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Archives - September 2007

September 28, 2007

"Students Thrown Climate Life Preserver" - "Two new books on global warming for kids are out. One is designed to reduce anxiety among children; the other is designed to heighten it." (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

'Help me. I'm m-e-l-t-i-n-g...' said the Wicked Witch of Global Warming! Carbon dioxide did not end the last Ice Age: Deep-sea temperatures rose 1,300 years before atmospheric CO2, ruling out the greenhouse gas as driver of meltdown, says study in Science - “The climate dynamic is much more complex than simply saying that CO2 rises and the temperature warms,” Stott said. The complexities “have to be understood in order to appreciate how the climate system has changed in the past and how it will change in the future.”

The University of California apparently is so afraid of the political incorrectness of this study -- in that it may jeopardize future funding from the global warming gravy train -- that it inserted in the media release the qualifier, "The study does not question the fact that CO2 plays a key role in climate." Professor Stott added, "I don’t want anyone to leave thinking that this is evidence that CO2 doesn’t affect climate. It does, but the important point is that CO2 is not the beginning and end of climate change."

... another terrific reason to watch "The Great Global Warming Swindle"... only available at the DemandDebate.com Store! Supplies limited!

"Vanishing ice worries West" - "Accelerating Arctic melting could change weather patterns in region, bring less rain." (Union-Tribune)

"Scientists Counter Computer Model Sea Level Rise Fears" - "Today’s Environment & Public Works Committee hearing entitled, "An Examination of the Impacts of Global Warming on the Chesapeake Bay," scrutinized computer model predictions of sea level rise fears. (LINK)

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of EPW dismissed the entire focus of the hearing. “This hearing should not have been about the impact of global warming on the Bay but rather I would propose that this hearing should have been on the Bay’s health, the pollution sources, the local economy and the water quality,” Senator Inhofe said. 

Senator Inhofe detailed the latest peer-reviewed science that counters global warming led sea level rise fears." (EPW)

Whoops! (again) "Chemists poke holes in ozone theory: Reaction data of crucial chloride compounds called into question." - "As the world marks 20 years since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry. If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change." (Nature) Read more... | Ozone hole theory faces lab problems (The Reference Frame)

Still clings to the nonsense about the '80s 'discovery' of the so-called 'ozone hole', which is a sad revision of history necessary only to convert an interesting phenomena to the foundation of a ridiculous scare.

"Academic Misconduct Alleged in Climate Research" - "The European Science Foundation takes aim at an 'open sore' in scientific research" (Daily Tech)

Expert Reviewer Explains How IPCC 'Spins' Climate - Dr Vincent Gray has been a member of the IPCC expert reviewer panel since the first ever assessment report. Here he explains how definitions are manipulated. (Download pdf)

"Global warming and freedom" - "Failing to prevail in the free and fair arena of ideas contested openly, Al Gore and the Democrats have resorted to attempting to silence global warming skeptics who defy their orthodoxy. The Washington Times reports that prominent global warming skeptic and Virginia State Climatologists Patrick Michaels was pressured to step down from his post over the summer. The Times writes:" (Christopher Alleva, American Thinker)

Mailman goes postal... "Climate may increase heat-related deaths by 2050s" - "While some uncertainty does exist in climate projections and future health vulnerability, overall increases in heat-related premature mortality are likely by the 2050s, according to a recent study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and soon to be published in the November 2007 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. In metropolitan New York, researchers estimate a 47 percent to 95 percent increase in summer heat-related deaths when compared to the 1990s." (Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health)

... we have no means of knowing whether 2050 will be warmer or cooler than now but we do know that developing technology has dramatically reduced heat-related mortality (think: 'air conditioning').

"Split Over Global Warming Widens Among Evangelicals" - "WACO, Texas -- Suzii Paynter, director of the public policy arm of Texas's biggest group of Baptist churches, traveled to central Texas early this year to talk to a local preacher about a pressing "moral, biblical and theological" issue. She wanted to discuss coal.

Christians have a biblical mandate to be "good stewards of God's creation," Ms. Paynter says she told the Rev. Frank Brown, pastor of the Bellmead First Baptist Church here in the county where President Bush has his ranch. So, Texas Baptists should demand that controversial plans to build a slew of coal-fired power plants be put on hold.

Mr. Brown was not impressed. God, the pastor said, is "sovereign over his creation" and no amount of coal-burning will alter by a "millisecond" his divine plan for the world. Fighting environmental damage is "like chasing rabbits," he recalls telling her. It just distracts from core Christian duties to spread the faith and protect the unborn.

Ms. Paynter and Mr. Brown, devout Baptists both, stand at opposite ends of a debate over the environment that has been roiling America's potent but often fractious community of evangelicals. Christians have been arguing about coal in Texas, oil drilling in Alaska and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. The most charged issue of all is climate change, a focus of world attention this week with conferences at the United Nations and in Washington, D.C. America's Christians are divided on basic questions: How serious is it, what causes it, and what should mankind do about it?

All sides cite the Bible. Ms. Paynter points to a New Testament passage that says the good shepherd does not exploit his sheep and to a psalm that declares "the earth is the Lord's and all its fullness." Mr. Brown quotes an Old Testament verse promising that "while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease." (Wall Street Journal)

Eye-roller du jour: "We can combat climate change" - "One day, we learn that the ice might be gone from Arctic sea by 2050. The next, we hear that world governments met in Montreal to accelerate a deadline for phasing out the ozone-depleting chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons - a milestone in combating global warming.

One day, we learn how cyclones are forming ever further north in the Indian Ocean, affecting the Seychelles for the first time in half a century, and that the island of Grenada, all but destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, was long deemed by Lloyds of London to lie outside the Caribbean hurricane belt. The next, world leaders in New York pledge their best efforts to tackle the problem that most agree has become a "defining issue of our era."'

These are the two faces of climate change - worsening cases of extreme weather on the one hand, accompanied by scientific evidence that humankind is the cause; on the other, clear signs that the world has awakened to the scale of the problem and, at long last, has decided to do something about it." (Ban Ki Moon, IHT)

"U.S. aims to support UN on climate change: Rice" - "WASHINGTON - A U.S.-sponsored meeting of the world's biggest greenhouse gas polluters aims to support the U.N. process on climate change, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday, but some participants and environmentalists were skeptical.

In opening the two-day session, Rice expressed hopes of combating global warming without stifling growing economies.

"It is our hope that we can make progress toward that goal in this meeting ... and that in doing so we will support and accelerate the broader processes now under way in the U.N. framework convention," Rice said. 

Rice stated the consistent U.S. position that individual nations should set their own goals to curb climate-warming emissions, especially carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants and petroleum-fueled vehicles.

Critics, including chanting protesters gathered outside the State Department conference, questioned whether such national, voluntary targets would work." (Reuters)

If they mean to 'control climate' or stabilize or some predictable adjustment then no, voluntary targets won't work -- and nor will anything else that people can do.

"This Administration Will Find a Way to Water it Down" - "President Bush has invited the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters to attend a two-day conference in Washington. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, American climate researcher Peter Goldmark argues the meeting is little more than a Bush PR stunt and that change is almost certain to come with the next administration." (Der Spiegel)

"At Its Session on Warming, U.S. Is Seen to Stand Apart" - "A two-day conference of the world’s major greenhouse-gas-emitting nations served to highlight how isolated the Bush administration is on the issue of global warming." (New York Times)

According to the World Wide Font of nonsense... "Climate strategy a disaster: study" - "THE Howard Government's strategy to deal with climate change - including support for "aspirational" goals rather than binding targets - could lead to catastrophic consequences in Australia, a study has found." (Sydney Morning Herald)

... and made up from extreme IPCC storylines. Actually we agree that climate strategies founded on gorebull warming fears are a disaster -- all should be scrapped immediately.

"This drought is 'no worse than others'" - "THE drought affecting Australia is no worse than other well-known prolonged dry periods of the last century, say leading climate scientists." (The Australian)

Do politicians actually believe in gorebull warming? "PM's lip service on climate threat" - "Prime Minister Stephen Harper is hardly the leader he pretends to be on climate change, the planet's most pressing environmental threat. 

At Monday's unprecedented United Nations conference of world leaders on global warming, Harper made every effort to undermine the attempt by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to build momentum for a tough new treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. In his opening remarks, Ban stressed the immediate challenge: "To confront climate change within a global framework, one that guarantees the highest level of international co-operation." 

That view was echoed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said that "collective action is imperative. The fate of each is linked with that of all. Solidarity is imperative. The poor would be the first victims of our selfishness." Translating those sentiments into a plan of action, Hilary Benn, who is British secretary of state for the environment, called on every country to take on "binding reduction targets" for greenhouse gas emissions. "It is inconceivable that dangerous climate change can be avoided without this happening," she said.

By contrast, Harper used the occasion to show he opposes the kind of concerted international action needed to fight global warming. 

After paying lip service to working with the international community and the UN to develop the targets and the technologies that will overcome the challenge of climate change, Harper announced that Canada would join a breakaway group of nations that rejects binding emissions targets in favour of unenforceable "aspirational targets." 

Harper said Canada would join the Asia-Pacific Partnership, which includes the world's biggest polluters, the United States, China and India, and a number of other countries opposed to the mandatory targets that are essential if global warming is to be contained.

Environmentalists call the group the "anti-Kyoto" club for its efforts to undermine UN attempts to stop global warming." (Toronto Star)

"UK Government in Court Over Gore Environment Film" - "LONDON - A truck driver took the British government to court on Thursday over a decision to send copies of former US Vice President Al Gore's global warming film to secondary schools as part of its climate change campaign." (Reuters)

Unfortunate amount of traffic on this... "Lovelock urges ocean climate fix" - "Two of Britain's leading environmental thinkers say it is time to develop a quick technical fix for climate change. Writing in the journal Nature, Science Museum head Chris Rapley and Gaia theorist James Lovelock suggest looking at boosting ocean take-up of CO2. Their idea, already being investigated by a US firm, involves huge flotillas of vertical pipes in the tropical seas." (BBC)

... and it is notable mostly because this same proposal was floated (ouch!) decades ago with a view to fixing (you guessed it) global cooling (it was proposed to bring warmer subsurface waters up to reduce sea ice formation and circumvent albedo feedback). Interesting pairing of population panickers in Lovelock and Rapley, too.

"Antarctica Home to Tiny Creatures Even in Ice Ages" - "OSLO - Antarctica has been home to tiny creatures and plants for tens of millions of years, according to a study on Thursday that overturns theories that successive Ice Ages wiped life off the barren continent. 

"There has to have been some ice-free land on the Antarctic mainland" even in the depths of Ice Ages, Dominic Hodgson of the British Antarctic Survey told Reuters of new fossil and biological evidence. 

Pinhead-sized mites, worms, wingless insect-like chrinomids and pintails as well as plants such as lichens evolved on the continent over millions of years rather than merely moving in when the climate warmed as widely believed." (Reuters)

"Winter Forecast to be Colder Than Last Year" - "LONDON - This winter will be colder than last year but still warmer and drier than average, the Met Office said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"OECD biofuel paper stirs controversy" - "Controversy continues over a report published by the OECD critical of biofuels, or ethanol and biodiesel, and calling for a scrapping of biofuel targets as a means of restraining greenhouse gas emissions in transport. 

“Biofuels: Is the cure worse than the disease” was written by Richard Doornbosch, a principal adviser to the OECD’s Roundtable on Sustainable Development, and Ronald Steenblik. The paper was written for the Roundtable but is not an official position statement of the organisation. The European Bioethanol Fuel Association and the Renewable Fuels Association has called for the OECD to clarify that point and says the paper conflicts with previous OECD positions supporting biofuels for reducing CO2 emissions." (Carbon Positive)

"Many Biofuels Have More Climate Impact Than Oil" - "BEIJING - Most crops grown in the United States and Europe to make "green" transport fuels actually speed up global warming because of industrial farming methods, says a report by Nobel prize winning chemist Paul J. Crutzen." (Reuters)

Poor editing, poor piece or... "Coal is carbon is emissions is not good" - "Australia can lead the way because it is a major coal exporter, writes John Perkins." (The Age)

... perhaps some of each. We deliberately mine carbon to oxidize because it's such a great source of energy for us. So-called "low carbon" sources are simply a euphemism for avoiding cheap, expedient, basically useful energy supplies. Despite all the extraordinary assertions there is simply no evidence changes in atmospheric trace gas constituents carbon dioxide and methane can lead to any form of problem and there is absolutely no hope that avoiding carbon fuels will provide net environmental benefit.

"Britain to Start Phasing Out High Energy Lightbulbs" - "LONDON - Britain will begin phasing out energy-guzzling incandescent lightbulbs early next year in favour of low energy varieties as part of its battle against climate change, the environment ministry said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Nuclear power surge coming" - "In the next 15 months, US regulators expect applications for up to 28 new plants." ( The Christian Science Monitor)

Red Ken strikes again: "Cabbies take Livingstone to court over exhausts" - "A 900-strong group of taxi drivers will tomorrow launch a High Court challenge against a decision by London Mayor Ken Livingstone to force them to fit exhaust filters to their cabs that they claim do not work for city driving. 

The London Cab Drivers Club is seeking permission for a judicial review against the Mayor-controlled Transport for London and its licensing authority, the Public Carriage Office, alleging they compelled cabbies to fit unsuitable equipment." (London Telegraph)

From North America's Indy: "Tread lightly" - "Like it or not, climate change is going to alter how, when and where we travel ... some experts are even suggesting that vacationers might have to enter a lottery if they want to visit particularly vulnerable destinations." (Toronto Star)

"Declining Air Pollution over the Eastern U.S." - "Yesterday, I discussed NRDC's false claim that ozone will rise in the future due to climate change. I showed how NRDC generated the false appearance of rising ozone by assuming that ozone-forming emissions will rise more than 30% between 2006 and 2050. In reality, ozone-forming emissions will continue to drop and most will be eliminated long before 2050. A couple of EPA news items provide additional evidence on how much emissions have dropped and will continue to drop due to existing regulations." (Joel Schwartz, Planet Gore)

"Hygiene's uncool? Tell the dying" - "One of the basic building blocks of modern life is now a symbol of consumerist excess." (Mark Steyn, MacLeans)

"Drug regulation overdosed" - "The pendulum swings back and forth about what ails the regulation of drug development. Thirty years ago, the concerns were primarily about "drug lag" — indolent reviews and approvals by the Food and Drug Administration that put Americans at disadvantage to consumers in other countries.

In recent years, however, there have been repeated accusations about what might be called "drug leap" — a supposedly "too cozy" relationship between regulators and industry, along with too little attention to drug safety, possibly as the result of regulators' pressing to meet arbitrary deadlines.

The reality is that over the last decade or so the FDA has become more progressively risk-averse and defensive in its decision-making. Regulators have been encouraged on "drug safety" but no longer are called to account for the unnecessary suffering and deaths of patients who don't get the new drugs they need in a timely way. (Henry I. Miller, Washington Times)

"'Meteorite' Crash Breeds Mass Hysteria" - "On what started as a normal Saturday night one week ago, residents of a small, remote Peruvian town saw a bright light streak across the sky, heard a resounding bang and suddenly found themselves at the center of a media frenzy.

Initial suspicions of an airplane crash quickly spiraled into widespread reports that a meteorite had plummeted to Earth and left a smoking, boiling crater whose supposedly noxious fumes were reported to have sickened curious locals who went to peer at the hole.

Despite doubts expressed by geologists that the crater was actually caused by a meteorite and firm explanations that a meteorite would not even emit fumes and that the "sickness" was likely a case of mass hysteria, numerous onlookers far and wide were fascinated by the idea that this event could be some real-life "Andromeda Strain" (the 1969 novel by Michael Crichton), where a mysterious rock falling to Earth from outerspace made anyone who went near it ill.

So what is it about things falling from the sky that fills us with such fear that we can make ourselves sick with panic?" (Space)

“I’m too fat…don’t you see?” - "It’s become impossible to ignore that little kids are being harmed by the incessant scaremongering about “obesity” and messages to eat right and watch their weight. This excellent article in the student newspaper at the University of Georgia is recommended reading. The author writes compassionately about a disturbing and perceptive observation she made of four year old girls." (Junkfood Science)

"Beneath Booming Cities, China’s Future Is Drying Up" - "Groundwater levels are dropping around China, where leaders face tough choices as cities, industry and farming compete for an unbalanced and finite water supply." (New York Times)

"Hair Untangles Woolly Mammoth Puzzle" - "Stephan C. Schuster and Webb Miller of Penn State University, working with Thomas Gilbert from Copenhagen and a large international consortium, discovered that hair shafts provide an ideal source of ancient DNA -- a better source than bones and muscle for studying the genome sequences of extinct animals. Their research achievement, described in a paper to be published in the journal Science on 28 September 2007, includes the sequencing of entire mitochondrial genomes from 10 individual woolly mammoths." (Penn State)

September 27, 2007

"World leaders need to remain alert to latest scientific thought on climate change" - "Melting icecaps and ‘climate chaos’ have put climate change at the top of the agenda for the UN General Assembly’s meeting this week. The meeting is a precursor to the November meeting in Bali where leaders will try to agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. 

A new Institute of Physics’ (IOP) report, Climate change prediction: A robust or flawed process?, published today reveals that while there is general consensus on the underlying causes of the changes in our atmosphere, there is not unanimity." (Institute of Physics)

Must've been disconcerting for poor old Meacher to have Dick Lindzen highlighting basic physics like infrared opacity and physical transport. It's also funny to see the resident modeler looking for more cash and bigger toys to 'remove uncertainties' when the model-defined 'greenhouse signature' has spectacularly failed to materialize. It has long been a marvel to us that virtual worlders expect a mid-troposphere 'hot spot' to girdle the tropics when a trivial increase in physical transport (a slight increase in convection, if you prefer) is all that is required to virtually eliminate enhanced greenhouse effect.

This is where the scare falls down because models and climate scare mongers use Marvelous Magical Magnifiers to amplify the known small temperature increment which can be achieved through a doubling of pre-Industrial Revolution atmospheric carbon dioxide when in fact only a portion of the increased greenhouse potential can be realized at the surface while the rest is lost via a slight increase in the altitude at which the photo depth equals one (the point at which the atmosphere is no longer infrared opaque and radiation escapes to space). Rather than the fraternity's Marvelous Magical Magnifier value of 2.5 we'd suggest a value <1, probably in the range 0.2-0.5 although this might be further down-revised as we learn more of the negative feedback effect of say, increased cloudiness from changes to evapo-transpiration (latent heat transport) and convection (sensible heat transport).

While there is undoubtedly an enhanced greenhouse effect there is absolutely no reason to suspect it is catastrophic or even particularly significant.

"Gaia Guru Urges Ocean Pipes to Fix Earth's Climate" - "LONDON - A series of giant pipes in the oceans to mix surface and deeper water could be an emergency fix for the Earth's damaged climate system, the scientist behind the Gaia theory said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

What is it about people that makes them desperate to take that which is not broken and fix it until it is?

Sometimes we have to wonder if... "El Nino shaped by global warming" - "GLOBAL warming may be responsible in part for the drought-making El Nino effect, which has been more dominant in the past 30 years than at any period on record." (The Australian)

... they just pull these stories from their posteriors. There is a wealth of literature pertaining to ENSO severity and persistence in relation to global mean temperature (see CO2 Science's ENSO (Relationship to Global Warming) page for a few references). Bottom line is that extremes of drought and flood are inversely related to temperature with warmer periods exhibiting mild and short duration ENSO events while frequency and severity increases as temperatures decline. Too frequent and/or severe ENSO events is another way of saying the planet is too cool!

"Climate shift, not change" - "THE Murray basin is experiencing a climate shift, but not a climate change, according to our leading irrigation expert.

Shahbaz Khan, professor of hydrology at Charles Sturt University, said it was a crucial distinction and that the current drought sequence was very similar to the Federation drought of 1895-1902. 

"It is not a climate change, it is a climate shift - that is completely different," he said. 

"Australia is not a country of climate change, it is a country of climate shifts. My feeling is we are into a major shift here." The difference was that a shift was part of a historical weather cycle." (The Australian)

"Australian PM downplays link between drought, climate change" - "SYDNEY - Prime Minister John Howard warned against linking Australia's worst drought on record to doomsday forecasts about climate change Wednesday, saying "a sense of proportion" was needed. A day after announcing a major aid package for drought-hit farmers, Howard played down the link between climate change and the "Big Dry." "Even the most pessimistic predictions about climate change, which I don't necessarily share... don't say that it will never rain again in rural Australia," Howard told Channel Nine television. "We've just got to keep a sense of proportion." (AFP)

"Separating climate fact from fiction" - "This week is especially challenging for citizens trying to separate fact from fantasy in the climate debate. From the excited rhetoric of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's high-level event in New York, the pontifications of Ted Turner at the Clinton Global Initiative or politicians pandering for the green vote at President Bush's leaders summit, the public is in dire need of self-defense strategies." (Timothy Ball and Tom Harris, Washington Times)

Um, no... "Irrigation can't stave off global warming" - "Conventional scientific wisdom has it that irrigation works against global warming. But there is evidence now to shake us out of complacency. Scientists from the University of California, Merced, have shown that irrigated fields have their limits in masking effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Specially, when land under agriculture isn’t going up and global warming is getting abetted by a host of factors. The scientists also suggest that studies linking irrigation to climate change be accompanied with those dealing with effects of land use change." (Down To Earth)

... quite the reverse, in fact. There's good reason to believe irrigation responsible for regional warming due to albedo change (going from largely reflective light-colored desert to darker more-absorbing irrigated crops) and increase in atmospheric humidity with associated increase in downwelling radiation and reduction in nocturnal cooling (enhanced greenhouse effect). Increasing humidity in dry regions (those traditionally needing irrigation) has always been considered a dubious cooling prospect -- see, for example Irrigation most likely to blame for Central California warming (Irrigation-Induced Warming In Central California -- .pdf).

"Are sunspots prime suspects in global warming?" - "Climate-change 'optimists' say complex natural cycles may be at the heart of global warming." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Global Warming Hits Lake in Canada's Arctic-Report" - "OTTAWA - Global warming is affecting North America's northernmost lake, where algae growth has increased dramatically in the last two centuries, scientists said on Wednesday.

The lake is permanently covered by a 4-meter (13-foot) layer of ice, except for a small peripheral zone that thaws out during a few weeks every summer." (Reuters)

"Cave records provide clues to climate change" - "When Georgia Tech Assistant Professor Kim Cobb and graduate student Jud Partin wanted to understand the mechanisms that drove the abrupt climate change events that occurred thousands of years ago, they didn't drill for ice cores from the glaciers of Greenland or the icy plains of Antarctica, as is customary for paleoclimatolgists. Instead, they went underground." (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Scientists? "Scientists Call For 80 Percent Drop In US Emissions By 2050 To Avoid Dangerous Warming" - "By 2050, the United States must cut its emissions by at least 80 percent below those created in the year 2000 if the world is to avoid potentially dangerous impacts of human-induced climate change, according to a report released today by scientists at Texas Tech University, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Stanford University." (SPX)

Actually, UCS membership is hardly indicative of any scientific standards. I was going to sign up a family member, to whit, Nicky da Mutt, who has made extorting treats from the kids an exacting science, one that concerns him absolutely and thus making him a very concerned scientist. Sadly, he is somewhat overqualified. All that's required for "Union of Concerned Scientists" membership is a name, address and $25.00 - no qualifications or experience mentioned (for $35 he could have had the mouse mat too but he'd only chew it up).

"Global Warming Not Affected by Man" - "The mass hysteria over the alleged warming of the planet, with everyone from the president to, reportedly, the Pope buying into the global warming alarms and calling for Draconian steps to stop Mother Nature from turning up the thermostat reminds me of one of the more bizarre examples of widespread panic created by a fictional crisis. 

On Oct. 30, 1938, Orson Welles broadcast an adaptation of "The War of the Worlds," H.G. Wells' story about a Martian invasion. The broadcast consisted of breaking news bulletins that warned that Martian invaders had landed on earth and were waging warfare against humanity in the streets of New York and elsewhere. 

I was 12 years old at the time and sitting on the front porch listening to the program and I remember the panic that broadcast, which sounded like a genuine on-the-spot newscast instead of a radio drama, created. Some of our neighbors came running up to ask us if we had heard the awful news. 

We got panicked phone calls asking what we were going to do when the aliens showed up at our doorstep. Some people who hadn't heard the initial disclaimers went bonkers, even going so far as rushing to the alleged scene of the action being reported on the broadcast. 

It was something like the James Thurber story "The Day the Dam Broke" which told of a man rushing through the streets of town shouting "The dam has burst, the dam, has burst." Panic ensued, with the town's entire population racing down the streets trying to get to higher ground before the onrushing flood could drown them. The panic only ended when a cooler head asked "What Dam? There isn't a dam, within 100 miles of here." 

Now an awful lot of people are doing the equivalent of racing down the streets screeching "the ice is melting, run for the hills! The sea levels are rising and will soon engulf coastal areas like Florida and New York City!" (Philip V. Brennan, NewsMax)

"Gerd Bürger: 20th century warming was statistically insignificant" - "In previous weekly doses of consensus-busting climatological literature in peer-reviewed magazines, we discussed articles in Nature, Geophysical Research Letters, and many other sources. Today we look in Science magazine, volume 316 (the volume 317 is already available on-line).

Gerd Bürger argues nothing less than that the global character of the 20th century warming was not statistically significant." (The Reference Frame)

"NASA’s Hansen Mentioned in Soros Foundations Annual Report" - "As NewsBuster Jake Gontesky reported, an editorial in Investor's Business Daily Monday claimed one of billionaire leftist George Soros's foundations gave $720,000 in 2006 to the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James Hansen. 

Since this editorial was published, according to LexisNexis and Google News searches, not one major media outlet has reported these allegations.

Maybe even more shocking is that had press outlets looked into this matter - you know, acted like journalists instead of advocates! - they would have found Hansen's name prominently mentioned in the 2006 Soros Foundations Network Report (relevant section on page 123):" (News Busters)

"Deeper level of interest in climate fix: High-level climate-change summits this week reveal a supportive environment for action." - "Climate change is on the minds of world leaders at two high-level summits this week. The first meeting, at the United Nations, delivered the expected: a surfeit of urgent talk and a paucity of promises to act. Early readings on the second, to be held at the White House today and tomorrow, were that it would continue that theme." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"US Climate Meeting Won't Get Results - Germany" - "BERLIN - A conference in Washington of the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases that starts on Thursday is unlikely to produce any tangible results, German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"UN climate summit high on rhetoric" - "A high-level meeting on climate change called by UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has wound up its one-day sitting with wide-ranging calls for collective action on global warming. But there appeared to be little advance on how to resolve the stalemate that is preventing the forging of a new international agreement to deliver it." (Carbon Positive)

<chuckle> "Big carbon cuts: scary, but doable" - "To help stop a climate disaster, the US should copy Europe's example." (Stavros Dimas, The Christian Science Monitor)

So, that'd be somewhat less than the US has done so far then?

"Those Europeans Say the Darnedest Things" - "Today’s Washington Post story was replete with pompous and absurd proclamations – the pompous being the Danish Environment Minister claiming that she and her ilk “are getting a bit impatient, not on our own behalf but on behalf of the planet.” The condemnations of the US included “unusually blunt language” about how the rest of the world are waiting for the US to act, and that it is the US resistance to adopting a particular approach to addressing emissions that jeopardizes the climate. Not China, India, Mexico and 155 countries representing the vast majority of emissions seeing theirs skyrocket; certainly not the EU." (Chris Horner, GlobalWarming.org)

Those greenies are imaginative little ragamuffins, aren't they? "Green group attacks oil giant on climate research" - "An environmental group today took aim at ExxonMobil with the launch of an online video attacking the oil giant's green credentials.

The Exxon Files, from Friends of the Earth Europe, sets out claims that the US-based corporation funds climate change deniers in Europe and the US.

The animated video, which spoofs the X-Files TV series, features two fictional agents - Deny Fully and Rexx Tiller, of the Federal Bureau of Inconvenience - who are hired by ExxonMobil to hide the truth about the negative environmental impact of its business. 

To achieve this they secretly fund scientists, thinktanks and lobbyists sceptical about climate change." (The Guardian)

"EU Struggles to Walk its Talk on Climate Change" - "UNITED NATIONS - The European Union pressed world leaders this week to follow its lead in fighting climate change, but a battle looms at home over how to share the burden of cutting greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters)

Oh boy... "Climate change on agenda as Gore, Clinton reunite at summit" - "NEW YORK - The team was back together again - at least for a little while. 

Bill Clinton and Al Gore shared a stage Wednesday at the third annual Clinton Global Initiative to discuss subjects of international importance - including the former vice president's area of expertise, global warming." (Associated Press)

... Ozone Man's "area of expertise" -- we guess that's one way of describing a scam artist's pitch.

"How To Treat Global Warming Hysteria" - "Despite increasing evidence that man-made CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas and contributor to climate change, politicians and others who wish to control our lives must maintain that it is.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., wants a 50-cents-a-gallon tax on gasoline. We've heard such calls before, but there's a new twist.

Dingell also wants to eliminate the mortgage tax deduction on what he calls "McMansions" — homes that are 3,000 square feet or larger — because larger homes use more energy.

One might wonder about Dingell's magnanimity in increasing taxes only for homes 3,000 feet or larger. The average U.S. home is around 2,300 square feet, compared with Europe's average of 1,000 square feet.

So why doesn't Dingell call for disallowing mortgage deductions on houses more than 1,000 square feet? The reason is there would be too much political resistance, since more Americans own homes under 3,000 square feet than over 3,000. The full agenda is to start out with 3,000 square feet and later lower it in increments.

Our buying into global warming hysteria will allow politicians to do just about anything, upon which they can muster a majority vote, in the name of fighting climate change as a means to raise taxes." (Walter Williams, IBD)

"Take these global warnings with a pinch of salt" - "You know how you are told to give your children organic food because pesticides will give them cancer? Well, it's technically true that there is a link between the chemicals and illness, but the risk is minuscule in any well-regulated country.

There is another threat that you haven't been told much about. One of the best ways to avoid cancer is to eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Organic items are 10 per cent or 20 per cent more expensive than regular produce, so most of us naturally buy less when we "go organic".

If you reduce your child's intake of fruits and vegetables by just 0.03 grams a day (that's the equivalent of half a grain of rice) when you opt for more expensive organic produce, the total risk of cancer goes up, not down. Omit buying just one apple every 20 years because you have gone organic, and your child is worse off.

My intention isn't to scare people away from organic food. But we should hear both sides of any story." (Bjorn Lomborg, Sydney Morning Herald)

Picture Don Adams saying "The old 'set up a mechanism to devise a strategy' trick, eh?" "General Assembly mechanism needed to devise climate change response – Malta" - " The General Assembly should set up a mechanism to devise a global strategy to deal with climate change that avoids the current fragmentation and pays particularly attention to the needs of small island States, Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said today." (UN News)

"Ottawa signs on to rival emissions pact" - "UNITED NATIONS -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper used a United Nations conference aimed at saving the Kyoto Protocol as a backdrop yesterday to announce that Canada would join a rival climate change pact.

Hours after urging all countries to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 50 per cent in any successor to Kyoto, Mr. Harper told reporters Canada would become the seventh member of the Asia-Pacific Partnership, a group nicknamed the anti-Kyoto partnership by some environmentalists." (Globe and Mail)

"Controversial state climatologist steps down" - "CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia's state climatologist, whose doubts about global warming and utility-industry funding made him a lightning rod on climate change issues, quietly left his position over the summer. 

Patrick J. Michaels, who had held the position since 1980, will remain as a part-time research professor on leave at the University of Virginia, Joseph C. Zieman, chairman of the school's Department of Environmental Sciences, told The Daily Progress of Charlottesville." (Associated Press)

"Is the Bush Administration for or against carbon protectionism?" - "Trade—voluntary exchange—is the essence of economic activity. Trade leads to specialization, which increases productivity. As trade expands so does the arena of economic competition, which spurs innovation. Greater trade also means more economic cooperation across distances, which makes societies less vulnerable to local crop failures and other shortages. Thanks to trade, a tiny island nation like Japan, with virtually no natural resources, can be a major economic power." (Marlo Lewis, Planet Gore)

"Trust America on climate change" - "In an effort to accelerate the flagging dialogue over what international arrangement will succeed the Kyoto protocol when it terminates in 2012, the US will host two days of energy security/climate change talks among the world’s largest economies on September 27 and 28 in Washington. This meeting of big economies (big CO2 emitters) seeks to advance the global deployment and adoption of clean energy technology and to contribute to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. This is a deadly serious endeavour, given the lack of clean, accessible and secure energy resources to sustain global economic growth.

There is some scepticism about the US plan, especially in Europe, where there is suspicion that the US is trying to undermine the UN climate change process generally, and its Bali conference in December in particular.

The response to this view is that the sclerotic UN process is being hobbled by an unwieldy number of participant countries (nearly 200), most of which are not big emitters but which populate each event with a cast of thousands. The UN process also involves an endless series of inter­national conferences that now occur on a near-monthly basis and consist of little more than repetitive set speeches that produce no discussion or new facts." (Boyden Gray, Financial Times)

"Bush prepares for 'greenwashing' climate summit" - "For the first time in 16 years, a major environmental conference opens in Washington, hosted by the Bush administration. But no concrete results are expected, and that – say European participants – is the point of this high-level meeting.

Far from representing a Damascene conversion on climate change by President George Bush, the two-day gathering of the world's biggest polluting nations is aimed at undermining the UN's efforts to tackle global warming, say European sources. "The conference was called at very short notice," said one participant. "It's a cynical exercise in destabilising the UN process." (London Independent)

"Banks Urging U.S. to Adopt the Trading of Emissions" - "A group representing some of the world’s leading banks will urge the U.S. to introduce a lightly regulated system for trading carbon emissions permits." (New York Times)

Banks would like to profit from trading hot air -- what a surprise!

"Companies seen to pay lip service to green issues" - "LONDON - Companies across the world never miss an opportunity to flaunt their green credentials, but only about a quarter of them actually have specific targets to cut their carbon footprint, a survey showed on Thursday.

The survey by the London-based research advisory group, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), revealed that while up to two-thirds of companies worldwide had a board-level executive responsible for energy and the environment, only 45 percent of them had a programme to cut their carbon footprint.

"And those that do have a carbon reduction strategy, the majority -- 52 percent -- have no specific targets for it," the EIU, which polled over 200 executives worldwide, said.

It said only 9 percent of the executives surveyed said their firms aimed to be carbon neutral by 2012. Going carbon neutral means offsetting your total emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, by paying someone else to make emissions cuts for you." (Reuters)

"Norway to limit climate quotas for companies" - "OSLO - Norway will limit companies' ability to buy greenhouse gas emission quotas in developing countries in line with European Union rules aimed at forcing cuts at home, the government said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"The ‘carbon offset’ child labourers: Indians work off West’s holiday guilt" - "Pumping furiously on a foot treadle in the afternoon heat, six-year-old Sarju Ram is irrigating her impoverished family’s field, improving the crop and – without knowing it – helping environmentally sensitive holiday-makers assuage their guilt over long-haul flights to dream destinations. 

But Sarju and her four brothers and sisters working flat out in a clump of trees that provide scant shelter from the sun illustrate a growing argument over claims that British environmentalists’ efforts to curb greenhouse emissions are inadvertently fuelling an increase in child labour." (Sunday Times)

"Fire strikes reforestation trial" - "carbonpositive’s reforestation project in Brazil’s Amazonia region has suffered a setback with a wild fire striking trial plantings at Redencao, one of two planting sites in Para state. 

The fire swept through the area, affecting a number of rural properties, after taking hold in conditions local farmers have described as the driest in 30 years. Most of the plantings of acacia, parica, teak and mixed agro-forestry experiments have been destroyed.

The fire underlines the risks and uncertainties inherent in agricultural ventures which are always subject to climatic uncertainty, and from which the risk of natural disaster can never be fully eliminated." (Carbon Positive)

"Painting the Court Green: Anti-energy judicial activism." - "A specter is haunting the U.S. economy — the specter of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), empowered by activist judges, attempting to implement Al Gore’s climate policies." (Marlo Lewis, NRO)

"China's Hydropower May be Global Warming Time Bomb" - "BEIJING - China is scrambling to build massive hydropower dams to curb pollution and slake its thirst for energy, but scientists warn that reservoirs can also worsen global warming by emitting a powerful greenhouse gas. 

Methane, which traps heat much more efficiently than carbon dioxide, is produced by plants and animals rotting underwater and released when that water rushes through hydropower turbines." (Reuters)

Curiously, CH4 leveled off, peaking in the winter of 1998/99 and has been stable since, despite new Chinese dams, increased oil and gas activity globally and more intensive livestock raising. IPCC modeling scenarios, however, still include atmospheric methane increases at and above rates last observed decades ago (part of their imaginative positive feedback suite).

"US set to challenge Europe airline carbon tax in court" - "The United States yesterday gave warning that European plans to impose a carbon tax on airlines would be challenged in court." (London Times)

"EU member states slow to commit to green energy targets" - " BRUSSELS – New EU legislation aimed at having green energy account for 20 percent of the Union's overall energy consumption by 2020 is facing a delay, with EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs admitting that member states are being "cautious" in contributing too much to the target. 

It is "a real task" to distribute a 20 percent target among 27 countries, Mr Piebalgs told EUobserver, adding that the methodology to be applied is proving "quite a politically sensitive issue". (EUobserver)

"How NRDC Continues to Mislead Americans about Future Air Pollution Levels" - "A couple of weeks ago I showed how the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) worked with a group of university and government scientists to mislead Americans into thinking that ozone smog levels will rise in the future. The report, Heat Advisory: How Global Warming Causes More Bad Air Days, is an update of a report NRDC first released in 2004. Dan Lashof, the Science Director of NRDC’s Climate Center, responded to my critique last Friday. Here are my comments on Lashof’s response. You can scroll to the bottom to see Lashof’s response in its entirety." (Joel Schwartz, Planet Gore)

"Vaccine Compound Is Harmless, Study Says, as Autism Debate Rages" - "Yet another study has found that a controversial vaccine preservative appears to be harmless. But the study is unlikely to end the increasingly charged debate about vaccine safety." (New York Times)

"Alcohol and cancer: is drinking the new smoking?" - "Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have clarified the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of head and neck cancers, showing that people who stop drinking can significantly reduce their cancer risk." (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

No, no, no... eating is the new smoking and drinking is the new eating. They seem to be having a bit of trouble keeping their scares straight...

"ED hurts" - "A personal story that appeared in The Independent yesterday, questioned claims that anorexia is caused by the fashion industry, although being surrounded by our society’s glamorizaton of thinness can lure some young girls to diet or make it harder to break out of disordered eating. Young writer, Naomi Hooke, explained that, for her, she grew up feeling her body wasn’t good enough, and the cruelty and fears that accompanied normal body changes and fat gain and with puberty led to her problems. Most importantly, she urged readers to remember that even if someone appears “normal” weight, they could still be suffering, and that she was engaging in the most unhealthy behaviors and was most mentally anguished when she had a “healthy” BMI." (Junkfood Science)

Here they come again: "Sports drinks face junk food label" - "Public health advocates are lobbying for limits on the availability of sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade in high school vending machines." (UPI)

"'Fattening' shoes at school to be banned?" - "It’s not enough that anti-obesity programs mandate what children can and cannot or should not eat, and the amounts and types of physical activity they must do, initiatives are increasingly deciding how our children must dress. You remember the story a few months ago when British researchers proposed that girls be compelled to wear to school clothes that were “suitable for active play, like sweatshirts, trousers and trainers.” Today, a Chicago Tribune journalist proposed banning children’s shoes that don’t encourage them to run as much as they should: crocs." (Junkfood Science)

"Set aside suspended by European Union" - "European Union agriculture ministers have today suspended a controversial Brussels subsidy that pays farmers for not growing anything in an attempt to bring down soaring wheat prices. 

The move was a recognition that current EU farm policy is helping to drive cereal prices up to an historic high, costs that are passed onto European consumers who have seen prices rise sharply for bread, pasta and meat products in recent weeks.

But the removal of the requirement that farmers should "set aside" around ten per cent of their land next year was greeted with concern by environmentalists after Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, announced that he would simply "monitor" the effects on farmland birds such as the skylark." (London Telegraph)

"EU Ministers Deadlocked on Three GMO Maize Approvals" - "BRUSSELS - EU farm ministers fell short of a consensus agreement on Wednesday to allow imports of three genetically modified (GMO) maize types, again revealing their deep differences on GMO crops and foods, officials said." (Reuters)

"Argentina Pampas Crops Threatened By Herbicide-Resistant Weed" - "BUENOS AIRES -- Glyphosate-resistant weeds have spread throughout much of Argentina's Pampas, threatening to drive up the cost of growing soybeans and other crops genetically modified for resistance to the herbicide, Daniel Ploper, plant pathologist for the national food and animal health inspection service, or Senasa, in Tucuman Province said Wednesday.

"Isolated cases have been confirmed in Salta, Tucuman, Corrientes, Santiago del Estero, Cordoba and Santa Fe provinces," Ploper said. The glyphosate- resistant weed, known as sorghum halepense, or "Johnson Grass," had previously been confirmed only in Salta and Tucuman provinces." (Dow Jones)

"Against the grain: 'Economics, not common sense, drives GM crops'" - "Dr Michael Antoniou argues that genetically modified crops are dangerous and unnecessary." (London independent)

September 26, 2007

"Questioning 20th Century Warmth" - "In 2006, an article appeared in Science magazine reconstructing the temperature of the Northern Hemisphere back to 800 AD based on 14 smoothed and normalized temperature proxies (e.g., tree ring records). Osborn and Briffa proclaimed at the time that “the 20th century is the most anomalous interval in the entire analysis period, with highly significant occurrences of positive anomalies and positive extremes in the proxy records.” Obviously, concluding that the Northern Hemisphere has entered a period of unprecedented warmth is sure to make the news, and indeed, Osborn and Briffa’s work was carried in papers throughout the world and was loudly trumpeted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that publishes the journal Science.

A recent issue of Science contains an article not likely to receive any press coverage at all. Gerd Bürger of Berlin’s Institut für Meteorologie decided to revisit the work of Osborn and Briffa, and his results raise serious questions about the claim that the 20th century has been unusually warm. Bürger argues that Osborn and Briffa did not apply the appropriate statistical tests that link the proxy records to observational data, and as such, Osborn and Briffa did not properly quantify the statistical uncertainties in their analyses. Bürger repeated all analyses with the appropriate adjustments and concluded “As a result, the ‘highly significant’ occurrences of positive anomalies during the 20th century disappear.” Further, he reports that “The 95th percentile is exceeded mostly in the early 20th century, but also about the year 1000.” Needless to say, Gerd Bürger is not going to win any awards from the champions of global warming – nothing is more sacred than 20th century warming!" (WCR)

"Fifteen Years and CO2 Still Rising" - "UNITED NATIONS, Sep 24 - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took the industrialised countries to task here Monday for their failure to take drastic actions against climate change." (IPS)

Temperatures, however, are not.

Hmm... "NASA finds Greenland snow melting hit record high in high places" - "A new NASA-supported study reports that 2007 marked an overall rise in the melting trend over the entire Greenland ice sheet and, remarkably, melting in high-altitude areas was greater than ever at 150 percent more than average. In fact, the amount of snow that has melted this year over Greenland could cover the surface size of the U.S. more than twice." (GSFC)

... let's just say past performance suggests waiting on review of statistical analyses emanating from the House of Hansen.

Meanwhile, unless there's another glitch in the software the Southern Hemisphere has now set a new observed sea ice extent record:

"Will Hot Words at U.N. Climate Summit Be Enough to Cool the Planet?" - "Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told world leaders at the United Nations that climate change is a global challenge that requires immediate action. 

Appearing at the request of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, they joined over 80 heads of state in the largest gathering of world leaders to address the topic. 

"The consequences of global climate change are so pressing, it doesn't matter who was responsible for the past," Gov. Schwarzenegger told a packed General Assembly. "What matters is who is answerable for the future. And that means all of us," he added." (ABCNEWS.com)

Mythinformation (and no, we don't type with a lisp): "The Climate Group Addresses UN During Pivotal Week On Climate Change" - "Dr. Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group today addressed the largest ever meeting of world leaders on climate change at the United Nations' headquarters in New York. The UN event "The Future in our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change" seeks to secure political commitment on climate change from Heads of State and top officials from more than 150 countries and build momentum for the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali where post-Kyoto negotiations are scheduled to take place December 3-14.

Speaking on a Plenary entitled "Financing the response to climate change - - investing in tomorrow," Dr. Howard highlighted the urgency of the global challenge and research showing that the cost of inaction greatly exceeds the cost of action." (SPX)

On and on goes this same silly nonsense. We have no way of telling whether the planet will get warmer or cooler (although warmer is definitely to be preferred, if ever we should get a choice) and we have no way of deliberately causing it to be any particular temperature. Stupid game!

See by just how few you are being scammed: "Pressure vessel" - "Stop Climate Chaos may have only seven staff members but it has successfully galvanised extensive support from groups and the public to help force a law on climate change - and its work is not over yet." ( John Vidal, The Guardian)

"Harper at odds with UN chief over Kyoto" - "UNITED NATIONS - Interest in a looser "flexible" approach to combatting global warming is now in the ascendancy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told world leaders Monday at an unprecedented United Nations summit on climate change.

In a statement that ran counter to the reason UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the gathering, Harper said there is an "emerging consensus" on the need for a rethink on how to respond." (CanWest News Service)

"The U.N.'s Hot Air on Climate Change" - "Early in Monday's high-level United Nations meeting on climate change, officials proudly told reporters that the summit, which brought together leaders and ministers from over 150 nations to discuss global warming, would be carbon neutral. The greenhouse-gas effect of the 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide produced to hold the meeting and to fly U.N. staff and participants to New York would be offset by a $15,800 investment in a small-scale hydroelectric project in Honduras. Thus, in terms of its ecological impact on the world's climate, it would be as if the summit had never happened at all. 

It's hard not to conclude that the summit's political effect may be just as nonexistent. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon gave what was by his mild-mannered standards an impassioned speech calling for rapid action on climate change, and world leader after world leader rose to the lectern to emphasize the danger of global warming. "Today, the time for doubt has passed," Ban said in his opening address. "The time for action is now." (Time)

"UN chief fails to win unified approach to climate change" - "World leaders agree on action, disagree on what that will be" (CanWest News Service and Agence France-Presse)

"India concerned over climate change burden" - "UNITED NATIONS: India has voiced concern over developing countries bearing an "inordinate" share of burden of climate change due to high level of emissions of developed nations, who were bluntly told to honour their pledge of curbing greenhouse-gas pollution." (PTI)

Ohforcryinoutloud! "China, India Could Face CO2 Tax on Goods - US Envoy" - "BRUSSELS - Retaliatory steps that comply with world trade rules could be found against China and India if they fail to help international efforts to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, a senior US diplomat said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"For all this talk, still we head steadfastly for catastrophe" - "This week's summit on climate change will achieve nothing if rich countries don't finally show some leadership." (Kevin Watkins, The Guardian)

"Climate promises so much hot air" - "WHAT is it about climate change that attracts charlatans? While the focus has been on the Howard Government these past few days, what about the political snake-oil salesmen who would have you believe that we can reduce carbon emissions and fix global warming in the near term? 

That we can pull it off without noticeable economic or political pain and without worrying about what developing countries do. All bunkum. But you wouldn’t know that just by listening to the siren songs of the federal ALP or the Greens. They tell us breezily we can have it all, no worries. Where is the probing, sceptical media when these sorts of porkies are told?" (Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian)

"El Nino not the cause of Australia's changing climate: study" - "ELEANOR HALL: As the Federal Government today prepares its latest rescue package for drought stricken farmers, a long-range study of Australia's climate points to even more extreme weather ahead. The joint study by the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that Australia's weather is likely to get hotter and drier. But worryingly, the 30-year study has found that the cause is not the seasonal El Nino, as had been previously thought, but permanent changes to our climate." (The World Today)

The CSIRO used to be a serious research organization and, save perhaps gorebull warming used as a fund raiser, still is. Sadly there are those in the organization who have taken the myth to heart with a kind of zeal and consequently make utterly ridiculous statements like the above (for those who don't know we don't understand the El Niño Southern Oscillation sufficiently to predict its phases, nor do we know much about Australia's climate or what drives it). Parenthetically, Australia has actually received increasing rainfall rather than declining over the 20th Century although it has not been particularly convenient in its distribution.

The power of propaganda (Number Watch)

Speaking of propaganda: "Climate change in the media: Greening the message, but not the medium" - "UK broadcasters offer impressive programmes encouraging us all to be green. But when it comes to addressing their own carbon footprints, they could learn a few lessons from their shows, argues Andrew Greener

The global TV industry is uniquely placed to influence public opinion on the environment. As such, it has a duty and a responsibility to raise awareness of climate change, to inform, and to promote debate. 

Fortunately, the industry is rising to the challenge, and 2007 has seen the largest yet amount of ‘green’ programming across the networks." (EthicalCorp)

Fair enough: "NYT’s Environmental Writer Paid $12,500 to Speak About Global Warming"  - "NewsBusters readers are aware that one of my contentions concerning global warming alarmism is that those involved are doing it for the money. 

Well, this editorial from the Olympian in Washington state will give you an idea that it's not just folks like Al Gore, Laurie David, and carbon offset marketers that are cashing in on this scam.

Now, media members are getting into the act as well." (News Busters)

Actually, JunkScience.com has no objection to gorebull warming promoters being in it for the cash. In fact we are trying to appeal to their mercenary nature by offering US$125,000.00 to the first to prove humans responsible for catastrophic climate change. We'll go much further -- any such claimant need not be tainted by icky, nasty JunkScience.com-associated dollars, we're perfectly willing to organize payment to the charity of their choice and the natural byproduct is that such a proof would change JunkScience.com's position on the gorebull warming myth immediately (allegedly we are the reason the world is not acting with alacrity on an 'obvious emergency').

After 50 days without apparent interest the stakes have been raised from $100K to $125K as at September 25, 2007.

If it's such a gimme, why aren't they beating down our doors?

"The ABC's of Crummy Reporting" - "ABC's World News this past Sunday showed the tagline of one of CEI's famous (infamous?) TV ads on global warming, which we first aired in May, 2006. In the segment, correspondent Bill Bakemore characterizes it this way: "Public awareness [of global warming] lagged behind, partly because of a disinformation campaign funded by the fossil fuel industry." (GlobalWarming.org)

"A Pardoner's Tale" - "Are you a carbon-using Christian? Feeling guilty about all that carbon dioxide (CO2) you pump into the atmosphere by such awful things as breathing, heating and cooling your home, lighting your work or study space, or driving to church? Now, like traditional sinners whose only mistake was breaking the Ten Commandments, you can atone for your carbon sins by buying carbon offsets from the Evangelical Climate Initiative -- though I thought it was pre-Reformation Roman Catholicism, not Protestant evangelicalism, that endorsed indulgences." (Iain Murray, American Spectator)

No? Duh! "Glut of European Carbon Permits Likely - Report" - "LONDON - The European carbon market will probably see a continued over-supply of emissions permits through 2008-12, damaging the credibility of the climate change policy, energy consultants Wood Mackenzie said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"A hockey stick graph: indulgences" - "The goal of the fight against climate change is to make the climate stable i.e. to achieve a flat Earth's climate.

However, it seems that the market tools needed for such a goal are rather unstable. The price chart looks like a hockey stick graph that would make Michael Mann extremely jealous:

The graph above is the newest graph of the price of the European 2007 carbon indulgences. Click it to get to their website. Two days ago, one ton was 5 eurocents. Yesterday it was 7 eurocents. Today it is 60 eurocents, a 750% increase in one day or 1100% increase in two days. I don't know what happened but I assure you that I unfortunately didn't own any indulgences.

Still, the current price of 60 eurocents is below the price of 30 euros during the holocene climate optimum of April 2006. ;-)" (The Reference Frame)

"US Lawmakers Urge Bush to Weigh Mandatory CO2 Caps" - "WASHINGTON - With the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters scheduled to meet at the White House later this week, congressional leaders Monday said developed countries must cut their emissions by up to 80 percent by mid-century to avoid catastrophic global warming." (Reuters)

"Scientists, policymakers and industry leaders gather to discuss ocean iron fertilization" - "On September 26-27, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will host an international, interdisciplinary conference on the proposed “iron fertilization” of the ocean as a means to combat rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere." (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Oh dear... "World Energy Revolution Needed for Climate - US" - "UNITED NATIONS - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday the world needs a revolution on energy that transcends oil, gas and coal to prevent problems from climate change." (Reuters)

... trouble is, it wouldn't matter if people stopped all fossil fuel use today there would be no measurable effect on global mean temperature, although there might be some shifts in rainfall patterns depending on whether people substituted biomass burning in an attempt to survive.

Working Toward a New Framework on Tackling Climate Change - Remarks at the Atlantic Council of the United States (State)

"Fran O'Sullivan: Adventures in carbon trade" - "The Government's short-sighted decision to scuttle the Serious Fraud Office comes at a time when other countries are facing up to the new era of climate change fraud.

Let's put to rest here (quickly) the notion that this column will attack the basic science of global warming as a crock.

There's nothing to be gained from reopening that debate.

But there is good reason to question, based on the experience of the European countries that have already launched their own market, whether the proposed NZ emissions trading regime will perform to heightened expectations.

UK-based investigations into carbon trading have shown the new international market is a valuable hunting ground for new generation white-collar crooks, tax dodge specialists and ruthless companies which buy dubious offsets in Third World countries to assuage their corporate consciences without doing anything significant to reduce their own emissions level." (New Zealand Herald)

Oh boy... "The new climate change pioneer" - "While the US and other countries continue to drag their feet, New Zealand emerges with a bold plan for how a country can go green." (The Guardian)

... as if a couple of sheep plucker's actions make a difference to the real world. The whole place is a hick farm with a tourist stopover, devoid of any industry worth a damn and no prospect of attracting any. Australia's only concern over New Zealand's self-destructive path is that the place is constitutionally enabled to become our 8th state, meaning we'll get stuck with the tab, again. Their running around making a nuisance of themselves pretending to be a country without any of the consequence is becoming quite tiresome.

From CO2 Science this week:

The Gospel According to Sir John ...: Houghton, that is.

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

Subject Index Summary:
Isoprene: How is the atmosphere's isoprene concentration impacted by the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content? ... and why do we care?

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, Purple Clover, Rice, and Scrub-Oak Community.

Journal Reviews:
Status of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet: How has its volume varied over the course of the Holocene?

Yellowstone National Park (USA): Precipitation Since AD 1173: How does the record compare with that of the "anomalously warm" 20th century?

Demise of the Maya in Belize: When and why did it occur?

Trees and Their Roots in a Changing World: How are they faring in response to concurrent global warming and atmospheric CO2 enrichment?

Initial Effects of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on Nitrogen Fixation in Legumes: What does a recent study of the common garden bean reveal about the subject?

Lexington, VATemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Lexington, VA. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Lexington's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.66 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Seaweed forests offer marine hope" - "Scientists have discovered kelp forests in the tropics, raising hopes over the ability of marine life to survive global warming, according to a study. Coral reefs were thought to be the only hotspots of marine life in the tropics but scientists have now found kelp forests in waters long thought to be too warm for the seaweed." (PA News)

"Germany Needs Nuclear to Meet Carbon Cut Goal - BDI" - "BERLIN - Germany can meet its target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 36 percent by 2020 only if it keeps nuclear power plants, which are being phased out, German industry group BDI said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"UK Eyes Controversial Severn Tidal Power Scheme" - "LONDON - Britain has launched a study into possibly building a giant hydro-electric barrier across the Severn Estuary between England and Wales, angering conservationists who said it would harm fish and birds." (Reuters)

"Fears for wildlife as minister welcomes 'visionary' plans for £15bn Severn dam" - "For more than 150 years, engineers have toyed with the idea of constructing a dam across the width of the Bristol Channel.

But the dream of converting the estuary's massive tides into electricity by building the Severn Barrage has remained on the drawing board, scuppered by the cost and scale of the project – and the controversy that it has always managed to ignite." (The Independent)

Africa Germ, Asian Insect Meet in Italy, Spur Disease [AFM supports globalisation as an engine for growth and prosperity, but there are of course downsides. One problem is the spread of diseases, as this story from Bloomberg explains. Controling diseases such as malaria in poor countries is crucial in saving lives and promoting development, but it is also in the donor nation's self interest to curb the spread of insect-borne diseases. As we have argued before, implementing proper, sustainable indoor residual spraying programs can save lives abroad and at home.] (Bloomberg)

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"Against The Grain" - " President Bush's focus on Burma during his U.N. speech disappointed us. But his proposal to provide local food for the hungry in poor countries rather than dumping U.S. food on them did not." (IBD)

"Memo to Time Magazine: Infants Don’t Produce Sperm" - "Report on air freshener health scare stinks" (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Purple tongues and big red grins" - "Over a century ago, a little eleven year old boy named Frank Epperson took his favorite brightly colored soda pop, put a stick into it, and left it on his porch to freeze. Eighteen years later, he patented his ice pop, which by that time his own kids had renamed the “popsicle.” In 1902, the first Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake (also called Red Velvet Cake because of its deep red color) recipe appeared in an American cookbook called Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book by Sarah Tyson Rorer. During the Great Depression, around the time Frank was getting his patent, Kool-Aid was born, sporting equally bright colors. And who knew that M&Ms came into being inspired by, as the story goes, soldiers in the Spanish Civil War who were eating little beads of chocolate encased in vividly-colored sugar coating to keep it from melting? 

While these aren’t the earliest examples of food colorings in America’s favorite foods — foods have been dyed for centuries — it’s nice to be reminded sometimes that what’s feared today as perversions of a modern diet, aren’t all that modern at all." (Junkfood Science)

"Cost of cheap food on the nation's health" - "Author Michael Pollan has presented an articulate argument about the suspiciously named Farm Bill and how the fallout from it affects our food supply and, ultimately, our waistlines. 

He says that our government, through subsidies, supports the use of cheap ingredients like corn (oil, syrup, meal), wheat (flour) and soybeans (oil, protein, etc.) so that the food industry can create packaged foods that sell for much less than fresh fruits and vegetables on a calorie-per-dollar basis. 

As a representative of the food industry, I submit that this is a focus on the wrong side of the equation.

Even if corn, wheat, and soybeans cost the same as fresh fruit and vegetables (on a per-calorie basis) and if consumers bought more fresh produce, they would be healthier, but we can assume that they would spend the same total amount on food. 

The problem is, we simply don't spend enough on food. Period. We've got our priorities all wrong." (Barb Stuckey, San Francisco Chronicle)

Politically incorrect: "Fruits and veggies not likely linked to colon cancer risk" - "Eating fruits and vegetables was not strongly associated with decreased colon cancer risk, according to a study published online in the September 25 Journal of the National Cancer Institute." ( Journal of the National Cancer Institute)

September 25, 2007

"The rhetoric of climate change in US Congress" - "In this week's Senate debate on the defense authorization bill, Iraq, immigration, and other amendments will likely receive the most attention. However, one small but significant provision, which has mostly escaped public scrutiny and was also included in the House version, has the ambitious intent to transform the language the government uses to discuss climate change.

Section 931 requires that the Department of Defense (DOD) incorporate climate change into the primary legislatively-required strategy documents: the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Strategy, and the Quadrennial Defense Review. 

Although on its face it appears to be just another pesky but harmless study requirement, the section has triggered quiet grumblings from some Republicans, annoyed at how Democrats are attempting by fiat to declare global warming a national security issue. (See "House Backs National Intelligence Estimate For Climate Change," Defense Daily, 27 May 2007.) With no cynical purpose here, it seems clear that a central intent of the provision is to transform the rhetoric of climate change. National security remains a potent political justification for any issue, and its association with climate change may work to counteract negative environmentalist stereotypes." (Todd Fine, CDI)

"Scientists Counter AP Article Promoting Computer Model Climate Fears" - "Nearly two dozen prominent scientists from around the world have denounced a recent Associated Press article promoting sea level fears in the year 2100 and beyond based on unproven computer models predictions. The AP article also has been accused of mischaracterizing the views of a leading skeptic of man-made global warming fears. The scientists are dismissing the AP article, entitled “Rising Seas Likely to Flood U.S. History” (LINK) as a “scare tactic,” “sheer speculation,” and “hype of the worst order.” (EPW)

... another terrific reason to watch "The Great Global Warming Swindle"... only available at the DemandDebate.com Store! Supplies limited!

Oh boy... "Mega Disasters : Glacier Meltdown: Airs on Tuesday September 25 10:00 PM" - "As temperatures rise, a global meltdown has begun. From the Andes to the Himalayas to the Alps, glaciers are vanishing. In Antarctica and Greenland, vast ice sheets are turning into liquid. The melting ice, running off land, is raising sea levels. As sea levels rise, oceans throughout the world are also becoming hotter. Warmer seas fuel more intense hurricanes. Already, major catastrophes brought on by the process of melting ice, rising seas and intensifying storms have occurred in coastal communities around the world: the South Pacific, Bangladesh and--closer to home--New Orleans. Scientists predict that the worst is yet to come. The rising oceans may swallow some lands forever. By the turn of the century, the map of the world may need to be redrawn and a Category 4 hurricane could drown much of Washington, DC in 15 feet of water." (SciFi History.com)

... guess this is where NYT and the rest of the scare mongering media get their intel.

Uh-huh... "Poor at Risk, Action Needed on Warming - UN Draft" - "OSLO - The poor are among those likely to suffer most from climate change, according to a draft UN report that says the world must act quickly to brake ever more damaging temperature rises." (Reuters)

... these "ever more damaging temperature rises" where are they? As we can see temperatures oscillated more or less around the benchmark average for a few decades and then there might have been a small step warming about the turn of the new millennium, since when it has cooled trivially. Ever more damaging temperature rises? Oh puh-lease!

"Carbon price is poor weapon against climate change" - "LONDON - The battle to beat climate change has come down to one weapon -- the price of carbon. And analysts say it is not working.

Much lip service has been paid to cutting climate warming carbon emissions through measures such as improved energy efficiency, technological innovation, reduced demand, higher standards and carbon output restrictions.

But in most cases the vital incentive is supposed to be provided by achieving a high price for carbon, from which all else would follow. Neither has happened and time is running out." (Reuters)

Cap-and-Trade Could Cost Average Family $10,800 in Lost Income, says Economist Arthur Laffer: Proposed Global Warming Policy Likened To 1970s-Era Energy Crunch - A cap-and-trade scheme for controlling greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) would impose significant economic costs on the U.S. economy and is not a sound policy response to current concerns about global warming, says renown economist Arthur Laffer in a new study released today.

  • Click here for the news release.
  • Click here for the study (PDF format).

"An International Court to Try Ecological Crimes?" - "UNITED NATIONS - As the United Nations takes an increasingly dominant role in guiding the climate change debate, there is renewed interest in a longstanding proposal for the creation of an international court to try environmental crimes." (IPS)

Makes you really appreciate: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

"Live from the United Nations" - "Live broadcast removed

Most of the speakers had nothing to say so they were emitting the same verbal fog as nearly everyone else.

The only exception I noticed was the Czech President. Download his talk in the IVR format playable by RealPlayer 11. In the 6.99 MB file (9 minutes), Václav Klaus starts to talk in 30 seconds. See also the transcript." (The Reference Frame)

"Reuters: Bush Pulled United States Out of Kyoto" - "Journalists like to tell us about their professionalism and the many layers of editors that ensure their accuracy. However, somewhere in those layers of editors, have reporters lost the ability to perform basic research? In the case of Reuters reporter Jeff Mason, it would seem to be so. Mason wrote an article on California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Monday speech on global warming, in which he wrote,

President George W. Bush pulled the United States out of the Kyoto accord, saying it unfairly burdened rich countries while exempting developing countries like China and India.

This is a startling revision of history. Apparently Mason forgot, if he ever knew, that although then-President Bill Clinton signed Kyoto, he never submitted the Kyoto treaty to the Senate for ratification." (News Busters)

"Bush takes lead on global warming action" - "Rich and poor nations yesterday agreed, for the first time, to make big cuts in pollution in order to fight global warming. And the Bush administration, which has consistently sought to sabotage international action to combat climate change, helped to lead the way.

Governments and environmentalists are hoping this weekend that the apparently incredible breakthrough will set the stage for a new onslaught on the heating-up of the planet." (London Independent)

"Bush Steps Out Front on Climate Issue" - "Amid a mounting sense of urgency about the need for action to slow climate change, President Bush this week will be playing what is, for him, an unusually prominent role in high-level diplomatic meetings on how to confront global warming. 

What he will not do, officials said, is chart any shift in policies that have put him at odds with much of the world on the issue." (Washington Post)

"Climate change agenda rejected" - "The White House yesterday announced the agenda for a climate change conference next week, but firmly rejected calls from European countries and some environmentalists that the United States agree to fixed emissions standards.

"It's our philosophy that each nation has the sovereign capacity to decide for itself what its own portfolio of policies should be," said Jim Connaughton, the presidents senior environmental adviser. "So Europe should be setting its objectives, just as the United States sets its own objective." (Washington Times)

"World Leaders Meet for UN Climate Talks" - "UNITED NATIONS — With tales of rising seas and talk of human solidarity, world leaders at the first United Nations climate summit sought Monday to put new urgency into global talks to reduce global-warming emissions.

What's needed is "action, action, action," California's environmentalist governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, told the assembled presidents and premiers.

The Bush administration showed no sign, however, that it would reverse its stand against mandatory emission cuts endorsed by 175 other nations. Some expressed fears the White House, with its own forum later this week, would launch talks rivaling the U.N. climate treaty negotiations." (AP)

"Klaus proposes to abolish monopoly on climate change debate" - "New York- Czech President Vaclav Klaus told Czech journalists in New York today it would most help the debate on climate change if the current monopoly and one-sidedness were eliminated. 

In his speech at the special U.N. summit on climate change in New York today Klaus said that despite the artificially created idea about a large extent of ongoing climate changes, the recent rise in global temperatures has been very small in historical comparison and its impact on man and his activities are basically negligible." (ČTK)

As if the climate junket calendar wasn't packed enough already: "Gore Wants Regular Summits on Global Warming" - "UNITED NATIONS - The world's top leaders should meet every three months, starting next year, until a plan is drawn up to reduce emissions blamed for global warming, former US Vice President Al Gore said on Monday." (Reuters)

"Halve global-warming pollution by 2050, Europe tells UN summit" - "European countries hurled down a challenge at a UN summit on climate change here Monday, calling for the world to set a goal of halving greenhouse-gas pollution by 2050." (AFP)

"Benn calls on US to adopt binding aims on emissions" - "The environment secretary, Hilary Benn, yesterday called on the US to agree to mandatory goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, warning that the alternative was dangerous climate change." (The Guardian)

"Action on climate change will cost" - "Bill Clinton is bullish on climate change. “There is way more economic opportunity than cost,” he told the Financial Times. Unfortunately Mr Clinton’s statement is wrong – cutting greenhouse gas emissions will have costs – and while playing down those costs may seem like good politics today, it will not serve Mr Clinton’s cause in the longer run." (Financial Times)

Usual panhandling: "Rich nations must honor climate change pledge: developing countries" - "Developing countries urged rich economies at the UN's global warming summit here Monday to honor their pledges of curbing greenhouse-gas pollution and help poor nations cope with the impact of climate change." (AFP)

See! Here's the problem... "Climate change 'a bigger threat than terrorism'" - "CLIMATE change, not terrorism, will be the main security issue of the century, with potential to cause death and destruction on an unprecedented scale, Australia's top policeman believes. In a surprise foray into the politics of global warming, Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Keelty described how climate refugees "in their millions" could create a national security emergency for Australia. His provocative comments, made in a speech in Adelaide last night, are likely to be diplomatically sensitive after he described a scenario in which China was unable to feed its vast population." (The Australian)

... with having deceived people into believing the catastrophic warming garbage. There's no requirement for, nor expectation of competency in climate physics for policing, so there's no real blame can be attached to Keelty (save perhaps gullibility). The blame lies with those creating the nonsense distraction from real world problems and genuine security issues while enabling politicians and complicit (or should that read 'duplicitous'?) media are equally culpable. Climate change hysteria is becoming a real problem, one which must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Anti-development Bank? "Foresters paid to stop logging" - "COUNTRIES and companies will be paid to stop logging forests under a World Bank plan to establish a fund aimed at reshaping the fight against climate change.

The president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, will announce the Forest Carbon Protection Facility after climate change talks with world leaders, including the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in New York today.

The World Bank believes its $400 million fund will expand into a multibillion-dollar program to preserve forests and reduce global warning. More than 20 per cent of greenhouse gases result from deforestation." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Close The U.N." - "The World Stage: Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, sponsors terrorism and colludes in the murder of American troops. So why is he given the honor of addressing the United Nations on U.S. soil?

To us, the answer is clear. The U.N. is as corrupt, brutal and morally compromised as Ahmadinejad himself. In its many affronts to civilization and decency, the U.N. has long since outlived its usefulness and reason for being. Time to shut it down." (IBD)

"Let Them Eat Giraffe" - " The litany of the United Nations' failures would not be complete without a mention of a country now so desperate that mobs there are willing to eat animals not normally consumed by humans.

Zimbabwe's official media reported Saturday that a giraffe wandered into the outskirts of the capital city of Harare. Hungry villagers, who would have apparently killed, cooked and eaten the towering, gentle beast had it not been rescued by police, saw it as a gift. 

Tragically, they would have only been upholding a new tradition in their country.

"Wild animals have become the latest victim of this economic crisis," Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe conservation task force, told the London Telegraph." (IBD)

"Great Storm of 1987 - twenty years on" - "It has been described as the weather event of the 20th century - a storm of a ferocity not seen for almost 300 years. In a few hours spanning 15/16th October, the Great Storm of 1987 carved a swathe across southern England from the Wash to the River Test. With gusts reaching 115 miles per hour the storm shrieked across the country and in its wake left 18 people dead, 15 million trees uprooted and an insurance bill running into billions." (London Telegraph)

"New paper examines dams' effects on California salmon" - "Spring-run Chinook salmon and other fish in the rivers of California’s Central Valley could be harmed by more water-storage dams, according to researchers at Duke University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration." ( Duke University)

"NRG Seeks First US Nuclear Plant Permit in Decades" - "WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - NRG Energy will file an application with regulators on Tuesday to build two new nuclear reactors in Texas, the first such request in the United States in 29 years, the company said Monday. (Reuters)

"Biofueling Disorder: Food for thought." - "Would you believe that the weather in Indiana could trigger popular unrest in China? Global demand for fuel made out of food is growing so fast that grain supplies are becoming dangerously thin. In this market, a hiccup in agricultural production — like a drought in America’s Corn Belt — could cause food prices to skyrocket in countries like China that depend on food imports. When poor urbanites in developing nations suddenly cannot afford to eat, they just might take to the streets in anger." (William Yeatman, NRO)

"Australia's PM Goes Green, Opponents See Red" - "CANBERRA - Australia's prime minister, facing a tough re-election fight and under pressure over his climate credentials, has pledged new "clean energy" targets in a move environment groups said would not sway green-leaning voters." (Reuters)

"Shipping Bodies Challenge EU Pollution Rule" - "LONDON - A coalition of shipping industry bodies go to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday to challenge a tough directive against polluting ships which they argue breaks international law." (Reuters)

"China discovers 'new' glaciers in Tibet" - "CHINA has discovered 42 glaciers on the roof of the world, the Qinghai-Tibet plateau where ice is shrinking due to global warming, and the group could be the biggest of them all, state media said today." (Reuters)

"The Soros Threat To Democracy" - " George Soros is known for funding groups such as MoveOn.org that seek to manipulate public opinion. So why is the billionaire's backing of what he believes in problematic? In a word: transparency." (IBD)

Green Hypocrisy's Gold Standard

Won't be popular... "Research team says extraterrestrial impact to blame for Ice Age extinctions" - "What caused the extinction of mammoths and the decline of Stone Age people about 13,000 years ago remains hotly debated. Overhunting by Paleoindians, climate change and disease lead the list of probable causes. But an idea once considered a little out there is now hitting closer to home." (Northern Arizona University)

... because people aren't culpable under this scenario.

Spinning a crisis out of longevity: "Cancer deaths to hit 17 million in 2030 - researcher" - "BARCELONA - Cancer deaths will more than double to 17 million people each year in 2030 with poor countries shouldering the heaviest burden from the disease, the head of the United Nation's cancer agency said on Monday. 

An ageing population will bump up cancer rates worldwide in the coming years, especially in developing countries where the number of people who smoke and drink is on the rise, said Peter Boyle, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer." (Reuters)

"vCJD 'could become endemic in UK'" - "The human form of mad cow disease could become so widespread it is impossible to eradicate in the UK, a leading scientist has warned." (London Telegraph)

"Two thumbs up" - "Just when you think that the entire world has lost all reason and that no one will ever get any of this, someone comes along who actually does. :-)" (Junkfood Science)

"'Healthy' restaurants help make us fat, says a new study" - "If you're like most, you eat worst at healthy restaurants. The "health halos" of healthy restaurants often prompt consumers to treat themselves to higher-calorie side dishes, drinks or desserts than when they eat at fast-food restaurants that make no health claims, according to a series of new Cornell studies." (Cornell University)

"7 hours of sleep: No more, no less" - "Here's another health threat to lose sleep over: Too much sleep can kill you. But too little sleep can kill you, too, according to a British study released yesterday." (Washington Times)

"Nutrient pollution drives frog deformities by ramping up infections" - "High levels of nutrients used in farming and ranching activities fuel parasite infections that have caused highly publicized frog deformities in ponds and lakes across North America, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder." (University of Colorado at Boulder)

September 24, 2007

"Malaria Atonement and Forgiveness" - "During the Days of Repentance, Jews ponder their sins of the past year. Today, Yom Kippur, is their final opportunity to make amends and alter the judgment that God will enter in his books, as the sun sets. 

This Day of Atonement, however, can assure forgiveness only for sins between people and God. To atone for sins against other persons, we must first seek reconciliation with those we have wronged, demonstrate repentance, and right the wrongs or make restitution. 

In this politicized age, many people have their own lists of folks who “ought to be seeking forgiveness.” I’m on several – including Greenpeace’s roster of “climate criminals.”

At the top of my own list are the radical environmentalists – and foundations and others who give them the money and political clout to perpetrate mischief worldwide." (Paul Driessen, Townhall)

"Suddenly, the chemicals don't seem so bad" - "NAIROBI, Kenya | The thing you want to hear, especially as you nurse three mosquito bites of unknown consequence, is that Kenya is doing well in the fight against malaria. Trust me, you do.

The World Health Organization has high praise for Kenya for anti-malarial progress made from 2004 to 2006.

... Odd that just when you were prepared to try going green and eco-friendly at home, you find yourself in an African capital cheering your host nation’s chemical dependence. You find the fight against pestilence admirable.

... It’s crazy, really, how your reaction to chemical-soaked nets over cribs can change over a few questionable bug bites and time zones. Suddenly, even from the capital where the risk of malaria is low to zero, you see the bigger picture.

So you find yourself cheering about DDT use. You rise from your seat the way Kenyans did when they witnessed the national women’s volleyball team defeat the Algerians to retain the title of African Queens. There is the sense of pride and shared national unity.

Go, Kenya!

Once upon a time, a malaria update wouldn’t have been page-one news. In much of the West it’s still not." (Rhonda Chriss Lokeman, Kansas City Star)

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"Gates Foundation tackles a giant that preys on Africa's children" - "On vaccination days, pharmacist Abel Mdemu unsnaps the padlock on the old Bagamoyo Hospital morgue after lunch.

The squat structure was built from coral and stone in the late 1800s, the waning years of a slave trade that funneled more than half a million Africans through this port town on Tanzania's coast. But when Mdemu swings back the weathered doors, he could be stepping into a research lab on Seattle's South Lake Union.

Four high-tech refrigerators hum where corpses once lay. Their digital displays read 5 degrees C.

Their contents: Tiny glass vials that hold the first promising vaccine for malaria, an ancient scourge that helped nudge the Roman Empire into a tailspin and still kills more than a million people a year. Most victims are African children, their bodies ravaged by the mosquito-borne parasites.

Scientists have been chasing a vaccine for nearly four decades, only to watch it slip away time and again, like a genie who beckons but never delivers. This time their wish may finally be granted." (Seattle Times)

"Why are they all so happy?" - "The new FDA Reform bill was passed last week after what we're told was a long battle among politicians and intense lobbying of pharmaceutical and consumer groups. It is the largest expansion of government regulatory powers over drugs in a decade. The bill’s primary author in the House, John D. Dingell, said it “strikes the proper balance between new drug-safety measures and ensuring consumers have access to innovative prescription pharmaceuticals in a timely manner.” And the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair, Edward Kennedy, said: “This ought to be reassuring for every family about the safety of their prescription drugs.”

News reports have made it appear consumer protection has been improved and drug safety information has been made more accessible, but the provision that will have the most significant and longest lasting impact on the rights of consumers and the practice of medicine has received hardly a whisper.

Rather than go through an intense review of the 422-page bill, here are just a few parts of this legislation that might give us some cause to pause and think." (Junkfood Science)

"Yo-Yo science and the dangers of coincidence" - "Growing numbers of people are finally getting wise to pop science and those studies that claim something is dangerous one day and healthy the next. The story is bigger than just flaws with the research itself, however, but involves how our minds work — in ways that can lead even experts to be fooled.

First the news. The Los Angeles Times echoed last weekend’s post examining the reliability of studies and expert opinions. As the subhead to a recent article read: “Coffee is good for you — no, it's bad. Epidemiological studies can come up with some crazy results, causing some critics to wonder if they're really worthwhile.” (Junkfood Science)

"Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if Class X is right for you" - "If you’re a women of childbearing age, a recently published study offered news you can use. Its results offered such an important message — possibly saving babies born to 17% of women taking prescription medications from risks of birth defects. But it also illustrated for the rest of us the problems of a health insurance company evaluating physicians’ practices and members’ behaviors and health using electronic databases of claims data.

Pregnant women are continually frightened by sensationalized news of ill-founded scares about dangerous things in the environment that could harm their unborn babies. Understanding the truth and myths of birth defects can help women take steps to keep their babies safe, while lessening their worries abut things where there’s nothing remotely plausible to worry about. This story actually has a valuable take-home message of a doable way women can help to protect their unborn babies." (Junkfood Science)

"What does obesity and pen_l_ enhancement have in common?" - "That got your attention. The answer will be revealed shortly. :-)" (Junkfood Science)

"“A” for business — The Sweet Underground" - "Children have the most wonderful ability to be kids and preserve the joys of childhood, despite adults trying their best to thwart it. :)

It’s doubtful that kids, their parents or school officials have read the 40 years of research and the findings of expert panels, such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, that have found no evidence that “bad” foods cause obesity or any evidence to support healthy eating initiatives for children, but have pointed to evidence for harm. And kids don’t believe in the mythology of junk food and health food like grownups. 

All kids know is what they love." (Junkfood Science)

"Maybe lunchboxes can just be fun again" - "Occasionally, reacting to an exaggerated scare can work in kids’ favor. Recent fears of “high” exposures to lead have meant children will be freed from another source of diet messages. 

Today’s news brought another example of how government agencies have been spending $41 million a year of taxpayer money on “healthy eating” promotions that aren't evidence-based and don’t work. Not surprisingly, this story comes from California." (Junkfood Science)

"Vitamin E trials 'fatally flawed'" - "CORVALLIS, Ore. – Generations of studies on vitamin E may be largely meaningless, scientists say, because new research has demonstrated that the levels of this micronutrient necessary to reduce oxidative stress are far higher than those that have been commonly used in clinical trials.

In a new study and commentary in Free Radical Biology and Medicine, researchers concluded that the levels of vitamin E necessary to reduce oxidative stress – as measured by accepted biomarkers of lipid peroxidation – are about 1,600 to 3,200 I.U. daily, or four to eight times higher than those used in almost all past clinical trials." (Oregon State University)

Maybe... and maybe the 'protection' afforded by said antioxidant is so small as to be... imaginary?

What a crock: "Nations agree to speed emission cuts" - "MONTREAL– International governments have banged out an agreement to shave years off a deadline to eliminate an ozone-depleting chemical. Officials from close to 200 countries signed the deal Friday before the end of a week-long conference in Montreal on the topic of hydrochlorofluorocarbons – or HCFCs. HCFCs, used in refrigeration equipment, air conditioners and foams, have been blamed for destroying the ozone layer." (CP)

"Václav Klaus in the United Nations" - "The Czech president will speak about the global warming hysteria in the U.N. tomorrow (on Monday), see I. adaptation" (The Reference Frame)

"Global Warming Hysteria or Freedom and Prosperity?" - "One can tell – with a high degree of confidence – what topics are expected to be raised here, this morning when it comes to discussing the key challenges of today’s world. The selection of the moderator and my fellow-panelists only confirms it. I guess it is either international terrorism or poverty in Africa. Talking about both of these topics is necessary because they are real dangers but it is relatively easy to talk about them because it is politically correct. I do see those dangers and do not in any way underestimate them. I do, however, see another major threat which deserves our attention – and I am afraid it does not get sufficient attention because to discuss it is politically incorrect these days. 

The threat I have in mind is the irrationality with which the world has accepted the climate change (or global warming) as a real danger to the future of mankind and the irrationality of suggested and partly already implemented measures because they will fatally endanger our freedom and prosperity, the two goals we consider – I do believe – our priorities." (Václav Klaus, EUportal)

"U.N. revs up over global warming" - "The session Monday may be the largest high-level meeting ever on climate change." ( The Christian Science Monitor)

"Less Rigid New Climate Deal May Draw Big Emitters" - "OSLO - A new deal to fight climate change from 2013 should be less rigid than the UN's Kyoto Protocol but it may still be hard to attract outsiders like China and the United States, the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, experts say." (Reuters)

"Developing Nation Splits May Hinder Climate Talks" - "LONDON - Talks on global warming in the United States next week may be complicated by differences among developing countries as their climate policy positions diverge. All agree that the rich should take a lead in tackling climate change after enjoying more than two centuries of economic growth fuelled by burning coal and oil." (Reuters)

"Global Warming Meetings Put Focus on US Role" - "WASHINGTON - A trio of climate change meetings in the United States this week will focus attention on how Washington can deliver on its pledge to play a lead role in combating global warming." (Reuters)

Check out the holiday circuit: "Climate Change Meetings This Year" - "UNITED NATIONS - Monday's UN meeting on climate change is the latest in a series of decisions taken this year on an issue increasingly at the top of the international agenda: (Reuters)

The Crone's learnt exactly nothing: "Climate Week" - "The coming week could set a record for the number of high-profile hours spent discussing global warming and what to do about it. It begins with a special one-day session at the United Nations, at which Al Gore will press the case for strong collective action to stop the rise of greenhouse gases. It ends with a two-day White House “summit” involving all of the major emitters, including India and China. Both of those nations have been conspicuously absent from climate negotiations, but their help in arresting global emissions is essential.

The problem needs all the attention it can get. But if talk is good, it is also cheap. And it will change nothing unless it leads to a real treaty with real, and enforceable, limits on the production of greenhouse gases. That means a broader and more inclusive version of the Kyoto Protocol, a noble but flawed treaty that expires in 2012." (New York Times)

More with a taste for Kool-Aid: "Coping with climate change" - "There's no silver bullet to fix climate change.

Editor's note: It may be the greatest threat, yet climate change has not yet inspired people to make dramatic changes to lives and lifestyles. Will change be forced upon us?" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Howler from Seth Boringtheme, with backing from the Church of Global Warming Choir: "Scientists Hopeful Despite Climate Signs" - " Climate scientist Michael Mann runs down the list of bad global warming news: The world is spewing greenhouse gases at a faster rate. Summer Arctic sea ice is at record lows. The ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica are melting quicker than expected." (Associated Press)

"Unbelievably Disgraceful Global Warming Hysteria by the AP" - "The political battle over climate change has clearly taken a dramatic turn for the worse this month, for it now seems media are actually competing to see which outlet can present the most hysterical report concerning imminent planetary doom at the hands of manmade global warming. (News Busters)

Seems to be a globally-coordinated hand-wringer: "10,000 historic sites at risk from climate change" - "MORE THAN 10,000 of the most important ancient and historical sites around Scotland's coastline are at risk of being destroyed by the storms and rising sea levels that will come with global warming.

Sites in jeopardy include the neolithic settlement of Skara Brae on Orkney and the prehistoric ruins at Jarlshof on Shetland. Others under threat range from Viking burial boats to Iron Age brochs and Mesolithic middens.

New surveys for Historic Scotland reveal that the remains of communities up to 9000 years old could be lost for ever due to accelerating coastal erosion." (Sunday Herald)

9,000 years old settlements would be, what? 160 meters nearer sea level than immediately post ice age? And they are now more subject to erosion... imagine that.

"Bush to Skip U.N. Talks on Global Warming" - "President Bush is preparing a separate climate change meeting in Washington later in the week." (New York Times)

"Solutions to climate not in Kyoto" - "FEW people disagree that our planet has experienced significant environmental change in recent decades. Until recently, however, there has been significant disagreement on the best way to tackle this challenge.

We are now seeing a clear change in the international political climate in the wake of several key meetings this year, including the highly successful APEC meeting in Sydney. 

Rather than clinging to the outdated and ineffectual Kyoto protocol, the world community is actively seeking an equitable, sustainable and all-inclusive solution to this difficult challenge. And, just as happened at APEC, Australia will be a key player in finding this solution. We simply cannot afford to rely on old solutions such as Kyoto, which covers just one-third of global emissions, or we risk being left behind as the international community moves on." (Alexander Downer, The Australian)

Actually Alex, it'd be much easier to vote Coalition if you guys clearly repudiated gorebull warming rather than pandering to populist pap.

For once we agree with Ozone Man: "Al Gore: Climate change policy should decide Australian election outcome" - "CANBERRA, Australia: The Australian political opposition's promise to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gas emissions should be the deciding issue in federal elections this year, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said Saturday." (Associated Press)

That's probably the definitive reason to vote against the ALP and should ensure the return of the Howard Government.

"Al Gore’s Unbeatable Deal! Global warming at twice the cost." - "Just imagine the infomercial: Have I got a deal for you! You may not know it, but your house is leaking energy, which means that you are the victim of colossal waste. In fact, your waste of energy will cost you a total of $22,000 over the rest of your life. But I’ve got a package of home improvements we can install to slash that to a mere $10,000. What? The cost of these improvements? It’s a pittance really — a mere $34,000." (Iain Murray, NRO)

Al's not the only hot air profiteer: "Rhodia S. Korea Plant Leads World in Carbon Credits" - "LONDON - A South Korean chemical plant that cleaned up its act has received the most United Nations carbon credits to date and its French owner Rhodia is raking in profit as a result." (Reuters)

"Schwarzenegger and Gore add star power to climate meet" - "UNITED NATIONS - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore are set to join world leaders for a U.N. meeting on Monday aimed at spurring global negotiations on how to cool a warming planet." (Reuters)

Why not? Arnie's had problems with trophy-seeking interplanetary critters and Al's been battling blind Patagonian Sheep (not to mention the rabbits in our backyards) for years -- who better to go after another phantom menace?

"Buy your way to carbon neutrality?" - "The Oscar-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth" touted itself as the world's first carbon-neutral documentary.

The producers said that every ounce of carbon emitted during production — from jet travel, electricity for filming and gasoline for cars and trucks — was counterbalanced by reducing emissions somewhere else. It only made sense that a film about the perils of global warming wouldn't contribute to the problem.

Co-producer Lesley Chilcott used an online calculator to estimate that shooting the film used 41.4 tons of carbon dioxide and paid a middleman, a company called Native Energy, $12 a ton, or $496.80, to broker a deal to cut greenhouse gases elsewhere. The film's distributors later made a similar payment to neutralize carbon dioxide from the movie's marketing.

It was a ridiculously good deal with one problem: So far, it has not led to any additional emissions reductions." ( Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times)

NEW! Science and Environmental Policy Project Blog

Contribution to AGU Panel drafting statement on Global Warming - Submitted by S. Fred Singer (Fellow and Life Member, AGU)

"Climate Carpetbaggers" - "Coming soon to a state near you: global warming carpetbaggers who care not a whit about any discussion of global warming science.

That’s about as charitable thing as can be said about the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), an offshoot of the radical Pennsylvania Environmental Council, a group famous for environmental scaremongering. 

CCS is fanning teams of “facilitators” nationwide, presenting itself as some neutral body promoting a “consensus” on global warming policy, and specifically instructing the states that they are not to discuss global warming science when talking about climate change policy.

Here’s how it works. Given that its been around for two decades now, the global warming policy community is an established one. It’s pretty hard to find a state environmental agency or state legislative staff that doesn’t have more than a few from this crowd. They go to the same junkets and read the same blogs. It’s a network, OK?" (WCR)

"Soil Moisture Matters" - "For decades, climate scientists have run numerical experiments to predict the climate response to the buildup of greenhouse gases and the answer consistently falls on the side of warming on the global scale. The climate models have become more sophisticated by orders of magnitude over the past 40 years, and the prediction of warming given increased concentrations of greenhouse gases remains as the central pillar in the global warming issue. The fact that the Earth has warmed over the past three decades makes it very easy to claim that greenhouse gases are increasing, models predict warming, the Earth’s temperature is increasing, and therefore, the science debate on the issue is over." (WCR)

"Amazon forest shows unexpected resiliency during drought" - "Drought-stricken regions of the Amazon forest grew particularly vigorously during the 2005 drought, according to new research.

The counterintuitive finding contradicts a prominent global climate model that predicts the Amazon forest would begin to "brown down" after just a month of drought and eventually collapse as the drought progressed. 

“Instead of ‘hunkering down’ during a drought as you might expect, the forest responded positively to drought, at least in the short term," said study author Scott R. Saleska of The University of Arizona. "It's a very interesting and surprising response." 

UA co-author Kamel Didan added, "The forest showed signs of being more productive. That's the big news." (University of Arizona)

Shouldn't be 'surprising' at all and betrays the greenie mindset that believes the forest exists because conditions are as witnessed over the last few hundred years rather than despite said conditions having recently prevailed. Not an impressive write up.

"NSIDC and ICECAP on the New Arctic Sea Ice Minimum" - "There have been and will continue to be stories on the new record minimum of arctic ice and how this is further proof of anthropogenic global warming. As we have blogged, the authors of the papers and media reporting on them have no sense of history and of the real factors involved in the global cycles of temperatures and arctic ice." ( Joe D’Aleo, ICECAP)

Imagine that... "A Global Climate of Change" - "Global warming and its dire consequences have at long last permeated the special interest barriers and are at the centre of political debate. A recent EU Research magazine produced a special feature with the title: "Climate Change: We can't wait any longer," stating: "The 4th IPCC report was issued and adopted this spring amidst a blaze of publicity and debate. It summarises two decades of important multidisciplinary research and formally concludes that the symptoms of global warming due to human activity are all too real, and will inevitably progress faster than was previously thought. We must act." ( Christopher Lazou, HiPerCom Consultants, Ltd.)

... 'puter geeks promoting 'puter-generated garbage. Who'da thunkit?

Uh-huh... "Do the right thing on climate change, UN head says" - "OTTAWA - Environmentalists need to mobilize popular support to allow governments to legislate to fight climate change, said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

His comments come on the eve of a special summit on Monday that the UN is billing as the largest ever gathering of world leaders to discuss the threat of global warming. More than 70 heads of state or government, including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President George W. Bush, are expected to attend the one-day event that Ban convened in the hopes of breaking a stalemate on international climate negotiations between the developed and developing countries of the world.

"We need you, Greenpeace, to mobilize public opinion and enable politicians to do the right thing," Ban said during a meeting last week with several representatives of Greenpeace International." ( CanWest News Service)

... unable to make a genuine case the IPCC is appealing to public nuisance organizations. Figures!

"Battle over climate change is being fought in world's courts" - "LONDON - In Australia, environmentalists use the courts to challenge a proposed mine. California sues carmakers seeking damages for environmental effects of their vehicles. Arctic Inuits file a petition claiming U.S. carbon emissions are violating their human rights by melting polar ice. 

Around the world, greens are increasingly taking their battle against global warming to the courts. While obstacles are enormous, plaintiffs are making headway in some cases, and the lawsuits are ratcheting up pressure on politicians to impose mandatory curbs on emissions and forcing companies to change their products or improve their public images." (Associated Press)

Which is exactly why so-called environmental laws must be stripped from the books to stop misanthropists using them to strangle society.

"Climate change spooks companies" - "Ever more companies see climate change as a growing threat to their commercial interests, according to a study carried out on behalf of 315 global investors. But others expect to benefit, says the Global Climate Change Report. Investors want firms to quantify and disclose the likely costs and benefits derived from climate change." (BBC)

Which is foolish because no one knows what the climate will do.

"PM's climate plan `misleading'" - "Government accused of exaggerating its proposals for cutting emissions in report by advisory panel." (Toronto Star)

So? Any plan beyond 'Cope with what you get' is a misleading climate plan.

Socialist dipsticks told to "stuffit": "Impose a green tax, says study" - "AUSTRALIANS should be taxed because they don't care enough about green energy to pay more for the environmentally friendly technology, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Melbourne and the CSIRO found consumers were “actively” interested in green energy but they didn’t want to pay more for it.  Marketing expert Angela Paladino said taxing consumers could be the only way to see an uptake in the new technologies.  “It appears that the only way that organisations are able to assign a price premium to green energy is to do so through government support in the form of levies or indirect taxes,” Dr Paladino said in the report." (news.com.au)

Aussies not sold on gorebull warming BS & must be forcibly ripped off with Gaia tax.

"Faced with a future when the rain no longer comes" - "The downpours that fill dams have become a rarity, write Marian Wilkinson and Andrew Clennell." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Gorebull warming has become a very convenient excuse for governments' collective failure to match infrastructure with population concentration.

"Let’s make the world storm-proof" - "The idea that hurricanes are blowback for man’s polluting ways overlooks the fact that it is only man – through development and construction – who can offset the impacts of freak weather." (Stuart Derbyshire, sp!ked)

"The mole and the coal becomes politically incorrect" - "Zdeněk Miler, a Czechoslovak cartoonist, started to produce these cute mole cartoons in 1956, long before your humble correspondent was born, and they were entertaining generations of babies. If there ever were a peaceful cartoon for small kids, this is one. The communist reality in Czechoslovakia couldn't change anything about it. However, times are changing." (The Reference Frame)

"EU Clashes With US Over Airline Emissions Trade" - "BRUSSELS - The European Union will press ahead with plans to include aviation in its emissions trading system despite United States' efforts through a UN body to discourage it, a spokeswoman for the EU executive said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Amid the rush to biofuel, a warning" - "In the food-versus-fuel debate, there's little doubt where Norman Borlaug's heart lies. 

The father of the "Green Revolution," Borlaug's life has been dedicated to increasing the food supply in the developing world. His work with grains is credited with saving millions of lives, and in 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

So Borlaug, now 93, watches with dismay as ever-greater amounts of the world's grain are turned into motor fuel for developed nations. 

"It isn't going to solve our energy problems, and it's going to disrupt our food system," Borlaug said Thursday." (Pioneer Press)

"Organisations call on EU to abandon plans biofuel target" - "37 environmental and human rights groups have called upon the Members of the European Parliament to drop support for a 10% mandatory biofuel target during next week's vote on the Thomsen report.

They warn that biofuel targets are already linked to serious social impacts in the global South, such as rural depopulation, health impacts, land conflicts, human rights violations. They also warn that most biofuels are produced from large-scale monocultures and that those accelerate global warming because they speeding up the destruction of forests, peatlands, healthy soils and other ecosystems on which we depend for a stable climate." (Merco Press)

"Biofuels could increase global warming with laughing gas, says Nobel prize-winning chemist" - "Growing and burning many biofuel crops may actually raise, rather than lower, greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the conclusion of a new study led by Nobel prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen, best known for his work on the ozone layer." (Royal Society of Chemistry)

"Biofuels Produce More Greenhouse Gases Than Oil and Gasoline" - "Here's an inconvenient truth our global warming obsessed media seem certain to withhold from the public: biofuels produce more greenhouse gases than oil and gasoline. Fortunately, as has been noted by NewsBusters before, foreign press outlets are more willing than ours to present the facets of this issue that go counter to the prevailing climate change agenda. As such, Britain's Times reported Saturday:" (News Busters)

Wow! Even Robin McKie knows: "Why we need our own nuclear power" - "Wind and wave power are not yet developed enough to keep all the country's kettles boiling." (Robin McKie, The Observer)

"The new British empire? UK plans to annex south Atlantic" - "Britain is preparing territorial claims on tens of thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean floor around the Falklands, Ascension Island and Rockall in the hope of annexing potentially lucrative gas, mineral and oil fields, the Guardian has learned.

The UK claims, to be lodged at the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, exploit a novel legal approach that is transforming the international politics of underwater prospecting." (The Guardian)

"Vietnam gets US$1 bil. ADB loan for coal-fired power plant" - "HANOI, Vietnam -- The Asian Development Bank agreed Friday to loan Vietnam nearly US$1 billion to build a coal-fired power plant as the booming country scrambles to keep up with its surging demand for power.

The money will be used to help finance a 2,000-megawatt project in Mong Duong, a precinct in northern Quang Ninh Province, about 190 kilometers (120 miles) east of Hanoi, said John Cooney, the ADB's infrastructure director for Southeast Asia." (AP)

"Let the East Bloom Again" - "THE United States faces two major security challenges this century. Both involve water. 

The increasing demand for water in the Western United States in an era of diminishing supply has put America’s highly efficient agricultural system in jeopardy. At the same time, our nation’s energy demands have led President Bush and Congressional leaders from both parties to call for more domestic production of biofuels like corn ethanol. Some agricultural experts fear that the country does not have enough water and land to both replace the declining agricultural production in the arid West and expand the production of biofuels. 

There is, however, a sustainable solution: a return to using the land and water of the East, which dominated agriculture in the United States into the 20th century." (Richard T. McNider And John R. Christy, New York Times)

September 21, 2007

"Green Hypocrisy's Gold Standard" - "Is billionaire investor George Soros using environmental pressure groups to block a gold-mining project for his own financial benefit?" (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"George Soros: The Man, The Mind And The Money Behind MoveOn" - "The smear ad published against Gen. Petraeus has drawn attention to its sponsor, MoveOn.org. But the fingerprints of the group's chief financial backer, George Soros, were all over it. Who is this man and what is he up to?" (IBD)

FAIR far from accurate: "Rachel Carson, Mass Murderer?" - "The creation of an anti-environmental myth." (Aaron Swartz, FAIR)

We don't know whether they are just careless or willfully deceitful but they sure are misnamed. Here's just a few points they really screwed up:

  • DDT is not "sprayed heavily on houses", Indoor Residual Spray regimes use minuscule quantities
  • Rachel Carson began her fantasy piece with "This is a fable about tomorrow" and that was about the only accurate statement between the covers
  • Bald eagles were never endangered by DDT and their numbers were lowest prior to and climbed throughout the period of DDT use, indeed most raptors and many other bird species increased during the period
  • There are actually an estimated 2.7 million malarial deaths per year rather than 1 million -- see Scientists Find Drastic Underestimations of Malaria Morbidity, Mortality, and Economic Burden (full paper: "The Intolerable Burden of Malaria: A New Look at the Numbers," - supplement to The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene). JunkScience.com's Malaria Clock simply does not minimize mortality.
  • Until recently WHO refused to fund and donor countries outright prohibited use of DDT as a condition of Aid, Green NGOs continue to lobby for transport bans under the POPs treaties and foment hysteria about "polluted" agricultural exports -- all of which creates an effective ban in all but name.
  • Mosquito resistance to DDT takes the form of excitation and avoidance making it an even more effective barrier against malaria transmission...

We could keep going like an "Energizer Bunny" but you get the picture. FAmously Inaccurate Reporting don't seem to have gotten anything right, even to the point of using notorious greenie blogger sock puppet "Eli Rabbett" as a source. Perhaps they should change their name to SPORE (Seriously POor REporting), or some such.

Support the campaign against DDT scaremongering with a DDT T-shirt!
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"Earth Summit Score Card, 15 Years On" - "RIO DE JANEIRO - Fifteen years after the 1992 Earth Summit, Brazil is again playing host to representatives from around the world who are assessing the results of the actions that arose from that landmark conference." (IPS)

Time to completely kill it as the misanthropic ratbaggery that it is.

"New Pacific Research Institute Report Reviews the History of Environmental Alarmism and Its Policy Impact" - "SAN FRANCISCO – Environmental hysteria leads to poor and self-contradictory policy-making according to Hysteria’s History: Environmental Alarmism in Context, a new report released today by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI). In Hysteria’s History, author Amy Kaleita, policy fellow in Environmental Studies at PRI, charts the progression of hysteria starting with Rachel Carson’s influential book Silent Spring up to the current global warming controversy. 

“A major challenge in developing appropriate responses to legitimate problems is that alarmism catches people’s attention and draws them in,” said Dr. Kaleita. “Alarmism is given more weight than it deserves, as policy makers attempt to appease their constituency and the media.” (Press Release) | To download a copy of Hysteria’s History click here.

Sen. James Inhofe on the global warming scam.

<chuckle> "Climate change may help rainforests" - "Climate change may lead to lush growth rather than catastrophic tree loss in the Amazonian forests, researchers from the US and Brazil have found. A study, in the journal Science, found that reduced rainfall had led to greener forests, possibly because sunlight levels are higher when there are fewer rainclouds. 

But scientists cautioned that while the finding raises hopes for the survival of the forests, there are still serious threats. Climate models have suggested that the forests will suffer as the region becomes drier and will release huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere." (London Times)

Oh, the forests are visibly thriving but we should worry because the models say otherwise? And these models are soooo good, eh?

Principal Model Deficiencies

ModelE [2006] compares the atmospheric model climatology with observations. Model shortcomings include ~25% regional deficiency of summer stratus cloud cover off the west coast of the continents with resulting excessive absorption of solar radiation by as much as 50 W/m2, deficiency in absorbed solar radiation and net radiation over other tropical regions by typically 20 W/m2, sea level pressure too high by 4-8 hPa in the winter in the Arctic and 2-4 hPa too low in all seasons in the tropics, ~20% deficiency of rainfall over the Amazon basin, ~25% deficiency in summer cloud cover in the western United States and central Asia with a corresponding ~5°C excessive summer warmth in these regions. In addition to the inaccuracies in the simulated climatology, another shortcoming of the atmospheric model for climate change studies is the absence of a gravity wave representation, as noted above, which may affect the nature of interactions between the troposphere and stratosphere. The stratospheric variability is less than observed, as shown by analysis of the present 20-layer 4°x5° atmospheric model by J. Perlwitz [personal communication]. In a 50-year control run Perlwitz finds that the interannual variability of seasonal mean temperature in the stratosphere maximizes in the region of the subpolar jet streams at realistic values, but the model produces only six sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) in 50 years, compared with about one every two years in the real world. ... Climate simulations for 1880-2003 with GISS modelE -- Hansen et al. 2007, in press.

"Women Demand Voice in Climate Debate" - "UNITED NATIONS - Calls for increased participation of women in policy-making decisions are on the rise as world leaders prepare to attend an international meeting on climate change to be held at U.N. headquarters next week." (IPS)

Flimflam man: "Climate change worse than feared: Australian expert" - "SYDNEY - Global warming is occurring at a faster rate than the worst-case scenario envisaged by experts just six years ago, Australia's top climate change scientist said Thursday. Tim Flannery, named the 2007 Australian of the Year for his work in alerting the public to the dangers of global warming, said the issue was the greatest challenge facing humanity in the 21st century." (AFP)

"Australia's top climate change scientist"? Oh puh-lease! Flimflam Flannery is a paleontologist and self-promoting greenie misanthropist who has hitched his anti-people bandwagon to the gorebull warming juggernaut. He's an imaginative author (The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers) making more than a few bucks exploiting the self-loathing "people bad" mantra so prevalent in the current Era of Green Delusion.

There's lots of money in it: "Paying dearly to hear Gore's climate story" - "AL GORE has a story he wants to tell the world. But it will cost you a thousand dollars to hear it.

In a passionate attack on the climate policies of Prime Minister John Howard and US President George Bush, the former US vice-president, addressing a very expensive lunch in Sydney yesterday, called Australia and the US "the Bonnie and Clyde" outlaws of the global environment for their failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr Gore called on Australia to change course on Kyoto and its climate policies, saying if it did "it would be impossible for the United States to withstand the pressure" to join the rest of the world in ratifying Kyoto.

Labor under Kevin Rudd has promised to ratify the protocol while Mr Howard is adamantly opposed to it and is backing Mr Bush's efforts to find a "post-Kyoto accord".

Mr Gore made his comments after reporters were asked to leave the lunch venue. Despite the cost, lunch in the 700-seat room at the Sydney Convention Centre was a sell-out, as is tomorrow's event in Melbourne. VIP packages, which included a spot close to Mr Gore and a meet-and-greet with him, cost $25,000." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Andrew Bolt: Al gores us at hot lunch" - "I WOULD hate the businessmen who've each paid $1000 to hear former US Vice-President Al Gore speak today to be bored, Andrew Bolt writes." (Herald Sun)

"A 'deep and bleak' world" - "This entry is about one green journalist - and every green journalist. 

Susan Ager is a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, who, like most in her profession, has adopted global warming as a moral cause. Unlike Sharon Begley of Newsweek or Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, she is not an ideologue. But the issue worries her, and she occasionally devotes her column to the subject. "I turned our thermostat down" and "you can measure your energy footprint" are among the green homilies she spins in a March 20 column advising her readers to see Al Gore's movie and live green. 

"The situation is not hopeless. But it is urgent. Our earth is ill and only we can save her," she concludes. But, like most journalists, her religion is utterly at odds with the life she leads.

In her column this Sunday, Ager did not write about the environment - she wrote instead about the thing dearest to her life: Her family. But the column told more about the futility - and ignorance - of the green movement than any warming skeptic could." (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

"Have you got green fatigue?" - "You recycle and buy local – but the earth's still warming and the ice cap's still melting. If you're starting to feel apathy creeping in, you're not the only one. Hugh Wilson reports." (London Independent)

"Africa floods linked to 'La Nina' weather in Pacific: UN agency" - "Severe flooding caused by torrential rains stretching across Africa is probably linked to the "La Nina" weather pattern thousands of mile away in the Pacific, a senior UN weather agency scientist said Thursday.

The World Meteorological Organisation warned in July that the combination of tropical wind patterns over the Pacific Ocean and cooler than normal sea temperatures off western Latin America could have a "planetary" impact.

WMO climatologist Omar Baddour told journalists that the link between "La Nina" and flooding in western Africa had been closely studied since the 1990s." (AFP)

"Weather forecasting needs huge boost to tackle climate change: WMO" - "The UN's meteorological agency on Friday called for a multibillion dollar boost for weather forecasting, warning that about 30 percent of economic wealth was directly exposed to the impact of global warming.

The World Meteorological Organisation urged the international community to pay greater attention to helping countries, especially poor nations, adapt to the extreme weather conditions associated with climate change." (AFP)

If they 'd just avoid the specious gorebull warming stuff it'd be quite useful and asensible.

"Australia Uses Lasers to Check Antarctic Sea Ice" - "SYDNEY - An Australian-led expedition is using lasers on helicopters in Antarctica and satellites for the first time to determine whether sea ice in the Southern Ocean is changing in response to climate change. 

There are concerns that Antarctic sea ice might be getting thinner, the Australian Antarctic Division said in a statement on Thursday. 

Sea ice plays an essential role in regulating global climate as well as supporting the Southern Ocean ecosystem. 

Sea ice could be expected to respond to global warming and was therefore like a canary in a coal mine, said Australian glaciologist Tas van Ommen." (Reuters)

The Cryosphere Today: UPDATE: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - *correction* - close to record SH sea ice maximum and NH sea ice minimum 

Just when you thought this season's cryosphere couldn't be more strange .... The Southern Hemisphere sea ice area is close to surpassing the previous historic maximum of 16.03 million sq. km and is currently at 15.91 million sq. km. The observed sea ice record in the Southern Hemisphere (1979-present) is not as long as the Northern Hemisphere. Prior to the satellite era, direct observations of the SH sea ice edge were sporadic. 

The NH sea ice area is currently at its historic minimum (2.92 million sq. km) representing a 27% drop in sea ice coverage compared to the previous (2005) record NH ice minimum. 

Correction: we had previously reported that there had been a new SH historic maximum ice area. Unfortunately, we found a small glitch in our software. The timeseries have now been corrected and are showing that we are very close to, but not yet, a new historic maximum sea ice area for the Southern Hemisphere.

Granted there's only about half an Arctic Oscillation cycle's worth of satellite data but there doesn't appear anything to get excited about in total daily sea ice areas at this stage with a small trend induced almost entirely by the last couple of years (no way of telling for some time whether this is just a trivial anomaly). Nonetheless, the annual average is ~19 ± ~4 million square kilometers with interannual variation ± ~2 million square kilometers apparently quite normal.

"Study shows polar bear increase in Davis Strait" - "IQALUIT - Climate change is not hurting polar bear populations in the Davis Strait area of Nunavut, according to Dr. Mitch Taylor, manager of wildlife research and a polar bear biologist with the GN's Department of Environment. In fact, polar bear populations along the Davis Strait are healthy and their numbers increasing, an ongoing study is indicating." (Northern News Services)

D'oh! "Doubts raised over trees for carbon plan" - "TREES planted as part of a Federal Government scheme to make offsetting greenhouse gas emissions tax deductible will not have to be native varieties and there will be no legal mechanism to prevent them being chopped down.

Legislation creating a tax deduction for the cost of carbon sink forests was debated in the Senate yesterday, with the Greens raising concerns about the extent to which the scheme would be environmentally beneficial.

"This tax amendment provides for the planting of so-called carbon sinks, but there is no definition of a carbon sink … The important thing is that there is no requirement for the trees to stay in the ground for any length of time," Greens Senator Christine Milne said.

The Greens want the legislation amended so that trees that are planted to create a sink are natives, must remain in the ground for at least 100 years and must first be subject to an assessment of the amount of water it would take to sustain them." (Sydney Morning Herald)

Bloody idiots... "Climate bill will lift power and fuel prices" - "Households will pay up to 10 per cent more for electricity and 6c a litre more for petrol to reduce New Zealand's contribution to global warming. The Government's carbon emissions trading scheme revealed yesterday makes businesses pay for the amount of carbon they put into the atmosphere - costs that will generally be passed on to the consumer." (New Zealand Herald)

"Key Votes on Emissions Trading in Europe Could Cement Aviation’s Role" - "The European Parliament and Council of the European Union are debating the inclusion of aviation in Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme (a so-called “cap and trade” system for CO2 emissions) under the European Community’s “co-decision process.” Key votes are due next month from the transport and environment committees of the Parliament, before a plenary session in November potentially sets its final form in concrete if the two Community institutions reach an agreement." (AIN)

"Biofuels Worsen Hungary's Drought, Expert Says" - "BUDAPEST - Biofuel production and burning agricultural by-products in power plants contributed to Hungary's severe drought this year, an academic expert said on Thursday." (Reuters)

"Asia-Pacific nations urged to study biofuels more carefully" - "Scientists say there is an urgent need to support the current rush toward major decisions on biofuel policies in Asia and the Pacific with solid research." (International Rice Research Institute)

"Yo-Yo science and the dangers of coincidence" - "Growing numbers of people are finally getting wise to pop science and those studies that claim something is dangerous one day and healthy the next. The story is bigger than just flaws with the research itself, however, but involves how our minds work — in ways that can lead even experts to be fooled." (Junkfood Science)

"France Hints at Freezing GMO Seed Sales - Paper" - "PARIS - French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo has hinted that the country could freeze approvals for the sale of genetically modified seeds, a leading newspaper said." (Reuters)

"Scientists report new strategy to create genetically-modified animals" - "Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have demonstrated the potential of a new strategy for genetic modification of large animals. The method employs a harmless gene therapy virus that transfers a genetic modification to male reproductive cells, which is then passed naturally on to offspring." (University of Pennsylvania)

September 20, 2007

Facebook Blackout Against Malaria - One Million Faces Against Malaria 
Join us on September 23 in blacking our your profile picture on Facebook to help raise awareness of malaria's devastating toll. Go www.facebook.com, sign up for an account and search for the group "One Million Faces Against Malaria". (AFM)

BERRY PRIZE WINNER Donald R. Roberts: Applying Controlled Chemicals To Prevent Malaria

Titles: Professor of Preventive Medicine (Ret.), Edward F. Hebert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.; Chair, World Health Organization's Working Group on Indoor Residual Spraying; Member, External Scientific Advisory Committee of the Gates Foundation's Innovative Vector Control Consortium; Member, Board of Directors for Africa Fighting Malaria 

Summary of Accomplishments: Dr. Roberts was drafted into the Army in 1966 and retired from his position as a tenured professor at USUHS this summer. In the 41-year interim, he served in an Army preventive medicine unit in Thailand, conducted field research on malaria in Brazil, ran the Department of Entomology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in Washington, D.C. and collaborated with his USUHS research team to develop laboratory assays that screen chemicals for their behavioral actions. While malaria was at the center of Dr. Roberts' research from the very beginning, as his career progressed he became more focused on the behavioral responses of mosquitoes to a controversial chemical-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT. By demonstrating that DDT can be safely and effectively used to repel mosquitoes from homes, and by trying to deliver this message to malariologists and policy makers, Dr. Roberts has been on a mission to reverse global policy that has been against DDT. This mission has recently borne fruit: last September, the WHO abandoned its 30-year anti-DDT policy and endorsed indoor spraying in its fight against malaria, a disease that kills more than one million people worldwide every year. 

"It's certainly been growing," Dr. Roberts said of the number of his colleagues who are beginning to advocate for the use of DDT. "And what helps us is that every place that it's used, it proves to be remarkably effective. When South Africa restarted its use of DDT [in 2001], it dropped the malaria rates 80 per cent within just the first few months." (AFM)

"South Africa sees ‘dramatic reduction in malaria cases’" - "Health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, says cooperation between South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique has led to a 90% reduction in new malaria infections in the three countries. 

Tshabala-Msimang says this has been achieved through the use of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), an agent that kills the malaria-carrying mosquitoes. She was speaking at one of the commissions of the People's Assembly in Bizana, which was discussing the health situation in the country. 

She says the reduction was achieved because of the countries' refusal to listen to those who preached against the use of DDT." (SABC News)

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"Cold yet?" - "NASA scientist James E. Hansen, who has publicly criticized the Bush administration for dragging its feet on climate change and labeled skeptics of man-made global warming as distracting "court jesters," appears in a 1971 Washington Post article that warns of an impending ice age within 50 years.

"U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming," blares the headline of the July 9, 1971, article, which cautions readers that the world "could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts." (Washington Times) -- thanks to all who sent links.

So, how did Rasool & Schneider (yes, that Schneider) arrive at their looming ice age conclusion? As it happens they used a climate model, in part developed by one James Hansen :)

Interesting little side notes, too -- three dozen years ago scientists were well aware and quite open about "although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere." How different from the marvelous magical multipliers now employed by the IPCC gaggle to manufacture a threat from trivial warming.

Additionally you are looking at an early iteration of the aerosol masking hypothesis, since invoked to explain lack of warming 1940s through 1970s, even though we still do not know if aerosols 'in the wild' are capable of so doing and recent experiments conducted in the Asian Brown Cloud suggest aerosols have a net warming effect (How Now Brown Cloud?).

"Why Has “Global Warming” Become Such A Passionate Subject?" - "The new IPCC Report (2007) states, on page 10, “Most observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” Their great effort in making progress in climate change science is certainly commended.

The media in the world is paying great attention mostly to the term “very likely,” meaning the confidence level of more than 90%. However, I, as a scientist, am more concerned about the term “most,” because the IPCC Report does not demonstrate the basis for the term “most.”

There seems to be a roughly linear increase of the temperature from about 1800, or even much earlier, to the present. This trend should be subtracted from the temperature data during the last 100 years. Thus, there is a possibility that only a fraction of the present warming trend may be attributed to the greenhouse effect resulting from human activities.

One possible cause of the linear increase may be that the Earth is still recovering from the Little Ice Age.

Thus, natural causes cannot be ignored in the present warming trend, in addition to the greenhouse effect. This short article is my criticism on the report from the point of an arctic researcher. The Arctic is the place where climate change is most prominently in progress, compared with the rest of the world." (Syun-Ichi Akasofu, SPPI)

"Global-warming skeptics: Might warming be 'normal'?" - "Some say that today's climate change is merely part of a natural cycle." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Chill Pill" - "Combat global warming? There are better things we can do for the Earth." (Pete du Pont, Wall Street Journal)

"Lorry driver in challenge to Gore school film" - "A lorry driver is taking the Government to court over a film that he believes is biased and shouldn't be shown to children in schools." (London Telegraph)

Really? "Ancient British Bog May Hold Climate Change Clues" - "LONDON - An ancient British bog that pumped out high amounts of greenhouse gases during a period of global warming 55 million years ago may offer clues about future climate change, researchers said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

Atmospheric carbon levels were really quite high before the evolution of large land plants with subsequent draw down and biological sequestration but this does not appear well related to global temperature. The (relatively) brief increase in atmospheric carbon about which they speak occurred at a time when global temperatures are believed to have been significantly higher than today's and preceded a dramatic fall to the current ice age-susceptible level.

Or what? "Little time left to tackle global warming, UN chief warns" - "OTTAWA - Politicians from around the globe have little time left to accept the scientific evidence that humans are causing dangerous changes to the climate and act to put a stop to it, the top United Nations official warned Tuesday." (CanWest News Service)

Alright, pretend, for a moment, that all this gorebull warming fluff is true. The world's going to heck in a really warm hand basket and we all don hair shirts, give up all traces of development and go squabble over cave space, how much difference will that make to global mean temperature? If you said "nothing" or "a few thousands of a degree" you'd be close enough either way. Is that anyone's idea of "achievement"? And at what cost? Why is it even under discussion?

"Today's editorial: Judge cools it on global warming" - "A modicum of restraint, long overdue, was shown this week by a federal judge who threw out the state of California's lawsuit seeking billions of dollars in damages from six major auto manufacturers for their vehicles' alleged contribution to global warming. 

We welcome this voice of reason amid the loud drumbeat of demands for oppressive regulations and excessive economic penalties to curb an alleged problem that may be no problem after all." (Orange County Register) | On The Docket: Climate Change Litigation (Daily Report)

Increasing stupidity: "Pollution to cost under Government's climate change plan" - "The Government's bid to tackle climate change - issued this morning - warns individuals and businesses to reduce pollution or pay the price. Capping greenhouse emissions would be a significant part of the seven-year plan, Prime Minister Helen Clark said. "It is important that we put a price on greenhouse gas pollution to encourage businesses and households to become more energy efficient," she said." (New Zealand Herald)

With no hope of doing anything but harm the woeful Leftie government of New Zealand continues to sabotage the place -- and Australia will eventually have to pick up the tab as the constitution clauses of the two colonies are invoked and NZ becomes the 8th state of Australia. They've even swallowed the greenhouse "pollution" tag, hook line and sinker. Interestingly The Herald promptly closed their poll (probably because people voted 3:1 against paying any more for power or fuel to "fight global warming").

"Lawyer will take Harper to court over Kyoto" - "Environmentalists have recruited a high-profile Toronto business lawyer to take the Harper government to court for allegedly breaking a new law that requires it to honour Canada's international commitments to slash the heat-trapping gases linked to global warming." ( CanWest News Service)

Speechless: "How not to measure temperature, part 31" - "It's been awhile since I updated this series, and its not for lack of material. But I got busy with the UCAR conference, publishing a slide show, and other things. But this morning, über volunteer Don Kostuch sent me a note on his latest survey in Titusville, FL near Cape Canaveral and KSC. I'd like to point out that Don has traveled further and surveyed more stations in the USA than anyone. He is a surveying machine. He wrote this in his email to me:

"On your scale of 1 to 5, this is an 8. Peace, Don Kostuch"

Ok in the past we have seen stations on rooftops, at sewage treatment plants, over concrete, next to air conditioners, next to diesel generators, with nearby parking, excessive nighttime humidity, and at non-standard observing heights.

Imagine a USHCN station that embraces all of that." (Watts Up With That?)

"Faster ozone-depleting chemicals ban hits funding speed bump" - "UN talks to hasten a ban on ozone-depleting chemicals were mired in the nitty-gritty Wednesday, as countries tried to fix the economic costs of meeting a new timetable and funding, a UN Environment Program spokesman said.

"The central aspect of the negotiations now is the envelope on the amount of money that is needed to accelerate the freezing (and) phase-out of HCFCs (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons)," UNEP spokesman Nick Nuttall told AFP." (AFP)

"Ozone: The hole truth" - "The international treaty to protect the ozone layer turns 20 this year. But is there really much reason to celebrate?

Environmentalists have made many apocalyptic predictions over the last several decades. Virtually none has come to pass. Yet each time, the greens and their political allies proclaim victory, arguing their preventive prescriptions averted disaster.

Such is the case with the 1987 Montreal Protocol On Substances That Deplete The Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol). The lurid predictions of ozone depletion-induced skin cancer epidemics, ecosystem destruction and others haven't come true, for which Montreal Protocol proponents congratulate themselves.

But in retrospect, the evidence shows ozone depletion was an exaggerated threat in the first place. As the treaty parties return to Montreal for their 20th anniversary meeting it should be cause for reflection, not celebration, especially for those who hope to repeat this "success story" in the context of global warming." (Ben Lieberman, Washington Times)

Ozone 'Depletion' - note that levels currently assumed to be 'depleted' were measured in the thoroughly unremarkable year of 1958 at the French Antarctic Observatory at Dumont d'Urville and there is no apparent trend in total ozone measures.

The things you see when you haven't got your gun... "PM's bear behind highlights climate change" - "PRIME minister John Howard got a reminder of climate change he could not shake off today when he was joined on his morning walk by four polar bears protesting against the destruction of the polar ice caps." (The Australian)

"Australia’s Liberal Party Bans Members from Al Gore Events" - "Warning: The following report is guaranteed to elicit uncontrollable bouts of laughter that could be hazardous to your computer if you are currently eating or drinking. Fair and final warning. 

The Global Warmingist-in-Chief, Emmy award-winning schlockumentarist and fear monger Al Gore, is currently touring Australia to drum up climate change hysteria while certainly padding his wallet and emitting more carbon dioxide on the trip and during speeches than most people do in a year.

Yet, even more delicious, Australia's Liberal Party has banned all of its members from attending any of Gore's events.

I kid you not." (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"CCS given Kyoto green light" - "The capture and sequestering underground of carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants will earn carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol, following amendments to the treaty’s main carbon trading scheme." (Carbon Positive)

"Truth about emissions" - "In what purported to be a good-news story, the Scottish Government says the country's greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by around 15% in 15 years. The drop in carbon dioxide, at around double the UK average, is even more impressive. Yet behind the headline figures lurk some awkward and unwelcome truths. The closure of the huge Ravenscraig steel works, the winding down of the "dash for gas" in the North Sea and the decline in manufacturing explain these figures." (The Herald)

Eye-roller du jour: "CO2 emissions could violate EPA ocean-quality standards within decades" - "Stanford, CA. -- In a commentary in the September 25, 2007, issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), a large team of scientists state that human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will alter ocean chemistry to the point where it will violate U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Quality Criteria [1976] by mid-century if emissions are not dramatically curtailed now. This is the first recognition that atmospheric CO2 emissions will cause ocean waters to violate EPA water quality criteria." (Carnegie Institution)

Naive or just plain fullovit? "Door Open for Greater US Role - UN Climate Chief" - "CHICAGO - Moves by China, India and other developing countries to join the effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions have lifted a barrier to an expanded US role in the process, the top UN climate official said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Climate campaign to stop ill wind" - "The Vegetarian Society is to raise awareness of "emissions" from cattle as a leading cause of global warming with an ad campaign using the strapline "Silent but deadly". (MediaGuardian.co.uk)

"Is Bush edging toward cuts in carbon?" - "Though late in his tenure, the president seems to be taking some green action." ( Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science Monitor)

"What's the carbon footprint of a potato?" - "Walkers Crisps is the first firm to put carbon footprint figures on its products, with nine more companies set to follow. How are these figures calculated? 

On taking a food item off a supermarket shelf, consumers can instantly read in detail the impact it will have on the body. But what about the effect on the planet? 

In April, Walkers Crisps began labelling its cheese and onion bags with a carbon footprint - how many grams of greenhouse gases were emitted in its production - and that has been rolled out to other flavours. 

The calculations are done by the Carbon Trust, a private company set up by the government to reduce the UK's carbon footprint." (BBC)

"Legal fight rages over US car emissions" - "So far it’s a case of States 1, Carmakers 1 in a series of battles being fought in US courts over laws to rein in greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. Next its Bush versus Schwarzenegger in the battle that will likely decide how tough American car emission standards will become over the decade.

Major carmakers have lost what was a significant test case in the Federal Court in Vermont over tighter vehicle emissions regulations but have won in California where the state government had sued them for damages caused by the global warming gases emitted from their cars." (Carbon Positive)

"On the heels of rival, Qantas plants seed to offset footprints" - "AUSTRALIA will become the first country in which all major airlines offer carbon offsets, with Qantas and Jetstar announcing a voluntary emission reduction scheme in Canberra yesterday." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Energy costs this winter: high" - "Heating-oil and natural-gas prices are already up, and gasoline costs could rise, too." ( The Christian Science Monitor)

"The High Costs of Ethanol" - "Backed by the White House, corn-state governors and solid blocks on both sides of Congress’s partisan divide, the politics of biofuels could hardly look sunnier. The economics of the American drive to increase ethanol in the energy supply are more discouraging. 

American corn-based ethanol is expensive. And while it can help cut oil imports and provide modest reductions in greenhouse gases compared to conventional gasoline, corn ethanol also carries considerable risks. Even now as Europe and China join the United States in ramping up production, world food prices are rising, threatening misery for the poorest countries." (New York Times)

"McDonald's waste to power buildings" - "Buildings in Sheffield to be powered by McDonald’s restaurant waste Buildings such as hospitals and theatres will be powered by rubbish from McDonald's restaurants in a new pilot scheme. Eleven fast-food restaurants in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley, South Yorkshire, will take part in the initiative, which will turn waste into electricity and heating for 130 buildings in the area. The scheme will save each restaurant from sending 100 tonnes of refuse to landfill each year and could be rolled out across the country if successful. The restaurants will become the first in the UK to send no waste to landfill. Instead, any rubbish will be collected, treated at a state-of-the-art energy recovery facility and converted into electricity and heat." (AOL)

"China Faltering on Support For Solar Power - Report" - "BEIJING - Solar panels could generate over 10 percent of China's power by the middle of the century, but only if Beijing steps up support for pioneering generating plants and sets more ambitious targets, a report said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Power industry says next nuclear plants will be safer, cheaper and faster to build" - "NEW YORK – The current turmoil in credit markets is unlikely to derail plans by power companies to begin ordering the first new nuclear plants since cost overruns and public opposition virtually killed the industry three decades ago." (AP)

"The Pain in Feel-Good Environmentalism" - "Over six and a half billion dollars were given to environmental groups in 2006, according to the June 28, 2007 issue of “Chronicle of Philanthropy.” But how many of the good people who donated to these groups know that some of their money is used to thwart mining projects destined to help poverty-stricken people in poverty-stricken nations? The groups don’t publicize this fact." (Global Warming)

Get your Mine Your Own Business DVD at the DemandDebate.com Store

"Economists vs. Ecologists" - "Last week’s column about Bjorn Lomborg’s ideas for combatting global warming generated lots of angry comments, including the suggestion that Dr. Lomborg and I be fed to polar bears. I was more interested in what Seth Masia had to say about the Copenhagen Consensus, which is Dr. Lomborg’s project for bringing experts together to set priorities in tackling global problems: 

The root problem with Lomborg’s consensus group is that it’s composed entirely of economists. Most of them have only a shaky understanding of climate science, and they base decisions on the idea that it’s possible to place a cash value on a human life.

Most of the economists who contributed to Lomborg’s books assume that climate change proceeds smoothly and gradually. Scientists know this is not the case: it proceeds in spikes and lulls.

Yes, Dr. Lomborg thinks like an economist instead of a climate scientist, and he doesn’t have a degree in climatology. Critics say his lack of climatological expertise makes him an unreliable guide for foreseeing the consequences of a warmer world, but I think these critics are ignoring history. They claim to be taking in the big picture, to be foreseeing great trends over the next century, but they’re missing one of the most valuable lessons from the past half century: when it comes to getting the big picture right, when it comes to preparing for environmental catastrophes, economists have a better track record than the scientists who specialize in analyzing environmental trends." ( John Tierney, New York Times)

"Canada Slashes Spending on Wildlife Protection - CBC" - "OTTAWA - Canada has slashed spending on wildlife protection and monitoring of ecosystems because of budget problems at the federal environment ministry, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp reported on Wednesday. 

The cuts mean the Canadian Wildlife Service -- responsible for studying and protecting wildlife in Canada -- has been forced to halt all its scientific field and survey work." (Reuters)

"Indonesia Wants Incentives to Halt Deforestation" - "BEIJING - Indonesia is mobilizing a group of eight nations ahead of upcoming climate talks to get rich countries to pay the world's tropical nations not to chop down rainforests, its forestry minister said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Beware the pretenders" - "Skepticism has gotten a bad rap. A lot more of it could save a lot of lives and a lot of people a lot of money and pain. 

It’s alarming how readily people will trust the advice of someone who simply says they’re a medical professional, scientist or expert. This is especially the case when it comes to information about weight loss, food and health. An incredible story from Kentucky about a woman posing as a doctor at an obesity clinic and bariatric patient support group, and giving diet and medical advice, has rocked the blog world. The full moral of the story, however, has yet to be realized." (Junkfood Science)

"Reading comprehension — Or, why we shouldn’t believe in sloths" - "You’ve no doubt read the one about how about two-thirds of us are sedentary and don’t get the recommended amounts of physical activity. The data sounds impressive and dutifully ominous, so it’s easy to believe it’s true. Trouble is, it’s a creation of careful wordsmiths, not facts." (Junkfood Science)

"What should the next President do about obesity?" - "There is an obesity policy conference later today in Washington, D.C., called “The Obesity Challenge: What the Next President Should Do.” It’s sponsored by the Obesity Association and the Stop Obesity Alliance, so we can anticipate what the Presidential candidates will say." (Junkfood Science)

"GM: where the science doesn’t count" - "Today’s climate change activists pose as ‘defenders of science’. Yet not so long ago, they irrationally rejected the scientific truth about GM crops. (James Heartfield, sp!ked)

September 19, 2007

Starbucks' Eco-fraud: Coating on coffee cups puts lid on recycling - "Starbucks promotes recycling on its cups, but the cups themselves aren't recyclable here or in most other cities nationwide." (Columbus Dispatch)

"Polar bear die-off unlikely: GN official: Wildlife research director dismisses dire forecast by U.S. agency" - "Fears that two-thirds of the world's polar bears will die off in the next 50 years are overblown, says Mitchell Taylor, the Government of Nunavut's director of wildlife research. 

"I think it's naïve and presumptuous," Taylor said of the report, released by U.S. Geological Survey on Friday, which warns that many of the world's polar bears will die as sea ice vanishes due to a warming climate.

"As the sea ice goes, so go the polar bears," said Steve Amstrup, who led the study.

But Taylor says that's not the case. He points to Davis Strait, one of the southern-most roaming grounds of polar bears. According to the USGS, Davis Strait ought to be among the first places where polar bears will starve due to shrinking seasonal sea ice, which scientists say will deprive the bears of a vital platform to hunt seals.

Yet "Davis Strait is crawling with polar bears," Taylor said. "It's not safe to camp there. They're fat. The mothers have cubs. The cubs are in good shape." (Nunatsiaq News)

"The (not so big) melt" - "They started appearing last month: alarmist articles that claim the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean this summer would be the "smallest ever recorded."

Would be. By mid-September, when Arctic temperatures begin to cool.

I had one question, though, that went unanswered in story after story: For how long have reliable records of Arctic ice cover been kept? What is the significance of claims that this summer's ice pack is the smallest "ever recorded"?" (Lorne Gunter, National Post)

"Disgraceful Global Warming Hysteria at NBC: ‘Meltdown in Greenland’" - "The media's global warming hysteria is clearly becoming unhinged." (News Busters)

Benny Santer & the virtual realm, again: "Increase in atmospheric moisture tied to human activities" - "Observations and climate model results confirm that human-induced warming of the planet is having a pronounced effect on the atmosphere’s total moisture content. Those are the findings of a new study appearing in the Sept. 17 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

Fascinating thing about 'model studies' is they don't actually reflect the real world. According to Benny and the virtual realm gang, the atmosphere is decidedly more moist (kind of a soggy smoking gun for the warmenistas) but Evaporation Is Equal To Precipitation On The Global Scale - Implications To the Conclusion On A Claimed Increase of Atmospheric Water Vapor makes such a conclusion difficult, if not impossible.

"Stephen Schwartz vs scientific consensus" - "Michael Hansen has pointed out that the "scientific consensus" people around RealClimate.ORG have expanded their criticism of the paper we have discussed previously: Stephen Schwartz and low climate sensitivity." (The Reference Frame)

"Scientist Warns of Climate Change Impact" - " Climate change could mean higher temperatures, less winter precipitation and less spring runoff for the Southwest, a climatologist says. 

Temperatures in New Mexico could increase by a few degrees by the end of this century, said Gregg Garfin, project manager of the Climate Assessment Project for the Southwest at the University of Arizona. 

"It seems very likely that temperatures will continue to increase and probably more rapidly than we've seen in the past," he said Monday." (AP)

Hmm... bit of a problem here. Why is it "very likely that temperatures will continue to increase"? Are temperatures actually increasing? They have in the recent past (you see claims about temperatures not increasing since 1998 but we don't think too much of them, mainly because they choose extreme points and because they aren't strictly correct). The world does seem to have warmed a little since the latter 1970s and there is what appears to be a step warming with the new millennium. That aside, the last 5 years or so show no significant trend either way (the linked graphic shows the UAH MSU lower troposphere and Hadley Centre's cooperative effort with UEA's CRU HadCRUT3 near-surface amalgam, it makes little difference to compare Remote Sensing System's AMSU estimate since that is slightly cooler again). Far from temperatures "continuing to increase and probably more rapidly" no one is too sure they are currently increasing at all. While a mere few years does not constitute a trend in climate it lends no support whatsoever to the alleged ability of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide to drive temperatures since, if anything, atmospheric CO2 increase has accelerated while temperature has stalled.

"'Too late to avoid global warming,' say scientists" - "A rise of two degrees centigrade in global temperatures – the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change which will expose millions to drought, hunger and flooding – is now "very unlikely" to be avoided, the world's leading climate scientists said yesterday. (London Independent)

The Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

How 'good' are climate forecasts? Check it out: Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists vs. Scientific Forecasting (Scott Armstrong, Center for Science & Public Policy)

"How climate change will affect the world" - "The effects of climate change will be felt sooner than scientists realised and the world must learn to live with the effects, experts said yesterday. 

Martin Parry, a climate scientist with the Met Office, said destructive changes in temperature, rainfall and agriculture were now forecast to occur several decades earlier than thought. He said vulnerable people such as the old and poor would be the worst affected, and that world leaders had not yet accepted their countries would have to adapt to the likely consequences." (The Guardian)

'Ice Age' Schneider & the big lie: "Climate Change Expert Predicts Hawaii Hurricanes To Get Stronger" - "Nobody can say how many hurricanes will hit Hawaii each year, according to a climate change expert, but there's no doubt they'll get worse. "I can't tell you there will be more of them," environmental scientist Stephen Schneider told Big Island residents, "but in the next 30, 40 years, they will be stronger." (Insurance Journal)

"Stupidity will get us before climate change does" - "IT'S a toss-up as to who's making a bigger fool of themselves over climate change: our politicians or our Miss Earth contestants." (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

"Rice yield in Japan could decrease by 40% due to climate change" - "LONDON, Sept. 18 - Rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions brought on by climate change could reduce rice yields by as much as 40 percent by the end of the 21st century in much of central and southern Japan, according to research results released Tuesday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

The official public launch of the full IPCC assessment --"Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" --pointed to world regions most likely to be affected by climate change and highlighted crops and agriculture as a particular area under threat in Asia as a whole." (Kyodo)

Partly right... "Help on climate impact as important as emissions cuts: expert" - "Helping poor countries adapt to climate change is as vital as curbing greenhouse-gas emissions, a top scientist said Monday as a UN panel unveiled a massive report on global warming's impacts." (AFP)

... since development is hugely important in defending vulnerable people from severe weather events. Emission cuts, on the other hand, are irrelevant whether you believe in catastrophic global warming or not since they can make no discernable difference in global mean temperature.

"EU to give poor nations at least €50 million to deal with climate change" - "BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Union said Tuesday it would give the world's poorest nations at least €50 million (US$69 million) to help them cope with more frequent storms, floods and drought linked to man-made climate change." (Associated Press)

BS from start to inevitable collapse: "NSW carbon scheme in trouble" - "The world’s first mandatory greenhouse emissions trading scheme appears to be crumbling amid savage price falls, oversupply of credits and uncertainty over future viability. (Carbon Positive)

NZ wants in on nonsense: "Taxpayers to cover ministers' carbon cost" - "The taxpayer will soon be paying to offset the environmental damage done by globetrotting ministers of the Crown as part of the Government's push on climate change issues.

Prime Minister Helen Clark confirmed the Government will buy carbon credits to offset the emissions of travel, both domestic and international, by ministers and their staff." (New Zealand Herald)

"Shipping smoke plumes cool the atmosphere" - "Particles found in smoke plumes produced by cargo ships have been found to have a surprising cooling effect on the Earth's atmosphere.

The results may alter predictions for future climate change, although some experts note that the effect is likely to be short lived, and so outweighed by the release of CO2 in the same plumes.

Shipping fuel is less refined than aeroplane fuel and contains more sulphur. As a result tiny particles of sulphur dioxide contained in ship exhaust fumes create cloud tracks – similar to plane contrails – in the sky above a travelling vessel. Many of these shipping contrails can be seen from space." (NewScientist.com news service)

"Ban Urges Strong Message from UN Climate Summit" - "UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Tuesday for a climate change summit he has convened next week to send a "strong political message" to enable a "bold" new global environment pact to be negotiated." (Reuters)

"Nobel Peace Prize Could Go to Climate Campaigner" - "OSLO - The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize could go to a climate campaigner such as ex-US Vice-President Al Gore or Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier, reinforcing a view that global warming is a threat to world security, experts say." (Reuters)

Poor old Alfred must be spinning like a top at the misuse of his beloved physics in the great gorebull warming scam.

DiCaprio on indoctrinating the children: Leonardo DiCaprio talks to USA WEEKEND - Q: Can the members of this generation become activists, or are they too consumed with entertainment and purchasing power?
"It has to start with things like this documentary. We need to get kids young. That's where it started with me. I can remember watching documentaries in which I learned about mass extinctions of species in rain forests. That emotionally engaged me as a young kid, and I said to myself, 'When I grow up, I'd love to make a difference in this field.' (USA WEEKEND)

"Effort to Get Companies to Disclose Climate Risk" - "Two environmental groups and the financial officers of 10 states and New York City are asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to require companies to disclose the risks that climate change may pose to their bottom lines. The petition is expected to reach the S.E.C. today, representatives of the groups said." (New York Times)

The only real climate risk faced by companies is in paying attention to activists and other misanthropes.

"Squabble over airline carbon emissions takes flight" - "Draft measures to clip airlines' skyrocketing greenhouse gas emissions are creating a rift at the 36th International Civil Aviation Organization talks, which kicked off here Tuesday." (AFP)

"Cost, Safety Fears Threaten Climate Change Remedy" - "LONDON - Cost overruns and legal and safety uncertainties could stall a new technology seen vital in the fight against climate change, and which works by burying underground the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. 

On Monday Canadian power company SaskPower withdrew its plans for a "clean coal" plant, the third such cancellation in six months on cost grounds." (Reuters)

There's a cost to this? Well, blimey...

"Statoil to Start Arctic LNG Production This Week" - "MELKOEYA, Norway - The world's first liquefied natural gas plant in the Arctic, part of Statoil's US$10 billion Snoehvit project in the Barents Sea, will probably start producing LNG this week, the Norwegian group said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Ex-Enron boss seeks $210m for ethanol plantations" - "A former Enron executive is tapping investors for US$150 million ($210 million) to help Brazil to produce enough biofuels to power the world's cars." (New Zealand Herald)

"Brazil Ethanol Sector Fears 'Delirious' Growth" - "SERTAOZINHO, Brazil - Low sugar and ethanol prices have been fueling the debate in Brazil on how this will affect investments and the forthcoming growth in the industry, which intends to lead the world's rush for biofuels." (Reuters)

"Food-to-fuel switch hard to swallow" - "Parisians are bemoaning the price of a baguette, Italians have organised a pasta boycott and the people in Mexico have held street protests about the cost of tortillas. Rocketing food prices are infuriating consumers and putting pressure on politicians worldwide. But is this a temporary blip or has the era of cheap food come to an end?" (New Zealand Herald)

"The virtues of Vitamin D: It's time we saw the light" - "There's no such thing as a cure-all, but Vitamin D comes pretty close. Jeremy Laurance explains how a little sunshine could help you live a lot longer." (London Independent)

Not convinced supplements are as useful as getting out and getting a few rays but, if that's the best you can manage...

"Lawyers to the rescue" - "Employers considering offering employee wellness programs and penalizing workers who have “high” health indices will now want to think twice. Attorneys are catching onto the science and raising questions about the discriminatory aspects of these programs and how they violate the rights of employees, especially fat employees." (Junkfood Science)

September 18, 2007

Excellent! "Judge tosses global warming lawsuit" - "SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge on Monday tossed out a lawsuit filed by California that sought to hold the world's six largest automakers accountable for their contribution to global warming.

In its lawsuit filed last year, California blamed the auto industry for millions of dollars it expects to spend on repairing damage from global-warming induced floods and other natural disasters.

But District Judge Martin Jenkins in San Francisco handed California Attorney General Jerry Brown's environmental crusade a stinging rebuke when he ruled it was impossible to determine to what extent automakers are responsible for global-warming damages in California. 

The judge also ruled that keeping the lawsuit alive would threaten the country's foreign policy position." (Associated Press) | See the ruling

California AG Puts Climate Skeptics on Trial

Cap-and-Trade Could Cost Average Family $10,800 in Lost Income, says Economist Arthur Laffer: Proposed Global Warming Policy Likened To 1970s-Era Energy Crunch - A cap-and-trade scheme for controlling greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) would impose significant economic costs on the U.S. economy and is not a sound policy response to current concerns about global warming, says renown economist Arthur Laffer in a new study released today.

  • Click here for the news release.
  • Click here for the study (PDF format).

"Cost of dealing with climate change: 2% of GDP" - "NEW DELHI: The development projects India is undertaking to reduce impacts of climate change is already cutting into its GDP. In 2006-07, India used 2.17% of its GDP on projects that will help communities adapt to climate change and reduce their vulnerability to climate change. 

This was disclosed on Thursday by Jayant M Mau-skar, joint secretary in the environment ministry, at a conference on climate change organised at the Vatavaran Film Festival here. Mauskar said, "In 2000-01, India was spending 0.63% of its GDP on climate change adaptation and mitigation which has now risen to 2.17%. So we can say that Nicholas Stern's argument (that climate change action does not hurt economy much) is perhaps not true." (Times of India)

"Is NASA’s Hansen Playing Enron Accounting Games With Climate Data?" - "Since NASA's James Hansen finally released computer codes related to how climate data are collected and adjusted, anthropogenic global warming skeptics around the world have been waiting to see what a scientific examination of this information would produce. 

On Monday, Canada's Steve McIntyre, who himself debunked Michael Mann's ridiculous "Hockey Stick" theory as well as identified Hansen's Y2K bug, released information identifying that Hansen recently made additional changes to climate data akin to how companies like Enron used creative accounting to exaggerate earnings and defraud investors." (News Busters)

"Conference on Integrity in Science Focuses on IPCC" - "A claimed "first world conference on research integrity" opens in Lisbon, Portugal, today. The conference media release explains: "The controversies surrounding the recent assessment report of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) demonstrates how research integrity is a critical issue not only for the science community, but for politicians and the society as a whole as well. In August 2007 the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had to withdraw previous published historical climate data. 

The incident came after a British mathematician discovered that the sources used by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) have disregarded the positions of weather stations, plus intentionally using outdated data on China from 1991 and ignoring revised data on the country from 1997. 

Now 350 concerned scientists, scientific managers and magazine editors from around the world are scheduled to attend the event in Lisbon, initiated and organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the US Office for Research Integrity (ORI). It marks a milestone for the science community as it will link all those concerned parties in a global effort to tackle the issue head on." (Jennifer Marohasy)

"Health Fears About Global Warming Are Unfounded" - "Health care providers are buying into alarmist global warming theory and are concerned about the potential negative health effects of warmer temperatures, reported the August 12 Washington Post.

According to the Post, "Spurred by what they see as an increasing number of illnesses, injuries, and deaths related to global warming, a growing number of public health professionals are campaigning for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. They think of it as a form of preventive medicine: Stop carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, they say, and the risk of severe heat waves and tropical storms will diminish."

In Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years, climate experts S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery report just the opposite--that the Earth's moderate warming has been and will continue to be a net benefit to human health.

The following article, based on a chapter of Unstoppable Global Warming, provides the scientific evidence regarding warming temperatures and human health." (Environment News)

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A little recycling... "New Method of Studying Ancient Fossils Points to Carbon Dioxide As a Driver of Global Warming" - "A team of American and Canadian scientists has devised a new way to study Earth's past climate by analyzing the chemical composition of ancient marine fossils. The first published tests with the method further support the view that atmospheric CO2 has contributed to dramatic climate variations in the past, and strengthen projections that human CO2 emissions could cause global warming." (Caltech)

... going on here so we'll do likewise, here's our response from last week:

... where to start? Hopefully this has merely been really badly reported [although apparently not].

So, is this 'proof' higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide cause higher global mean temperatures? Of course not, it just reiterates that when temperatures rise atmospheric carbon is seen to follow.

Does the chilly period around the Carboniferous/Permian boundary reinforce the CO2/Temperature association? Not really, since there was a similarly cool incident around the Ordovician/Silurian boundary followed (somewhat belatedly) by a fall and recovery in atmospheric CO2. No matter, levels are not thought to have fallen below ~3,000 ppmv (about 8 times current) despite temperatures falling to about those of today. That gives us two temperature crashes to roughly those of today with a full order of magnitude difference in background CO2 levels.

Let's take the low values of the two periods of interest, 3,000 & 300 ppmv for the Silurian and contemporary pre-Industrial Revolution levels respectively and plug them into the IPCC's carbon dioxide to Watts per meter squared formula ΔF = αln(C/Co) where C and Co are the Silurian and current origin concentrations of CO2, respectively and α = 5.35. This gives us 5.35*LN(3000/300) = 12.32 Wm-2 greater forcing for the Silurian (assuming no negative feedbacks) -- which readers of What Watt is what? know will deliver an equilibrium temperature change of ~1.2 K.

From their tropical sea surface temperature estimates and knowing that enhanced greenhouse should preferentially warm cooler regions (and because it gives us a nice, round 300 K to play with) let's assume the global mean temperature was ~12 K warmer than current during the Silurian. Even if the above formula provides a reasonable estimate of ΔF (we suspect it overstates) we are faced with a serious forcing shortfall.

We know this to be so since maintaining an equilibrium temperature of ~300 K on Earth, where the expected greenhouse-free equilibrium is 255 K, requires greenhouse-maintained downwelling radiation of almost 220 Wm-2 (*) while the current temperature (~288 K) calculation is ~150 Wm-2 (*) -- making the above forcing from carbon dioxide (150 + 12 Wm-2) about 60 Wm-2 too small. Even inclusion of the marvelous magical magnifiers (a factor of 2.5) so beloved of climate modelers couldn't account for even half the shortfall.

In plain language then, carbon dioxide didn't do it, couldn't do it, can't do it.

Isn't it time we abandoned this silly fixation and tried to figure out how climate really works?

* The base calculation: If we use Stefan's Constant to derive globally averaged greenhouse in Wm-2 as in the following: G = σ(Ts4 - Te4) = σTs4 - OLR = 390.11 - 239.76 = 150.35 Wm-2 where G is the global average greenhouse effect, σ is the Stefan-Boltzmann Constant, Ts = 288 K (thought to be Earth's mean temperature), Te = 255 K (see complete workings 'Thermal equilibrium for an Earth without an atmosphere' in first sidebar, here) and OLR signifies Outgoing Longwave Radiation, we have a figure of 150.35 Wm-2 and net warming of 33 °C. Using the estimated temperature of 300 K (Earth in the Silurian Period) yields (459.3 - 239.76 =) 219.54 Wm-2 and (300 - 255 =) 45 °C respectively.

"Rising surface temperatures drive back winter ice in Barents Sea, Rutgers researchers find: Not so between Siberia and Alaska, where winter sea ice holds its own" - "New Brunswick, N.J. – Rising sea-surface temperatures in the Barents Sea, northeast of Scandinavia, are the prime cause of the retreating winter ice edge over the past 26 years, according to research by Jennifer Francis, associate research professor at Rutgers’ Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS). The recent decreases in winter ice cover is clear evidence that Arctic pack ice will continue on its trajectory of rapid decline, Francis said." (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey)

Funny, we'd have said it was indicative of changing ocean currents, as is believed to occur periodically. That would suggest to us a plausible mechanism for the difference observed between the Barents and Beaufort Seas' winter ice characteristics and the likelihood that the Arctic pack ice will not continue on its current trajectory as oscillation phases change.

"Response: Polar earthquakes are nothing new, and don't foretell catastrophe" - "Your article (Melting icecap triggering earthquakes, September 8) is misleading and alarmist. As a climatologist/seismologist working on glacial seismic activity in the Jakobshavn glacier basin - precisely the area your reporter mentions - I know that local earthquakes (or glacial quakes) are actually fairly common in the area and have been for a long time. 

I also know that there is no evidence to suggest that these quakes "are happening far faster than ever anticipated" in the region, as Dr Corell of the global change programme at Washington's Heinz Centre is quoted as saying." (Jose Rial, The Guardian)

Contentious... "Change in the air: Companies that once disputed warming claims now are believers" - "GENERAL MOTORS ONCE provided funds to an industry group that aggressively worked to discredit scientists who said the earth was warming and that human activity was the major cause.

Now, the Detroit automaker is on the other side of the fence. On May 8, GM joined the United States Climate Action Partnership, a consortium of 33 companies and environmental groups that is calling for Congress to approve a system of trading pollution credits, and for mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

GM is one of at least eight companies that once belonged to the Global Climate Coalition, a trade association that denied global warming, but now have joined USCAP. The other switchers are BP America, Chrysler, The Dow Chemical Co., Duke Energy Corp., DuPont, Ford Motor Co. and Shell.

Why the change of heart? Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says a combination of factors led the companies to realize it was pointless to fight.

“The science got to be really good, [U.S.] states started to act, the rest of the world started to move ahead with the Kyoto Protocol,” Claussen says. “You had a real sense of inevitability that we would be regulating carbon." (Daily Report)

... and with just enough facts to make it float. Did companies view carbon restriction as likely inevitable, making the fight pointless? Almost certainly. Is the science good? Almost certainly not since we don't even know the global mean temperature with sufficient precision to definitively quantify trends, let alone causation.

"No Guarantee Montreal Ozone Talks Will Succeed - US" - "OTTAWA - Although countries back the idea of eliminating ozone-depleting chemicals faster than originally planned, there is no guarantee that they will agree on a new accelerated timetable at a major conference this week, a senior US official said on Monday." (Reuters)

So what? There's no plausible benefit to the world either way.

From CO2 Science this week:

Invasive Interventions to Reduce Humanity's CO2 Emissions: How personal might they become?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Western Pacific California Current, USA. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Streamflow (Recent Trends - Eurasia): Has streamflow throughout Eurasia been tending to become more variable and extreme, as climate alarmists claim it should in response to CO2-induced 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: Scots Pine, Timothy, Unicellular Marine Picocyanobacterium, and Wheat.

Journal Reviews:
Extreme Floods of Southwest Germany: How bad have they become in response to the "unprecedented warming" of the 20th century?

Simulating Northern Hemisphere Mid-Latitude Winter Atmospheric Variability: How well do the IPCC Fourth-Assessment-Report models do?

Can Plants Migrate Poleward Rapidly Enough to Avoid Extinction in the Face of "Unprecedented" Global Warming?: A new study of Arctic flora provides some answers.

Impact of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 on Soil Carbon Beneath a Sorghum Crop: Does it lead to enhanced soil carbon sequestration?

Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and Temperature on Silver Birch Seedlings with and without Simulated Herbivory: To what extent did a doubling of the air's CO2 content and progressive temperature increases of 2 and 4°C either help or further hurt the defoliated plants?

Brownwood, TXTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Brownwood, TX. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Brownwood's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.46 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"ABC’s Liberal Weatherman Touts Emotional Benefits of Carbon Offsets" - "On Friday’s "Good Morning America," liberal weatherman Sam Champion featured actor/activist Ed Begley Jr. to promote the concept of carbon offsets. The ABC meteorologist gushed over the emotional benefits of this environmental program. He exclaimed, "And you, kind of, pay into them and they fund projects that are doing good work. So you feel better about your energy use by helping create greener energy, basically." (News Busters)

Cool aid or Kool-Aid? "New Yorkers turning to biodiesel for heat" - "If the Big Apple's initiative helps reduce emissions, other cities and states may follow suit." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Alan Greenspan: I Never Said Iraq War Was About Oil" - "It's fitting that now that he's left his post as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan's words are being as closely scrutinized as they were back in his days at the Fed. 

Not carefully enough, though, it seems.

Over the weekend, a media firestorm erupted after the Washington Post printed a news article claiming that in his memoirs, Greenspan said the ouster of the Saddam Hussein government was just about oil.

Unfortunately for the liberal press and blogosphere, Greenspan did not say what was attributed to him. After the news broke, Greenspan called up the Post to say he'd been quoted out of context:" (News Busters)

"Huhne plans zero-carbon Britain" - "The Liberal Democrats yesterday became the first Westminster party to back a zero-carbon Britain, including a ban on all petrol driven cars by 2040, but had to fight off warnings from some senior members that the simultaneous rejection of nuclear power meant the plans did not add up." (The Guardian)

"Pesticide Exposure Tied to Asthma in Farmers" - "NEW YORK - Exposure to several commonly used pesticides appears to increase the risk of asthma, US researchers report." (Reuters)

One of the strongest claimed associations is between DDT and non-allergic asthma. This leads to a number of eyebrow raisers:

  • how was exposure and dosage measured (self-reported, blood assay, what)?
  • when did this alleged exposure occur (DDT hasn't been in general farm use for the last 35 years)?
  • if genuinely causal, why this group and not WWII veterans and civilians liberally doused with 5-10% DDT powder in delousing campaigns?
  • why not say, all who grew potatoes or lived in potato growing districts in the 1950s when DDT was ubiquitous?
  • why is the association present in only about 0.5% of the cohort when about half the world population was strongly exposed over 3 decades?

Some pretty strange absences for a claimed strong association.

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"Pesticide 'Disaster' in French Caribbean - Report" - "PARIS - Widespread use of pesticides in banana plantations in the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique has caused a "health disaster", according to the author of a report to be presented to parliament on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Making the Greens see Red" - "Northern Ireland journalist Phelim McAleer's controversial documentary Mine Your Own Business is a devastating critique of western environmentalists who campaigned against a gold mine in Romania. Sean O'Driscoll reports" (Belfast Telegraph)

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"Real Scientists vs. Media Darlings" - "This article is one in a continuing series excerpted from the book Smoke or Steam? A Guide to Environmental, Regulatory, and Food Safety Concerns, by Samuel Aldrich, adapted and serialized by Jay Lehr." ( Environment News)

"Stick to sugar pills and avoid the hard stuff" - "Okay, now look. There's nothing wrong with the idea of homeopaths giving out what amount to sugar pills. The placebo effect can be powerful, because it's not just about the pill, it's about the cultural meaning of the treatment. So we know from research that four placebo sugar pills a day are more effective than two for eradicating gastric ulcers (and that's not subjective - you measure ulcers by putting a camera into your stomach); we know that salt water injections are a more effective treatment for pain than sugar pills, not because salt water injections are medically active, but because injections are a more dramatic intervention. Similarly, we know that sugar pills have no physical side effects. This is great, because there are many people for whom there is little effective biomedical treatment: a lot of back pain, for example, or most colds and flu. Trying every pill in the book will only elicit side effects, so a sugar pill might be a great remedy. 

Homeopaths would be fine, if they could just shut up about serious stuff, like Aids, or malaria, or MMR. (The Guardian)

"Must menus in California count calories, carbs, fats?" - "A bill is on the governor's desk, and 4 of 5 state residents back it. But restaurant chains say mandatory measures are lawsuits waiting to happen." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Message to diet books authors: tell the truth" - "The diet book industry is getting its first and long-overdo shake-up. The Federal Trade Commission has charged a diet book author with making false and unsubstantiated claims and violating a court order prohibiting him from further infomercials that misrepresent the contents of his book. According to Dr. Stephen Barrett, M.D., this is the first time in about fifty years that the FTC has attempted to stop a book promotion." (Junkfood Science)

"Mercury concentrations in fish respond quickly to increased deposition" - "A joint Canadian-American research team have, for the first time, demonstrated that mercury concentrations in fish respond directly to changes in atmospheric deposition of the chemical. The international team’s research began in 2001 at the Experimental Lakes in Northern Ontario and is featured in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." (University of Maryland)

"Where Did Salinity Go in Queensland: A Note from Peter Wylie" - "Salinity is a significant land management problem in Western Australia but not in Queensland. In 2000 the extent of dryland salinity in Queensland was reported to be 48,000 hectares and rapidly increasing to a level where 3 million hectares were likely to be affected by 2050. It was widely believed that tree clearing had to be halted to stop the onslaught of salinity.

Since then it has been confirmed that salinity is not such a big problem in Queensland and the secret that tree clearing is not responsible for salinity has been let out of the bag.

A more detailed review of the extent of dryland salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin of southern Queensland now indicates there is a total of 9428 ha of salt affected land. This was reported in 2003 to be a 400% increase on a previous study in 1991, supporting the concept of a rapidly increasing problem.

However, in the fine print of this report we find that the bulk of this salt affected land, almost 7000 hectares, was contained in two areas where natural salinity has been observed since mankind first explored Queensland.

The biggest of these is referred to as the Yelarbon desert, where hard setting saline soils have been degraded by grazing. It is certainly not a pretty area, but has always been salty and the report admits it is ‘primary’ salinity rather than ‘secondary’ salinity, which is induced by farming.

This official estimate now indicates that salinity ‘development’ in the Queensland part of the Murray Darling Basin is confined to 2459 hectares, somewhat less than the prediction that it was likely to affect 628,000 hectares of land in this area. It currently comprises 192 salt expressions, with an average size of 13 hectares, affecting one hectare in 10,000.

Now, I am the first person to admit that salinity deserves attention, but the point I am making here is that the salinity problem in Queensland is not large and it is not escalating." (Courier- Mail via Jennifer Marohasy)

"Amazon farmers grow grain and save the forest" - "McDonald's, Cargill, and The Nature Conservancy create a 'responsible' soy program." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Return of GM: ministers back moves to grow crops in UK" - "Government ministers have given their backing to a renewed campaign by farmers and industry to introduce genetically modified crops to the UK, the Guardian has learned. 

They believe the public will now accept that the technology is vital to the development of higher-yield and hardier food for the world's increasing population and will help produce crops that can be used as biofuels in the fight against climate change. 

"GM will come back to the UK; the question is how it comes back, not whether it's coming back," said a senior government source." (The Guardian)

"GM Crops a Must if India to Feed Itself - Official" - "NEW DELHI - Large-scale cultivation of transgenic crops is a necessity if India is to feed a growing population and use more of its farmland for industry and homes, a senior government official said on Monday." (Reuters)

September 17, 2007

"Gabriel assails Romania for Rosia Montana roadblock" - "Romania risks gaining a reputation as an unscrupulous place to do business, the head of Gabriel Resources Ltd. warned, after the country's environment minister halted the company's plans to build a massive gold mine.

Shares of Toronto-based Gabriel fell as much as 44 per cent yesterday after the review process for an environmental permit for the Rosia Montana gold mine in central Transylvania was suspended. 

Alan Hill, Gabriel's president and chief executive officer, called the decision by Atilla Korodi, Romania's environment minister, "arbitrary and illegal." (Globe and Mail)

Look out! Trees are growing better! "Trees telling a tale of climate change" - "Tree-growth patterns may be just one more indication of global warming.

ESPERANCE, N.Y. - If a grandmother suddenly started growing, something would be amiss. Now research has found that something similar is happening to the nation's oldest trees.

Clues found in old-growth tree rings from Michigan to Maine show an increasing growth spurt during the last century, possibly from global climate change, according to Neil Pederson, an assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky University.

Normally, trees, like people, slow growth as they age, said Pederson. But ring patterns in oaks, poplars and cedars -- some up to 400 years old -- instead show trees started growing faster in recent decades." (Albany Times Union)

In the mien of the great "No? Duh!" moments, this piece tells us trees have been growing better over at least the last 80 years as compared with the previous 400. So, why could that be? Maybe trees don't like Little Ice Age conditions so much, meaning that reference period global mean temperatures (against which we benchmark the dreaded "global warming") may not just be that desirable and certainly not optimal for trees. And why have they been growing so much better for eight decades when negligible change in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels had occurred so soon? Did the planet recover through some critical temperature threshold in the 1930s? Probably not, although the region of study certainly has been a lot kinder to trees since then, hasn't it? Oddly enough, this is being spun as some sort of problem. Silly game, innit...

"Should Laurie David’s new kids book be renamed 'An Inconvenient Error?'" - "WorldNetDaily reported yesterday that a new children’s book on global warming by Hollywood activist Laurie David makes a critical scientific error in its attempt to demonstrate evidence for catastrophic climate change. Fortunately, there’s a new book out for kids that gets the science right.

"The Sky’s NOT Falling: Why It’s OK to Chill About Global Warming" (Holly Fretwell, Kids Ahead Books, ISBN: 978-0-976726-94-4, $17.95, paperback, kids 8-12, Sept. 2007) is the antidote to the hysteria and misinformation being bandied about by people like Laurie David and Al Gore.

Written by natural resources policy expert Holly Fretwell, "The Sky’s NOT Falling" takes a balanced view of our ever-changing environment and climate, and shows how human ingenuity and resourcefulness, not the mindless fear of change that so characterizes global warming zealots, will bring about a healthier, cleaner world." (Kids Ahead Books)

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"Global warming 'is good and is not our fault'" - "Global warming is an entirely natural phenomenon and its effects can even be beneficial, according to two leading researchers. Recent climate change is not caused by man-made pollution, but is instead part of a 1,500-year cycle of warming and cooling that has happened for the last million years, say the authors of a controversial study. Dennis Avery, an environmental economist, and Professor Fred Singer, a physicist, have looked at the work of more than 500 scientists and concluded that it is very doubtful that man-made global warming exists. They also say that temperature increase is actually a good thing as in the past sudden cool periods have killed twice as many people as warm spells." (London Telegraph)

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"A Global Warming Primer: A Graph is worth 1,000 words" - "Pictures often tell stories in a far more compelling and succinct fashion than words. With this in mind, the NCPA released a booklet A Global Warming Primer that examines some of the main scientific, economic and political issues involved in the topic of global warming. The Primer attempts to avoid entering "the debate" over whether its warming, whether humans are causing it and whether the end of the earth is near, but rather lets the reader draw his or her own conclusion after examining some salient facts about climate physics, history, the current state of the environment and the relative effectiveness of proposed solutions. Our hope is that it informs and adds to the discussion." (Sterling Burnett, Planet Gore)

"Northwest Passage becomes navigable" - "Yesterday, pictures of the European Space Agency showed that the Northwest Passage became navigable for the first time in modern history: all ice along the path is new ice. Again, would it be a good thing or a bad thing if this thing continued every year?

Incidentally, the Northeast passage "above" Russia remains partially blocked." (The Reference Frame)

"You still need your parka in Antarctica" - "Antarctica -- a vast territory whose sea-ice growth in winter effectively doubles its size to envelop an area three times that of Canada -- is the world's coldest continent by far, its permanent ice sheet regulating the Antarctic atmosphere. It is also the world's windiest and driest continent by far, and its highest by far, with a mean elevation of 2,300 metres.

It is also the world's most remote continent, its least explored and least understood.

Not until 1998, with the advent of new technologies and improved scientific understanding, did human knowledge "allow the question of the global relevance of Antarctica to be explored in detail for the first time," stated David Bromwich of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. A decade ago, Dr. Bromwich was embarking on a major research project for the National Science Foundation to begin to understand this frozen continent, which is the primary heat sink in the global climate system, and "plays a central role in global climate variability and change."

His mission, in part, dealt with the science of global warming, which could not be settled until Antarctica gave up its mysteries. "The validity of global change scenarios remains controversial," he said at the time.

A decade later, despite accumulating research, the validity of climate change scenarios continues to be controversial, and the unknowns surrounding the role of Antarctica continue to overwhelm the little that's known. As Dr. Bromwich reported earlier this year at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at San Francisco, "It's hard to see a global-warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"ABC Publishes Pictures of US Cities Drowned by Global Warming" - "Want to stir up mass hysteria over the liberal bogeyman known as global warming? How about publishing computer-generated pictures of American cities drowned as a result of rising sea levels? Think that will do the trick? Well, that's exactly what ABC News.com did Friday with a photo essay featured on the site's front page entitled "Photos: What Global Warming Looks Like." (News Busters)

If sea level rises are allegedly such a problem (and seas have certainly been rising since the end of the last great glaciation), how come the Netherlands are still habitable? Could it be because adaptable humans can engineer their way around such relatively minor inconveniences?

"Sea-Level Slowdown?" - "We have heard a million times that if we don’t stop emitting greenhouse gases, our inexcusable actions will result in a warmer earth, and the warming of the planet will cause icecaps and mountain glaciers to melt and sea level to rise. Island nations will be drowned, coastlines around the world will go underwater, Florida will cease to exist, and the World Trade Center Memorial could someday be a sight seen only by scuba enthusiasts. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says very clearly in the Summary for Policymakers “Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3] mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003: about 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8] mm per year. Whether the faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variability or an increase in the longer-term trend is unclear. There is high confidence that the rate of observed sea level rise increased from the 19th to the 20th century.” The IPCC crew reminds us that “Global average sea level in the last interglacial period (about 125,000 years ago) was likely 4 to 6 m higher than during the 20th century, mainly due to the retreat of polar ice.” It seems that sea levels fell and rose many times in the past and long before humans had any chance interfere with the natural order of things. There is no reason whatsoever to expect sea level to remain constant – it never has and it never will." (WCR)

"Mars, Like Earth, Has Cyclical Ice Ages, Study Says" - "Mars has gone through 40 ice ages during the past five million years that regularly send the planet's permanent ice sheets cascading toward the equator, then melting backward, a new theory suggests. The climate changes are likely driven by cyclical fluctuations in the planet's orbit that alter the amount of sunlight that falls on the planet's surface, says astronomer Norbert Schörghofer of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Understanding the sun's exact role in the Martian ice ages could help solve longstanding puzzles about the red planet. It could also help scientists better understand Earth's complex climatic systems, which are also affected by orbital variations." (National Geographic News)

Right... "Mammoth dung may speed warming" - "DUVANNY YAR, Russia - Sergei Zimov bends down, picks up a handful of treacly mud and holds it up to his nose. It smells like a cow pat, but he knows better.

"It smells like mammoth dung," he says.

This is more than just another symptom of global warming.

For millennia, layers of animal waste and other organic matter left behind by the creatures that used to roam the Arctic tundra have been sealed inside the frozen permafrost. Now climate change is thawing the permafrost and lifting this prehistoric ooze from suspended animation.

But Zimov, a scientist who for almost 30 years has studied climate change in Russia's Arctic, believes that as this organic matter becomes exposed to the air it will accelerate global warming faster than even some of the most pessimistic forecasts." (Reuters)

... uh, why didn't this terrible combination of decaying organic matter prevent cooling to begin with? Maybe because the report last week was right when it said permafrost was much more stable than current hand-wringers would have us believe but that matters little --  there's limited potential for enhanced greenhouse and no evidence it would be bad.

Uh-huh... "Climate change and desertification two sides of same coin" - "Climate change and desertification are two sides of the same coin and must be tackled together, according to participants at the Madrid conference on desertification.

"These two issues are very intimately related in the way you can describe them as two halfs of a coin," according to Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)." (AFP)

... "gorebull warming" was elevated from an insignificant enhanced greenhouse effect to a problem via water vapor reinforcement (the trivially warmed atmosphere would allegedly cause more evaporation of seawater and have a higher saturation point, i.e., transport more water). Exactly how this increase in the hydrologic cycle would or could increase global desertification remains, uh... unclear.

<chuckle> "The Jane Fonda Effect" - "If you were asked to name the biggest global-warming villains of the past 30 years, here’s one name that probably wouldn’t spring to mind: Jane Fonda. But should it?" (New York Times)

Hanoi Jane as warming villain... 

Climate refugees, sheesh! "What Will Become of Tuvalu's Climate Refugees?" - "International legal experts are discovering climate change law, and the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is a case in point: The Polynesian archipelago is doomed to disappear beneath the ocean. Now lawyers are asking what sort of rights citizens have when their homeland no longer exists." (Der Spiegel)

"Carbon Capers" - "There’s an admonition about putting the brain in gear before engaging the mouth—or something like that. Ample evidence that some people’s minds seem to be in neutral while they engage their environmental guilt came out in two recent press articles reporting news of the “carbon-neutral” scam." (R. E. Smith Jr., Opinion Journal)

"How Environmentalists and Scientists Mislead Americans about Air Pollution and Climate Change" - "The Natural Resources Defense Council has just published a report titled Heat Advisory: How Global Warming Causes More Bad Air Days. NRDC claims ozone will rise in the future due to climate warming. In reality, ozone and all other air pollution will fall in the future, regardless of climate change. Here’s how NRDC faked its future air pollution increases: they used air pollutant emissions during 1996 to “predict” ozone levels in the 2050s and 2080s. Actual emissions of ozone-forming pollutants are already more than 25% lower than they were in 1996 and will drop another 70%-80% in just the next 20 years, based on already-adopted and implemented federal requirements. 

NRDC certainly knows its report is based on fake emissions numbers, because NRDC has been putting out press releases marking the adoption and implementation of the federal regulations that will eliminate most remaining air pollution during the next two decades (I provide links to some of these in an appendix below)." (Joel Schwartz, Planet Gore)

Gracious... "Feelin’ groovy: Charles, the movie: Prince will do an Al Gore with ‘harmony’ film" - "THE Prince of Wales is in “advanced negotiations” with Hollywood film producers to make a movie in which he will tell us how to lead our lives. The prince, once an object of fun for talking to his plants, is being wooed to make a documentary film similar to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. The former US vice-president’s plea to save the planet was a surprise box-office success, making the idea of a royal “follow-up” a realistic proposition." (Sunday Times)

"Clean Coal Plants Qualify for Kyoto Carbon Offsets" - "LONDON - Very efficient coal-fired power plants will be able to sell carbon offsets under the Kyoto Protocol, in an expansion of project eligibility under the carbon trading scheme, UN official Jose Miguez said." (Reuters)

"Climate talks in Montreal to take dual aim" - "Representatives of 190 countries will meet in Montreal on Monday for talks aimed at the twin goal of combating global warming and restoring the ozone layer." (AFP)

Funny, last month we were told how global warming projects were harming the ozone layer...

Oh boy... "US Says its Ozone Bid Beats Kyoto on Climate Change" - "BRUSSELS - A US proposal to hasten the phase-out of gases that damage the ozone layer will be twice as effective as the Kyoto Protocol in fighting climate change, a top adviser to President George W. Bush said on Friday." (Reuters)

Be the first value the silly thing's ever had...

"Could Kyoto Protocol Use a Touch of Montreal?" - "WASHINGTON - Could the solution to global warming be as simple as a switch of cities? For those who think the Kyoto Protocol is not working to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are heating the planet, why not take some lessons from the Montreal Protocol, praised as the world's most successful climate treaty?" (Reuters)

"World's most successful climate treaty" might be an appropriate title -- it's done absolutely nothing for the environment and neither will Kyoto or subsequent versions.

The problem, dopey... "One Answer to Global Warming: A New Tax" - "The case for using a carbon tax to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases." (New York Times)

... is that there is no case for reducing carbon dioxide (the emission of principal concern). On top of such absence there is the counter case that failing to generate wealth and develop increases people's vulnerability to weather extremes, leaving the case for "global warming taxes" all negative. Why should we undertake something with no upside and involving significant pain?

"Getting warmed up" - "This last week, at the APEC conference in Australia, Prime Minister Stephen Harper put both feet in the global warmer. After a few introductory tips of his purely figurative hat toward something called "free trade," he dived into the agenda-du-jour. It is what brings the sparkle to any politician's eyes: the prospect of a vast new trough of fresh, succulent lard. For "the fight against global warming" is the plausible excuse for a huge expansion of government bureaucracies." (David Warren, The Ottawa Citizen)

"NZ: Power, petrol to cost more under Govt plan" - "Power bills will rise but the Government plans to help people on lower incomes under its new environmental carbon emissions trading scheme.

Prime Minister Helen Clark yesterday said the trading scheme, to be announced on Thursday, would include "compensation" for poor households to cope with the expected increases in power bills.

She acknowledged the trading scheme would push up electricity and petrol prices, "which is why it's so important that there is compensation for the low/modest-income consumer because they are not in a position, necessarily, to radically alter their pattern of use". (New Zealand Herald)

Interesting poll -- at time of posting it was more than 3:1 against.

"New York Subpoenas Five Energy Companies on Carbon" - "NEW YORK - The state of New York has subpoenaed five energy companies as part of an investigation into whether they properly disclosed the financial risks of carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-fired power plants, The New York Times reported on Sunday." (Reuters)

"Tyndall Centre report on aviation and emissions trading" - "In early September, researchers from the Tyndall Centre in the UK put out a report that said that incorporation of the airline industry into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will not provide significant incentive to cut emissions. The big polluters today are paying about €20 per tonne for their emissions. When aviation joins the scheme in 2012, this price would add about €5 for a flight to Barcelona. Tyndall argues that the EU and national governments cannot escape the conclusion that the ETS is not enough and that aviation must be constrained by other fiscal or legislative measures as well as by inclusion in the carbon tax net.

Tyndall has acquired an excellent reputation for its informed and passionate stance on aviation. Broadly speaking, its view has been that continued expansion of aviation is incompatible with the tight emissions targets that the EU and other bodies have set for the years to mid-century. It has consistently said that by 2050 unconstrained air travel will be using up most of the total carbon emissions that the world can allow itself. Aviation expansion will drown out emissions reductions in other areas." (Chris Goodall, Carbon Commentary)

Actually the Tyndall Centre exists to propagate climate propaganda, their fingerprints (tendril marks?) are on the bulk of climate hysteria pieces these days.

"My 'Stupid Business'" - "Europe's leading low-fare airline CEO has choice words for his competition, politicians, environmentalists and others." (Wall Street Journal)

"Cap and Fly" - "Contrary to popular belief, Europeans do believe in unilateralism when it suits their purposes. They even have a term for it: "Alternative to mutual agreement." If that euphemism sounds sneaky, wait till you hear why the European Union will be using it over the next two weeks at the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) meeting in Montreal.

Europe is planning to add airlines to its cap-and-trade scheme for carbon dioxide emissions. Under cap and trade, companies are allowed to produce a certain amount of CO2. If they exceed this limit, they must buy more emissions "permits" from firms that have cut their carbon output. The cost of these permits is supposed to be high enough to encourage companies to reduce their emissions.

Airlines from EU member countries will be thrust into the system in 2011. But Brussels also wants to include any airplane that lands or takes off in the EU, regardless of nationality, beginning in 2012. This move would primarily affect transcontinental flights, and it means the EU would require airlines to buy permits even for the carbon they emit in other countries' airspace. For instance, a U.S. carrier flying from London to Los Angeles would have to buy permits to cover the entire flight, even though most of the journey takes place beyond Europe's borders.

Now, it's precisely because of these kind of sovereignty issues that the Kyoto Protocol itself assigned responsibility for emissions trading involving airlines to ICAO, a United Nations body. But the EU, whose plan as currently framed is opposed by all other ICAO members, doesn't want to wait for the rest of the world to agree on how to deal with CO2 emissions from aircraft. Nor does it want to be bothered with persuading other nations or negotiating a compromise." (Wall Street Journal)

"Nations Ink Deal to Provide Safer Atomic Power" - "VIENNA - Sixteen nations signed a US-initiated pact on Sunday to help meet soaring world energy demand by developing nuclear technology less prone to being illicitly diverted into making atomic weapons." (Reuters)

"The Backlash Against Biofuels" - " The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says biofuels may do more harm than good and that supporters may have a hidden agenda. Should corn be in our gas tank as well as our cereal bowl?" (IBD)

Flow on ethanol effect: "Serious Dough: Higher Wheat Prices Drive Up Bills for Grocery Staples" - "First it was corn. Now wheat is getting the blame. Earlier this year, corn began getting pricey because it was in high demand to make ethanol. That sent prices rising for other corn-dependent products, including milk and meat. Now wheat is costing more and more because of poor harvests and greater global demand, sending grocery bills still higher." (Washington Post)

"2+2=5 — right? ;-)" - "Despite plenty of reasons to feel blessed and positive about our modern life, Associated Press and mainstream media have been trying hard to convince Americans that our rising life expectancies are “more bad news.” They’re counting on us to not think too much or look at their claims too critically." (Junkfood science)

"Scientists Find Compound to Explain Hormone-Heart Disease Connection" - "Scientists say they have found a biological mechanism that helps explain why hormone-replacement therapy failed to prevent heart disease in some participants of the controversial Women's Health Initiative study.

Researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have discovered that a compound related to cholesterol can block the hormone estrogen from performing functions in blood vessels that keep them healthy and free of disease that can lead to heart attacks.

Much previous research has found that estrogen benefits the heart, but confidence in that premise was shaken in 2002 when a major Women's Health Initiative study of hormone-replacement therapy in postmenopausal women was halted after data indicated the regimen increased the risk of coronary disease.

The findings caused an uproar, and thousands of women undergoing hormone replacement to alleviate menopause symptoms stopped taking the medicine. Subsequent findings show those who were younger and much closer to the onset of menopause when they began taking replacement hormones actually experienced no increased heart risk. The latest report offers a possible explanation for why some women are at heightened heart risk and others aren't." (Wall Street Journal) | .pdf for the access-challenged

Well, kind of... there actually isn't an "increased risk of" but rather a "reduced protection from" heart disease, which is a very different matter. Nonetheless they appear to have found a biologically plausible mechanism for the reduced protection afforded some women. Terrorizing large numbers of women out of HRT was still unforgivable, initial claims sloppy at best and the reporting absolutely appalling.

“Don’t worry, be happy” - "We end this week with good news. 

There’s been so much good news recently about the state of our health and that of children. This has clearly distressed alarmists. To keep their gloomy myths alive, they’ve tried to: A). bury the news and B). convince us that good is really bad. 

With people not buying any of that, they’ve added plan C: scream louder. As Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of Weight Concern, told the BBC news this week: “We are not making enough progress!” (Junkfood Science)

"Do We Really Know What Makes Us Healthy?" - "Much of what we’re told about diet, lifestyle and disease is based on epidemiologic studies. What if it is just bad science?" (Gary Taubes, New York Times)

"Are you sure about that?" - "According to the gospel of evidence-based medicine, “randomized controlled clinical trials are objective, free of bias and produce robust conclusions about the benefits and risks of treatment and clinicians should be trained to rely on them,” wrote Canadian and British researchers in the British Medical Journal a few years ago. 

Trouble is, that’s often not true." (Junkfood Science)

"Oh, but a memory" - "With some fanfare last month, the British Homeopathic Association and Faculty of Homeopathy released a special issue of their journal Homeopathy, saying it had brought together scientists from around the world to present, for the first time, the best data and scientific evidence for the memory of water. They reported that “there has never been more evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy than now.” That part was true, but not in the way some consumers may have thought." (Junkfood Science)

"Queen of Green Roddick's 'unfair trade' started when she copied Body Shop formula" - "What is Roddick's real legacy? 

The conflicting stories about the origins of The Body Shop offer perhaps the most revealing, if disturbing, insight into Roddick's contradictory character. The idea for the shops just popped into her head, Roddick wrote in Body And Soul, the first of her numerous ghostwritten autobiographies. She claimed she came up with the clever name from the car repair businesses - "body shops" - that she noticed while travelling in the United States in 1970. Six years later, Roddick opened her first beauty store in Brighton, offering exotic-sounding "natural" potions sold in small plastic bottles with handwritten labels. 

There was a slight gap in her recounting of the story, however. Her shops were inspired by body shops that Anita had seen on her travels, but not of the auto variety. While in San Francisco and Berkeley in 1970, Anita visited a tiny hippie shop owned by Peggy Short and Jane Saunders, two sisters by marriage. It was a fun place, offering "biodegradable" shampoos and lotions made with avocado, cocoa butter, and cucumber, packaged in small, round plastic bottles with hand-written labels that were refillable at a discount. The store carried freshly made glycerin soaps scented with strawberry and lemon and perfume oil redolent of gardenia, woody sandalwood, and honeysuckle. It was housed in CJ's, a car repair garage. The two founders cleverly named it The Body Shop.

Roddick's copycat shop, opened six years later, knocked off everything from the business name to the green colour scheme to the cosmetic lines." (Jon Entine, Daily Mail)

"Britain Organic Food Sales Growth Remains Strong" - "LONDON - The growth in sales of organic food and other products in Britain remains strong but has slowed marginally, according to figures issued by market information firm AC Nielsen this week." (Reuters)

Buy this item through this link and help JunkScience.com too!

"Jeffrey Smith – A Highest Flying Activist’s Hidden Scientific Beliefs?" - "Jeffrey Smith has been a dedicated activist against agricultural biotechnology at least since 2003, when he released his first self-published anti-biotech book Seeds of Deception. His second book, Genetic Roulette, was released in 2007, complete with a forward by former UK Environment Minister Michael Meacher. We wonder if Mr. Meacher knows who he has involved himself with. (Alex Avery, CGFI)

"No health risk from GM food, says chief scientist" - "RESEARCH has not uncovered any significant negative health effects from genetically modified (GM) food, the government's chief scientific adviser said yesterday. Scientific evidence has overwhelmingly shown that food derived from GM crops or from animals fed on GM feed is safe, Professor Patrick Cunningham said. "GM crops and GM foods continue to be one of the most contentious public issues in European society," he said. "While there are obvious technical and economic benefits, there is widespread apprehension about the technology, due to concerns over the perceived risks." GM food was an "iconic technology" in terms of arousing public hostility in Ireland and Europe. However, with over 100 million hectares of GM crops now grown worldwide and strong cost benefits for farmers, it wasn't going to go away." (Irish Independent)

September 14, 2007

"Japan Sweats for Global Warming" - "Japanese office workers are being forced to sweat in the name of global warming. But before Americans consume too much "Green" Kool-Aid and suffer a similar fate, they may want to consider this week’s global warming developments." (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Romanian Government's Disregard for Rule of Law Should Worry Western Investors; Radical Enviros Call the Shots" - "Steve Milloy, editor of JunkScience.com, has been following the Gabriel Resources/Rosia Montana struggle closely. An advocate of free markets and development, he lauded the documentary, Mine Your Own Business, which chronicled the fight between the pro-development forces and the radical environmentalists. One of his columns about the subject may be read here: http://www.junkscience.com/ByTheJunkman/20070215.html

Disregarding the rule of law in an attempt to appease environmental extremists, the Romanian government decided to suspend the approval process that Gabriel Resources was complying with in order to permit their proposed mine project. This action alone should give serious pause to Western companies contemplating investing in Romania. Despite reassurances, legal compliance and investments, Western companies may well find themselves in 'Banana Republic' atmosphere where the rule of law is disregarded, anti-development activists call the shots and anything goes." (PRNewswire)

Why you need to watch MYOB: Gabriel outraged at Rosia Montana suspension - The Romanian government has shocked Canadian gold mining firm Gabriel Resources Ltd by suddenly suspending an environmental review into its Rosia Montana gold project in Romania. Gabriel blamed the move on non government organisation Open Society Institute, which has mounted a court challenge against Gabriel with other environmental groups. (Mining Journal Online)

Get your Mine Your Own Business DVD at the DemandDebate.com Store

"Senate Punts on Anti-Malaria Initiative" - "On September 6, 2007, the US Senate rejected an attempt by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to restore $30 million in anti-malaria funding requested by the Bush Administration for its President's Malaria Initiative (PMI). Coburn sought to amend the State, Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008 (which begins October 1, 2007). The funding was requested based on USAID and PMI projections for what is needed to continue, and begin ratcheting up, anti-malaria projects in designated focus countries in Africa, using integrated vector control management (long-lasting bednets, up-to-date combination drug therapies, indoor residual spraying where appropriate, and special initiatives for pregnant women)." (Africa Fighting Malaria)

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"Fake!" - " The business of counterfeit medicines is exploding, and it’s killing poor Africans. ROGER BATE took a dangerous trip to Nigeria to see for himself." (Roger Bate, The American)

"New doubts on global warming in revised NASA temperature data" - "WASHINGTON - Imagine basing a country’s energy and economic policy on an incomplete, unproven theory — a theory based entirely on computer models in which one minor variable is considered the sole driver for the entire global climate system.

This is precisely what former Vice President Al Gore, Senate Environment Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer and others want their nation to do." (Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris, The Examiner)

"U.S., U.N. Stage Dueling Climate Meets" - "UNITED NATIONS, Sep 13 - Are the United Nations and the United States trying to outdo each other by hosting two parallel summit meetings on the same subject -- climate change -- during the same week at the end of September?" (IPS)

Nah... it's just that the climate junket calendar is getting so crowded these days they need to provide alternate venues and divide the gravy train (for too many riders for a single train now).

"Global warming? It's natural, say experts" - "Global warming is a natural event and the effects are not all bad, two respected researchers claimed yesterday.

Authors Dennis Avery and Fred Singer looked at the work of more than 500 scientists and argue that these experts are doubtful the phenomenon is caused by man-made greenhouse gases. 

Climate change is much more likely to be part of a cycle of warming and cooling that has happened regularly every 1,500 years for the last million years, they say." (Evening Standard)

Not bad, although they have certainly misquoted (or simply misunderstood) Fred Singer at the end of the piece. The solar/cosmic ray connection is real but the sun is most assuredly not the source of cosmic rays. See how it works here.

"Frozen wine, yellow fog: Medieval records help scientists understand climate history" - "EINSIEDELN, Switzerland -- A librarian at this 10th century monastery leads a visitor beneath the vaulted ceilings of the archive past the skulls of two former abbots. 

He pushes aside medieval ledgers of indulgences and absolutions, pulls out one of 13 bound diaries inscribed from 1671 to 1704 and starts to read about the weather. 

"Jan. 11 was so frightfully cold that all of the communion wine froze," says an entry from 1684 by Brother Josef Dietrich, governor and "weatherman" of the once-powerful Einsiedeln Monastery. "Since I've been an ordained priest, the sacrament has never frozen in the chalice." 

"But on Jan. 13 it got even worse and one could say it has never been so cold in human memory," he adds. 

Ancient diaries of day-to-day weather details from the age before 19th-century standardized thermometers are proving of great value to scientists who study today's climate. Historical accounts were once largely ignored, as they were thought to be fraught with inaccuracy or were simply inaccessible or illegible. But the booming interest in climate change has transformed the study of ancient weather records from what was once a "wallflower science," says Christian Pfister, a climate historian at the University of Bern." (AP)

It was cold during the Little Ice Age? Go figure. Does this tell us why it is warmer now (or colder then, depending on perspective)?

"The sea ice is getting thinner" - "Large areas of the Arctic sea-ice are only one metre thick this year, equating to an approximate 50 percent thinning as compared to the year 2001. These are the initial results from the latest Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association lead expedition to the North Polar Sea." (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research)

Should read "Arctic sea ice" since the southern hemisphere is having a really chilly winter with currently the most extensive sea ice ever observed. Given people's propensity to anthropomorphize everything it's something of a surprise we haven't heard how Old Man Earth is getting thin on top and fat on the bottom...

"Peat and forests save permafrost from melting" - "Permafrost may be buffered against the impacts of climate change by peat and vegetation present in the northern regions, according to a study by McMaster researchers." (McMaster University)

Can't kill this nonsense with a wooden stake... "Tuvalu, About to Disappear, Pleas on Global Warming" - "SEOUL - The tiny Pacific island state of Tuvalu on Thursday urged the rest of the world to do more to combat global warming before it sinks beneath the ocean." (Reuters)

Actually, the developed world does bear some responsibility for Tuvalu's problems with saltwater intrusion into fresh groundwater, although not in the way media and global warming frauds claim. During the Second World War airfields were hurriedly established as the Japanese were forced back across the Pacific and the only available means of constructing the strips was to dig into the surrounding area to fill the strips (these holes have since been used as trash dumps on the islands, leading to further contamination problems). Islanders have also caused significant problems through over-extraction of groundwater increasing saltwater intrusion and causing subsidence (some of this overuse has been to cater for eco-tourists) and through surrounding reef coral extraction for building and road material, leading to significant shore erosion. While islanders certainly have problems and some of the atolls are indeed sinking there is zero evidence "global warming" is having any effect whatsoever.

"Don't get carried away about global warming" - "First thing we do, let's kill all the cows, because the globe is warming, catastrophe is headed our way, and the worldwide cattle industry is largely responsible, a far worse peril to climate stability than SUVs and, for that matter, all the cars, trucks, planes and other modes of transportation in glorious combination.

Data about the world's 1.5 billion cattle and other livestock generating 18 percent of the greenhouse gases released in the atmosphere comes from a 400-page U.N. report that just might make Al Gore squirm when he speaks in Denver in October. An animal rights group -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- plans to protest his eating of meat in contradiction to the crusade he's been waging.

We all know about that crusade. The former vice president has traveled hither and yon warning about warming. He won an Oscar for his cataclysm-predicting movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," and just might get a Nobel Prize for the campaign, all of which has led some mischievous souls to ponder the hypocrisy of his living in a house that uses 12 times the electricity of the average abode. He notes that he gives to causes that offset his carbon emissions, which is a bit like mugging the elderly on darkened street corners but excusing yourself by contributing to a nearby senior citizens center.

Now, on top of that embarrassment and his excursions in gas-gobbling private jets, Gore has to explain away a meat-aided chubbiness he cannot hide, a fitting predicament for someone who has come preeminently to symbolize error-filled, pseudo-scientific, holier-than-thou, global-warming alarmism." (Jay Ambrose, Scripps Howard News Service)

"Greenhouse gases 'not evil:' PC candidate" - "With Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, bringing the fear of global warming to the masses, it's a rare politician these days who will stand up as a skeptic of climate change. 

But Randy Hillier, an Eastern Ontario Conservative candidate, isn't shy about casting doubt on the prevailing scientific theory about global warming. 

"I don't see greenhouse gases as the terrible evil that some others see. We've had periods of global warming and global cooling in the past," Mr. Hillier, the Tory candidate for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, told a Citizen editorial board this week." ( Ottawa Citizen)

Success? Oh puh-lease! "NASA keeps eye on ozone layer amid Montreal Protocol's success" - "Washington - NASA scientists will join researchers from around the world to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to reduce the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer. The United Nations Environment Program will host the meeting from Sept. 23-26 in Athens, Greece. NASA scientists study climate change and research the timing of the recovery of the ozone layer.

"The Montreal Protocol has been a resounding success," said Richard Stolarski, a speaker at the symposium from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. "The effect can be seen in the leveling off of chlorine compounds in the atmosphere and the beginning of their decline." (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

What a load of rubbish! Just last October:

NASA And NOAA Announce Ozone Hole Is A Double Record Breaker - The ozone hole of 2006 is the most severe ozone hole (least amount of ozone) observed to date. NASA's Aura satellite observed a low value of 85 Dobson Units (DU) on Oct. 8 in a region over the East Antarctic ice sheet. Dobson Units are a measure of ozone amounts above a fixed point in the atmosphere. This severe ozone hole resulted from the very high ozone depleting substance levels and the record cold conditions in the Antarctic stratosphere. (Credit: NASA)

As we are only recently discovering there are lots more "Ozone Depleting Substances" in the Antarctic atmosphere than people knew about and they're all-singing, all-dancing, all-natural!

Boundary Layer Halogens in Coastal Antarctica - Halogens influence the oxidizing capacity of Earth's troposphere, and iodine oxides form ultrafine aerosols, which may have an impact on climate. We report year-round measurements of boundary layer iodine oxide and bromine oxide at the near-coastal site of Halley Station, Antarctica. Surprisingly, both species are present throughout the sunlit period and exhibit similar seasonal cycles and concentrations. The springtime peak of iodine oxide (20 parts per trillion) is the highest concentration recorded anywhere in the atmosphere. These levels of halogens cause substantial ozone depletion, as well as the rapid oxidation of dimethyl sulfide and mercury in the Antarctic boundary layer. (Science)

Despite the oft-repeated story of "Alarming discovery of ozone hole in 198[something]" the anomaly existed when people first looked in the International Geophysical Year of 1956 and as far as anyone knows has occurred as long as there has been people on this planet. There is no evidence the stupid Montreal Protocol is having any effect on the annual event whatsoever, just as there has never been any evidence people have any effect on the metaphorical "ozone layer". NoT that it would matter much even if we did since ozone does not block UVA and 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).

You can see how variable ozone levels are seasonally across the planet in The "Ozone Layer" - what's going on?.

What a surprise... "Ozone Cuts Could Beat Kyoto in Aiding Climate - UNEP" - "OSLO - Curbs on chemicals that damage the ozone layer could have a side-effect of reducing far more greenhouse gases than the main UN plan for confronting climate change, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Thursday." (Reuters)

They're still trying to find a use for the stupid, irrelevant Montreal Protocol.

Earth mother alert: "Climate change and earth women" - "The charity known as WEN (Women’s Environment Network), while ensuring that the concerns of women are not overlooked within the wider green movement, campaigns to raise awareness about the impact of disposable nappies and eco-friendly product packaging. Interestingly, the organisation's members are called matrons instead of patrons and include Anita Roddick, founder of Body Shop, among several other celebrities. 

In the 1980s and ’90s, Britain's Greenham Common protests against cruise missiles symbolised the power of feisty women to champion a cause. Now, after a brief, reactionary lull, women campaigners are once again intent on being at the vanguard of the fight to save the earth. The London-based Women's Environmental Network works exclusively for women and the environment. It takes the view that women are most likely to be affected by any environmental damage and the most motivated to do anything about it." (Barbara Lewis Women’s Feature Service)

Oh, that's why... "Save the Planet, Bring Your Checkbook" - "Marie Claire calls for 'global cooling' so women can wear $41,000 of winter apparel." (Julia A. Seymour, Business & Media Institute)

"Wouldn't it be nice?" - "FOR YEARS, supporters of global warming alarmism have repeated an odd refrain: Even if we're wrong, we're right.

Sen. Timothy E. Wirth, D-Colo., said it in 1988, as the National Journal reported. "What we've got to do in energy conservation is (to) try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy."

I regularly receive e-mails with similar arguments. Or as one reader put it, "If global warming is not real, and we spend money trying to fight it, what harm will come of our mistake? Cleaner air? If global warming is real, and we do nothing, what harm will come of our laxity? On which side should we err?"

Savor, if you will, the lack of science in that argument. The global warming contingent loves to don the Mantle of Science as the reason to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But its backup argument is: It's OK if we're wrong, because we mean well.

What will come of the mistake of changing policies because of global warming alarmism?" (Debra J Saunders, SF Chronicle)

Another bad joke: "US Climate Change Science Program making good progress in documenting and understanding changes" - "WASHINGTON -- Climate change research directed by the federal government has made good progress in documenting and understanding temperature trends and related environmental changes on a global scale, says a new report from the National Research Council. The ability to predict future climate changes also has improved, but efforts to understand the impact of such changes on society and analyze mitigation and adaptation strategies are still relatively immature, added the committee that wrote the report. Moreover, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), which oversees federal research in this area, has made inadequate progress in supporting decision making, studying regional impacts, and communicating with a wider group of stakeholders." (The National Academies)

"Panel Faults Emphasis of U.S. Climate Program" - "An effort by the Bush administration to improve federal climate research has answered some questions but lacks a focus on impacts of changing conditions and informing those who would be most affected, a panel of experts has found." (New York Times)

"Should People Stop Having Children to Halt Global Warming?" - "It certainly shouldn't come as a great surprise that there are people who think human beings are the worst species on the planet, and that Earth would be a much better place without us. (News Busters)

No? Duh! "Insurance industry joins climate change fight" - "Insurers are aware that extreme weather conditions are likely to become more common. The insurance industry today launched a major initiative to help tackle climate change and encourage consumers to be more environmentally friendly, which could lead to the introduction of more "green" insurance policies." (Guardian Unlimited)

Is anyone surprised insurers are trying to increase premiums while offloading major risk onto the public purse? Should we be surprised at their using a gift excuse like promoted climate hysteria to do so?

"A flood of claims" - "Insurers discuss ways to guard against the effects of climate change." (Economist.com)

"MPs: government should help citizens 'do their bit' on climate change" - "The government is effectively preventing ordinary citizens from engaging in the battle against climate change, a parliamentary committee said today. MPs on the environment, food and rural affairs committee said the government needs to increase its use of green taxes and introduce policies such as a feed-in tariff for any electricity people produce at home with solar panels or windmills and feed into the grid." (Guardian Unlimited)

He's still at it: "Lord Browne calls for an 'International Climate Agency'" - "A call for an 'International Climate Agency' to help stabilise global greenhouse gas emissions is made today by the former BP chief executive, Lord Browne." (London Telegraph)

Alas, poor Tories, once had real leaders... "David Cameron pledges radical green shake-up" - "David Cameron was last night embroiled in a growing row over his support for a Tory commission advocating higher "green" taxes on motoring, domestic flights and home improvements." (London Telegraph)

"Flying - carbon aside" - "The Camp for Climate Action this summer on the perimeter of London Heathrow Airport provided the strongest evidence yet that air travel is becoming a lightning rod for anger over global warming.

There were more than 70 arrests over several days, while hundreds of protesters blocked buildings owned by BAA, the operator of the airport. They wanted to demonstrate their opposition to expansion of the airport, already one of the world's busiest. British newspapers and television gave the events extensive coverage, a reflection, perhaps, of readers' appetites for stories about climate change.

Yet there appears to be a widening gulf between public concern about the effects of flying and the way the public chooses to travel." (IHT)

"My Jet Is Bigger Than Yours" - " High-end private jets, like the Falcon 7X ($40 million) are all the rage among business leaders, writes JILLIAN COHAN. And there are good reasons—besides ego." ( Jillian Cohan, The American)

"Shipping Must Act on Air Emissions" - "LONDON - Aviation has borne the brunt of environmentalists' ire for causing climate change but the global maritime industry could face similar pressure if it can't agree to curbs in greenhouse gases, industry experts warn." (Reuters)

"Merkel Backs German Carmakers' CO2 Stance" - "FRANKFURT - Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced her unequivocal support for the interests of the German car industry as she opened the 62nd Frankfurt International Motor Show on Thursday. 

Merkel encouraged assembled guests such as BMW Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer to continue investing in fuel-efficient cars, but lent her backing to their demands for a weight-based solution to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions." (Reuters)

"Tesco funds 'green consumption' studies" - "Tesco is investing £25m to set up an institute aimed at tackling climate change which it hopes will lead to "a revolution in green consumption".

The supermarket giant unveiled its plans yesterday for a Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI) which will be part of the University of Manchester and will fund research into recycling technology and explore ideas such as how to incentivise customers to buy green." (London Independent)

"IEA predicts lower demand for oil" - "The International Energy Agency's forecast yesterday of lower-than-expected demand for oil next year did not prevent further price rises on world oil markets. The price of a barrel of London Brent crude rose $1.30 to settle at $77.68 last night, despite the IEA's decision to reduce its forecast for global oil demand in 2008 by about 160,000 barrels.

The IEA said slower economic growth in the US and Europe would result in oil demand for 2008 coming in below its previous estimates. It predicted demand of 88.02m barrels a day next year, down from the 88.16m it forecast last month, and also forecast falling demand in the final quarter of this year, to 85.92m barrels a day.

The agency added that its forecasts could be reduced further if the sub-prime credit crisis continued to spread around the world. "The outcome of the recent financial market turbulence remains unclear," the IEA said." (London Independent)

"Utility to test method of curbing CO2" - "Construction has begun in Pleasant Prairie on a $10 million pilot project that will test whether a key gas linked to global warming can be removed from the smokestack of a coal-fired power plant before it is released into the air. We Energies is hosting the pilot project at the state's largest coal plant. Construction of the carbon separation facility is scheduled to be completed late this year, with the project scheduled to start at the end of the year, We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty said." (Journal Sentinel)

"Boost for biofuels" - "Alternative energy firms receive a lift from Ottawa as crude-oil price tops $80 U.S. for first time ever." (Toronto Star)

"E.ON UK Plans Giant Battery to Store Wind Power" - "LONDON - The British arm of German utility E.ON AG is developing a giant battery using a secret combination of chemicals to store wind and solar power for times of high demand, the company said on Thursday. 

The prototype will be the size of four large shipping containers and will contain the power of 10 million standard AA batteries, capable of producing 1MW of electricity for four hours, said E.ON UK. 

"This is the holy grail of the wind industry," said a spokesman. "The electrochemical technology is proven but we're using a new mix of chemicals to overcome the difficulties that stopped previous attempts." (Reuters)

"Nuclear power looks for comeback in U.S." - "A nuclear power plant hasn't been built in the U.S. in decades, but that appears to be changing, says the CEO of the nuclear industry's advocacy group." ( CNET News.com)

"Not all studies are created equal" - "We’ve all heard that clinical trials are the gold standards of research. They have such favorable reputations, many consumers, media and healthcare professionals readily believe their findings are gold, too. But clinical trials are not all created equal. They come in different flavors and most being conducted today don’t merit us personally acting upon." (Junkfood Science)

"Most Science Studies Appear to Be Tainted By Sloppy Analysis" - "We all make mistakes and, if you believe medical scholar John Ioannidis, scientists make more than their fair share. By his calculations, most published research findings are wrong.

Dr. Ioannidis is an epidemiologist who studies research methods at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece and Tufts University in Medford, Mass. In a series of influential analytical reports, he has documented how, in thousands of peer-reviewed research papers published every year, there may be so much less than meets the eye.

These flawed findings, for the most part, stem not from fraud or formal misconduct, but from more mundane misbehavior: miscalculation, poor study design or self-serving data analysis. "There is an increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims," Dr. Ioannidis said. "A new claim about a research finding is more likely to be false than true."

The hotter the field of research the more likely its published findings should be viewed skeptically, he determined.

Take the discovery that the risk of disease may vary between men and women, depending on their genes. Studies have prominently reported such sex differences for hypertension, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis, as well as lung cancer and heart attacks. In research published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Ioannidis and his colleagues analyzed 432 published research claims concerning gender and genes.

Upon closer scrutiny, almost none of them held up. Only one was replicated." (Robert Lee Holtz, Science Journal) | .pdf for the access-challenged

"Skeptic’s Circle Saloon" - "Skeptics pony up to the bar for the latest edition of Skeptics Circle at Unscrewing the Inscrutable. Host Brent Rasmussen outdid himself with a fun Western tale, jam-packed with some great skeptical essays and hilarious zingers thrown in. Homeopathic hangover cures, anyone?" (Junkfood Science)

"A University education" - "University of Iowa administrators have decided to eliminate a piece of Americana and teach prejudice against fat students.

To appear to be fighting obesity and give a message against gluttony, school officials have canceled the annual corn-on-the-cob eating competition. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is in the heart of corn country. And it is to those students surrounded by the untrue educational position that their naturally fat bodies are unhealthy and the fault of gluttony." (Junkfood Science)

"Green as houses" - "Building green is getting cheaper and more popular" (The Economist)

Green Building Racket?

The Economist runs afoul of misanthropists: "Population and its discontents" - "Lighten the footprint, but keep the feet." (Economist.com)

"Gene-modified eucalyptus ingests more CO2" - "TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Eucalyptus trees genetically modified by a team of Taiwanese and U.S. biologists have proven capable of ingesting up to three times more carbon dioxide than normal strains, indicating a new path to reducing greenhouse gases and global warming, team members said yesterday." (China Post)

September 13, 2007

Ignorant twit... "Bring back DDT? Think again" - "Public-health specialists are debating whether or not to bring back DDT to help control mosquitoes. DDT advocates should think again. The environmental damage this pesticide can cause goes beyond the decimation of hawks, eagles, fish, and frogs documented during its previous use. (It was introduced early in World War II; a federal law banned its use in 1972.) Recent research shows that the class of pesticides to which DDT belongs stunts the growth of legumes such as alfalfa and soybeans, limiting their ability to fix nitrogen and so provide their own fertilizer and improve the soil. Also, a comprehensive survey has found that residues of discontinued pesticides such as DDT continue to contaminate streams, lakes, and groundwater throughout the continental United States." (Robert C. Cowen, The Christian Science Monitor)

Firstly, no one wants to do anything but spray minute quantities of DDT in Indoor Residual Spray campaigns, where it is uniquely suited and not use it for broadacre farming (where it is less suited, mainly by virtue of resistance buildup). Secondly, the claims of harm to wildlife (and most anything else activists could make up) are apocryphal at best and fraudulent in the main (alleged studies purporting to demonstrate harm have proven unrepeatable).

Support the campaign against DDT scaremongering with a DDT T-shirt!
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"Child Mortality at Record Low" - "For the first time since record keeping began in 1960, the number of deaths of young children around the world has fallen below 10 million a year, according to figures from the United Nations Children’s Fund being released today.

This public health triumph has arisen, Unicef officials said, partly from campaigns against measles, malaria and bottle-feeding, and partly from improvements in the economies of most of the world outside Africa." ( New York Times)

That poor virtual world, again: "Warming May Trigger Agricultural Collapse" - "WASHINGTON, Sep 12 - India could lose up to 40 percent of its agricultural output because of global warming even as it becomes the world's most populous country, warns a new study." (IPS)

All these disaster scenarios built on the output of computer games which categorically do not well represent the real world and which have zero demonstrated prognostic capabilities. Stupid game...

Coordinated crap: "Global Warming Impact Like 'Nuclear War' - Report" - "LONDON - Climate change could have global security implications on a par with nuclear war unless urgent action is taken, a report said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

Stupid misdirection of the moment: "Climate More Than Land Misuse Spreading Deserts - UN" - "MADRID - Climate change has become the prime cause of an accelerating spread of deserts which threatens the world's drylands, the United Nations' top climate official said on Wednesday.

Yvo de Boer said that, although growing populations in dry areas were putting serious stress on the environment through over-grazing, water demand, deforestation and other activities, climate change was the greater threat." (Reuters)

... another terrific reason to watch "The Great Global Warming Swindle"... only available at the DemandDebate.com Store! Supplies limited!

Oh boy... "Ancient Shells Tell Tale of Climate Change - Study" - "CHICAGO - By studying the chemical composition of ancient marine fossils, researchers have found new evidence that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide have a big impact on climate, they said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

... where to start? Hopefully this has merely been really badly reported.

So, is this 'proof' higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide cause higher global mean temperatures? Of course not, it just reiterates that when temperatures rise atmospheric carbon is seen to follow.

Does the chilly period around the Carboniferous/Permian boundary reinforce the CO2/Temperature association? Not really, since there was a similarly cool incident around the Ordovician/Silurian boundary followed (somewhat belatedly) by a fall and recovery in atmospheric CO2. No matter, levels are not thought to have fallen below ~3,000 ppmv (about 8 times current) despite temperatures falling to about those of today. That gives us two temperature crashes to roughly those of today with a full order of magnitude difference in background CO2 levels.

Let's take the low values of the two periods of interest, 3,000 & 300 ppmv for the Silurian and contemporary pre-Industrial Revolution levels respectively and plug them into the IPCC's carbon dioxide to Watts per meter squared formula ΔF = αln(C/Co) where C and Co are the Silurian and current origin concentrations of CO2, respectively and α = 5.35. This gives us 5.35*LN(3000/300) = 12.32 Wm-2 greater forcing for the Silurian (assuming no negative feedbacks) -- which readers of What Watt is what? know will deliver an equilibrium temperature change of ~1.2 K.

From their tropical sea surface temperature estimates and knowing that enhanced greenhouse should preferentially warm cooler regions (and because it gives us a nice, round 300 K to play with) let's assume the global mean temperature was ~12 K warmer than current during the Silurian. Even if the above formula provides a reasonable estimate of ΔF (we suspect it overstates) we are faced with a serious forcing shortfall.

We know this to be so since maintaining an equilibrium temperature of ~300 K on Earth, where the expected greenhouse-free equilibrium is 255 K, requires greenhouse-maintained downwelling radiation of almost 220 Wm-2 (*) while the current temperature (~288 K) calculation is ~150 Wm-2 (*) -- making the above forcing from carbon dioxide (150 + 12 Wm-2) about 60 Wm-2 too small. Even inclusion of the marvelous magical magnifiers (a factor of 2.5) so beloved of climate modelers couldn't account for even half the shortfall.

In plain language then, carbon dioxide didn't do it, couldn't do it, can't do it.

Isn't it time we abandoned this silly fixation and tried to figure out how climate really works?

* The base calculation: If we use Stefan's Constant to derive globally averaged greenhouse in Wm-2 as in the following:
G = σ(Ts4 - Te4) = σTs4 - OLR = 390.11 - 239.76 = 150.35 Wm-2 where G is the global average greenhouse effect, σ is the Stefan-Boltzmann Constant, Ts = 288 K
(thought to be Earth's mean temperature)
, Te = 255 K (see complete workings 'Thermal equilibrium for an Earth without an atmosphere' in first sidebar, here) and OLR signifies Outgoing Longwave Radiation, we have a figure of 150.35 Wm-2 and net warming of 33 °C. Using the estimated temperature of 300 K (Earth in the Silurian Period) yields (459.3 - 239.76 =) 219.54 Wm-2 and (300 - 255 =) 45 °C respectively.

"Big Climate Change Did Not Kill Neanderthals - Study" - "LONDON - Neanderthals probably fell victim to taller and superior Cro-Magnons rather than catastrophic climate change, researchers said on Wednesday." (Reuters)

"Challenge to Scientific Consensus on Global Warming: Analysis Finds Hundreds of Scientists Have Published Evidence Countering Man-Made Global Warming Fears" - " WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 -- A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance. "This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850," said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery." (PRNewswire-USNewswire)

"SPPI exposes fundamental scientific error in Laurie David’s “global warming” book for children" - "(Washington, D.C.) A fundamental scientific error lurks in a book calculated to terrify schoolchildren about “global warming”, Robert Ferguson, SPPI president, announced today: “The Down To Earth Guide to Global Warming", by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, is intentionally designed to propagandize unsuspecting school children who do not have enough knowledge to know what is being done to them." | A Fundamental Scientific Error in “global warming” Book for Children (SPPI)

GlobalWarming.org has been fully renovated. Why not click on in and check it out?

"Greens With Envy" - " President Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard are being accused of pretending to care about global warming. The real pretenders are the ones who lecture us about man-made climate change." (IBD)

"Global Blame Game Continues at Berlin Climate Conference" - "During the opening of a two-day international environment conference in Berlin, developing and industrialized nations remained far apart on who should shoulder responsibility for cutting greenhouse gas emissions." (Deutsche Welle)

Uh-huh... "Fight climate change, cut down on red meat" - "PEOPLE in rich countries should limit their meat-eating to the equivalent of one hamburger per person per day to help stave off global warming, an Australian-led study in the Lancet suggests." (The Australian)

Meanwhile... "Half-price Big Mac to fight global warming proves big hit in Japan" - "A Japanese government website crashed Wednesday as people raced to take up an offer of a half-price McDonald's hamburger in exchange for pledging to fight global warming." (AFP)

Fight global warming, eat more ruminants! (I like animals, they're very tastee...)

"Support Builds for Carbon Cash to Save Forests" - "LONDON - The use of carbon offsetting as a way to fund tropical forest protection drew backing from a range of environmental and research groups this week, ahead of international climate change talks in December." (Reuters)

King, again: "‘No threat more serious’ than climate change" - "CAPE TOWN — Climate change poses a greater threat to our future wellbeing than global terrorism, says the British government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir David King. “It is the biggest challenge human civilisation has ever had to face up to collectively,” says King." (Business Day)

"Chill Out" - "Bjorn Lomborg provides a calm voice in the heated debate over global warming." (Kimberley A Strassel, Wall Street Journal)

Sigh... "English coastal storms more intense, but is it climate change?" - "TRIESTE, Italy - Coastal storms battering the southern coast of England have sharply increased in intensity over the last century and a half, a possible consequence of global warming." (AFP)

"Air pollution causes bigger, more destructive hail" - "Air pollution hugely increases the size of hail, and thus the amount of damage it can cause to crops and property, according to a study presented Wednesday at the European Conference on Severe Storms." (AFP)

Thursday funny: "Climate Change is Faster in Italy - Minister" - "ROME - Italy's climate is heating up four times faster than in the rest of the world, the country's environment minister said on Wednesday, warning that this carried a severe financial cost. 

"The cost of not acting is between 10 and 40 times more than the cost of acting," the minister, Green party leader Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, told a climate change conference." (Reuters)

Meanwhile: "Environment Study Cuts Italy Gas Stores, Cold Nears" - "MILAN - Italy's gas reserves may fall 4.4 percent after the Environment Ministry effectively suspended the use of a storage facility, an Industry Ministry source said on Wednesday amid concern about a possible gas crunch this winter. 

Italy covers 85 percent of its gas demand from imports. 

It has been boosting gas imports and storage facilities as well as seeking to diversify supplies after shortfalls in imports from Russia hit the country in early 2006 during an unusually cold winter." (Reuters)

Just a little thing (Number Watch)

Unlike most, this is a real problem... "Dirty Energy Threatens Health of 2 Billion - Study" - "LONDON - The health of about 2 billion of the world's poor is being damaged because they lack access to clean energy, like electricity, and face exposure to smoke from open fires, scientists said on Thursday. 

Dangerous levels of indoor air pollutants from badly ventilated cooking fires are a common hazard, while lack of electricity deprives many of the benefits of refrigeration." (Reuters)

... and a key reason we must massively increase both the supply and affordability of electricity, especially in the developing world.

"New energy agency chief sees household energy use rising in industrial countries" - "BERLIN: Despite the growing political commitment to tackling global warming, individual energy use and carbon emissions in the leading industrial countries have actually increased in recent years, the new head of a major energy advisory group said Monday." (IHT)

"Carmakers Turn 'Green' But is it a Smokescreen?" - "FRANKFURT - Green is the colour at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, with carmakers tripping over each other to make eyebrow-raising claims their vehicles are "clean" and environmentally friendly. 

But is it all just a giant green smoke screen? 

Even while showing off their new-found clean and green credentials, carmakers filled hall after hall in Frankfurt with powerful, tyre-squealing sports cars boasting up to 530 horsepower, or giant gas-guzzling SUVs." (Reuters)

And they make these things because people don't buy them and they're unprofitable, right? Bad carmakers, bad!

"US Court Upholds Tough Vermont Auto Emissions Law" - "BOSTON - A US District Court in Vermont on Wednesday upheld a state law that calls for a 30 percent reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, emitted by cars and certain light trucks." (Reuters)

"EU automakers reject 2012 deadline for CO2 cuts" - "European automakers demanded more time on Wednesday to meet mooted CO2 emissions targets but stressed they were on board and working hard to produce cleaner cars." (AFP)

Brown's biggest assets: "Tories plan supertax on gas guzzling vehicles" - "Motorists who buy environmentally unfriendly "gas guzzling" cars would be hit by a new batch of green "supertaxes" that would add thousands of pounds to the final bill under plans to be announced by David Cameron's advisers." | Is it time to lay off the drivers of 'gas guzzlers'? (London Telegraph)

"Air Freight Food, Flowers May be Greener - Tesco CEO" - "LONDON - Flying certain foods around the world may be less environmentally harmful than buying locally, said Terry Leahy, Chief Executive of the world's third biggest retailer Tesco, announcing new research funding." (Reuters)

Really? "Higher gas prices may help Americans slim down" - "NEW YORK - Higher U.S. gasoline prices may slim more than just wallets, according to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis.

Entitled "A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gas Prices and Obesity," the study found that an additional $1 per gallon in real gasoline prices would reduce U.S. obesity by 15 percent after five years.

The report, written by Charles Courtemanche for his doctoral dissertation in health economics, found that 13 percent of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to falling pump prices." (Reuters)

How did it correlate with cell phone ownership? Pet ratios of dogs to cats? Men who remembered their anniversaries? Number of goldfish sold by pet stores? Sheesh!

"New York Times Continues to Mislead on Avandia Risks" - "Why does the Times continue to ignore scientific criticism of Avandia’s critics?" (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"New report on mobile phone research published" - "Mobile phones have not been found to be associated with any biological or adverse health effects, according to the UK’s largest investigation into the possible health risks from mobile telephone technology." (University of Nottingham)

"A Village’s Travail: A Snapshot of Environmental NGOs’ Real Work" - "Rosia Montana, a poor mining town in the Transylvanian mountains of Romania, has been approached by the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) to dig four open-pit gold mines in their area. Among Rosia Montana residents, the majority of is unemployed and lacks indoor toilets and reliable running water. The mine would bring 600 permanent jobs to the area and $2 billion into the Romanian economy." (CEI)

Get your Mine Your Own Business DVD at the DemandDebate.com Store

"Tesco's green initiatives belong on the compost heap" - "TESCO'S Sustainable Consumption Institute leaves me on my knees, as in: "Please, Terry, not another green initiative." Maybe I'm the only person in the country who thinks the whole greener-than-thou scramble is out of hand. But I doubt it.

First, the proposed acquisition of Dobbies Garden Centres is dressed up as a major leap forward for the environmental consumer. Now, Tesco teams up with some boffins at Manchester to "explore vital areas of research such as how customers can be empowered and incentivised to buy green products and services". There's going to be a Tesco professorship in sustainable consumption, for goodness sake." (London Telegraph)

"The mozzies are coming" - "After the wet, then warm, summer, Britain is in the midst of a mosquito explosion. Will the little monsters become a growing menace? And, worse still, is malaria on the way back? Jon Henley reports" (The Guardian)

"China Urged to Join Effort to Defend Amazon from Soy" - "GUANGZHOU, China - China, the world's top soy importer, should join an emerging alliance in Brazil to protect Amazon forests and promote sustainable soy production, the head of an international crushers' association said." (Reuters)

September 12, 2007

We've been getting some excited traffic from gorebull warmers about this: "Arctic Ice Continues Record Melting" - "An area of Arctic sea ice the size of Florida has melted away in just the last six days as melting at the top of the planet continues at a record rate. 

2007 has already broken the record for the lowest amount of sea ice ever recorded, say scientists, smashing the old record set in 2005." (ABC News)

From Cryosphere Today: UPDATE: Thursday, September 6, 2007 

The Northern Hemisphere sea ice area has been oscillating near 3 million sq. kilometers for the past week and is currently at 3.07 million sq. km. We are near the historic calendar date of the NH summer minimum and there is about a 50/50 chance that we have already reached the minimum sea ice area for the year (2.99 million sq. km). Regions near the North Pole will likely start to refreeze in the next couple weeks, if they have not already, but peripheral seas may experience some additional melt and/or advection over the coming weeks if northern weather patterns temporarily bring warmer air into the region. Regardless, as in recent record sea ice minima years, the timeseries of the 2007 sea ice minimum will probably be very broad-based given this spring's early retreat and the delayed freezup likely this autumn.

Is this "global warming"? In a word, no. Northern hemisphere sea ice extent has been declining since the 1950s (through the looming ice age scare and on into the current toasted planet nonsense). We don't have comparable longer term charts for the southern hemisphere but satellite monitoring shows that since Hansen's initial global warming testimony in 1988 the southern sea ice tendency has been to increase. Have a look around at Cryosphere's charts, as always just make sure you check the scales and time frame of the various series. A quick look tells us that since Hansen punted this into play the northern polar ice extent has seasonally declined a couple of million square kilometers and southern polar sea ice has extended by a similar amount.

If you are trying to use sea ice as "proof of global warming" then the southern ice cap is not your friend:

Antarctic temperatures disagree with climate model predictions - COLUMBUS , Ohio – A new report on climate over the world's southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models.

"The best we can say right now is that the climate models are somewhat inconsistent with the evidence that we have for the last 50 years from continental Antarctica."

Last year, Bromwich's research group reported in the journal Science that Antarctic snowfall hadn't increased in the last 50 years. "What we see now is that the temperature regime is broadly similar to what we saw before with snowfall. In the last decade or so, both have gone down," he said.

So, global warming cannot be discerned from sea ice when the net change over both hemispheres is at best unclear. Antarctica should theoretically be the most enhanced greenhouse-sensitive region of the planet and yet is still cooling and drying (exactly what the hypothesis insists it can not do), which is probably why you don't hear much about it in AGW hand-wringers.

"More global warming hype" - "Popular Science published a special issue in August. The lead article is a puff piece on climatologists Konrad Steffen who made a career on the ice pack of Greenland. "Koni", as he is known to climate colleagues and friends has spent 32 years in the high Arctic, the last 15 on Greenland. 

Using dramatic pictures like the portrait of Steffen, beard and mustache encrusted with ice, face framed by a heavy fur cap, peering out sunglasses that reflect the weather station on the ice pack you don't have to be the Amazing Kreskin to figure out where they're going with this one." (Christopher Alleva, American Thinker)

"Almanac Calls for Warmer Weather in 2008" - "Old Farmer's Almanac Says Sunspots, Meteorology Show 2008 Will Be Warmest Year in a Century" (AP)

"Big media shows bias on climate issue" - "I know this is getting old. I keep writing about scientists who challenge the global warming theory. I do that because the mainstream media's assertion that you and I are responsible is definitely debatable. Reporters ignore legitimate scientists who say the way we live and our machines are not the cause. 

The mainstream press is caught up in, "global warming hysteria," just like Hollywood and government officials. There are literally hundreds of legitimate scientists who say, "We don't know," or that it's a "myth." I believe you are entitled to both sides, so I write about scientists who challenge the theory to balance what the mainstream media fails to print." ( Dick Little, Paradise Post)

Well, a few items get through: "Climate Corrections" - "Climate change reared its head again last week at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Sydney, where participating heads of state struggled to reach a consensus on how to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). The political squabbling, global warming true believers will say, stands in stark contrast to the scientific consensus that the greenhouse effect, a product of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, is causing dramatic climate change. There's just one problem with this view: There's a lot less to that "scientific consensus" than meets the eye." (Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Wall Street Journal) | .pdf for the access-challenged

But the thought police don't like it: "Ignoring the Evidence of Global Warming" - "I am not a climatologist, oceanographer, glaciologist, solar physicist or expert in any other field related to climate change or global warming. Nor are most meteorologists you see on TV across the United States.

Broadcast meteorologists are, however, the closest most of the public gets to people whose life's work is the study of global warming.

Therefore, it is our responsibility to be up to date on the research and conclusions made by those who are experts. This is imperative so we can present factual and unbiased information to our viewers.

Moreover, it is our responsibility to present information regarding global warming in a fashion that is consistent with the majority of the evidence presented by the experts and adopted by our professional organization, the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

Some broadcast meteorologists don't feel the same way. Some have instead chosen to ignore the evidence and present views contrary to those who have far greater expertise in the field. At the very least, it seems that those who take a position contrary to the prevailing view of the scientific community owe it to their viewers to admit this." (Craig Koplien, TMJ4 (Milwaukee))

"Sense of Urgency Greater Over Climate Deal - UK" - "BERLIN - The world is at last waking up to the perils of climate change but time is running out to translate that realisation into serious action, Britain's environment minister Hilary Benn said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Top Polluters to Discuss Hard Climate Goals - Germany" - "BERLIN - Twenty of the world's top polluting nations have agreed to discuss binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Germany's environment minister said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Researcher finds lake boiling with methane" - "Last month, UAF researcher Katey Walter brought a National Public Radio crew to Alaska’s North Slope, hoping to show them examples of what happens when methane is released when permafrost thaws beneath lakes.

When they reached their destination, Walter and the crew found even more than they bargained for: a lake violently boiling with escaping methane.

Walter said this summer’s fieldwork indicates that methane hotspots, such as the one she and the crew experienced, can come from various sources, not just thawing permafrost. Her next goal is to identify and quantify the sources of the methane hotspots around Alaska.

“It is unlikely that this methane plume was related to permafrost thaw,” said Walter, adding that the methane boiling out of the lake was more likely related to natural gas seepage. “Should large quantities of methane be released from methane hydrates, for instance, in association with permafrost thaw, then we could have large sudden increases in atmospheric methane with potentially large affects on global temperatures.”" (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

"Climate Change's Great Divide" - "The biggest political battle in Washington over climate change may not pit Democrats against Republicans. Instead, it could be economists versus politicians.

Many academics, even conservatives, favor a tax on carbon emissions. Many lawmakers, including some liberals, fear a political backlash against new fees. They lean toward a cap-and-trade system, which would set a limit on carbon-dioxide emissions and require companies to obtain permits to release carbon dioxide into the air.

There may not be much practical difference between the two approaches. Caps would likely function much like a tax, levying new costs on business that would ultimately be passed on to consumers." (Wall Street Journal) | .pdf for the access-challenged.

"Southeast Asia gears up for palm oil boom" - "Southeast Asian nations are gearing up for a palm oil boom as interest in biofuels soars, but activists warn the crop may not satisfy a global thirst for energy that is both clean and green." (AFP)

"Biofuels Offer Cure Worse Than the Disease - OECD" - "PARIS - Biofuels, championed for reducing energy reliance, boosting farm revenues and helping fight climate change, may in fact hurt the environment and push up food prices, a study suggested on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Trade-offs reveal no clear favorites in alternative energy market" - "CHICAGO, Ill. The nuclear power industry is riding the green wave back into public favor with its promise of a low-carbon solution to our growing energy needs. But even as the industry struggles to dictate what role nuclear can realistically play, it is bound by a global energy landscape—from solar to carbon sequestration—that is still predominantly shaped by the marketplace. 

Veteran New York Times energy reporter Matthew Wald takes a pragmatic look at the trade-offs associated with investment in a number of alternative energy sources in “Getting Power to the People,” a special in-depth feature appearing in the September/October 2007 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists." (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

"EU Deputies Seek Delay for Airline Emissions Trade" - "BRUSSELS - A European Parliament committee sought on Tuesday to delay the inclusion of all airlines in the European Union's emissions trading scheme to 2012." (Reuters)

"Micro-dust could tame hurricanes: study" - "Seeding a hurricane with microscopic dust could sharply reduce its force, according to a study which calculated that the technique might have spared New Orleans from the devastating power of Katrina in 2005." (AFP)

"9/11 'conspiracy' theories challenged by Cambridge research" - "A new mathematical analysis of the collapse of the World Trade Centre has been published by a Cambridge University academic, with results that challenge conspiracy theories surrounding the September 11th attacks." (University of Cambridge)

Related: Right, again... Mt. Sinai 9/11 research is junk: Accuracy of 9/11 Health Reports Is Questioned - The New York Times reports on its front-page that, "The clinic’s doctors presented their findings in what other experts say were scientifically questionable ways, exaggerating the health effects with imprecise descriptions of workers’ symptoms and how long they might be sick."

Three points:

1. You know it's bad if the New York Times turns on its friends in a front-page story.

2. JunkScience made this call first. Below are some of the Junkman's articles about Mt. Sinai's scares and scams related to 9-11:


Here's an ambitious claim: "Pollution blamed for fall in Arctic baby boys" - "Twice as many girls as boys are being born across much of the Arctic because of pollution from industrialised countries, scientists have found. The study also found that in parts of Russia many newborn boys were sickly or underweight. 

The Scandinavian scientists behind the study suspect the same to be the case in Greenland and Canada." (London Times)

They are looking at a very small population base, so it takes few births to skew ratios to start with. While it is possible this is an unusually sound and thorough study -- and I don't have all the data to examine -- some immediate red flags appear.

To begin with, male fetuses are notoriously more fragile than female -- it's an evolutionary thing with relatively low male density able to maintain a breeding population and greater population survival potential if breeding females under nutrition stress have a tendency to selectively reabsorb or spontaneously abort male fetuses. Animals like kangaroos carry this fetal sex selection thing to the extreme that younger does, who are more likely to survive long enough to provide complete nurture to offspring, have female young while older does at the end of reproductive life produce males.

What has this to do with Arctic populations? Quite a bit really. Poverty, malnutrition and alcoholism are endemic, leading to severe nutritional stress in gravid females and a small population base means few male fetuses need fail to skew the ratio from approximately 1:1 to 1:2 males to females.

Was this controlled for and really complete nutritional and health backgrounds worked up for each subject? Maybe, but somehow I doubt it. If not then biologically plausible (and well documented) effects are being ignored in the long reach for the Greenie Holy Grail of synthesized chemical vilification and that seems a reach too far.

"It's time to silence Silent Spring" - "This September marks the 45th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson's anti-pesticide manifesto credited with inspiring the environmentalist movement.

But this anniversary is no cause for celebration. The legacy of Silent Spring includes more than a million deaths a year from the mosquito-borne disease malaria. Though nearly eradicated decades ago, malaria has resurged with a vengeance because DDT, the most effective agent of mosquito control, has been essentially discarded--discarded based not on scientific concerns about its safety, but on environmental dogma." ( Keith Lockitch, ESR)

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"Breastfeeding does not protect against asthma, allergies" - "Breastfeeding does not protect children against developing asthma or allergies, says a new study led by McGill University's Dr. Michael Kramer and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The findings were pre-published online September 11 by the British Medical Journal.

In the survey, a control group of maternity hospitals and affiliated polyclinics was randomized to continue their traditional practices, while those in the experimental group were trained to teach better breastfeeding techniques and to encourage mothers to breastfeed as long and as exclusively as possible. At the end of the trial, the researchers concluded that breastfeeding does not provide any protection against asthma or allergies. "We found, not only was there no protective effect," said Dr. Kramer, "but the results even suggested an increased risk of positive allergic skin tests." (McGill University)

"More fat children seized by the government" - "With internet search engines nearly wiped clean of news contrary to the international war on obesity, this story wasn’t easily found. So, few healthcare professionals, parents and child advocates have heard that a Freedom of Information investigation of councils in the UK has just uncovered that three more children have been taken away from their parents and put into government care...because they are "too" fat." (Junkfood Science)

"Aspartame is safe, study says" - "A sweeping review of research studies of aspartame says there is no evidence that the non-nutritive sweetener causes cancer, neurological damage or other health problems in humans

Looking at more than 500 reports, including toxicological, clinical and epidemiological studies dating from 1970’s preclinical work to the latest studies on the high-intensity sweetener, along with use levels and regulations data, an international expert panel from 10 universities and medical schools evaluated the safety of aspartame for people of all ages and with a variety of health conditions. Their study is published in the September issue of Critical Reviews in Toxicology. 

“There have been continued questions in the media and on the internet about the safety of aspartame,” said panel member and University of Maryland food and nutrition professor Bernadene Magnuson. “Our study is a very comprehensive review of all of the research that’s been done on aspartame. Never before has a group with the breadth of experience of this panel looked at this question.” (Kellen Communications)

"Soft drinks alone do not affect children's weight" - "Soft drink consumption has increased in both the USA and the UK over the years and this has often been blamed for a rise in childhood body mass index (BMI). However, many of the review methodologies investigating the alleged links have been flawed. A recent scientific analysis of a nationally representative sample of children’s diets and lifestyles found no link between the amount of soft drinks children consume and their body weight." (Sugar Bureau)

"Nice but naughty -- our ' addiction' to chocolate" - "Chocolate is the most widely and frequently craved food, but is it really addictive?

Chocolate is the most widely and frequently craved food. People readily admit to being ‘addicted to chocolate’ or willingly label themselves as ‘chocoholics’. A popular explanation for this is that chocolate contains mood-enhancing (psychoactive) ingredients that give it special appeal. 

Evidence and logic, however, find little support for this. Substances present in chocolate which have been highlighted as potentially pharmacologically significant include serotonin, tryptophan, phenylethylamine, tyramine and cannabinoids. However, many of these compounds exist in higher concentrations in other foods with less appeal than chocolate." (University of Bristol)

"NYC Rule Posting Calories on Menus Nixed" - " A judge struck down a New York City rule Tuesday that required fast-food restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus." (AP)

"China Suspends Plan to Convert Farmland Into Forest" - "BEIJING - China suspended a plan to convert 1.07 million ha of farmland into forest to meet its pledge of reserving at least 120 million ha for farming to ensure the country's food supply, state media said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

September 11, 2007

"Critics Weigh In as IFC Tightens Mining Rules" - "WASHINGTON, Sep 10 - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) faces pointed criticism in coming days as an effort to lessen the damage wrought by large mining projects enters a new phase.

At issue are updates and enhancements to environmental, health, and social guidelines from the World Bank's private sector arm. Green groups and international charities say the proposed changes lack adequate standards in critical areas such as water contamination and the disposal of toxic waste. 

They further question the economic benefits of mining in poor countries." (IPS)

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"Does the Earth Have a Temperature Regulator?" - "It seems to me as if there hasn’t really been much attention given to the fact that CO2 increases occur AFTER the temperature begins rising and therefore cannot be the initial cause of global warming. Even the most vocal proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) acknowledge this fact." (Craig James, WOODTV)

"Global warming: an unsettled science"

A serious analysis would probably require more than some of these slogans but I hope that you will find some new interesting articles in the clip. Perhaps, you will also like the dramatic music (Holst: The Planets: Mars, thanks to the music experts among you!) as much as I do. ;-)

The clip focuses on the climate reconstructions, disagreement of the models with patterns of reality, papers arguing that the role of the Sun exceeds certain fractions, and ill-definedness of the surface air temperature." (The Reference Frame)

"33% of the USHCN network has been surveyed" - "I'm pleased to announce that 33% of the USHCN network of 1221 weather stations has been surveyed now by www.surfacestations.org volunteers. With 404 stations surveyed so far, 817 to go." (Watts Up With That?)

"Increasing Variability in a Warmer World?" - "One of the pillars of the global warming scare is that as temperatures rise, the variability of climate will increase and we will see an increase in temperature extremes. More heat waves will result, more lives will be lost, and the increase in greenhouse gases will be to blame. The concept is illustrated in the Figure 1 – should the temperature distribution simply shift up a few degrees (as seen in a), fewer low temperatures would be experienced while the incidence of high temperatures would increase. However, should the variance of the temperature distribution increase (as seen in b), then the corresponding increase in extreme high temperatures would be even greater. Even the occurrence of record-breaking low temperatures can be blamed on global warming if one accepts the hypothesis that temperature variance is related to any change in mean temperature." (WCR)

"Judge Dismisses Claims CO2 Emissions Caused Hurricane Katrina" - "While media carped and whined about the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina devastating New Orleans, a judge in Gulfport, Mississippi, ruled on a lawsuit filed against oil, coal, and electric utility companies that could have significant implications on future litigation involving greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. 

Unfortunately, from what I can tell, not one press outlet found the judge's decision at all newsworthy. Not one!" (News Busters)

Klaus vs Gore: newspaper ads 

Figure 1: Click to see the full ad. This cute ad will appear several times in the New York Times, the Washington Times, and the Wall Street Journal between today and October 4th.

The ad says: It is a blue, not green, planet." (The Reference Frame)

Inappropriate use of 9/11 anniversary: "Move to identify climate change security hotspots" - "The Ministry of Defence has asked climate change experts to identify regions of the world where global warming could spark conflict and security threats.

The Met Office will today announce a £12m research contract with the MoD as part of an effort to map the likely impacts of increased temperatures. The research aims to identify countries where battles could break out over increasingly scarce supplies of food and water, as well as predict the likely conditions in which British troops may have to fight in future. 

Roy Anderson, the MoD's chief scientific adviser, said: "The MoD has identified climate change as a key strategic factor affecting societal stresses and the responses of communities and nations to those stresses." (The Guardian)

Looks more like they've misidentified a key strategic factor.

OK... "EU parliament told of 'irrefutable' evidence of global warming" - "Climate change is an “unintended” side effect of society, a top expert on global warming told the European parliament." (EUpolitix)

... but who has ever tried to claim the world is not warmer now than when it was colder? Granted, there are always lots of subjective "somethingest" claims but these always rely on endpoint selection and about the politest thing that can be said for these caims is that they are free and worth as much.

Of course, Schellnhuber is a most prolific scaremonger, a Director of both the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research in Germany and leading light in the 2005 Exeter, Dangerous Climate Change Conference, so no one really expects anything besides unfounded and absurd alarmism from this source. -- h/t Dennis A.

From the UK Met Office Hysteria Centre: "World Likely to Pass Dangerous Warming Limits - Study" - "LONDON - The world will probably exceed a global warming limit which the European Union calls dangerous, scientists at Britain's MetOffice Hadley Centre said on Tuesday, presenting a new, 5-year research programme. 

But not all scientists agree, demonstrating a shift in debate from whether climate change is happening -- on which where there is near consensus -- to how bad it will get and what to do about it." (Reuters)

"Climate change will harm life on the deep ocean floor, study finds" - "A study of the most remote forms of life on Earth has found that their splendid isolation on the deep seabed will not protect them from environmental catastrophes on the surface." (London Independent)

Funny they never mentioned how good it would be for said critters with increasing surface bio-productivity from a less-cold and less life-unfriendly climate.

"‘Feel Good’ vs. ‘Do Good’ on Climate" - "After looking at one too many projections of global-warming disasters — computer graphics of coasts swamped by rising seas, mounting death tolls from heat waves — I was ready for a reality check. Instead of imagining a warmer planet, I traveled to a place that has already felt the heat, accompanied by Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish political scientist and scourge of environmentalist orthodoxy." (John Tierney, New York Times)

"Climate showdown headed for courts" - "Lawsuit filed over Kyoto Protocol might be an omen of things to come." (Richard Watts, Times Colonist)

This nonsense, again? "Expert says climate change will spread global disease" - "Climate change will have an overwhelmingly negative impact on health with possibly one billion more people at risk from dengue fever within 80 years, an expert said Tuesday.

While there would be some positive effects, "the balance of health effects is on the negative side," Alistair Woodward, a professor at the University of Auckland, told a regional meeting of the World Health Organisation.

Woodward was a lead writer for the fourth assessment report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change." (AFP)

Say what? "Despite many challenges, world faces brighter future - report" - "UNITED NATIONS - Despite daunting challenges posed by global warming, water, energy, unemployment and terrorism, the world faces a brighter future with fewer wars, higher life expectancy and improved literacy, according to a report released today." (Sapa-AFP)

Here's what Time thinks of personal liberty, rising standards of living, progress generally: "The 50 Worst Cars of All Time: #2: 1909 Ford Model T" - "Uh-oh. Here comes trouble. Let's stipulate that the Model T did everything that the history books say: It put America on wheels, supercharged the nation's economy and transformed the landscape in ways unimagined when the first Tin Lizzy rolled out of the factory. Well, that's just the problem, isn't it? The Model T — whose mass production technique was the work of engineer William C. Klann, who had visited a slaughterhouse's "disassembly line" — conferred to Americans the notion of automobility as something akin to natural law, a right endowed by our Creator. A century later, the consequences of putting every living soul on gas-powered wheels are piling up, from the air over our cities to the sand under our soldiers' boots." (Time Magazine)

"Mathematics of Ice to Aid Global Warming Forecasts" - "University of Utah mathematicians have arrived at a new understanding of how salt-saturated ocean water flows through sea ice - a discovery that promises to improve forecasts of how global warming will affect polar icepacks." (University of Utah)

"Global Warming Insanity?" - "When do symbolic gestures turn into "doing something" about climate change? 

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority," Marcus Aurelius opined, "but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." 

An even worse fate would be to end up in minority status and an asylum. Recent developments suggest that this might be the destiny of climate change alarmists.

Now that NASA has corrected its US temperature records, the hottest year on record is no longer 1998, but 1934. Five of the ten hottest years since 1880 were between 1920 and 1940 - and the 15 hottest years since 1880 are spread across seven decades. This suggests natural variation, not a warming trend." ( Paul Driessen, Post Chronicle)

I love it when the fruit loops turn on each other: "Activists take Al Gore to task on his diet" - "He may be the hero of the environmental movement for his crusade against global warming but Al Gore is about to be targeted by animal rights activists over his carnivorous contribution to greenhouse gases. 

Citing United Nations research that the meat industry is worse for the environment than driving and flying, animal rights groups are directing a campaign at the former American vice-president's diet.

When he delivers a lecture on global warming in Denver next month, protesters will display billboards bearing a cartoon image of Mr Gore eating a drumstick and the message: "Too chicken to go vegetarian? Meat is the No 1 cause of global warming".

The campaign is being organised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) and is backed by other animal rights groups." (Sunday Telegraph)

Of course Al never created this bandwagon, any more than he did the internet but he has certainly leapt enthusiastically aboard and used the scare for immense personal gain. The nutters at Peta are after you Al? Serves you right, mate, serves you right.

No? DUH! "Red faces as the state's green scheme hits wall" - "NSW'S flagship scheme to cut greenhouse gas pollution is on the verge of collapse, putting jobs and millions of green investment dollars at risk and killing the incentive for householders to cut soaring electricity consumption.

A plunge in the state's carbon price - caused by an oversupplied market colliding with investor uncertainty - is crippling the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme. As big energy companies stop buying emission savings, the green-friendly companies that sell them are finding their cashflow drying up." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Carbon Offsets: Eco-Extortion, Green Guilt, and the Selling of Indulgences" - "There are some things you just gotta do yourself. Someone else can’t lose your weight, quit your addiction, parent your kids, or confess your sins. 

You have to do it. 

And, just as you can’t buy indulgences that allow you to go right on sinning without any consequences, you can’t buy carbon offsets that allow you to go right on polluting without any consequences, either. 

Neither God nor science works that way. 

Yet, the selling of “voluntary carbon offsets”—eco-indulgences—is a $55 million per year industry, involving over three dozen companies worldwide. Total sales are anticipated to double both this year and next, and entrepreneurs are clamoring all over themselves for a piece of the action. 

And it’s all a scam. 

Yes, the money is very real, but the alleged benefits to the environment are fake." (Frank Pastore, Townhall)

Good grief... "For buyers, carbon labels tap into worry on warming" - "Customers buying Timberland shoes now have something to think about other than style, comfort, and price - global warming.

The New Hampshire-based company's fall collection includes a gray fabric sneaker, priced at $49.99, and a wool-lined leather clog for $105. A close look at the labels reveals, however, that the clog is a bargain when it comes to greenhouse gases that cause global warming: 66 pounds of carbon dioxide and other gases were emitted in producing the clog, compared with 88 pounds for the sneaker.

Timberland is among a growing number of companies seeking to capitalize on consumers' growing concern about climate change by developing "carbon labels" for everything from shoes to shampoo." (Boston Globe)

I wonder if they included the methane emissions of the original wool and leather wearers in producing that clog? How about normal respiration of beasts that otherwise would not have been bred or fed? What a lot of irrelevant nonsense we can find to distract us from real issues.

Look who's learning to talk the talk: "Global warming threatens winter tourist landmarks" - "KUNMING, September 10 -- One of China's leading tourist landmarks, Meili Snow Mountain, will be devoid of snow within 80 years if global warming trends continue, a meteorological scientist warned on Monday." (Xinhua)

II: "Pahad blames ‘global warming’" - "THE acute food crisis affecting Lesotho, part of Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe was a reminder of the threat posed by global warming, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said yesterday." (Business Day)

"Ratifying UN Climate Deal Will Take Time - Germany" - "BERLIN - A global deal to combat climate change must be decided by the end of 2009 as it will take about two years to ratify, Germany's environment minister said on Monday." (Reuters)

"UN envoy urges developing nations to accept climate targets" - "BERLIN - United Nations (UN) climate change envoy Gro Harlem Brundtland opened a G8 meeting on global warming in Berlin today with a plea for the developing world to agree to binding goals on cutting greenhouse gas emissions." (Sapa-AFP)

Good luck with that: "Global warming could bring commercial shipping to Northwest Passage" - "Global warming and economic development will prompt commercial vessels to use the fabled Northwest Passage as early as next year, Horseshoe Bay Marine Group principal Joseph Spears said Monday.

With the polar shipping route currently ice-free due to a record summer melt, Spears told the second annual Canada Maritime Conference in Vancouver that resource development in the North will soon push commercial ships into action." (Vancouver Sun)

"Climate-change paradox: Greenhouse gas is Big Oil boon" - "With enough CO2 injected into declining oil fields, the US could see its petroleum reserves quadruple." ( The Christian Science Monitor)

"Hurricane Scientists Flubbed Forecasts for Two Years" - " Hurricane researchers, who forecast seven more storms this season, have flubbed the past two annual estimates because of unusual El Nino and La Nina weather phenomena in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans." (Bloomberg)

"Bogus NASA Study" - "I've been thinking about my criticism of a U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) study of tornadoes and hail in the previous post. I realize now that I was far too lenient on those who conducted the study. The study should never have been funded. It should never have passed the peer review process and it should never have been published in any scientific journal." (ReasonMcLucus)

"It's time to silence Silent Spring" - "This September marks the 45th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson's anti-pesticide manifesto credited with inspiring the environmentalist movement.

But this anniversary is no cause for celebration. The legacy of Silent Spring includes more than a million deaths a year from the mosquito-borne disease malaria. Though nearly eradicated decades ago, malaria has resurged with a vengeance because DDT, the most effective agent of mosquito control, has been essentially discarded--discarded based not on scientific concerns about its safety, but on environmental dogma." ( Keith Lockitch, ESR)

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"Thars Gold In Them Thar Pills!" - "Many are puzzled by why politicians, employers and health insurers are so interested in getting us to participate in wellness programs, undergo preventive health screenings, fill out those online health risk assessments, and comply with health management. The questions that frequently come up are: “Don’t all of those screenings and preventive health interventions raise costs? Why would insurers want to do that?” (Junkfood Science)

"Civil Society responds to the WHO’s working group on innovation and health" - "In 2006, the World Health Organization issued a report which claimed that too few drugs are developed for ‘neglected’ tropical diseases that especially affect poor countries, and that the international patent system prevents drugs from getting to the neediest." (CFD)

"Bad Environmentalism Triumphs in California: Dems Gun for Rubber Ducks" - "There is good environmentalism and there is bad environmentalism: The first is driven by science and achieves meaningful results that improve public health and the state of the planet; the second is driven by fear and creates the illusion of action. (Trevor Butterworth, STATS)

"Mythbusters: Are the odds stacked against us?" - "Is it even possible to effectively counter popular false beliefs and help people understand accurate information? Or, had Joseph Goebbels, in the 1920s, correctly pegged people as easily manipulated by media disinformation campaigns and we're doomed to repeat history? The underlying processes of human reasoning and fallacies of logic are known in the scientific literature, but if we don't understand them, they could remain the secrets of those using them against us." (Junkfood Science)

"It’s what we don’t know that may hurt — CAM in babies and young children" - "Two recent articles in the journal Pediatrics didn’t make the news, but offer cautions for parents of young children, as well as doctors. Growing numbers of children are being treated for medical problems using alternative modalities, often without the knowledge of their pediatricians, or their well-meaning parents realizing the potential risks." (Junkfood Science)

"HARDY rice: less water, more food" - "An international team of scientists has produced a new type of rice that grows better and uses water more efficiently than other rice crops. Professor Andy Pereira at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) has been working with colleagues in India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Mexico and The Netherlands to identify, characterize and make use of a gene known as HARDY that improves key features of this important grain crop." (Virginia Tech)

"Biotech boost against Africa diseases" - "SOUTH African President Thabo Mbeki opened an international biotechnology centre overnight that aims to develop vaccines for HIV/AIDS and other diseases that kill thousands of Africans daily.

The Cape Town-based branch of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) will focus on infectious diseases including malaria and tuberculosis. 

The facility is the third ICGEB centre that targets research at the needs of developing countries. The others are in Italy and India." (The Australian)

September 10, 2007

"Peer review? What peer review?" - "The IPCC would have us believe that its reports are diligently reviewed by many hundreds of scientists and that these reviewers endorse the contents of the report. An analysis of the reviewers' comments for the scientific assessment report by Working Group I show a very different and very worrying story.

The comments for Working Group I are the only set of reviewers' comments to be made available to the public, and only then thanks to use of US Freedom of Information laws rather than a willingness on the part of the IPCC to allow people to examine the material. Surely all people should be able to examine the involvement and thinking of their governments and the reviewers from their own countries because it is the people who will most certainly bear the economic and political costs of any resultant actions." (John McLean, SPPI) | What Media Won’t Tell You About U.N. Climate Panel (Noel Sheppard, News Busters)

"NASA's Hansen Frees the Code!" - "One of the goals I and many other concerned citizens have had this summer is to get full disclosures on the measuring environment, data, methods, and computer source code used by NOAA and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) to arrive at adjustments to data for the surface temperature record. Given the error discovered in August that led to a restructuring of temperature in the USA and hottest year temperature rankings (see 1998 no longer hottest year on record) renewed calls for full disclosure put NASA GISS in a nearly indefensible position. 

I'm happy to report that NASA GISS has in fact released the computer code used to arrive at temperature adjustments for the USA and the world. 

Apparently us "court jesters" (as as Dr. James Hansen calls us) carry some weight after all. Even with such unfortunate characterizations, I wish to publicly thank Dr. Hansen for making this new information available. It was the right thing to do. Thank you." (Watts Up With That?)

"Cooking Up Global Warming" - "A very embarrassing chapter in the history of our nation's scientific establishment has been unfolding thanks to a creative new website www.SurfaceStations.org set up and run by Anthony Watts. This site is providing unwelcome scrutiny to the United States’ surface temperature measurement network, supposedly the most reliable in the world. The reputation has been built over the years in part because of our government’s purported insistence on uniformity of technology as well as siting (putting the gauges where they will gather the most accurate data) and maintenance standards. 

But if you place your measuring equipment in the wrong place you could help start a global warming panic. Which is, apparently, just what government bureaucrats are doing. ( Christopher C. Horner, Human Events)

<Guffaw> "The issue of our time" - "THERE SHOULD be no doubt that global warming is the most compelling issue of our time. If unchecked, it will threaten our national security, stress our economy and degrade our quality of life in so many ways. Our willingness to confront this unprecedented heating of the planet is a test of our moral obligation to our children and their children.

Yet it remains a second-tier issue among the candidates for president of the United States. This is unacceptable. California, which elevated its clout by moving its primary to Feb. 5, must demand that candidates who want to compete for votes here must prioritize an issue that is at once very local and very global.

The world effectively lost eight years in the effort to apply a brake to climate change while the Bush administration slowly evolved from denial to foot dragging in response to a strong scientific consensus that human activity - namely, the consumption of fossil fuels - was putting life on Earth on a collision course with disaster." (SF Chronicle)

"Environmental Reality" - " Al Gore, maybe with his private jet being refueled in the background, has said there is a scientific consensus that man-made carbon dioxide emissions are causing harmful global warming. Well, no." (IBD)

At least they mean well... "Prayer to End Climate Change: Religious Leaders Join Scientists in Environmental Concerns on Greenland's Melting Glaciers" - "Religious leaders from all over the world met at the mouth of a melting glacier in Greenland today to say a silent prayer for the planet, appealing to mankind to address the impact that humanity is having on life on Earth." (ABC News)

"Fallacies about Global Warming" - "It is widely alleged that the science of global warming is “settled”. This implies that all the major scientific aspects of climate change are well understood and uncontroversial, and that scientists are now just mopping up unimportant details. The allegation is profoundly untrue: for example the US alone is said to be spending more than $4 billion annually on climate research, which is a lot to pay for detailing; and great uncertainty and argument surround many of the principles of climate change, and especially the magnitude of any human causation for warming. Worse still, not only is the science not “settled”, but its discussion in the public domain is contaminated by many fallacies, which leads directly to the great public confusion that is observed. 

This paper explains the eight most common fallacies that underpin public discussion of the hypothesis that dangerous global warming is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions." (John McLean, SPPI)

"When it comes to global warming, he's got something to say" - "Al Pekarek doesn't like being called a denier.

Rather, the associate geology professor at St. Cloud State University says he's seeking scientific truth amid the "media circus" he believes the global warming issue has become in recent years." (St Cloud Times)

Contrasts (Number Watch)

"State inaction on climate is a grave dereliction of duty" - " Government exists to achieve tasks individuals cannot tackle alone. On the environmental crisis, it has badly failed." (The Guardian)

Says it all -- literally: "Scientists say global warming to hit Africa hardest" - "PRETORIA - Africa will suffer the most if the world fails to reduce global warming, with parts of the impoverished continent becoming uncultivable or uninhabitable, top British government scientists said on Wednesday.

In a presentation in Pretoria, David King, the British government's chief scientific adviser, warned climate change, if unchecked, would lead to worsening drought in Africa as well as flooding along much of its coastline.

He said an additional 70 million Africans could be at risk of hunger by the 2080s as a result of continued global warming -- temperatures in Africa have risen by about 0.7 degrees Celsius during the last century.

"This is the continent that will come under the most severe pressure from climate change," King told academics and media.

Gordon Conway, the chief scientific adviser for Britain's department for international development, said the current trend in Africa's climate was characterized by polarized change. "It's going to get wetter and drier," Conway told the group." (Reuters)

It's going to get wetter and drier...

"CLIMATE CHANGE: APEC Leaders Get Off With 'Aspirational Goals'" - "SYDNEY - An agreement by 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum leaders on Saturday to adopt ‘’aspirational goals’’ to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has been criticised by voluntary agencies as grossly inadequate for saving the world from the effects of climate change." (IPS)

"APEC aims at future climate change talks" - "SYDNEY, Australia - The bargaining that produced a climate change agreement is only the beginning for Pacific Rim leaders if they want to stick to their declaration to chart a new international course on global warming.

The modest, and critics say flawed, agreement approved over the weekend contained two initiatives for improving energy efficiency and planting more trees. It put aside targets for cutting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, like those in the contested Kyoto Protocol, the U.N. global warming pact.

But the program adopted by the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit set precedents that the United States, Japan and Australia say are important as the world grapples with climate change. Chiefly, China, which if not already the biggest polluter will be soon, agreed to a goal that also applies to rich countries.

"This is the first occasion ever that China ... has agreed to any notion of targets at all for developing countries as well as developed countries," Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer told local television on Sunday. "That is, by the way, an enormous diplomatic breakthrough." (Associated Press)

Another one? We need a bigger dog... "New climate plan drawn up for G8 meet" - "A grouping of former heads of state will present a plan to G8 environment ministers meeting here Tuesday aimed at breaking the impasse between rich and poor countries over global warming." (AFP)

"Candidate Thompson Praised for Global Warming Views" - "Free market advocates in search of a champion who will take a firm stand against draconian global warming laws might have one in former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.), who announced his run for the presidency Wednesday on NBC's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

This vote of confidence comes from a Senate colleague, James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who believes the weight of scientific evidence has shifted decisively against the notion of human-induced global warming in recent years." (CNSNews.com)

"Warming could kill off most polar bears: Study" - "WASHINGTON–Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will disappear by 2050, even under moderate projections for shrinking summer sea ice caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, government scientists reported yesterday.

The finding is part of a year-long review of the effects of climate and ice changes on polar bears to help determine whether they should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists estimate the current polar bear population at 22,000.

The report, which the U.S. Geological Survey released here, concludes that under middle-of-the road projections for warming the bears will by mid-century be largely relegated to Arctic archipelago of Canada and spots off the northern Greenland coast. The bears would disappear entirely from Alaska, the study said.

In the report, the team said, "Sea ice conditions would have to be substantially better than even the most conservative computer simulations of warming and sea ice" to avoid the anticipated drop in population.

The scientists also said the momentum to a warmer world with less Arctic sea ice – and fewer bears – would be largely unavoidable at least for decades, no matter what happens with emissions." (New York Times) | Protect the polar bear, save the planet (London Independent)

"The Arctic in the News and Blogs – No Sense of History" - "A series of reports by the USGS were released Friday predicting tough sledding ahead for the world’s polar bear populations. More than two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be killed off by 2050 — including the entire population in Alaska — because of thinning sea ice from global warming in the Arctic, government scientists forecast Friday. See in this blog why the evidence does not suggest that rising temperature endangers them or will cause their extinction but don’t let the facts get in the way of a good cause." (Joe D’Aleo, ICECAP)

Oh boy... "Melting ice cap triggering earthquakes" - "The Greenland ice cap is melting so quickly that it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break off. 

Scientists monitoring events this summer say the acceleration could be catastrophic in terms of sea-level rise and make predictions this February by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change far too low." (The Guardian)

Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt (EPW)

"Reports of Record Arctic Ice Melt Disgracefully Ignore History" - "In the past couple of days, the media have reported "grim" melting of ice in the Arctic while disgracefully ignoring the history of the region prior to 1979 and explorations of the area as far back as 1903." (News Busters)

Another bunch of fuel burners: "NGOs Unite on Earth's Greatest Crisis" - "UNITED NATIONS - A three-day meeting of over 2,500 delegates from more than 500 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and representing 80 countries affirmed that climate change "is potentially the most serious threat humanity and our environment have ever faced." (IPS)

From CO2 Science this week:

The Properties of Clouds at All Altitudes: How well are they known? ... and why do we care?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from Mount Kenya, Eastern Africa. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Fire (Relationship to Global Warming): Have global wildfires been increasing in response to global warming, as climate alarmists vociferously claim they have?

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: American Pokeweed, Canola, Eldarica Pine, and Purple Clover.

Journal Reviews:
Droughts, Megadroughts and No-Analogue Megadroughts: From bad to worse to almost unbelievable: How do North American droughts of the Current Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period compare?

The "Terminal Classic Collapse" of Mayan Civilization: How might it be related to the development of the worldwide Medieval Warm Period?

The Little Ice Age in Southern Tanzania (Africa): What was its primary defining characteristic? And what seems to have been responsible for it?

Symbiodinium D: Coral's All-Purpose Clade for Coping with Stress: It would appear that earth's corals may harbor within them a less-than-fully-appreciated resource for surviving periodic episodes of a wide variety of environmental stresses.

Norway Spruce Forests of Northern Austria: How have their growth rates changed over the last four decades?

Gann Valley, SDTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Gann Valley, SD. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Gann Valley's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.56 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

"Curbing Ship Emissions Needs Global Rules - Chamber" - "HELSINKI - The world's shipping industry needs global regulations that are consistently enforced by the United Nations if it is to cut emissions, the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping said on Friday." (Reuters)

"Merkel Urges German Carmakers to Cut Emissions" - "BERLIN - Chancellor Angela Merkel called on the German car industry do more to help fight climate change ahead of next week's international car show (IAA) in Frankfurt." (Reuters)

"Dimas Says Carmakers Missing CO2 Target Face Fines" - "BERLIN - European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas warned in a newspaper interview on Sunday that carmakers will face sanctions if they fail to meet new rules on reducing emissions.' (Reuters)

"Perils of wind and water" - "The green, climate-change movement demands reduced atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide. Activists like Al Gore call carbon dioxide (CO2) a "pollutant" and claim it is warming the globe.

Water- and wind-generated electric power are touted as "solutions." Neither produces CO2, but each comes with certain baggage. Hydro-generation requires either a natural place where significant water falls over a considerable gradient, or a dam with a huge lake behind it. Wind-generation needs constant winds and space for its windmills and electrical gear." (Washington Times)

Virtually... "Acid rain has a disproportionate impact on coastal waters" - "The release of sulfur and nitrogen into the atmosphere by power plants and agricultural activities plays a minor role in making the ocean more acidic on a global scale, but the impact is greatly amplified in the shallower waters of the coastal ocean, according to new research by atmospheric and marine chemists." (WHOI)

... fortunately, in the real world marine critters evolved with significantly higher atmospheric CO2 levels (and correspondingly lower oceanic pH levels) so this will not likely cause any difficulties even if the model is accidentally correct.

"Scientists Second-Guessing the Path of the Whirlwind" - "MEXICO CITY - Hurricanes Dean, Felix and Henriette caused dozens of deaths and millions of dollars worth of damage in the tropical zone of the Americas in just over two weeks. But worse may lie ahead, as five large cyclones are expected to materialise before the storm season is over." (IPS)

"'Hidden hurricanes' upsetting global warming theories?" - "Recent research may shed new light on whether the increase in hurricane activity on the Gulf Coast is part of a cycle that could end in a couple of decades, or a long-term climate trend that could last for centuries. 

Two studies published this summer contend that the number of hurricanes counted in the early 20th century is lower than the number that actually formed. The reason: Weather-recording technology has improved to the point that scientists can see tropical storms now that they never would have known about 100 years ago. 

The findings are important because in recent years, several researchers have factored in historical data to show that hurricane seasons have become more active. They have theorized that the more active seasons are linked to global warming." (The Press-Register)

"Ban the standby button, say Tories" - " Conservatives target plasma TVs in radical report on how to tackle global warming." (The Guardian)

"Lib Dems attack Brown on continuing fall in green taxes" - " Green taxes have fallen for the past seven years and are at the lowest share of national income for a quarter of a century, the Liberal Democrats reveal today." (The Guardian)

"Treasury 'pockets extra £10bn' from green taxes" - "Billions of pounds are being raised in green taxes with little or no reward for environmentally-friendly consumers, according to two new studies. 

Each British family is paying £400 more in green taxes than it would cost to cover its carbon footprint, according to the TaxPayers' Alliance. 

It says green taxes raised £21.9billion in 2005 - £10billion more than the social cost of that year's carbon emissions of £11.7billion." (Daily Mail)

"Rationing project tests government plans to make pollution personal" - " Plans for the world's first personal carbon trading scheme, in which people buy and sell their rights to produce pollution, are unveiled today." (The Guardian)

Oh my... "Heart risk to children, 4, from salt" - "CHILDREN as young as four are increasing their risk of heart disease and stroke in later life because they are eating too much salt, researchers warned yesterday." (The Scotsman)

... what was the mean height difference in the two groups for this trivial pressure difference? Why do we ask? Because blood pressure must be maintained a little higher when blood must be pumped higher and further. Think about the pressure required to keep blood flow to a giraffe's brain and yes, giraffes have very high blood pressure (to the extent they have a network of pressure-reducing capillaries to stop their heads exploding when they stoop to drink). If the slightly higher average pressure belongs to a group of slightly taller children then the conclusion would be that faster growing kids consume more salt. This would make sense from an evolutionary viewpoint since laying down bone requires more minerals in the diet. Salt lick, anyone?

"EU to Clear New GMO Beet in Sept, Despite Biotech Row" - "BRUSSELS - EU ministers and national experts are due to approve a genetically modified (GMO) sugar beet variety this month despite a long running dispute over the use of biotechnology. 

Officials say around 10 GMO products, mostly maize types but also cotton, soybeans and a high-starch potato, are scheduled for discussion at various levels of the EU in the next few months." (Reuters)

September 7, 2007

"Green Building Racket?" - "'Building green' soon may be more about stealthily raking in cash from taxpayers than constructing 'eco-friendly' buildings, if the U.S. Green Building Council, or USGBC, has its way in Congress." (Steve Milloy, FoxNews.com)

Right, again... Mt. Sinai 9/11 research is junk: Accuracy of 9/11 Health Reports Is Questioned - The New York Times reports on its front-page that, "The clinic’s doctors presented their findings in what other experts say were scientifically questionable ways, exaggerating the health effects with imprecise descriptions of workers’ symptoms and how long they might be sick."

Three points:

1. You know it's bad if the New York Times turns on its friends in a front-page story.

2. JunkScience made this call first. Below are some of the Junkman's articles about Mt. Sinai's scares and scams related to 9-11:


Junkman on junk science in the Washington Times: Rock report: Not only the good die young - "... researchers... found that rock stars tend to die young because of their lifestyles, with American rockers faring far worse in later life than their British counterparts... 'What value does this have — none? And what can anybody do with any of this information?' asks Steven J. Milloy, a biostatistician and lawyer who has run the Web site JunkScience.com for more than 11 years, turning the screws on what he describes as bogus environmental and public health research." (Washington Times)

"Australian, Bush Vow Action on Warming: Two Kyoto Foes Push Technology Approach" - "SYDNEY, Sept. 6 -- One of the first agreements to emerge Wednesday from meetings between President Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard was a pledge to take joint action to combat climate change." (Washington Post)

<chuckle> "China's Hu Wants UN Framework on Climate Change" - "SYDNEY - China's President Hu Jintao gave qualified support to an Australian initiative on climate change on Thursday as a rift opened at the APEC meeting over the "Sydney Declaration" and its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions 

Hu told a rare news conference after meeting Australian Prime Minister John Howard that he prefers a UN framework for climate change proposals. 

"We very much hope that this Sydney Declaration will give full expression to the position that the UN framework convention on climate change would remain the main channel for international efforts to tackle climate change," Hu said after meeting Howard. 

The declaration should also reflect UN principles of "common but differentiated responsibilities" toward lowering harmful greenhouse gas emissions, he added." (Reuters)

"No Climate Change Targets for APEC" - "As Australia hosts this year's APEC meeting, it is trying to get concrete climate change agreements out of the annual primarily trade-focused summit. But, with a tight smile, China is politely telling them that the issue already has a forum - and it's not Down Under.

As Australian diplomats try to use the forum of the APEC meeting in Sydney to bring about a statement on climate change with "aspirational" targets, China is denying them the opportunity to grab the limelight. Beijing is insisting that the United Nations is the best forum for discussing climate change and that the Sydney meeting should focus on trade-related issues." (Der Spiegel)

"APEC Rift Opens Over Climate Change Debate" - "SYDNEY - Leaders at an Asia-Pacific summit appeared deadlocked on Thursday over what their "Sydney Declaration" on climate change and cutting greenhouse gas emissions should say." (Reuters)

"Developing nations win concession from Australia, U.S. on climate change at APEC" - "SYDNEY, Australia - Developing countries won a significant concession from Australia and the United States on global warming, an official said Friday as a weekend deadline loomed to reach a unified position on the thorny issue among Pacific Rim leaders." (AP)

"Climate Talks Will Test US Resolve - Germany" - "BERLIN - A climate meeting in Washington later this month will show whether the United States is really serious about curbing greenhouse gas emissions after years of playing down the problem, Germany's environment minister said." (Reuters)

More nonsense: "U.S. Plots New Climate Tactic" - "WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration plans to push for speeding up -- by a decade -- the global phaseout of chemicals that destroy the ozone layer and contribute to global warming. But it is likely to run into opposition from China, which stands to profit more if current treaties hold. (Wall Street Journal)

It was a lovely hypothesis but there remains no evidence CFCs are related to the Antarctic Ozone Anomaly. In fact, since the so-called phase out and regularly trumpeted "healing" the misnamed "hole" has actually been setting record large observed size (hardly surprising for something that has always been present but unobserved).

"Flacks for alarmists" - "THE question of press bias about global warming is in the news again." (Bob Carter, Courier-Mail)

Greenies call for Rupert to save them? "BBC bottles it over Planet Relief" - "Just days after we posted urging the BBC to stand up to its climate change critics and go ahead with plans for a series of programmes on global warming it emerges that the corporation has lost its nerve and canned the idea." (Business Green)

"Sniff what you spread on the garden" - "BURKE'S BACKYARD garden guru Don Burke has spread plenty of manure in his time, so I trust his nose for the stuff. And the verdict of this lover of nature, now that he's taken a whiff of the bull preached on global warming? "I'm now getting very worried about some of these environment groups, whether it's Greenpeace or the Wilderness Society," he frets." (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

"GAO faults agencies over global warming" - "WASHINGTON — Wildfires are flaring bigger and hotter in Alaska, the northern Rockies and the Sierra Nevada. Bighorn sheep, mountain goats and grizzly bears in Glacier National Park, along with deer and marsh rabbits in the Florida Keys, face a housing crisis.

Glacier's alpine meadows are disappearing, sea levels are rising in the Keys and other federal lands are feeling the heat from global warming — and the government is not doing much about it, congressional investigators said in a report Thursday." ( Associated Press)

"New tool to fight global warming: Endangered Species Act?" - "A recent deal to protect the habitat of endangered coral may offer US environmentalists new leverage." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Another reason to scrap ESA then.

On being a moron (Number Watch)

"Researcher demands apology for professional discourtesy from essayist who claimed climate consensus" - "Naomi Oreskes, a historian at the University of California, San Diego, faces questions after an academic researcher formally complained to Chancellor Marye Anne Fox that Oreskes had not read a draft paper by him before thrice publicly accusing him of “misrepresentation” (http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/schulteresponse.html), reports SPPI." (SPPI)

Cooler Heads Digest September 6, 2007

Maybe but probably not with La Niña looming: "Parched summer on way" - "UP to two million Australians in the lower Murray-Darling catchment are facing the worst summer of water restrictions and shortages in 70 years." (The Australian)

Of course, we wouldn't be in a water deficit if we ignored misanthropic greens and kept infrastructure up with population, would we.

"La Nina to Develop, May Strengthen in 3 Months" - "NEW YORK - The La Nina weather anomaly is gathering steam and will possibly strengthen in the next three months, the US Climate Prediction Center predicted Thursday." (Reuters)

Ah, extrapolations... "NOAA affirms predictions of sea ice loss" - "An analysis of 20 years' worth of real-life observations supports recent U.N. computer predictions that by 2050, summer sea ice off Alaska's north coast will probably shrink to nearly half the area it covered in the 1980s, federal scientists say." (Associated Press)

"Planet Relief: the crusade against open debate" - "The hysterical reaction to the BBC’s decision to scrap its climate change special exposes green crusaders’ antipathy to discussion and dissent." (Frank Furedi, sp!ked)

In La-La Land? "Housebuilders bid for first UK carbon-neutral site" - "Britain’s first carbon-neutral village will be built on a former state-owned site being auctioned by the Government. 

The aim is to build 150 super-energy-efficient houses about six years ahead of the Government’s deadline for ensuring that all new housing is carbon-neutral. 

The scheme will provide a bench-mark for both the Government and the housing industry to calculate how much of the higher costs associated with so-called eco-housing can be passed on to homebuyers. 

All new homes built from 2016 must be carbon-neutral, according to new rules issued in March." (London Times)

"Don't Drive It Too Far" - "BRUSSELS, Sep 6 - Carmakers in Europe are missing their targets for reducing the amount of greenhouse gases their vehicles release, new data indicates." (IPS)

"Cars Neither "Green" Nor "Clean" - New Norway Rules" - "OSLO - No car can be "green", "clean" or "environmentally friendly", according to some of the world's strictest advertising guidelines set to enter into force in Norway next month." (Reuters)

"Air regulators consider new approaches to cut global warming" - "SACRAMENTO—When Californians take their vehicles in for a tune up, smog check or oil change, the job should include fully inflating their tires. 

That one simple step could prevent an estimated 200,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year from going into the air, according to a new proposal that state air regulators are weighing to help California meet its global warming goals. 

Making tire inflation a mandatory regulation is among six new early action measures that would take effect by Jan. 1 2010 to help California reduce greenhouse gases by an estimated 25 percent by the year 2020. 

"There (are) a wide variety of things we can be doing right now to help us meet our goal of rolling back emission levels to 1990," Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols told The Associated Press on Thursday. ( Associated Press)

"N.W.T. says gas pipeline development would lower harmful emissions" - "WASHINGTON — The Northwest Territories is taking on environmental groups and social activists with a report that boasts about the benefits of gas pipeline development in Canada’s North.

The study, released Wednesday by N.W.T. Industry Minister Brendan Bell at a U.S. think-tank, says there could be substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming over 11 years if the two proposed projects go ahead." (CP)

"Atomic renaissance" - "America's nuclear industry is about to embark on its biggest expansion in more than a generation. This will influence energy policy in the rest of the world." ( The Economist)

"Nuclear Industry Hails Climate-Driven 'Renaissance'" - "LONDON - The nuclear power industry said on Thursday it provided a clean alternative to fossil fuels and a global warming crisis, shrugging off environmentalist concerns about nuclear waste and atomic security." (Reuters)

Quiet but massive climb down? "Lovelock: 'Respect the Earth'" - "Nuclear energy would be vital in a future where the Earth's feedback mechanisms are having to deal with the results of climate change, James Lovelock, environmentalist and originator of the Gaia theory, told delegates to the World Nuclear Association (WNA) 32nd Annual Symposium in London." (WNN)

No mass extinction? People might choose cooler locations? At the beginning of the year Lovelock claimed only a few breeding pairs of humans will survive at the end of the century and they'd be in the Arctic, it being the only habitable region. Perhaps he's back on his medication now...

"Newly Discovered Virus May be Killing Bees - Study" - "WASHINGTON - A newly discovered virus may be killing bees or may be making some bees vulnerable enough to disappear, US researchers reported on Thursday. (Reuters)

"Colourful stuff can make children crazy: study" - "PARENTS always suspected it but it has finally been proved: when some children eat colourful cupcakes and have fizzy drinks they go wild.

A study in the medical journal The Lancet has found evidence of a strong link between children eating artificial food colours and additives and hyperactivity." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Shock: kids smarter than chimps" - "IN another case of researchers reporting the bleeding obvious, European scientists have found that children are smarter than chimpanzees." (Reuters)

"Nifty kids" - "This post got lost in the work shuffle but is still a goodie." (Junkfood Science)

"Food is good to eat" - "This news isn’t new, but may be a helpful and healthful reminder as young people head back to school and become inundated by “healthy eating” and “healthy weight” messages in their school cafeterias, math and science classes, gym periods, recess, and even on their report cards.' (Junkfood Science)

"Exposure to common chemicals may predispose some people to obesity" - "Levin is one of a new generation of scientists examining another possible factor in the obesity epidemic. Their research suggests that minute exposures to common chemicals might pre-program children to be obesity-prone from birth. 

This doesn't discount the importance of diet and exercise as a means of weight control for everyone. “But the fact is that it might be much more difficult for some people than for others, given certain environmental exposures,” Levin said. 

Levin's particular interest is nicotine from tobacco smoke, to which, he said, about 1 in 4 babies is exposed before birth. Such infants are often born underweight, but later in life, studies have found they tend toward obesity, even when other factors, such as television watching, parental exercise habits, education level and computer-game playing are taken into account." (Richard A. Lovett, Union-Tribune)

"Soda Smackdown! But Report Over Caffeine Content Fizzles" - "That some sodas have a lot of caffeine isn’t exactly news, so how did the press juice up a new study that said, um, some sodas have a lot of caffeine?" (STATS)

"'Organic Abundance' Report: Fatally Flawed" - "The recent report from Catherine Badgley et al. at the University of Michigan (Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, July, 2007) claimed that “organic agriculture has the potential to contribute quite substantially to the global food supply” and said “organic methods could produce enough food on a global per capita basis to sustain the current human population, and potentially an even larger population, without increasing the agricultural land base.”

This claim is simply not credible given the following internal fatal flaws:" (CGFI)

"Court curbs genetically modified rice" - "Environmentalists have won a legal skirmish in their campaign to stop the propagation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Last week Branch 101 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court granted an application filed by Greenpeace and other groups for a temporary restraining order against the genetically modified rice Bayer LL62." (Manilla Times)

September 6, 2007

"Antarctica: Warming, Cooling, or Both?" - "The ice caps are melting – right? If you visit thousands of websites on climate change, watch Gore’s film or many similar documentaries, you would be left with no doubt that the icecaps are warming and melting at an unprecedented rate. However, with respect to Antarctica, you might be surprised when you examine what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in their 2007 Summary for Policymakers. Believe it or not, IPCC reports “Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show inter-annual variability and localized changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region.” Furthermore, they note “Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall.” (WCR)

"Mine Your Own Business" - "WASHINGTON—One would think only a crazy couple would declare war on environmentalists by presenting them on film as snobs, hypocrites and enemies of the poor. Luckily for those of us who think one-sided debates are boring, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney are just crazy enough to question the environmentalists’ opposition to mining projects in poor countries in a documentary—“Mine Your Own Business”—that is gaining attention.

McAleer, an Irish journalist who covered Romania for the Financial Times, and McElhinney, his wife and co-producer, look at three mining investments: a gold project by Gabriel Resources in Rosia Montana, in Romania’s Transylvania region; Rio Tinto’s ilmenite project in Fort Dauphin, in Madagascar; and a vast Andean operation undertaken by Barrick Gold in Chile’s Huasco Valley.

In the movie, many of the critics who claim to live in the affected areas are less than honest. One, a Swiss environmentalist who leads the opposition to mining in Romania, actually lives in the sort of town to which many of the impoverished peasants of Rosia Montana want to move." (Alvaro Vargas Llosa, Independent Institute)

Get your Mine Your Own Business DVD at the DemandDebate.com Store


Haven't read the script... "Mount Shasta Glaciers Defy Global Warming, Grow" - " MOUNT SHASTA The debate over global warming has taken a pretty odd twist in Northern California. Up on Mount Shasta, the glaciers are not behaving like you'd expect.

Big mountains often produce their own weather patterns. Mount Shasta, at 14,162 feet seems to have a mind of its own these days. Shasta has seven glaciers. The biggest is the one on the middle, Whitney Glacier. What has surprised scientists about the glacier is that if the theories about global warming are true, the glacier ought to be shrinking, but it's not.

“Unlike most areas around the world, these glaciers are advancing, they are growing. Thirty percent in the last fifty years,” says scientist Erik White." (CBS13)

"Is carbon-offsetting just eco-enslavement?" - "If you thought that the era of British bigwigs keeping Indians as personal servants came to an end with the fall of the Raj in 1947, then you must have had a rude awakening last week. 

In a feature about carbon offsetting in The Times (London), it was revealed that the leader of the UK Conservative Party, David Cameron, offsets his carbon emissions by effectively keeping brown people in a state of bondage. Whenever he takes a flight to some foreign destination, Cameron donates to a carbon-offsetting company that encourages people in the developing world to ditch modern methods of farming in favour of using their more eco-friendly manpower to plough the land. So Cameron can fly around the world with a guilt-free conscience on the basis that, thousands of miles away, Indian villagers, bent over double, are working by hand rather than using machines that emit carbon. 

Welcome to the era of eco-enslavement." (Brendan O’Neill, sp!ked)

"Carbon Dioxide: The Houdini of Gases" - "How long does carbon dioxide linger in the air? This is actually an important question, a question of so-called residence time. As previously discussed on this blog, studies compiled by geologist Tom Segalstad rather convincingly show that earth’s biological and chemical processes recycle CO2 within a decade, meaning that a CO2 molecule you’re exhaling at the moment is bound to be captured by a plant or a rock or the ocean just a few years from now. Yet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other authorities insist that carbon dioxide generally remains in the air for up to 200 years." ( Alan Siddons and Joe D’Aleo, Icecap)

"Global warming threatens Indonesia's Borobudur temple" - "MAGELANG, Indonesia - Like any historical monument, Indonesia's magnificent Borobudur temple in central Java has suffered the ravages of time.

But now conservationists fear the world's biggest Buddhist temple, topped with stupas and decorated with hundreds of reliefs depicting Buddhist thought and the life of Buddha, faces a new threat: climate change." (Reuters Life!)

"Al Gore readying new environmental book" - "NEW YORK - For those frightened by the tale of global warming in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," and wondering what can be done, the former vice president has an answer: a sequel.

Gore is working on a new environmental book, "The Path to Survival," that will be released as a paperback original on April 22, 2008, Earth Day. According to publisher Rodale Books, Gore will continue where he left off in "An Inconvenient Truth" and offer "a visionary blueprint for the changes we should make as a world community." (AP)

"Climate change debate needs revolution" - "A revolution of society on a scale never witnessed in peacetime is needed if climate change is to be tackled successfully, the head of a major business grouping has warned.

Bjorn Stigson, the head of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), predicted governments would be unable to reach agreement on a framework for reducing carbon emissions at either a US-sponsored meeting in Washington later this month or at a United Nations climate summit in Indonesia in December." (Financial Times)

The finest indoctrination: "Hollywood recruits kids to fight climate change" - "Hit the sticks, Smokey. Snook — along with Mumble, Nanu and Cody — is the new furry friend globally warming the hearts and minds of kids across the country. 

As Mother Earth stuffs the ballot box in the contest for pop culture prom queen with successful films like “Happy Feet,” “Arctic Tale” and “Surf’s Up,” experts say environmental issues are following the burn pattern of the forest fire, making this generation’s children more nature-friendly and raising their environmental awareness." (Politico)

"Global-warming believers fear an honest debate" - "Newsweek's global-warming cover story purports to reveal the "well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry" that for the past two decades "has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change." It's the same story run repeatedly in mainstream media: The overwhelming majority of scientists believe the debate on global warming is over - but if there are any dissenting scientists left, they've been bought.

Here's the rub: If dissent is so rare, why do global-warming conformists feel the strong need to argue that minority views should be dismissed as nutty or venal? Why not posit that there is such a thing as honest disagreement on the science?" ( Debra J. Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle)

"CLIMATE CHANGE: Leaders to Debate Warming at U.N." - "UNITED NATIONS - Amid growing concern over the slow pace of international negotiations, the United Nations has called an extraordinary meeting of world leaders to discuss climate change." (IPS)

"Different tracks to the same goal" - "WAS John Howard right to propose the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum begin to set out a new global strategy to tackle climate change?

As the world's leading economies decided at the G8 summit in June that Kyoto has to be replaced, any Australian prime minister should have felt duty-bound to encourage APEC leaders to lead the effort to develop a fresh approach. 

No global solution can be effective without the support of APEC economies. Today they produce 60 per cent of the world's gross domestic product and about half the planet's greenhouse gases. Both shares are set to increase." (The Australian)

Imagine that... "Australian, US greenhouse gas efforts meet resistance from developing nations" - "SYDNEY - Developing nations led by China and Southeast Asian states are resisting efforts by the US and Australia to forge a new framework for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, diplomats said Wednesday.

Sharp disagreements over a statement on climate change to be issued at an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here have highlighted the divisions, said the diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity." (Thomson Financial)

"China holds key on climate change deal" - "CHINA is standing in the way of John Howard's plan to forge a clear commitment to tackle climate change by improving energy efficiency among APEC nations.

Developing nations are resisting any commitment to binding climate change targets, such as cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. 

And they could also veto any agreement brokered by the Prime Minister to improve energy efficiency unless the deal commits to using the UN as the main forum for global negotiations." (The Australian)

"China asks for 'development space' while world seeks to curb global warming" - "BEIJING: China said Tuesday it was working hard to increase its use of renewable energy, but needs to be given some leeway in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gasses.

China's contribution over time to climate change has been relatively small, an economic planning official said when asked about China's attitude toward the focus on the issue at a meeting of Pacific Rim nations in Australia this week." (Associated Press)

"China's rising CO2 emissions partly due to global output shift - state planner" - "BEIJING - China's rising carbon dioxide emissions are in large part due to a shift in global production, which has seen foreign companies setting up operations here, a senior state planner said." (XFN-ASIA)

"New Study Offers Framework for Consensus on Climate Change at APEC Summit" - " SYDNEY, Australia, Sept. 5 -- As the region's leaders stand divided on climate change at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Sydney, Australia, a study launched at the meeting proposed a new strategy for unified global action. The study, released by the U.S.-based NGO World Growth, proposes a "Multi- Track" process that would allow countries to develop more customized strategies to reduce emissions while preserving economic development programs and progress toward eliminating poverty." (PRNewswire-USNewswire)

"Climate change of "vital interest" to APEC" - "SYDNEY, Australia: Global warming is of "vital interest" to Pacific Rim countries, according a draft statement prepared by regional foreign and trade ministers that also welcomed a proposal for setting goals on improving energy efficiency.

The draft statement, obtained by The Associated Press and due to be approved by the ministers on Thursday, formally puts climate change on the agenda of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum for the first time.

Climate change has proved a thorny issue for APEC, with developing countries objecting to an Australian and U.S.-backed proposal for the forum to agree on broad targets for improving energy efficiency — code for reducing greenhouse gas emissions." (Associated Press)

"Asia-Pacific Businesses Call for Carbon Pricing" - "SYDNEY - Business leaders in the Asia-Pacific region said on Wednesday they will ask governments to put a price on carbon emissions as soon as possible to combat climate change." (Reuters)

Cooler Heads Digest August 15, 2007

Cooler Heads Digest August 24, 2007

"Global Warming May Pose Threat to Heart" - " Global warming may be melting glaciers and forcing polar bears onto land, but doctors warn it could also affect your heart. 

"If it really is a few degrees warmer in the next 50 years, we could definitely have more cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Karin Schenck-Gustafsson, of the department of cardiology at Sweden's Karolinska Institute." (AP)

"Role Reversal: Humans Suck Life Out Of Leeches" - " Global warming may be to blame for the gradual extinction of cold-loving species, and the European land leech in particular, according to Ulrich Kutschera and colleagues from the University of Kassel in Germany and the Karl-Franzens-University of Graz in Austria. 

Their findings show that human-induced temperature increases over a 40-year period in the Graz region of Austria may have led to the near extinction of the local land leech Xerobdella lecomtei." (Science Daily)

"BBC scraps climate change bias-athon" - "The BBC has abandoned plans for Planet Relief, a 'telethon' to raise awareness about climate change, which was being touted as a cross between Comic Relief (an annual BBC cringe-fest in which people give money to various good causes because comedians tell them to) and Al Gore's mega-flop Live Earth. (Monkey Tennis Centre)

"Global warming: Too hot to handle for the BBC" - "Green groups protest after corporation calls off day of programming dedicated to climate change." (London Independent)

We've got some very bad news for you guys, "global warming" is not now nor has it ever been anything but a political issue.

?!! "Lessons to be learnt from Channel 4 blunder" - "The BBC's decision to drop its climate change event is not the first time a major broadcaster has been accused of skewing the debate in favour of global warming deniers." (London Independent)

"Gore’s Live Earth Flop Prompts BBC to Scrap Global Warming Special" - "On July 12, NewsBusters asked, "Did Live Earth's Flop Reduce Media Interest in Global Warming?" 

Two months later, the BBC has scrapped "Planet Relief," a proposed day-long special about climate change, specifically citing the failure of Al Gore's international concerts as one of the reasons for the cancellation.

How delicious." (News Busters)

"David Elstein: The BBC was right to scrap its day of special programming on climate change"  -"The BBC is surely right to abandon plans to broadcast a Planet Relief event. The criticism at the Edinburgh TV Festival from such BBC luminaries as senior news executive Peter Horrocks and Newsnight editor Peter Barron simply echoed that of the BBC's role in the Live Aid anniversary concert of 2005." (London Independent)

"Mark Lynas: The BBC was wrong to scrap its day of special programming on climate change" - "The BBC's decision to axe Planet Relief reveals a great deal about the thinking – or lack of it – among senior corporation executives. Desperate not to be accused of being "soft greenies" by the right-wing press, the Beeb has decided that global warming is too hot an issue." (London Independent)

"Global Warming Media Disaster: DiCaprio’s ‘11th Hour’ Bombs at Box Office" - "More evidence that Al Gore's Live Earth flop was indeed the beginning of the end to the public's fascination with global warming: Leonardo DiCaprio's recently released film on the subject has bombed with moviegoers." (News Busters)

"Canadians alarmed over climate change" - "OTTAWA - Canadians are now expressing alarm about climate change in greater numbers than in any developed nation except France, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Unless politicians respond with aggressive action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, they risk paying a heavy price, warns the president of the polling firm that commissioned the survey.

New data from the Environmental Monitor research program show that two-thirds of Canadians now rate climate change as a "very serious" problem, up from 57 per cent last year." (CanWest News Service)

This is encouraging... "Grim outlook on rain" - "HOUSEHOLDS and farmers have been warned of continued water shortages and higher fruit and vegie prices as the horror drought drags on." (Herald Sun)

... since their rainfall models and predictions have been about as wrong as they can get. They call continued drought? Time to check the flood boats then.

"Refugia of the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest could be the basis for its regeneration" - "During the last glaciation, which ended about 10 000 years Before Present (BP), the Brazilian Atlantic forest extended over all the eastern side of the country, covering more than 1 200 000 km², 15% of Brazil’s territory. Now only 95 000 km² of this natural habitat survives, just 8% of its initial extent. It is still a large biodiversity reservoir in Brazil, second only to the Amazonian forest. On one hectare of Atlantic forest the biologists recorded over 450 different tree species. But deforestation and intensive farming methods make this tropical forest one of Earth’s most seriously threatened ecosystems. In the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, regions where agriculture has developed strongly in recent years, the forest is largely fragmented, represented only as small blocks situated on the abrupt slopes which plunge down towards the Atlantic." (Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement)

When all else fails, blame global warming: "CHINA: Global Warming Fuels Inflation" - "BEIJING, Sep 5 - As food prices continue to soar ahead of an all-important Communist party meeting in October, the country’s leaders fear that runaway inflation that has been rankling Chinese consumers in recent months could ignite social unrest.

Efforts to combat price hikes though by increasing grain supply are hampered by climate change, which has posed a severe threat to this year’s harvest. 

"We’re facing a grave situation," the country’s top planner, Ma Kai, said of the annual harvest last week, warning that global warming is taking its toll on China’s already shrinking farming land and its sacrosanct policy of food security. 

More than 11 million hectares of arable land have been hit by drought this year, 2.14 million more than the average for the past few years, Ma Kai said while making a report to a working meeting of the National People’s Congress, China’s Parliament." (IPS)

Although climate hysteria could cause food insecurity: "Global food crisis looming on biofuels" - "HAMBURG: A huge increase in demand for oilseeds and vegetable oils for biofuel production could lead to a global food crisis as raw materials are switched to bioenergy output, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said. 

“It is high time to realise that the world community is approaching a food crisis in 2008 unless usage of agricultural products for biofuels is curbed or ideal weather conditions and sharply higher crop yields are achieved in 2008,” it said." (Reuters)

"Big Oil Firms Talk Up Carbon Capture, But Do Little" - "ABERDEEN, Scotland - Major international oil companies say carbon capture and storage is a way to curb carbon dioxide emissions while continuing to burn fossil fuels, but their critics say few are actually investing." (Reuters)

"New Malaria Drugs to Be Approved, But Do They Work and Are They Safe?" - "The market for treatments of malaria - which kills over one million people a year -- is of almost no commercial value: Although patients seek over 300 million treatments a year, and perhaps as many suffer without treatment, few legitimate drug companies make any money from the business. It is for this reason that one would typically be excited that new drugs to treat the disease, produced by Chinese firm Guilin Pharmaceutical, and Indian firm Ipca Laboratories have been approved by the World Health Organization. But recent history suggests that caution is very much in order." (Roger Bate, TCS Daily)

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"Heeding the WARNing from malaria’s past" - "A global network to monitor drug resistance and guide malaria treatment and prevention policies is being launched.

As outlined in a series of articles in the online open access publication, Malaria Journal, the World Antimalarial Resistance Network (WARN) aims to provide a globally co-ordinated effort to tackle the disease, which is estimated to kill between 1 and 2.7 million people every year.

One of the major aims of WARN is to facilitate worldwide monitoring and characterisation of drug resistance, particularly that to the latest generation of antimalarial drugs, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). (BioMed Central)

"A dream that never lived" - "Remember the teenage model who died last November of starvation? The Daily Mail has an indepth report of her story that illustrates “how destructive our current perception of female beauty can be.” This is a very hard piece to read, but an important one for anyone who may still believe there are few downsides to this focus on obesity and pursuit of thinness." (Junkfood Science)

"That’s the answer...not" - "Reporters told us of a new study finding “Higher-Priced Homes Predict Lower Obesity.” This yet unpublished study deserves note only for the opportunity it provides to see one of the biggest fallacies of logic surrounding obesity and “healthy eating.” (Junkfood Science)

"Taking the joy out of play — Calorie burning kids" - "No other news story will stop the hearts of sane parents and healthcare professionals like today’s medical news from Australia. The costs to our children of efforts to whip them into shape and the lack of evidence behind exercise programs to prevent childhood obesity have been extensively reviewed." (Junkfood Science)

“WHAT is your pcp smoking?” - "There is not a single educated woman on this planet who benefits or needs to be told to eat “healthy” — more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, or whatever some doctor, teacher or public official believes is good. Not a single woman hasn’t felt pressured to watch her weight since she was barely able to walk. Not a single one hasn’t heard (about eleventy-seven different times!) about “good and bad” foods and isn’t able to cite the calorie count and fat grams for more foods than you can count.

Yet, there are still professionals who feel the need to counsel people about their weight and remind them to eat “healthy.” Here is another example of the downsides of this well-meaning, but terribly misguided, belief." (Junkfood Science)

"Doctor Warns Consumers of Popcorn Fumes" - " Consumers, not just factory workers, may be in danger from fumes from buttery flavoring in microwave popcorn, according to a warning letter to federal regulators from a doctor at a leading lung research hospital." (AP)

"Sugary drinks, not fruit juice, may be linked to insulin" - "Steady increases in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages over the last several decades, as well as rates of Type 2 diabetes mellitus, led nutritional epidemiologists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and colleagues to explore the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. Their findings suggest that higher consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, but not 100 percent fruit juice, may be associated with insulin resistance, even in otherwise healthy adults." (Tufts University)

"Danger to children from food and drink additives is exposed" - "Parents are to be warned of the dangers of giving their young children drinks, sweets and cakes containing specified artificial additives, as a result of new findings being made public for the first time today which confirm their link with hyperactivity and disruptive behaviour." (The Guardian)

"New study shows greenback cutthroat trout involved in recovery effort misidentified" - "A new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder indicates biologists trying to save Colorado's native greenback cutthroat trout from extinction over the past several decades through hatchery propagation and restocking efforts have, in most cases, inadvertently restored the wrong fish." (University of Colorado at Boulder)

"Testing Produce Won't Stop Deadly E. Coli" - "Mr. Will Daniels oversees food safety at Earthbound Farm in Salinas, CA—the company that last year grew and packaged the bagged spinach that killed three people, including a 2-year-old boy, due to contamination with E. coli 0157 bacteria. The spinach also sickened at least 200 other people, many with serious kidney failure.

“We thought we were the best, but clearly that wasn’t enough,” says Daniels.

After the tragedy, Earthbound Farms hired a food safety microbiologist, who immediately told his new bosses that they were kidding themselves if they thought it wouldn’t happen again.

“Another bullet is coming your way,” he warned. “Will the processing eliminate the [bacterial] hazard? The answer for this industry is no. You can reduce; you cannot eliminate.” (CGFI)

"Organic food exposed" - "It’s a booming trend, driven by a public perception that food produced without pesticides, fertilisers and hormones is healthier and better for the planet. Cosmos looks at the science to see if the evidence stacks up." (Cosmos)

"Should we stop flying in organic food?" - "Should the Soil Association withdraw the 'organic' label from produce flown in from abroad? As the public debate hots up, critics insist a ban would threaten the livelihoods of farmers in developing nations. Others are more worried about the environmental impact ..." (The Guardian)

"How the public perceives biotech" - "Weinheim, September 04, 2007 - The term "biotechnology" elicits a range of emotions, from wonder and awe to fear and hostility. Alan McHughen from the University of California in Riverside (CA, USA) now reviews at large the current state public knowledge of biotech, popular misperceptions, scientific illiteracy and the role of the media. How is coexistence dealt with in the US and Europe" Who benefits from agricultural biotech – only big companies or also the society at large" In the public interest, who is best suited to provide advice to weary consumers" (Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)

September 5, 2007

The Junkman on FoxNews.com... Runaway Climate Captured? - Runaway global warming, the climate alarmist fantasy let loose on the public, has not yet been captured, but it certainly appears to have at least been cornered by new data from researchers at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH). (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Busy Storm Season Ahead, Says Noted Hurricane Team" - "MIAMI - A noted hurricane forecasting team at Colorado State University said on Tuesday it expected the rest of the 2007 Atlantic storm season to be above-average, maintaining its prediction of a total of 15 named storms." (Reuters)

"Debate Over Global Warming Link to Hurricanes" - "Many climate scientists believe there is a link between global warming and hurricane strength, but the debate is not settled." (Reuters)

"Global Warming Tie to Hurricanes Dean, Felix Unclear" - "MIAMI - Despite growing consensus that global warming may spawn stronger tropical cyclones, weather experts believe it is too soon to blame climate change for the unprecedented punch of back-to-back monster hurricanes." (Reuters)

Unclear? It's completely invisible.

The new Kremlinology (Number Watch)

Say what? "CLIMATE CHANGE: The New Utopia, Keeping the World As It Is" - "VIENNA, Sep 1 - Utopias have always inspired humankind -- from the defence of enlightenment against religious fanaticism during the Middle Ages, to reconstruction after last century's wars, to the end of colonialism.

Those were imperious, even grandiloquent utopias, corresponding to the excesses of the times. A new utopia is a conservative, apparently modest one -- a titanic, nonetheless: keep the world as it is, environmentally speaking." (IPS)

Um... today's environment/climate is ideal for what or whom, exactly? What makes some illusory stasis utopian?

"It’s Cool in Here" - "Bjorn Lomborg is back, and his critics will not be happy. In 2001, the Danish statistician published The Skeptical Environmentalist, an optimistic assessment of global environmental trends that provoked intense controversy and debate. His data-driven challenge to the “Litany” of environmental pessimism incited vitriolic attacks from environmentalist doomsayers. Malthusian environmental activists sought to discount his message, accusing Lomborg of “scientific dishonesty” and, in one case, throwing a pie in his face. Such tactics failed to accomplish anything but increase Lomborg’s notoriety and boost book sales.

If The Skeptical Environmentalist gave eco-pessimists epileptic fits, Lomborg’s new book could provoke outright seizures. Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming is Lomborg’s take on the number one environmental issue of the day. Lomborg remains stubbornly optimistic about humanity’s future as he argues we must “cool our conversation, rein in the exaggerations, and start focusing where we can do the most good.” For Lomborg, this also means cooling the push for binding limits on greenhouse-gas emissions." ( Jonathan H. Adler, NRO)

AIM Report: Flip-Flop: From Global Cooling to Warming - (Editor's note: The Newsweek article Roger Aronoff analyzes in this AIM Report mentions a Newsweek poll finding that 42 percent said the press "exaggerates the threat of climate change." This cover story, by Sharon Begley, with assistance from Eve Conant, Sam Stein, Eleanor Clift, and Matthew Philips, is an example of that bias. It will undoubtedly create more of a feeling by the public that the media can't be trusted to present both sides on this critical issue. 

In another irony, a note from Newsweek editor Jon Meacham in this issue, dated August 13, mentions the fact that Newsweek had run an article in its April 28, 1975, edition headlined "The Cooling World," exploring the prospect of a new ice age. Meacham says this article has been cited "as an example of how wrong journalists and researchers can be." He asks, "In 2040, will the editor of Newsweek hold up this week's issue as an alarmist and discredited report in the tradition of 1975's 'global cooling' story?" He hopes not. He says he thinks that Newsweek got it right this time. 

But Robert Ferguson, president of the Science and Public Policy Institute, commented that "Newsweek's latest cover story predicting 'global warming' catastrophe is no more scientific and no less incredible than its story 30 years ago predicting 'global cooling'.") (Roger Aronoff, AIM)

"California Congressman: Fix Social Security and Medicare Before Global Warming" - "Here's a story a climate change obsessed media are sure to ignore: a Congressman from Southern California has actually suggested America spend financial resources to fix the endangered entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid rather than to solve global warming." (News Busters)

"Growth in Carbon Emissions Slows - US Analysts" - "LONDON - Growth in global emissions of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas carbon dioxide slowed slightly last year, preliminary data from the US Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) suggest." (Reuters)

Probably true and actually inevitable as technology and the search for profit drives efficiency (as it always has).

"News Media Continues To Fail To Inform The Public Accurately On Global Warming" - "An interesting commentary on the bias of parts of the news media in Britain and New Zealand has been provided by a founder member of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, Professor Bob Carter, of James Cook University, Townsville, Australia, who is a graduate of Otago and Cambridge Universities, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and an internationally respected researcher and commentator on climate issues. These comments follow previous evidence delivered by Professor Carter to the U.S. Senate Committee of Environment & Public Works in 2006, which included explicit criticisms of leading New Zealand journalists." (Climate Science NZ)

"CLIMATE CHANGE: U.S. Talking, Up to a Point" - "VIENNA, Sep 4 - Despite its new willingness to participate in a UN-monitored regime for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the U.S. government continues to oppose legally binding caps.

Harlan Watson, senior climate negotiator for the U.S. government, told IPS in Vienna that his government "will come through with a national scheme for reducing GHG emissions. But we will not accept an international mandatory regime of emission caps." (IPS)

'E' is for 'Economic': "APEC Needs to Focus on Trade, Leave Climate Change for the UN" - "Sept. 4 -- A plan by U.S. President George W. Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard to sign a climate-change agreement at an Asia-Pacific summit may put the leaders at odds with developing nations, who only want to discuss trade. 

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group isn't the right forum to discuss climate change, Malaysia's Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz was cited as saying by state news agency Bernama. 

``The `E' in APEC doesn't stand for the environment, it should stand for economic,'' said Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs." (Bloomberg)

"Climate change proves tricky for Pacific Rim states" - "Sydney: Pacific Rim nations bickered yesterday over a proposal to curb global warming, with host Australia saying a modest agreement on climate change would be a success.

Familiar fault lines emerged between developed and developing countries over Australian Prime Minister John Howard's plan for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to reach consensus on a new approach to climate change.

China and other countries suspect the Australian proposal, which is backed by the United States, might compel them to accept targets, two Southeast Asian diplomats said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media." (Gulf News)

"China Names Negotiator for Climate Change Talks" - "BEIJING - China named a senior envoy on Tuesday to handle tough climate change negotiations it fears will cramp economic growth as the country faces pressure to slow rising greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters)

"The Return of Toilet Man" - ""Don't bother debating with John Stossel and the libertarians. They are worst than Republicans." (sic)

That's a comment from climateprogress.org, Joe Romm's blog about global warming. It was a reaction to C-SPAN's coverage of an Independent Women's Forum (IWF) discussion on energy policy that I moderated last week.

Romm was the star of the event. I didn't recognize him until he reminded me I'd interviewed him a decade ago. Then I remembered he was "toilet man." That's what I called him privately when he was the energy department bureaucrat under President Clinton who defended the government's demand that all of us buy "low-flow" showerheads and "water-saving" toilets." (John Stossel, Real Clear Politics)

From CO2 Science this week:

The Past and Future Status of Kilimanjaro's Ice Fields: What has occurred in the past, and why? What could happen in the future, and why?

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

Subject Index Summary:
Streamflow (Recent Trends - North America): Climate alarmists claim streamflow should be either increasing or decreasing in response to global warming, leading to more numerous and severe floods and droughts? So what do real-world data show?

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: Common Sheep Sorrel, Cultivated Tobacco, Ragwort, and White Mustard.

Journal Reviews:
An 800-Year Temperature History of Southern Siberia: How do current temperatures compare with those of the Medieval Warm Period?

The Medieval Warm Period in Western North America: What was the most significant "local" manifestation of this global thermal anomaly?

Global Warming and Chinese Food Security: How might the former affect the latter?

Ongoing Changes in the Carbon Stocks of China's Grasslands: How are they changing? ... and why?

The Carbon Balance of Swedish Forests: Is it positive or negative? ... and what are the prospects for the future?

Columbia, SCTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Columbia, SC. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Columbia's mean annual temperature has cooled by 0.36 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (co2science.org)

From the World Wide Font of nonsense: "Asia-Pacific Coal Rush Worsens Global Warming - WWF" - "SYDNEY - Growing dependence on cheap coal to power rapid economic growth in the Asia-Pacific could undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that is blamed for harmful changes in the world's climate, experts said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"Sailing into deep waters" - "MICHAELA Stubbs beamed euphorically for the television cameras, like a girl who won't be made to clean up the bedroom she's had such fun messing.

What a hoot! What joy for any of our underparented activists. 

You see, behind this excited Friends of the Earth campaigner, police were still cutting free one of four of her fellow protesters who'd chained themselves to conveyer belts at the giant Loy Yang power station, forcing shut downs which cut the state's power by 10 per cent. 

The plant's operators were losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, but what did Stubbs care when this stunt won her this brilliant chance to preach on TV about global warming? 

Someone else would pay, right? 

Nor did she seem in the least bit bothered that some security guys at the plant might now lose their jobs. 

As Lenin said, you can't make a revolution without breaking eggs! What's some bloke's job compared with giving Michaela Stubbs this chance to get her face -- evangelical eyes shiny with self-love -- on your television screen for 30 sermonising seconds? 

Also of no concern to Stubbs was that the station operators will probably have to build expensive new fences and alarm systems to stop a break-in so costly - and potentially catastrophic on a hot and power-hungry day - from happening again. 

Not her problem. Send the bill to The Man. To Big Daddy. 

It even didn't matter to her that this was precisely the wrong way to cut greenhouse gases, or to persuade the rest of us to join her faith. 

Work it out for yourself. Shutting down and then restarting the plant spewed out more gases than normal. 

And which of you who watched was ever likely to be converted?" (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Best reason to get 'environmental laws' off the books: "3 court cases for climate change" - "NEW YORK -- Forget all the talk lately about whether Congress will regulate carbon dioxide - a gas generated from burning fossil fuels and one of the main culprits behind global warming. Several individuals and environmental groups are using laws already on the books in an attempt to force polluters to change their ways.

"There are laws in place now that can address this," reads the home page of Climatelaw.org, a web site devoted to tracking global warming cases worldwide. "It is illegal under international law for one State to cause harm to another State. 

"It is illegal under domestic law in many countries for polluters to cause nuisances to the public and to market defective products, and damages must be paid," the site says." (CNNMoney.com)

These misanthropic nitwits are attacking society and the economy under the theory that electricity is a defective product[!] and the essential trace gas, carbon dioxide, absolutely necessary for life on Earth, is 'pollution'. Now, if public nuisance laws were turned on these antisocial dipsticks we might be on to something...

"Dams Cause Global Warming" - "Now here's a story the climate change obsessed media can really sink their teeth into: a Berkeley, California, based environmental group claims that dams all around the world are adding to global warming. 

If you're keeping score, this means we can't use heating oil or coal to produce energy to heat and/or light our homes. They killed nuclear power. Now they want to ban all hydroelectric facilities.

Just how far back into the Stone Age must we go to save the planet?" (News Busters)

"USGS Looking for Fossil Fuels in the Arctic" - "Everybody talks about the vast reserves of oil and gas hiding under the Arctic Ocean. But nobody really knows how much fuel there might be. The US Geological Survey, though, is spending this year and next coming up with an educated guess." (Der Spiegel)

"CLIMATE CHANGE: Sort It Out In The Air" - "BRUSSELS, Sep 4 - Air travel needs to be quickly included in a European Union programme for addressing climate change if pledges on curbing greenhouse gas releases are to be kept, a new study has found.

Since 1990, emissions of carbon dioxide have more than doubled from flights taking off in EU airports, making aviation the Union's fastest rising contributor to global warming. 

But despite that exponential growth, aviation has been granted exemption from the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), under which industries are given limits to the amount of pollution they may cause." (IPS)

"EU climate flight plans 'deluded'" - "European Union proposals to reduce the climate impact of flying will not work, a report concludes. The EU plans to include aviation in its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). But analysts at the Tyndall Centre, a prestigious UK climate research body, say this will have minimal effect without a major rise in carbon prices." (BBC)

"Economics of nuclear power are rethought" - "A year ago, the leaders of Baltimore-based Constellation Energy Group and PPL Corp., its utility neighbor in Pennsylvania, represented the energy industry's sharp division over whether the revival of nuclear power was at hand.

Mayo A. Shattuck III, Constellation's chief executive, said the economics were right for a nuclear comeback after 30 years of dormancy.

PPL Chairman William F. Hecht countered that nuclear power was too expensive and risky, and that shareholders' money would be better spent adding pollution controls to his company's coal-fired power plants.

Today, Hecht is retired, the cost of cleaning up coal is soaring and PPL is among the utilities talking with Constellation's UniStar Nuclear subsidiary about the potential purchase of a new reactor identical to one that Shattuck w

"Used nuclear energy could be on its way here" - "OTTAWA–When Prime Minister Stephen Harper departs for Australia today for a summit of pan-Pacific leaders, he'll be carrying with him a secret agenda that is quite literally radioactive.

Harper will face questions from both Australian Prime Minister John Howard and U.S. President George W. Bush over Canada's participation in a sweeping American-led initiative still in its infancy.

The initiative, called the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, proposes that nuclear energy-using countries and uranium-exporting countries band together in a new nuclear club to promote and safeguard the industry.

Central to the plan is a proposal that all used nuclear fuel be repatriated to the original uranium exporting country for disposal." (Canadian Press)

Spot the missing number (Number Watch)

"DDT: Behind the Scare Stories" - "On Aug. 21, 2007, in the Hawaii Reporter, a Mr. Todd Shelly took issue -- http://tinyurl.com/2dftm5 -- with earlier materials I’d written about DDT and related subjects. Curiously and inappropriately, he applies his personal template of politics to his versions of me and the issues of DDT. 

It is a simplistic template that requires the belief that Democrats are good; Republicans are bad, end of story. His template failed him immediately since in the case of DDT, one of the major players supporting the DDT ban was William D. Ruckelshaus, the first Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a liberal Republican. He also was appointed by President Nixon. Scientific fraud is not limited to the political left, although Ruckelshaus was a member of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and showed great deference to them.

For more than 35 years there have been literally thousands of pages written debunking the DDT scare in all its components. For any number of reasons including the inconvenience to the anti-DDT activists, the media, and many policy makers, little of this literature ever gets mentioned let alone discussed. As an ex-green and an ex-Democrat, I have learned from a high-tech career that hard-nosed science and engineering are some of the last features to be considered by the greens and their numerous political friends. The driving force for them is loyalty to the cause, while truth is expendable and ignorable." (Michael R. Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

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"It's Time to Silence Silent Spring" - "Environmentalist ideology demands opposition to DDT despite the millions of malaria deaths its use could prevent. 

This September marks the 45th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s anti-pesticide manifesto credited with inspiring the environmentalist movement. 

But this anniversary is no cause for celebration. The legacy of Silent Spring includes more than a million deaths a year from the mosquito-borne disease malaria. Though nearly eradicated decades ago, malaria has resurged with a vengeance because DDT, the most effective agent of mosquito control, has been essentially discarded--discarded based not on scientific concerns about its safety, but on environmental dogma." ( Ayn Rand Institute)

The road to ruin (via Brussels) (Number Watch)

"'Skinny gene' does exist, researchers find" - "Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that a single gene might control whether or not individuals tend to pile on fat, a discovery that may point to new ways to fight obesity and diabetes." (UT Southwestern Medical Center)

"Swiss Allow Three GMO Crop Field Trials" - "ZURICH - Swiss authorities have granted permission for three genetically modified (GM) crop trials in Switzerland, despite concerns the field research conflicts with a ban on the use of GM products in agriculture." (Reuters)

"Resistance to GM cereals slammed: Teagasc accuses the Government of undermining agriculture" - "A leading Teagasc scientist has slammed the Government's failure to support the use of new genetically modified (GM) cereals in animal feeds.

Professor Jimmy Burke, who is head of the Crops Research Centre at Oak Park, claimed that the Government's stance on GM crop varieties was undermining the viability of whole sectors within Irish agriculture.

"This policy is anti-competitive and doomed to failure. Only sourcing non-GM material is an unrealistic approach and we need to sit up and take notice of this," Professor Burke insisted." (Independent Ireland)

September 4, 2007

The Junkman in The Wall Street Journal... DDT Scaremongering Will Take Human Toll - Below is the Junkman's letter-to-the-editor appearing in today's Wall Street Journal in response to an earlier letter fomenting fear about DDT -

John Peterson Myers's letter attacked the Journal's advocacy of DDT by citing a new study claiming that women exposed to DDT before puberty were five times more likely to develop breast cancer ("Stop Pushing DDT," Letters, Aug. 25). This study, however, is more akin to statistical malpractice than it is to credible science.

The study is small (including only 133 women with breast cancer), completely omitted data on key risk factors for breast cancer (such as genetic risk and family history), and only partially considered other potential risk factors (such as pregnancy and breastfeeding history). No doubt these reasons amply explain the study's internal contradictions and statistical flakiness.

The vast majority of the statistical correlations reported in the study were either zero or negative. Accepting the negative ones at face value -- like Mr. Myers does the positive -- would support the equally unlikely implication that DDT might actually prevent breast cancer. Moreover, the positive correlations were highly suspect. The one cited by Mr. Myers sports a wide margin of error four times the size of the claimed correlation.

Billions of cases of malaria, including tens of millions of deaths, are directly attributable to the sort of DDT scaremongering engaged in by Mr. Myers and his misanthropic eco-activist ilk. Stop pushing DDT? Public health officials need to push harder to save lives now.

Steven Milloy
Potomac, Md.

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"Advocacy In The Guise Of Climate Science - A New Paper That Exemplifies This Approach" - "There is a new paper that presents a claim that the Earth’s climate system is dominated by positive radiative feedbacks, and that includes the heading in section of the paper “Planet Earth today: imminent peril”. This sensationalism, however, in the view of Climate Science, is unsubstantiated by examining even the most basic of measures, where if the 2007 values of the IPCC radiative forcing are accepted, and the observed ocean heat storage data is used to diagnose what has been the sum total of real world radiative forcings and feedbacks in the last few decades, the climate feedbacks have been negative (as is discussed below)! This contradicts the fundamental premise of the paper Hansen, J., M. Sato, P. Kharecha G. Russell, D. W. Lea, M. Siddall, 2007: Climate change and trace gases; Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2007) 365, 1925–1954 doi:10.1098/rsta.2007.2052 Published online 18 May 2007." (Climate Science)

"The 2007 IPCC Assessment Process - Its Obvious Conflict of Interest" - "Climate Science has discussed the shortcomings, bias and errors with the 2007 IPCC Report (e.g. see, see, see, and see). My final Climate Science posting summarizes the fundamental problem with this assessment.

If instead of evaluating research in climate, suppose a group of scientists introduced a new cancer drug that they claimed could save many lives. There were side effects, of course, but they claimed that the benefit far out weighed these risks. The government than asked these scientist to form an assessment Committee to evaluate this claim. Colleagues of the group of scientists who introduced the drug are then asked to serve on this Committee, along with the developers.

If this occurred, of course, there would be an uproar of protest! This is a clear conflict of interest.

Yet this is what has happened with the IPCC process! The same individuals who are doing primary research in the role of humans on the climate system are then permitted to lead the assessment! There should be an outcry on this obvious conflict of interest, but to date either few recognize this conflict, or see that since the recommendations of the IPCC fit their policy and political agenda, they chose to ignore this conflict. In either case, scientific rigor has been sacrificed and poor policy and political decisions will inevitably follow." (Climate Science)

"Summary Conclusions of Climate Science" - "The Climate Science Weblog has documented the following conclusions:" (Climate Science)

"THIS IS IT! Climate Science Has Retired!" - "Today is the last day of our weblog. You can still find it on the same url, we have not moved that, but comments will no longer be accepted. So please, go ahead and browse the archives, but realize, no new posts will be forthcoming, and no comments will be accepted.

Thanks for everyone’s participation!" (Climate Science)

"More Hurricane News" - "Of all the global climate related news we cover at World Climate Report, we seem to spend more time on hurricanes (a.k.a., tropical cyclones) than any other subject. We could feature a prominent scientific article on hurricanes every month, and despite the evidence to the contrary, popular presentations on the consequences of increased greenhouse gas concentrations never fail to include something about the great threat we face from more and more hurricanes. As we have noted many times before, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) clearly states in the Summary for Policymakers “There is no clear trend in the annual numbers of tropical cyclones.” (WCR)

Population panic du jour: "Population fix" - "Call me an alarmist, but if the human race fails to address the urgency of climate change, we're screwed. This isn't science fiction. The planet is sweating out the equivalent of a hormonal hot flash ... and we're the hormones!

One fix requires addressing our limits. It means some rain is gonna fall on the parade of our militaristic and materialistic glories. We can't go on consuming the planet like a custard-filled éclair or we'll meet a fate that only lemmings can appreciate." (Paul Andersen, Aspen Times)

"Rhetoric heats up; reality fogs up" - "I'm not so sure.

No single statistic has been used more effectively to suggest that our use of fossil fuels is leading to a planetary meltdown than this: Nine of the 10 hottest years in American history have occurred since 1995. Based on such evidence, who could dispute that the Earth is getting hotter and that humanity is to blame?

Turns out the statistic is wrong.

Only three years in the past decade -- 2006, 1999 and 1998 -- were among the top 10. Four others -- including the hottest of all, 1934 -- occurred during the Dust Bowl decade of the 1930s, before the burning of fossil fuels could have started ramping up appreciably heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The 15 hottest years since 1880 are now spread out over seven decades, suggesting a process of ebbs and flows rather than the steady buildup that has been widely reported." (J. Peder Zane, News & Observer)

"Freedom of speech and honesty as victims of global warming" - "What's up with journalists in the mainstream media? In most cases, they tend to be unconditional supporters of free expression and strive to report on controversial views.

However, reporting on issues relating to global warming has become strikingly one-sided. With no need to persuade using rational argument, a new conventional wisdom is being formulated that is beyond challenge by "sensible" people." (Christopher Lingle, Jakarta Post)

"The aerosol man" - "Stephen Schwartz knows as much about the effects of aerosols on climate change as anyone in the world, and he's worried. He believes climate change is so massive an economic issue that we face costs "in the trillions if not quadrillions of dollars." He thinks a Herculean effort and great sacrifice is required to get the world down to zero net increase in carbon dioxide concentrations, an effort he compares to that which the Allies undertook in their all-out war against Nazi Germany and Japan." (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

"U.N. Climate Talks End in Cloud of Discord" - "PARIS, Aug. 31 -- A five-day U.N. conference on climate change ended in Vienna on Friday with significant disagreements remaining about how countries should reduce greenhouse gas emissions and daunting estimates about the price tag for combating global warming. (Washington Post)

"Ottawa accused of helping to dilute Kyoto" - "Canada played a lead role in undermining the Kyoto protocol on climate change, at a major United Nations conference that ended in Vienna yesterday, critics say.

The week-long meeting of 158 nations concluded with a compromise that makes it less likely the next phase of the protocol, to start in 2012, will require stringent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, they said.

"It's clearly Canada joining the forces of darkness," said John Bennett, of ClimateforChange, an Ottawa-based advocacy group." (Toronto Star)

"Climate change breakthroughs unlikely at APEC, but meeting could shape future agreements" - "BANGKOK, Thailand: Breakthroughs on greenhouse gas reductions are unlikely at next week's summit of Asia-Pacific leaders, environmentalist and diplomats said, though high-level discussions could shape future climate change agreements." (Associated Press)

"Climate change: Kyoto Poker to start in earnest" - "PARIS — Efforts to accelerate action against the world's looming climate crisis begin in earnest this month, unfolding against a background of deepening scientific concern but entrenched political obstacles." (AFP)

"Abe to seek progress on climate change pact at APEC summit" - "SYDNEY When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets his fellow Asia-Pacific leaders for this week's regional summit, he is expected to take the lead in building a consensus on global warming and world trade liberalization.

During the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Sydney, Abe will try to get all 21 member economies to join a framework to curb greenhouse gas emissions that would take effect after the Kyoto Protocol runs down in 2012." (Kyodo)

"Battle lines drawn at APEC on climate change" - "SYDNEY: Developing nations led by China are set for a bruising battle here with the United States and Australia on climate change, a senior official at a summit of Asia Pacific nations said on Monday. 

The veteran Southeast Asian foreign ministry official, who asked not to be named, said talks to craft a separate leaders' statement on climate change are expected to be "bloody". 

Ranged against developed nations such as APEC summit host Australia and the United States are China and a group of developing countries gravitating around Beijing's position, he said. 

"There's going to be a very big debate," the official told AFP. "The debates will just accentuate the differences." (AFP)

"Progress on emissions will be put off for later" - "THE US hopes to use the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum to build support for strategy on climate change before a UN meeting in Bali in November. It also wants Australia to become a research partner in the development of biofuels.

President George Bush's adviser on climate change, Jim Connaughton, said on the eve of his departure to Australia for the summit that these will be the goals the US will seek from the meeting in Sydney.

But if Australian officials had been hoping for commitment on firm targets for reductions of greenhouse gases or work on a regional carbon trading scheme, they are likely to be disappointed." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"The Isolation of America" - "German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday proposed the idea of basing a nation's carbon emissions allowance on population size. German commentators on Friday say it's another step on the path towards isolating the USA." (Der Spiegel)

"The End of Europe" - "Europe as we know it is slowly going out of business. Since French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed constitution of the European Union, we've heard countless theories as to why: the unreality of trying to forge 25 E.U. countries into a United States of Europe; fear of ceding excessive power to Brussels, the E.U. capital; and an irrational backlash against globalization. Whatever their truth, these theories miss a larger reality: Unless Europe reverses two trends -- low birthrates and meager economic growth -- it faces a bleak future of rising domestic discontent and falling global power. Actually, that future has already arrived." (Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post)

"Brits Believe Government Using Global Warming Hysteria to Raise Taxes" - "If a survey found that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe lawmakers are using global warming hysteria to raise taxes, would the climate change obsessed media report it?" (News Busters)

"Global warming ruining the tundra" - "MOSCOW. - Scientists all over the world have been talking about global warming for a long time. Now some of the threats are becoming real. 

Global climate change has prejudiced a unique environmental project of Russian scientists - a Pleistocene Park in the northeast of Russia, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the lower reaches of the Kolyma, a tributary of the Lena River." (Tatyana Sinitsyna, RIA Novosti)

Curious, Tatyana doesn't seem to recall this piece. h/t Dennis A.

"Vast ice island trapped in Arctic" - "An island of ice the size of Manhattan has drifted into a remote channel and jammed itself in." (BBC)

"Can you buy a greener conscience?" - "A budding industry sells 'offsets' of carbon emissions, investing in environmental projects. But there are doubts about whether it works." (Alan Zarembo, Los Angeles Times)

You saw it here first: Carbon Offsets -- Buyer Beware

"Give Up Your SUV -- And Other Nauseating Hypocrisy" - "You can't make this stuff up, folks. Last week, during a speech to a labor group in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told the crowd: "One of the things [Americans] should be asked to do is drive more fuel-efficient vehicles." Asked if by saying that he was specifically telling Americans to give up their SUVs, Edwards replied, "Yes." (Motor Trend)

D'oh! "Public Indifferent to Green Overtures at IFA Fair" - "BERLIN - Manufacturers at Europe's biggest consumer electronics touted their green credentials in vain to customers more interested in bigger and brighter screens." (Reuters)

"Getting the goods on green celebs" - "NO, it's not easy being green, least of all for Hollywood A-listers living in jaw-dropping decadence. Solar panels on a 50,000-square-foot manse in Malibu just don't scream "Live simply!" Ditto hopping onto a private plane to get to the Live Earth concert.

Of course, celebrities don't let their lavish lifestyles stop them from preaching to the rest of us about temperance. Eco-friendly living isn't about great sacrifice, they contend, it's about making small but powerful changes. It's about voting green. It's about buying green. Besides, they say, they're doing their part by using their fame to broadcast a pro-Earth message that reaches millions of people. Isn't that enough?

It might have been, a few years back. But then, rather quickly, the green movement became part of the mainstream. For the rich and famous, the competition to stand out, to out-green the next guy, got so fierce that the next logical place to take the Greening of Hollywood was the exposé: sussing out the hypocrites. Every media outlet and website (green or otherwise) has upped its scrutiny of green-speaking stars. As a cause, environmentalism is now all about personal choices -- your teeth-brushing ritual is tied directly to our dwindling water supply, for example -- so the lives of green stars are expected to be especially transparent." (Los Angeles Times)

"Greek Forest Fires Could be CO2 Threat" - "ATHENS - Greece's huge forest fires have been blamed by some on global warming, but satellite images of smoke plumes drifting as far as Africa prompt the question: are forests a major source of greenhouse gas?" (Reuters)

"Tories fall out on green taxes" - "A ROW has broken out between leading Conservatives over plans to impose taxes on air travel, gas-guzzling cars and other environmentally damaging forms of transport." (Sunday Times)

"German ministers fly into flak" - "Germany's environment minister is usually famed for his tough stance on climate change but yesterday attention switched to his allegedly extravagant flying habits.

Under the headline: "How our environment minister poisons the air," the newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that Sigmar Gabriel often took planes to meetings. Citing a list from the defence ministry, the paper said he had taken more flights with military-run planes than any other minister in the first half of the year." (The Guardian)

Something in the air (Number Watch)

"Green light for fusion project" - "A British-led team of scientists has won European Union approval to seek to make nuclear fusion, the physicist’s dream, a reality. 

Nuclear fusion has the potential to solve the world’s energy crisis with carbon-neutral technology by harnessing the process that drives the Sun. So far, decades of research have generated little more than hype." (London Times)

"Ethanol and Arkansas" - "Arkansas corn farmers have rarely had it so good. I should know. Due to surging corn prices, our family farm in Independence County has been reporting profits unseen for some time. So are Americans eating more corn?" ( William Yeatman, Northwest Arkansas Times)

"Drug company doublespeak: “it doesn’t work, but we know it works”" - "Have you ever wondered how diet drugs come into being? The story of another new weight loss drug in the pipeline provides unsettling insights into just how flawed and flimsy the scientific evidence is from the get go." (Junkfood Science)

"Freedom from choice" - "Yikes. This post isn’t about politics, as candidates on all sides are throwing out very similar ideas, but this news story illustrates better than some what these ideas mean when taken to their logical conclusions. When we let our health become the responsibility of the government, then, of course, the government calls the shots about what we can and cannot do if it believes it is for our own good." (Junkfood Science)

"Preserving red and green lights for traffic and Christmas" - "Do government officials know how to do anything but cut and paste from each other? New Zealand’s Health Ministry has now jumped on the bandwagon promoting traffic lights. No, not those at public street corners, but ones labeling “good” and “bad” foods so people will know the proper way to eat. It’s another solution being proposed to eradicate obesity." (Junkfood Science)

"I hate my arms" - "No one ever has anything nice to say about fat upper arms. Countless women are shy about wearing sleeveless tops, embarrassed about how their arms look to others. They’ll resort to diets, potions and liposuction in attempts to spot reduce. A new study, led by a researcher at the Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing at the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, UK, actually found good news about larger upper arm circumferences, especially for older women. By now, it will be no surprise to readers that the media ignored this one." (Junkfood Science)

“A very distorted perspective on the ethics” - "Dr. Roy M. Poses, M.D. has written another thought-provoking article at Health Care Renewal examining how data from clinical trials is suppressed and never published when the results don’t favor the sponsor’s financial or political interests." (Junkfood Science)

"Toxic toys" - "Many parents have become alarmed that their children may have been harmed by lead in toys imported from China. Brendan O’Neill at Spiked offers some calming perspectives that may be of help to parents." (Junkfood Science)