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

This question illustrated the hubris that is driving the emphasis on major policy actions on climate. This is that humans can “control” climate (i.e. Schieffer said “Let’s talk about …..climate control“). (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Observed Climate Change & the Negligible Effect of Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Limits in Alabama - This report provides a review of Alabama’s climate history and reveals that there is no observational evidence of unusual long-term climate changes taking place that could be linked to anthropogenic “global warming” — despite scientifically unsupportable claims and frequent prognostications of gloom and doom.

Instead of rising temperatures, the state’s annual average temperature has declined over the past century. (SPPI)

The Divergence Problem and the Failure of Tree Rings for Reconstructing Past Climate - Guest Commentary by Craig Loehle, PhD, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI)

Tree rings are widely used for reconstructing climate and past climates are critical for putting the current climate (including global temperatures) into the proper perspective. Is current warming unusual? Only a comparison to the past can tell.

To help gain a better understanding of the past and how global temperatures may have behaved, researchers frequently try to extract climate information that may be stored in the annual growth ring of trees. The standard practice is to calibrate annual tree ring width (and/or wood density) to the temperature under which the trees were growing using a linear model based on recent (e.g., 20th Century) data, and then interpret past rings widths as indicators of temperature. A linear model is one in which a unit change in temperature produces a corresponding unit change in the tree ring attributes—and a linear model assumes that this relationship applies over the entire range of temperatures.

In a recent research paper (Loehle, 2008), I show that if this linear model is mis-specified (i.e., a linear growth response is assumed but in reality the growth response is non-linear), even a model that appears to work well during the “training” (or “calibration”) period—the time during which both temperature and tree rings are available—may fail miserably during the reconstruction period—the time in the past when only tree rings or available, that is, prior to direct temperature measurements. (WCR)

Scientist: Government, Big Oil lax on cutting emissions - SOUTH KINGSTOWN — The nation’s oil companies are the biggest slackers in looking for ways to combat global warming, according to the president of the nation’s top science organization, the National Academy of Sciences. And he said the federal government is not doing well, either. (Providence Journal)

Hey, Ralphie! Here's a newsflash for you, bud, oil companies exist to extract, refine and sell petroleum products -- it's their function. They do not now and never have existed to limit the combustion of these products nor the emission of carbon dioxide that entails. Humans mine carbon or purchase it from other humans who so do for the express purpose of combining carbon with oxygen to harvest the energy bound to carbon when it was originally separated from oxygen by photosynthesis and sequestered eons ago. Returning this carbon to the atmosphere from whence it came restores an essential and somewhat depleted resource to the biosphere and only life-haters would genuinely wish to do that. For once government incompetence is doing wonders for life on Earth, so, leave 'em alone, eh?

Brazen: Q&A: 'Media Must Find a Way for the Message' - ROME, Oct 23 - While there is clear evidence of growing global warming, "the political will to address it is still lacking," says Mohan Munasinghe, co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as vice-chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (IPS)

Once again we have the technical error over Nobel recipients -- Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the organization) were co-recipients of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize but individual members of The Panel and contributors to and reviewers of its various publications were most definitely not. No matter, the pitch of this piece is that media should somehow be even further in the tank for the misanthropy brigade and deliver an even greater indoctrination effort. As if they hadn't caused enough harm already.

Climate change targets deal could include aviation and shipping emissions - Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary, is close to reaching an agreement on toughening his legally binding climate change targets by promising to take into account emissions from shipping and aviation. He is also expected to include a commitment that by 2012 businesses will be required to report annually on their carbon emissions. Business is responsible for 30% of total emissions. (The Guardian)

Lawmakers Gain In EU Climate Power Struggle - BRUSSELS - European parliament leaders will bring forward a vote on steps to combat climate change to try and gain influence in a power struggle with member states, parliament sources said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Danish PM Says China Onboard For Climate Pact Goal - BEIJING - China is committed to seeking a climate change pact at key talks next year, the prime minister of Denmark said on Thursday, urging countries not to use global economic upheaval as a reason for delaying a deal. (Reuters)

Poland Eyes Alliance With China In UN Climate Talks - BEIJING - China and Poland, both deeply reliant on coal, could collaborate in global climate talks to ensure fighting greenhouse gases does not harm their economies, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Thursday. (Reuters)

New York conference expected to draw up to 1,000 scientists and experts: Global warming crisis "cancelled" by new scientific discoveries

The organizers of a March 2008 conference that brought together more than 500 scientists, economists, and other experts on global warming today unveiled plans to hold a second conference on March 8-10, 2009, once again in New York City.

The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change will serve as a platform for scientists and policy analysts from around the world who question the theory of man-made climate change. This year's theme, "Global Warming Crisis: Cancelled," calls attention to new research findings that contradict the conclusions of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. (Heartland Institute)

Comedy by exaggeration? Window of Opportunity Closing Rapidly - The global financial crisis has pushed climate change off the front pages despite new evidence that it is happening faster and with stronger impacts than previous projections, a new report warns.

Meanwhile, some political leaders in Europe, Canada and elsewhere are saying that now is not the time to make sharp reductions in greenhouse gas emissions because the global economy is heading into a recession.

"It is clear that climate change is already having a greater impact than most scientists had anticipated, so it's vital that international mitigation and adaptation responses become swifter and more ambitious," said Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, professor of Climatology and Environmental Sciences at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium.

The new data is so compelling that van Ypersele, the newly elected vice chair of the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has urged the European Union to aim for a lower temperature target than the 2 degrees C they adopted in 1996.

That will require emission reductions beyond the 20 percent lower than the 1990 baseline by the year 2020 that the EU has as a target but is struggling to meet. (IPS)

Either that or he expects to be taken seriously, which is tragic.

Consumers Starting An Organized Revolt Against Anti-Energy-Supply Government Policies, Civil Rights Leader Says - CORE Says It Is Finding Overwhelming Support At The Grassroots Level With Its Citizen-Led Campaign To Push For More Energy Supply

Oklahoma City, OK (Oct. 23, 2008) -- A national civil rights leader says that a new national political movement is building to demand more supply of affordable energy -- from clean coal, oil and gas and nuclear energy -- because supply constraints that raise energy costs discriminate against the poor more than any other segment of society. (CORE)

Bizarre: Fuel poverty court action dismissed - The High Court has dismissed a legal bid by campaigners to force the Government to take more action to tackle fuel poverty.

Friends of the Earth and Help the Aged accused Government departments of not doing enough to meet their targets for helping millions of vulnerable citizens who cannot heat their homes adequately.

Government lawyers argued at a recent hearing that it was doing its best in the face of dramatic increases in energy prices, and there had been no breach of legal duty.

Mr Justice McCombe, sitting at the High Court in London, dismissed the campaigners' challenge. (Press Association)

Fiends of the Earth et al do everything they can to price energy out of most people's affordability and then sue government for not doing enough to help people afford expensive energy.

A New OPEC for Gas? - Russia, Iran and Qatar held talks in Tehran yesterday about forming a cartel for natural gas that would resemble the OPEC cartel for oil. But the structure of the natural gas business makes it unlikely that a gas OPEC would get off the ground anytime soon. (Energy Wire)

EU says gas cartel would force rethink - BRUSSELS, Belgium: Europe would have to rethink its energy policy if Russia, Iran and Qatar go ahead with an OPEC-style cartel on natural gas, the European Commission warned Wednesday.

EU spokesman Ferran Tarradellas Espuny said the European Union preferred to see gas traded on a free and transparent market.

He said the EU executive was not opposed to energy suppliers cooperating more closely on research but was opposed to price-fixing cartels in principle.

"If such a cartel was created, the Commission may review its energy policy," he said, refusing to give details of what that would mean in real terms. (Associated Press)

A bit late, isn’t it? (Number Watch)

Bernard Ingham: The next crisis will leave us all in the dark - ISN'T life a hoot? After 10 years as Chancellor of the Exchequer and one as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has discovered "the weaknesses of unbridled free markets". No wonder he didn't see the debt crisis coming. But then he wouldn't have, would he? He had banished boom and bust.

As he is clearly a late developer, he will not have spotted the next two crises on the horizon. It is going to be a close run thing which hits us first – inflation or a power shortage. But you can see them coming as clearly as any approaching rainstorm over the Pennines.

Pensioners would say that inflation has already hit them hard. Theirs is put at more than 13 per cent compared with the official entirely unbelievable figure of 5.2 per cent. But we ain't seen nothing yet. You cannot fling hundreds of billions at the banks, demand that they continue to lend as they did irresponsibly in 2007 and then spend and borrow yourself like a demented fraudster without debauching the currency through humdinging inflation.

We are back to where we started before Margaret Thatcher tamed the tiger.

Equally, you cannot have as daft an energy policy as the UK's without running into severe trouble. It doesn't add up and is failing on all counts. (Yorkshire Post)

Norway Should Make Oil Fund Greener - Minister - OSLO - Norway should earmark some of its $295 billion oil fund for long-term investments in environmental stocks, Environment Minister Erik Solheim said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Do environment portfolios exist as somewhere to put these tinkerbells because they are too remote from the real world to be allowed near practical ones?

Flake blasts proposed ethanol bailout - Ethanol plants may be the next beneficiary of a federal bailout and Mesa congressman Jeff Flake is among those opposed to that idea.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said the federal government is considering outlays of as much as $25 million to help ethanol plants, which have been hit by volatile commodity prices.

Flake, a fiscal conservative, panned the plan Wednesday saying federal promotion of ethanol production is the problem. “The federal government’s ethanol policies have driven up the price of corn,” said Flake. “But rather than reforming the policies that have caused a spike in corn prices, the federal government wants to bail out ethanol producers who speculated on the price of corn. Only the U.S. Department of Agriculture could dream up a policy like this.” (Phoenix Business Journal)

ANALYSIS - Ethanol No Longer Seen As Big Driver Of Food Price - CHICAGO - Heavy demand for corn from ethanol makers was seen as a key driver of corn futures to record highs in June, but since then the sharp decline of corn along with other commodities shows that belief was mistaken. (Reuters)

The latest news on the miracle weight loss drug, Acomplia - Today, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) issued an announcement recommending the suspension of marketing authorization for Acomplia (rimonabant) across the entire European Union. The Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use completed its review of the evidence on the drug’s effectiveness and safety, specifically psychiatric adverse reactions, at the request of the European Commission. It concluded that the benefits of Acomplia do not outweigh its risks and that sales should be suspended throughout Europe. (Junkfood Science)

Minimizing undue risks - In the news today, the latest analysis of FDA reports of serious drug reactions has just been released by the Institute for Safe Medication Practice. For the second quarter in a row, one drug was responsible for more serious injuries in the United States than any other prescription drug.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices* just issued its Quarter Watch for the first quarter of 2008, reporting the number of deaths and serious injuries associated with medicines reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A total of 1,001 new injuries and 50 more deaths were attributed to varenicline (Chantix, Champix), more than any other prescription drug prescribed in the country. This is a drug made by Pfizer and marketed to help smokers quit. (Junkfood Science)

Not gorebull warming? 100 million Britons a month flock to McDonald's as downturn bites - The credit crunch is driving record numbers of customers from across the social spectrum to buy meals under the golden arches of McDonald's. (The Independent)

Hmm... Ban on fast food outlets near schools - A council is to become the first in the country to ban new takeaways from within 400m of any of its schools. Waltham Forest Council, in north-east London, is tackling the growing problem of childhood obesity by encouraging more youngsters to take up healthy school dinners.

The ban, out for public consultation, would include proscribing the setting-up of fried chicken outlets, burger bars and kebab bars near schools. (The Independent)

... a quarter-mile dash to get take-out for lunch should do them wonders -- at least it should give them an appetite.

Deep green elitists in charge - THE key challenge facing the Rudd Government's Infrastructure Australia will be how it assesses and allocates the funds it has available. Competing proposals from the states will exhaust the approximately $20 billion of taxpayers' funds available many times over. The Government claims that funds will be allocated not on a political basis but according to cost-benefit analysis. Rudd points to the advisory board, chaired by Rod Eddington, to reassure taxpayers that their funds will be spent wisely.

I have always been concerned that the temptation to succumb to political expediency will overwhelm rational economics. But my concerns have been greatly heightened by comments made by Peter Newman, a former NSW Carr government-appointed sustainability commissioner, and present board member of Infrastructure Australia.

NSW premier Bob Carr, it should be remembered, was obsessed with stifling the growth of Sydney. On many occasions he made the extraordinary, demonstrably false claim that the Sydney basin was full and could not sustain additional population growth. Many have blamed Carr and his population growth phobia for the lack of land release in the Sydney basin over many years, and the consequent high price of new housing in Sydney. Housing pressures in Australia, unlike in the US, are largely the result of an undersupply of housing stock. The growth of the "sustainability industry" is closely correlated with the emergence of green politics, particularly the anthropomorphic global warming religion of which Carr is attempting to become Australia's high priest. (The Australian)

Gore using his “We” website to “get out the vote” - I remember once having an argument on this blog with someone who claimed Al Gore was “no longer political” but now was “all about science”. Erasing all doubt, Gore’s “We” campaign announced today a series of webcasts to America’s youth designed to target students at college campuses to enhance their voting on election day. (Watts Up With That?)

Sarah Palin: a gift from god for East Coast comics - Tina Fey’s zany skits on Sarah Palin unwittingly expose the anti-smalltown, redneck-baiting beliefs of America’s big-city liberals. (Nathalie Rothschild, sp!ked)

I was wrong, Bush was right: Clinton - Today's global food crisis shows "we all blew it, including me when I was president", by treating food crops as commodities instead of as a vital right of the world's poor, Bill Clinton told a UN gathering today.

The former president, addressing a high-level event marking October 16's World Food Day, also saluted US President George W Bush - "one thing he got right" - for pushing for a change in US food-aid policy. He chided the bipartisan coalition in the US Congress that killed the idea. (AP)

October 23, 2008

AGU Chapman conference: water vapor and climate - I'm here in Kailua Kona for the AGU Chapman conference on atmospheric water vapor and its role in climate. Given the high humidity and afternoon rain, the topic seems quite appropriate.

In the keynote lecture, Brian Soden of the University of Miami gave a great introduction to the role of water vapor in climate change. It seems to be a general consensus that there is a positive feedback between water vapor and climate. There has been an increase in water vapor in the atmosphere over the past 15 years, and Soden reported that model simulations show that greenhouse gas emissions are at least in part to blame. (Alicia Newton, Nature 'Climate Feedback' blog)

Hmm... kind of true -- but only in the lowest 2,500 feet of the atmosphere, which, to a large extent, means not over the continents (Colorado's mean altitude is 6,800 feet). Above about 5,000 feet the atmosphere appears to have been drying and that is not at all what is expected of enhanced greenhouse and water vapor feedback.

Gore effect arrives to Harvard University - A reader using the "trademark" of the Office of the president of Harvard University informed us about a hilarious event in Cambridge, MA, namely the Harvard Sustainability Celebration: green is the new crimson

If they can change the color of the Harvard logo so easily, maybe their planet is also green, not blue, after all. The Harvard College Democrats ask why the "reduce reuse recycle rethink" posters are 4 times larger than the previous record holders.

But they are obliged to be happy about the keynote speaker, Mr Al Gore, who is famous for the so-called Gore effect. Dictionaries explain the term as "The phenomenon that leads to unseasonably cold temperatures, driving rain, hail, or snow whenever Al Gore visits an area to discuss global warming. Hence, the Gore Effect." It seems to be working again: see Weather Underground (no, it is not the communist militant group that inspired Barack Obama: the name of the service is just a good joke). (The Reference Frame)

Green police: Knock-on effect - Essential surveillance kit for the new green police: the Energy Saving Partnership has taken out a patent on Heatseekers, thermo-imaging vehicles which, at full potential, have the capacity to identify 1,000 properties an hour, or 5,000 properties a night, that are leaking carbon. "Once the property has been scanned, a dedicated team of energy advisers will visit householders to show them the thermal image scan of their homes," says Inspector Knock-on-the-Door. That'll go down well after midnight. (John Vidal, The Guardian)

Eye-roller: "New Deal" Approach Needed For Climate Change – UN - LONDON - The world should take a leaf from US President Franklin Roosevelt's playbook for tackling the Great Depression and fund a "Green New Deal" to fight climate change, a UN agency proposed.

A two-year United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) initiative launched on Wednesday would promote research into marketing tools, such as Europe's carbon emissions trading scheme initiated in 2005, to aid the environment.

This is because political efforts to curb pollution, protect forests and avert climate change have proven "totally inadequate", UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said. (Reuters)

Spain's ex-prime minister blasts 'new religion' of climate change - MADRID — Former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar Wednesday dismissed climate change as a "new religion" that is drawing hundreds of billions of euros at a time of economic crisis.

Aznar made the remarks at the presentation of a book by Czech President Vaclav Klaus, "Blue Planet in Green Shackles", in which he also questions the widely held theories about climate change. (AFP)

But are we still supposed to ignore all climate realists who are not climate scientists? (Tom Nelson)

Nicky is blathering on again: Green routes to growth - Recession is the time to build a low-carbon future with the investment vital for economy and planet

There are two crucial lessons we must learn from the financial turbulence the world has been facing. First, this crisis has been 20 years in the making and shows very clearly that the longer risk is ignored the bigger will be the consequences; second, we shall face an extended period of recession in the rich countries and low growth for the world as a whole. Let us learn the lessons and take the opportunity of the coincidence of the crisis and the deepening awareness of the great danger of unmanaged climate change: now is the time to lay the foundations for a world of low-carbon growth. (Nicholas Stern, The Guardian)

Who’s the Basket Case, Oxfam? - There’s an advert for Oxfam running on UK TV at the moment that caught our attention. It is most odd. (Climate Resistance)

China Report Warns Of Greenhouse Gas Leap - BEIJING - China's greenhouse gas pollution could double or more in two decades says a new Chinese state think-tank study that casts stark light on the industrial giant's role in stoking global warming. (Reuters)

Bumpy ride on carbon tax whatever way you go - Climate-change policies are an air-mile ahead of the other pressing environment challenges facing the country this election.

All the parties, bar Act, take the threats of climate change seriously and it is the speed of New Zealand's response through the newly introduced emissions trading scheme that is causing the most debate.

But no matter how hard or softly New Zealand hits the brakes on its greenhouse gas emissions, the country seems set for a bumpy ride. (New Zealand Herald)

A New Paper “Ensemble Re-Forecasts Of Recent Warm-Season Weather: Impacts Of A Dynamic Vegetation Parameterization” By Beltan-Przekurat Et Al 2008 - Our paper on the value added in seasonal weather prediction as a result of adding a dynamic vegetation parameterization has appeared. The paper is Beltran-Przekurat, A., C. H. Marshall, and R. A. Pielke Sr. (2008), Ensemble re-forecasts of recent warm-season weather: impacts of a dynamic vegetation parameterization, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2007JD009480, in press. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Synoptic Weather Lab Notes Available - For over 25 years, I taught a course on synoptic weather analysis and forecasting (for an example of my course syllabus; see). As part of that course, I completed a set of notes that might be of use to others. Dallas Staley has graciously scanned them and placed the notes on our research website. They are available at Pielke Sr., R.A. 2002: Synoptic Weather Lab Notes. Colorado State University, Department of Atmospheric Science Class Report #1, Final Version, August 20, 2002.

The Table of Contents is given on pages ii-iii. Quiz and Exams are presented in the Appendices.

The relevance to climate, of course, is that it is the synoptic weather features which result in the weather that we experience and which effects social and environmental resources, not a global average surface temperature anomaly. Long term changes in synoptic weather features are required in order to result in long term climate change. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Arctic Ice Increase Well Ahead of 2007 Pace - A very cold polar vortex with a strongly positive Arctic Oscillation is causing arctic ice to increase rapidly and the extent is well ahead of last year on this date. (Joseph D’Aleo, Icecap)

Sea ice area approaching the edge of normal standard deviation - Watching arctic sea ice rebound this year has been exciting, more so since a few predictions and expeditions predicated on a record low sea ice this past summer failed miserably. I’ve spent a lot of time this month looking at the graph of sea ice extent from the IARC-JAXA website, which plots satellite derived sea-ice extent. However, there is another website that also plots the same satellite derived data, the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center of Bergen Norway, and they have an added bonus: a standard deviation shaded area. (Watts Up With That?)

The carbon scam: The carbon cash-in - Fresh from the devastation they have wrought on the global financial system, some of the world's leading investment banks meet in London today to discuss how they can "cash in" on carbon. But at least delegates and speakers at the Cashing in on Carbon conference are open about not trying to reduce emissions or helping the environment. Oh, no. This event is to see how "investment banks can profit today from an increasingly diverse range of carbon-related investment opportunities". Particularly reassuring is the emphasis on "hybrid and complex carbon credit structured products", and how to identify investor demand for them in the US; "derivative/synthetic carbon products"; and "sub-index arbitrage strategies". Also, we can refresh our knowledge of the basic options for "productising carbon" and of "access channels for producers ... speculators, proprietary traders and investors". Good to see that execs from Lord [Nicholas] Stern's company, IDEAcarbon, will be there, too. (John Vidal, The Guardian)

Battle for a tough Climate Change Bill (5) – The final decision! - As Parliament comes to vote next Tuesday (28th October) on the last details of the Bill before it becomes law, Anthony Rae of Calderdale Friends of the Earth answers the critical question: will the new Climate Change Act be tough enough?

In the previous four articles on Hebweb (read them here) we’ve been following the progress of this pioneering piece of legislation, devised by Friends of the Earth in the first place, which requires the government by law to cut emissions every year in order to achieve a long-term target. This legal approach to climate change reduction is now being copied widely around the world.

But will the detail of the draft legislation include so many loopholes as to undermine the effectiveness of the law (read the latest version of the Bill here)? Friends of the Earth identified three demands that had to be met:

- Annual reduction targets (to prevent backsliding and passing responsibility onto the next government): This was the first demand to be achieved; see Clauses 11 and 15 of the Bill. One down, two to go!

- 80% reduction target for 2050: But where we left the story in July was that the end target was still only a 60% reduction, whereas developing climate change science was saying it had to be at least 80%. And then, if we didn't secure …

- inclusion of international aviation and shipping (IAS) emissions the actual effectiveness of the target itself would be undermined because these would generate a staggering 5 billion additional tonnes of CO2 by 2050.

So Friends of the Earth - together with the other campaigning NGOs, many other organisations, supportive MPs, and a great wave of public pressure - has continued lobbying relentlessly for the other two demands. Not just in Parliament, but to influence the recommendations of the independent Committee on Climate Change - another feature of the legislation – where the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research with whom we work has been presenting the evidence. (Hebden Bridge Web news)

Watermelons and the Tyndall Centre, working together to destroy people's standard of living. Word is teh government has completely surrendered to these dipsticks.

EU Aligns Climate Policy with US - European climate diplomacy shifted dramatically yesterday when EU member states for the first time demanded that developing nations join the fight against climate change. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

Divided EU wants poor countries to join climate pledge - EU environment ministers want advanced developing states like China and India to "contribute adequately" to emissions reductions as part of a global climate change agreement next year. Meanwhile, a deal on the EU's own climate and energy package remains elusive following opposition from Italy. (EurActiv)

Give us money: Rich nations lack climate commitment: RI - State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar has warned rich nations not to use the global financial crisis as an excuse for delaying their commitments to help finance climate-change mitigation in developing countries.

He said developed nations should differentiate between budgets to bail out financial institutions and funds allocated to mitigate climate change.

"There is no excuse for not mitigating climate change," Rachmat, who is also president of the UN's conference of parties (COP) on climate change, told a press conference here Tuesday. (Jakarta Post)

At Harvard, Ban calls for climate action: Says warming is a global priority - CAMBRIDGE - Calling global warming "the defining issue of our time," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged immediate international action to counteract the "imminent threat" of climate change.

In a wide-ranging speech yesterday at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Ban said it was crucial to ratify an international treaty on greenhouse gas emissions before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Climate change "is no longer theory, it has become a fact," he told an audience of several hundred. "We cannot afford to delay any action." (Boston Globe)

Why? What makes an insignificant effect on global mean temperature worthy of any consideration whatsoever?

France leads EU Council's Kyoto extension push to 2020 - PARIS, Oct. 22 -- France's National Assembly voted almost unanimously Oct. 21 on the draft law implementing the country's environment package, concluding a widespread debate with all relevant stakeholders over the past year.

The result "should considerably bolster France's credibility and voice within the European and international climate negotiations" said Jean-Louis Borloo, minister of ecology, energy, and sustainable development.

Borloo was alluding to the back-tracking of a number of European Union member states on the energy-climate package, which France wants to see adopted at the next EU Council meeting Dec. 11-12. It will coincide with the United Nations climate conference in Poznan, Poland, Dec. 1-12 to extend the Kyoto Protocol treaty beyond 2012. (Oil & Gas Journal)

Bad idea: Energy agency urges more investment in carbon-capture projects to reduce pollution - One of the best ways to make deep cuts in the pollution from fossil fuels that is warming the planet is to capture emissions from factories and power plants and bury them deep in the Earth, but the world's industrialized democracies are spending "nowhere near" the money needed to get the first carbon-capture projects started, the International Energy Agency reported Monday. (McClatchy-Tribune Information Services)

Biofuels: From hope to husk - It was an American dream that has failed to become a reality. For much of the last decade, enthusiasts from President George W. Bush down have touted corn-based ethanol as something approaching a superfuel, a home-grown alternative to foreign oil that would help cut smog and bring hope to struggling farmers.

It has not worked out that way. Instead, the ethanol industry has undergone a great boom and bust in which a Financial Times analysis has found investors as savvy as Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder, have collectively lost billions of dollars.

Despite the billions more in taxpayers’ dollars that was spent to subsidise it, ethanol now eats up nearly one-quarter of the US corn crop without so far fulfilling the hopes held for its beneficial effect either on the environment or US dependence on foreign energy. (Financial Times)

Say what? Preterm Birth After the Utah Valley Steel Mill Closure: A Natural Experiment. - Results: Mothers who were pregnant around the time of the closure of the mill were less likely to deliver prematurely than mothers who were pregnant before or after; effects were strongest for exposure during the second trimester. Preterm birth within the Utah Valley did not change during the time of mill closure. No patterns for birth weight were observed. (Epidemiology. 19(6):820-823, November 2008.)

So, women were more likely to deliver prematurely after the mill has been closed and less so during the stress of job losses and the mess of industry shutdown? And still they manage to conclude: These results support other studies that have found effects on preterm birth of air pollution exposure early in pregnancy. Sheesh!

Influential U.S. lobby group leads charge for better nutrition in Canada - At the "Championing Public Health Nutrition" conference that begins in Ottawa today, more than 250 delegates will examine everything from food tax laws to marketing aimed at children.

The international roster is nothing but A-list: Stephen Lewis, former ambassador to the United Nations and professor in global health at McMaster University; Dr. Walter Willet, head of the nutrition department at Harvard; Dr. Mike Rayner, director of health promotion research at Oxford; Dr. Mary McKenna, University of New Brunswick professor and consultant to the World Health Organization; Rosemary Hignett, head of nutrition for the British Food Standards Agency.

But the organization behind this impressive-sounding event isn't a government department or national health organization -- it's the Canadian arm of an influential U.S. lobby group. (Joanne Chianello, The Ottawa Citizen)

See Steve's report on CSPI here: False Alarm: A Report on the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1971-2006 (pdf)

Responsible behaviour - Spot the connection: "Every one of the banks that has collapsed had an impressive corporate social responsibility programme ... even as they were engaged in some of the most irresponsible behaviour in the history of capitalism." (John Vidal, The Guardian)

We've been telling you for years John, there is absolutely noting 'responsible' about CSR and it's lousy business practice too.

For crying out loud! Please don't call it a drought, it's just 'dry' - GOVERNMENT experts say the word "drought" is making farmers feel bad and want people to use the word "dryness" instead to describe Australia's worst "lack of rain" in a century.

Farmers also needed to accept that drier weather was here to stay, said a report by the Government's hand-picked Drought Policy Review Expert Social Panel.

"Words like drought ... have negative connotations for farm families," the report said.

"There needs to be a new national approach to living with dryness, as we prefer to call it, rather than dealing with drought." (AAP)

Update: Environmental Groups Exposed: ‘Every dollar spent has been aimed at helping Democrats’ - This report is part of an ongoing oversight investigation into the funding and partisan political activities of environmental groups.

An article in the trade publication Greenwire reaffirms the findings of Senator James Inhofe’s (R-OK) ongoing oversight investigation into the multi-million dollar funding and partisan political activities of environmental groups. The Greenwire article by reporter Alex Kaplun reported that “since the start of the fall campaign, every dollar spent by these organizations has been aimed at helping Democrats.”

Greenwire's article on October 22 echoed Senator Inhofe's report, detailing how environmental groups are essentially a funding and advocacy arm of the Democratic Party. The article noted the partisan activity of major environmental groups in battleground political campaigns and concluded, “In every instance, the environmental groups are backing the Democrat.” (EPW)

It's probably because I'm an Aussie and somewhat naive concerning American politics but why is it news that green-cloaked socialists (a.k.a. watermelons because they are green on the outside, red on the inside) support your apparently rabidly socialist Democrats?

‘Toffgate’ And The Green Chummery - With the possible exception of David Cameron and the Conservative Praetorian Guard, everyone, I am sure, is much enjoying the current discomfiture of Gideon George Oliver Osborne, the beleaguered Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, who appears to have tried to play dirty way beyond his pay grade. I am afraid that a reputed personal fortune of a mere £4 million, origins in fabrics and wallpapers, attendance at St Paul’s School, and an Upper Second in History from Magdalen College, Oxford, are, as Julia Flyte and her set were won’t to say, pretty ‘Pont Street’ by modern-day standards. (Global Warming Politics)

Nitrous oxide emissions respond differently to no-till depending on the soil type - The practice of no-till has increased considerably during the past 20 yr. The absence of tillage coupled with the accumulation of crop residues at the soil surface modifies several soil properties but also influence nitrogen dynamics. Soils under no-till usually host a more abundant and diverse biota and are less prone to erosion, water loss, and structural breakdown than tilled soils. Their organic matter content is also often increased. In addition, no-till is proposed as a measure to mitigate the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. To assess the net effect of no-till on greenhouse gas emissions, other gases also have to be examined. (Soil Science Society of America)

Organic farming 'could feed Africa' - Traditional practices increase yield by 128 per cent in east Africa, says UN

Organic farming offers Africa the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition it has been locked in for decades, according to a major study from the United Nations to be presented today.

New evidence suggests that organic practices – derided by some as a Western lifestyle fad – are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa's small farmers who remain among the poorest people on earth. The head of the UN's Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, said the report "indicates that the potential contribution of organic farming to feeding the world maybe far higher than many had supposed".

The "green revolution" in agriculture in the 1960s – when the production of food caught and surpassed the needs of the global population for the first time – largely bypassed Africa. Whereas each person today has 25 per cent more food on average than they did in 1960, in Africa they have 10 per cent less.

Africa's farming is organic and always has been, which is why they can't feed themselves. There are exceptions, of course, South Africa modernized and exports food. Zimbabwe was a major food basket while employing modern agriculture but is now a basket case, employing no one and feeding precious few, organically.

October 22, 2008

Ruling on Guns Elicits Rebuke From the Right - WASHINGTON — Four months after the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess guns, its decision is under assault — from the right. (New York Times)

This is interesting: Lawsuit against Canada over Kyoto accord dismissed - VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Environmentalists have lost a legal challenge to force the Canadian government to abide by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which Canada signed but has refused to implement.

The Federal Court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Friends of the Earth Canada that alleged the government broke the law by missing deadlines for implementing the treaty to cut emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

It is not up to the court to decide if the government acted reasonably in failing to meet its international commitments, and even if it had the power to do so, there was no practical way to enforce a court order, a federal judge ruled.

"Such an order would be so devoid of meaningful content and the nature of any response to it so legally intangible that the exercise would be meaningless in practical terms," Justice Robert Barnes wrote. (Reuters)

For a long time now activists have managed to coerce the judiciary into seizing extraordinary powers and usurping the legislature by imposing the most outrageous greenie misanthropy. Is the above ruling finally recognition that courts do not have the power to direct or impose policy or governance? Probably not but it is a hopeful sign and useful example which just might help stiffen the resolve of other courts to resist the watermelon assault on democracy.

Hansen: Still a Media Darling - A month ago, Planet Gore reported that NASA climatologist James Hansen, a leading voice in proclaiming man’s role in climate change and a close advisor of Al Gore, had sided with the radical environmental group Greenpeace in advocating eco-vandalism to save the planet. (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

Cloud-Hopping In The Pacific Improves Climate Predictions - The clouds being investigated in this study are known as marine stratocumulus clouds. They tend to form adjacent to continents where deep, cold, upwelling water reaches the sea-surface. This cools the surface air, condensation occurs and clouds form. These clouds are capped by warm air that descends into this region.

The Southeast Pacific region supports one of the largest marine stratocumulus cloud decks in the world - the area of the cloud-decks is massive, often exceeding that of the United States! The clouds are low-level (under 2km in altitude) and are present nearly all the year round in this region.

Because these clouds reflect a significant amount of sunlight back to space, they have a profound influence on the planet's overall energy budget and, hence, climate. Further, there is good evidence that the clouds, along with ocean upwelling, affect the amount of heat that is transferred into the tropical Pacific region.

The tropical Pacific is a major climate system (eg El Nino and La Nina) that can influence climate and weather around the globe. A large part of the uncertainty in climate models today comes from these marine stratocumulus clouds and the south east Pacific region being poorly represented in the models. (SPX)

Solar Variations: Too Tiny to Matter - The following article is from The Huffington Post (Global Warming and Predictions of an Impending Ice Age - Part 1), it tries to dismiss the Sun from the "Man Made Climate Change" equation, unfortunately for the author (Bill Chameides), Lord Monckton sent him an email concerning this article. See Below for the Lord Monckton Email to Bill Chameides (Co2sceptics)

Researchers find arctic may have had less ice 6000-7000 years ago - I love field work. I think any climate scientist that basically becomes a data jockey should be forced to go out and examine real world measurement systems and weather stations once a year so that they don’t lose touch with the source of the data they study. That’s why I’m pleased to see that scientists at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU ) did some good old fashioned field work to look at geologic residues of past climate.

What they found was intriguing. The arctic may have periodically been nearly ice free in recent geologic history, after the last ice age. It is clear from this that we don’t really know as much as some think they do about climatic and ice cycles of our planet. (Watts Up With That?)

Explorers To Measure Arctic's Vanishing Summer Ice - LONDON - British explorer Pen Hadow is to return to the North Pole five years after his record solo trek, in an attempt to establish when Arctic summer sea ice will disappear for good. (Reuters)

He might need a lot of fingers and toes to count that many years. I just looked at sea ice extent and note the current freeze area is within a day of 2004, 2005 & 2006 and over a week earlier than 2007.

Tamino’s Folly - Temperatures did drop this past decade - “Tamino” has made a couple of posts on how the last 10 year drop in temperature is not statistically significant, so it isn’t real. He went too far in his last one and began claiming it was a tactic of some kind of creature called a denialist to confuse and confound the public. (Watts Up With That?)

Window closing on carbon-capture plan - The International Energy Agency says countries aren't doing enough to develop and deploy systems that capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, even though such technologies are considered crucial in the battle against climate change.

Only four full-scale carbon-capture and storage projects are in operation around the world today, it said, and none of them involve coal-fired power plants, which are expected to remain a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.

Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the energy agency, put it bluntly: "The window of opportunity is closing." (Toronto Star)

Never mind the closing window, we should be slamming the door on such stupidity. It is one thing if you have an abundant cheap source of gas available to boost recovery from declining oilfields, that is both profitable and sensible but is another thing entirely to stupidly throw away 20-40% of available energy simply to deny the biosphere an essential trace gas.

Post-Kyoto Per Capita Emissions In the EU-15 and US - Over at Climate Progress, Joe Romm asserts that climate policies in the EU represent "a very impressive achievement that should serve as an inspiration to the world".

This is an odd conclusion coming from Joe, since he is often going on about the end of the planet if we don’t act yesterday.

Rather than looking dispassionately at the EU as a forward-think policy laboratory, Joe instead chooses to attack the US and make the issue partisan. A more productive approach would be to look to the admirable EU leadership as an opportunity to learn about the practical challenges of emissions reductions, even when there is strong political support. (Roger Pielke, Jr., Prometheus)

EU Climate Stalemate Could Threaten Global Deal - Time is running out. If the European Union is unable to resolve internal differences over its ambitious emissions reduction plan, then global climate talks could suffer, say experts. The world needs European leadership. (Charles Hawley, Der Spiegel)

I wonder if anyone believes this pap?

Europe's climate revolt - In the wake of the financial crisis, some EU member states are reassessing the union’s carbon dioxide reduction goals (Benny Peiser, Financial Post)

Italian Backlash Threatens EU's Climate Fight - NAPLES/BRUSSELS - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi warned on Tuesday that 10 other EU nations backed his efforts to block an EU climate plan, prompting further doubts over European action on global warming. (Reuters)

Australia Cannot Be An Island In Carbon Market - SYDNEY - Australia cannot fence itself off from the world carbon-trading market, a leading industry expert said, despite signs it may attempt to do just that in order to keep costs down for local greenhouse-gas polluters. (Reuters)

Carbon dioxide is not an atmospheric pollutant.

How we found ourselves ambushed by reality - Australia’s love of emissions trading to combat global warming is ending in the face of economic uncertainty, says Tom Switzer (Spectator Australia)

Herd of 200 cows 'produces as much greenhouse gas as a family car driven 3,000 miles' - A herd of cows produces more greenhouse gas in a year than a family car produces to drive 3,000 miles, an economist has revealed.

Dr Andy Thorpe of Portsmouth University said that 200 cows expel an annual amount of methane equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions of a car burning 21,400 litres of petrol.

Dr Thorpe added that while CO2 emissions have increased by 31 per cent in the past 250 years, methane has increased by 149 per cent over the same period. (Daily Mail)

Not exactly, atmospheric methane levels stopped rising in the 1990s (the global cattle herd did not). While 149% sounds a big increase we are talking parts per billion whereas carbon dioxide is measured in parts per million (even though the units are 1,000 times larger atmospheric carbon dioxide is still a mere trace gas).

Grief: It’s what’s for dinner - What happens when food, dogma, a green chef, and a Ph.D. collide? Why a scientifically based feel good cookbook, that’s what.

How this cookbook review ended up on the website Energy Bulletin I have no idea. But the description is entertaining. I used to only worry about eating something that was too fattening, now I worry if that Snickers Bar will be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and cause us to pass a tipping point (and I’m not talking bathroom scales). So much to worry about, so little time. (Watts Up With That?)

Well, it works in virtual worlds... Invention: Hurricane pacifier - Interest in hurricane mitigation has peaked since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, and any means of limiting the damage wrought by these huge storms would be welcomed by governments and vulnerable populations alike.

Now an Israeli team says it has developed a way to take the sting out of the storms. Their new patent application says seeding hurricanes with smoke particles could lower wind speeds enough to mitigate their destructive potential.

A hurricane's destructive potential is proportionally related to the strongest winds inside it, and only a small reduction in wind speed is needed to dramatically reduce the damage it causes. ( news service)

Penny Wong defends $14m cost of climate change ads - TAXPAYERS are footing an advertising bill of more than $146,000 a day so the Rudd Government can peddle its warnings about climate change.

The Government has set aside almost $14 million for a four-month climate change campaign, which started in July and ends next month.

The details, revealed in a Budget estimates committee hearing, sparked deputy leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Eric Abetz, to attack Climate Change Minister Penny Wong for being irresponsible and hypocritical.

The hearing was told almost $10 million had been poured into publicity, which includes television advertisements, leaving almost $4 million to be spent within the next few weeks. (Courier-Mail)

From CO2 Science this week:

Antarctic Temperature and Snowfall in a Warming World: How has the pair of crucial parameters varied over the past half-century? ... and what do the results suggest about future sea level rise?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 612 individual scientists from 362 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Tornetrask Area of Northern Sweden. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Nitrogen (Progressive Limitation Hypothesis: Loblolly Pine): 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: Creosote Bush, Soybean, Thale Cress, and Wheat.

Journal Reviews:
North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity: How has it varied between 1878 and 2006?

Large Snowstorms East of the U.S. Rocky Mountains: How did their numbers vary over the last half of the 20th century?

The Atacama Desert During the Medieval Warm Period: What distinguished it from the globally-cooler periods that preceded and followed it?

Reproductive Responses of Paper Birch Trees to Elevated CO2 and O3 Concentrations: What are they? ... and how do the benefits of atmospheric CO2 enrichment compare with the damages caused by O3 pollution of the air?

Dietary-Mediated Effects of Elevated CO2 on the Longevity and Fecundity of Japanese Beetles: How does the beetles' consumption of foliage grown in CO2-enriched air affect the two life-trait phenomena? (

Let the Drilling Begin - What are the short-term and long-term benefits of expanding offshore oil drilling?

Oil producers are now allowed to lease previously protected parts of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), thanks to the repeal by Congress of its 26-year-old ban on offshore drilling. Most Americans believe that increased domestic drilling will reduce gas prices and enhance U.S. energy security. Skeptics cite government statistics showing that more domestic drilling will have only a miniscule effect on gas prices and argue that a larger domestic oil supply will not solve America’s long-term energy problem. (Poh Lin Tan, The American)

3 Oil-Rich Countries Face a Reckoning - CARACAS, Venezuela — As the price of oil roared to ever higher levels in recent years, the leaders of Venezuela, Iran and Russia muscled their way onto the world stage, using checkbook diplomacy and, on occasion, intimidation.

Now, plummeting oil prices are raising questions about whether the countries can sustain their spending — and their bids to challenge United States hegemony.

For all three nations, oil money was a means to an ideological end.

President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela used it to jump-start a socialist-inspired revolution in his country and to back a cadre of like-minded leaders in Latin America who were intent on eroding once-dominant American influence.

Iran extended its influence across the Middle East, promoted itself as the leader of the Islamic world and used its petrodollars to help defy the West’s efforts to block its nuclear program.

Russia, which suffered a humiliating economic collapse in the 1990s after the fall of communism, recaptured some of its former standing in the world. It began rebuilding its military, wrested control of oil and gas pipelines and pushed back against Western encroachment in the former Soviet empire.

But such ambitions are harder to finance when oil is at $74.25 a barrel, its closing price Monday in New York, than when it is at $147, its price as recently as three months ago. (New York Times)

Power struggle - Ontario’s regulatory process for electricity has broken down. The former Power Authority CEO explains how to fix it (Financial Post)

UK's Brown Says Downturn Won't Hit Green Plans - LONDON - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Tuesday the global economic downturn would not affect a government drive to reduce the country's carbon emissions. However, an industry executive cast doubt on the ability of the UK's existing power transmission network to cope with planned increases in wind power output. (Reuters)

Alternative Energy Suddenly Faces Headwinds - HOUSTON — For all the support that the presidential candidates are expressing for renewable energy, alternative energies like wind and solar are facing big new challenges because of the credit freeze and the plunge in oil and natural gas prices.

Shares of alternative energy companies have fallen even more sharply than the rest of the stock market in recent months. The struggles of financial institutions are raising fears that investment capital for big renewable energy projects is likely to get tighter.

Advocates are concerned that if the prices for oil and gas keep falling, the incentive for utilities and consumers to buy expensive renewable energy will shrink. That is what happened in the 1980s when a decade of advances for alternative energy collapsed amid falling prices for conventional fuels. (New York Times)

What on Earth? Going green doesn't add up - THEY promise their owners greener driving and clearer consciences. But motorists would have to drive their low-emission cars up to the equivalent of three times around the world to recoup the extra cost. (The Scotsman)

Clueless parents? Not necessarily… - A full 43% of parents of an underweight child consider their child to be of average weight and 1.5% thought their underweight child was even overweight. Twice as many parents say they are concerned that their child might be overweight compared to underweight. Sixty percent of underweight girls don’t think they are underweight, compared to half of boys. Parents of girls are more like to incorrectly see their child as overweight than parents of boys. Almost half (49%) of parents of children who fall in the overweight category on BMI growth curves fail to identify their child as being overweight. (Junkfood Science)

Coming soon to your employer wellness program — metabo - Earlier this year, we first learned that older Japanese workers were being required to undergo blood tests and ‘flab checks’ to identify people with metabo. These were people ostensibly costing the national healthcare system because of their bad diets and lifestyles, making compulsory medical interventions necessary. We heard little about the unsound medical evidence behind metabo and how it was most discriminating against workers who were older or who had certain genetic predispositions. Perhaps, it didn’t seem important since Japan was half a world away and everyone believed that something like that could never happen here… (Junkfood Science)

The new asbestos science scare - A medical journal editorial tries to squelch the debate

Under the populist guidance of Health Minister John “Baby Bottle” Baird, the federal government last week banned “the importation, sale and advertising” of baby bottles containing bisphenol A. In a news release Friday, Mr. Baird said he was responding to the electorate, “especially mothers of babies and small children in my own constituency in Ottawa West-Nepean” who were worried about the risks.

The reason Ottawa West-Nepean mothers might have been concerned would be because Mr. Baird ran pre-election ads in local newspapers inviting mothers to attend information sessions at local shopping centres where the minister promised to explain the government’s role in protecting babies from baby bottles containing bisphenol. There are no identified risks, but Mr. Baird turned bisphenol into a local baby bottle scare. Now that we know how Mr. Baird and the Tories treated science in the baby bottle case — never mind what research shows, this is politics and the precautionary principle rules — it will be interesting to see how they handle another hot issue, asbestos.

Thanks to activists in Europe, Canada and the United States, and a sensational editorial in the latest Canadian Medical Association Journal, the New New Conservative government faces what looks like an old, old dilemma. Should it cave into demands that the only form of asbestos still mined in the world—at Thetford Mines in Quebec — be subject to restrictions, or even banned, because it might be a dangerous carcinogen? (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

D'oh! Food drive 'fundamentally flawed' - Healthy eating campaigns risk failure because they do not take enough notice of the different circumstances facing families, says a report. Even high-profile initiatives, such as those by chef Jamie Oliver, can only reap short-term benefits, it argues. Too many fall back on the "blame culture" when offering advice, it says. (BBC News)

!? Mobile phone radiation fries sperm - study - MEN who talk for hours on their mobile phones could be jeopardising their chance of fathering a child, Australian research suggests.

An experiment on semen revealed evidence of DNA damage after 16 hours of exposure to radiation similar to the output of a mobile phone.

The preliminary study, presented at a fertility conference in Brisbane today, is the first of its kind, and supports US research showing heavy mobile phone users have up to 40 per cent lower sperm counts than lighter users. (AAP)

I have to wonder how these guys are holding their phones... "Please hold, some of my other cells are ringing!"

Dodgy recommendation: Protecting your skin is more important than getting vitamin D - "The reality is you need about five minutes of sun exposure, three to four times a week, on an area the size of your face or hands," says dermatologist Mark Lupin, regional director of the Canadian Dermatology Association.

Any more than that, and your skin stops making useable vitamin D and starts making an inactive form that won't do you any good anyway, says Lupin, a director of the Cosmedica Laser Centre in Victoria. (Jenny Lee , Vancouver Sun)

Actually it depends where and when -- people living in high latitude regions have no hope of getting sufficient sun exposure for much of the year while tropical residents can get all the sun exposure they require in minutes per day. You should avoid sunburn but you should definitely not be afraid of sun exposure.

U. of C. split over Friedman tribute - CHICAGO—In the world of economics, the name of free market icon Milton Friedman is as closely associated with the University of Chicago as the Beatles are with Liverpool.

But for some at the august, ivy-covered university itself, that inexorable association with the late, Nobel Prize-winning economist and his hands-off economic prescriptions has become more troubling amid the global financial meltdown.

So while protests at other colleges focus on Iraq or global warming, here, where 10 percent of students study economics, the furor is over the naming of a new institute after the diminutive, bespectacled Friedman, who taught at the U. of C. for 30 years.

"Friedman's over," said Bruce Lincoln, a religion professor who joined about 70 others at a recent campus protest, where some demonstrators sucked on pacifiers to illustrate their charge that the university has tried to muffle debate surrounding the Milton Friedman Institute. (Associated Press)

Crunch May Spur Rethink Of Nature As 'Free' - BARCELONA - The worst financial crisis since the 1930s may be a chance to put price tags on nature in a radical economic rethink to protect everything from coral reefs to rainforests, environmental experts say. (Reuters)

What they mean, although they apparently don't know it, is that they recognize the tragedy of the commons and really do believe in property rights as the ultimate in environmental protection.

Good grief! Environmental Failure: A Case for a New Green Politics - The U.S. environmental movement is failing – by any measure, the state of the earth has never been more dire. What’s needed, a leading environmentalist writes, is a new, inclusive green politics that challenges basic assumptions about consumerism and unlimited growth. (James Gustave Speth, Yale Environment 360)

What a maroon! Earth is in great shape but these guys just have to wallow in misery. Sheesh!

Climate change's threat to water needs more study - JOHANNESBURG, 21 October 2008 - Models to predict the impact of climate change on potable water and the management of wastewater are needed to deal with the expected increase in water-related illnesses as result of global warming, says a new policy brief by the United Nations University (UNU). (IRIN)

We agree clean water and sanitation are really big deals in human health care. What's wrong with this is it ties the issue to climate change, which is entirely unpredictable at our present state of knowledge.

Video: CO2 Truth-Alert: The Global Food and Water Crisis: (Uploaded 22 October 2008) - In a paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, four British scientists report that "agriculture accounts for 80-90% of all freshwater used by humans," that "most of that is in crop production," and that "in many areas, this water use is unsustainable." As a result, they say that "farmers in many countries are now faced with legislative restrictions on use of water," noting that the Chinese government "has set a target of a reduction of 20% in water use in agriculture by the year 2020," such that "if food security for the region is not to be threatened, this must be achieved without a loss in production." So how is this global food and water crisis to be met and overcome? (

October 21, 2008

Obama's Carbon Ultimatum: The coming offer you won't be able to refuse. - Liberals pretend that only President Bush is preventing the U.S. from adopting some global warming "solution." But occasionally their mask slips. As Barack Obama's energy adviser has now made clear, the would-be President intends to blackmail -- or rather, greenmail -- Congress into falling in line with his climate agenda.

Jason Grumet is currently executive director of an outfit called the National Commission on Energy Policy and one of Mr. Obama's key policy aides. In an interview last week with Bloomberg, Mr. Grumet said that come January the Environmental Protection Agency "would initiate those rulemakings" that classify carbon as a dangerous pollutant under current clean air laws. That move would impose new regulation and taxes across the entire economy, something that is usually the purview of Congress. Mr. Grumet warned that "in the absence of Congressional action" 18 months after Mr. Obama's inauguration, the EPA would move ahead with its own unilateral carbon crackdown anyway.

Well, well. For years, Democrats -- including Senator Obama -- have been howling about the "politicization" of the EPA, which has nominally been part of the Bush Administration. The complaint has been that the White House blocked EPA bureaucrats from making the so-called "endangerment finding" on carbon. Now it turns out that a President Obama would himself wield such a finding as a political bludgeon. He plans to issue an ultimatum to Congress: Either impose new taxes and limits on carbon that he finds amenable, or the EPA carbon police will be let loose to ravage the countryside. (Wall Street Journal)

PDO and temperature trends - The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) was switching into cool and/or warm modes almost exactly when cooling/warming trends began in the 20th century.

This observation has been known to Joe D'Aleo and others for years. Roy Spencer is now completing a paper for Geophysical Research Letters in which he quantifies these relationships: (The Reference Frame)

Spin cycle: Simple Question, Simple Answer... Not - The following article appeared originally in slightly different form on September 8, 2008 on the blog. It is being reproduced here, with the permission of The author has added a postscript. (Spencer R. Weart, Forum on Physics & Society)

While Weart admits some of the difficulties in climate modeling he gives way too much credence to admittedly bad models. He claims we know enough to "take action" and have long done so. This is disingenuous, to say the least. Climate models are process models -- they help us isolate and attempt to understand some of the energy transactions taking place in a hugely complex interaction of which we have limited understanding and no predictive ability. For example we know that the El Niño Southern Oscillation rearranges Earth's thermal furniture -- it is not itself a source of heat but somehow causes Earth's surface temperature and that of the lower troposphere to change. We know this to be true because we can see its effect in all the major mean temperature time series:

We do not understand it and we cannot predict it but we can see that Earth cooled way too quickly after the event for hysterical claims about enhanced greenhouse to be true. If water vapor really magnified greenhouse effect to the extent hypothesized then the 0.5-1.0 K warming experienced during the 1997/98 El Niño should have been sustained much longer than it was.

In fact, we do not even need "unusual" events to see that even significant warmings do not trigger self-sustaining enhanced greenhouse from increased evaporation and water vapor greenhouse effect since the Earth's lower troposphere warms more than 2 kelvins (° C) from January to July each and every year, only to cool again. The northern hemisphere troposphere warms roughly 10 kelvins during that period and yet this is insufficient to trigger any enhanced greenhouse problem.

If 10 kelvins tropospheric warming cannot trigger enhanced greenhouse "runaway" then how could the trivial warming possible from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide do so? How can we assume it really would be magnified from the physically possible 1.2 K to 3 K by water vapor feedback when the massive change in insolation and albedo as winter snow and ice fields thaw occurs in each hemisphere each year without managing to carry over into the opposing hemisphere's summer warming?

Modelers cannot explain this "failure to occur" and yet insist their imaginary effect (used to force model output to some semblance of realism) presents a clear and present danger to us all (pay more and we'll tell you even scarier stories).

Climate models do not now and probably never will perform useful predictive functions. Weart's supplementary statement "If we require a level of certainty equivalent to what governments use in deciding to intervene in markets or go to war, it is obvious that climate science has exceeded that level for a decade or more." is an obvious nonsense since, to the best of human knowledge, each year has an equal chance of being warmer or cooler than the last.

Lorne Gunter: Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof - In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.

Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures -- they're going down, not up. (Lorne Gunter, Financial Post)

Sun’s protective ‘bubble’ is shrinking - From the UK Telegraph - source link

The protective bubble around the sun that helps to shield the Earth from harmful interstellar radiation is shrinking and getting weaker, NASA scientists have warned. (Watts Up with That?)

California Releases Climate Plan - California is considered the national leader on climate policy because of Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law in 2006. The act directs a California agency, the Air Resources Board (CARB), to formulate a strategy that would reduce the state’s greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, a thirty percent decrease from business as usual.

This week CARB released the final version of its plan to achieve the emissions cuts, and as we have noted before, it is full of wishful thinking and policies that have already failed. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

If people are dumb enough to pay for hot air... Pollution Credits Let Dumps Double Dip - CAPE MAY COUNTY, N.J. -- America's garbage dumps are reaping a windfall from the fight against global warming. But their payday might not be doing much to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

For more than a decade, the landfill here has made extra profit simply by collecting methane given off by rotting trash, and selling it as fuel. Last year, the landfill learned that doing this also qualified it to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars via a new program that pays companies to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions.

Eliminating methane lets dumps sell "carbon credits" to environmentally conscious people and companies. The long-term goal of trading credits -- basically, vouchers representing reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases -- is to reduce global pollution by encouraging others to cut emissions when the buyers of the credits can't or won't cut their own.

"It seemed a little suspicious that we could get money for doing nothing," says Charles Norkis, executive director of the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority, which has raised $427,475 selling credits since February, or 3% of the authority's projected solid-waste revenue for the year.

The sale of credits by these landfills undermines a premise of the global fight against climate change. The credit system was designed to encourage pollution cuts that wouldn't have happened without a financial incentive. But the credits aren't helping the environment if they're merely providing extra profit for cleanups already made. And dumps already have an incentive to capture methane because selling it can be profitable. (Wall Street Journal)

Italy Rocks EU Climate Meet, Others Eye Global Deal - LUXEMBOURG - Italy kept up the pressure to dilute European Union climate proposals on Monday, but most other EU nations reaffirmed the goals and stressed they would approach global talks this year in "full negotiating mode". (Reuters)

Italy will sign EU climate plan with revision clause: report - Italy will sign the EU's climate plan in December but only on condition the deal is revisited at the end of 2009 once real costs have been analysed, ANSA news agency reported Saturday. (AFP)

'Europe Cannot Allow Itself to Fall Behind' - German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel discusses the rift among EU member states over a current proposal to slash carbon dioxide emissions. He says a deal will likely be reached, but that flexibility is needed to prevent companies from leaving Europe and taking jobs with them. (Der Spiegel)

Australia Won't Copy Britain's Carbon Targets - CANBERRA - The Australian government on Monday ruled out following Britain with a tougher target for carbon emissions by 2050, saying business needed certainty over targets in the run-up to carbon trading. (Reuters)

Are they really so deranged? Climate Deniers and Freedom of Screech - Does the right of freedom of speech extend to shouting “Hoax” on a burning planet? The climate change / global warming Deniers made much hysterical arm waving out of James Hansen’s “call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature” and David Suzuki’s call for Denier politicians to be “hold politicians legally accountable“, do the Deniers have a point?

If you check the Denialosphere’s version of both the Hansen interview and Suzuki’s comments the narrative is that both were calling for the criminalization of legitimate dissent, the suppression of freedom of speech, and the punishment of thought crimes. As Richard Littlemore notes, according the the Denialosphere it is “environmental fascism,” “enviro-totalitarianism” and/or the beginning of an “enviro-inquisition.” Is that what really happened?

No, of course not. Every demonstration that Denierism is utter nonsense get’s labeled as something like “Greenhouse robots clamp down on true climate debate.” Typically the claim is utter hogwash (Aside: as a general guideline, if it comes from the Denialosphere it is probably nonsense). (greenfyre)

Seems unlikely anyone actually subscribes to such a position unless they've been neglecting to take certain prescription medicaments...

UK Telegraph falls prey to photo cherry picking - They say a picture is worth a thousand words right? Depending on what you are trying to present, that picture can make or break any presentation.

So it was with great interest that I noticed this picture in the article from the UK Telegraph with this alarming title: Climate change is ‘faster and more extreme’ than feared (Watts Up with That?)

It appears AP is the source of the Photoshop pics.

Northern Greenland: less ice 6,000-7,000 years ago - If you look at the recent pictures, you will notice that the northern beaches of Greenland are surrounded by ice throughout the year.

However, Norwegian (Astrid Lyså and Eiliv Larsen) and Danish researchers recently investigated raised beach ridges on the north coast of the island and determined the origin of the shores. Because pack ice and wave activity influence their formation differently, they could see that there has been a lot of waves over there. Also, dating techniques showed that these beaches molded by open water were born 6,000-7,000 years ago. (The Reference Frame)

'Oops!' again: Climate Change, Acid Rain Could Be Good for Forests -- After more than 20 years of research in the northern hardwood forests of Michigan, scientists at Michigan Technological University's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science have reached a surprising conclusion: Moderate increases in temperature and nitrogen from atmospheric pollution actually improve forest productivity. (

Sillier by the minute: Global Warming Leads India Tigers To Village Attacks - KOLKATA - The number of tiger attacks on people is growing in India's Sundarban islands as habitat loss and dwindling prey caused by climate change drives them to prowl into villages for food, experts said on Monday. (Reuters)

Q&A: "Profit Is Enemy Number One of the Environment" - SANTIAGO, Oct 20 - The global financial debacle is evidence that capitalism "is more alive than ever" and can only be stopped by policies that extinguish all forms of profit or by the end of life on Earth, says Chilean professor and activist Marcel Claude. (Tierramérica)

Is it really possible Socialists cannot see that impoverished people view the environment strictly in terms of food, fuel and shelter (can it be eaten, burned or lived in)? Do they not notice that it is societies which generate surplus beyond their needs (i.e., are wealthy) that divert time, effort and resources to the environment and other purely aesthetic pursuits? Or do they merely hate people so much they'll say and do anything to harm people?

Think about it. Profit is about the only pal the "environment" really has.

World Wildlife Fund’s Luxurious Hypocrisy (Chilling Effect)

See Five-Star Green Hypocrisy

Climate Change Issues: An Australian Contribution to the Debate - An important contribution to the climate change debate has just appeared in final form in Australia. This is the 600-page Garnaut Report, which can be seen as a Southern Hemisphere counterpart to the Stern Review. Its author, Ross Garnaut, is a leading Australian professor of economics, and his review of climate change issues in an Australian context was formally sponsored by the governments of Australia - Commonwealth, state, and territorial.

A full-scale Draft Report by Garnaut was issued in early July, and later followed by a Supplementary Draft Report containing model-based 'targets and trajectories.' These twin documents, together with an earlier public lecture by Garnaut, gave a clear indication as to the line taken in the Review exercise and the eventual core message of the final report. As such, they are reviewed in the attached 5,000-word paper, now published in the current issue of World Economics (Volume 9 Number 3, July-September 2008)..

The paper presents a searching critique of Garnaut's treatment of the issues - in particular, his approach and working assumptions.  Henderson argues that the Review exercise misrepresents dissenting views, gives an over-presumptive account of 'the science', disregards pertinent evidence, and offers a one-sided treatment of risks. Taken as a whole, it presents a misleading picture and constitutes a missed opportunity. (World Economics, October 2008)

Woodside: Australia Carbon Plan May Double Costs - PERTH - Australia's proposed carbon emissions trading scheme could more than double operating costs of the North West Shelf liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, operator Woodside Petroleum Ltd's chief executive said on Monday. (Reuters)

Desperately trying to talk down energy supplies: OIL SANDS-PART 3: Biggest Customer Has Second Thoughts - FT. MCMURRAY, Oct 20 - As Canada's tar sands extraction expands full steam ahead, a perfect storm of internal and external opposition could derail some of the voracious growth at the world's largest energy project.

Together, skyrocketing construction costs, falling crude prices, increasingly vocal opposition from some native groups, and a little known section of the 2007 U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act all threaten growth projections in northern Alberta.

"If I was an investor, I wouldn't want to take the risk of putting money into the tar sands right now," said Liz Barratt-Brown, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defence Council, an NGO leading U.S. lobbying efforts against Canada's heavy oil industry. (IPS)

Obviously Liz Barratt-Brown is not an investor (or at least a good one). In fact she shows all the hallmarks of being a financial saboteur trying to sandbag energy supplies.

No? Duh! Jobs blow revealed in wind energy report - The massive planned expansion of renewable energy may produce far fewer jobs than the government has claimed, a study has found.

Producing enough renewable energy to meet government targets would create about 36,000 jobs in the wind energy sector by 2020, according to a study by Bain & Company for the British Wind Energy Association, to be published today.

Wind is expected to account for most of the renewable energy produced by 2020, as the potential for the expansion of other sources of energy - such as hydro-electricity, wave and tidal generation - is limited.

But the Bain estimate is far adrift of government claims.

Ed Miliband, secretary of state for energy and climate change, said last week that the offshore wind sector alone had "the potential to provide up to 70,000 new, green jobs" in the next decade.

In its renewable energy strategy, published over the summer, the government claimed it would create 160,000 new jobs by 2020. (Fiona Harvey, Financial Times)

New CME for doctors — What wasn’t said about childhood weight management - This past week, the American Academy of Family Physicians announced the release of its latest CME (continuing medical education) Bulletin for family doctors entitled, “Assessment, Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity.” It exemplified the educational information doctors are being given about fat children and, more importantly, what they’re not. (Junkfood Science)

Another sales pitch? Gastric bypass cuts heart risks - NEW YORK - The risk faced by obese people of having a heart attack or other cardiovascular "events" is reduced substantially after they undergo gastric bypass surgery to lose weight, according to a recent study.

The take-home message is that "bariatric surgery can be considered as a means to reduce cardiovascular risk (in obese patients) after conservative treatment options have failed," Dr. John A. Batsis told Reuters Health.

Batsis, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire and his colleagues identified six studies that looked at cardiovascular risk after bariatric surgery for obesity. The risk was estimated from standard tables that assigned a score for factors such as weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Depending on how the patients' risk was assessed, the researchers found that gastric bypass reduced the risk for a future cardiovascular event anywhere from 8 percent to 79 percent, compared to not having the procedure, the team reports in the American Journal of Cardiology. (Reuters Health)

But they didn't measure mortality, just unsubstantiated guesses they've called "risk assessment". It may be that formerly obese people reduced the load on their hearts by slimming down but there are no actual measured positive outcomes here.

2,000 Is Really Enough - Health officials in New York City call it fast-food sticker shock. Since last May, chain restaurants in the city have been required to list the number of calories for every item on their menus. According to a recent survey, more than 80 percent of those who saw the calorie count were “surprised,” even shocked, that an innocent-looking bran muffin could contain 470 calories and a full-fledged Big Mac attack (with soda and fries, of course) more than 1,200.

Health officials around the country are pushing to adopt New York’s “Read ’Em Before You Eat ’Em” postings as another way to attack obesity. (New York Times)

'Western' diets cause a third of heart attack deaths worldwide - Western diets rich in fried food, salt and meat could be to blame for a third of heart attack deaths, a major study has shown.

It found that people who eat lots of meat, fat and dairy products are putting themselves at a much higher risk of a heart attack.

Researchers found that those with a Western diet were 35 per cent more likely to have a heart attack than those living in poorer regions, where fruit and vegetables take the place of meat and dairy in the diet. (Daily Mail)

Two points: 1) RR1.35 is not distinguishable from random chance and 2) even if there is something in such a trivial apparent disparity who is to say it is not because those consuming Western diets live long enough to suffer coronary problems? Silly media claim.

Oh darn... Blow to image of ‘green’ reusable nappy - A government report that found old-fashioned reusable nappies damage the environment more than disposables has been hushed up because ministers are embarrassed by its findings.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has instructed civil servants not to publicise the conclusions of the £50,000 nappy research project and to adopt a “defensive” stance towards its conclusions.

The report found that using washable nappies, hailed by councils throughout Britain as a key way of saving the planet, have a higher carbon footprint than their disposable equivalents unless parents adopt an extreme approach to laundering them. (Sunday Times)

Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett backs logging in forestry debate - TASMANIAN Premier David Bartlett has sided with the forest industry in a fierce debate with conservationists about whether old-growth forests should be protected as reservoirs of carbon.

Mr Bartlett told The Australian that calls by the conservation movement to suspend old-growth logging, because of evidence they might be more valuable as carbon sinks, were nonsense.

"This is bulls**t - this is just not true," the Premier said.

"They can make that claim at the moment because Kyoto Protocol accounting for timber got it totally wrong.

"When you chop down a tree under Kyoto and you burn it, or you alternatively turn it into a high-value coffee table, it's accounted for in exactly the same way. And that is clearly false.

"If you burn a tree, obviously the carbon is released. If you turn it into a coffee table, that carbon is sequestered for life or for a very bloody long time." (The Australian)

October 20, 2008

Candidates Don't Come Clean on Coal - A squabble about “clean coal” has broken among the presidential candidates. Neither side has leveled with voters.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden kicked off the controversy in September when he commented at an Ohio campaign stop that, “We’re not supporting clean coal.” He then had to back track since Barack Obama supports clean coal, as he reiterated in last week’s second presidential debate. Then, at a rally in Scranton, Pa. this week, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin jumped in the fray saying that, “So whether Joe Biden approves it or not, John McCain is going to develop clean coal technology here in America…”

It’s a lot of hot air about an idea that is unlikely to go anywhere fast. (Steven Milloy,

Open letter from The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley to Senator John McCain about Climate Science and Policy - Dear Senator McCain, Sir,

YOU CHOSE a visit to a wind-farm in early summer 2008 to devote an entire campaign speech to the reassertion of your belief in the apocalyptic vision of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change - a lurid and fanciful account of imagined future events that was always baseless, was briefly exciting among the less thoughtful species of news commentators and politicians, but is now scientifically discredited.

With every respect, there is no rational basis for your declared intention that your great nation should inflict upon her own working people and upon the starving masses of the Third World the extravagantly-pointless, climatically-irrelevant, strategically-fatal economic wounds that the arrogant advocates of atmospheric alarmism admit they aim to achieve. ... (The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley via American Thinker)

Birmingham Lunar Society discusses climate change - Climate change – myth or reality? It was a question that taxed some of the leading minds in the field when they gathered in Birmingham this week, as Shahid Naqvi reports.

When it came to the vexed topic of global warming there was not much the assembled panel of experts agreed upon, except their response to one question.

“Should Birmingham now apologise for the Industrial Revolution?”

It was the last of 10 posers put before the panel of six at a public meeting held by the Lunar Society at Birmingham’s Town Hall chaired by the city council’s former chief executive, Sir Michael Lyons.

The supposition behind the question, of course, was that the city’s legacy as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution means it should accept some responsibility for global warming. (Birmingham Post)

Scientific Alliance newsletter 17th October 2008 - A different view of environmental issues

Life is about priorities…

The public is confused about climate change. Surveys generally suggest that a large proportion accept that it is a real and present danger and that humankind is largely responsible. But we are nowhere near a blanket acceptance that this is fact. More worryingly still for policymakers, the percentage of the population willing to pay more in green taxes or change their lifestyle significantly is always smaller than the number who claim to accept anthropogenic global warming as a fact.

Governments are on the horns of a dilemma. They cannot ignore the scientific advice they are receiving on the causes and potential impacts of rising average temperatures. Neither, in Europe, can they ignore the powerful and influential green lobby. On the other hand, matching the rhetoric with policies which make life more expensive or less pleasant for the average person is a sure route to electoral disaster. Indeed, some more extreme environmentalists would argue that tackling climate change is something which cannot be handled adequately by a democracy, and that a more authoritarian form of government is needed.

But, on the assumption that there is no Bolshevik wing of the environmental movement planning to set up a dictatorship of the (eco)proletariat, governments really have little option but to talk tough and long-term while making seemingly contradictory short-term decisions. There is a slow build-up of pressure over time from the internal contradictions of this situation, but this has suddenly been greatly exacerbated by the world economic crisis. It has been a difficult enough task already to expect people to make sacrifices today for promised benefits which may not even be apparent in their own lifetimes, but when jobs, savings, house ownership and pensions are under threat in the unprecedented turmoil over the banking system, it becomes all but impossible. (Scientific Alliance)

EU Vows "Cost-Effective" Climate Plan Amid Crisis - BRUSSELS - European Union leaders planned on Thursday to appease critics of the bloc's bold plans to fight climate change amid economic turmoil with concessions to heavy industry and former communist nations. (Reuters)

There is one cost-effective climate plan but sadly few governments are pursuing it: improve infrastructure to protect citizens from a too-often hostile environment. Unfortunately misanthropes and scammers have convinced most lawmakers to head in exactly the wrong direction of making people more vulnerable to extremes of temperature and precipitation through energy rationing schemes and wealth destruction.

Merkel Says EU Sticks to December Climate Deadline - BRUSSELS - European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to stick to a December deadline for agreeing ambitious measures to fight climate change, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. (Reuters)

Deconstructing Eurospeak - One of the funniest cartoons in Private Eye is always ‘EU-phemisms’. Today, the EU has excelled itself in ‘EU-phemisms’, as it tries to square fantasy policies on climate change with the harsh realities of the credit crunch and world recession [original headline - ‘EU “resolute” on climate targets’, BBC Online Europe News, October 16]. Here is my brief guide to some of the Eurospeak on climate change that has emanated from the European Council Summit in Brussels: (Global Warming Politics)

Climate change targets: 'Bold and courageous' or just more hot air? - In view of the uncertainty over the future direction of the British and the world economies, the timing of Ed Miliband's announcement of new "green" targets was odd to say the least. The younger brother of the Foreign Secretary was only recently installed in the new post of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. It might have been imagined that he would take stock of the extraordinary turmoil in the financial world before committing the country to further environmental measures. But Mr Miliband has required just a fortnight to decide that the 60 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to which the UK had previously signed up was insufficiently ambitious.

There is a lot of ministerial hot air about these targets; new ones are announced long before it is apparent whether existing ones are realistic or achievable. In 1997, the Government said it was going to "reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 20 per cent on 1990 levels by 2010". By 2003 this had become an aspiration to "move towards a 20 per cent reduction…" By 2005, it was saying that "emissions of all greenhouse gases would be around 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010". (Daily Telegraph)

Climate Effort Could Be Stalled by Credit Crisis - The global financial crisis is threatening efforts in the U.S. and Europe to fight climate change.

In Europe, industries and some national governments are pushing back against the European Union's goal of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions 20% by 2020, arguing that the midst of an economic crisis isn't the time for costly new taxes on fossil-fuel consumption.

"Does it make sense to ask companies for such a large sacrifice, and risk hitting citizens' pockets at such a delicate moment, all for environmental policy whose efficacy is questionable?" Italian Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said through a spokesperson. (Wall Street Journal)

Russia Doubts CO2 Market Can Fix Climate Change - OSLO - Moscow doubts carbon trading can solve climate change because recent swings in stock and commodities prices show markets are unable to fix global problems, an official Russian document showed. (Reuters)

But that won't stop them taking any money the West is silly enough to give them for hot air.

Leading article: No time for retreat - The European Union's credibility as a serious economic force has been restored this week by its co-ordinated manoeuvres to rescue the continent's banking sector. The task at hand now for the EU is to maintain its credibility as a serious player in the global struggle to mitigate dangerous climate change. (The Independent)

East Europe Wins Special Treatment in Climate Fight - BRUSSELS - European leaders handed concessions to heavy industry and former communist nations on Thursday to smooth the path to a December agreement on fighting climate change amid economic turmoil. (Reuters)

EU facing revolt over climate change target enforcement - The European Union is facing a revolt from poorer members over tough climate change targets at a time when the global economy is heading for recession.

Italy has teamed up with seven east and central European countries - Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia - to threaten a veto over Brussels legislation that implements an EU target to cut Europe's CO2 emissions 20 per cent by 2020.

Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, attacked the target as an unnecessary burden on European businesses at a time when recession was intensifying international economic competition.

"I have announced my intention to exercise my veto," he said. (Daily Telegraph)

EU climate change push in disarray as Italy joins Iron Curtain revolt - Europe’s commitment to ambitious green goals became the latest victim of the global financial crisis yesterday when a growing number of EU countries rebelled, claiming that the plans were now too expensive.

Plans for binding European legislation by December were dropped as the EU watered down the carbon dioxide blueprint that it had announced with a fanfare 18 months ago.

The revolt by eight countries, led by Italy and Poland, left the EU’s self-proclaimed mission to shape a global, postKyoto agreement on greenhouse gases in disarray. (The Times)

Berlusconi Defends Italy In EU Climate Deal Row - ROME - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday defended Italy's position on an EU climate change deal, denying he was isolating Italy within Europe over the matter.

The row began when EU Environment commissioner Stavros Dimas was quoted as saying he was "astonished" by Italian objections to the deal and that Italy had overestimated the cost of compliance. (Reuters)

EU Must Not Backslide On Climate - UN Official - OSLO - The European Union must avoid backsliding on agreeing a package to fight global warming in 2008 even though economic turmoil may make targets hard to hit, the top United Nations climate change official said on Friday. (Reuters)

Even Time has noticed, kind of: Is Europe Backsliding on Climate-Change Targets? - Is this the moment the European Union's ambitious climate change agenda unraveled? At the end of the two-day E.U. summit in Brussels Thursday, European leaders congratulated one another on their bold bank rescue plans. But the mutual backslapping might have provided perfect cover for a retreat from their long-standing commitment to reduce Europe's overall CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020, compared to 1990 levels. (Time)

The Guardian sees things differently: EU pledges to lead climate change fight despite financial crisis - European Union leaders have reasserted their ambition to lead the world in fighting climate change despite the growing economic recession and mounting rifts among its 27 governments. (The Guardian)

Cash-strapped families face £1,000-a-year bill to help Government beat climate change (as if we didn't have enough problems) - Families face a £1,000-a-year bill after the Government committed Britain to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent before 2050.

The decision gives the UK the toughest climate change targets in the world and could usher in an era of green taxes and carbon rationing. (Daily Mail)

Climate plan pulps employees downstream - MORE than ever, it is all about numbers in the political arena at the moment as the Rudd Government confronts the global market meltdown and the steps needed to counter the dangers of economic recession.

Employment statistics, declining economic growth data and billions of dollars pumped into selected community pockets to encourage retail spending are all suddenly news.

Which makes it the more interesting that Climate Change Minister Penny Wong could deliver a 14-page speech last week to the London School of Economics on the Government's emissions trading plans without even mentioning the challenge of implementing the policy while not losing many of the million-plus people employed in Australia's energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries.

The speech was delivered far away as the $10.4 billion Rudd rescue package for retailers, via consumer pockets, was being unveiled, so it slipped under the domestic media radar. (Keith Orchison, The Australian)

Australian leader holds firm on climate change - CANBERRA, Australia -- World leaders must deal with the threat of global climate change despite the spreading "cancer" of the global financial crisis, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Friday. (AP)

If K.Rudd is a leader then he is one after the fashion of Quintilius Varus and he seems to think we should reprise the role of Rome's XVIIth through XIXth Legions. 'Gorebull warming' may well be K.Rudd's Arminius but Australians are not the 17th, 18th and 19th Legions, so, off you go Kevni, you're on your own pal -- let us know how that turns out for you.

We must press ahead on climate change, Garnaut warns - THE "diabolical" policy problem of climate change should not be pushed into the background by the financial crisis, Ross Garnaut has warned.

The Rudd Government's adviser on global warming said the unprecedented financial crisis of the past month might cause governments to reconsider their commitments on climate change, but it would be bad policy "to allow the approach to important long-term structural issues to be determined by short-term cyclical considerations". (The Australian)

Um... these short-term cyclical considerations -- kind of like 3 decades warming followed by say, 3 decades cooling, huh?

HWGA: Report says Arctic temperatures at record highs - WASHINGTON — Autumn temperatures in the Arctic are at record levels, the Arctic Ocean is getting warmer and less salty as sea ice melts, and reindeer herds appear to be declining, researchers reported Thursday.

"Obviously, the planet is interconnected, so what happens in the Arctic does matter" to the rest of the world, Jackie Richter-Menge of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H., said in releasing the third annual Arctic Report Card.

The report, compiled by 46 scientists from 10 countries, looks at a variety of conditions in the Arctic. (AP)

Well, there has been some impressive warming -- see Alaska's temperature change, for example. The most interesting feature of that of course is that nearly all the warming occurred in the 1970s.

There has been a little warming over the last decade or so, too, although '05/06 was warmer than the last year:

Same deal with the mid-troposphere, only less so (not the expected pattern from enhanced greenhouse).

Regular readers know we have looked at Arctic temperature trends before and found virtually identical trends from the late 1800s through the 1930s and the 1960s through the current millennium.

Ice Reality Check: Arctic Ice Now 31.3% Over Last Year, plus Scientists Counter Latest Arctic ‘Record’ Warmth Claims as ‘Pseudoscience’ (Watts Up With That?)

Arctic Reality Check By Climate Scientist Dr. Ben Herman, past director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and former Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona is a member of both the Institute for the Study of Planet Earth’s Executive Committee and the Committee on Global Change: First of all, the Arctic sea ice is at its minimum in September, not October or November as the scientists in the McClatchy article states. As Arctic ice experts, they certainly should have known this. Another point is that the Arctic temperatures do not "naturally peak in October or November". They peak in mid August generally. Also the article states that since the world's climates are interconnected, what happens in the Arctic may be an indicator of what will happen in the rest of the world. How about what happens in the Antarctic then? Since its ice area has been increasing, is this also an indicator of what might happen in the rest of the world?

Comments on “Arctic air temperatures climb to record levels” (pdf) (Ernst-Georg Beck)

'World News' Rediscovers Global Warming - Despite being overshadowed by financial crisis, ABC blames 'climate change' for melting ice in Greenland. (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

NSIDC’s Dr. Walt Meier answers reader questions on sea ice - Thanks again to Dr. Meier from NSIDC for answering questions, and for offering to do a follow-up. (Watts Up With That?)

Scientists to Probe Antarctica for Sea Rise Clues - OSLO - Scientists will visit a vulnerable part of an Antarctic ice shelf this year to work out if it will crack off in coming decades and perhaps trigger a rise in sea levels, they said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Please read the full article before asking how floating ice can raise sea levels -- the 'concern' is release of back pressure on land-borne glaciers allowing an acceleration of ice flow to sea. Also in the item is fresh admission no one knows why the tiny Larsen A & B shelves collapsed. We can be reasonably confident it is not the result of any recent regional warming -- because there hasn't been any, the 3-decade trend is a trivial cooling:

Obama to Declare Carbon Dioxide Dangerous Pollutant - In my opinion, this is lunacy - Obama’s thinking is completely off the rails now. He cites a new energy plan in August, then cripples it from the start with this sort of thinking. - Anthony (Watts Up With That?)

Our Orwellian Future? - Barack Obama has let it be known that he will allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon Dioxide as a dangerous pollutant if elected president. Last years supreme court ruling makes this possible. The court ruled that the EPA may use the Clear Air Act of 1990 to regulate carbon dioxide as “pollution”. This was of course a terrible ruling. Carbon dioxide is essential for life on earth as we know it. If carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere fall below about 200 parts per million trees stop growing and agriculture grinds to a halt. Carbon dioxide is plant food. If you own a greenhouse and you want your plants to glow faster you pump in three times as much carbon dioxide as exists in the air, up to 1000 parts per million. Something in the air that brings life to the world is not pollution. (Art Horn, Icecap)

Environment will wither whoever win US election - Eager anticipation of the next American president offering a dramatically different policy on climate change is being tempered by the chill winds of the financial crisis.

Barack Obama or John McCain will inherit a blighted economy, a ballooning deficit set to reach $1 trillion and a political landscape in upheaval from the market turmoil of recent weeks.

Environmental groups are already bracing themselves for delays or disappointment on action to tackle global warming which, they say, will inevitably be seen as having an impact on American jobs. (The Times)

Another silly scare crashes and burns: Minor disturbances - Methane deposits stored beneath the sea floor are unlikely to be a major contributor to climate change in the coming century, suggests a new study. Methane clathrates, ice-like structures of water and the potent greenhouse gas methane, are thought to be easily destabilized by rising ocean temperatures. (Alicia Newton, Nature Reports Climate Change)

“Welcome to the 21st Century” - A couple of our recent posts have looked unfavourably at the BBC’s coverage of the climate debate, in particular the three part series, Earth: the Climate Wars. But it’s not all bad at the Beeb, and it’s not fair to characterise their output as entirely biased in favour of environmental alarmists. (Climate Resistance)

Global Warming as a Natural Response to Cloud Changes Associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) - Abstract: A simple climate model forced by satellite-observed changes in the Earth's radiative budget associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is shown to mimic the major features of global average temperature change during the 20th Century - including two-thirds of the warming trend. A mostly-natural source of global warming is also consistent with mounting observational evidence that the climate system is much less sensitive to carbon dioxide emissions than the IPCC's climate models simulate.


Discussion & Conclusions: The evidence continues to mount that the IPCC models are too sensitive, and therefore produce too much global warming. If climate sensitivity is indeed considerably less than the IPCC claims it to be, then increasing CO2 alone can not explain recent global warming. The evidence presented here suggests that most of that warming might well have been caused by cloud changes associated with a natural mode of climate variability: the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

I am posting this information in advance of publication because of its potential importance to pending EPA regulations or congressional legislation which assume that carbon dioxide is a major driver of climate change. Since the mainstream news media now refuse to report on peer-reviewed scientific articles which contradict the views of the IPCC, Al Gore, and James Hansen, I am forced to bypass them entirely.

We need to consider the very real possibility that atmospheric carbon dioxide - which is necessary for life on Earth and of which there is precious little - might well be like the innocent bystander who has been unjustly accused of a crime based upon little more than circumstantial evidence. (Roy W. Spencer)

Exclusive: Bestselling “Climate Confusion” author talks with Chilling Effect! - New York Times best selling author Dr. Roy Spencer was in the nation’s capital last week to talk about his book Climate Confusion. Read highlights from the book here. Spencer spared a few minutes out of his schedule to talk with The Chilling Effect about the book and the current state of the debate: (Chilling Effect)

Outstanding Climate Science Reporting And Investigation By Forrest M. Mims III - There is a set of excellent publications and science reports by Forrest M. Mims III at and Mims has had a career as a science author, lecturer and syndicated columnist. He has written instructional books on electronics and published papers and photographs in some 70 magazines and journals, including Nature, Science and Popular Mechanics. He is a writer and editor for the Society for Amateur Scientists. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Comment On Dot Earth’s Weblog “Agreement Reached to Save Sumatran Forests” - The weblog Dot Earth published an article titled “Agreement Reached to Save Sumatran Forests” which contained the text "According to the environmental group WWF, Sumatra has lost 48 percent of forest cover in the past 23 years releasing vast amounts of planet-warming gases – making the Sumatran forest problem a global problem.

The weblog (and associated New York Times article) appeared on October 9 2008 and is authored by James Kanter.

While the issue of the loss of forest cover is a very major environmental concern, this article, which otherwise is a valuable and accurate news contribution, perpetuates the perspective that the largest climate threat is from the release of carbon dioxide due to the deforestation. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

'Policy neutral' IPCC endorses Presidential Candidate: Obama Win Would Clear Deadlock in Climate Talks, Pachauri Says -- The election of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama would help clear the deadlock in United Nations talks to slow global warming, said Rajendra Pachauri, head of a United Nations panel of climate-change scientists. (Bloomberg)

2008 Harold Clough Lecture: 'The Politics and Science of Climate Change: The Wrong Stuff' - I am pleased to present this lecture today in Perth.

I am particularly pleased to find that Perth is still here. I last visited here in 2005 - the year that Professor Tim Flannery suggested that Perth could become the first ‘ghost metropolis' due to reductions in rainfall because of climate change. (Aynsley Kellow, IPA)

We don't normally consider Al Gore a laughing matter -- but what the heck else can you do with him? Frank TV: New Al Gore Movie - Supernova! It's comin' y'all! - Impressionist Frank Caliendo does his best Al Gore basically admitting that, "it's the sun, stupid" - but Gore goes all alarmist, of course. (Climate Change Fraud)

Green Journalism - The Society of Environmental Journalists conducts its annual conference this week in Roanoke, Va., and the best thing that can be said about it is that this bunch won't be on the beat somewhere trying to report something -- especially about global warming.

But then again these journalists couldn't call it that since the planet's mean surface temperature has not increased over the last eleven years. Instead they've adopted the catchall identifier used by their fellow alarmism activists: "climate change." It's all over SEJ's web page for members, which they call "A guide to the information and disinformation." This is allegedly where they tell their members how to do a fair and balanced job. (Paul Chesser, American Spectator)

Apocalypse Now, via Diorama - There are real issues to be considered here — questions about probabilities, alternative technologies, industrial evolution, relationships between developed and undeveloped nations — but they are never really explored. The main impression, instead, is of an almost religious urgency. “Repent!” these displays seem to call out, “Repent! Before it’s too late!” And perhaps the religious overtones are no accident. Recently the physicist Freeman Dyson wrote in The New York Review of Books that environmentalism has become a “worldwide secular religion” in which the “path of righteousness is to live as frugally as possible.”

Only here the urgency is not otherworldly. The glimpses of what could happen or what might happen or what “many experts” or “most experts” think will happen — as the exhibition puts it again and again — are meant to be spurs to immediate action. “Climate has changed throughout Earth’s long history,” but this time is different, the exhibition says, because “for the first time, humans are causing it.” A worldwide effort is required, “and it needs to start now.”

This exhibition, in other words, made me feel like an agnostic attending church and listening to sermons about damnation. It may all be true — some of it assuredly is — but from a museum, particularly one devoted to natural science, it is reasonable to seek more revelation. (New York Times)

Guest Essay: Lysenkoism And GW - I should like to thank Cliff Ollier for allowing me to repeat in our ‘Guest Essay Series’ a slightly-edited version of his challenging analysis of the possible parallels between Lysenkoism and ‘Global Warming’. Cliff is a geologist, geomorphologist, and soil scientist. He is currently Emeritus Professor and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Earth and Geographical Sciences, The University of Western Australia. He was formerly at the Australian National University (ANU); The University of New England, Australia; Canberra University; The University of Papua New Guinea; and The University of Melbourne. Cliff has been a prolific author, writing especially on volcanoes, on the origins of mountains, and on ancient landforms. (Global Warming Politics)

Oh boy... Immigration to the United States and World-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions - The findings of this study indicate that future levels of immigration will have a significant impact on efforts to reduce global CO2 emissions. Immigration to the United States significantly increases world-wide CO2 emissions because it transfers population from lower-polluting parts of the world to the United States, which is a higher-polluting country. On average immigrants increase their emissions four-fold by coming to America. (Steven A. Camarota and Leon Kolankiewicz, Center for Immigration Studies)

Sheesh! Slowdown to reduce carbon emissions - THE slowing world economy could help to cut back global emissions as factories close and car fleets stall, in a rare piece of good news amid the financial doom and gloom. (Siobhain Ryan, The Australian)

Cold Reality - Funny how economic concerns pull the mind away from foolishness such as global warming. But weather goes on, and in many places it doesn't happen the way fear mongers predict. (IBD)

Solar activity the primary driver of global temperature rise - The period of global warming that we have experienced on our planet over the last century, which has seen a rise in temperature of some 0,6 oC, does not correlate at all with a rise in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), but is does correlate with solar activity. Indications are that solar activity is the primary driver of the variation in global temperature. (Kelvin Kemm, CO2sceptics)

Eye-roller: Foreboding forecast - Even the most stringent of proposed climate mitigation measures may not avert dangerous climate change, shows a new analysis. An increase in global average surface temperature of 2 °C above pre-industrial values is generally considered to be the level of warming that could have serious impacts and, as such, is to be avoided. (Olive Heffernan, Nature Reports Climate Change)

Really? Here's one of the more alarmist time series which shows increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide right enough -- along with alleged warming so trivial no one would notice or worry about in the absence of constant media alarmism.

Should people worry about a possible 0.5 °C rise in mean temperature since about 1880? Why? Where I live at this time of year morning low temperatures are about 15 °C but by the time people get off work and flock to the beaches to lie in the sun and play in the warming waters it's about 25 °C-30 °C in the shade (35 °C-40 °C in full sun). Come high summer they'll still by hitting the beaches with sun-exposed temperatures in excess of 50 °C (and plenty of tourists will get sunburned and suffer heat stroke, too, simply because they are inexperienced in prevailing conditions).

People outside the tropics experience warming (and cooling) of greater than 10 °C each and every year and simply call them 'seasons' without crying 'catastrophe'. This whole temperature sensitivity thing has gone way beyond a joke.

Scientists confirm oceans acidifying at unprecedented speed - The acidification of the world’s oceans, caused by the absorption of huge volumes of carbon dioxide, is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, threatening marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of tens of millions of people, concluded scientists attending the Second International Symposium on the Ocean in a High CO2 World held in Monaco from 6-9 October. (UNESCO)

Nice try fellas but this is not now, nor likely to be a "high CO2 world" at any time in the foreseeable future. For the last few million years Earth's atmosphere is believed to have been in a perilously low state of carbon dioxide enrichment, a trace gas essential for almost all life on Earth's surface. Land plants colonized the continents during the Ordovician (atmospheric CO2 ~4,000-4,500ppmv) and trees appeared in the Devonian, helping aquatic photosynthesizers abundant in the warm shallow seas temporarily draw down the resource to roughly similar levels as we find today during the mass sequestration of the Carboniferous (the source of much of the carbon we now mine). It took until the late Permian for Earth to recover from this depletion although the resource has been continually drawn down throughout the Cretaceous and Tertiary. Only now is some recovery underway as an accidental byproduct of human endeavor.

Plants have rights to CO2 at 2,000 ppm - Chimpanzees are going to get human rights in Europe. They won't be real humans so far, just persons who must get their lawyers who can use anti-discrimination laws to protect their clients and who can bring their guardians new tax breaks. But John Christy is ahead of them:

Follow the logic. If flowers, trees, etc. have rights, then they should have the right to their original food supply (CO2) in quantities as it was when they evolved (about five times today's value).

Another follow the logic: If it is legal to commit the crime of vandalism on power plants to reduce CO2, then it should be legal to run stop signs and red lights because you reduce CO2 as a result. John C. (The Reference Frame)

Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters - According to a recent email....Connie Hedegaard (Danish Climate minister) was asked to apologise to the 21 world leaders she "tricked" into believing that the gletcher retreat was caused by AGW, but she says she will carry on showing the "effects of global warming". (Co2sceptics)

A Tale of Two Theories - ... Now we have another theory: Global warming. As James Hansen will proudly tell anyone listening, he’s been trying to prove it for decades, but where the AIDs conundrum led to discoveries, cooperation, and life-saving drugs, this theory has led to something quite unwholesome. (Thomas Richard, CFP)

Fuel Your Car With Coal? Less Likely Now  - HOUSTON - When crude oil was more than US$145 a barrel and investors were flush with cash, building plants to turn coal into liquid fuel for cars and trucks looked like a winning bet.

But, as oil has fallen below US$70 a barrel amid a looming global recession and slowing fuel demand, plans to convert plentiful US coal supplies into liquid fuels look less certain.

"Things have tightened up," said Bob Kelly, chairman of DKRW Energy LLC, which is eyeing a so-called coal-to-liquids, or CTL, plant in Wyoming.

Despite opposition from environmental groups, who say the plants could exacerbate global warming, coal companies, including giant Peabody Energy, have been pushing CTL as a way out of the American addiction to oil. (Reuters)

Actually it's still a really good idea, if for no other reason than diversification of supply. After all, it's pretty difficult for a hurricane in the Gulf to stop coal production in Wyoming, no?

OIL SANDS-PART 1: Showdown at Ft. McMoney - FT. MCMURRY, Canada, Oct 16 - The sun rises in a bright, red line over flat land, small lakes, boreal forest and peat bogs as our small double engine plane bumps through early morning turbulence between Edmonton and Ft. McMurray, Canada.

With more than 173 billion barrels of oil recoverable with current technology and more than 100 billion dollars in committed capital investment, the Alberta tar sands around Ft. McMurray are considered the largest industrial project on earth. Unlike conventional crude, oil here isn't pumped, it's mined.

Current developments could yield 21 billion barrels of oil, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. In 2007, the tar sands produced 1.2 million barrels of oil every day. By conservative estimates, this number will rise to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2020. (IPS)

OIL SANDS-PART 2: "Where I Come From Is Ground Zero" - FT. MCMURRAY, Oct 17 - The wheels of the Caterpillar 797B, the world's largest truck, are always going round and round at Shell Canada's Albian Sands mine.

The massive dump trucks, with wheels standing twice the size of a person and tires costing some 40,000 dollars apiece, carry tar sand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"There isn't a lot of work in Newfoundland [a traditionally poor province on Canada's Atlantic coast], so you can do pretty well out here," Brian Paley, a mechanic who fixes and inspects the three-storey trucks, told IPS.

Paley says he enjoys the work; he earns a six-figure salary and the rugged northern Alberta landscape allows him to snowmobile in the winter and camp during the summer. (IPS)

Carbon capture could be our green panacea - You might call carbon capture and storage the great white whale of greenhouse gas reduction.

The premise is so simple. Instead of just cutting our carbon dioxide emissions, we capture the waste CO2, and pump it underground, removing it from the atmosphere indefinitely.

It sounds almost too good to be true -- a technological fix that doesn't mean a drastic reduction in our industrial production or our personal lifestyles. And yet, carbon capture isn't something we should just laugh off as an end run around real CO2 reduction. (Edmonton Journal)

Actually it's an energy-expensive 'fix' in search of a problem.

Second Canadian Pipeline Damaged In Explosion - VANCOUVER - A bomb has damaged a natural gas pipeline in north eastern British Columbia, police said Thursday, describing the attack as the second of its kind in the same area in a week. (Reuters)

Energy giants plot revival of coal power - Britain's electricity generators are planning to build several coal-fired power stations despite the controversy over the greenhouse gas emissions that they would produce.

The firms say they need to replace existing coal-fired stations because so many are being closed by European directives aimed at cutting pollution.

New coal-burning power stations will infuriate green groups, who fear that they will jeopardise Britain’s pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. (Sunday Times)

McCain On Nukes: Yes We Can - Barack Obama needs to explain why, if we can power our lights with old Russian weapons, we can't expand our use of nuclear power. Is there really such a thing as nuclear waste? (IBD)

Energy-Hungry Poland Eyes Nuclear Plants - WARSAW - Poland hopes to reduce its heavy reliance on coal, which produces harmful greenhouse gases, by building a few nuclear power plants by 2030, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Gordon Brown’s Blethering Over Wind - Today, my old sparring partner, John Vidal of The Guardian/The Observer, writes a good piece on the impossibilities of meeting Gordon Brown’s wind energy targets [‘UK wind farm plans on brink of failure’, The Observer, October 19]. John does not go far enough, however. The whole project is ill-thought out: (Global Warming Politics)

US Solar Field Foresees Cost Parity With Coal, Gas - SAN DIEGO - US producers of solar power will no longer need federal subsidies within eight years because by then solar power will cost less than electricity generated by conventional power plants, industry players said this week. (Reuters)

New solar energy material captures every color of the rainbow - Researchers have created a new material that overcomes two of the major obstacles to solar power: it absorbs all the energy contained in sunlight, and generates electrons in a way that makes them easier to capture.

Ohio State University chemists and their colleagues combined electrically conductive plastic with metals including molybdenum and titanium to create the hybrid material.

"There are other such hybrids out there, but the advantage of our material is that we can cover the entire range of the solar spectrum," explained Malcolm Chisholm, Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Ohio State. (Ohio State University)

Energy Tribune Speaks with Duncan MacLeod - Since 2006, Duncan MacLeod has served as a global vice president in charge of Shell Hydrogen. MacLeod, with Shell for over three decades, has held positions in Venezuela, the Caribbean, Nigeria, Japan, and the Netherlands. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the E.U. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform, the California Hydrogen Highway Network Advisory Panel, and the California Fuel Cell Partnership Steering Team. Duncan hails from Scotland’s Western Islands and studied economics and geography at Birmingham University in England. He corresponded with Robert Bryce in midAugust. (Energy Tribune)

A costly truism that’s not true— obesity has led to an epidemic of type 2 diabetes in young people - Do you ever wonder how something that isn’t true becomes a truism — something everyone “knows” to be so? Maybe, just hearing it repeated so often leads us to believe it, thinking “surely, someone has fact checked it by now” or “they must know something I don’t.” Seeing it published in a peer-reviewed medical journal serves to add the authority of degreed professionals to a truism, as it’s widely believed that experts fact check during the editorial process. Even more important to the scientific process, though, is the peer review that happens after a paper is published, when the entire scientific and medical community gives it close scrutiny.

But what happens when no one does? What happens when something has come to be seen as so intuitively correct that no one even thinks to question it, even doctors? (Junkfood Science)

It would have been such a simple fact check… - If you hope that food professionals are getting better quality information about child obesity than the general public, the current issue of the trade publication, Food Navigator, will unfortunately dispel that idea. The popular belief that kids are becoming “obese” because they eat ‘unhealthy’ food — as defined by calories, fat, salt and sugar — gulp down uncontrolled portions, and don’t get enough exercise was sadly evident. So, too, were beliefs that the most costly chronic diseases — the “Big Three:” heart disease, cancer and stroke — are caused by improper eating and can be prevented by eating right. (Junkfood Science)

Weight management for preschoolers - Your heart wants to go out to young new parents. Everywhere they turn, they hear frightening news suggesting that their children are headed for premature graves and being endangered by bad foods and unhealthy lifestyles. This generation will be the first to have shorter life expectancies than their parents, they’re told, and to save them, massive interventions and heightened diligence are urgently necessary. (Junkfood Science)

Study finds food for thought - Experiments with young women drinking chocolate milkshakes have explained why some people become obese: the "reward circuitry" in their brains gives them less satisfaction than normal when they eat and drink, so they consume more to compensate. (Financial Times)

E.P.A. Toughens Standard on Lead Emissions; Change Is the First in 3 Decades - The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday set stringent new standards for airborne lead particles, following the recommendations of its science advisers and cutting the maximum allowable concentrations to a tenth of the previous standard. It was the first change in federal lead standards in three decades.

But the cleanup of areas with excessive lead levels is not required for more than eight years, and the system of monitors that detect the toxic contaminant is frayed. Currently, 133 monitors are in operation nationwide, down from about 800 in 1980, an E.P.A. spokeswoman, Cathy Milbourn, said. The agency is working on rebuilding this network, to include more than 300 monitors, Ms. Milbourn said.

The new standards set the limits for exposure at 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, down from 1.5 micrograms, and well within the outer limit of 0.2 micrograms recommended by the advisers. (New York Times)

The question is: "Why?"

Pandering to scare-mongers: Canada To Limit Bisphenol A In Baby Bottles - TORONTO - The Canadian government will move to limit sales of baby bottles made with the chemical bisphenol A, a suspected carcinogen widely used for hardening and shatterproofing plastic and lining food tins. (Reuters)

Hello? Where were they? Better Water, Sanitation Keys To Easing Poverty - UN - OSLO - Providing clean water and toilets in developing nations is the quickest way to eradicate poverty and improve health worldwide, a study by the UN University said on Sunday.

Installing drinking water and sanitation would pay for itself by saving cash spent on treating diseases, would raise productivity lost to illness and create jobs, it said. (Reuters)

Goldman Sachs Government - As Goldman Sachs alumni play a key role in stewarding the nation’s economy, it’s worth recalling that the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith blamed Goldman Sachs for helping to cause the Great Depression. In his book, The Great Crash, 1929, Galbraith, a key figure in President John F. Kennedy’s administration, devoted an entire chapter he titled “In Goldman, Sachs, We Trust,” to detailing the “large-scale corporate thimblerigging” that Goldman and other Wall Street firms practiced in the 1920s.

Thimbleriggers or not, supremely self-assured Goldman Sachs alumni at the highest levels of the Bush administration are now pulling the levers of power in the nation’s capital, confident that they know the way out of the current market turbulence.

Their power is likely to grow no matter who’s in charge in Washington. Commentator David Brooks may not have been joking when he observed this summer: “over the past few years, people from Goldman Sachs have assumed control over large parts of the federal government. Over the next few, they might just take over the whole darn thing.” (American Spectator)

Bad news for Bonobo - It turns out—shockingly, to some correct-thinking academics—that the bonobo ape is just as bloodthirsty as the rest of the higher primates. Yes, it’s true.

Bonobos, a sex- and peace-loving species of ape often held up as an exemplar for human emulatation, like to hunt, kill, and eat other primates. Researchers first learned this by looking at bonobo poop, which contained more than just the expected half-digested berry seeds.

After the spoor had given up it secrets, researchers put a tail on some bonobos and they discovered the truth: the apes hunt in packs, which is obviously more efficacious than hunting singly. Their prey, after all, is fast and wary.

Now, this wouldn’t be the least interesting (or even surprising) except for a curious development in the Enlightened world (Europe, of course). Spain will grant human rights to apes.

Some of you will hail this special instance of Progressive thinking; but before you cheer let me remind you of a fact. Logically, you cannot have a right without entailing a responsibility. What this at least means is that if you grant “human” rights to apes, you must also ensure they own up to their “human” responsibilities. (William M Briggs, Statistician)

Lionfish devastate Florida's native shoals - When Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992, no one gave much thought to the six exotic lionfish that spilt into Biscayne Bay as the storm smashed their Miami waterfront aquarium.

Sixteen years later, thousands of the fish are wreaking havoc off America's east coast, leading a potentially catastrophic marine invasion. (The Times)

Defenders of Wildlife’s Partisan & Misleading Ads on Aerial Wolf Hunt - Follow up to Report Exposing Green Groups as Democratic Party ‘Machines’

This report is part of an ongoing oversight investigation into the funding and partisan political activities of environmental groups. (EPW)

Suzuki worried failed Green Shift may dissuade environment plans - TORONTO — It’s disconcerting that the Liberals’ disastrous showing at the polls and whispered calls for Stephane Dion’s resignation may dissuade politicians from putting the environment at the forefront of future election campaigns, renowned scientist and author David Suzuki said Wednesday.

Dion’s Green Shift carbon tax plan was the centrepiece of the Liberal campaign platform, but it never resonated with voters, mostly because Dion failed to properly articulate its merits to Canadians, environmentalists say.

Suzuki said he now fears the next Liberal leader won’t be as bold as Dion was with environmental policy, and Canada may go through another 20 years of inaction before another prime minister treats environmental crises seriously again. (Canadian Press)

He shouldn't be rude about Canadians -- I think they are smart enough that they'll never fall for such nonsense again.

Wal-Mart environmentalism - Stock market indexes have plummeted from their inflated peaks. Oil and other commodities have likewise plummeted. The next commodity to tumble from unsustainable peak levels: environmentalism.

In part, I am making this prediction because, in my 30 years as an environmentalist, I have never seen so many governments and so many corporations so profusely espousing so many environmental causes. Where promoting environmentalism was once seen as daring and counter-cultural, today it has become banal, no longer the exclusive preserve of a Body Shop chain, but of every retailer down to Wal-Mart. For the same reason that clothes go out of fashion after the masses embrace them, mass-marketed environmentalism will come to be disdained. That won’t sell for long.

I am predicting a collapse of today’s Wal-Mart environmentalism for another reason, too: Much of it is misguided, based on misunderstanding and vacuity. Global warming is by far the biggest such example. (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

Deterioration in BoM rainfall data quality this decade - While chasing updates for Perth Dam catchments rainfall data I have been hit by how common it is to find a marked fall of in data quality this decade. I want to emphasize I have not searched for these cases, they just jumped out in the normal course of checking data. Then I had a quick look at stations relevant to catchments east of Melbourne incl the Thomson, very poor data there.

I wonder why, considering Australia is widely believed to be in the grip of a national rain / water crisis. Our pioneers have little trouble collecting data reliably for the best part of a century and just when the nation is hit by a downturn in rainfall, the BoM appears to drop the ball on what must be one of its prime reasons for existence. I would suggest there needs to be a reallocation of resources in the BoM; more effort on archiving weather and water data history and presenting it free on the www in a usable form and less resources wasted on climate change fairy stories. (Warwick Hughes)

October 16, 2008

Scientists Challenge UK Government Climate Committee to 'Drop flawed science and the Climate Change millstone - Save the economy'. CO2 is the Gas Of Life ('GOL'), it is not a problem

The recommendation that the UK cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent* is "total madness based on false science" said Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction long range forecasters.

"There is no evidence that Carbon dioxide has ever controlled, is controlling or will ever control world temperatures or climate and I challenge the promoters of this nonsense to produce evidence to justify their policies - or drop them, just as 13 world scientists** have similarly challenged the UN.

"Climate Change policy is a millstone around the UK and world economies. The beneficiaries are oil companies who ram up prices with abandon (taking advantage of limits placed on expansion of coal), bio-fuel producers who are increasing food prices and starvation, and the booming industry of climate change parasites such as carbon traders and nuclear power-mongers. (CO2sceptics)

Real Politics Sink Carbon Claptrap - The Canadian voters have shown the door to the imposition of nonsensical ‘Green’ taxes and costs [‘Canadians re-elect Conservatives’, BBC Online Americas News, October 15]. With nearly all the votes in, the sitting PM, Stephen Harper, and his Conservative Party have won 143 seats (37.6% of the popular vote), an increase of 16 seats. The opposition Liberal Party, under Stephane Dion, has lost nearly 20 seats (26.2% of the popular vote). The Bloc Quebecois took 50 seats (10% of the popular vote). (Global Warming Politics)

Emission Trading Scheme - the next bubble in times of financial crisis - This week, the German Minister for Environment, Sigmar Gabriel, was quoted saying the money burnt at financial markets must not be taken away from CARITAS or climate protection. While at first sight everyone might nod his head over this statement, it somehow reveals two interesting things. First, even politicians from the environmental wing must finally admit: the so-called “climate protection measures” cost money, in fact, a hell lot of money.

Second, it reveals the ignorance of these politicians towards some very basic economic facts. The money the government and industry might spend for protecting the environment does not appear out of nowhere. It is earned by real work of real people in real companies. This is even more accurate in times of financial crises, where mere book profits from virtual markets fall to insignificance. In these times, politicians should work on keeping the industrial basis of our economies and social welfare alive and support its growth where possible. Instead, right at the peak of the financial crisis, they are discussing a costly reform of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS.) (New Europe)

EU Leaders Guard Economies in Climate Battle - BRUSSELS - European Union leaders argued over plans to curb climate change on Wednesday, with Italy and Poland calling for caution during the economic crisis and other nations arguing that new green industries will spur growth. (Reuters)

Poland Threatens Veto of EU Climate Deal Deadline - BRUSSELS - Poland threatened on Wednesday to veto a December deadline for adopting ambitious European Union legislation to fight climate change unless changes are made to shield the coal-based Polish economy from the impact. (Reuters)

Italy Business Warns EU on CO2, Climate Goals - MILAN -European Union plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions could cause economic damage because they are so costly, Italian industrial leaders said in comments published on Wednesday. (Reuters)

What planet are these guys on? Voluntary Carbon Offsetting Not Yet Crisis Victim - LONDON - Battling climate change is so important to the image of many companies, and so cheap, that carbon offsetting is unlikely to be an early casualty of the financial crisis, delegates at a London conference said. (Reuters)

Target to cut carbon emissions may be increased as Miliband insists climate change is priority - The new energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband yesterday hinted he will today accept proposals from Lord Turner's climate change committee to increase Britain's target to cut carbon emissions from 60% to 80% by 2050.

In his first interview since appointed secretary of state at the new Department for Energy and Climate change, Miliband insisted there would be no retreat from the government's climate change agenda in the face of the coming recession. (The Guardian)

The Litmus Test For Nonsense - Oh dear! My Daily Newspaper Of Choice (DNOC), The Times, has allowed some unmitigated climate claptrap to pollute the shades of its comment columns [‘A banking crisis mustn't take the heat off climate change action’, The Times, October 16].

The quintessential litmus test for nonsense on climate is the use of the phrase, “a stable climate”. Climate has never been, and never will be, “stable”. The phrase represents the ultimate oxymoron. It is a foolish human desire for something that does not, and never can, exist. How did The Times let such a piece of nonsense through? (Global Warming Politics)

Wouldn't you think a museum would know better? NY Museum's Climate Change Show Dives into Politics - NEW YORK - One of America's most renowned science museums dives into politics again this week with a new exhibition on climate change that curators say is an effort to separate fact from fear.

Three years after tackling the divisive issue of evolution in an exhibition on Charles Darwin, the American Museum of Natural History in New York is mounting a show called "Climate Change: The Threat to Life and A New Energy Future." (Reuters)

Arctic sea ice now 28.7% higher than this date last year - still rallying - 10/14/2008 7,064,219 square kilometers - 10/14/2007 5,487,656 square kilometers

A difference of: 1,576,563 square kilometers, now in fairness, 2008 was a leap year, so to avoid that criticism, the value of 6,857,188 square kilometers can be used which is the 10/13/08 value, for a difference of 1,369,532 sq km. Still not too shabby at 24.9 %. The one day gain between 10/13/08 and 10/14/08 of 3.8% is also quite impressive. (Watts Up With That?)

Some Things We Know and Don't Know About Polar Bears - Introduction: Much of what you hear about polar bears these days - their status, their plight - is distilled from a literature dominated by studies done within very limited portions of the Arctic: those that are accessible to researchers. Logistical and technical difficulties prevent scientists in all disciplines from traveling to, and working within, the ever-changing sea ice that exists well offshore. As a consequence, the picture that gets painted of polar bear existence sounds more completely understood than it really is. Due to the nature of the beast and the habitat in which it lives, there is in reality a profound uncertainty regarding polar bear population status, some of its life history features and conditions of its habitat, and the status of its primary prey, the ringed seal. However, it is clear from their long-term success surviving within this habitat that the tight association polar bears and arctic seals have with moving sea ice gives them tremendous flexibility and adaptability to changing climatic conditions.

My purpose here is to address some of the bias that mars virtually all general information sources one might consult on polar bears and ice-dependent Arctic seals, in point form for easy reference. Most references cited here are available on request as pdf files. This document was compiled from several papers published on associated topics (Crockford 2004, 2006; 2008; Crockford and Frederick 2007; Crockford and Frederick, in review) and material collected in the course of reviewing the January 2007 draft of the Report for Congress on Polar Bears prepared by Library of Congress researcher Eugene H. Buck, filed April/07. This update incorporates information amassed since that date. Written by Dr. Susan Crockford (SPPI)

Absurd claim #... Global warming threatens Australia's iconic kangaroos - As concerns about the effects of global warming continue to mount, a new study published in the December issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology finds that an increase in average temperature of only two degrees Celsius could have a devastating effect on populations of Australia's iconic kangaroos. (University of Chicago)

The blasted long-legged rats are endemic from New Guinea to Tasmania, from Australia's well-watered east coast to the arid west. Their range has been extended and their numbers boosted beyond all recognition through the provision of watering points for livestock and high-value feed in the form of improved pastures and cereal crops. While some small varieties are suffering due to predation from feral cats and foxes this has absolutely nothing to do with climate. Moreover, the perpetually-pregnant pests are evolutionarily perfectly suited to the wildly erratic climate of ENSO-driven Australia, making it highly unlikely a couple of degree shift in temperatures would have the slightest effect on 'roo populations whatsoever. Have these clots ever even seen a kangaroo?

Daily Earth Temperatures from Satellites - A Valuable Climate Monitoring Website From Roy Spencer At The University of Alabama at Huntsville - Roy Spencer has provided to all of us an extremely valuable website to monitor tropospheric temperature variations and trends using AMSU-A satellite data.

The website is the Daily Earth Temperatures from Satellites.  The website writes that

“Daily averaged temperatures of the Earth are measured by the AMSU flying on the NOAA-15 satellite. The satellite passes over most points on the Earth twice per day, at about 7:30 am and 7:30 pm local time. The AMSU measures the average temperature of the atmosphere in different layers from the surface up to about 135,000 feet or 41 kilometers. During global warming, the atmosphere near the surface is supposed to warm at least as fast as the surface warms, while the upper layers are supposed to cool much faster than the surface warms.”

This very user friendly website permits the assessment, for example, of the current global average anomaly at 600 hPa relative to last year’s value (e.g. see for this example). In this example, the global average at this height is 0.33F cooler than last year. It is about 0.15F warmer than the long term average.

The data goes back to 1998, such that we can assess 10 years of tropospheric temperature changes with these important satellite measurements.

If the troposphere is warming, as claimed by the IPCC and CCSP reports, this data provides an ideal data set to test those claims. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Famous Hockey Sticks in History - I do love hockey, it is by far my favorite sport. Probably half of my Canadian readers will stop reading when I say that I am a huge Red Wings fan.

If you came here looking for a NHL discussion though, I apologize this post is about how the false mathematics behind the most famous hockey stick temperature curves. (Jeff Id, The Air Vent)

Will the Real Hockey Stick Please Stand Up? (Jeff Id, The Air Vent)

Id Goes Mythbuster on Hockey Sticks- CPS (Jeff Id, The Air Vent)

Simple Statistical Evidence Why Hockey Stick Temp Graphs are Bent!! (Jeff Id, The Air Vent)

Our minister for climate change... Climate action a moral crusade - Wong - AUSTRALIA has a "moral" duty to tackle climate change and won't delay action because of the world economic meltdown, the Federal Government says.

The doom and gloom pervading world markets may have taken the heat out of global warming, but a defiant Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says it's no excuse to delay action.

Senator Wong, in a speech to the prestigious London School of Economics overnight, rejected calls from business and the Opposition to hold off on emissions trading, which is due to start in 2010.

"There is a moral and personal dimension to this debate," she said. (The Australian)

Putting My Money Where Chevron's Mouth Is - Chevron has plastered a series of posters all over the Washington, D.C. metro system as part of an advertising campaign titled, “will-you-join-us?” Join Chevron how? By becoming an employee and helping Chevron produce the petroleum products consumers need? Nope. By buying Chevron stock and becoming a shareholder? No again. By joining the fight against anti-consumer policies like oil drilling bans and carbon cap-and-trade schemes? Not a chance. (Marlo Lewis, Cooler Heads)

Research points to methods for recovering petroleum - Miles below us, deep within Earth's crust, life is astir. Organisms there are not the large creatures typically envisioned when thinking of life. Instead, thriving there are microbes, the smallest and oldest form of life on Earth. Although the biological diversity of these deep biosphere microorganisms may surpass that of the more familiar surface biosphere, much about them is still unknown, including the origin of the organic compounds they consume. Arizona State University researchers are using a novel approach that integrates physical organic chemistry with organic geochemistry and biogeochemistry to uncover the source of these organic compounds. (Arizona State University)

Blackouts Imminent? - The U. S. faces the prospect of demand-driven blackouts as soon as 2009, according to a report issued last week by the NextGen Energy Council. The study, “Lights Out in 2009?,” says that U.S. base-load generation capacity reserve margins "have declined precipitously to 17 percent in 2007, from 30-40 percent in the early 1990s." A 12-15 percent capacity reserve margin is the minimum required to ensure reliability and stability of the nation’s electricity system. Compounding this capacity deficiency, the projected U.S. demand in the next ten years is forecast to grow by 18 percent, far exceeding the projected eight percent growth in baseload generation capacity between now and 2016. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads)

Energy Technology Advancements: Any Miracles in the Pipeline? - It has taken only about a century and a half to create our current fossilenergized society, one in which oil has become the most widely traded world commodity. Oil and natural gas provide about 63 percent of all U.S. energy, approximately 61.5 quadrillion Btus a year.

Coal provides nearly a fourth of the total energy, and about half of all U.S. electricity. At this rate, and with growing consumption and uncertain imports, our decades of fossil sufficiency are numbered. World production of oil and natural gas may have already peaked. Coal reserves, particularly in the U.S., are much more abundant, but new coalfired plant construction is encountering opposition from environmental groups and carbon emission capandtrade market interests. So where does this leave us? Will emerging technologies cure our energy dilemmas? (Larry Bell, Energy Tribune)

People-hating Bob Carr is still around -- who knew? Former premier attacks 'filthy' coal - COAL-fired power plants are "filthy" and the world's reliance on coal must end, former New South Wales premier Bob Carr said today. Coal underpins the Australian economy and provides 13,000 jobs in Mr Carr's home state, but that didn't stop his tirade today. (The Australian)

The poor gibbering nitwit is an acolyte of David Suzuki.

Europe's carmakers face massive hit from over-the-top CO2 rules - As car sales crater and manufacturers cut output, lay off workers and slash prices to try and retain some semblance of viability, the European Union plans to saddle the industry with huge cost increases because it wants to change the climate.

These new rules would stop the industry selling its most profitable vehicles, force it to spend money making econoboxes nobody wants to buy, and all in the name of curbing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which many reputable scientists say have no proven link with a changing climate. (Detroit News)

EU Car Nations Close to Agreeing Slower CO2 Curbs - BRUSSELS - Italy is close to backing a French plan to phase in European Union curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from cars by 2015, leading to a united front among car-making nations, sources in the talks said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Wind Energy: Unreliable, Heavily Subsidized - A writer for the Omaha World Herald paper recently wrote an article on wind energy activities in the Midwest. It was notable in its promotions of the wind energy spokesmen, as well as a lack of cost and performance details. I wrote the following comments in response to her in the hopes that her readers would gain a better understanding of the problems inherent in all such windmill projects.

I’d like to share some thoughts on wind energy with you. My problems with wind energy have been the same for 40 years and little has changed to modify any of this. After 40 years of heavy subsidies, dedicated government research programs (wind mills just aren’t that complex), wind energy is still a small marginal source of unreliable energy. (Michael R. Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

Norway's REC Says Solar Not Immune to Crisis - LOS ANGELES - Renewable Energy Corp's business is holding up for now, but it "would be naive" to think that the fast-growing solar industry will not be affected by the global financial crisis, its chief operating officer said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Now an epidemic of hypertension? - Today’s news has been reporting that rates of hypertension among Americans are soaring, according to a new study, and that the dramatic increases are due mainly to obesity. Simultaneously, this new study is being used as evidence of a need to make prevention and control of obesity, called a “stroke-causing condition,” a major national focus. Looking closer at the study, however, reveals that the evidence is unable to support such dire concerns. You may actually find its results reassuring. So, let’s turn the panic dial down a notch and take a look. (Junkfood Science)

Breast cancer screening — deciding what's best for you - It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month and everywhere we turn there are pink ribbons, as well as news stories reporting as much (or more) misinformation as helpful. Based on sometimes alarming media portrayals, breast cancer is afflicting growing numbers of women. Few women will make it to Halloween without feeling anxious and worried that they’ll be next.

Of course, we all want to support the best clinical research and nail these cancers with the most effective treatments that will save women’s lives. But it’s also easy to get behind anything that sounds beneficial, believing better-safe-than-sorry is always best. Screening is one such intervention that seems like a slam dunk. After all, “what could be the harm?”

But, as the medical literature has explored, cancer screening is more complicated than 'early detection means better survival'. With any health intervention — even something as intuitively simple as promoting healthy eating and exercise to children — there are always risks and potential harms that have to be weighed against the strength of the evidence of their benefits. (Junkfood Science)

How to not tell people what's useful about your research: Diatom genome helps explain success in trapping excess carbon in oceans - Diatoms, mighty microscopic algae, have profound influence on climate, producing 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe by capturing atmospheric carbon and in so doing, countering the greenhouse effect. Since their evolutionary origins these photosynthetic wonders have come to acquire advantageous genes from bacterial, animal and plant ancestors enabling them to thrive in today's oceans. These findings, based on the analysis of the latest sequenced diatom genome, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, are published in 15 October edition of the journal Nature by an international team of researchers led by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) and the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris. (Joint Genome Institute)

What the heck is "excess carbon"?

Hmm... Green Christmas more likely than a white Christmas - Christmas will be green, rather than white this year as changes in the climate mean that leaves are staying on the trees right into the winter. In the 1940s traditional English trees used to shed their leaves in early November. But now they are keeping their greenery well into December. (Daily Telegraph)

October 15, 2008

Dr. Richard Keen’s “Global Warming Quiz” - Dr. Richard Keen of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) at the University of Colorado has a very interesting set of questions that he has posted with respect to global warming. It can be viewed here.

His class website, which illustrates his expertise in atmospheric science, is here.

His global warming quiz is quite informative. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

I missed this a couple of weeks ago: Global-warming - myth, threat or opportunity? - The most critical problem we face is not global warming, or how to make fuel more expensive so we will use less, but providing enough at affordable prices to keep our economy going until alternatives can become reality, writes scientist Dr Walter Starck. The Lucky Country has the choice between disaster and a unique opportunity. (News Weekly)

Some people missed the Columbus Day edition so we repeat this here: Really? Scientists resolve long-standing puzzle in climate science -- A team led by Livermore scientists has helped reconcile the differences between simulated and observed temperature trends in the tropics.

Using state-of-the-art observational datasets and results from computer model simulations archived at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LLNL researchers and colleagues from 11 other scientific institutions have refuted a recent claim that simulated temperature trends in the tropics are fundamentally inconsistent with observations. This claim was based on the application of a flawed statistical test and the use of older observational datasets.

Climate model experiments invariably predict that human-caused greenhouse gas increases should lead to more warming in the tropical troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere) than at the tropical land and ocean surface. This predicted “amplification” behavior is in accord with basic theoretical expectations. ( | Complete paper | "Fact sheet"

But Benny, this dataset is brand new and it tells us tropical lower-troposphere warming is, well, what warming? That is the region where we are supposed to be looking, isn't it?

No, wait! It's supposed to be the tropical mid-troposphere! That's where we are assured the "human signature" of accelerated warming is sure to be observed. The tropical mid-troposphere hotspot... Uh-oh...

They can try to fudge all they like but the bottom line is that the tropical tropospheric "hot spot" does not exist. The world might have warmed as alleged over the last 3 decades but the "human signature" is missing.

Global warming debate heats up - NASA scientists duel over interpretation of data

WASHINGTON – While one NASA scientist says man-made catastrophic climate change will cause an apocalypse, another says hysterical pronouncements about carbon dioxide emissions are unwarranted and overblown.

James Hansen, a political ally of former Vice President Al Gore, who has popularized the notion the planet is on the verge of calamitous changes as a result of higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, says: "We do have a planetary emergency, but it is difficult because you don't see that much happening. … If we don't bring this under control, we're going to destroy creation."

Hansen told a Kansas wind and renewable energy conference last month global warming inevitably will bring about droughts, melting ice caps, rising sea levels and mass extinctions.

But Roy Spencer, U.S. science team leader for NASA's collection of satellite temperature data and principal research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville's Earth System Science Center, says the climate system is not as sensitive to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide as computer models suggest. (WorldNetDaily)

Bad weather was good for Alaska glaciers - 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)

Where they say "unusually" that is true for the last few decades but not in the longer term. Goes on to mention a lot of things warmers would rather you weren't reminded of in a generally well-balanced article.

Multidecadal Ocean Cycles and Greenland and the Arctic (Joe D'Aleo, Intellicast)

Don’t Panic - The Arctic has survived warmer temperatures in the past - Since we are in the season of comparing charts, graphs and interpretations of the summer Arctic ice melt, it may be useful to pause and consider the history of Arctic temperatures in the Holocene. There is an abundance of data compiled by hardworking field researchers over the years. Before everybody got so excited about global warming, it was understood that the Arctic was considerably warmer in earlier parts of the Holocene than in the present. The evidence for these warmer periods seems to have been forgotten in an age when satellite data causes us to fixate on the last thirty years. (Climate Sanity)

Politics, money blur climate change picture - Achieving meaningful reductions in greenhouse gases that cause global warming could result in higher taxes and electric bills while also driving up costs for everything from food to electronics.

By how much?

That's one of the great unknowns, though many of the world's top climate scientists believe that failing to act is a foolhardy risk that could irreversibly harm the planet and cost more in the long run. (Toledo Blade)

U.N.: crisis can't kill climate change action - WARSAW, Poland – Environment ministers from key players in the climate change debate agreed Tuesday that the world financial crisis must not halt efforts to combat global warming. (Associated Press)

So says a bunch of Tinkerbells without real portfolios...

EU climate pact in crisis ahead of summit - French attempts to craft a global warming pact to make the EU a world leader in tackling climate change are gridlocked, with governments unable to agree on how to share the pain and costs of slashing greenhouse gases by 20% within 12 years.

A European summit tonight in Brussels will fail to agree on the means to the end of meeting the EU's ambitious targets, warned diplomats and officials.

The deal has to be struck by the end of the year for the package, which was agreed unanimously by European governments 18 months ago, to become European law.

But senior officials and diplomats doubt whether that will be possible despite the fanfare that accompanied the unveiling of the policy last year. (The Guardian)

Take the greenhouse gasbags with a grain of salt - HAVE you noticed how environmental campaigners almost inevitably say that not only is global warming happening and bad, but also that what we are seeing is even worse than expected?

This is odd, because any reasonable understanding of how science proceeds would expect that, as we refine our knowledge, we find that things are sometimes worse and sometimes better than we expected, and that the most likely distribution would be about 50-50. Environmental campaigners, however, almost invariably see it as 100-0.

If we are regularly being surprised in just one direction, if our models get blindsided by an ever-worsening reality, that does not bode well for our scientific approach.

Indeed, one can argue that if the models constantly get something wrong, it is probably because the models are wrong. And if we cannot trust our models, we cannot know what policy action to take if we want to make a difference.

Yet if new facts constantly show us that the consequences of climate change are getting worse and worse, high-minded arguments about the scientific method might not carry much weight. Certainly, this seems to be the prevailing bet in the spin on global warming. It is, again, worse than we thought and, despite our failing models, we will gamble on knowing just what to do: cut CO2 emissions dramatically.

But it is simply not correct that climate data are systematically worse than expected; in many respects, they are spot on, or even better than expected. That we hear otherwise is an indication of the media's addiction to worst-case stories, but that makes a poor foundation for smart policies. (Bjorn Lomborg, The Australian)

The Week in D. C. - Representatives John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va.) this week released a 461-page draft bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their cap-and-trade proposal is full of detailed plans for distributing and auctioning the rationing coupons. The most obvious difference between it and most of the other cap-and-trade bills that have been introduced in this Congress is that the targets start out easy before reaching roughly the same level by 2050. The Dingell-Boucher draft would start reducing emissions in 2012 to reach a target of six percent below 2005 levels by 2020, then 44% below by 2030 and 80% below by 2050.

Since Dingell is Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Boucher is Chairman of the subcommittee of jurisdiction, this is where the debate will start in the 111th Congress. However, Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) have attracted a lot of support in the House Democratic Caucus for a plan with much more ambitious targets. (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Digest)

Huge fight looms in EU over climate change - BRUSSELS: Relief over the success of Europe's intervention in the banking crisis will give way Wednesday to discord over climate change, with nations battling over whether a looming recession makes European Union carbon-reduction targets unaffordable. (Stephen Castle and James Kanter, IHT)

New Zealand Emissions Scheme Faces Bumpy Ride - SINGAPORE - New Zealand's emissions scheme faces a turbulent road before it starts in 2009, bedevilled by hundreds of last-minute amendments, fierce criticism from industry and a national election within less than a month. (Reuters)

But were the trees replaced? Climate report won't harm environment - THE 680-page final report on the impact of Australia of climate change will be published tomorrow - after its publishers paid for carbon credits to make up for the environmental damage caused by printing it in the first place.

Professor Ross Garnaut's report, released online last month but largely overlooked by media coverage which was instead focusing on that day's Wall St meltdown, spells out how climate change will affect this country and what can be done about it. (Wires)

Was the fiber sourced only from trees that had died a natural death and passed quietly in their sleep? What about the forest nutrients lost in the form of these trees removal from the forest? Wouldn't bugs and critters have made use of these expired providers of fiber? I think they should be very embarrassed publishing this assault on Gaia...

No significant global warming since 1995 - The recovery of the earth's climate from the little ice age started about 200 years ago, but the concentration of the atmospheric carbon dioxide started to increase significantly as late as in the 1950s, probably due to rapidly increased burning of fossil fuels.

The climate recovery is still an ongoing process today. A natural warming rate of roughly 0.5 deg C /100 years has been the baseline for more than 100 years, but both short (a few years) and long (20 years) fluctuations around the baseline have occurred for natural but highly speculative reasons, for example a rapid warming in the 1930s followed by a cooling period, and recently again warming until about 1998. (Jarl R. Ahlbeck, Facts and Arts)

Global Warming – Man-made or Natural? - Abstract: One of the most interesting global questions today is whether the climate is changing and, if it really is, whether the reasons are man-made (anthropogenic) or natural - or maybe even both. The United Nations appointed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has on several occasions warned that the climate is rapidly warming and that the reason for this is mostly the increased amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This is an example of an "anthropogenic" effect. Former US Vice President Al Gore is known for advocating his "inconvenient truth" about the changing climate and forthcoming catastrophes and that the "science is settled". But the question still remains: is this so called greenhouse effect by the CO2 gas really of importance? How big is the effect on global warming? What other factors (or "forcings") are involved? Can we trust the IPCC and Al Gore? IPCC talks about a "science consensus" that the CO2 is to blame. But is this really true? Some say "No". There is an increasing group of "climate sceptics" comprising various professionals, non-professionals, scientists, economists, etc., who ask questions and do not accept that scientific issues can be solved by a consensus vote. (Kenneth Rundt, Facts and Arts) | Download full paper.

From CO2 Science this week:

Optimizing Crop Yield Responses to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment: Why is it needed? ... and what is the best and most cost-efficient way of doing it?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 611 individual scientists from 362 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Macal Chasm, Vaca Plateau, Cavo District, Belize. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
West Antarctic Ice Sheet (Sea Level): How might rising temperatures affect the ice sheet's impact on global sea level?

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: Rice, Soybean, Sweetgum, and Wheat.

Journal Reviews:
Earth's Atmospheric Methane Concentration: 2008 Update: How much has it risen over the past decade? Would you believe not at all?

Low-Flow Characteristics of Northern Eurasian Rivers: How have they varied over the last few decades?

The Future of Earth's Terrestrial Birds: What do projected climate and land-use trends suggest about the subject?

North American Birds in a Warming World: How did they adjust their northern and southern range boundaries over the last three decades of the 20th century?

Species Richness in a Central European Bird Community: How did it vary in response to the warming of the last two decades of the 20th century? (

People giving more honest responses? Green drive shows signs of flagging - As a certain Muppet once lamented, it's not easy being green.

A new survey reveals we are not as environmentally friendly as we would like to be, and that the time, effort and money required to change behaviour may be the reason.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development survey questioned 4000 New Zealanders on their success at reducing their emissions in the past, and their intentions for the future. (New Zealand Herald)

Seeing the wood - Consider two propositions. First, avoiding climate catastrophe could require cuts in carbon emissions of as much as 80%. Second, deforestation accounts for 17% of the total. The upshot is obvious. Unless we somehow safeguard the forests, the carbon savings needed elsewhere could entail virtually shutting down the fossil fuel economy. Yesterday a government-commissioned review by the businessman Johan Eliasch spelled out this steely logic. It made an overpowering financial case for investing in the world's arboreal lungs. (The Guardian)

Forest plan may 'fuel corruption' - The UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has launched a plan to save the world's threatened rainforests - but already it is running into opposition. The review by Swedish businessman Johan Eliasch proposes paying poor nations not to cut down their trees. The money would come from carbon trading schemes in rich countries where firms have to buy permits to pollute. However, some development groups have deep reservations about the plan, believing it could fuel corruption. (Roger Harrabin, BBC News)

Black widows set to establish colonies in Britain as climate changes, experts warn - Black widow spiders accidentally brought to Britain in consignments of fruit could soon establish colonies as the climate becomes milder, warns experts. (Daily Telegraph)

Democrat Leader: Restoring Offshore Drilling Ban a ‘Top Priority’ for Next Year - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told on Wednesday that restoring the ban on new offshore oil drilling leases “will be a top priority for discussion next year” if the Democrats retain control of Congress.

The congressional Democratic leadership decided this week not to try to extend the ban, which they might have attempted by including it in the continuing resolution that passed the House today in order to keep the government funded past the end of the fiscal year, which comes to a close on September 30.

The existing ban on selling new offshore oil drilling leases is part of the fiscal 2008 Interior Department appropriation. When that appropriation expires on September 30, so does the drilling ban.

“I am sure it will be a top priority for discussion next year,” Hoyer said when asked him if Democrats would fight to restore the ban. (

Palin Thwarts The Gas Cartel - Iran resurrected its idea of a "gas cartel" to control gas markets like oil. But even if it succeeds, the U.S. won't be vulnerable. If you wonder why, look to the governor of Alaska.

That's right, Gov. Sarah Palin took a powerful preemptive step in August to shield the U.S. from a coming gas cartel. Palin's effort to create the Trans-Canada Alaska gas line — which would provide a vast new trove of natural gas each day to the U.S. — effectively nullifies the emerging gas cartel's potential impact on America.

If OPEC strikes you as a bad group, the new cartel for natural gas, led by Russia and Iran, will be even worse. (IBD)

Avoiding A Blackout - The hot months of 2009 might be known as the Summer of Brownouts. And it will be considered a good year, because, unless hundreds of billions are invested in the U.S. power system, the brownouts will turn black.

Blackouts are more than an annoyance. They are costly in terms of economic loss and needless deaths. (IBD)

Big Brother wants YOU! Study on 'mileage tax' seeks volunteers - Gas tax becoming obsolete as driving falls off and auto efficiency improves.

Want to help look for a way to replace the gas tax with a mileage tax? Uncle Sam — and the University of Iowa — wants you.

Revenue from the gas tax, which in Texas consists of the federal tax of 18.4 cents a gallon and the state tax of 20 cents a gallon, has been stagnant or falling nationwide. People are driving less, because of this year's rise in gas prices, and cars are getting better gas mileage. That means less money to build and maintain highways. (American-Statesman)

Build UK Wind Farms Near Land to Cut Costs - Study - LONDON - Britain will fall woefully short of its own renewable energy targets unless the government allows wind farms to be built closer to shore, the Carbon Trust said in a report on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Silly name really. Do you trust any of these carbon cranks? I surely don't.

Formula One's Green Grovel - NASCAR may have conquered the U.S.A., but U.K.-based Formula One is still the world’s motorsports king. And like all auto-related endeavors these days — particularly those based in righteously green Europe — the sport is under intense pressure from environmentalists to repent for its sins. (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

Challenging the Bio-fuel-Hunger Paradigm - NEW DELHI, Oct 14 - Participants at The Third India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Business Forum 2008 came together here to debunk the belief that development of bio-fuels would invariably exacerbate global hunger. Conventional wisdom has it that increased production of bio-fuel -- particularly ethanol -- will invariably result in decreasing acreage for food grain production, rising food prices and a surge in hunger and malnutrition. Participants at the Forum -- held in New Delhi during the lead-up to the third IBSA Summit -- declared that this was not necessarily true.

"It’s not true that growing bio-fuels will force up food prices," argued Indian delegate Abhay Chaudhari, executive vice president of Praj Industries Limited. "Bio-ethanol production did not decrease at all in the past six months. Yet, food prices have come down. This is a clear indication that bio-fuel production and food prices are not correlated."

Less than three percent of world food grain production goes towards the production of ethanol and any minor change in this percentage cannot affect the production and prices of food grains, Chaudhari argued, adding that the recent surges in food prices have more to do with export controls than with any global downtrend in food production. (IPS)

When potions can cost lives - Victims of AIDS in Africa endure tremendous suffering, compounded by poverty, starvation and limited access to medical care. They have also been victimized by remedies that offer false hope while turning them away from medical care that could extend their lives.

Without enough food, their bodies are susceptible to the ravages of other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, which infects up to 70 percent of HIV-positive Africans, according to the United Nation’s World Food Programme. Even the effectiveness of drug treatments and the body’s tolerance of them are hindered by not having adequate food. Food is a fundamental part of treating AIDS, but so is good medical care. (Junkfood Science)

Non-melanoma skin cancers on the rise - A NEW government report has found that 434,000 Australians will be diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer this year, a finding that is unacceptable, one academic said.

A new report into non-melanoma skin cancer will be released on the internet today, with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and Cancer Australia finding an increased prevalence of the disease. (The Australian)

Hmm... mandatory reporting is an action of dubious efficacy -- there's no indication anyone is at risk of catching anyone else's non-melanoma skin cancer.

Watching the Numbers and Charting the Losses — of Species - Like everyone, I have been reading the graphs and looking at the numbers that measure the convulsions in the global financial markets. And as I do, I keep hearing the echo of another frightening set of numbers — the ones that gauge the precipitous declines in the species that surround us. The financial markets will eventually come back, but not the species we are squandering. (New York Times)

U-huh... can you name any? Thought not. Fact is most species losses with an anthropogenic component occurred in the days of sail, usually from cats and rodents inadvertently transported to islands. Current "massive losses" occur only in the fevered imaginations of misanthropes and poorly programmed computer models.

Endangered Species Reforms Will Help The West, Business Leaders Say - Lakewood, CO (Oct. 14, 2008) -- The Western Business Roundtable today lauded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service for proposing reforms to the highly troubled Endangered Species Act (ESA).

"Reforming the Endangered Species Act has long been a priority of many Westerners who care about the successful recovery of species that are in trouble," the Roundtable said in comments to government. "We applaud the Services for undertaking the challenge of modernizing this key element of ESA. It is important to, among other things, align regulations with recent court decisions and clarify terminology to provide more consistent practices in the field, less confusion for agencies and project proponents, and less of the language ambiguity that so often breeds court battles." (WBR Release)

Scientist finds coastal dead zones may benefit some species - Coastal dead zones, an increasing concern to ecologists, the fishing industry and the public, may not be as devoid of life after all. A Brown scientist has found that dead zones do indeed support marine life, and that at least one commercially valuable clam actually benefits from oxygen-depleted waters.

Andrew Altieri, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University, studied dead zones in Narragansett Bay, one of the largest estuaries on the U.S. East Coast. In a paper published this month in the journal Ecology, he found that quahog clams (Mercenaria mercenaria) increased in number in hypoxic zones, defined as areas where dissolved oxygen in the water has been depleted. The reasons appear to be twofold: The quahogs' natural ability to withstand oxygen-starved waters, coupled with their predators' inability to survive in dead zones. The result: The quahog can not only survive, but in the absence of predators, can actually thrive. (Brown University)

Did termites help Katrina destroy New Orleans floodwalls? - Three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, people still speculate over causes of the destruction of the city's floodwall system. A new article in the fall issue of American Entomologist (Vol. 54, No. 3) suggests that Formosan subterranean termites played a large role. (Entomological Society of America)

October 14, 2008

Fiscal crisis prevents legislators committing economicide? Fiscal woes could delay climate change efforts - The financial crisis and a deepening economic downturn are threatening to delay efforts to deal with another pressing global crisis: climate change.

Hopes for action had been running high since both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama had pledged to make cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions a top priority. But environmentalists now fear that the next president may be more focused on reviving a flatlining economy, and Congress could be wary of supporting any measures that might slow growth or raise energy prices for consumers. (SF Chronicle)

That's a silver lining, I guess.

What warming? Climate change slips among global priorities - Feature - Washington - You might call it the fourth crisis. While collapsing financial institutions plunge wealthy nations into recession and developing countries grapple with surging food and energy costs, the once urgent need to fight global warming seems to have taken a back seat.

Just last year, nearly every global and regional summit put climate change at the top of its agenda. Now it seems to have become an afterthought. (DPA)

Shouldn't be on the agenda at all.

Climate Talks Push Ahead in Poland Amid Credit Crunch -- Environment ministers from 40 nations met today in Warsaw to lay the groundwork for new climate-change regulations that may raise costs for polluting industries such as power generation and transportation.

Attempts to reach an agreement on limits for carbon-dioxide emissions at United Nations-sponsored talks in December face their biggest hurdle in the credit crisis that's pushing the world economy toward recession, said Astrid Klug, Germany's deputy environment minister.

``We have to make sure that the financial crisis does not hinder climate-change efforts,'' Klug said today in an interview in Berlin. ``This is critical because it's the major threat'' to the negotiations, she added. (Bloomberg)

Financial crisis clouds EU's climate change plans - BRUSSELS — The financial crisis and slumping economic activity are threatening Europe's ambitious plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions, with governments eager to avoid saddling companies with additional burdens.

"The Germans are giving up and the Italians are getting ready to follow," said one European negotiator on condition of anonymity. (AFP)

German plea to halt costly laws - Representatives of German business have called for a moratorium on any European Union legislation that would impose higher costs on companies at a time when they are grappling with the fallout from the financial crisis.

Two of Germany's largest trade bodies said Brussels should think carefully about putting additional burdens on business given the potential of the financial crisis to weaken the "real economy".

"We've got to ask whether certain measures, including environmental legislation, are responsible given the economic outlook," Hanns-Eberhard Schleyer, general secretary of German Confederation of Skilled Crafts, told the Financial Times.

EU climate package to cost UK £9bn pa - We estimate that the cost of the package as a whole will be more than 73 billion euro per year by 2020 for the EU 25, and £9bn per year for the UK. (Open Europe)

Admitting gorebull warming is all about theft? Analysis: Money woes ignite CO2 debate - Energy reform must be implemented if the United States is to escape the burgeoning financial crisis, experts say, but how to do it, and whether the public will stand for it, remains uncertain.

Before Wall Street's tumble, figuring out how to get public support for significant carbon dioxide reductions was difficult; now, it may be impossible, experts said Thursday at an event hosted by Columbia University.

The old argument that some short-term pain will lead to long-term gain may no longer work, said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"That was a convincing argument until a few weeks ago, and then things changed and changed radically," de Boer said. "You can't pick an empty pocket." (UPI)

"You can't pick an empty pocket..." So what's changed? These cranks have always been after your money.

Survey on Kyoto 'a waste of time' say half of Australians - ALMOST half of Australians believe the signing of the Kyoto Protocol - a cornerstone of Kevin Rudd’s election campaign - was a waste of time.

A whopping 73 per cent of respondents to a survey, conducted by CoreData, also said the Rudd Government was not doing enough or could be doing more to combat climate change. (The Australian)

Actually the survey was unanswerable -- it simply assumed agreement that gorebull warming is real and a pressing problem and was associated with this.

Inadvertent release? Old Course 'may crumble into sea' - An environmental expert in St Andrews has warned the year 2050 could see the town's famous golf course, the Old Course, crumble into the North Sea.

Professor Jan Bebbington, director of the St Andrews Sustainability Institute, has visualised the effect of climate change on Scotland in 50 years.

She was one of several commissioned by the David Hume Institute to predict what would happen in the future.

Her report will be launched at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Prof Bebbington, of St Andrews University, also visualises a car-sharing nation of vegetarians, a country with evolving values, 'respected and trusted' political leaders working form a virtual parliament, and Celtic and Rangers players sharing the same carbon-neutral diet. (BBC News)

Come on guys. This was prepared for April 1, right? That's the trouble with advance preps, sometimes they escape into the wild when they are published rather than saved.

Pollution May Hit Himalayan Monsoon Clouds - Study - OSLO - Higher levels of pollution in Asia may affect the formation of clouds high in the Himalayas, perhaps disrupting monsoons and speeding a thaw of glaciers, according to a study on Monday. (Reuters)

Selective misinformation: Longest, hottest drought on record, says Bureau of Meteorology - THE long drought affecting southern Australia is officially the worst on record.

Bureau of Meteorology head of climate analysis David Jones said the 12-year drought that was devastating southwest Western Australia, southeast South Australia, Victoria and northern Tasmania was "very severe and without historical precedent".

Drought has gripped the Murray-Darling Basin since late 2001. It has worsened this year, as rainfall totals for the past three years have set record lows in many regions, including many critical to the Murray River.

Dr Jones said the rainfall figures were similar to the severe drought that lasted from 1939 to 1945, and the Federation drought, which ran from 1895 to 1903.

"Those three droughts, in terms of rainfall, are comparable," he said. "But this drought is a lot hotter than those two previous droughts. And those two droughts finished, whereas this one is continuing." (The Australian)

Here's the Bureau's own annual rainfall time series (precipitation has been pretty ordinary really):

This is their anomaly time series wrt 1961-90:

While some portion of Australia is always in drought this has always been the case. As can be clearly seen from their anomaly series Australia has not been abnormally dry.

The moonbat went for it: This stock collapse is petty when compared to the nature crunch - The financial crisis at least affords us an opportunity to now rethink our catastrophic ecological trajectory (George Monbiot, The Guardian)

George, the vast majority of this alleged "benefit" is of the wrong sign -- carbon sequestration is not a service, it's a massive cost as otherwise useless scrub sucks down the essential resource gifted to the world's crops as a byproduct of human activity -- marvelous life-supporting carbon dioxide. We don't really mind that wildlands and critter habitat benefits from it too, we're just not about to consider such parasitism any form of benefit. And from just that catastrophic analysis error this 'study' ended up with the wrong arithmetic sign -- should have read undeveloped regions cost buckets and are a huge drain on global finances, not some magical hidden wealth producer. Surely even you could have figured that out Georgie-boy, no?

Just gets worse: Global fund 'could pay owners to keep rainforests safe' - A revolutionary multibillion-pound fund should be set up to pay the owners of the world's rainforests not to cut them down, a report to the prime minister will say today. The report by special adviser John Eliasch says the scheme would be a comparatively cheap way to reduce climate change emissions and would also inject vital funds into developing countries to help alleviate poverty. (John Vidal and Juliette Jowit, The Guardian)

The misanthropes are having fun -- kill your standard of living with punitive energy taxes and use some of the proceeds to con undeveloped regions out of developing. Every watermelon's dream come true.

HWGA: From energy efficiency to war: thinktank sees 2030 climate future - The challenge posed by climate change could be resolved by a peaceful switch to a low-carbon economy, or alternatively inflict stresses that could include war and desertification of swathes of the US and Australia, a thinktank said on Monday.

The provocative report is published by a British NGO, Forum for the Future, which carries out strategic analysis on sustainable development on behalf of business. (AFP)

The "carbon economy" has little if any bearing on global temperature but huge bearing on people's well-being. Regardless of whether 2030 is warmer or cooler (and there's an equal chance of either) the greatest danger is posed by zealots causing economicide.

Climate change study predicts refugees fleeing into Antarctica - Climate change will force refugees to move to Antarctica by 2030, researchers have predicted. Among future scenarios are the Olympics being held in cyberspace and central Australia being abandoned, according to the think tank report. (Daily Telegraph)

More wild-eyed guesses from the virtual world: Warming likely to affect Great Lakes shipping - Global warming could devastate the Great Lakes region's shipping industry by lowering water levels, as predicted under the current regime of climate-change scenarios.

"I don't think there has been much thought put into it by anybody," said Scott Thieme, chief of the U.S. Corps of Engineers' Great Lakes hydraulics and hydrology office.

Lake levels have risen and fallen in 30-year cycles since at least 1860, records show, but a study last fall issued by 75 area scientists from nearly 50 government, business, academic, and public-interest groups claimed warming and evaporation trends could cause Lake Erie water levels to drop 3.28 feet to 6.56 feet by 2066.

The estimates were based on findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's most prestigious group of climatologists. (Toledo Blade)

These guesses are founded on claims of extraordinary climate sensitivity to increase in the essential trace gas carbon dioxide. These claims cannot be empirically supported.

Climate change called certain and most predictions are bad - Second of three parts

If the threat of more West Nile virus, smog, contaminated water, higher food prices, invasive species, toxic algae, lake level declines, and deaths from heat waves isn't enough to wake up people to problems associated with climate change, consider this: Ohio might lose its namesake nut to arch rival Michigan.

That's right. The buckeye.

Some fear the buckeye tree won't be able to handle the state's warming climate and will instead adapt to a more moderate climate in Michigan, a cruel fate of irony for Ohio's official tree. (Toledo Blade)

This again? Why don't they look up a distribution map for Aesculus glabra (Ohio buckeye) and see that it is endemic south through Tennessee and south-west through Texas almost to the Mexican border. In fact Ohio is pretty near the limit of the tree's northern range.

They have boom and bust cycles like the rest of Australian fauna? Warmer water devastates Great Barrier Reef's seabirds - GLOBAL warming has been blamed for dramatic declines in seabird populations on the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding waters.

Tens of thousands of seabirds are failing to breed because warmer water from more frequent and intense El Nino events means there is insufficient food to raise their young, according to research compiled by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Warm water near the surface forces fish, plankton and other prey into deeper water, where it cannot be reached by seabirds.

The research forms the basis of a report commissioned by the marine park authority and the Queensland Environment Protection Agency to address the impact of climate change on seabirds, and obtained by The Australian under freedom of information laws. "Recent analyses at key sites have revealed significant declines in populations of some of the most common seabird species, which raises concerns regarding the threatening processes acting on these populations," says the report, prepared by C&R Consulting. (The Australian)

Now who would have thought critters that live and breed in the ENSO boom/bust region of Australasia undergo similar boom/bust cycles in their populations? Despite these critters managing to survive thousands of these cycles they are now endangered by purely hypothetical anthropogenic changes extant only in the virtual worlds of computer models. Our bad...

Pop-sci rag SciAm gives Holdren more ink: The Future of Climate Change Policy: The U.S.'s Last Chance to Lead - The ongoing disruption of the earth’s climate by man-made greenhouse gases is already well beyond dangerous and is careening toward completely unmanageable. Under midrange projections for economic growth and technological change, the planet’s average surface temperature in 2050 will be about two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than its preindustrial value. The last time the earth was that warm was 130,000 years ago, and sea level was four to six meters higher than today. No one knows how long it will take sea level to “catch up” with such an increase; it could be several centuries, or it could be less. (John P. Holdren, SciAm)

Absurd statement of the moment: "The ongoing disruption of the earth’s climate by man-made greenhouse gases is already well beyond dangerous and is careening toward completely unmanageable." Climate is continuous and most assuredly hasn't been "disrupted" -- it is still changing as always. Moreover, it is not approaching or "careening toward" being completely unmanageable -- that is how it has always been. The planet might warm or it might cool. The only thing Holdren got right was the "no one knows" bit.

Climate change targets could end farming as we know it - NFU - New targets to cut the UK's greenhouse emissions by at least 80 per cent will cripple agriculture in the UK, according to farmers.

The Climate Change Committee, that is advising the Government on carbon-cutting legislation, recommended last week the target be raised from 60 to 80 per cent and include all greenhouse gases.

This means that methane and nitrouse oxide, which are mainly produced by farming practices, will have to drop significantly.

The NFU said it would be "nigh on impossible" for farming to make the cuts without a massive reduction in livestock farming - which produces methane and cultivating the land - which produces nitrous oxide. (Daily Telegraph)

Fuel costs could force winter shutdowns for UK factories - Britain warned last night that high energy prices could lead to factory closedowns in late autumn and winter.

Power prices have surged amid worries that the country might not have enough power stations available to meet higher demand this winter, due to nuclear repairs and coal-fired plants being fitted with pollution controls. (The Observer)

Venezuela's oil output slumps under Hugo Chavez - Venezuela's daily oil production has fallen by a quarter since President Hugo Chavez won power, depriving his "Bolivarian Revolution" of much of the benefit of the global boom in oil prices. (Daily Telegraph)

Liquefied Gas Floating Higher in the Water - Floating liquefied natural gas FLNG facilities are coming of age. In June, Flex LNG, based in the Virgin Islands, announced an agreement with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. and Nigeria’s Peak Petroleum to develop and market the world’s first floating liquefaction project offshore Nigeria. A few days later, Flex LNG announced another agreement with Britain’s Rift Oil for an FLNG project offshore Papua New Guinea.

The concept of FLNG has been around since the 1980s, with technology research mainly promoted by Shell and Mobil for projects with largescale capacities that is, some 3 million tons per year. Despite a number of attempts, over the past two decades the majors have been unsuccessful in getting this technology off the drawing board. Over the past two years momentum has moved towards smaller technology companies partnering with marine engineering companies for ship design and fabrication, who then partner with independent upstream companies holding stranded gas reserves.

In addition to the Flex LNG projects each of which have a 1.7 Mt per year capacity, other groups are announcing progress with their own technologies. Last September, Hoegh LNG, Aker, and ABB Lummus announced an FLNG ship with a 1.6 Mt per year capacity. That same month, SBM and Linde said they were developing an FLNG ship with a 2.5 Mt per year capacity. In May, Teekay, Mustang, and Samsung announced that the American Bureau of Shipping would class their FLNG ship, to be used in the gasrich West Africa region. Each group has its own proprietary technologies geared to a project scale generally too small to interest the majors. They are instead targeting small stranded gas fields. (Energy Tribune)

Pediatricians double vitamin D recommendations - CHICAGO - The American Academy of Pediatrics has doubled its recommendation for a daily dose of vitamin D in children in the hopes of preventing rickets and reaping other health benefits, the group said on Monday.

"We are doubling the recommended amount of vitamin D children need each day because evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits," said Dr. Frank Greer, of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which released the new guideline recommendations at a meeting in Boston.

"Supplementation is important because most children will not get enough vitamin D through diet alone," Greer said in a statement. (Reuters)

Supplementation is a good idea -- if you aren't getting enough sun exposure...

Lack of vitamin D linked to Parkinson's disease - A majority of Parkinson's disease patients had insufficient levels of vitamin D in a new study from Emory University School of Medicine. (Emory University)

The Scan That Didn’t Scan - This is a story about M.R.I.’s, those amazing scans that can show tissue injury and bone damage, inflammation and fluid accumulation. Except when they can’t and you think they can.

I found out about magnetic resonance imaging tests when I injured my forefoot running. All of a sudden, halfway through a run, my foot hurt so much that I had to stop.

But an M.R.I. at a local radiology center found nothing wrong.

That, of course, was what I wanted to hear. So I spent five days waiting for it to feel better, taking the anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and naproxen, using an elliptical cross-trainer, and riding my road bike with its clipless pedals that attach themselves to my bicycling shoes. By then, my foot hurt so much I had to walk on my heel. I was beginning to doubt that scan: it was hard to believe nothing was wrong. So I went to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York for a second opinion from Dr. John G. Kennedy, an orthopedist who specializes in sports-related lower-limb injuries. And there I had another M.R.I.

It showed a serious stress fracture, a hairline crack in a metatarsal bone in my forefoot. It was so serious, in fact, that Dr. Kennedy warned that I risked surgery if I continued activities like cycling and the elliptical cross-trainer, which make such injuries worse. And I had to stop taking anti-inflammatory drugs, since they impede bone healing.

As I hobbled around the office on crutches, one of my colleagues, James Glanz, asked what had happened. As we chatted, it turned out that he had had a much more sobering experience than mine. (Gina Kolata, New York Times)

China also suffers from indoor air pollution - Because of stoves and smoking, the air inside lower-class homes is up to 10 times worse than the gloom outside, researchers say. (John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times)

Social engineers at work: Green Strategies Spur Rebirth of America Cities - U.S. cities have been using green planning to spark economic development, helping create a real urban renaissance in America. With a new administration soon to arrive in Washington, these same approaches may finally start being used on a national scale. (Keith Schneider, Yale Environment 360)

A waste of time - We need a proper cost analysis of the time we are now required to spend recycling, compared with its benefits: is it worth it? (Tim Worstall, The Guardian)

Weather Eye: artificial fertilisers are an important invention of the 20th century - What was the most important invention of the 20th century? Electronic computers, television, penicillin or a process for turning air into nitrogen fertiliser? Today is the 100th anniversary of a patent for making cheap, artificial fertilisers, without which probably half of the world’s population would not be able to exist today. (Paul Simons, The Times)

Tropical Wastelands To Croplands With Biotech - CHURCHVILLE, VA—Imagine Africa feeding itself comfortably, instead of being overwhelmed by its own expanding population. Imagine millions of tropical consumers being fed without clearing more forests, thus protecting the wildlife in the very regions where most of the species of the world live and are critically threatened by population pressure. Suddenly, high-yield conservation for the tropics may not be a pipedream. (Dennis T. Avery And Alex A. Avery, CGFI)

Cloned animals shouldn't be used for food, survey for EU says - The majority of Europeans believe cloned animals should not be used for food, according to a new survey.

The Eurobarometer poll of 25,000 people said 58 per cent see animal cloning for food production as unjustified while only one in four would accept animal cloning for food production in some circumstances. (Daily Telegraph)

October 13, 2008

:) Meteorologists Predict Worst Autumn on Record (Watts Up With That?)

:) Consensus Watch - An ongoing series dedicated to vigorously monitoring emerging threats to The Consensus that global warming is real, caused by humans, and must be addressed immediately if we are to forestall cataclysm. After all, without consensus, scientific conclusions would remain vulnerable to new data and alternative hypotheses that better fit recorded observations! (Planet Moron)

Wealthy imagination: Deforestation Costs More than Financial Crisis - It is a steep bill. Our shrinking forests cost us up to $5 trillion a year -- far more than the current banking crisis. Environmentalists hope the sobering calculation, made by a European Union commissioned team, will focus political will on funding conservation.

How to put a price tag on nature? That conundrum is at the heart of research by a team headed by Deutsche Bank economist Pavan Sukhdev. They have found a way of calculating a figure for environmental damage and loss of biodiversity in forests. And the price is high: At between $2 trillion and $5 trillion per year it dwarfs the cost of the current financial crisis which economists gauge at about $1.5 trillion. (Der Spiegel)

Did anyone every have this "money"? Of course not, it's the airiest form of make believe. How does anyone realize any of this value (remember there are locals who actually require real spending money for health services and other such trivial niceties)? Simple -- develop or die early following a short brutish life. We know what well-healed misanthropic enviros would prefer these people do (another of the reasons we are agin 'em).

Nope: Leading article: The green lining to this chaos - There are two responses to the financial crisis that are wrong. One is to say that we can forget all that goody-goody guff about the environment now that people are worrying about how to pay next week's bills. The other is to say that our culture of consumption has been exposed as unsustainable and that we must abandon capitalism for a life that is closer to nature. Today we outline a middle way. (The Independent)

What's wrong is the assumption contemporary "environmentalism" is a legitimate perspective, which is false. What passes for "environmentalism" has degenerated to pure misanthropy and must never be entertained.

Britain's worst misanthropists, as chosen by The Sindy: The IoS Green List: Britain's top 100 environmentalists - Britain's most successful transport campaigner has come top of the first comprehensive list of the country's most effective greens, compiled by The Independent on Sunday.

The little-known John Stewart, who leads the onslaught against a third runway at Heathrow, soundly beats far more high-profile figures – from Jonathon Porritt to Zac Goldsmith, from Sir David Attenborough to Prince Charles – to take the honour. He does so in the wake of an important breakthrough for his campaign – the announcement by the Conservative Party that it plans to scrap the runway in favour of high-speed rail links that would supplant short-haul flights.

The runners-up are also unconventional choices, not normally found heading such lists: Professor Robert Watson, the chief scientist at Defra; Jane Davidson , the Welsh environment minister; the broadcaster Monty Don; and the polar scientist Peter Wadhams. They, and the other greens on the list, were selected for the recent impact they have made rather than for their fame by a panel of judges from inside and outside this newspaper. (Independent on Sunday)

And The climate change unbelievers - Global warming is happening and we're to blame, right? That's certainly the view of almost every expert in the field. But a die-hard band of naysayers continues to rail against the consensus. Are they completely mad? Judge for yourself... (Independent on Sunday)

Actually "unbelievers" is reasonably accurate given that gorebull warming is strictly faith-based, being completely devoid of evidentiary support. As everyone can see for themselves below, the much modeled and alluded to tropical mid-troposphere "hot spot" hasn't managed one-tenth of one degree warming over three decades (0.03 °C/decade), just half that of the tropical lower-troposphere (which greenhouse theory insists it must greatly exceed) with its 0.06 °C/decade. And what warming there is in the tropical atmospheric record depends entirely on the El Niño of 1997/98 and a curious little wiggle in the time series 2002-2006, now chilled out by a La Niña event. This is nowhere near the "expected" warming pattern from enhanced greenhouse effect.

You'll find the time series plots below a hopeful claim by Ben Santer that they've "resolved" the tropical warming discrepancy. Oh puh-lease! If those time series indicate accelerated warming beyond the tropical surface then we need to think about protecting the Amazon jungle from frost damage.

Gore and the corruption of Faith: Gore Gathers Religious Leaders For Aid - Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore says he gathered more than 130 pastors and other religious figures in Nashville to enlist them in his global warming fight.

The outspoken environmentalist said in a statement that the faith-based volunteers who traveled to Nashville to hear him speak will be invaluable additions to his ongoing efforts to combat global warming and its impact on the planet, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Sunday. (Post Chronicle)

Oh brother... 'Carbon heroes' (

Is Global Warming Starving Science? - This article concerning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry caught my attention this morning:

Are we Starving Science?

Twenty years ago, Douglas Prasher was one of the driving forces behind research that earned a Nobel Prize in chemistry this week. But today, he’s just driving.

Prasher, 57, works as a courtesy shuttle operator at a Huntsville, Ala., Toyota dealership. While his former colleagues will fly to Stockholm in December to accept the Nobel Prize and a $1.4 million check, the former Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist will be earning $10 an hour while trying to put two of his children through college.

Shuttle driver reflects on Nobel snub - Cape Cod Times

Are we starving science research in other areas to pursue accelerated and possibly needless research into Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and the dire consequences of AGW at the expense of other more productive and beneficial areas of study? (Watts Up With That?)

Following Europe's Lead on Climate Change - Environmentalists, journalists and politicians say tough climate legislation is a moral imperative. Global warming science is settled, the United States is out of step with other nations, America must follow Europe’s lead to prevent climate chaos.

It’s great rhetoric. But which European lead should we follow? And how is it morally responsible to enact climate legislation that kills jobs and punishes families and businesses, to reduce global temperatures by perhaps 0.2 degrees? (Paul Driessen, Townhall)

Turnbull delivers searing attack on Howard - FEDERAL Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has delivered a searing attack on John Howard accusing him of losing Queensland votes with his hardline stance on climate change.

In an exclusive interview, the former merchant banker said the Coalition government made a crucial error by not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in the run-up to the last election.

"What the former government failed to recognise was that Kyoto had become a sacramental issue. It had become a very symbolic issue," he told The Courier-Mail.

Uh, no Malcolm, they failed to neutralize the nonsense by telling people the facts (too afraid of the watermelons' lies and hysteria over gorebull warming) but they lost Queensland purely because the fast-developing state has sucked up vast numbers of blue collar workers -- union men... Labor voters. To win required brutal honesty -- Kyoto and successors will eat your jobs -- not a cheap political lie in ratifying symbolic stupidity. Turnbull is a fool. Hopefully he is only keeping the position warm for a year or thereabouts until Peter Costello decides to save the country.

Setting the Right Priorities Means to Forget the Global Warming - I would like to express my thanks for the invitation to participate in this important gathering.

The organizers of the forum suggested naming my today’s speech “Setting the Right Priorities”. They are probably not satisfied with the way how the priorities are set now or they suppose that I am not happy with it. They are right. I am not happy and will try to explain why. (Václav Klaus via The Reference Frame)

Inhofe Honored For Protecting U.S. Taxpayers from Devastating Climate Tax - Americans for Prosperity Foundation Honors Inhofe with Prestigious ‘Washington Award’

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, will be honored tonight by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation with their prestigious "Washington Award." Senator Inhofe will join George Will, Ed Meese, Dinesh D’Souza and more than 1,800 grassroots free-market advocates from 38 states that are gathering for Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s (AFP’s) 2nd annual Defending the American Dream. The event is the largest gathering in the nation of free-market activists and leaders who want to transform the policy landscape on issues such as taxes, spending, and pro-growth economic principles. Visit for a full agenda. (EPW)

The folly, and lesson, of B.C.’s carbon tax - The unpopularity of British Columbia’s carbon tax has helped boost the opposition NDP above the ruling Liberals in the polls for the first time in years. With B.C.’s May 12th fixed-election date quickly approaching, the premier hit the panic button. The result is a confusing mix of policies and propaganda. If the premier were smart, he’d cut his losses and get rid of the carbon tax altogether. (Maureen Bader, Financial Post)

No margin for hot air traders? Fixed Price Seen a Threat to Australia CO2 Scheme - SINGAPORE - Setting a fixed price for carbon during the initial phase of Australia's emissions trading scheme will stunt the fledgling market, the head of the country's only carbon exchange warned on Friday.

The government has yet to fix a price per tonne of carbon for the scheme, set to begin in 2010. But its top climate change consultant said last month the carbon price should start at A$20 (US$13) a tonne, rising by four percent above inflation until 2013.

"If they do have a fixed price, it will mean there will not be any emissions trading," Tim Hanlin of the Australian Climate Exchange told Reuters.

"I can't see practically how it would work. There's a floor and ceiling of US$20. I can't trade something that has no margin." (Reuters)

Sachs Tax? Carbon Tax Seen as Best Way to Slow Global Warming - NEW YORK - Climate taxes, not cap and trade markets alone, will lead to the vast technological changes the world's energy system needs to fight global warming, a top US economist said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Oh... The Climate Has Changed - The climate has changed. There can now be no doubt. Change is happening and it is definitely man-made: the changed financial climate is a plausible pretext for any nation that wishes to renege on its environmental promises. (The Times)

Michael Mann’s Lecture at URI and the “blogger who must not be named” - People send me stuff, and for that I’m always grateful, and happy to oblige posting relevant comments and content for the wide distribution WUWT now enjoys. Gary Boden writes: (Watts Up With That?)

New Research Paper “Interaction of Impacts of Doubling CO2 and Changing Regional Land-Cover on Evaporation, Precipitation, and Runoff at Global and Regional Scales” by Li and Mölders 2008 - There is a new paper that examines, using a modeling sensitivity study, the relative roles of added CO2 and landscape change. The paper is Li, Z., and N. Mölders, 2008: Interaction of impacts of doubling CO2 and changing regional land-cover on evaporation, precipitation, and runoff at global and regional scales. Int. J. Climatol. 28: 1653-1679 (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Baird, Hooley deny congressional junket charge - Reps. Brian Baird, D-Washington, and Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., are about to get raked over the coals by the TV show, Inside Edition, for a congressional trip they took to the Galapagos Islands in June.

The show charges that the trip, which included five members of Congress, three of their spouses and Hooley's daughter, was really an expensive vacation paid for by the taxpayers. (The Oregonian)

A long weekend trip to the Galapagos to study climate change? Oh puh-lease! By definition "climate change study tours" to exotic locations are junkets for the simple reason they tell you exactly nothing about the climate.

Global warming grips Greenland, leaves lasting mark - Island residents adapt to new realities First of four parts (Toledo Blade)

Curious they should headline warming as "leaving a lasting mark" when one of their key quotes is "Ove Rosbach, who has fished the Arctic for decades, blamed the decline on warmer ocean currents flowing to the north. He said a similar phenomenon occurred in the 1950s." Wasn't that lasting then, was it.

Might have been better received without the propaganda: NASA Maps Shed Light on Carbon Dioxide's Global Nature -- A NASA/university team has published the first global satellite maps of the key greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in Earth's mid-troposphere, an area about 8 kilometers, or 5 miles, above Earth. The team's study reveals new information on how carbon dioxide, which directly contributes to climate change, is distributed in Earth's atmosphere and moves around our world. (

While it is technically true that carbon dioxide "directly contributes to climate change" it does so but trivially (doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide could potentially add a degree over the next century -- provided it is not suppressed or eliminated by negative feedbacks). The only really worrying climate change on the horizon is a potential cooling, which will reduce crop yields at a particularly unfortunate point in human history (because there are currently a lot of us to feed).

Really? Scientists resolve long-standing puzzle in climate science -- A team led by Livermore scientists has helped reconcile the differences between simulated and observed temperature trends in the tropics.

Using state-of-the-art observational datasets and results from computer model simulations archived at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, LLNL researchers and colleagues from 11 other scientific institutions have refuted a recent claim that simulated temperature trends in the tropics are fundamentally inconsistent with observations. This claim was based on the application of a flawed statistical test and the use of older observational datasets.

Climate model experiments invariably predict that human-caused greenhouse gas increases should lead to more warming in the tropical troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere) than at the tropical land and ocean surface. This predicted “amplification” behavior is in accord with basic theoretical expectations. (

But Benny, this dataset is brand new and it tells us tropical lower-troposphere warming is, well, what warming? That is the region where we are supposed to be looking, isn't it?

No, wait! It's supposed to be the tropical mid-troposphere! That's where we are assured the "human signature" of accelerated warming is sure to be observed. The tropical mid-troposphere hotspot... Uh-oh...

Significant Cycle 24 sunspot group emerges - This is the biggest Cycle 24 spot since the first one was seen on January 4th, 2008. This spot looks to have some staying power other than the “specks” we’ve seen winking on and off lately. No squinting to see this one, or wondering if it’s a dead pixel in the SOHO CCD imager or not. (Watts Up With That?)

Sun’s magnetic field still in a funk during September - While the sun puts out a new and significant cycle 24 spot, the real news is just how quiet the suns magnetic field has been in the past couple of years, and remained during September 2008. From the data provided by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) you can see just how little magnetic field activity there has been. I’ve graphed it below with the latest available data from October 6th, 2008: (Watts Up With That?)

David Archibald’s elegant illustration of how late and weak solar cycle 24 is proving (Errors In IPCC Climate Science)

We wondered how extreme the claims would get: Exotic Climate Study Sees Refugees in Antarctica - OSLO - Refugees are moving to Antarctica by 2030, the Olympics are held only in cyberspace and central Australia has been abandoned as too dry, according to exotic scenarios for climate change on Monday.

British-based Forum for the Future, a charitable think-tank, and researchers from Hewlett-Packard Labs, said they wanted to stir debate about how to avert the worst effects of global warming by presenting a radical set of possible futures. (Reuters)

That's the trouble with making a living out of scares -- you constantly have to escalate to attract attention in a crowded marketplace.

Warmer Climate to Dry Up Peatlands - Study - HONG KONG - Warmer temperatures in the years ahead will dry up peatlands, release more carbon dioxide into the world's atmosphere and aggravate global warming, a study in Japan has found.

Peat is the accumulation of partially decayed vegetation in very wet places and it covers about two percent of global land mass. Peatlands store large amounts of carbon owing to the low rates of carbon breakdown in cold, waterlogged soils.

Using computer modelling... (Reuters)

Oh Andy... NYT Times' Revkin: Get real on global warming - People around the world need to be more proactive in respecting the environment, Andrew Revkin, prize-winning New York Times environment writer and author, said Thursday in a lecture titled “The Hot Seat: Making Sense of Global Warming, from the North Pole to the White House.”

“We are modifying Earth in ways that are profound and permanent,” Revkin said to a crowd of around 40 community members, professors and students in the Frist Multipurpose Room.

Revkin spoke about his experiences as an environmental journalist and writer and about the crucial role humans play in altering the planet.

“We’re becoming the driver of important dynamics on the planet,” he explained, pointing to slides of a treeless forest and an extinct dolphin species. “We are interfering with the way biology works and interfering with cycles.” (Daily Princetonian)

... what meaningless pap! A 'treeless forest'? How about Arctic tundra, that's a currently treeless forest but it wasn't always. Used to be forests in Antarctica too, but that's going back a might. People haven't been the cause of the vast majority of extinctions either -- time, changing climates and conditions and sometimes tectonic upheavals, even asteroid strikes have seen off the majority of creatures ever to inhabit the Earth. Humans haven't really been that significant. Oh, and that global warming thing? Let's put that into planetary perspective too -- the following graphic is absolute temperature scaled to planetary relevance, likewise atmospheric carbon dioxide:

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away... UN says credit crisis could enable "green growth" - UNITED NATIONS, Oct 10 - Instead of sidelining the fight against climate change, the global credit crisis could hasten countries' efforts to create "green growth" industries by revamping the financial system behind them, the U.N. climate chief said on Friday.

But that would depend on governments helping poor countries -- who are key to saving the planet's ecology -- tackle their problems, instead of spending most available money on rescuing the financial world, Yvo de Boer told reporters. (Reuters)

Oh dear... Rising Seas and Powerful Storms Threaten Global Security - Standing before the United Nations General Assembly in October 1987, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President of the Maldives, made an appeal representing “an endangered nation.” That year for the first time, “unusual high waves” in the Indian Ocean inundated a quarter of the urban area on the capital island of Male’, flooded farms, and washed away reclaimed land. Gayoom cited scientific evidence that human activities were releasing greenhouse gases that warm the planet, ultimately raising global sea level as glaciers melt and warmer water expands. The trouble extended beyond small islands; studies showed that rising seas would wreak havoc on the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Netherlands, and the river deltas of Egypt and Bangladesh.

Fast-forward through two decades of swelling seas and more powerful storms and the call has moved from the need to study global warming to the necessity of dramatic action to stabilize climate. With small island nations in peril, these days President Gayoom evokes the vision of a United Nations where “name plates are gone; seats are empty.” He does not speak alone: this fall, some 50 countries, including a number of small island nations along with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the European Union, are planning to put a resolution before the U.N. General Assembly requesting that the U.N. Security Council address “the threat posed by climate change to international peace and security.” As Ambassador Stuart Beck of Palau has asked, “Would any nation facing an invading army not do the same?” (Janet Larsen, Earth Policy Institute)

... lotsa rhetoric, no facts. Apart from the most recently observed changes in global sea level being declines (sea water is not disappearing but it does occupy less space as it cools and as more potential runoff is held on land as ice and snow) there is no evidence of any change in long-term rates of sea level rise (it has been doing so for millennia and will continue until the onset of the next ice age).

Decadal Trends in Sea Level Patterns: 1993-2004 - From Conclusion: At best, the determination and attribution of global mean sea level change lies at the very edge of knowledge and technology. The most urgent job would appear to be the accurate determination of the smallest temperature and salinity changes that can be determined with statistical significance, given the realities of both the observation base and modeling approximations. Both systematic and random errors are of concern, the former particularly, because of the changes in technology and sampling methods over the many decades, the latter from the very great spatial and temporal variability. It remains possible that the database is insufficient to compute mean sea level trends with the accuracy necessary to discuss the impact of global warming - as disappointing as this conclusion may be. The priority has to be to make such calculations possible in the future. (Carl Wunsch, MIT et al. in Journal of Climate via Icecap) [em added]

Binary nomenclature (Number Watch)

Ed Miliband will follow EU instructions on climate change - For all the acres of newsprint devoted to the return to the Cabinet of Peter Mandelson, by far the most important and potentially damaging move in Gordon Brown's recent Government reorganisation could well be his setting up of a wholly new ministry, laughably called the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Under a new Secretary of State, Ed Miliband, the new department merges two groups of officials who, over the past year, have been ever more obviously at war with each other; and on the outcome of that battle hangs nothing less than whether, within a few years, Britain can still continue to operate as an economically viable nation. (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

Efforts on global warming chilled by economic woes - WASHINGTON — The economic free fall gripping the nation may bring down one of the main environmental objectives: capping the greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming.

Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate, and both presidential candidates, continue to rank tackling global warming as a chief goal next year. But the focus on stabilizing the economy probably will make it more difficult to pass a law to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. At the very least, it will push back when the reductions would have to start.

As one Republican senator put it, the green bubble has burst. (Associated Press)

Can see it now... the world would have warmed -- if not for the fortunate financial crisis of confidence suppressing the global economy. They are going to continue to ride gorebull warming even as failure to broil becomes blindingly obvious to all.

By their own mouths condemned: A good time to cause trouble - On Monday a bunch of women are going to attempt to remind the government about climate change - a subject which appears, frankly, to have slipped its mind lately: the Climate Rush is modelled on the "rush" on Parliament 100 years ago by the Suffragettes. On Friday a group of protestors targetted the Royal Bank of Scotland for its aggressive pro-fossil fuel investment policies. And by Saturday the organisers of the London Anarchist bookfair are hoping that "Capitalism will have already collapsed in a global financial melt-down! Hooray!"

Now, if you're an environmental activist what are you thinking at the moment? Are you thinking, Ooh, those poor wee strongholds of the capitalist system have had a terrible week, I'll leave them alone and give them a chance to pull themselves together? I'm sure when they've had a nice cup of Oolong tea and a sitdown they'll get round to thinking about those melting ice-caps again. Or are you thinking Wahey! Get in! Pour sugar in their petrol tanks while they're still scratching their heads in the board-rooms. Hopefully you're going to say the latter.

Take Climate Rush. In honour of the Suffragettes the Climate Rush, organised by a woman-only collective which includes members of Plane Stupid, is planning to gather outside the Houses of Parliament, hear some speeches, and then… get up to something. What precisely is not clear. Now, if this is a good bit of action, it will come at the perfect time to remind MPs of their environmental responsibilities. After all, the situation hasn't just lightened briefly to give us a break while we cope with financial meltdown - and the Climate Bill is due to go for its third reading in the House of Commons soon. Sure, MPs are nervous and may stampede if goaded too far. But if they're panicked enough, hopefully they'll stampede in the right direction. (Bibi van der Zee, The Guardian)

If these twits are so troubled by the capitalist system that supports them why don't they move to a more ideologically suitable location -- pretty sure the dear leader would welcome them to North Korea and they would even have to worry about that nasty light pollution, either:

This satellite photo from NASA's Visible Earth project shows the region at night, with the bright spots indicating electricity usage. To the right of the circle are the islands of Japan, to the left is the eastern portion of China, and at bottom is the island of Taiwan. Following is a close up of their desired darkness.

Moron feature? Westminster protester prepared to risk jail in cause of climate change - On the eve of another demo against airport expansion, would-be priest Tamsin Omond is resigned to breaching her bail terms (The Observer)

The U.N.'s Man of Mystery - Is the godfather of the Kyoto treaty a public servant or a profiteer?

"I don't trust you, and I also question your integrity." Thus did Maurice Strong offer me a seat on his living room sofa.

Often described as an "international man of mystery," Mr. Strong during his long, globe-trotting career has been one of the most influential architects of the opaque cross-border bureaucracy that is today's United Nations. He is probably best known as godfather of the U.N.'s 1997 Kyoto treaty, and as a former U.N. top adviser who in that same year received a check for almost $1 million, bankrolled by the U.N.-sanctioned regime of Saddam Hussein. (Mr. Strong told me that at the time he did not know the money came from Baghdad.)

In his most recent stint at the U.N., from 1997-2005, Mr. Strong served as an Under-Secretary-General and special adviser to former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He was point man on matters ranging from U.N. reform to environmentalism to North Korea. By some accounts, including his own, he has been a benevolent toiler in the multilateral trenches, a friend of Mikhail Gorbachev and Al Gore, networking to save the planet.

By other accounts, he's a self-dealing and self-declared socialist who has parlayed his talents into a push for collectivist global government. These days he is living in China, where he says his ties go back "40 years." (Claudia Rosett, Wall Street Journal)

Because Oil Is Not Green - BARCELONA, Oct 10 - Several environmental organisations have asked the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to stop accepting funding from Shell, the giant international oil company.

IUCN signed an agreement with Shell in October last year to support the private corporation's activity in protecting the environment. The agreement also brought the IUCN at least 1.2 million dollars, according to IUCN sources. (IPS/Terraviva)

Black gold isn't green? Whoa! They're good at this game! (No cards or letters, please -- we are aware crude oil can be a range of colors) Funny, isn't it, oil companies should 'do more' but when they do it's some form of insult (haven't heard of Greenpeace & co. returning funds from oil companies, Ford or any company from whom they extort money and/or services though).

Lawmakers say dams producing renewable energy - Hydroelectric power in the Northwest and the potential to develop more across the nation could help reduce the effects of global warming, according to two Washington state members of Congress.

Rep. Doc Hastings and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers both said Friday that electricity generated by dams should be considered renewable energy along with wind and solar power. (TriCity Herald)

Granted dams and hydroelectricity are vastly more useful than wind and solar power combined but the gorebull warming myth is no reason to build them. If your only justification is AGW then fuggedaboudit -- it's a crock!

Prop. 7 Should Be Denied for Environment - THE BACKERS OF Proposition 7 get top marks for their good intention to increase the amount of renewable energy generated in California -- and a failing grade for their execution.

The measure, funded by Phoenix billionaire Peter Sperling, would require government-owned utilities to generate 20 percent of their electricity from wind and solar energy sources by 2010, a standard currently applicable to private providers. It would also raise requirements for all utilities to 40 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025.

In this era of global warming and soaring energy prices, the goal is laudable but unrealistic. Moreover, the details are so poorly thought out that utility companies, solar panel manufacturers and environmentalists are united in their opposition. (

Actually it should be denied because it's just plain stupid.

Alternative energy outlook clouds up - As hot as the alternative energy sector is, the international credit crunch coupled with falling oil prices could squeeze investment, particularly for startup companies, an analyst said Thursday.

"The concept of alternative energy has a lot of momentum," said Dan Pickering, head of research for Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities in Houston. "But lower oil prices make it harder to justify investment. At $50 a barrel, a lot of that investment will die."

But even if oil doesn't fall that far amid global economic woes, access to capital for new ventures is tough to get despite the sector's political popularity, Pickering said after giving a presentation at an alternative energy forum sponsored by Ernst & Young. (Houston Chronicle)

Valueless schemes harder to flog when money's tight? Go figure...

Florida Hopes Energy Farm Will Be First of Many - TAMPA, Florida, Oct 10 - If an experiment to plant sweet sorghum in rural Florida and convert it to fuel ethanol pans out, it could herald a fundamental change in how the U.S. and other countries create and use renewable bio-energy, researchers say.

Biofuels, like ethanol, are widely blamed for driving food prices higher, sparking food riots in many countries. At least 25 percent of the U.S. maize crop is diverted to biofuel, and extensive areas in Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Brazil are also devoted to growing fuel rather than food.

With sweet sorghum, however, only the stalks are used for biofuel production, while the grain is saved for food or livestock feed. It is not in high demand in the global food market, and thus has little impact on food prices and food security. (IPS)

What about food crops or pasture displaced to grow sorghum, or don't they count?

Greenpeace Fumes at German Carmakers - Greenpeace is pointing its finger at auto giants like Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen, saying their new cars emit more carbon dioxide than earlier models. The new findings blacken the environmental report cards of the German firms -- and undermine an industry trend of flaunting green credentials. (Der Spiegel)

Earth to Greenpeace: Who cares? Fact is the biosphere thrives with increased carbon dioxide, a resource still in relatively short supply.

EU Car Loan Call Puts Spotlight on CO2 Costs - PARIS - European car makers are probably using their call for 40 billion euros (US$55 billion) of loans from the European Union to develop green vehicles as a lever to enter talks with the regulator regarding CO2 legislation, analysts say.

The loan, which has been widely dismissed as unlikely to be granted, also brought to the fore the high costs involved in cutting vehicle emissions. (Reuters)

Let there be energy-saving light: Traditional bulbs to be banned from sale by 2010 to reduce greenhouse gases - The sale of conventional light bulbs will be banned in Europe from the start of 2010 as part of a target to reduce greenhouse gases. Low-energy fluorescent bulbs will replace incandescent bulbs, currently the standard type. (Daily Mail)

Ireland bans traditional lightbulbs - About half of the traditional lightbulbs on sale in Ireland will be banned next March, under Government plans announced today.

The Republic's Environment Minister John Gormley said he believed that by forcing consumers to switch to more energy efficient alternatives they would help cut greenhouse gases. (Belfast Telegraph)

Subsidy for bulbs 'wasted' - THE flawed scheme to cut greenhouse gas abatements by giving away lightbulbs has squandered an estimated $60 million of NSW taxpayers' money, the State Opposition says.

A large part of the subsidy from the scheme supports one of the world's most polluting power stations, it says.

The price of abatement certificates has collapsed, to about $5, about a third of the 2006 price. (Sydney Morning Herald)

We predict you will be very, very diseased - Despite criticisms from the scientific-medical community, health departments, federal regulatory and consumer protection groups; companies funded with tens of millions of dollars from private backers are going forward with plans to create the nation’s largest commercial databank of genetic material and lifestyle and demographic information of employees. To get around the regulatory censures over scientifically un-validated genetic tests being marketed directly to consumers, this consortium of companies has just announced a “first-of-its-kind research study” to see if telling people they’re at genetic risk for a disease will motivate them to change their behaviors to healthy living, such as seek regular medical screenings, eat salads and low-fat foods, lose weight and stop smoking. (Junkfood Science)

What are polls and surveys again? Marketing - No, this post isn’t about those polls — we’ll leave those to the legal professionals already taking critical looks.

This is about polls masquerading as medical research. A new survey published in the current issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology presented no actual science or new information that might benefit patients or their healthcare providers. Its purpose appeared to be to heighten alarm over obesity and cancer, and chastise fat women. See what you think… (Junkfood Science)

Radiation warning over ecofriendly lightbulbs - Health officials issued a warning over common energy-saving lightbulbs today after research showed some types could potentially harm the skin and may even raise the risk of cancer.

A study by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) found that some unencapsulated fluorescent lightbulbs, which have a visible coil, emitted levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that are above recognised safety limits. (Ian Sample and John Vidal, The Guardian)

I admit CFLs are vastly overrated and most definitely should not be mandatory but this piece is inflammatory nonsense. To begin with it should have specified people working within a foot or less of desk lamps and mobile work lights -- that is they should have immediately told readers ceiling-mounted room lights (most people's exposure) are not of concern.

Moreover, they should have pointed out UVC (200-270nm) does not require atmospheric ozone (O3) for absorption but no natural (solar) UVC reaches Earth's surface because UVC is also absorbed by oxygen (O2) -- the same reason you won't be troubled by unencapsulated CFLs if the lamp is physically located a foot (30cms) or more distant from exposed skin (unencapsulated CFLs are the 'ordinary' squiggly looking ones, those that look like standard bulbs are not a problem either way).

Bottom line is that there is no indication room lighting CFLs present any UV radiation danger to the population but it is advisable not to work continuously within inches of those with an exposed coil, as is the case with some desk lamps and mobile work lights.

Now, for those who never look these things up, here's an extract from our seasonal ozone page:

What about the all-important "solar shield" we hear so much about having to protect so that it will preserve us from UV bombardment? Well, not much, actually. UVA (ultraviolet radiation in the 320-400 nanometer [nm] band), which is implicated in deep skin DNA changes thought responsible for melanomas, is not blocked by ozone at all. [Note: De Fabo, et al, claim the reverse to be true for the cause of melanoma, at least in a mouse model - see: Ultraviolet B but not Ultraviolet A Radiation Initiates Melanoma. Meanwhile: Melanoma risk only partially associated with exposure to UVB from sunlight - The report in the Dec. 21 (2005) issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute also indicates that only nonmalignant skin cancers (basal and squamous cell carcinoma) are strongly associated with exposure to UVB radiation. (University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center)] UVB (270-320nm), which causes sunburn, is both blocked by ozone (O3) and, if allowed to penetrate the atmosphere, creates ozone lower in the atmosphere where it can be an irritant in photochemical smog - thick clouds also block UVB. UVC (<270nm), which would cause severe burns with short exposure, does not penetrate the atmosphere, blocked completely by atmospheric oxygen (O2), in addition to ozone (O3). Regardless, life flourishes in the tropics, where stratospheric ozone levels are never high and where solar radiation bombardment is roughly 1,000 times higher than that received in the region of the Antarctic Ozone Anomaly -- the so-called "ozone hole" that makes a brief appearance with each Southern Hemisphere Spring.

The reason there remains confusion and doubt over the role(s) of solar ultraviolet radiation in triggering malignant cancers is that the effects are small and ambiguous -- particularly since solar UV powers the reactions in our skin that convert cholesterol to vitamin D, which inter alia is believed protective against various cancers. Certainly it has never been worthy of the skin cancer scare campaigns, themselves a spinoff of the ozone farce and the charge for Montreal -- undoubtedly the world's silliest Protocol until the mind-bogglingly stupid Kyoto.

The number massage: It's a gas - What I like about Bad Science is that it's a game the whole family can play. This month "Lloydspharmacy", as Lloyds Pharmacy insist on being called, is trying to flog carbon monoxide detectors (for only £12.99). It is a noble calling, so it decided to follow industry protocol for getting its product and brand into the media: it produced a misleading set of superficially plausible survey figures to massage our prejudices, which journalists obediently copied and pasted out of the Lloyds press release email and into their word processors, to make a "news" article. (Ben Goldacre, The Guardian)

Peer Review Not Perfect: Shocking Finding - The way peer review works is broken, according to a new finding by John Ioannidis and colleagues in their article “Why Current Publication Practices May Distort Science”. The authors liken acceptance of papers in journals to winning bids in auctions: sometimes the winner pays too much and the results aren’t worth as much as everybody thinks. (William M Briggs, Statistician)

The Arctic contest heats up - What is Russia up to in the seas above Europe?

COLD, empty and rich in fish and minerals, the seas of the “High North” are a tempting prize for a big, confident country. Even before the startling news of Vladimir Putin’s offer of a €4 billion ($5.4 billion) emergency loan to Iceland (see article), Russia had been beefing up its presence in a part of the world where the NATO presence is fitful. Although American submarines still ply the northern seas, other NATO vessels are rarely seen. America bruised Icelandic feelings when it pulled out of its Keflavik air base in 2006.

The Kremlin, by contrast, commands a cash pile of over $500 billion and, despite sagging markets in Moscow, is well-placed to assist a country facing bankruptcy. Iceland’s prime minister, Geir Haarde, said that apart from some support from Nordic states, he had received little response to his appeals for help from Western countries. “When our old friends didn’t help us, we had to find new friends,” he declared. What Russia might want in exchange is unclear. But it is unlikely to be nothing. (The Economist)

Investors' Real Fear: A Socialist Tsunami - "Why has the market dropped so much?" everyone asks. What is it about the specter of our first socialist president and the end of capitalism as we know it that they don't understand?

The freeze-up of the financial system — and government's seeming inability to thaw it out — are a main concern, no doubt. But more people are also starting to look across the valley, as they say, at what's in store once this crisis passes.

And right now it looks like the U.S., which built the mightiest, most prosperous economy the world has ever known, is about to turn its back on the free-enterprise system that made it all possible.

It isn't only that the most anti-capitalist politician ever nominated by a major party is favored to take the White House. It's that he'll also have a filibuster-proof Congress led by politicians who are almost as liberal.

Throw in a media establishment dedicated to the implementation of a liberal agenda, and the smothering of dissent wherever it arises, and it's no wonder panic has set in. (IBD)

Farming Makes a Comeback in Russia - Investors are pouring billions into agribusiness and trying to reverse decades of Soviet mismanagement.

Under a baking sun, two green combine harvesters trundled across a vast expanse of yellow barley, unloading their grain into waiting trucks. It was a bumper harvest in Usman, a rural district some 300 miles south of Moscow. Yields of barley almost doubled this year. And there was plenty more to come. On the endless plains of southern Russia this summer, wheat, corn, and sunflowers towered high above the rich black soil for mile after mile.

Just four years ago the same fields sprouted nothing but wild grasses. Although this land had been farmed for centuries, the tradition nearly died out in the 1990s. The Soviet kolkhozy, or collective farms -- hardly paragons of agricultural efficiency -- went bankrupt as communism collapsed, and villagers abandoned the land. "When Gorbachev came to power, everything began to fall apart," says Alexander Gulov, a former boss of a collective farm in Usman.

But farming in the area, and across Russia's traditional grain belt, is making a comeback. (BusinessWeek)

October 10, 2008

Five-Star Green Hypocrisy - Move over Al Gore. Swankier carbon charlatanism has come to town in the form of the World Wildlife Fund’s luxury getaway called "Around the World: A Private Jet Expedition." (Steven Milloy,

Meanwhile: EU to Urge Other States to Curb Aviation Emissions - BRUSSELS - The European Union will press countries outside the bloc to include aviation in their current or future schemes for curbing emissions of greenhouse gases, its transport ministers decided on Thursday. (Reuters)

Attack of the Gorebots: Pint-Size Eco-Police, Making Parents Proud and Sometimes Crazy - Sometimes, Jennifer Ross feels she cannot make a move at home without inviting the scorn of her daughters, 10-year-old Grace and 7-year-old Eliza. The Acura MDX she drives? A flagrant polluter. The bath at night to help her relax? A wasteful indulgence. The reusable shopping bags she forgot, again? Tsk, tsk.

“I have very, very environmentally conscious children — more so than me, I’m embarrassed to say,” said Ms. Ross, a social worker in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. “They’re on my case about getting a hybrid car. They want me to replace all the light bulbs in the house with energy-saving bulbs.”

Ms. Ross’s children are part of what experts say is a growing army of “eco-kids” — steeped in environmentalism at school, in houses of worship, through scouting and even via popular culture — who try to hold their parents accountable at home. Amid their pride in their children’s zeal for all things green, the grown-ups sometimes end up feeling like scofflaws under the watchful eye of the pint-size eco-police, whose demands grow ever greater, and more expensive. (New York Times)

Poor programmed little zombies...

Down with the filthy rich misanthropes - Many green activists and commentators think that anyone who dares to criticise the apparent consensus on the science and politics of climate change must be in the pay of big business. In truth, as a meeting in London on Monday night powerfully illustrated, the megabucks are really on the side of those who think humanity is screwing up the planet. (Rob Lyons, sp!ked)

Scientist warns cash woes 'devastating' to science -- Famed scientist Richard Leakey warned that the worldwide credit crisis will be "just devastating" to scientific research in coming years, as endowment interest income drops and companies cut donations.

Leakey, who once served on a government economic team in his native Kenya, said much of the support for science comes from wealthy philanthropists, foundations and companies. All those groups likely will be affected by lowered interest rates and the squeeze of credit not being available to fund their operations, he said. (Associated Press)

So, private and corporate funding is good for science after all? Go figure... On the other hand, this might be just the thing to tone down activist lunacy for a bit and perhaps even derail the gorebull warming gravy train.

UN Climate Plans vs. The Poor - ACCRA -- Despite the breakdown of UN climate-change talks in Bali last December, the same themes were still being pushed at this week’s meeting in Ghana--but now developing countries have begun to question the effects on the world’s poorest.

Although he recognises that vulnerability to climate is a result of poverty, Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, had stated he wanted to focus on emissions reductions, to slow down or even halt climate change. This is the standard UN line, strongly supported by the European Union and Japan, among others. Not everyone was so keen.

"It is clear that mitigation cannot be a priority for developing countries any more. Adaptation is clearly the way forward," said Ghanaian representative William Agyeman-Bonsu.

Indeed, nearly all the Least Developed Countries were far more interested in coping with current and future conditions than sacrificing economic growth at the altar of emissions reductions, especially when India’s and China’s growth make the idea redundant.

Many of the predicted impacts of climate change, from increased flooding to the spread of infectious diseases, have long been around, killing millions of people every year--particularly the poorest.

For poor countries it is therefore essential that climate change policy does not undermine the biggest anti-poverty weapon of all, economic growth. How governments respond, trying to adapt to climate change or trying to stop it, will make all the difference. The UN has claimed that foreign aid can help but Africa’s countless aid-financed infrastructure projects, riddled with corruption and waste, demonstrate otherwise. (Franklin Cudjoe & Bright Simons, The Ghana Daily Mail via IPN)

James Inhofe Debates Andrew Rice On Global Warming

Tank Progress has an assault here. As usual, greenhouse hysterics have posted a graphic suggesting dramatic warming with the allusion that this is due to enhanced greenhouse. So, how is the search for the expected mid-troposphere enhanced greenhouse 'signature' going? Like this, actually:

For enhanced greenhouse to overcome natural variability that temperature series should be climbing with atmospheric carbon dioxide (in fact, taking the modelers' marvelous magical multipliers into account, should be climbing 2.5 times faster) but quite apparently the anticipated mid-troposphere warming is simply not happening.

Now, Senator Inhofe says in the clip that warming was true although it is cooling at the moment. Is he right or wrong? Going by the most accurate available global 'thermometer', he's right:

It is fair to say the lower troposphere had warmed between two-tenths and three-tenths of one degree for a few years at the beginning of the millennium and that the running average has now plunged back near the 20-year average. Given the immediacy of political debate I'd say the claim there was warming but it's now cooling qualified as true whereas Jimmy Hansen claimed in UK court testimony that carbon dioxide emissions from a specific power station would cause 400 species' extinctions, which most assuredly does not. Clearly Inhofe by TKO.

John Brignell advises he is, in fact, still alive. Good to see skepticism is not dying off too quickly ;-) Seriously, wishes the good professor the best possible health and wonders if those sidewalk hazards have any tendency to multiply on the return journey from the village watering hole...

Is Obama spiking Kindergarten Kool-Aid? - While the highly charged debate on climate change and global warming ensues, Obama wants kindergarten children to be taught climate change science in the classroom. On May 14, 2007, Obama introduced in the Senate, a bill called, the “Climate Change Education Act,” which authorizes “the National Science Foundation to establish a Climate Change Education Program.” (CFP)

“Inside The Logic Of The IPCC Statements On Attribution” By Roger A. Pielke Jr. - The IPCC offers a number of statements expressing its confidence in the likelihood of various claims based on very explicit guidance that it prepared for conveying uncertainties to its readers. These statements are the subject of much confusion and debate. This post discusses the IPCC statements on attribution of increasing global temperatures to various causes, as reported in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report from 2007. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

'Fertilising' the Ocean Could be a Cure That Kills - BARCELONA, Oct 9 - Environmentalists are challenging dubious new proposals to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

One of these new proposals is "geo-engineering" to capture carbon from the atmosphere. A disproportionately high concentration of carbon dioxide is believed to cause global warming, and consequently climate change.

Leading scientists attending the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress in Barcelona say such projects must be banned for good, especially plans by some private corporations and governments from industrialised countries to artificially "fertilise" the oceans with iron and chemicals.

This kind of 'fertilisation' is intended to accelerate the natural process of carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration by photosynthesis, and help multiply microscopic organisms called phytoplankton that account for about half of all absorption of carbon dioxide by plants. Through photosynthesis, plankton capture carbon and sunlight for growth, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. (IPS/Terraviva)

To a limited extent we agree with them but not for any reason they would endorse. We don't want a cooler world and, given our druthers, warmer is the preferred change. Furthermore, additional atmospheric carbon dioxide is a bonus for the biosphere, we don't see any value in reducing it.

Ed Miliband, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, has his work cut out - Whether you are a climate-change denier, a sceptic or a believer in the scientific consensus on global warming, you have to admit that there is something preposterous about making someone Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

It's a bit like giving King Canute added responsibility for sea level rise: it implies that he can do something about it. (Daily Telegraph)

Plea to save Albert's scam? US Focus on Climate Could Ease Financial Crisis - WASHINGTON - If the United States focused on curbing climate change as soon as a new president took office -- or sooner -- it could help pull the world from the financial brink, environmental policy experts told Reuters.

"Skyrocketing energy prices and the financial crisis have been a wake-up call that something's got to change," said Cathy Zoi, chief executive officer of the Alliance for Climate Protection, which is chaired by former Vice President Al Gore. (Reuters)

Rubbish: FTSE 100: rankings show how ready companies are for climate change - Companies that fail to assess the impact of climate change are storing up problems for the future in a similar way that the financial community built up debt leading to the current financial crisis, according to City experts.

The Carbon Disclosure Project assesses how well prepared the world's top companies are for the challenges of climate change.

The aim is to inform investors about the risk these firms will face in the event of rising carbon costs and environmental disaster. (Daily Telegraph)

CDP trying to prop up the carbon scam and their own jobs.

Carbon, schmarbon: Carbon Market is No Safe Haven Yet - LONDON - New carbon commodities are government-guaranteed in the climate change fight, but are still too complex and immature to provide a haven for investors fleeing financial markets' rout. (Reuters)

By definition scams are not "safe havens" dopey.

France Eyes CO2 Opt-Outs for Some EU Industry - Draft - LUXEMBOURG - Europe's plans to curb climate change should allow opt-outs for industries facing competition from unregulated overseas rivals and for some countries' power sectors, a draft document from the EU's French presidency shows. (Reuters)

Control Freaks - But Pigs Won’t Fly - A kindly soul has just pointed out to me that yesterday good ol’ Guardianista, John Vidal [“For it is he!”], had a teeny dig (once again) at ‘Dotty Stotty’ in his regular Wednesday Eco soundings’ slot [‘Too much hot air’, Eco soundings (4th item down), The Guardian, October 8]:

“Philip ‘Dotty Stotty’ Stott, emeritus professor of geography at London University, has been quiet of late, but Eco Soundings’ favourite climate change sceptic has come up with a list of new ministers who will be needed in the new climate change department...” [see: ‘That New Climate Department’, October 3]. (Global Warming Politics)

They will try this though: UK Speed Cameras to Monitor Every Stretch of Road - The UK Commission for Integrated Transport last year proposed a nationwide blanket of speed cameras as a means of fighting global warming. After a series of trials, the Home Office is now set to make this a reality by approving early next year the SPECS3 "distance over time speed measuring device" that will make it impossible to drive on any primary road in Britain without being tracked and subjected to an instant fine for exceeding the posted speed limit. (The Newspaper)

EU countries may use economic crisis to ditch climate change commitments - Papers seen by the Guardian suggest the EU council will water down measures to tackle global warming (The Guardian)

Fears rise that EU may drop climate pledge (The Guardian updated or recycled)

Financial crisis prompts fears of climate failure - Fears are growing that the deepening global financial crisis and the inevitable recessionary conditions to follow will derail the fight against climate change, snuffing out investment in low-carbon technologies and weakening the chances of a new global political agreement to follow on from the Kyoto Protocol. (Carbon Positive)

Global Cooling Consensus Not A Myth - Timely but alas flawed contribution by Thomas Peterson of NOAA, William Connolley of the British Antarctic survey and science reporter John Fleck, reporting on the “Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society” about the apparent lack of peer-reviewed papers predicting global cooling, between 1965 and 1979 (it’s reported here in Nature’s Climate Feedback blog).

Unfortunately, it really does look like Messrs Peterson, Connolley and Fleck simply have not looked well enough… or have conveniently restricted their search just enough to miss a 1961 article describing a Global Cooling consensus among scientists at a meeting supported also by…the American Meteorological Association.

Yet More Evidence Of Global Cooling Consensus In 1961 (OmniClimate)

Climate Change Could Force Millions From Homes - BARCELONA, Spain - Environmental damage such as desertification or flooding caused by climate change could force millions of peoples from their homes in the next few decades, experts said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Like a lot of climate claims this contains an element of truth -- altered regional hydrology has traditionally forced people to move throughout human history, although modern infrastructure development has reduced this devastation. The implication, of course, is that anthropogenic global warming would be at fault for contemporary changes in regional hydrology when the reality is that such changes represent traditional norms. Moreover, the one truly significant global human effect is omitted -- returning previously lost carbon to the atmosphere is literally greening the Earth and increasing plants' water use efficiency, thus impeding desertification. Funny how they never mention that humanity's greatest effect on the biosphere is highly beneficial.

One-metre sea-level rise this century, scientists say - Berlin - Global warming calculations have been too optimistic, and the sea level round the globe is likely to rise a full metre this century, two senior German scientists warned Wednesday. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who heads the Potsdam Institute for Research on Global Warming Effects and Jochem Marotzke, a leading meteorologist, said UN-backed data on climate change, predicting a rise of 18 to 59 centimetres, was out of date.

"We now have to expect that the sea level will rise by a metre this century," said Schellnhuber in Berlin. (DPA)

Except sea levels have been falling for the last couple of years as the oceans cool...

Germany's Hans Joachim Schellnhuber: Fool or fraud? (Tom Nelson)

Clean-Air Policies May Accelerate Warming Trend, Scientist Says -- Cleaning air in Beijing and in other large cities suffering from pollution problems by limiting car and power-plant emissions may raise global temperatures instead of lowering them, according to a German scientist.

Aerosols, or particles suspended in air, have a cooling effect on the Earth, countering global warming linked to carbon dioxide, said Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research. A drop in aerosols in the atmosphere could cause a ``rapid'' rise in temperatures, he said. (Bloomberg)

Jeremy van Loon... just saying.

Oh boy... Polar bears may be the poster child for global warming, but tropics also threatened - WASHINGTON - If you can't stand global warming, get out of the tropics. While the most significant harm from climate change so far has been in the polar regions, tropical plants and animals may face an even greater threat, say scientists who studied conditions in Costa Rica.

"Many lowland tropical species could be in trouble," the team of researchers, led by Robert K. Colwell of the University of Connecticut, warns in Friday's edition of the journal Science. (Associated Press)

... except the tropics aren't actually warming.

Global warming change part of bigger picture - University of Western Ontario physics professor Wayne Hocking says it is important to look to the poles – the Arctic and Antarctic poles – to find the truth about global warming and other atmospheric changes. (Western News)

Michigan Sacrifices for the Planet - Detroit — Top climatologist James Hansen endorses anti-industry vandalism to fight global warming and, as noted below, Reuters reports that atmospheric scientist Paul Crutzen sees a global financial meltdown as environmentally beneficial.

“If we are looking at a slowdown in the economy,” says the Nobel Prize winner, “there will be less fossil fuels burning, so for the climate it could be an advantage.”

A round-trip ticket from Planet Gore to a little place called Michigan, Planet Earth, might be sobering for these “scientific experts.” (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

France Says Burying CO2, EU Gas Shipments Urgent - BRUSSELS - The European Union must urgently find funding for a new technology to trap and bury carbon dioxide underground and should increase the region's capacity for liquefied gas shipments, the EU's French presidency said. (Reuters)

France, Britain Back Coal Plant Climate Fix - BRUSSELS/LONDON - The European Union must fund a new technology to clean up coal plants and fight the twin problems of energy security and climate change, the EU's French presidency and Britain's new climate minister say. (Reuters)

Look how they've managed to frighten people: E.ON Foe Sees `End of World' in Coal as Germany Shuns Reactors -- Winfried Schwab-Posselt feels he's driving toward Armageddon when commuting to work.

Every day, the 56-year-old night-school teacher drives down the main street in the southwest German town of Hainburg under the shadow of five gray-and-white towers spewing clouds of vapor from E.ON AG's Staudinger coal-fired power plant. Now, Germany's biggest utility is planning to build a larger facility.

``It's like moving toward a big wall and facing the end of the world,'' Schwab-Posselt says. ``Now there's the fear that an even bigger wall is coming.'' (Bloomberg)

Wood as a power source may be making comeback - RUSSELL, Mass. -- The push for more power from renewable fuels has renewed interest in one of the oldest energy sources: wood.

While airwaves have been permeated by advertisements for solar and wind power, last year wood generated more net electricity in the U.S. than those two up-and-comers combined. (Associated Press)

Why? Iceland Finds New Ways to Trap Carbon - REYKJAVIK, Oct 9 - At the Hellisheidi geothermal power station, located about 30 km east of Reykjavik, Icelanders are developing novel ways of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) that are emitted from the plant.

The CO2 project, called Carb-Fix, is researching the potential for carbon storage from the geothermal power plant in basalt rock, which makes up over 90 percent of Iceland's bedrock and is volcanic in origin. (IPS)

Promising new material that could improve gas mileage - With gasoline at high prices, it's disheartening to know that up to three-quarters of the potential energy you are paying for is wasted. A good deal of it goes right out the tailpipe instead of powering your car.

Now a Northwestern University-led research team has identified a promising new material that could transform a technology that currently cools and heats car seats -- thermoelectrics -- into one that also efficiently converts waste heat into electricity to help power the car and improve gas mileage. (Northwestern University)

Mushroom enzyme could strip pollutants from fuel cells - An enzyme from fungus that grows on rotting wood could be used as clean alternative to expensive and polluting and rare metals in fuel cells and batteries, say scientists (The Guardian)

Wind farm business scheme will help communities profit - Farmers have set up a unique new business scheme in the UK to enable land owners and communities to benefit from wind farms.

At the moment multinational companies develop most wind farms. Communities are offered a share in the development or a "goodwill payment" from the profits.

This has led to the accusation that local communities do not get a fair amount of the profit generated.

Now farmers are fighting back by asking landowners and communities to invest in a new business, Wingen, that will ensure the local people profit. (Daily Telegraph)

Publish and be wrong - One group of researchers thinks headline-grabbing scientific reports are the most likely to turn out to be wrong

IN ECONOMIC theory the winner’s curse refers to the idea that someone who places the winning bid in an auction may have paid too much. Consider, for example, bids to develop an oil field. Most of the offers are likely to cluster around the true value of the resource, so the highest bidder probably paid too much.

The same thing may be happening in scientific publishing, according to a new analysis. With so many scientific papers chasing so few pages in the most prestigious journals, the winners could be the ones most likely to oversell themselves—to trumpet dramatic or important results that later turn out to be false. This would produce a distorted picture of scientific knowledge, with less dramatic (but more accurate) results either relegated to obscure journals or left unpublished. (The Economist)

Does the evidence really show that school obesity policies and weigh-ins don’t increase taunts against fat kids? - Should we be concerned that today’s anti-obesity programs could be having unintended consequences for school children? Since Arkansas passed Act 1220, launching the country’s most comprehensive school-based anti-obesity thpolicies, parents, educational professionals, and child psychology and eating disorder specialists have voiced concerns that the program could be focusing negative attention on children’s weights and putting young people at risk for dangerous weight loss practices and eating disorders, and heightening stigma against fat children. (Junkfood Science)

First Salmon Caught in Basel in 50 Years - A Swiss fisher reeled in a surprise on Sunday. The Swiss environment ministry confirmed Wednesday that the hobby fisher had caught the first salmon seen in Basel for half a century. (Der Spiegel)

Obscure European humor? Switzerland's Green Power Revolution: Ethicists Ponder Plants' Rights - ZURICH -- For years, Swiss scientists have blithely created genetically modified rice, corn and apples. But did they ever stop to consider just how humiliating such experiments may be to plants?

That's a question they must now ask. Last spring, this small Alpine nation began mandating that geneticists conduct their research without trampling on a plant's dignity.

"Unfortunately, we have to take it seriously," Beat Keller, a molecular biologist at the University of Zurich. "It's one more constraint on doing genetic research."

Dr. Keller recently sought government permission to do a field trial of genetically modified wheat that has been bred to resist a fungus. He first had to debate the finer points of plant dignity with university ethicists. Then, in a written application to the government, he tried to explain why the planned trial wouldn't "disturb the vital functions or lifestyle" of the plants. He eventually got the green light.

The rule, based on a constitutional amendment, came into being after the Swiss Parliament asked a panel of philosophers, lawyers, geneticists and theologians to establish the meaning of flora's dignity.

"We couldn't start laughing and tell the government we're not going to do anything about it," says Markus Schefer, a member of the ethics panel and a professor of law at the University of Basel. "The constitution requires it." (Wall Street Journal)

Europeans Reject Animal Cloning For Food - Survey - BRUSSELS - Most Europeans have reservations about cloning animals for food, while 67 percent see cloning as justified if used to preserve rare animal species, a survey that could help forge EU policy in the area showed on Thursday. (Reuters)

Who’s afraid of xenotransplantation? - Using pig organs in humans could save thousands of lives. So why is Britain driving research away? (Stuart Derbyshire, sp!ked)

Wheat harvest does not suffer as rainfall decreases - Most climate impact studies assume that reduced rainfall will result in lower crop yields in semi-arid areas. But wheat production in one such climate, Western Australia, has not declined since the 1970s despite a decrease in rainfall in the region. In fact, production actually increased by about 40 kg per hectare per year between 1980 and 2000. A team of scientists is now saying that this is because most of the reduction in precipitation has occurred in winter, a period when rainfall frequently exceeds crop demand. (Environmental Research Web)

October 9, 2008

Roy Spencer, climate skeptic, speaks - Roy Spencer, one of a relatively small number legitimate climate skeptics (sic), visited Houston today to give a talk sponsored by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation. Spencer, a team leader on NASA's Aqua satellite, believes natural cycles account for most of last century's warming, with carbon dioxide increases contributing only a modest amount.

He also unveiled new research, which has been submitted to Geophysical Research Letters for publication, which appears to show that climate models overstate the positive feedback from more carbon dioxide, and therefore grossly overstate the projected warming during the next century. Spencer says his work suggests the Earth will warm by about 1 degree Fahrenheit or less during the next century, not the 4 to 8 degrees projected by the IPCC process. (Eric Berger, Chronicle Blog)

Most climate skeptics are born out of wedlock? Or did Berger mean something else with his gratuitous opening "one of a relatively small number [of] legitimate climate skeptics"? No matter, at least he gave Spencer some opportunity to present his case, more than can be said for Science or Nature.

Officials should look deeper at climate change - Government officeholders at federal and state levels assume that current global warming is chiefly, if not entirely, due to mankind’s growing carbon dioxide emissions, but they have not examined the science enough.

Most of our political leaders see the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports as presenting an indisputable scientific consensus. Meanwhile, lawyers successfully argue that CO2 is now a pollutant, and around the world armies of regulatory bureaucracies eagerly anticipate expansion of their funding and power to “save the planet.”

This belief is amplified by many in the world’s media and from environmental advocacy groups, who ask sponsors and supporters to help them promote a CO2-reduction crusade. (Charles Clough, DC Examiner)

Shock, Shock ... the Climate Catastrophe Lobby is Telling Fibs - This undoubtedly will shock readers, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a tendency to shade the truth. And only in one direction. It seems ... drumroll, please! ... that the member governments have their own agendas and aren't above lying to the people to achieve their ends. (Doug Bandow, Cooler Heads)

Hey lookit! Old 'Ice Age' Schneider's talking gorebull warming: Climate expert to deliver Bonser Distinguished Lecture at Indiana University - BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Stephen H. Schneider, one of the world's leading experts on climate change science, will present the 2008 Charles F. Bonser Distinguished Lecture at Indiana University, sponsored by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Kelley School of Business. The topic is "Changing the Course of Global Climate Change." (Press Release)

For How Long will the Current Grand Maximum of Solar Activity Persist? - There is a new paper ‘in press’ in GRL by J.A. Abreu, J. Beer, F. Steinhilber, S.M. Tobias, and N.O. Weiss, entitled: ‘For how long will the current grand maximum of solar activity persist?’

The Abstract states: Understanding the Sun’s magnetic activity is important because of its impact on the Earth’s environment. The sunspot record since 1610 shows irregular 11-year cycles of activity; they are modulated on longer timescales and were interrupted by the Maunder minimum in the 17th century. Future behavior cannot easily be predicted – even in the short-term. Recent activity has been abnormally high for at least 8 cycles: is this grand maximum likely to terminate soon or even to be followed by another (Maunder-like) grand minimum? To answer these questions we use, as a measure of the Sun’s open magnetic field, a composite record of the solar modulation function, reconstructed principally from the proxy record of cosmogenic 10Be abundances in the GRIP icecore from Greenland. This record extends back for almost 10,000 years, showing many grand maxima and grand minima (defined as intervals when is within the top or botton 20% of a Gaussian distribution). We carry out a statistical analysis of this record and calculate the life expectancy of the current grand maximum. We find that it is only expected to last for a further 15–36 years, with the more reliable methods yielding shorter expectancies, and we therefore predict a decline in solar activity within the next two or three cycles. We are not able, however, to predict the level of the ensuing minimum. (Climate Research News)

October 8, 2008 Research Update #1: Our Feedback Diagnosis paper to appear in J. Climate, Nov. 1 issue.

October 8, 2008 Research Update #2: Recent satellite data invalidates IPCC climate models.

October 8, 2008: A Brief Comment on "Spencer's Folly" - For anyone who has stumbled across a rather condescending critique of our latest research on feedback by someone who calls himself "Tamino", I can only say that Tamino could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he would have noticed that all of my feedback work addresses TIME-VARYING radiative forcing (as occurs during natural climate variability), not CONSTANT radiative forcing (as is approximately the case with global warming). Tamino's analytical solution does not exist in the time-varying case, and so his holier-than-thou critique is irrelevant to what I have presented.

September 2008 Global Temperature Update: ...La Nina waning...+0.16 deg. C above normal. (Roy Spencer on Global Warming)

UAH Global Temperature Anomaly Jumps in September - UAH (University of Alabama, Huntsville) Microwave Sounder Unit (MSU) lower troposphere global temperature anomaly data for September 2008 was published this week and unlike August, which moved a bit below the zero anomaly line, with a value of -0.010°C, (down from 0.048°C in July 2008) we now have a significant positive jump to 0.161°C. That makes it the warmest monthly temperature this year. (Watts Up With That?)

Added Information To The Assessment And Interpretation Of Surface and Tropospheric Temperature Anomalies - The excellent websites The Blackboard Where Climate Talk Gets Hot!” and Climate Audit have been discussing in depth the latest anomalies in the in-situ measured surface and satellite measured tropospheric temperatures. This Climate Science weblog is intended to add to this discussion by presenting several issues with respect to these data sets: (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

GISS Releases September 2008 Data - GISS (Goddard Institute of Space Studies) Surface Temperature Analysis (GISSTemp) released their monthly global temperature anomaly data for September 2008. (Watts Up With That?)

80% and the Climate Change Aristocracy - The Independent newspaper announced yesterday that

The UK should cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by mid-century, the Government’s climate change committee recommended today.

The committee said a more stringent target than the 60 per cent cut currently in the Climate Change Bill was needed, because new information suggested the dangers of global warming were greater than previously thought.

The dangers of climate change were worse than previously thought? What possible worse scenario could there be, than the barrage of catastrophic visions we have been subjected to by activists, politicians, and the media, over the last few years? (Climate Resistance)

They still don't get it: US Seen Open to Forestry Offsets in Climate Fight - NEW YORK - As it inches toward forming climate policy, the United States is more open to attempting to slow global warming through investments in tropical forests than the European Union is, a broker that works on forestry deals said.

"There's been this kind of predisposition against forestry on the part of the EU," Ross MacWhinney, a carbon markets analyst at energy brokers Evolution Markets LLC said at the Reuters Global Environment Summit in New York. "But I think that in the US legislators are looking at forestry as a lower-cost option." (Reuters)

This isn't about cost-effective 'solutions' to the imaginary problem but an all-out assault on capitalism.

Oh no! Arctic soil could be... fertile? Arctic soil reveals climate change clues - Frozen arctic soil contains nearly twice the greenhouse-gas-producing organic material as was previously estimated, according to recently published research by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists. (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

EU climate change programme in balance as crucial talks begin - MEPs vote in favour of tougher carbon emission rules, but opposition to wide-reaching programme in some member states is strengthening (James Murray, BusinessGreen)

EU Could be Greener - BRUSSELS, Oct 8 - The outcome of a crucial European Parliament vote on tackling climate change this week was not as negative as many green activists had feared. Yet it also suggested that the rhetoric of European politicians on how they must exercise leadership to ward off the threat posed by rising temperatures is not being matched with decisive action. (IPS)

EU Parliament's Environment Committee Vote Threatens Europe's Aluminium Industry - BRUSSELS, October 7, 2008 -- A key part of the EU's climate change policy - the Emission Trading System (ETS) - could destroy the economic viability of Europe's aluminium industry. The European Parliament's Environment Committee recognised the impact of CO2 costs passed into electricity prices (indirect effects) as one of the criteria for carbon leakage, as it has a large negative effect on the competitiveness of energy intensive industries. Therefore, it is inexplicable that the Committee failed to adopt provisions for a legal mechanism to address this problem. (PRNewswire via COMTEX)

Good for them: Indian Politics Makes Climate a Tough Sell - NEW DELHI - India's raucous democracy, endemic poverty and soaring economic ambition make targetting greenhouse gas emissions cuts a hard sell, even as global pressure mounts on the government to do more on climate change. (Reuters)

An Open Letter to Premier Anna Bligh and All Elected Members in Queensland (pdf) - Dear Premier and Members,
The Carbon Sense Coalition was formed in Queensland by Australians, including many Queenslanders who have been closely involved, some at senior levels, in the backbone industries and public service activities of the Sunshine State. Some still are. Some have been participants, commentators and observers of the Queensland political scene for longer than most members of the current parliament.

They are all motivated by concern at the biggest politically generated threat to every Queensland industry, to the outlook for jobs for our kids, to the cost of living, and to the continued flow of revenue to the State. That threat is an Emissions Trading System, its carbon taxes and all the asset destruction that will flow from it. (Carbon Sense Coalition)

Livestock less damaging than UN report claimed - A blunder has seen New Zealand blamed for climate change caused by other countries, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation has acknowledged.

The FAO report, Livestock's Long Shadow, made public last year to world acclaim, states that livestock contributes 18 per cent of the global warming effect, even more than transport.

But buried in the report is the information that deforestation - mainly in the Amazonian rainforest - is included in that figure. Without it, livestock's contribution falls to less than 12 per cent.

This has been ignored in public statements made since the report's release. The most controversial was by the chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, who urged people to eat less meat. (Dominion Post)

Arrgh! Stupid media! Scientist upbeat on climate prospects - Susan Solomon, a Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist, knows all of the glum statistics behind global warming, but she said she is optimistic about reducing CO2 in the atmosphere.

Why? Because she has had success in another similarly daunting situation.

Solomon, a senior scientist at the National Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, shared the Nobel Prize in 2007 for work on climate change.

She was also at the center of the science that documented the ozone hole over Antarctica in the 1980s and the international relief effort that stopped production of chlorofluorocarbons, chemical compounds that proved to be tearing a hole in the atmosphere. (Rocky Mountain News)

No, Solomon is not a Nobel Laureate (although she and a few hundred others did contribute to a report on behalf of the panel that shared the 2007 Peace Prize with Al Gore) and the ozone nonsense was always invalid.

False causality between Atlantic hurricane activity fluctuations and seasonal lower atmospheric wind anomalies - A new paper has been published in GRL by K L Swanson entitled: ‘False causality between Atlantic hurricane activity fluctuations and seasonal lower atmospheric wind anomalies.’

The Abstract states: Statistical studies suggest a link between anomalies in seasonally averaged lower atmospheric dynamical fields and Atlantic hurricane activity. Here we show that lower atmospheric seasonal wind anomalies result primarily from the presence of the hurricanes themselves. This is done by assuming a hypothetical vortex structure whose radial structure is constrained by observations derived from aircraft probing of tropical cyclones and whose vorticity magnitude is scaled to time varying, best track intensities. Seasonal vorticity anomalies associated with Atlantic hurricane activity are accumulated by summing these idealized vorticities along observed tropical cyclone tracks. Winds associated with these seasonal vorticity anomalies explain the bulk of observed hurricane activity-related fluctuations in the seasonally averaged lower tropospheric wind. Hence, seasonal wind anomalies appear to have little causal information relevant to understanding why hurricane activity in the Atlantic has fluctuated in the past, and may be of limited value in projecting future hurricane activity. (Climate Research News)

Stuck in Neutral: Climate Legislation Won’t Curb Driving - Congress is back on the climate-change warpath, with draft legislation introduced yesterday. That already has environmentalists howling that the proposals are too weak, while conservatives cringe at what they see as a wrecking ball headed for the economy.

But this latest kerfulffle about climate politics may be much ado about not too much.

When it comes to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from automobiles, one of the biggest sources, any climate-change legislation will do less than the market (and Congress itself) has already done.

That’s the finding from a new study by the Congressional Budget Office. It found that legislation that would put a pricetag on carbon emissions would do little to reduce emissions from cars and trucks on U.S. highways, the source of about 20% of U.S. emissions. That means that other sectors, particularly electricity generation, would have to pick up the slack if the overall economy is to seriously shave emissions. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

D'oh! Holidaymakers don´t care about the planet - Holidaymakers don´t care about carbon offsetting and do not enquire about a company´s green credentials when they make a booking.

Speaking during a session on the environment entitled ´Tourism 2023´, Co-operative Travel general manager Mike Greenacre said we were a long way from convincing people of the merits of taking so-called green holidays.

“There is a scepticism out there,” he said. “People want to know what the holiday is and what the value is. They don´t go into a travel agent and ask if you do carbon offsetting.” (TravelMole)

Somehow I can't see either The Indy or The Guardian featuring the above or below items. All that nonsense they featured by Meacher, King, the Prince of Wails, Blair and the Moonbat et al, yet UK denizens continue to behave in a rational manner -- must be quite disheartening for the watermelons at times.

Brits cutting back on flights due to price rises - The rising price of flights has prompted 50% of Brits to change their travel plans, according to a survey of 2,000 members of European travel portal

The poll found that 10% flew less, 21% stayed at home and 4% did not make any long-distance trips.

But only 16% of Brits changed their travel plans due to climate change, and over 80% are skeptical about global warming.

In fact, 40% believe it is all media hype and only 4% of respondents have cut back on flying because of environmental concerns.

The results also showed that no British travellers chose to stay in ecologically friendly hotels.

In other European countries there is less skepticism, with only 24% of the Germans and 30% of the French thinking climate change is media hype. (Bev Fearis, TravelMole) [em added]

American Crude - With a media wind at his back, Barack Obama regularly gets away with false and distorted statements. He repeated one Tuesday that seems superficially plausible but should not go unchallenged.

Just as he said during the Sept. 26 University of Mississippi debate with John McCain, the Illinois Democrat claimed during the Nashville town hall setting that "we have 3% of the world's oil reserves and we use 25% of the world's oil. So what that means is that we can't simply drill our way out of the problem."

It's disappointing that McCain failed to call out Obama on his figures, because he had an opening big enough to drive an Exxon Mobil tanker truck through.

The problem isn't Obama's claim about consumption. The U.S. does go through about a quarter of the oil used across the globe (it also, by the way, produces 28% of the world's goods and services, but that's another story).

No, the real problem is that the oft-repeated claim of the U.S. having 3% or less of world reserves doesn't stand up. (IBD)

Energy Department warns of higher heating costs - WASHINGTON — Heating U.S. homes with oil this winter will cost a painful $450 more than a year ago, another slap to families already reeling from high gasoline and food costs and fearful of losing their heat because of unpaid bills.

Gas, propane and electricity for home heating will go up as well, but not as much, the government says. (AP)

The attack on coal continues: 'Fingerprinting' method tracks mercury emissions from coal -- University of Michigan researchers have developed a new tool that uses natural "fingerprints" in coal to track down sources of mercury polluting the environment. The research is published in today's online issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. (

Putin’s Useful Idiots - Wonder why Russia has Europe over a barrel? Ask German environmentalists.

t is said that Vladimir Lenin once called Soviet sympathizers in Western countries “useful idiots” for unwittingly advancing the cause of revolutionary Russia. Were the Bolshevik leader alive today, he might apply the same label to German environmentalists, whose influence over their country’s energy policy has been an inadvertent, but essential factor in Moscow’s post-Cold War rise. (William Yeatman, Foreign Policy)

Poland Wants EU Energy Solidarity Pact Tightened - Poland wants to force the European Union to respond more quickly if Russia cuts off gas supplies to any member state, according to a report. Warsaw is also concerned that EU emissions reductions targets could increase the country's reliance on Russian gas. (Der Spiegel)

Closing Iran’s Oil Spigot - There’s one last chance for a peaceful resolution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

What happens next in the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program will depend upon decisions taken by statesmen in Brussels and Beijing. If the European Union and the Chinese government were to follow the United States and enforce a ban on investment in Iran’s oil sector, it could provide the leverage the United Nations Security Council has thus far lacked in its dealings with the Iranian government. With crude oil selling at record high prices, it may be the worst possible time to squeeze Iran’s future oil production. But an international investment ban may also be the last best chance to achieve a peaceful outcome to the Iranian nuclear issue. (Robert Haddick, The American)

UK electricity price four times more than France - British companies are being forced to pay over four times more for their electricity this winter than competitors in France and in excess of 70 per cent more than in Germany.

The discrepancy will increase concerns that Britain's crumbling power infrastructure is a growing threat to the country's competitiveness and comes as Ofgem today announces its report into competition in the energy market.

Wholesale power prices in the UK have soared because of a squeeze in generating capacity, which is expected to leave an unusually thin margin of spare supply next month. (The Times)

Coal-fired power generators face new threat from EU carbon emissions curb - The future of coal-fired power generation in Europe was called into question yesterday after a European Parliament committee backed new laws that would force power companies to pay for all of their carbon dioxide emissions from 2013.

The decision, which could cost the power industry €30 billion (£23 billion) a year and trigger a steep rise in electricity bills, represents a huge boost for Europe’s renewable energy industry. It also casts fresh doubt over the likelihood of a £1.5 billion coal-fired power plant being built at Kingsnorth, Kent, by E.ON, the German power group. (The Times)

Indonesia's '09 Palm Biodiesel Use Seen at 1-1.2m T - JAKARTA - Indonesia may consume 1 million to 1.2 million tonnes of biodiesel using palm oil as feed stock in 2009, following the introduction of a mandatory biofuel policy, a government official said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Indonesia Papua Forests Seen Under Palm Oil Threat - JAKARTA - Indonesia must do more to save pristine rainforests in Papua from destruction, particularly with plans to open up huge tracts of land to develop palm oil plantations, environmentalists said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Science by press release squared — Can children’s books really eradicate childhood obesity? - This story takes the prize for the most deceptive example of science by press release.

The media has been plastered over recent days with more than a hundred articles about a new study reportedly showing that simply reading a book helped fat pre-teen girls lose weight, make healthy eating and lifestyle changes, and improve their self-esteem. According to the news, this important study came from researchers at Duke University’s Healthy Lifestyle Program and had been presented at the Obesity Society’s annual meeting in Phoenix on Saturday.

Not one single reporter had actually read the study or even accurately presented the research. Every single news story had been taken from statements made to the media. But that’s just the beginning. (Junkfood Science)

Debate resumes in UK — should fat children be taken from their parents by the state? - Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, a general practitioner in London and the author of The Tyranny of Health: Doctors and the Regulation of Lifestyle, writes in the current issue of the British Journal of General Practice that child obesity is not a form of child abuse or an issue for child protection authorities. Tam Fry, a spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, however, is continuing his calls for fat children to be taken into state care. (Junkfood Science)

'Battle for life on Earth'? Cities Should Do More to Protect Nature - UN - BARCELONA, Spain - The world's burgeoning cities must do more to safeguard animals and plants by increasing parkland, planting trees and recycling resources, the UN's top biodiversity official said on Wednesday.

"The battle for life on earth will be won or lost in cities," Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, told Reuters.

Sheesh these guys have inflated opinions of themselves and their importance! No matter what people do or don't do we will not determine the presence or absence of life on Earth.

US Justices Seem Split Over Navy Sonar Whales Case - WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court seemed on Wednesday closely split on whether President George W. Bush can exempt the Navy from federal environmental laws, a case pitting protection of whales against military training exercises. (Reuters)

Should Americas defense be hampered by a bunch of mammals that couldn't hack it on land? Should a few liberal whackos be able to cripple America's defenses? Should unpatriotic judges be tolerated? Always questions...

The Coming Counterrevolution To Hush The Alternative Media - Conservative-friendly media better get ready. Should Barack Obama win the presidency and the Democrats control Congress, as now seems likely, they will launch a full-scale war to drive critics — especially on political talk radio — right out of legitimate public debate.

Conservative-friendly media better get ready. Should Barack Obama win the presidency and the Democrats control Congress, as now seems likely, they will launch a full-scale war to drive critics — especially on political talk radio — right out of legitimate public debate. (Brian C. Anderson, IBD)

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Obama Sincerely Wants to Raise Taxes - I worked in Albany, N.Y., years ago, and remember stories about how the famed Democratic political machine there used to buy votes for $5 apiece, and I thought of that the other night when I saw a Barack Obama ad on TV.

The candidate makes those old boys look like pikers.

His proposal, in case you haven’t caught this slick commercial or read about it, is to give families $1,000 if they elect him, calling the handout part of a “stimulus plan” to get the economy going faster. It’s also supposed to be a way of helping middle class families to pay for gasoline increases and heating bills.

You might figure there is something cynical going on here _ and so do I, at least as regards sending out a check with money taken through a so-called windfalls profit tax on oil companies. But look at the Obama policies as a whole, and you sense there could also be something ideologically sincere going on here, which could be even more dangerous for America.

Obama just may be as far left as any presidential candidate who has had a real chance of winning election, and one thing that leftism entails - as Sarah Palin put it in her debate with Joe Biden - is a “redistribution of wealth principle.” (Jay Ambrose, DC Examiner)

The all-seeing state is about to end privacy as we know it - Plans for a vast central database of our emails, phone calls and texts will see everyone monitored as a potential suspect (Jenni Russell, The Guardian)

Drought resistant GM crops ready 'in four years' - Genetically modified crops that are drought resistant will be grown by farmers within four to five years, according to scientists developing the technology.

Dr David Dennis, the chief executive of Performance Plants Incorporated in Kingston, Ontario, said varieties of drought-tolerant oilseed rape and maize were already being tested in field trials in the US. He claimed the new varieties can increase yield by 40% when the plants are most water-stressed.

Climate scientists predict that global warming will make arable land in many developing countries less productive or unusable. Advocates of GM crops often defend the technology by arguing that drought and salt-tolerant varieties can play an important role in adapting to global warming. (The Guardian)

Developing more water efficient plants is excellent although tying them to gorebull warming is foolish in the extreme -- a non-existent problem is no justification for developing these crops.

Arctic Warming Chills Interest In Fishing - This afternoon (Lower-48 time), representatives of Pacific Northwest states, Uncle Sam, and fishers concluded an unprecedented agreement to indefinitely put U.S. Arctic waters off limits to commercial fishing. These waters fall within 200 miles of Arctic Alaska’s coastline.

The Anchorage-based North Pacific Fishery Management Council has jurisdiction over 900,000 square miles of waters off Alaska. The area is home to copious groundfish, which include cod, pollock, flatfish, mackerel, sablefish and rockfish. Today’s Council recommendation now go to the U.S. Department of Commerce, notes Dave Benton, the Council’s former chairman. (Science News)

It's very doubtful warming will continue but if it does, what makes them think say the Russian fleets would fail to exploit an newly available resource?

October 8, 2008

Two important features: A role for atmospheric CO2 in preindustrial climate forcing - Complementary to measurements in Antarctic ice cores, stomatal frequency analysis of leaves of land plants preserved in peat and lake deposits can provide a proxy record of preindustrial atmospheric CO2 concentration. CO2 trends based on leaf remains of Quercus robur (English oak) from the Netherlands support the presence of significant CO2 variability during the first half of the last millennium. The amplitude of the reconstructed multidecadal fluctuations, up to 34 parts per million by volume, considerably exceeds maximum shifts measured in Antarctic ice. Inferred changes in CO2 radiative forcing are of a magnitude similar to variations ascribed to other mechanisms, particularly solar irradiance and volcanic activity, and may therefore call into question the concept of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assumes an insignificant role of CO2 as a preindustrial climate forcing factor. The stomata-based CO2 trends correlate with coeval sea-surface temperature trends in the North Atlantic Ocean, suggesting the possibility of an oceanic source/sink mechanism for the recorded CO2 changes. (PNAS)

Firstly, they reintroduce fluctuation in pre-Industrial Revolution atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, supporting work already raising considerable doubt over the ice core reconstructions and secondly, they suggest atmospheric CO2 changes precede temperature changes. Unfortunately this second facet relies on modeled CO2 forcing which we consider, uh, dubious, at the very least. Nonetheless, it is good to see natural variation making it past the PC publication police.

Will the Environment Lose Out to the Economy? - Environmentalists are often accused — not always unfairly — of overplaying the fear card. With apocalyptic references to melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels and widespread species extinction, the driving message of environmentalism is that the future is doomed, unless we act now to save it.

But what happens when another more alarming, more immediate catastrophe co-opts people's fear? That's the predicament greens find themselves in now, with what is potentially the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression scaring Americans out of their wits. With the tanking economy dominating the news, and the government willing to virtually bankrupt itself to bail out the financial sector, it could be hard to push the climate change agenda — and possibly hard to find any money left to support it. "If this crisis consumes all of our attention, it might definitely impact the speed at which [global warming] legislation could be passed," says Wiley Barbour, the founder of the American Carbon Registry. (Bryan Walsh, Time)

"Not always unfairly"? Now there's an understatement! No matter, these guys still don't get it, even when they make an accurate statement. Yes, a falling economy is bad for "the environment" -- the bit they don't ever seem able to grasp is that a booming economy is by definition good for the environment and yet the so-called environmentalists' raison d'être is to kill economies (so you can't consume any of Gaia's goodies). Face it guys, only the affluent can view their surrounds from a perspective other than food, fuel or shelter (can I eat it, wear it, burn it or turn it a dwelling) -- aesthetics and amenity really only count when your needs have been met.

Another eye-roller: Climate Change vs. the Economy - As the second term of the George W. Bush's Administration nears its end, policy makers, scientists, environmentalists and others long-concerned about the planet-wide changes being triggered by global warming are optimistic that with a new president, the United States will finally take concrete steps to reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change. (Jim Dawson, Inside Science News Service)

Do any of these nitwits really believe we can knowingly and predictably adjust the climate, let alone by tinkering with a trivial peripheral variable like anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions? Really?

The virtual realm: Temperature increase of 21st century mitigation scenarios - Abstract: Estimates of 21st Century global-mean surface temperature increase have generally been based on scenarios that do not include climate policies. Newly developed multigas mitigation scenarios, based on a wide range of modeling approaches and socioeconomic assumptions, now allow the assessment of possible impacts of climate policies on projected warming ranges. This article assesses the atmospheric CO2 concentrations, radiative forcing, and temperature increase for these new scenarios using two reduced-complexity climate models. These scenarios result in temperature increase of 0.5–4.4°C over 1990 levels or 0.3–3.4°C less than the no-policy cases. The range results from differences in the assumed stringency of climate policy and uncertainty in our understanding of the climate system. Notably, an average minimum warming of ≈1.4°C (with a full range of 0.5–2.8°C) remains for even the most stringent stabilization scenarios analyzed here. This value is substantially above previously estimated committed warming based on climate system inertia alone. The results show that, although ambitious mitigation efforts can significantly reduce global warming, adaptation measures will be needed in addition to mitigation to reduce the impact of the residual warming. (PNAS Open Access)

The Sun is in a deep minimum - Its clear that the Sun has entered a phase that we might never have seen before with anything like modern instrumentation.

The spots on the Sun have become so evanescent and small that we now have the ludicrous arguments over whether a darkened spot that lasts a few hours is counted as a spot or a speck. Anthony Watts refers to this as “Speckwatch” and furthermore even these specks have been SC23 not SC24 polarized.

What is clear is that these spots or specks are way below the range at which our scientific ancestors from the 18th and 19th Centuries could ever have detected. (Solar Science)

Implications of PDO and NAO Shifts and Global Climate in Upcoming Decades (pdf) - In a Geological Society of America abstract, Dr. Don Easterbrook, Professor of Geology at Western Washington University, presents data showing that the global warming cycle from 1977 to 1998 is now over and we have entered into a new global cooling period that should last for the next three decades. He also suggests that since the IPCC climate models are now so far off from what is actually happening that their projections for both this decade and century must be considered highly unreliable. (Dr. Don Easterbrook, Icecap)

Global Warming, Inc: Dramatic Falls - Your very own insider-dealing ‘Global Warming Politics’ reporter and photographer, Rooter Scooter, today captured on his hidden cell phone camera what was really happening at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after that opening bell [“By the way, why do they all stand there clapping and grinning when they all know that financial mayhem is about to be let loose upon the world?”]. (Global Warming Politics)

Trading Debts Against Carbon Credits? - COLOMBO, Oct 7 - Little Sri Lanka wants developing countries to be able to trade their debts against the environment destruction and climate change attributed to the developed nations.

Piloting the idea is Sri Lanka's environmental minister Champaka Ranawaka, a maverick politician who may be taking on more than he can chew by trying to rally undeveloped nations around the concept of ‘environmental debt’ owed by the richer countries.

"We have a right to live; a right to develop, but that is being blocked by richer nations," the minister, a qualified engineer, told IPS in an interview. Ranawaka and his aides want to take the idea of environmental debt to the main forums of the world and convince the richer nations to exchange their debt claims from borrower-countries against environmental damage caused. (IPS)

You can't blame developing nations for believing the nonsense spewed for so long by NGOs trying to complete Strong's stated mission -- "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialised civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" (Maurice Strong, head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and Executive Officer for Reform in the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations). Why shouldn't they think they can get plenty for nothing, "owed" to them by the developed world? After all, this is what the watermelons have been screeching for decades.

As we and plenty of others pointed out when Kyoto was first envisaged, this gorebull warming scam has always been a massive Socialist wealth redistribution and social engineering exercise along with attempted creation of global government through seizure of the energy supply. A few, notably Al Gore, have corrupted this socialist vision to line their own pockets and I neither know nor care whether watermelons realize this and tolerate it because he's assisting them weaken free and democratic society or whether they are too dumb to see he's ripping them off too.

Dumb as it gets: House Democrats unveil draft climate change bill - WASHINGTON — With the presidential election less than a month away and the economy reeling, House Democratic leaders Tuesday unveiled a proposal to reduce the gases blamed for global warming from power plants, transportation and factories by 80 percent by 2050.

The draft legislation, which will be refined in coming months for introduction next year, would begin slowly, capping emissions of heat-trapping gases released by transportation and power plants first, then moving to other sectors of the economy. The money earned from auctioning some of the permits would be redirected to energy efficiency and clean technologies. In later years, all permits would be sold with the proceeds going back to the taxpayer, unless Congress reauthorizes the bill. (Associated Press)

The New Climate Entitlement - You may not believe what’s just been plopped in our laps, which rather contradicts the remarkable, dishonest, and irresponsible pap regularly noted in this space to the effect that imposing the global-warming agenda of mandates and taxes will improve the economy. (Can they really believe that the distance afforded by the Atlantic Ocean ensures that everyone is utterly ignorant of what’s happening in Europe?)

It is yet another exhibit that grown ups don’t think that way; oddly, it comes this time in the form of the House “global warming” legislation. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Giant Sucking Sound (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Financial Crisis Dims Chances for U.S. Climate Legislation - Environmentalists had been looking to a new president and a new Congress to pass legislation dealing with global warming next year. But with tough economic times looming, the passage of a sweeping climate change bill now appears far less likely. (Environment 360)

Italy minister says EU CO2 targets too costly-report - MILAN, Oct 7 - The global financial turmoil has made European plans to cut carbon emissions steeply by 2020 too costly and its burden should be shared with other countries, Italy's Environment Minister was on Tuesday quoted as saying. (Reuters)

EU lawmakers watch credit crisis in climate fight - BRUSSELS, Oct 7 - European Union lawmakers maintained a tough line on curbing carbon emissions in the fight against climate change on Tuesday, but handed some concessions to EU industries in the grip of an economic downturn.

In a marathon string of votes dubbed "Super Tuesday", the European Parliament's environment committee said power generators should pay for all their carbon emissions from 2013, but vowed to prevent EU industry becoming uncompetitive. (Reuters)

EU Lawmakers Vote to Save Factories from Carbon Cost - BRUSSELS - Influential EU lawmakers sought in a key vote on Tuesday to ease the cost for factories of meeting greenhouse gas emissions limits from 2013 as much of Europe heads for recession. (Reuters)

EU Parliament Says Energy Utilities Should Pay for Emissions - In a key vote on Tuesday, the European Parliament's environment committee affirmed plans for an emissions trading system. Brussels' only elected body says utility companies who pollute with coal should pay the full price for certificates, but gives other industries a break as recession approaches. (Der Spiegel)

Poland Leads Charge to Delay European Climate Reforms - The E.U. created the world’s largest emissions trading market in 2005 to force heavy industries to cap their pollution levels. Next on the E.U. agenda: switching to 20 percent renewable energy and cutting greenhouse gases by 20 percent by the end of the next decade.

While the E.U.’s efforts to date have not really helped to cut emissions very much, policymakers in Brussels have been doggedly trying to improve the system by making it even more expensive to burn fossil fuels — and coal in particular. (James Kanter, NYT)

China Shying from Climate Obligations - Adviser - BEIJING - China and other rising economies must shoulder growing obligations to cut greenhouse gases as they climb the development ladder, said a prominent Chinese adviser who has broken ranks with his government on global warming. (Reuters)

Really? What "climate obligations" might those be?

China Grim on Prospects for Climate Pact - BEIJING - Negotiations seeking a global pact to tackle global warming are troubled and could end in disastrous failure, China's top climate change envoy warned on Monday, saying rich countries are failing to deliver on promises. (Reuters)

Yawn du jour: 2008 ozone hole larger than last year - The 2008 ozone hole – a thinning in the ozone layer over Antarctica – is larger both in size and ozone loss than 2007 but is not as large as 2006. (ESA)

ESA is still babbling about ODS although that theory has been discredited (& it wasn't up to much to begin with).

Sheesh! Economic woes may give planet a breather - NICOSIA - A slowdown in the world economy may give the planet a breather from the excessively high carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions responsible for climate change, a Nobel Prize winning scientist said on Tuesday.

Atmospheric scientist Paul J Crutzen, who has in the past floated the possibility of blitzing the stratosphere with sulfur particles to cool the earth, said clouds gathering over the world economy could ease the earth's environmental burden. (Reuters)

Staying green in the gloom - Ed Miliband, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, may only just have found a desk in his newborn department, but he already has a crucial document to read at it. Yesterday's interim advice from the committee on climate change was short and strong: by 2050 Britain must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to below 80% of 1990 levels, rather than the 60% cut now proposed in the climate change bill. This tougher target, the report says, must be written into the bill before it becomes law. On top of that, the 80% reduction needs to be made even harsher to compensate for emissions from international aviation and shipping, excluded from the existing 60% target. (Editorial, The Guardian)

Only half? Nearly half of FTSE-250 companies keep their carbon footprints hidden - The number of leading British companies willing to disclose their carbon footprint to City investors has fallen this year, research reveals today.

Only 58% of companies in the FTSE-250 index responded to the latest survey by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Those who refused to take part include Thomas Cook and the InterContinental Hotels Group.

The figures have angered environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth, which said they undermined efforts to make reporting mandatory. (The Guardian)

Not one company has a legitimate excuse for wasting shareholders' time and funds responding to greenies' extortion 'surveys'. Don't respond to them, just file them in the circular file and get on with your jobs, earning profits for shareholders.

Financial gloom clouds environment trust fund - WASHINGTON - The world financial crisis could cast a pall on the Global Environment Fund, which uses billions of dollars in government money to tackle ecological problems, the fund's climate change chief said on Monday.

The agency gets money from various governments, but funding has essentially been flat over the 17 years of its existence, barely keeping up with inflation, Robert Dixon told the Reuters Global Environment Summit.

Now, as the science of global warming becomes more conclusive and the predictions for world temperature rise more extreme, Dixon is keenly aware of the tough economic picture that could choke funding. (Reuters)

What "science of global warming"? And what "predictions of world temperature rise"? The IPCC has only "storylines" and PlayStation® climatology which bears no relation to reality or at least the planet on which we live.

Speaking of PlayStation® climatology: NCAR predicts hurricanes through 2055: Center’s supercomputer helps dissect links between global warming, hurricanes - Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder are using their new supercomputer to figure out how climate change will affect the intensity and frequency of hurricanes through 2055.

Whether global warming will create more destructive storms in the Atlantic — and if so, by what degree — is a question that has been intensively studied in the years since Hurricane Katrina roared on shore in 2005.

“I feel comfortable saying that more work has been done on this topic in the last three years than there has been done in the previous 30,” said NCAR senior scientist Greg Holland, who is running the project. “We are gradually starting to narrow down the ranges of uncertainty.” (Daily Camera)

CO2 Truth-Alert - China: Getting Greener (In the Good Sense): Over a quarter-century ago, Dr. Sherwood Idso stated in a small self-published book that if the airs CO2 content continued to rise, it would enhance plant growth and water use efficiency to the point that semi-arid lands not then suitable for cultivation could be brought into profitable production and that the deserts themselves could blossom as the rose. How is this prediction standing today?

From CO2 Science this week:

Regional Biodiversity in a Warmer World: If the earth continues to warm, will regional species richness increase or decrease?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 606 individual scientists from 357 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Dandak Cave, Kanger Valley National Park, Chhattisgarh, India. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Peatlands: How will they be affected by the nigh-unto-unstoppable rising atmospheric CO2 concentration and a possible resuming of global warming?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Japanese White Birch, Manchurian Alder (dry weight), Manchurian Alder (photosynthesis), and Monarch Birch.

Journal Reviews:
Climatic Effects of Aerosols Over Europe: How have they changed over the past quarter century?

Extreme Floods of Southern France: How have they changed over the past quarter century?

The Roman Warm Period in Denmark: Intersecting data from palaeoclimatology and anthropology tell an interesting story.

Shifts in Plant Distributions in a Warming World: Can they occur rapidly enough to keep up with climate change?

Soil Organic Carbon Decomposition: Will rising temperatures enhance the phenomenon, thereby augmenting global warming? (

More fevered imaginations: "Deadly dozen" diseases seen due to climate change - BARCELONA, Spain– A "deadly dozen" diseases ranging from avian flu to yellow fever are likely to spread more because of climate change, the Wildlife Conservation Society said today. (Reuters)

Stupid claim: Large Ships Account for 3% of Global CO2 Emissions - The Environmental Defense Fund released a report, “Floating Smokestacks: A Call for Action to Clean Up Shipping Pollution” (PDF), which finds that large ocean-going ships in U.S. waters are one of the world’s largest emitters of global warming gases, responsible for about 3 percent of global CO2 emissions. The report also recommends protective policy actions. (Environmental Leader)

What they probably mean is 3% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions or about one-tenth of 1% of global CO2 emissions. On reflection being out by a mere factor of 30 or so is pretty close for ED and their ilk so perhaps we should congratulate them on their 'improvement'.

Why? US to Limit Oil Development in Polar Bear Habitat - ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The US Interior Department will designate within two years protected areas of the Arctic that are considered critical habitat for polar bears and cannot be harmed by oil development as part of a legal settlement with environmental groups on Monday. (Reuters)

Domenici Emphasizes Drilling in Talk - New Mexico's Republican Sen. Pete Domenici quieted a sustained standing ovation from several hundred energy-industry representatives Monday with a raised hand.

Then, for the last time as a senator after 36 years, Domenici proved why he's been the industry's champion. Slapping a hand repeatedly down on the podium in the El Dorado Hotel ballroom to emphasize his frustration, Domenici said it was unbelievable America hadn't been able to tap into its own off-shore oil reserves for more than 20 years because of a moratorium. Now that Congress has let the moratorium lapse, maybe American companies can finally start using more of its own resources, Domenici told the packed crowd of 1,200 oil and gas company executives, well drillers and other industry professionals. "Ask any of the candidates if they support off-shore drilling," Domenici urged. "If they tell you 'maybe,' or 'if,' or 'but,' then you know where they stand. Don't vote for them." (The New Mexican)

Carmakers float EU loan request - Carmakers facing falling sales asked Brussels for a €40bn ($55bn, £31bn) loan package yesterday.

But the request from Acea, the European carmakers' lobby group, for low-interest loans to help fund investment in lower-emission technology and incentives to scrap vehicles more than eight years old, drew a cool response from policymakers.

The US Congress last month approved a $25bn (€18bn, £14bn) loan package for green car investments, prompting European manufacturers to call for similar help from Brussels. (Financial Times)

Opel, BMW call temporary halt to production - Berlin - German carmakers Opel and BMW said Tuesday they were calling a temporary halt to production, following a fall-off in demand triggered by the global credit squeeze. Opel announced it was halting production in nearly all its European plants for periods of up to three weeks from October 13. (DPA)

This is what Socialists never get: Governments Must Lead on Renewables, says Shell CEO - BARCELONA, Oct 7 - Royal Dutch Shell, which makes more than 310 billion dollars profit a year extracting oil and gas, mainly in third world countries, says it is up to governments rather than companies like Shell to take the lead in finding solutions for a sustainable energy future.

Shell CEO Jeroen Van der Veer told IPS in an interview at the IUCN World Conservation Congress that if governments wanted to fast-track the creation of sustainable energy, they must come up with long-term global standards to attract money into research. (IPS/Terraviva)

It is not the function of business to throw money away at the bidding of every dill with some shiny-eyed ideal.

Nuclear Power Back on German Political Agenda - The industry is growing globally and other European nations including Britain and Finland are reviving nuclear. But Germany -- where about half the power comes from coal -- has so far stuck to a 2001 law to phase out nuclear reactors by 2021.

The ground is shifting, however: oil prices which have risen fivefold since 2001, fears about energy supply security and the need to curb carbon dioxide emissions have boosted support for nuclear in Europe's biggest energy-consuming state.

The issue will be significant in Sept. 2009's election, when nuclear-friendly conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel will fight the anti-nuclear Social Democrats (SPD) with whom she has shared power since 2005. (Reuters)

US Coal Exports Seen as Target in Climate Fix - NEW YORK - The next US president may have to address rapidly rising US coal exports because their emissions abroad could hinder global efforts to tackle global warming, said the head of the coal campaign at the country's largest grass-roots environmental group. (Reuters)

Australia has a problem with coal exports, too -- our ports are operating over capacity and we urgently need more so we can increase shipments to desperate consumers.

World Needs to Rethink Biofuels - UN Food Agency - ROME/MILAN - The Western world needs to rethink its rush to biofuels, which has done more harm pushing up food prices than it has good by reducing greenhouse gases, a United Nations report said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

A given since there is not now and never has been any value in limiting the return of essential carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Study shows how fatty foods curb hunger - Fatty foods may not be the healthiest diet choice, but those rich in unsaturated fats – such as avocados, nuts and olive oil – have been found to play a pivotal role in sending this important message to your brain: stop eating, you're full. (University of California - Irvine)

Put the blame where it belongs - Despite mounting evidence of government failure, the prevailing belief is that free markets are responsible for the downturn (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

Jakarta Sinks as Citizens Tap Groundwater - JAKARTA - It's one of the fastest-growing megacities in Asia. But some doomsters predict large parts of Indonesia's coastal capital could be under water by 2025.

The reason? Unchecked groundwater mining.

"Goundwater extraction is unparalleled for a city of this size," Almud Weitz, regional team leader of the World Bank's water and sanitation programme, said in an interview for Reuters Environment Summit.

"It's like Swiss cheese. People are digging deeper and deeper and so the city is slowly, slowly sinking. That is why tidal floods are occurring in poor areas on the coast."

Jakarta is one of Asia's more densely populated cities, but experts say it has one of the least developed piped water networks, pushing many residents as well as mushrooming megamalls and skyscrapers to increasingly suck out groundwater. (Reuters)

Interesting little half-truths: Speaker warns of Antarctica warming - SPRINGFIELD - If there is a "canary in the coal mine" in Antarctica, it is the Adelie penguin, and global warming is rapidly reducing the species' population, according to a National Geographic photojournalist who has specialized in the coldest continent.

Since 1970, the size of the penguins' nesting colonies in some coastal areas has decreased by 50 percent or more, said Maria Stenzel, who appeared Tuesday at Symphony Hall as part of the annual Springfield Public Forum lecture series. She provided a personal account of how climate change is affecting Antarctica. (The Republican Newsroom)

Actually Adelie penguins have been shifting their nesting sites north and south according to conditions for thousands of years so the size of nesting colonies vary considerably over time. Significantly, there has been some catastrophic events recently for some colonies related to too much ice with parent birds abandoning chicks due to the time and effort involved in traversing huge ice shelves. This is not related to temperature changes which have been slightly negative over most areas of interest with the exception of the Antarctic Peninsula north of the Antarctic Circle.

October 7, 2008

Lethal disinformation: Rural communities best equipped to cope with climate change: UN report - Rural communities which protect nature and exploit forests, wetlands and wildlife sustainably will be the best equipped to cope with the droughts and floods that will increasingly hit Africa, Asia and Latin America with climate change, says a new UN-backed report. (John Vidal, The Guardian)

These idiots should be locked up for spreading such dangerously misinformed natur über alles propaganda. Regardless of cause those best equipped to cope with flood, drought, heat or cold are those with the best infrastructure development and the wealth to establish and maintain it. Development and wealth generation are protective, reverting to primitive hunter-gatherer lifestyles as these dills recommend is a guarantee of short, hard lives. Incredibly irresponsible. Shame on Vidal and The Guardian for publishing it. Their contacts page is here.

Reality intrudes? Financial crisis tests industry’s green priorities - The slowing economy and financial crisis are testing Europe’s goal of becoming a world leader in greenhouse gas reduction.

Industry has seized on the slowdown to lobby for delayed or watered down regulations, arguing that directives set out by the European Commission earlier this year would force them to cut jobs or relocate factories outside the European Union.

Some politicians also acknowledge that the financial crisis could hinder efforts to forge international agreements on reducing emissions.

“This crisis changes priorities,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, last week told a conference on transatlantic climate and energy cooperation in Berlin. “One cannot rule out that interest in protecting the climate will change because of such a crisis.” (Financial Times)

Bottom line: there is no known means of adjusting the climate in a controlled and predictable manner, at any price.

Nonsense: Green policies can have big economic spinoffs: UN - BARCELONA, Spain - The credit crunch is distracting from a shift to green policies that have big but often overlooked economic benefits, the head of the U.N. Environment Programme said on Monday.

Achim Steiner called on governments to do more to set higher value on the natural world, ranging from wetlands that purify water to forest parks that store billions of tons of greenhouse gases in their vegetation. (Reuters)

To begin with biological carbon sequestration is not a service but a cost. One of the worst facets of the gorebull warming myth is the deliberate misclassification of the essential trace gas and marvelous resource, atmospheric carbon dioxide, as a "pollutant". It wasn't until the Carboniferous Age of massive biological sequestration (and source of our current fossil fuels) that previously abundant atmospheric carbon dioxide was drawn down near currently depleted levels and, although it recovered to about 5 times current levels in the Jurassic it has been slowly depleting again since until recent human activity started restoring the resource to the biosphere from whence it came. It is true that human action is providing such benefit purely as a byproduct (we are effectively greening the Earth by accident) but returning carbon previously lost to the biosphere is about the best thing people can do for life on Earth.

Researchers investigate carbon neutrality - In a race for the greenest of the laurels, not a day goes by without another announcement about going “carbon neutral.”

Carbon neutral organizations are those that measure CO2 emissions, work to reduce or eliminate them, and then attempt to offset those that cannot be eliminated through schemes such as the purchase of carbon offsets, tree planting and clean energy alternatives.

Among the world's 195 nations, the starting pistol was fired earlier this year in Monaco at the annual meeting of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Program. Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and Costa Rica formally signed up to go zero carbon, competing to be the first to go entirely carbon neutral. (innovation @ umb)

There's a Gold Mine In Environmental Guilt - This is strange territory. The Dow is down. Wall Street needs a bailout. But in the Washington area and across the country, there is still a bull market in environmental guilt.

Sales of carbon offsets -- whose buyers pay hard cash to make amends for their sins against the climate -- are up. Still. In some cases, the prices have actually been climbing.

In other words, when nearly everything seems to be selling for less, thousands of individuals and businesses are paying more for nothing, or at least nothing tangible. (David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post)

Whether it's fair to blame the weather - Having spent more than 30 years in the forecasting business, I have become rather proprietorial about the weather, and become quite cross when other people blame extreme weather for their own shortcomings.

This is nothing new. I worked offshore in the North Sea oil industry when most of the production platforms were being built. When mistakes were made by rig engineers, the daily log would blame it on "an unexpected strengthening of the wind" or "a sudden increase in wave height that was not forecast".

Although pretty green and therefore shocked by these blatant untruths, I quickly learnt to keep my mouth shut.

Things have recently become much worse. Those we charge with looking after the nation's infrastructure - central and local government, and industries such as water, transport and insurance - routinely blame "unprecedented" weather when they fail to do their job.

It provides a handy excuse for government's failure to maintain adequate flood defences or the water companies' lack of financial provision for drought. (Daily Times)

1 in 3 Aussies doubt climate change is even occurring: Aussies 'bored' with climate change - AUSTRALIANS are getting bored with climate change, and many still doubt whether it is actually happening, a new survey has revealed.

Only 46 per cent of Australians said they would take action on climate change if they were in charge of making decisions for Australia, a dip from 55 per cent last year, according to the Ipsos-Eureka Social Research Institute's third annual climate change survey.

And almost one in 10 Australians (nine per cent) strongly agreed with the statement "I have serious doubts about whether climate change is occurring". A further 23 per cent agreed to some extent.

Ipsos-Eureka director of Sustainable Communities and Environment Unit Jasmine Hoye believes Australians are becoming more concerned with other environmental issues that they can have more direct control over. (The Australian)

Hopefully this is an artifact of lousy poll questions since climate is changing, as it always does. Presumably this means roughly one-third of Aussies doubt catastrophic climate change as so frequently promoted. The fewer than half who would attempt to 'do something' about climate change if they were in charge is plausible -- I don't know any but most people down at my local watering hole seem to either know or work with someone who thinks "something" should be done.

Pop-sci rag recycles propaganda: The Physical Science behind Climate Change - Why are climatologists so highly confident that human activities are dangerously warming the earth? Members of the IPCC, the 2007 peace winner, write on climate change. (William Collins, Robert Colman, James Haywood, Martin R. Manning and Philip Mote, SciAm)

Oiling the Wheel of Despair at the Edge of Scare City - The future is bleak. That seems to be the message that everybody wheeled into the public spotlight is keen to tell us. Indeed, if you can’t say that the future is bleak, you have no business being on the news.

Other than the current comparisons to today’s economic climate with the Great Depression, there seems to be two main categories of doom saying; the first tells us that the stuff we do will cause irreversible damage to the planet. The second tells us that we’re running out of stuff to do stuff with anyway. Either way, we’re up a certain creek without a paddle. It’s a ticking time bomb. A disaster waiting to happen. Not if, but when. The disaster B-movie has mutated, grown limbs, escaped its fantasy celluloid landscape, and found a new home in the imaginations of the people whose expertise we might have thought would protect them - and us - from such silliness. But embracing disaster movie clichés is now part of the expert commentators’ routine. (Climate Resistance)

Some raw answers about Gore and Hansen - There’s an eye-opening interview on Grist of Richard A. Muller about the current state of science understanding by presidential candidates, global warming, and alternate energy tech.

Some of the answers are very enlightening. Coming from an avowed environmentalist such as Muller it cements much of what I and many others have been saying for months about Gore’s outright distortion of facts and Hansen's selective cherry picking in choosing “his” way to publish the widely cited GISTEMP data set. (Watts Up With That?)

China Grim on Prospects for Climate Pact - BEIJING - Negotiations seeking a global pact to tackle global warming are troubled and could end in disastrous failure, China's top climate change envoy warned on Monday, saying rich countries are failing to deliver on promises. (Reuters)

No? Duh! Plenty of stupid politicians have said what activists told them to and made promises that would never, could never be delivered.

Risks Mount for Global Warming Fight - UN - LONDON/BARCELONA - The struggle against climate change must not follow world trade talks into limbo as risks mount that the credit crisis will sap commitment to the fight, the UN climate chief said on Monday. Yvo de Boer said he was worried about the impact of the credit crisis on international action to fight climate change, as US and European governments pour cash into keeping commercial banks afloat.

"You can only spend a dollar or a euro once," he said. (Reuters)

He's right about that and that is exactly why not one penny must ever be wasted by throwing it at gorebull warming. These guys take a long time to learn, don't they?

dot.bomb redux: EU Vote Weighs Carbon Trading Riches - LONDON/BRUSSELS - European Union lawmakers are likely on Tuesday to support sweeping cuts in carbon emissions from coal plants, and tweak EU climate change proposals to ease costs for industries staring at recession. (Reuters)

Brussels readies for 'Super Tuesday' climate vote - MEPs will tomorrow (7 October) vote on key legislation designed to slash the EU's CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. But the vote comes amidst a worsening economic crisis, with several member states indicating that they want to put the brakes on any rapid adoption of the measures. (EurActiv)

EU Stepping Back from Cleaning Up - BRUSSELS, Oct 6 - Most of the European Union's promised cuts in greenhouse emissions could be undertaken outside the bloc under a proposal to be considered by law-makers this week.

Warning that climate change risks turning into a catastrophe for humanity, the EU's presidents and prime ministers committed themselves last year to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other substances blamed for global warming by 20 percent below 1990 levels within the following 13 years.

José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, argued at the time that Europe must transform itself into a low-carbon economy. But rather than requiring the reductions to be achieved within the EU, a more recent proposal would allow its member states to buy 'external credits' so that up to 80 percent of the cuts will be introduced through 'clean development' schemes in poorer countries. (IPS)

Climate change and energy policies lack cohesion, says Oxfam report - New energy and climate change secretary faces calls to unify government approach to environmental problems (The Guardian)

Scientific method? NASA study finds rising Arctic storm activity sways sea ice, climate - A new NASA study shows that the rising frequency and intensity of arctic storms over the last half century, attributed to progressively warmer waters, directly provoked acceleration of the rate of arctic sea ice drift, long considered by scientists as a bellwether of climate change.

NASA researcher Sirpa Hakkinen of Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and colleagues from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Mass., and the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia, set out to confirm a long-standing theory derived from model results that a warming climate would cause an increase in storminess. Their observational approach enabled them to not only link climate to storminess, but to also connect increasing trends in arctic storminess and the movement of arctic ice -- the frozen ocean water that floats on the Arctic's surface. Results from their study as well as what they could mean for future climate change appeared this month in the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters. (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

Ahem: "set out to confirm a long-standing theory". Really? I never considered attempts to confirm a preconceived position to be of any value. What efforts were made to falsify their hypothesis, what were their boundary conditions and how did they determine such conditions could not exist? Alas, we shall never know for the release eventually admits "we speculate" which is the best that can be done in the absence of any real baseline data. Fact is the headline is a nonsense -- NASA study did not in fact find but rather "some people guess something might...".

A New Paper “Multi-Decadal Variability Of Atlantic Hurricane Activity By Chylek and Lesins 2008 - There is an important new addition to the scientific discussion of Atlantic hurricane activity over the last century and a half. It is Chylek, P., and G. Lesins (2008), Multi-decadal variability of Atlantic hurricane activity: 1851-2007, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2008JD010036, in press. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

New Detailed Analysis of Global Temperature Data Does Not Support Significant Role for Carbon Dioxide - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that: Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, mainly carbon dioxide. This conclusion is based on output from global climate computer models known as General Circulation Models (GCM). (

NASA moves the goalposts on Solar Cycle 24 again - NASA’s David Hathaway just recently updated his solar cycle prediction and has pushed cycle 24 into the future a little more once again. Though to read his latest update on 10/03/08 at his prediction page here, you wouldn’t know it, because the page is mostly tech speak and reviews of semi relevant papers. (Watts Up With That?)

Apparently the Nude Socialist is at least aware of this: Why nature can't be reduced to mathematical laws - ONE of the grand aims of science is to explain every aspect of nature in terms of simple, fundamental laws - but is this possible? A team of physicists claims to have found a hint that some things simply cannot be computed, and that nature could be more than the sum of its parts. (New Scientist)

Wonder if climate modelers will ever get it? The chaotic nature of the atmosphere is one reason we will probably never be able to predict weather more than a couple of weeks on advance (if we ever get that good). It is also why claims of climate prediction are complete nonsense -- we don't know from one year to the next whether the following year will be warmer or cooler than the last.

Early birds do best with changing climate - Birds that haven't adjusted to the realities of a warming world are worse off than their more flexible counterparts, according to a first-of-a-kind study directly linking population declines in birds to climate change.

The findings by Diego Rubolini of the University of Milan, Italy, and colleagues are based on more than four decades of migration observations and population estimates of 98 European migratory bird species.

"Those species that are unable to keep pace with climate change could go extinct within a number of years," says Rubolini. ( news service)

There are two possible strategies here: take the risk of going earlier and possibly starving but potentially reaping a bounty and achieving booming breeding success or; keeping to 'traditional' schedules that have seen the species survive many past fluctuations in climate while allowing the population to fluctuate with prevailing conditions. Apparently both strategies work because species employing either are still here, still migrating, still breeding. For a while (as long as 'early' Springs persist) exploiters of early conditions show population increases -- guess what happens when Springs are not 'early'?

Revealed: The cave paintings which could show how humans survived dramatic climate change during the Ice Age - British scientists are set to unlock the secrets of hidden cave paintings which could reveal how humans survived during the changing climate of the Ice Age more than 15,000 years ago. (Daily Mail)

Big Oil’s Big Profits–For Now - Big Oil’s role in oil prices is greatly exaggerated. No Democratic politician can talk about national energy policy without mentioning oil companies as in “Big Oil” and railing against their profits. Nor can there be a successful Republican who appears to be protecting oil’s “corporate welfare.” According to most people, oil companies are responsible for screwing the consumer from their inalienable right to free gasoline, and lately, for destroying the planet. But facts tend to disappoint those with a neat view of the world.

First, Big Oil in the United States is no longer an abstract. It is just three companies: Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips. There are three other Western multinational companies: BP, Shell, and Total. Outside of those six, there are just national or state-controlled oil companies. (Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune)

Financial crisis darkens outlook for climate talks - Wall Street's sickness and its contagiousness for the world economy are bad news for the already faltering effort to craft a new pact to tackle climate change.

Tighter budgets, shrinking corporate profits and worries about jobs could crimp manoeuvering room at upcoming UN talks on toughening curbs on greenhouse-gas emissions, sources say.

But -- so far, at least -- the crisis does not appear to be having an impact on investment in clean technology, say these sources. Indeed, some are confident that spending on wind, solar and other renewables may even rise. (AFP)

Got that wrong, too :)

Eclipsed: Solar Power’s Celebrations Cut Short by Market Carnage - For the solar-power industry, it was the best of times and the worst of times—all in the space of a long weekend. On Friday, after the passage of the Wall Street bailout bill that included juicy tax breaks for solar power, champagne was the order of the day. By Monday, as stock markets went south and some of the implications of the new tax breaks sank in, solar companies expecting to cash in saw their prospects turn as gloomy as anybody’s. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Now is the time to tackle global warming - Stern - Lord Stern of Brentford has suggested the credit crunch might provide an opportunity to invest in measures to tackle global warming as a way of stimulating economic growth. (The Guardian)

Green Stocks Fall Even Faster - New Energy Finance tracks companies worldwide that claim to focus on ‘climate change’ stocks involving the generation and use of cleaner energy and efficiency. It hosts the WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index, known as NEX [see Graph: the NEX Index since October 2007. For the full graph, enlarged, go here].

In these dark days, the NEX is not having a happy ride, and, according to the latest report in the Scientific American [‘Climate change stocks fall more than wider markets’, Scientific American, October 3], “shares in companies specializing in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, including energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, have tumbled faster than wider markets this year.” Figures for the last full quarter (June 30 to September 30) show that they fell by 30.3%, and that they are down by as much as 39% over the year so far. (Global Warming Politics)

End use of fossil fuels in 20 years, UK warned - Britain must abandon using almost all fossil fuels to produce power in 20 years' time, the government's climate change watchdog will warn today. (The Guardian)

EU Snubs Industry Plea for US$54 Bln for Greener Cars - PARIS/BRUSSELS - European Union auto makers called on Monday for 40 billion euros (US$54.4 billion) of loans to help develop greener cars in the fight against climate change, but were instantly rebuffed by the EU executive. (Reuters)

Why? UN Body to Finalise Action on Ship Emissions - LONDON - Curbing greenhouse gas emissions from ships, possibly by including the sector for the first time in an emissions trading scheme, tops the agenda at a meeting of the industry's top regulatory body in London this week. (Reuters)

This is quite possibly the most important book about energy in a generation. For over thirty years Americans have been fed a steady diet of half-truths, misinformation, urban legends and outright fabrications about energy. The small amount of accurate information that does reach us is often obscured by scientific terminology or one-sided political posturing.

When faced with a dramatic increase in energy demand, uncertain supplies and the potentially harmful effects of carbon emissions how are we to make informed choices?

Veteran journalist William Tucker has relied on years of research and investigation to help us make sense of America's energy predicament without the burdens of political pressures or predetermined outcomes. Get your copy from our store.

:) The first Law of Thermodynamics in real life - A doctor leading a weight loss group responded to a question posed by her group as to why they were unable to lose weight. She said it was all because of the Law Of Conservation of Mass, also known as the Law of Thermodynamics. “This law of physics,” Dr. Val Jones wrote, “states that matter cannot be created or destroyed, although it may be rearranged.” That means that to lose weight, someone else has to gain it, since fat cannot be destroyed only rearranged. So, give your fat to someone else, she said. To that end, she’s been baking cookies. :-) (Junkfood Science)

Parental doubts over childhood vaccines common - NEW YORK - Roughly one in four parents express doubts about the risks and benefits of various vaccines for their children and, in many cases, they delay or forgo vaccination, new research shows. However, the findings also suggest that physicians can play an important role in encouraging vaccination. (Reuters Health)

Um... no. Pollution linked to appendicitis - Air pollution may increase the risk of appendicitis, research suggests. If the appendix becomes inflamed it must be removed surgically to avoid the risk that it will burst, and put the patient's life at risk. A University of Calgary team found more patients were hospitalised on days when pollution levels were at their highest. The study, presented to an American College of Gastroenterology conference, suggests pollution raises the general risk of tissue inflammation. (BBC)

RR 1.15? Nothing, in other words. What they 'observed' is as easily explained by say, people's activity levels during warmer weather with ozone levels as a completely unrelated factor.

Our radiation fears are being exploited, charity warns - Scientists have hit out at companies selling unproven products that they say exploit unfounded health fears among consumers about radiation from mobile phones, Wi-Fi and other devices. The products claim to block or dissipate electromagnetic fields from everyday electronic goods, but the researchers say there is no solid evidence that such fields are dangerous. (The Guardian)

It's even worse than they thought! Fat nation: Three out of four UK adults are overweight - Three out of four UK adults are overweight or obese - more than previously thought, an expert said today. At least 75 per cent are carrying too much fat even though official estimates put the figure at 66 per cent, he said. Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, associate professor of medicine at the well-known Mayo Clinic in the US, said the way overweight and obesity is currently calculated is wrong. He argued that body mass index (BMI) fails to distinguish between lean mass and body fat and so people in the "normal" range may still be carrying too much fat. Dr Lopez-Jimenez said: "I believe that the UK's obesity problem is significantly worse than we thought. (Daily Mail)

Potentially toxic flame retardants highest in California households - In what may be an unintended consequence of efforts to make furniture safer and less flammable, residents of California have blood levels of potentially toxic flame retardants called PBDEs at levels nearly twice the national average, scientists from Massachusetts and California are reporting. Their study, the first to examine regional variations in PBDE levels in household dust and blood within the U.S., is scheduled for posting online Oct. 1 by ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology. (ACS)

Probably not a problem unless you are trying to burn Californians...

Heater swap could save millions on asthma: study - A ground-breaking study has found that getting rid of unflued gas heaters can reduce the cost of treating asthma symptoms by about as much as the millions of dollars the country spends every year on new asthma medication.

A third of New Zealand homes have bought the $80 unflued gas heaters, which cost about $50 to fill up at petrol stations, because they have traditionally been cheaper than electricity.

But the study by a team from Auckland, Massey, Otago and Victoria universities and the Building Research Association (Branz) says the heaters worsen asthma symptoms by pumping out nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and water vapour, making homes both noxious and damp. (New Zealand Herald)

Hmm... Why the atom smasher went bang - A poor soldering job on one of 10,000 connections is the most likely cause of the failure that sidelined the world's largest atom smasher days after the start of the new collider with great fanfare, a senior scientist said.

"It is very probable that there was a connection that wasn't good," said Lyn Evans, project leader of the new Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Nuclear Research Organisation.

Evans said the source of problem was small. "It happens quite often in electrical connections," he said, adding that he thought the fault resulted from human error on one electrical connection. (AP)

Or perhaps they were using lead free solder?

"The particularly damaging aspect of this new law which, to give it its full name, is Directive 2002/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, is the ban on the use of lead in electronic equipment, thus prohibiting the use of lead-based solder."

Also quoted by John Brignell:

"A classic example was the ban on lead in solder. It was completely unjustified by available evidence yet imposed virtually without serious thought. Leadless solder is not only considerably more expensive, it is unreliable, being subject to dry joints and cracks. We are talking about people being killed here, for there are now many applications of electronics on which human lives depend, let alone livelihoods. Notably, military applications were excluded."

But maybe not civilian projects? -- h/t Dennis Ambler.

Media Bias Exposed - On September 24 on NBC News Luke Russert made the observation about the students at the University of Virginia that "The smartest kids in the state go there, so it is leaning a little bit toward Obama." This may be Luke’s assessments of Obama, of the students of the University of Virginia, of the lesser Universities across the nation, and of the perceived lack of “smart people” who might not vote for Obama. Millions would disagree with this. A few examples of where we might disagree might help. (Michael R. Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

Web 2.0 tools are beginning to change the shape of scientific debate - As readers of this blog and others such as Climate Audit know, reviewing new ideas, essays, and papers can often progress very quickly with the help of a widely varied readership. But we still wait for traditional methods sometimes, and for the fast pace of venues like this, it can be excruciatingly slow.

A good example is the AIRS satellite data which promised to give us the first satellite derived CO2 measurement with higher resolution and greater global representativity than the land based measurements such as that from the Mauna Loa Observatory. My writeup on AIRS here on July 31st 2008 indicated that they would have a published paper in 6-8 weeks for us to review. It was a molasses-like wait for many, and I got many inquiries about it during that time. Finally, on September 29th, the paper was published, and I featured it here. That 8 weeks was long by electronic media standards, but pretty quick by traditional science journal standards. But that may be about to change.

The idea of peer review via web collaboration seems to be catching on and this article below demonstrates. - Anthony (Watts Up With That?)

Wake Up, America - A nation that doesn't know history is destined to repeat its serious mistakes. People swayed by carefully crafted political propaganda relentlessly repeated and effectively delivered can easily lose their freedom and way of life. (IBD)

Cranking up the rhetoric: One in Four Mammals Risks Extinction - Study - BARCELONA, Spain - A quarter of the world's mammals are threatened with extinction, an international survey showed on Monday, and the destruction of habitats and hunting are the major causes. (Reuters)

Deadlines set for designating polar bear habitat - ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The federal government will designate "critical habitat" for polar bears off Alaska's coast, a decision that could add restrictions to future offshore petroleum exploration or drilling.

Federal law prohibits agencies from taking actions that may adversely modify critical habitat and interfere with polar bear recovery. That likely will affect oil and gas activity, said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of three groups that sued to force the critical habitat designation.

"Other than global warming, the worst thing that's going on in polar bear habitat right now is oil development and the potential for oil spills," Siegel said. (AP)

All Firms Urged to Appoint Green Expert to Board - BARCELONA, Spain - All businesses should appoint an environmental expert to their board to help safeguard the planet, the president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said on Sunday. (Reuters)

Don't be so stupid.

Breeding Seen Key in Greener Farming Revolution - LONDON - Crops must be bred to resist insects and drought rather than relying heavily on pesticides and irrigation, Britain's chief scientist said on Monday. (Reuters)

Yep. And biotechnology is a key tool to do so.

Organic Food Offers Little More Than Peace of Mind, Critics Say - Jami Nelson always tried to eat healthy and take good care of her body, so she was stunned to learn she had breast cancer at the age of 25.

Her cancer now in remission, the 26-year-old nurse is much more careful about what she eats. Nelson said she chooses only organic milk and meat despite their higher cost because of the way they are produced, without antibiotics and added hormones.

Organics give her peace of mind, and Nelson is willing to pay more to get it. But some experts say that's all she'll get — that there's nothing healthier or better about organic food.

Alex Avery, director of research and education for the Hudson Institute‘s Center for Global Food Issues and author of “The Truth About Organics,” said there are several misconceptions about organic food that make people believe it is healthier and better for the environment.

‘’It’s a total con,” said Avery, a plant scientist by training. "There is not a shred of science" to back up claims that organic is safer or more nutritious, he said. (

October 6, 2008

Monday smile: Stop Anthropogenic Solar Cooling Now! - As most scientists know, the Earth emits as much radio energy as a small star and with the advent of WiFi, Bluetooth and the iPhone, we as a society are continually emitting ever increasing amounts of electromagnetic (EM) transmissions. These EM emissions are interacting with the solar wind, forcing it back upon itself and therefore interfering with the Sun’s ability to generate sunspots. This is predicted by peer-reviewed models showing ever lower solar cycles in the future and is proven by the delayed start of cycle 24. (Here I go again)

House Democrats Push Climate Tax While Negotiating Fiscal Bailout - They just don’t get it

During a week where Americans were focused on perhaps the greatest economic challenges this country has faced in over a generation, House Democrats released a set of principles on October 2nd that outline an aggressive plan to cap greenhouse gas emissions. The plan could be even more economically restrictive than the failed Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which would have cost $6.7 trillion dollars, according to the bill’s own sponsors. That $6.7 trillion cost would have been passed on to families and workers across the country in the form of higher gas prices, higher electricity and heating/cooling bills, more expensive consumer goods, and higher workplace costs.

As we learned during this past summer’s debate on the failed Lieberman-Warner global warming cap-and-trade bill and with the recent victory on offshore drilling, the appetite of the American people to unlock America’s affordable energy resources is very strong. When it comes to being in touch with Americans, the House Democrats need a reality check. The current financial crisis only reinforces the public’s wariness about any climate bill that attempts to increase the costs of energy and jeopardizes jobs. (EPW Press Blog)

House passes $700B “bailout bill” - CO2 Tax issues included (Watts Up With That?)

Who Is In Charge, Karl Marx or the Marx Brothers? - Last January I wrote a column entitled: Are Polar Bears Edible? I pointed out that during good times, people worry about whether polar bears will have ice in one-hundred years—but when times are tough we wonder whether the bears are tasty.

I suggested that in the event of a worldwide financial crisis, we would likely focus our collective attention on government spending, and whether the corporate directors legally responsible for doing so were protecting our investments. In short, Americans would not worry much about whether companies were being socially responsible; we would worry about whether they were being financially responsible. (Nick Nichols, Townhall)

Main Street vs. Wall Street - The financial bailout isn’t as bad as Main Street thinks. It’s worse.

Main Street remains suspicious of government plans to buy distressed mortgage assets. Leading politicians and newspaper editorials are struggling to explain how the financial bailout will help Main Street. They see that the challenge is to get the American people to come around.

In fact, it is the elites who are badly misguided. The reality is that the Paulson plan is nothing more than a government assistance package for a declining industry. It has been embraced eagerly by Democratic politicians who welcome the enhanced power they will enjoy as a result of merging Big Finance with Big Government.

The American people are being given two reasons to support the bailout, namely, that it is needed to prevent another Great Depression and that it will actually earn a profit for taxpayers. Both rationales are suspect.

The most credible evidence that the Main Street economy is in danger is that “Ben Bernanke is worried, so everyone should be worried.” In fact, no economic textbook, including Bernanke’s, offers any theory that predicts depression as a result of consolidation in the financial sector. (Arnold Kling, The American)

Not rocket science: Biden's Fantasy World - Sarah Palin may not know as much about the world, but at least most of what she knows is true. (Wall Street Journal)

This is a real worry. If the US elects an Obama/Biden administration these idealistic clowns are going to cost science very dearly -- well-funded public and commercial science requires a strong economy but socialists have done most everything possible to wreck it. Although McCain is a gorebull warming fool at least Palin is much more aware and she's pretty energy savvy too. My advice to US citizens is to not let the misanthropic Big "L" watermelon MSM railroad you into electing another Socialist Government but see if you can actually hold a couple of self-proclaimed mavericks to small government, prosperity and no abdication of national sovereignty and control of the energy supply to unelected UN and EU bureaucrats under the guise of "addressing gorebull warming". If the EU is so enamored with Barack Obama then let them elect him to some EU bureaucracy. The world really needs America to lead, not surrender.

Environment Minister's views on climate change "bizarre" - In his efforts to attack the "green gang", the Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson, puts himself at odds with the global scientific community and paints an inaccurate and misleading picture of the scientific evidence.

While he accepts that climate change is occurring, the Minister implies that the recent rise in global average temperature is part of a natural cycle and may be attributable to changes in solar activity. That is not what the scientific community has concluded. (Bob Ward, News Letter)

Actually, the 'scientific community' does not have a cohesive collective conclusion. Come to think of it, we don't even have an agreement on whether global mean temperature is a useful or even a valid metric.

Yes, global warming "is just propaganda" - Worldwide interest in my quite run-of-the-mill comment, on the need to debate the manmade global warming hypothesis, is pleasing but not surprising. It confirms that my fellow science writers have miscalculated badly. Most readers don't want endless scare stories about climatic doom, accompanied by authoritarian lectures about their carbon footprints. They're hungry for a variety of opinions.

Unfortunately only 1% of the huge number of articles on climate change in the posh London newspapers deviate from the official line of the Intergovernmental Panel. That's not my reckoning. It comes from researchers at Oxford University who complain about the more balanced reporting in the not-so-posh papers, with a deviancy rate of 23%. They say it has 'skewed public understanding of human contributions to climate change'. In other words, kindly abandon the journalistic principle that different points of views should be heard on controversial matters, or else a lot of dreadful people out there (you or me) may not truly believe that climate change is their fault.

Yes, you've got it. Man-made global warming is just propaganda. My father Ritchie Calder was a science writer too, but during the Second World War he played a leading part in Allied propaganda against Nazi Germany. He told me quite a lot about the tricks, employed in what was then a good cause. Now I watch them being used every day by the global wamers. (Nigel Calder, News Letter)

I'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday . . .  - The Kyoto industry has been a windfall to those major-emitting countries that insisted on exemption, such as South Korea, China, India, Brazil, and Mexico, for the very same reason it has been a financial drag on the economies of the small handful of countries (35) that claimed they would do . . . something. That is, most of the “reduction” promises were no such thing, thanks to a 1990 baseline tailored to accommodate subsequent economic collapse by half of the 35.

So, a very few countries claimed to reduce emissions, which in practice has universally meant transferring wealth to other people to develop more cleanly or with less energy intensity. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

During Seattle Visit, Czech Republic President Cites EU's Crippling Effect on Democracy - Wednesday night Václav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, addressed 1,100 guests of Washington Policy Center at the organization's 2008 Annual Dinner in Seattle. His remarks are available online. (John Barnes, Seattle Politics Examiner)

Seas turn to acid as they soak up CO2 - The Bay of Naples is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and glittering clear waters. For centuries, tourists have flocked to the region to experience its glories.

But beneath the waves, scientists have uncovered an alarming secret. They have found streams of gas bubbling up from the seabed around the island of Ischia. 'The waters are like a Jacuzzi - there is so much carbon dioxide fizzing up from the seabed,' said Dr Jason Hall-Spencer, of Plymouth University. 'Millions of litres of gas bubble up every day.' (The Observer)

I don't recall the Nature paper and it is unclear whether the so-called decline in biodiversity is compared with areas distant from the natural volcanic carbon dioxide outgassing or if this is supposed to be new vents that have killed off some of the existing endemic critters. Either way its relevance to atmospheric absorption is tenuous to non-existent. Perhaps rather than Volcanic carbon dioxide vents reveal ecosystem effects of ocean acidification (Nature 454, 96-99) they should have gone with something like Shallow-water Volcanic Outgassing Apparently Not Good for Local Critters.

“Surface Temperature Cooling Trends and Negative Radiative Forcing Due to Land Use Change Toward Greenhouse Farming in Southeastern Spain” By Campra Et Al 2008 - An excellent new paper has appeared. It is Campra, P., M. Garcia, Y. Canton, and A. Palacios-Orueta, 2008: Surface temperature cooling trends and negative radiative forcing due to land use change toward greenhouse farming in southeastern Spain,J. Geophys. Res., 113, D18109, doi:10.1029/2008JD009912. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

'Supreme threat of gorebull warming'? Oh puh-lease! Slicing up Whitehall - Merging the energy and climate departments sells short the supreme threat of global warming (Peter Preston, The Guardian)

That New Climate Department - So, in today’s reshuffle of the UK Cabinet, Gordon Brown has decided to establish a new ‘Energy and Climate Department’ to be headed by Ed Miliband, brother of our ‘Warmista’ Foreign Secretary, David Miliband [‘Greens welcome new climate dept’, BBC Online Science and Environment News, October 3]. Oh dear! I fear that such a Department is going to need an awful lot of Ministers and Parliamentary Under Secretaries. On this question, I have already consulted Sir Humphrey Appleby GCB, KBE , MVO, MA (Oxon), no less, who is horrified at the large number of politicians who might have to be promoted (although, of course, he welcomes the staffing implications for more civil servants). (Global Warming Politics)

Stupidity: MPs tipped to call for greater cut in UK emissions - The UK's independent climate change committee is expected to recommend next week that the government sets a binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, campaigners say.

The increase in the target from 60%, hinted at by the prime minister, Gordon Brown, in his party conference speech last month, would bring the UK in line with several other governments including Germany, France and California, although the British target would have the strongest enforcement. (The Guardian)

Where's Al Gore now? - Obviously, Al Gore's personal "carbon footprint" is massive. As I dug deeper into Gore's own energy use, even I was surprised at the extent of the absolutely cartoonish gap between his words and his actions.

Remember, Al doesn't think that you should have the right to make your own hallway light bulb choice. (Tom Nelson)

Watermelons trying to reach into your pocket, again: New charges on shipping could help climate - Billions of dollars could be raised to help the poorest countries cope with and tackle climate change under proposals to be floated in London this week for new charges on international shipping.

Opponents fear the charges - in the form of a fuel tax or selling permits to pollute - will raise the cost of food imports, especially for small island states that depend on trade to feed their populations. (The Guardian)

Oh boy... Go to a climate party — change your lifestyle - Open your front door to friends and the future of the planet. The climate party is the new Tupperware party in Sweden, where the only thing on offer is a change of lifestyle. (Christine Demsteader, Sweden)

Green Shift: Eco issues take back seat to market mayhem - Calgarian Mark Leigh believes he does his part for the environment: he is a devoted cyclist and volunteers at two bicycle co-operatives so others can ride for a small cost.

But during this federal election campaign, Leigh, 24, does not feel environmental issues are prominent enough.

"It definitely gets buried," said Leigh, who works as head of stage carpentry and rigging at Theatre Junction Grand and bikes to work every day, "because it's such an economy-driven city." (Kelly Cryderman, Calgary Herald)

People consider the economy important? Go figure...

Hold the front page on who's causing climate change - LIKE many, I'm finding it hard to decide whether climate change is a man-made phenomenon or part of a natural order, a natural cycle of things.

But it seems as if there can be no debate about this. Dare to challenge the "inconvenient truth", that global warming, leading to climate change, is man-made, and heaven help you. In ages gone by, it seems you either died of the black plague, were drowned as a witch or burned as a heretic. Life choices were thus somewhat limited.

Isn't there now a little of "Middle Ages" intolerance in the climate change debate? (David Purchase, The Age)

Winds are Dominant Cause of Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheet Losses - Two new studies summarised in a news article in Science magazine point to wind-induced circulation changes in the ocean as the dominant cause of the recent ice losses through the glaciers draining both the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, not ‘global warming.’ (Climate Research News)

Watts Up With That? has a nice animation to go with the above.

Record South Pole Ozone Hole Predicted - CHURCHVILLE, VA—A Canadian scientist says the largest known hole in the ozone will occur over the South Pole in the next week. If that happens, it will help us understand global warming.

Dr. Qing-Bin Lu, of Canada’s University of Waterloo, says NASA satellites and laboratory measurements show cosmic rays are the real cause of the seasonal hole in the earth’s ozone layer over the Antarctic. Cosmic rays are tiny, invisible, high-energy particles from exploding stars which constantly strike the earth—and people. Cosmic rays probably cause some of our cancers, by altering the DNA inside our bodies.

However, if Dr. Qing-Bin Lu and others are correct, they also are connected to climate change. The number of cosmic rays hitting the earth varies sharply based on the activity level of the sun and the size of the magnetic wind it projects out into space. A weak sun means a weak magnetic wind and more cosmic rays striking earth. Britain’s BBC recently reported that the solar wind is now blowing at the weakest rate in more than 50 years, and is also 13 percent cooler than it was 15 years ago. (Dennis T. Avery, CGFI)

Less 'flu is 'a concern' now? Global warming impact on flu bug concerns experts - A warmer Earth likely means less flu, but determining just how much less is a "wicked problem," the dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health told a standing room-only crowd of more than 100 people Friday at Science 2008.

It was the eighth year for the free symposium that draws scientists and people interested in science.

Several experiments and studies conclude that climate change will impact infectious diseases worldwide, said Dr. Donald Burke, but scientists need to devise better models and solid numbers before they can make a convincing case for action to the public. (Tribune-Review)

That poor virtual world: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission preparing for effects of climate change - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking for ways to limit climate change's impact on wildlife. (Miami Herald)

New Solar Cycle Not Packing Much Punch - I found a reference to this article while looking at Leif Svalgaard’s website, and since I missed it the first time around, and because the message is still valid, I thought I’d reprint it here. Also, the artwork they provided a hi-res link to makes a great desktop wallpaper. - Anthony (Watts Up With That?)

How not to measure temperature part 72: Italian Style - People send me things, its always interesting to see what comes in the inbox daily: (Watts Up With That?)

Gore links Iowa floods to climate change - Iowa's recent natural disasters are connected to global climate change, former Vice President Al Gore said in a speech at the state Democratic Party's annual fall fundraiser Saturday. (Des Moines Register)

Gore demonstrates he doesn’t understand basic meteorology, much less climate - Gore links Iowa floods and tornadoes to climate change, but makes a basic error on global temperature to evaporation linkage, plus he misses the real reason behind imagined tornado increases. (Watts Up With That?)

Media mythology: Economic turmoil could scupper EU climate plans - As if the European Union's attempts to curb carbon dioxide emissions had not drawn enough criticism, the current economic turmoil is bringing further attempts to weaken European climate protection policies. ( news service)

The trouble is "European climate protection policies" aren't -- they are misanthropic anti-energy and anti-development proposals that actually make people more vulnerable to, well, most everything really.

A changed climate: The European Union is struggling to deliver on its promises to cut carbon emissions - JUST 18 months ago the European Union promised to save the world from climate change. A final plan to deliver on those promises must be finished soon. But it is in deep trouble.

The conclusions of the March 2007 summit proclaiming the EU’s “leading role” on climate change make for wistful reading today. They begin “Europe is currently enjoying an economic upswing,” and add that growth forecasts are “positive”. Back in that long-lost golden age, the EU’s leaders were in heroic mood. They offered binding promises known as the 20/20/20 pledges. By the year 2020, they would cut Europe’s carbon emissions by at least a fifth over 1990 levels; derive 20% of all energy from renewable sources; and make energy-efficiency savings of 20%.

The heroic mood is gone now. (The Economist)

Ecologists fear EU diluting climate change battle plans - European Union plans to tackle climate change reach a crucial phase on Tuesday with votes in the EU parliament, amid fears among green groups that pressure from industry is watering the proposals down. (AFP)

Six EU states ready to block climate plan: Poland - WARSAW - Poland has assembled a blocking minority among the European Union members enabling them to stall Brussels' climate package, Polish officials said.

Poland and Greece reached an agreement late on Thursday, following a similar accord with Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, that more debate was needed on the EU's package of climate measures. (Reuters)

EU climate change cuts: Poland leads revolt over Russia fears - Poland has claimed that it has assembled enough votes to block a landmark EU climate change agreement after spearheading a revolt by Eastern European states that fear the package would increase their dependence on Russian natural gas supplies. (Daily Telegraph)

Poles To Freeze Brussels’ Sprouts - I am delighted to say that many of the newer entrants to the European Union are exhibiting a far more robust approach to potentially-damaging ‘global warming’ politics and economics than ‘moules-frites-in-the-sky’ Brussels. As widely reported, Poland has now assembled a ‘blocking minority’ among EU member states sufficient to stall Brussels’ unrealistic climate-change packages [see, for example: ‘EU climate change cuts: Poland leads revolt over Russia fears’, The Daily Telegraph, October 3; ‘Six EU states ready to block climate plan: Poland’, Reuters, October 3]. (Global Warming Politics)

'Taxing' farts and burps - Committed to the Kyoto Protocol, New Zealand promised to cut its emissions to 1990 levels. The country's biggest source is methane from cattle, and as Stephen Evans discovers, the issue is raising a stink among local farmers. (BBC)

Climate change stocks fall more than wider markets - LONDON - Shares in companies specializing in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, including energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, have tumbled faster than wider markets this year, indices showed.

"It would be easy to blame the credit crunch, which certainly has made it more difficult for project developers in wind and solar to raise debt finance," said Michael Liebreich, chairman and CEO of research firm New Energy Finance on Friday.

Another contributory factor was a correction in high valuations for some renewable energy companies, said Liebreich. (Reuters)

The main reason would appear to be that these speculative stocks are a mimic of the dot.bomb debacle -- they are shares in entities that actually don't produce anything useful and whose entire business model is to farm subsidies and venture capital.

Peru Studies Climate Riddle as the World Heats Up - LIMA - Scientists are using everything from a yellow submarine to weather balloons and special airplanes to solve a climate conundrum: why is Peru getting colder while the rest of the world heats up? (Reuters)

Who says the world is heating up? The southern hemisphere mid-troposphere has always be uh, reluctant. The one thong about this gorebull warming thing upon which we can all agree is that it has never been global.

More virtual world guessing: Fish stock at risk in climate change - CLIMATE change is likely to hit supplies of many of Australia's favourite eating fish, including barramundi, salmon, rock lobster and prawns, the most extensive study on the subject yet undertaken by the Federal Government has warned.

The CSIRO study, commissioned by the Department of Climate Change and to be released today, reports the overall impact of global change "will pose some very significant risks to the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture in Australia". (Sydney Morning Herald)

Lets see, wasn't it Al who said models were proven - Wall Street has been using them for years? Well Wall Street's models just pranged the world's financial system, again -- this in an environment well studied, well financed, data rich and moderately well understood. And climate models are absolutely infantile compared with financial ones.

Wild guess #... Climate change ‘will cut water supplies’ - Householders will have to reduce their consumption of water by a third or more over the next 40 years because climate change will cause river levels to slump, new research has shown.

Average river flows will be 10 to 15 per cent lower than at present, according to a study by Ian Barker, head of water resources at the Bristol-based Environment Agency. The study overturns the assumption by climate-change modellers that while summer and winter rainfall patterns will alter, the overall quantity will remain much the same. (The Times)

While simultaneously causing more floods, no doubt: Britain's rivers could run dry - Britain's rivers could nearly run dry because long hot summers caused by climate change will not be sufficiently compensated by wetter winters, researchers predict. It is a scenario that would endanger wildlife and send household water bills soaring.

Flows in the Mersey and Severn are likely to be reduced in summer by up to 80 per cent by 2050, according to a study by the Environment Agency. The Thames's flow is likely to decline by up to 50 per cent during the same period. (The Observer)

UCS says so? So what? Report warns Pennsylvania about global warming effects - Apples and sweet corn, brook trout and smallmouth bass, fall foliage and winter snow cover will all disappear from Pennsylvania if emissions causing global warming continue at their current rates, according to a detailed, state-specific climate change report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

UCS have never been right about anything before, why would anyone take them seriously now?

Billions of Barrels Could Mean Trillions of Government Dollars; Media AWOL - Old Media's coverage of the recently-lifted executive and congressional bans on offshore exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas largely overlooked an important element that should have been very relevant to the discussion.

Supporters of lifting the bans surely share much of the blame for only rarely citing it. Though they have frequently noted the hundreds of billions of dollars a years annually sent overseas to pay for oil that could have been extracted here, they have mostly missed a golden opportunity to tell the American people what over a quarter-century of drilling bans has cost the government and taxpayers. They also generally failed to tell us about the windfall that awaits if the end of the offshore and other bans finally leads to appropriately aggressive use of this country's God-given resources.

But if we had inquisitive financial reporters in the business press who were interested in information relevant to the "Drill Baby Drill" debate instead of merely repackaging the press releases they received from those on both sides (the sole exception I found was this Wall Street Journal editorial), many more Americans would have long ago learned about what follows. (Tom Blumer, NewsBusters)

EDITORIAL: Drill, and drill now - Barack Obama and John McCain have been talking about finding new forms of energy, bringing down its cost and finding alternatives to oil. At the recent Clinton Global Initiative summit, both addressed how they would solve an energy "crisis" that has led to pain at the pump for Middle America. Unfortunately, offshore-drilling prospects remain entangled in red tape and legal challenges.

A Gallup poll last month revealed that only 1 percent of McCain supporters and 2 percent of Obama supporters consider energy their most important issue. Yet, the cost of energy plays a significant role in the overall health of the economy. It stands to reason that if gas and electricity are more expensive, these costs will be reflected in the prices of everyday items. (Washington Times)

Gas Pains for the Environment - Common sense dictates that some of the more important keys to American energy independence are: more oil exploration and drilling; more natural gas exploration and drilling; more nuclear plants; more wind farms and solar panels—but not more bio fuels because diversion of corn and other plant life to the fuel market increases food prices more than is reasonable.

T Boone Pickens—with the concurrence of Aubrey K McClendon—both bigwigs in the Oil and Natural Gas industries—has created a plan for our energy independence. I checked it out on both their websites. Steven Milloy of has covered the subject of Picken’s Plan in detail on Townhall about the Iran claims and several other misrepresentations. I’ll take a different tack here. (SmartGreenUSA)

An Energy-Fraud Twofer Insult: Measure Dictates Renewable Energy Use - Oct. 3--Proposition 7's arrogance should offend every Californian. Its two alleged benefits are that it will "reduce the rising costs of energy" and "limit the dangers of global warming."

First, the more-obvious canard: Even if you buy the theory that man-made greenhouse gas emissions create higher global temperatures, which we don't, the certainty of growing reliance on fossil fuels by developing nations alone would far outweigh whatever relatively meager emission reductions California might accomplish through Prop. 7.

The other preposterous claim that Prop. 7 will "reduce the rising costs of energy," is, at best, wishful thinking. The independent state Legislative Analyst concluded, "Higher electricity rates are more likely in the short term," and "the same cost factors ... might also lead to higher long-run electricity rates." So much for reducing energy costs. (Appeal-Democrat)

Solar hopes up in smoke - JOHN POPPINS has many investments, but his proudest sits on his roof. The retired engineer has $30,000 worth of solar panels on his Mount Waverley home, a personal power station that covers all his home energy needs and then some. He's not, he says, a guy who likes to "put his hand out". But it's people like Poppins who, you might think, deserve some payment for the excess clean electricity they feed back into the community. (The Age)

Why? I don't care if it's Mary Poppins, just because some people are stupid enough to buy into the solar panel nonsense we should pay them far above market rate for nuisance amounts of electricity? Go to Hell! For more than 40 years we have been subsidizing solar power as the 'next big thing' and it is time to stop the bullshit -- solar voltaic panels will never be a viable nor useful supplement to baseload electricity. If it's supposed to be so damn great then let it pay its own way. If it remains a niche toy for obscure applications, who cares? Even if Australia decides to introduce solar power into the energy supply mix it won't be through PVCs but through solar thermal technologies. In the meantime Australia has abundant carbon reserves and nuclear materials to power the place for many, many centuries.

Brazil announces more oil and gas proven reserves - Brazil’s oil and gas government managed corporation Petrobras announced the proven presence of oil in a well south of the Santos Basin, in sandy reservoirs above the salt layer. The discovery confirms the good light oil potential in the shallow water portion of the basin, said Petrobras in a brief release from last Friday. (Mercopress)

ENAP exploring for coal methane gas in Magallanes - Chile is exploring for methane gas from the abundant coal reserves in the extreme south region of Magallanes, more precisely 80 kilometers to the north of Punta Arenas. (Mercopress)

European carmakers plead for £32bn loan to meet green target - Carmakers are pushing the European commission for a €40bn (£32bn) "green" bail-out plan to help them meet stringent EU limits on carbon emissions, it emerged yesterday. (The Guardian)

Dutch city kept warm by hot-water mines - In an age of rapidly rising fuel bills the discovery of vast supplies of free hot water sounds too good to be true. But that is exactly what one Dutch city has found to run the radiators of hundreds of homes, shops and offices.

Heerlen, in the southern province of Limburg, has created the first geothermal power station in the world, using water naturally heated in the deep shafts of old coalmines — which once provided the southern Netherlands with thousands of jobs but have been dormant since the 1970s. (The Times)

Another myth exposed: the "epidemic of childhood obesity and poor health in Australia" - Just as in the United Kingdom and the United States, the myth of a growing epidemic of obesity and disease among Australia’s children and teens has been shown false by its government’s own statistics. It was only this past summer when Australia’s fat bomb was resoundingly defused. Now, as proposals to address Australia’s “childhood obesity epidemic” become increasingly extreme, costly and unsupported — from mandatory after school sports exercise programs for the nation’s school children to banning advertisements for breakfast cereals — two new government reports reveal that an epidemic of childhood obesity is a myth and that Australia’s children and young people are healthier than ever… (Junkfood Science)

Healthcare on the government - The Federal Parliament's House Standing Committee on Health and Ageing began its Inquiry into Obesity in Australia on March 19th. It has received more than one hundred submissions from stakeholders with proposals for addressing obesity — Remember the submission from the Baker Heart Research Institute, Australia’s Future Fat Bomb? — and has been conducting a series of public hearings. Among the presenters at this past week’s public hearing were Queensland Health and the Centre for Burden of Disease and Cost-Effectiveness. (Junkfood Science)

How about some science to go along with your cereal? - Are added sugars and foods low in fiber bad for kids and lead them to become fat?

Researchers with the Dortmund Nutritional Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed (DONALD) Study — the large German study that began recruiting waves of infants in 1985 and has recorded detailed information on the diets, growth and development, and metabolism of more than 1,200 children from infancy to adulthood — specifically examined the effect of carbohydrate quality and fiber intake on the development of body fat composition in early childhood.

Hundreds of media stories around the world have been reporting that breakfast cereals with milk and their cartoons characters loved by generations of kids are now villains for promoting “unhealthy” diets and contributing to an epidemic of obesity. But this study has received nary a blip in the news.

So, on behalf of children and worried parents, here’s the research media ignored. (Junkfood Science)

Thank you note from Sandy. (Junkfood Science)

Killing Malarial Mosquitos Now! - Not long ago, most Americans thought malaria had disappeared from Planet Earth. Few remembered that it had killed thousands every year in the United States, into the 1940s – or that it was once prevalent in New Jersey, Ohio, California and the South, as well as in Europe and even Siberia.

All but a handful knew this preventable disease was killing an African child every 30 seconds – a million every year. Almost none realized malaria was still a global problem largely because of strident environmentalist opposition to insecticides and DDT to control mosquitoes that spread the disease. (Paul Driessen, Townhall)

Weather Eye: A gloomy October is bad for our health - It looks as if October is about to become a lot gloomier, with unsettled conditions lasting for another week and possibly longer. Following on from the dullest August on record in Britain, there are concerns about the effects of the lack of sunshine on our health.

Ultraviolet rays in sunlight convert a type of cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D. Much of the vitamin is made in the summer and becomes depleted through the winter. But there is a growing problem with a lack of vitamin D across the British population, particularly children, pregnant women, the elderly, dark-skinned people and anyone who covers up their skin.

We have been here before. In the 1800s, lack of vitamin D caused rickets, widespread in smog-ridden cities. “A perennial pall of smoke . . . cut off from narrow streets a large proportion of the rays which struggle through the gloom,” wrote the British scientist Theobald Palm. He realised how the lack of sunlight explained why the poorest children were most likely to have rickets and he recommended sunbathing to prevent the problem.

Rickets was largely eradicated in industrialised countries in the 1920s, using ultraviolet light to irradiate foods such as milk. These days the coal smoke has gone and there is a lot more sunshine but the problem is that most of us spend too much time indoors. And this summer’s appalling gloom made the situation even worse.

The effects of a healthy supply of vitamin D are astonishing. Not only is it involved in making healthy bones, but it may protect against several types of cancer, multiple sclerosis and diabetes, and boosts the immune system.

Vitamin D can be found in oily fish, liver, egg yolk and fortified margarine [and fortified milk]. (The Times)

It is quite true that vitamin D is but poorly stored (in that much-maligned body fat, actually), so you need daily sun exposure to synthesize enough for your needs and it is also true that 'ozone-depletion' and 'sun danger' hysteria have caused considerable ill-health from low vitamin D levels.

Hmm... where to begin? Failure to fight ozone pollution 'puts lives in danger' - Human health and food production are being damaged because too little is being done to control worldwide ozone levels, a report by the Royal Society says.

Ozone forms a protective layer that helps to block ultraviolet radiation high in the atmosphere, but at ground level it is a significant pollutant and a contributor to global warming.

Regulations to control the gas have been introduced by Britain and other industrialised nations but it is still present in quantities well above safe levels, largely because it is carried by air currents from other parts of the world. Levels close to the ground have risen 6 per cent each decade since the 1980s, the Royal Society says in its report, which calls for concerted international action. (The Times)

In a way this item highlights the absurdity of so many 'ozone layer' claims -- it matters not whether an ozone molecule is located at 6 meters altitude or 60,000 meters, if it intercepts ultraviolet B radiation and 'saves' you from that bit of exposure it has done the same job, no? Back when the Montreal Protocol farce was being negotiated the US EPA derived a mind-numbingly idiotic 'benefit' of $trillions from the health benefits from banning ozone depleting substances (ODS). Embarrassingly there is some evidence that it is UVA (not blocked by ozone) that causes the ill-health effects from which banning ODS was alleged to protect us but not UVB, the portion of sunlight actually blocked by ozone. At the same time they bestow Jekyll and Hyde characteristics on this substance, declaring ozone molecula non grata in the lower atmosphere as a health hazard. Guess what? If there were the merest trace of validity in claims about the value of the conceptual 'ozone layer' then ozone should be welcomed throughout the atmosphere. The cost of a comparatively few lives from lower atmosphere ozone pales into insignificance compared with those claimed saved by this wonder molecule. On the other hand, we could admit the Montreal Protocol is a total crock and that the presence or absence of outer atmospheric ozone is of no particular interest to life on Earth. What say we just concentrate on actual real-world problems? Us neither...

A 60-year-old scandal, an eminent botanist and a plant that was planted - THE discovery of a rare plant on the Isle of Rum in the 1940s led scientists to question whether the Ice Age had ever reached the Scottish isles. Now, more than half a century later, it has emerged that the man credited with finding the plant had grown it in his Newcastle garden before replanting it in the Inner Hebrides. (The Scotsman)

Sheesh! Price rises to force cuts in water use - Ministers want householders to cut their water consumption by a fifth using compulsory metering and sharply rising prices.

Hilary Benn, the environment secretary, aims to cut use by 30 litres a day per person by 2030. He has said the current daily consumption of 150 litres is unsustainable and should be reduced to 120 litres.

The proposed cut is the deepest in the history of the water industry, reversing years of rising consumption.

It is likely to mean sweeping changes in the way water is priced and paid for, including compulsory metering, water labelling for “wet goods” such as washing machines and dishwashers and incentives to restrict flow from taps and showers. (Sunday Times)

Manifestly inadequate supply by government authorities becomes a 'sustainability issue'? Crap, the failed Queensland Government trimmed target usage to 170 liters per day on level 6 restrictions! This is considered rationing and evidence of complete failure by the government to ensure adequate infrastructure and supply and is one of the reasons the Bligh government cannot hope to get itself re-elected.

God save the Queen! Really, really long may She reign! Charles targets GM crop giants in fiercest attack yet - In a provocative address to an Indian audience, the Prince echoes Gandhi with a stinging attack on 'commerce without morality'. Geoffrey Lean reports

It is less than two months since Prince Charles was on the receiving end of a fusillade of scientific, political and commentariat criticism for voicing, yet again, his concerns about GM crops and foods. He was widely accused of "ignorance" and "Luddism"; of being too rich to care about the hungry, and even of trying to increase sales of his own organic produce. It was put about that Gordon Brown was angered by his intervention.

Yet the Prince has responded by stepping up his campaign, making his most anti-GM speech yet, in delivering – by video – the Sir Albert Howard Memorial Lecture to the Indian pressure group Navdanya last Thursday. And he made it clear that he was going to continue. "The reason I keep sticking my 60-year-old head above an increasingly dangerous parapet is not because it is good for my health," he said " but precisely because I believe fundamentally that unless we work with nature, we will fail to restore the equilibrium we need in order to survive on this planet." (The Independent)

Crikey Charlie's a dipstick isn't he?

The war over GM is back. Is the truth any clearer? - Genetically modified foods were sidelined in Britain 10 years ago amid a furious assault on 'Frankenstein foods'. Now climate change and world hunger have placed them back on the agenda. The ferocious debate is again splitting the science, political and environmental communities. But, asks Observer food expert Jay Rayner, what's the real truth about GM? (Jay Rayner, The Observer)

SOUTH AFRICA: GM Sorghum Test Approved - JOHANNESBURG, Oct 3 - As Africa grapples with the question of food insecurity, biotechnology buffs seem to have an answer: genetically modified crops that could feed a continent vulnerable to famine and food deficits. But environmentalists warn of new dangers.

An appeal board recently overturned opposition from the South African GMO Executive Council to allow testing of a nutritionally enhanced, genetically modified sorghum, known as 'Super Sorghum' in greenhouses in Pretoria.

The application by the Council for Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR) -- and endorsed by South Africa's Minister of Land Affairs and Agriculture -- was successful at the second attempt when the applicant supplied additional information that it would meet biosafety requirements for the laboratory trials. (IPS)

October 3, 2008

Greens Exploit Wall Street Bailout - Will the Wall Street bailout be the beginning of the New (Green) Deal?

Environmental activists are trying to figure out ways to advance their global-warming-regulation agenda by exploiting the current financial crisis, including the Wall Street bailout bill to be voted on by the House. (Steven Milloy,

A Bill That Deserves to Fail - The pending bailout legislation does not offer realistic solutions to our current financial problems.

Within the next 24 hours, House members will get another chance to vote on financial bailout legislation. They rejected the first bailout bill on Monday, and they should reject the second version, too.

The new legislation would not fix our economic problems. It contains a slew of extraneous and irrelevant provisions, such as increased spending on alternative energy and rural schools and mandates for mental health parity in health insurance.

To be sure, the second bailout bill is better than the first one, since it would raise the level of bank deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) from $100,000 to $250,000 and thus give Americans more confidence in the banking system. Yet Congress could pass this measure on its own, rather than rush through complex and misguided legislation.

Congress is hurrying because President Bush, Treasury Secretary Paulson, and Senators McCain and Obama are telling Americans that the sky will fall if members don’t act. This fear-mongering has forced Congress to vote on poorly-considered legislation. Our leaders are like the two-year-old who says, “If I don’t have my way, I won’t breathe.” We should hold them to their idle threats. (Diana Furchtgott-Roth, The American)

So, this is why gorebull warming remains the undead 'problem' that never was: When seeing IS believing - New research published in the journal Science explains why individuals seek to find and impose order on an unruly world through superstition, rituals and conspiratorial explanations by linking a loss of control to individual perceptions. The research finds that a quest for structure or understanding leads people to trick themselves into seeing and believing connections that simply don't exist. (Manning Selvage & Lee)

People imagine carbon dioxide controls climate and Gore makes bazillions pushing the myth.

The Beeb feels they are part of the 'debate': The battle caused by Climate Wars - Our BBC documentary was right to cover the whole debate, even if the scientific consensus is that global warming is a reality (Jonathan Renouf, The Guardian)

Funny, we thought they were the official AGW propaganda press but, in fairness, Renouf does mention "there is still a furious debate going on out there" (probably comes as quite a shock).

This was news to someone? UN chief’s subtle style under fire from critics - During a retreat for senior UN officials in Turin, Italy, in August, the secretary general was reported to have told team members: “We waste incredible amounts of time on largely meaningless matters.” (The National)

In the virtual realm: Study Pushes Appearance of Northern Hemisphere Ice Sheets Back By 22 Million Years -- Climatologist Robert DeConto of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues at four institutions are reporting in the Oct. 2 issue of the journal Nature that their latest climate model of the Northern Hemisphere suggests conditions would have allowed ice sheets to form there for the last 25 million years, or about 22 million years earlier than generally assumed. Their research has implications for the evaluation of global climate change. (

New guesstimate increases era of northern hemisphere ice cap by order of magnitude. (Modelers like to tell us we have this climate thing nailed down)

What happened to the expected record melt of thinner, 1st-season ice? Arctic sea ice hits second-lowest extent, likely lowest volume - Arctic sea ice extent during the 2008 melt season dropped to the second-lowest level since satellite measurements began in 1979, reaching the lowest point in its annual cycle of melt and growth on Sept. 14, according to researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center. (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Regulating Global Warming: Expanding The Authority Of The Environmental Protection Agency - In May 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that greenhouse gases met the definition of an air pollutant in the Clean Air Act. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded in 2008 by issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) that explains how the Clean Air Act applies to regulating emissions of greenhouse gases thought to contribute to global warming. The notice will likely be followed by regulations to reduce emissions. Unfortunately, such regulations would significantly increase energy prices, but would not affect the global level of greenhouse gases, says Amanda Berg, legislative assistant for the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Party Like It's 1984 - Imagine a society in which children are encouraged to be informants against their families over a phony issue? Imagine no longer. (IBD)

GREEN ALERT: Hidden Carbon Tax Provisions in Paulson’s Bailout 2.0 - Why is the mainstream media ignoring what might be the most earth-shattering provisions in Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s Bailout Package Version 2.0?

If you look at page 180 of the 451-page monster bailout bill that easily passed the Senate yesterday (PDF here), you will see that it includes at Section 116 language about the tax treatment of “industrial source carbon dioxide.” It also provides, at Section 117, for a “carbon audit of the tax code.”

What could a provision about the tax treatment of “industrial source carbon dioxide” and another provision about doing a “carbon audit” of the tax code possibly have to do with restoring confidence in Wall Street’s troubled credit markets? (Capital Research Center)

Passive-Aggressive CO2 Tax Treatment - Has Congress just elevated the despised natural resource of plant food, CO2, to a lofty status as a valuable resource. (Well, it's true we wouldn’t necessarily die without timber, many millions of us would die without oil . . . we’d all die without CO2. A statement sure to set the fever swamps ablaze.) It's either that, or they made a drafting error and are trying to create tax loopholes for their buddies selling CO2 offsets, and set things up for the folks pushing for the Lieberman-Warner (-McCain-Kyoto) CO2 rationing scheme.

Of course, as noted, after rewarding only those types who — like Enron, Lehman Brothers and Al Gore — have decided to make their fortune in trading the substance, Congress in the next paragraph then sets CO2 production up for punishment under the same tax code. What a country! (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Václav Klaus: Notes from American Northwest - Well, I obviously disagree with some comments of the Czech president about the financial crisis (as well as about the purpose of education, the future of IT, and the importance of elegance in clothing) but I still think it's interesting enough a collection of essays to quickly translate for you - and many readers will surely agree with all his points. (The Reference Frame)

Groan... McCain eyes potential Treasury picks - Asked if he would be a visible presence in international talks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and replace the Kyoto Protocol, McCain, who has clashed with fellow Republicans over climate change, said he would do "whatever is necessary to try to move forward."

He said he would involve former Vice President Al Gore in efforts to address the issue. "I would tap him, I would tap people who have been involved in these issues for many years." McCain noted that he disagreed with the Nobel Peace Prize winner about nuclear energy but added, "I have great respect for Al Gore." (Reuters)

Documentary: Cooling in the Greenhouse - the Finnish Broadcasting Co YLE has produced a half hour documentary about why global warming seems to have come to a halt. The show is in Finnish, but an English transcript is available here:

Our previous climate change show from two years ago is here: (Matti Virtanen, YLE Current Affaris)

Video: Truth alert: Hurricane Katrina - Shortly after making landfall in late August of 2005 - and causing massive destruction and death along the Gulf Coast of the United States - several prominent scientists and a host of climate alarmists began claiming that hurricane Katrina was a product of CO2-induced global warming. Is there any scientific truth to this claim? (

An Essay “The IPCC Report: What The Lead Authors Really Think” By Ann Henderson-Sellers - Thanks to Timo Hämeranta for alerting us to the essay by the internationally well respected climate scientist Ann Henderson-Sellers on September 17 2008 titled “The IPCC report: what the lead authors really think”. It is worth reading and I have reproduced below: (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Steelmakers Urge EU to Improve Emissions Proposal - BRUSSELS - Two major European steel industry bodies urged the EU on Thursday to improve its proposal on revising the bloc's emissions trading system, saying it could damage the European industry's competitiveness. (Reuters)

High cost of hitting Ross Garnaut's climate panic button - PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd's handpicked global warming guru Ross Garnaut has issued his third apocalyptic theory unencumbered with any hard scientific evidence.

Again, he calls for Australia to take a lead in controlling emissions though he admitted on ABC radio yesterday that any mitigating action taken by Australia to control so-called hothouse gases would have absolutely no effect on global climate change.

Garnaut's prescription would however throw more Australians out of work even as Australia's economy wilts in the global economic meltdown.

Under Professor Garnaut's plan, emission-intensive industries must opt for radical change - such as a change of address.

In an interview with a sympathetic Fran Kelly, he suggested that Australia's aluminium smelting companies might like to relocate to the Congo or Quebec where there were sources of hydroelectric power available. (Piers Akerman, Daily Telegraph)

New item on the 'Global warming blamed' list? Climate change threat to haggis - Global warming could pose a threat to a key ingredient used in one of Scotland's most famous dishes. (BBC)

The SingleMinded Stupidity of Energy Policy - The biggest problem in energy supplies today is that politicians think it is a problem with a solution. And by that I mean they seem to think it has exactly one solution.

We can’t drill in the Arctic because the solution is conservation. We can’t build nuclear because the solution is solar. Offshore is not needed because the solution is biofuel. Natural gas, clean coal, coastal wind, oil shales, tar sands, tidal turbines, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric – all in turn are argued against, because something better, or bigger, or cleaner, or cheaper, or more philosophically correct can be supported instead.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of our current energy “shortage” is the sheer number of options we have available to us – none of which is apparently the one perfect solution, and so all of which are delayed and obstructed.

America’s leaders and wouldbe leaders are pursuing our future energy policy with all the finesse of a child who believes the game must be won by a single home run. Who needs base hits? Because of this, America may be the first country in history to run out of energy due to too many options.

A rational approach to energy would be simple: it’s good, so let’s have more of it. But then nobody would be able to take credit for making the grand choice, would they? So instead we have an interminable debate over what best form energy should take. (Mac Johnson, Energy Tribune)

Pipeline challenges - TransCanada estimates that the regulatory process has added $3-billion to the cost of the Mackenzie pipeline project (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

The Energy Crunch Cometh - On Tuesday, courtesy of the Bow Group, I spoke at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. In my talk, I stressed over-and-over that, where energy is concerned, Britain stands on the brink, and that the looming energy crunch would make the credit crunch seem like small beer, sentiments echoed by The Rt. Hon. Lord Howell of Guildford in his trenchant ‘Opening Remarks’ to the British Institute of Energy Economists’ (BIEE) Annual Conference at St. John’s College, Oxford, September 24 [read in full here]: (Global Warming Politics)

Ethanol Insanity - Barack Obama doesn’t want to talk about corn ethanol. And it’s no wonder. In early August, his campaign Web site purged several sections of his energy plan that talked about corn ethanol. Before the purge, Obama was touting corn ethanol as a pivotal element in his push for “energy independence.” His site declared that Obama “will require 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be included in the fuel supply by 2022 and will increase that to at least 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol by 2030.” The site also claims that less than 10 percent of new corn ethanol production is coming from farmerowned distilleries. To address this, “Obama will create a number of incentives for local communities to invest in their biofuels refineries.” (Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune)

Oil's Green Costs Set to Rise as Canada Vote Nears - CALGARY, Alberta - Already struggling with the soaring costs of developing the Alberta oil sands, Canada's energy industry now also faces the prospect of tighter environmental controls regardless of which party wins the country's upcoming general election. (Reuters)

Fuel poverty: 1m more households slip into category - Over 1m more households have officially slipped into fuel poverty, the latest figures reveal. (Daily Telegraph)

How Well Do Windmills Actually Work? - The Tokyo District Court ordered Waseda University on Monday to pay some ¥200 million in damages to the city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, because windmills installed at schools there, based on the university's plan, failed to generate the amount of electricity expected.

The city entrusted the university in 2004 with compiling a basic program for wind generation as part of its efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and set up 23 small windmills at elementary and junior high schools at a cost of some ¥300 million.

The power output was substantially lower than expected, prompting the city to seek ¥300 million in compensation from the Tokyo university and the company that built the windmills. (Greg Pollowitz, Planet Gore)

Documentary on 'Path to 9/11' Shows Liberals, Clinton Voters Supported Project - Former Clinton Administration officials and liberal news media personalities who have been sharply critical of the "The Path to 9/11" miniseries fail to point out that top executives, editors and researchers connected with the docudrama ,who are actually quite left of center themselves, were supportive of the project, according to a new film that explores the controversy.

"The Path to 9/11" is a two part ABC television miniseries that aired on Sept. 10 and 11 in 2006. It is based in part on the 9/11 commission report and presents viewers with a dramatization of the events that lead up to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C. in 2001. The film highlights the U.S. government's ineffective response to terrorism in the 1990s and in the first few months of the Bush administration.

To suggest the "The Path" was conceived for the purpose of singling out and smearing the former president as part of a "right wing hit piece" aimed against the former president simply does not square with reality, since the project was launched and conceived by several openly liberal ABC executives the new film explains. (NewsBusters)

Reporters love rapid detox - In what read like a paid advertisement, Britain’s Independent newspaper has become the latest media outlet to fall for the claims of the promoters of a procedure called “rapid” or “ultra rapid” opioid detox.

The Independent is in good company: Barbara Walters, 48 Hours, even Wired have promoted this treatment, which has actually led to about a dozen deaths around the world.

The Independent claims that in the world of addiction treatment everyone believes addiction is a psychological problem, but only rapid detox treats it as a medical one.

This is what happens when journalists who don’t follow a beat write about a topic without bothering to check the medical literature, let alone Google. Almost everyone in the field of addiction has been singing from the “addiction is a disease” song sheet for decades. (Maia Szalavitz, STATS)

Research team discovers brain pathway responsible for obesity - University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers, for the first time, have found a messaging system in the brain that directly affects food intake and body weight. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Same 'endocrine disruption' nonsense that has driven the science-by-press-release recycled fears of the last few months:  6 environmental research studies reveal critical health risks from plastic - Exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates and flame retardants (PBDEs) are strongly associated with adverse health effects on humans and laboratory animals. A special section in the October 2008 issue of Environmental Research, "A Plastic World" provides critical new research on environmental contaminants and adverse reproductive and behavioral effects. (Elsevier)

Probing Question: Could your kitchen counters be radioactive? - Verde Butterfly. Black Galaxy. Kashmir Gold. If you’ve remodeled your kitchen in the last decade, chances are you encountered one of the 1,600 varieties of granite imported into the United States from 64 different countries. According to recent market research, demand for natural stone countertops has increased 5 percent annually between 2001 and 2006, with granite being the most popular option. And why not? Granite is not only durable, resistant to mold and mildew, and easy to clean, but because no two pieces of granite are alike, your counter will have its own unique look. (Research Penn State)

Yes, your granite kitchen bench top, your fired clay house bricks and the planet under your feet emit small amounts of natural radiation all the time. Should you be worried about this? Not at all.

Biochemists devise method for bypassing aluminum toxicity effects in plants -- Aluminum toxicity, a global agricultural problem, halts root growth in plants, severely limiting agricultural productivity for more than half of the world's arable land.

For many years, scientists have puzzled over how toxic levels of aluminum damage the growing root. The popular understanding is that aluminum binds to several targets in the root system, blocking cell division, damaging DNA, and ultimately interrupting plant growth.

Now, working on the model plant Arabidopsis, a team of UC Riverside biochemists has determined that it is not aluminum toxicity that is directly responsible for inhibiting plant growth. The researchers identified a factor in plant cells, called AtATR, that functions as a built-in DNA surveillance system for alerting the plant of damage from excess aluminum and shutting down growth.

The researchers' experiments showed that AtATR can be manipulated to greatly enhance aluminum tolerance, resulting in plants whose roots can grow normally in soils that contain toxic levels of aluminum. (

Breakthrough in genetic map of wheat: scientists - Researchers on Thursday reported inroads in an ambitious project to map the genetic sequence of wheat, which ultimately could lead to the creation of more fertile and disease-resistant wheat strains. (AFP)

October 2, 2008

Here we go, yet again: Global Warming: Heated Denials - The Organized Effort to Cast Doubt on Climate Change (Lisa Chiu, Center for Public Integrity)

CfPI, that's what, Big Socialist Media's propaganda arm? No matter, everybody trusts reporters, right? It is interesting to see the recycling effort going into the allegations of Big Denial1 rolling out the Big Tobacco Playbook2 to willfully and knowingly prevent all sentient and other beings3 from protecting themselves from a planet-threatening problem, one which is only known to exist in the virtual realms of PlayStation® climatology4.

  1. Not sure, I think that's supposed to be limited to me and a couple of other guys -- everyone but we few lonely denialists apparently knows it to be true.
  2. Available at all good denial stores.
  3. Can't have any species discrimination.
  4. Powerful, ain't we?

Senate Resurrects Energy Tax Giveaway - To add insult to injury, the energy tax provisions are being used as a means to pass the bailout, which is an even worse waste of federal dollars. Charity for renewable energy is popular among a bipartisan swath of Congress because the money gets spread around to boondoggle energy projects in districts across America. So Senate leaders tacked it on to the bailout to make it more attractive to their colleagues. Uggh!!! (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest) | See the 451 page giveaway here.

Hope for One Slice of Green Pork - The Senate bailout bill contains a surprising 100-page section authorizing billions in tax credits for small wind turbines, geothermal heat pumps, coal gasification, carbon sequestration, plug-in hybrid vehicles, biofuels, etc. (Marlo Lewis, Planet Gore)

NAP & the gorebull warming monster: Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence: Workshop Summary - Long before the "germ theory" of disease was described, late in the nineteenth century, humans knew that climatic conditions influence the appearance and spread of epidemic diseases. Ancient notions about the effects of weather and climate on disease remain embedded in our collective consciousness through expressions such "cold" for rhinovirus infections; "malaria," derived from the Latin for "bad air;" and the common complaint of feeling "under the weather." Today, evidence is mounting that earth's climate is changing at a faster rate than previously appreciated, leading researchers to view the longstanding relationships between climate and disease with new urgency and from a global perspective. On December 4 and 5, 2007, the Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop in Washington, DC to consider the possible infectious disease impacts of global climate change and extreme weather events on human, animal, and plant health, as well as their expected implications for global and national security. (NAP)

Obviously these bloody idiots never heard of 'flu season: EU could save £20bn per year on health by cutting emissions - The EU could save an extra £20bn per year on health spending by setting tougher targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report.

The savings could be made if the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 was raised to 30 per cent, in line with the recommendations of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report, commissioned by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Climate Action Network Europe (CAN-E) and the conservation organisation WWF, claimed it would produce savings, resulting from better health, of between £4.9bn-£20bn.

The figures are based on economic evaluations of loss of life and health, working days lost and hospital costs.

The report claims a 30 per cent cut in emissions would cut hospital admissions by up to 30 per cent, cut cases of chronic bronchitis by 5,300 and result in 2m fewer working days being lost per year. (Paul Eccleston, Daily Telegraph)

They do know cold weather kills off lots of people, far more than does warm weather, right? They do realize excess deaths from cold far outnumber those from heat? Apparently not, otherwise they would not have released such utter bullshit as they have.

Just about anted out? Experts warn species in peril from climate change - Climate change threatens to kill off up to a third of the planet's species by the end of the century if urgent action isn't taken to restore fragile ecosystems, protect endangered animals and manage growth, scientists warned Wednesday as a wildlife summit opened. (Associated Press)

These guys... they've upped the ante so many times (still without managing to stampede the populace) that they've just about nowhere left to go. What nonsense are they going to try next, gorebull warming to make oceans so hot on Sun side that Earth will become a steam rocket and zoom out of the Solar System? Extratropical critters experience much larger temperature changes seasonally, even between day and night, than any hypothetical change from enhanced greenhouse and yet they are still here, no?

Candidates Weigh in at Clinton Confab - The Democratic and Republican nominees also spoke at the annual pow-wow of the Clinton Global Initiative this week. Senators Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Az.) presented almost indistinguishable plans to ration energy with a cap-and-trade program and save us from global warming. They also both vowed to reduce global poverty and revive the U. S. economy. The little difficulty that no one asked them about is that cap-and-trade will create chronic economic stagnation and increase poverty around the world. (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Digest)

Act hastily, roo the scare tactics - I don't want to eat kangaroo. Ever. It's dark, chewy, gamey and smelly. But, says Ross Garnaut, the Government's economics guru on climate change, kangaroo is what we will all have to eat in a few years. Beef and lamb will be reserved only for the very wealthy in the brave new future he envisages, in which Australia leads the world on tackling climate change.

If we don't, he said on Tuesday, releasing his 652-page study on the cost of climate change, "the failure of our generation will haunt humanity until the end of time". Cue spooky music.

In Chapter 22, "Reforming Land Use", Professor Garnaut spells out the kangaroo solution, with a plan to push Australian culinary habits back to prehistoric times. (Miranda Devine, Sydney Morning Herald)

Pact, schmact -- people are beginning to realize what a crock this all is:  Financial Storm Dims Hope of Tough UN Climate Pact - OSLO - Global financial mayhem is dimming prospects for a strong new UN pact to fight climate change, but it might aid cheap green schemes such as insulating buildings to save energy, analysts said. (Reuters)

Even the Sun's Not as Bright as It Used to Be (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Idiot article of the moment: Gambling On Ice - 2008 Arctic ice melt another will prove to be another stunning record, with some scientists even wagering on how much (Margaret Munro, Canwest News Service)

No idea what planet Munro is on but it sure doesn't seem to be Earth.

Dim Bulbs: Those Squiggly “Green” Light Bulbs Could Hurt the Environment, Study Says - The law of unintended consequences strikes again—this time with light bulbs.

A new study published today in the journal Environmental Science and Technology (sub reqd.) concludes that the shift away from old, incandescent light bulbs to more-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs carries plenty of environmental trade-offs.

The upshot: Making the switch is an environmental win for states and countries that generate most of their power from coal, because the more efficient bulbs mean less electricity generation, and thus fewer emissions of mercury into the atmosphere. But for places that don’t rely on coal power, the shift toward CFLs will probably mean more mercury pollution. That’s because of the mercury content in the fluorescent bulbs themselves. (Keith Johnson, WSJ)

Silly buggers! The alleged justification for these hideous bulbs doesn't exist.

Nigel Lawson’s lonely crusade - Nigel Lawson was one of Margaret Thatcher’s most brilliant ministers. In recent years, Lord Lawson has become fascinated, and troubled, by the issues of climate change science and policy. The result is An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming, a brief, clearly written critique of the conventional wisdom on the issue (which he refuses to call “climate change,” a phrase which he sees as “alliterative weasel words”). (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

Get your copy through our store and help at the same time.

Today's gibberish award: The silent Sun’s uncertain course - The Sun has gone quiet, very quiet. The solar wind – which is comprised of electrically charged particles streaming out from the star – is weaker than at any time since scientists began accurate observations in the 1950s, and the number of sunspots in 2008 may be the lowest since the 19th century. (Financial Times)

"Although some people who are sceptical about the human influence on global warming like to emphasise the link between solar variability and climate, Prof Mayewski turns their argument on its head: “The fact that we are not in conditions like the little ice age today shows that the atmosphere is being perturbed by human activities,” he says."

So, there you have it. Changes in solar activity are not enough to affect Earth's climate and can not be the reason we think Earth has warmed a little. Moreover, now that the sun has gone quiet over the last year and we haven't plunged into a Little Ice Age demonstrates that human perturbation of the atmosphere is preventing such catastrophic cooling...

Do you suppose Mayewski realizes that solar activity plunged for 4 decades and remained minimal for a further 5 decades during the Maunder Minimum? Does he really think Earth's climate is so solar-sensitive it should have plunged to LIA-like conditions in less than a year?

[Lack of] Climate Change in the Grain Belt - PSD researcher Marty Hoerling gave an invited presentation entitled, "Climate Change in the Grain Belt," on September 10 at the 2008 Corn and Climate Conference in Ames, IA. His presentation focused on the fact that since 1895 there has not been a warming of temperatures in the Corn Belt during the growing season. It is important for researchers to sort out the reason why, since historical data does not show the warming that would be anticipated from green house gas increases. Increased precipitation has kept this region cool, which is favorable to corn yields. It is unknown why it has been wetter during this period, but is most likely attributable to natural variations in climate.

There appears to be a tendency for corn yield to be compromised when temperatures are elevated. It is possible that temperature values in the growing season could increase in the Corn Belt as much as 6-7°F or more by the end of the century. If this comes to pass, there are indications that corn yield would suffer—but by how much is uncertain. Since there has not yet been any warming in this region, it is unclear what, if any, action should be taken. There could be proponents that might discount any action being taken now for warming that could come later. ESRL's Director, Sandy MacDonald, also gave a presentation at this Workshop entitled, "Probability of Extreme Climates." NOAA co-sponsored this special extension of the Growing the Bioeconomy Conference to assess recent climate trends in the Midwest, as well as seasonal and long-term climate assessments. (ESRL)

I missed this earlier -- thanks to John S. for bringing to my attention.

Weather disasters explained - In 1816 a freak summer led to the creation of Frankenstein, the invention of the bicycle and Turner's finest paintings. In the bleak winter of 1947, Britain nearly starved. The Times's weatherman explains why (The Times)

Scientists Aim to Boost Southern Ocean CO2 Monitoring - SINGAPORE - Australian scientists set sail later this week on a voyage that could lead to better data from the Southern Ocean, which plays a major role in acting as a brake on climate change.

Oceans absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide and the Southern Ocean between Australia and Antarctica plays the greatest role of all the world's oceans, scientists say.

The problem is there is no permanent monitoring of the Southern Ocean because of its wild seas and remoteness and scientists cannot accurately determine how a warming world is affecting the amount of CO2 the ocean is absorbing. (Reuters)

Atmospheric measures show negligible, if any warming in the southern extratropics and southern polar regions and there's no baseline data either so this is going to tell them what, exactly?

Carbon Sinks: Issues, Markets, Policy - With reducing carbon emissions on the national agenda, a group of expert panelists will discuss methods, markets, testing and policy issues on how carbon sinks or carbon sequestration may be used to reduce atmospheric CO2. (SPX)

But we don't want to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide -- it's better for life on Earth to have it elevated further.

Don't Blame Cities For Climate Change, See Them As Solutions - Cities are being unfairly blamed for most of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions and this threatens efforts to tackle climate change, warns a study in the October 2008 issue of the journal Environment and Urbanization. (SPX)

The Cuban Diet - The global warming scare isn't about the environment as much as it is about smothering capitalism and forcing Americans to change their lifestyles. A report out of Great Britain confirms this. (IBD)

The U.S. Faces Serious Risks of Brownouts or Blackouts in 2009, Study Warns - Enviro Group Lawsuits, Cost Concerns, Climate Regulation Uncertainty Cited As Major Obstacles To Grid Improvements

Denver, CO (Oct. 1, 2008) -- A new study released this week highlights what experts have been saying for years: the U.S. faces significant risk of power brownouts and blackouts as early as next summer that may cost tens of billions of dollars and threaten lives.

The study, "Lights Out In 2009?" warns that the U.S. "faces potentially crippling electricity brownouts and blackouts beginning in the summer of 2009, which may cost tens of billions of dollars and threaten lives."

"If particularly vulnerable regions, like the Western U.S., experience unusually hot temperatures for prolonged periods of time in 2009, the potential for local brownouts or blackouts is high, with significant risk that local disruptions could cascade into regional outages that could cost the economy tens of billions of dollars," the report warned. (NextGen Energy Council)

Black Activist on End of Congressional Ban on Oil Exploration: ‘Energy Freedom Day’ Great for Families and for Energy Independence - Washington, D.C. - On October 1, 2008, a congressionally-mandated ban on offshore oil exploration and expanded development of oil from shale rock in the American West officially expires. Supporters of increased domestic energy production are calling it "Energy Freedom Day."

With the end of the ban, the federal government can begin issuing leases for new exploration along American coastline thought to contain 18 billion barrels of oil and 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. As the process of separating oil from shale is perfected, land in the American West could yield between 800 billion and two trillion barrels of domestic oil - more than three times Saudi Arabia's proven reserves. (National Center)

Wholesale price of electricity surges amid fear of supply shortfall - Wholesale electricity prices surged higher yesterday amid mounting fears that the UK could face a supply shortfall next month.

The forward price of electricity for November hit highs of £133 per megawatt hour, up more than £10 since Friday, when the same contract was trading at about £122.75.

The price of power has risen sharply since National Grid published figures last week predicting an unusually thin margin between electricity supply and demand. For the week starting November 10, National Grid gave warning that the margin of spare capacity could be as slim as 0.8 gigawatts - the equivalent of one mid-sized coal-fired power station or the electricity consumed by a city the size of Nottingham. (The Times)

Learn More about the Wind Energy Rip-Off! - To that end, check out this site on the basics of wind energy by avowed environmentalist John Droz, jr. While I disagree with Droz on the merits of “doing something” about global warming, his assessment of the wind energy boondoggle is spot-on. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

Italy Biodiesel Group Aims for Fuel From Seaweed - ROME - A group of Italian biodiesel producers said on Wednesday they have begun a project to move away from using food crops for fuel by using seaweed instead. (Reuters)

Groundbreaking discovery may lead to stronger antibiotics - The last decade has seen a dramatic decline in the effectiveness of antibiotics, resulting in a mounting public health crisis across the world. A new breakthrough by University of Virginia researchers provides physicians and patients a potential new approach toward the creation of less resistant and more effective antibiotics. (University of Virginia)

Terminator morphs into chief nanny stater: Schwarzenegger requires menu postings - Battling the bulge, California became the first state Tuesday to require chain restaurants to post calorie content of menu items. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that will affect about 17,000 facilities once it is fully implemented in 2011. (Sacramento Bee)

Cartoon characters promote unhealthy food to children - Adverts using cartoon characters like Tony the Tiger and the Dairylea Cow to target unhealthy food at children should be banned, a report said. (Daily Telegraph)

What's the correct term for these guys? Are they just the food police or aspiring social engineers? (I know, there are lots of other terms for them but we do try to maintain a family-friendly site)

How disappointing for the zealots: Obesity not linked to poor semen quality - NEW YORK - While overweight and obese men tend to have abnormal sex hormone levels, the quality of their semen doesn't seem to be affected, study findings indicate. (Reuters Health)

Top Corporate Watchdogs Form New Free Enterprise Project at National Center for Public Policy Research - Washington, DC - The National Center for Public Policy Research is pleased to announce that the personnel and resources of the non-profit Free Enterprise Education Institute have joined the National Center for Public Policy Research. Programs in defense of free markets, shareholders and taxpayers formerly carried out by FEEI now will be run under the new Free Enterprise Project of the National Center for Public Policy Research. (National Center)

An “Ubersecretary Paulson” Would Be a Bad Idea - Washington, DC - Directors of the Free Enterprise Project at the National Center for Public Policy Research are urging Congress to be wary of placing excessive power in the Treasury Secretary or any other cabinet official as it crafts any "bailout" bill.

The directors, Tom Borelli, Ph.D. and Steve Milloy, MHS, JD, LLM, also say Congress should be wary of placing additional unchecked power in the hands of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. (National Center)

Is there a translator out there? Sustainability in a recession makes more sense than ever (Internal Comms Hub)

If so, can you parse this crap? What do these people believe they actually produce or what value do they think they add, if anything?

Nature as a Privileged Minority - This past Sunday, Ecuadorans overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, the twentieth such document in that nation's history since 1830. But this constitution is markedly different from all the others, and its most notable feature is nothing less than giving nature the same rights as human beings. "Persons and people have the fundamental rights guaranteed in this Constitution and in the international human rights instruments. Nature is subject to those rights given by this Constitution and Law."

While this is the most notable feature, the entire document is full of socialistic doctrine. President Rafael Correa can now remain in office until 2017, dissolve Congress at will, and has taken over control of the country's monetary policy from the central bank. According to the Financial Times, he can also grab and redistribute idle farmland, appoint controlling majorities in the supreme, constitutional, and electoral courts and he has exclusive authority over the budget. Plus the document bans big landholdings, allows for popular referenda without the authorization of the congress, and raises mandatory spending on health, education, and social security. (Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz, American Spectator)

Record Sept Rain Soaks Midwest, Delays Harvest - CHICAGO - After a soggy start to the summer, record September rainfall in parts of the US Midwest has farmers racing to get corn and soy harvested ahead of the first frost.

Early data indicates it was the wettest September on record for Chicago and St. Louis, major cities in the heart of the grain belt growing corn, soybeans and wheat.

Weather analysts and forecasters blamed hurricanes Gustav, Hanna, and Ike, which struck the US Gulf coast before sending their rainy remnants inland across the crop belt.

"Plain and simple, it was just a conveyor belt of systems coming across, as Mother Nature will sometimes do. Those systems just kept coming right off the coast and plowing right into the area," said Scott Bernhardt, chief operating officer at business weather intelligence company Planalytics. (Reuters)

Water table depth tied to droughts in Great Plains -- Will there be another “dust bowl” in the Great Plains similar to the one that swept the region in the 1930s? It depends on water storage underground. Groundwater depth has a significant effect on whether the Great Plains will have a drought or bountiful year.

Recent modeling results show that the depth of the water table, which results from lateral water flow at the surface and subsurface, determines the relative susceptibility of regions to changes in temperature and precipitation. (

October 1, 2008

Global Warming Alarmism is Unacceptable and Should be Confronted - Many thanks for the invitation and for the opportunity to be here with all of you. I have visited the U.S. many times since the fall of communism in November 1989 when – after almost half a century – traveling to the free world became for people like me possible again, but I’ve never been to this beautiful city and to the state of Oregon before. Once again, thank you very much. (Václav Klaus, Portland Speech, Cascade Policy Institute luncheon address, Hilton Hotel, September 30, 2008)

An Exhausting War on Emissions: Norway's Efforts to Contain Greenhouse Gases Move Forward -- and Backfire - In 1991, Norway became one of the first countries in the world to impose a stiff tax on harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, the country's emissions should have dropped. Instead, they have risen by 15%.

Although the tax forced Norway's oil and gas sector to become among the greenest in the world, soaring energy prices led to a boom in offshore production, which in turn boosted overall emissions. So did drivers. Norwegians, who already pay nearly $10 a gallon, took the tax in stride, buying more cars and driving them more. And numerous industries won exemptions from the tax, carrying on unchanged.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. By making it more expensive to pollute, carbon taxes should spur companies and individuals to clean up. Norway's sobering experience shows how difficult it is to cut emissions in the real world, where elegant theoretical solutions are complicated by economic changes, entrenched behaviors and political realities.

Europe struggled with a similar dilemma as it set up its "cap-and-trade" system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by utilities and heavy industry. Regulators cushioned industry in the early years of the system, giving them little incentive to improve. As a result, emissions have crept up 1% a year since 2005. In the U.S., the Senate voted down cap-and-trade legislation in July, won over by arguments that the system would hurt industry and boost consumer prices. But the measure could be revived, since both presidential candidates support it. (Leila Abboud, Wall Street Journal)

Idiot! 98 months, and counting - Governments moved quickly to rescue our banks. Why does it take any longer to act to save the planet from runaway warming? (Andrew Simms, The Guardian)

There is no possibility of "runaway" warming on Earth. Even past carbon dioxide levels 20 times current could not trigger it.

EU Urged to Agree on Climate Before UN Talks Open - WARSAW - The European Union must reach a consensus on climate policy if it wants to play a leading role in UN-led talks on a new pact to cut greenhouse gases, a Polish official said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

True but why do they want to lead society to decline and ruin? The correct course is to adapt to whatever occurs since we cannot knowingly and predictably adjust the climate by tweaking a few minor variables. All these meetings and reports are complete nonsense.

This is the failure they want the rest of the world to sign on to: Moving the goal posts and scoring an own goal: MEPs allow more offsets to meet non-ETS targets - While Phase I of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme was widely considered a failure, Phase II is proving to be a lot more successful and is on track to deliver significant levels of carbon abatement. However, recent signals from the European Parliament's industry committee could undermine the scheme's fragile credibility. (Energy Business Review)

Not that the concept of carbon constraint can ever really gain any credibility among us carbon-based critters on this carbon-powered planet.

Global warming: why cut one 3,000th of a degree? - Britain's efforts to reduce the speed of global warming will cost huge sums of money and have a pitifully tiny effect (Bjørn Lomborg, The Times)

One of the strongest possible endorsements for doing nothing: Prince Charles: World is not acting quickly enough over climate change - Prince Charles has warned that the world is not reacting quickly enough to combat climate change. (Daily Telegraph)

Met Office's bleak forecast on climate change - The head of the Met Office centre for climate change research explains why the momentum on emissions targets must not be lost (The Guardian)

Isn't this the mob who promised us an El Niño and the hottest year ever for 2007?

Uh-oh... Mike's off-message: About Science-Nature Eye off the storm - Moves to adapt our society for a changing climate may have focused rather too much on long-term scenarios and not enough on how to cope with weather and short-term variability, argues Mike Hulme. He says the past two British summers show the dangers of this overemphasis on laudable long-sightedness. (ExFn)

Also at the Beeb: To what climate are we adapting? - Moves to adapt our society for a changing climate may have focused rather too much on long-term scenarios and not enough on how to cope with weather and short-term variability, argues Mike Hulme. He says the past two British summers show the dangers of this overemphasis on laudable long-sightedness. (Mike Hulme, BBC)

The green Sahara, a desert in bloom - Reconstructing the climate of the past is an important tool for scientists to better understand and predict future climate changes that are the result of the present-day global warming. Although there is still little known about the Earth's tropical and subtropical regions, these regions are thought to play an important role in both the evolution of prehistoric man and global climate changes. New North African climate reconstructions reveal three 'green Sahara' episodes during which the present-day Sahara Desert was almost completely covered with extensive grasslands, lakes and ponds over the course of the last 120.000 years. (Kiel University, Germany)

Science Meets PR - NSDIC does admit, though, that “perhaps the most interesting aspect of the 2008 melt season was the higher-than-average retention of first-year sea ice (see earlier entries, including April 7). Relatively thin first-year ice is more prone to melting out completely than older, thicker ice. However, more of this year’s first-year ice survived the melt season than is typical. Sea ice age maps from Sheldon Drobot, our colleague at the University of Colorado at Boulder , show that much more first-year ice survived in 2008 than in 2007. This is one of the reasons that 2008 did not break last year's record-low minimum. One cause of the high first-year ice survival rate was that this summer was cooler than in 2007.” I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath for articles on how those earlier alarmist reports were wrong. (Julie Walsh, Cooler Heads Digest)

Officially: Spotless Sun: Blankest Year of the Space Age - Sept. 30, 2008: Astronomers who count sunspots have announced that 2008 is now the "blankest year" of the Space Age.

As of Sept. 27, 2008, the sun had been blank, i.e., had no visible sunspots, on 200 days of the year. To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go back to 1954, three years before the launch of Sputnik, when the sun was blank 241 times.

"Sunspot counts are at a 50-year low," says solar physicist David Hathaway of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. "We're experiencing a deep minimum of the solar cycle." (NASA)

Gore News - The problem with Gore’s "leadership" is always the same: it’s do as I say, not as I do. I have a suggestion. Before trying to stop new power plants from being constructed, why don’t young people concerned about greenhouse gas emissions concentrate on the root of the problem—energy consumers. They could start at the top with people who are using the most energy. For example, take Al Gore. He must use at least fifty times as much energy as the average person. Protesters could picket the several large houses he owns and could meet him whenever the private jet he uses for most of his frequent trips takes off or lands. (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Digest)

Subtle as a flame-thrower: Damselfish DNA saves Great Barrier Reef in distress - INSIGHTS into the DNA of tropical fish could provide a vital way of protecting the Great Barrier Reef from climate change.

The research into DNA of small tropical fish has given scientists an insight into population patterns that could be important if climate change continues to devastate the natural wonder. (AAP)

Uh-huh... "if climate change continues to devastate the natural wonder". What devastation has the modern concept of "climate change", a.k.a. gorebull warming wrought upon the GBR or anything else for that matter? What a crock.

Oh... BS Alert: Polar bear hearing affected to due global warming? - From the BBC, a video report so absurd, you wonder if it is an April fools joke. The premise? Noise from excessive ice calving and cracking due to “climate change” would affect the bear’s hearing. I wonder what agency was gullible enough to provide a grant for this load of rubbish? Like polar bears have never heard ice floes cracking and calving before? Give me a break. Plus, the polar bear they are using for a test subject isn’t in it’s natural environment, it’s at a zoo and who’s to say this bear establishes a credible baseline hearing test? This is just unbelievable stupidity in the guise of bad science. What next? Hearing aids for polar bears? A hat tip to Tony B in the UK for alerting me to this story. - Anthony (Watts Up With That?)

Will “Green Banking” Lead to Red Ink for US Banks? - In the “green” domain, American industry across the board is in the unfamiliar position of being the laggards. Many other nations of the world (unlike the U.S., signatories to the Kyoto Protocols) have already taken great strides in both educating their populations and changing the behavior of their business managers, including those in financial services. Eventual U.S. adoption of some sort of expanded emissions control legislation is inevitable, although its timing and scope remain uncertain. When it happens, American consumers and American businesses together will face a possibly difficult period of adjustment.

Globally, the green movement is broadly focused on stopping and reversing the trends in climate change and the warming effects of too much atmospheric "greenhouse gas," primarily carbon dioxide. Around the world, social and political forces are proposing that sustainable policies and practices must replace those that have prevailed throughout the Industrial Revolution. While some may still want to debate the scientific evidence, U.S. business managers must essentially lay that question aside, and concern themselves now with the reality of a broad new regulatory framework which already impacts their activities worldwide, and will have increasing effect domestically.

Is this green movement all hype? (Patricia McGinnis, Financial Insights)

Absolutely it's green hype and utter nonsense! No matter what people do we cannot knowingly and predictably adjust the climate.

Quote of the week - This sums the banking issue well.

“Is anyone even paying attention to these Wing Nut AGW people? With 1/2 of America worried about having to eat cat food during their retirement, global warming is the last thing on their mind.”

From “Jeff” in comments (Watts Up With That?)

Beetles and Climate - Another Climate Forcing - There was a news article by Randolph E. Schmid (AP Science Writer) last Wednesday (September 24, 2008) which highlights another climate forcing [thanks to Ben Herman to alerting us to this news article].

The article is titled “Study looks at beetles’ effects on weather” The article starts with the text “Can a plague of beetles change the weather?” and proceeds to answer this question in the affirmative. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Climate of realism must temper green delusions - THE central organising idea of the Garnaut report is that the size of Australia's climate change mitigation must be proportionate to the solution the world embraces or fails to embrace at Copenhagen in 2009.

This idea captures Australia's moral responsibility and its best national interest response. It seems irresistible in its intellectual and political logic and it is likely to become the framework adopted by the Rudd Government.

This principle, however, is fiercely resisted or ignored by a majority of the green-scientific lobby. This was demonstrated again this week in the open letter to Kevin Rudd signed by 16 scientists that argued a 25 per cent emission reduction target by 2020 as the "minimum requirement" by Australia. (The Australian)

What is really delusional is the belief we can knowingly and predictably adjust teh climate by tweaking a minor variable or two. Fuggedaboudit!

Eat kangaroo to help combat climate change: Ross Garnaut - AUSTRALIANS should replace beef and lamb on the dinner table with kangaroo to fight climate change, Kevin Rudd's chief climate change adviser says.

Professor Ross Garnaut has suggested in his final report on climate change that the nation's farmers should switch to the low-emission meat.

He also suggests Australian families should give up beef and eat more kangaroo.

"Sheep and cattle production is highly vulnerable to the biophysical impacts of climate change, such as water scarcity," he says.

"Australian marsupials emit negligible amounts of methane from enteric fermentation. This could be a source of international comparative advantage for Australia in livestock production. (The Australian)

You know the funniest part of this nonsense? The world would eat a lot more kangaroo already but for fraudulent greenie campaigns about the damn pests being 'endangered', even to the point of organizing boycotts and CITES bans on kangaroo products (they produce great fine leather, too).

Garnaut: We can't save the world alone - IF Australia slashed greenhouse emissions to zero tomorrow it would have almost no effect on global warming but inflict great economic damage, economist Ross Garnaut says.

In a warning against going it alone, the Federal Government's climate change adviser said only a global solution was valid. And that was to be studied at next year's Copenhagen meeting to consider the next round of the Kyoto agreement.

Professor Garnaut said the world was nowhere near effective global cooperation.

He said the economic costs of action on climate change were manageable but the global politics were almost insurmountable.

"Let's face the reality - the only solution will be a global solution," he told ABC radio. (AAP)

And that's true even if there was something to save the world from.

From CO2 Science this week:

Varietal Responses of Crops to Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment: Why is it important to document such responses? ... and to do so under standard field conditions?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 599 individual scientists from 354 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Naja Lake, Lacandon Forest, Chiapas, Mexico. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
West Antarctic Ice Sheet (Mass Balance): Where has it been, in terms of positive or negative? ... and where is it heading?

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: Alfalfa, Manchurian Alder, Mongolian Oak, and Sugarcane.

Journal Reviews:
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation: How has it varied over the 20th century?

Rainfall Extremes at Uccle, Belgium: 1898-2004: What do they reveal?

The "Closed" System of Symbiotic Algae Acquisition by Corals: Are there any circumstances under which the system may be "opened"?

Central Indian Ocean Coral Recovery from 1998 Bleaching: Has there been little or much reestablishment of the most devastated species?

CO2 Enrichment of a CAM Bromeliad: Was its response positive or negative? ... and how good or bad was it?

Galva, ILTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Galva, IL. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Galva's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.32 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (

The green bubble bursts - Amid the energy crisis, Democrats are losing the high ground on the environment to a GOP that is pushing oil drilling. (Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, Los Angeles Times)

UK ‘Renewables’ Policy Laid Waste - There is only one article to read today, a truly brilliant piece by Bjørn Lomborg writing in The Times [‘Global warming: why cut one 3,000th of a degree? It’s absurd’, The Times, September 30, p. 28].

In my opinion, Bjørn’s inexorable logic is unanswerable, as he ruthlessly exposes the mind-blowing folly of the UK’s Alice-in-Wonderland policies on ‘renewable’ energy. Accepting ‘global warming’ as a reality, Bjørn then crunches the figures: (Global warming Politics)

No Tax Breaks: No Renewables - Today’s Greenwire (subscription required) reports that Congress is expected to adjourn without passing an extension of some $15 billion in tax credits for wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources. The credits are set to expire on December 31 unless Congress, well, renews them. Congress might do this in a lame-duck session after the November elections — or it might not.

Anyway, what’s interesting is what proponents are saying about the competitiveness of renewable energy. (Marlo Lewis, Planet Gore)

Road to an Atomic Damascus or the Green Reformation? - Poor old Mark Lynas, author of Six Degrees: our future on a hotter planet, who once thrust custard pies into the faces of people who dared to question environmental orthodoxies. He now finds himself on the receiving end of eco-dogma. Fancy that. (Climate Resistance)

People Near Nuke Plants Don't Mind New Ones - Study - LONDON - People living near nuclear power stations in Britain tend to support construction of new plants in their communities, according to findings presented on Tuesday which could ease the government's plan for new facilities. (Reuters)

It's not even about pollution: Battle Over EU Car Emissions Takes Greener Path - BRUSSELS - A key European Union vote on curbing tailpipe emissions from cars ended in chaos last week, but a consensus is now emerging in favour of swiftly enforced limits and tight controls on potential loopholes. (Reuters)

What they are talking about is the essential trace gas, carbon dioxide. Maybe we should call it by a more correct term... how about "biospheric bonus"? Too much of a mouthful? Most people won't understand "life support" even though it is true... Maybe we can run a competition on it to give carbon dioxide a new image.

Hamburg Allows Vattenfall to Build Coal-Fired Plant - HAMBURG, Germany - A controversial coal-burning power plant for Hamburg can be built provided certain conditions are met, the environment minister in the northern German city-state said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Study Eases Fear About Wind Farm Threat to Birds - LONDON - Wind turbines do not drive birds from surrounding areas, British researchers said on Wednesday, in findings which could make it easier to build more wind farms. (Reuters)

Science, medicine, advocacy and politics - Recently, there’s been a shake-up in medicine, as medical professionals begin to get serious about cleaning up conflicts of interest in research, journal articles, clinical guidelines and continuing education, and are adopting new disclosure policies. As is becoming increasingly recognized, financial and ideological interests are polluting the scientific integrity of medicine and using science for financial or political purposes. Even the scientific literature has become tainted, as studies are funded that have poor methodologies, designed to produce results that can be used to further interests.

Thus far, however, while eyes are most intensely turned towards industry conflicts, nonprofits and foundations have generally continued to fly under the radar. Peer-reviewed medical journals typically follow the same disclosure regulations for research receiving public funds issued by the Office of Research Integrity at the U.S. Department of Health and Services, which have one major loophole. Funding that comes through nonprofit foundations, institutes and professional or patient advocacy organizations, and salaries and grant funding that comes through institutions and university programs, don’t have to be disclosed, enabling well-funded and savvy nonprofit or “advocacy” groups to silently influence research, expert committees writing clinical guidelines, and public policies. (Junkfood Science)

Searching for Clarity: A Primer on Medical Studies - There are three basic principles that underlie the search for medical truth and the use of clinical trials to obtain it. (Gina Kolata, New York Times)

Killing with kindness - The UN convened last week in New York to discuss its Millennium Development Goals and the aim of “ending poverty by 2015.”

Delegates and a rock star boasted of billions of dollars transferred to African governments, while failed schemes prompted activists to call for even more money. Donors re-branded the failed Roll Back Malaria scheme and promised $3 billion .

Donors already spend over $600 million a year in Africa to fight the disease, with the US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) alone set to devote another $1.2 billion over the next five years.

Yet, while some progress is being made, malaria is still the leading cause of child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, where a child dies from the disease every 30 seconds. (J. Urbach & J. Harris, Business Daily)

Candidate for top UNAIDS job says close it down! - The United Nations programme for AIDS, UNAIDS, is obsolete and an obstacle to improving healthcare in developing countries claims Roger England, an international health expert at the Health Systems Workshop, and candidate for the post of Executive Director of UNAIDS.

Mr England was presenting at the UN Headquarters in New York this week at a symposium organised by the United Nations University and Cornell University on HIV in Africa.

He argues that UNAIDS advocacy for one disease has resulted in too much spending on HIV at the expense of diseases that have worse effects on the poor. The United States and other donors are pushing HIV money on countries that do not want it, but who do need help with funding public health and primary care systems to deal with all diseases. (CFD)

Let them fail - The same experts, in Congress and out, who did not foresee and who promulgated the current banking/credit crisis are the same ones assuring us their plan for salvation is just the thing.

Is it rational to believe that these creatures have finally figured out what is best for us? Or is better to say: Stop! Just let things fall out where they may. Let the people who caused this pay the price for their own mistakes.

Analysis so far suggests that the entire mess was brought on by Congressional prompting, in the form of laws which would penalize banks for not making risky loans, and by unscrupulous financiers who figured how to game the system. Also to blame are the people who bought absurdly constructed loans, the kind which they knew they would not be able to eventually afford. It is ridiculous to claim that these people were duped by forces more powerful than themselves. Nobody coerced anybody into buying a house. (William M. Briggs, Statistician)

This idiocy, still: No More Plastic Bags - Westport, Conn., this month became the latest of a handful of communities to ban some plastic bags. The bags, which have only a brief, useful life, can survive forever in landfills and are of enormous concern to not only environmentalists but local officials who are running out of places to put their trash.

Westport’s ordinance will take effect in six months and applies to bags dispensed at checkout counters. Others, like dry cleaning bags, will be exempted. The aim is to reduce litter and encourage customers to tote their groceries in reusable cloth bags. (New York Times)

It is physically not possible to "run out" of landfill space but never mind. There's also a great deal of energy available in trash so it should be burned for combined heat and power generation with the ash used in construction after usable metals have been recovered. Dopey greens have run hysteria campaigns and got some people frightened of incineration but it is the most economical and least hazardous course in most cases.

Pollution Slowly Killing World's Coral Reefs - CANCUN, Mexico - Dainty blue fish dart around coral shaped like moose antlers near the Mexican resort of Cancun, but sickly brown spots are appearing where pollution threatens one of the world's largest reefs.

Parts of the reef, nestled in turquoise waters, have died and algae -- which feed on sewage residues flowing out of the fast-growing resort city -- has taken over. (Reuters)

Yes, water quality is an issue that must be addressed, including sewage outfalls. No, campaigners should not mention gorebull warming in their pitches for the simple reason use of mythical problems destroys their credibility. Not smart fellas, not smart at all.

Ocean "Dead Zones" Spread, Fish More at Risk - Study - OSLO - The number of polluted "dead zones" in the world's oceans is rising fast and coastal fish stocks are more vulnerable to collapse than previously feared, scientists said on Monday. (Reuters)

Part-Time Vegetarians - Advocates call it flexitarianism, but critics say being a little bit vegetarian is like being a little bit pregnant. (News Week)

Funny, real worlders call vegetarians "a little bit intelligent" since they remember to at least part of a balanced diet. Face it guys, humans evolved as omnivores and meat proteins and fats are an important part of our natural food.