Archives - September 2008

September 30, 2008

Here we go again: Cranking up the volume: Sounds travel farther underwater as world's oceans become more acidic - It is common knowledge that the world's oceans and atmosphere are warming as humans release more and more carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere. However, fewer people realize that the chemistry of the oceans is also changing—seawater is becoming more acidic as carbon dioxide from the atmosphere dissolves in the oceans. According to a paper to be published this week by marine chemists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, these changes in ocean temperature and chemistry will have an unexpected side effect—sounds will travel farther underwater.

Conservative projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that the chemistry of seawater could change by 0.3 pH units by 2050 (see below for background information on pH and ocean acidification). In the October 1, 2008 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Keith Hester and his coauthors calculate that this change in ocean acidity would allow sounds to travel up to 70 percent farther underwater. This will increase the amount of background noise in the oceans and could affect the behavior of marine mammals. (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation funds research that 'finds a problem' -- there's a surprise... So, what have we got this time? Atmospheric CO2 increase making oceans slightly less alkaline (thus, more acidic) -- check. Significance of this to marine critters? Well, nothing much really since they've nearly all evolved while atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were much higher and only about 10% of the last 250 million years have seen levels anywhere near as low as they are now. Cetaceans, with their evolutionary roots 30-50 million years ago, may find their sonar and communication range increasing back toward that achieved by their ancestors. Weasel factor ("suggest" "could"... ): moderate to high. Distraction from morning coffee: nil.

Sidebar: check out the axiomatic: "It is common knowledge that the world's oceans and atmosphere are warming as humans release more and more carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere." Is that true? Well, kind of. What measures we have suggest the world, including its oceans, has warmed somewhat since the Little Ice Age (nothing too contentious there) so that part is true. Similarly it is true that humans are using more fossil fuels and releasing more carbon dioxide from combustion, cement manufacture and use and so on. However, whether the latter is responsible for the former is highly contentious and doubtful. That it is common knowledge is equally doubtful given the increasingly expressed skepticism over gorebull warming. This is probably why there is such an effort to indoctrinate the young and if that effort succeeds then gorebull warming will be common knowledge. Chilling, isn't it?

Speaking of indoctrinated little gorebots: The greenest generation? - A friend from journalism school who now is now a flak for Scholastic Press sent me one of the winners of his company’s annual “Kids Are Authors” contest.

It’s a neat little book. Produced by 19 kindergartners and titled “Our Class Is Going Green,” it describes some of the steps they are taking to reduce their environmental impact, all colorfully illustrated with newspaper scraps and recycled art-class watercolors. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Nonsense of Global Warming - Marxism, Freudianism, global warming. These are proof--of which history offers so many examples--that people can be suckers on a grand scale. To their fanatical followers they are a substitute for religion. Global warming, in particular, is a creed, a faith, a dogma that has little to do with science. If people are in need of religion, why don't they just turn to the genuine article? (Paul Johnson, Forbes Magazine)

The Recovery from the Little Ice Age (A Possible Cause of Global Warming) and The Recent Halting of the Warming (The Multi-decadal Oscillation)

Revised September 25, 2008 under a new title (.pdf, 52pp, 59.32Mb)

Two natural components of the presently progressing climate change are identified.

The first one is an almost linear global temperature increase of about 0.5 °C/100 years (~1 °F/100years), which seems to have started at least one hundred years before 1946 when manmade CO2 in the atmosphere began to increase rapidly. This value of 0.5 °C/100 years may be compared with what the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists consider to be the manmade greenhouse effect of 0.6 °C/100 years. This 100-year long linear warming trend is likely to be a natural change. One possible cause of this linear increase may be Earth’s continuing recovery from the Little Ice Age (1400-1800). This trend (0.5°C/100 years) should be subtracted from the temperature data during the last 100 years when estimating the manmade contribution to the present global warming trend. As a result, there is a possibility that only a small fraction of the present warming trend is attributable to the greenhouse effect resulting from human activities. Note that both glaciers in many places in the world and sea ice in the Arctic Ocean that had developed during the Little Ice Age began to recede after 1800 and are still receding; their recession is thus not a recent phenomenon.

The second one is the multi-decadal oscillation, which is superposed on the linear change. One of them is the “multi-decadal oscillation,” which is a natural change. This particular change has a positive rate of change of about 0.15 °C/10 years from about 1975, and is thought to be a sure sign of the greenhouse effect by the IPCC. But, this positive trend stopped after 2000 and now has a negative slope. As a result, the global warming trend stopped in about 2000-2001.

Therefore, it appears that the two natural changes have a greater effect on temperature changes than the greenhouse effects of CO2. These facts are contrary to the IPCC Report (2007, p.10), which states that “most” of the present warming is due “very likely” to be the manmade greenhouse effect. They predict that the warming trend continues after 2000. Contrary to their prediction, the warming halted after 2000.

There is an urgent need to correctly identify natural changes and remove them from the present global warming/cooling trend, in order to accurately identify the contribution of the manmade greenhouse effect. Only then can the contribution of CO2 be studied quantitatively.

Syun-Ichi Akasofu
International Arctic Research Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Researchers attribute thinning of Greenland glacier to ocean warming preceded by atmospheric changes - The sudden thinning in 1997 of Jakobshavn Isbræ, one of Greenland's largest glaciers, was caused by subsurface ocean warming, according to research published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The research team traces these oceanic shifts back to changes in the atmospheric circulation in the North Atlantic region. (New York University)

I might have missed it, did they have a theoretical cause for the substantial thickening of said glacier from 1991 (1st year of survey) to 1997? BTW, the "sudden thinning in 1997" should actually read "trend reversal 1997-2001" -- it occurred over 5 years, not just the one.

“How Natural and Anthropogenic Influences Alter Global and Regional Surface Temperatures: 1889 to 2006″ by Lean and Rind, 2008 - Lean, Judith L., and David H. Rind, 2008. How natural and anthropogenic influences alter global and regional surface temperatures: 1889 to 2006. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L18701, doi:10.1029/2008GL034864.

Climate Science recommends that a more robust study is for them to apply their analysis to the global average and regional pattern of tropospheric temperature variations and trends diagnosed in the UAH MSU and RSS MSU data, and in the upper ocean heat content data. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Carbon surveillance: Mobile phones to track carbon footprint - Keeping track of your carbon footprint could become as simple as slipping a mobile phone in your pocket: a London-based start-up company has developed software for mobile phones that uses global positioning satellites to work out automatically whether you are walking, driving or flying and then calculate your impact on the environment. (The Guardian)

How long before politicians want to begin taxing you for your emissions based on this kind of constant surveillance? Already politicians want to track cars to tax road usage, issue carbon ration cards to control your purchasing power and so on, how long before they want to make this kind of nonsense compulsory?

Latest from the hair shirt killjoys: Meat must be rationed to four portions a week, says report on climate change - People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns.

The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates. (The Guardian)

Look, guys, 'runaway' climate change is not possible on our water-rich little world. Two effects circumvent the model fudge of water vapor feedback greatly magnifying enhanced greenhouse from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide: one is precipitation -- keep adding to humidity and you get cloud formation and precipitation, it's a locally self-limiting system, in other words and; two: the way to get more water vapor into the system is to enlarge the moist atmosphere zone, increasing cloud area and its associated albedo, thus returning more sunlight to space -- a global thermostat shutting off the heat. The first effect results in accelerated latent heat transfer (cooling the planet's surface) while the second reduces solar energy input (cooling the planet's surface).

Why? Carbon dioxide 'scrubber' captures greenhouse gases - University of Calgary climate change scientist David Keith and his team are working to efficiently capture the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide directly from the air, using near-commercial technology. (University of Calgary)

Atmospheric carbon dioxide supports life on Earth, what have these twits got against life?

The EU: A climate leader, but headed in the wrong direction (pdf) - It is claimed that the EU has been a global leader in climate change mitigation. [“Mitigation” is climate change jargon for reducing the impacts of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or concentrations whereas “adaptation” would address climate change by reducing its
negative impacts or taking advantage of its positive impacts.]

The EU has indeed been very vocal on pushing mitigation, As of 2006, the EU-15 had only gone one-third of the way toward meeting its Kyoto target of reducing its GHG emissions by 8 percent below the 1990 baseline in 2008-12 (according to the European Environment Agency). But this represents no progress since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997: the EU-15’s emissions were unchanged between 1997 and 2006. The greater problem, however, is that even if all the Protocol’s signatories (including the US, which signed but didn’t ratify) meet the Protocol’s targets, it would reduce climate change only marginally — by less than 7% in 2100 — while costing around $165 billion annually. (Indur M. Goklany, International Affairs Forum)

Wielding the carbon club - Should Third World countries do as they’re told? Or should they think for themselves and come to their own conclusions?

"Cut back on carbon emissions,” the Third World is lectured. “It’s for the good of the planet and it’s for your own good, too. Don’t point fingers at the West’s carbon emissions. Don’t protest that you’d like your share of automobiles and air conditioners. Don’t tell us that you know what’s in your own self-interest. Just do as your told, or we’ll punish you.”

These threats are sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit, always arrogant. Carbon has become a club with which to discipline the Third World. (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

Another eye-roller: A critical forecast - ROSS Garnaut may be preaching that the world is headed for a truly diabolical catastrophe if it doesn't come together with an agreement to combat global warming. But on a glorious Sunday spring afternoon in the modest suburban Canberra home that he and wife Jane have made their base since the early 1970s, he's on a high, having just signed off on the last corrected proofs of the final report of the Garnaut Climate Change Review.

Commissioned in April last year, the former economics adviser to Bob Hawke and ambassador to Beijing will present the voluminous report this morning to his former staff member Kevin Rudd. Its final words, Garnaut tells The Australian, warn that on the balance of probabilities, the failure of today's generation to prevent fossil fuel-driven industrialisation heating the planet by more than 2C or so "will haunt humanity until the end of time".

"Humanity does not have to end for it to be truly awful," he adds, suggesting that shocks such as the 1930s Depression can be large enough to fracture seemingly stable societies.

Warnings from a self-styled "sceptical economist" about the death of the Great Barrier Reef, the melting of Greenland and the deglaciation of the Tibetan plateau can appear apocalyptic, though Garnaut protests that he's simply telling it as plainly as revealed by the evidence, drawing from the consensus of mainstream science. Sections of the environmental and scientific community complain that he's not taking the risk of apocalypse seriously enough. He suggests that Australia's "unconditional offer" might be as low as a 5 per cent cut on 2000 levels by 2020 if the rest of the world fails to agree on how to deal with the problem at its Copenhagen summit late next year.

But Garnaut shrugs off any suggestion that his report is the long-winded musings from the "dismal science" of economics that undervalues the environmental security the market struggles to put a price tag on. (The Australian)

All this as a result of PlayStation® climatology not worth a cracker. The correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global mean temperature (or atmospheric temperature) is woeful. Joe D'Aleo (Icecap) has produced a graphic showing trends since 2001 for temperature contrasted with atmospheric carbon dioxide (I admit not being enthusiastic about constricted range graphs yielding exaggerated slopes but this is to contrast trends and is very clearly labeled). Obviously enhanced greenhouse from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide is trivial and completely overridden by natural forcing, otherwise temperatures could not fall while enhanced greenhouse effect increases. Catastrophic enhanced greenhouse is a nonsense and so is the Garnaut Climate Change Review for the simple reason it is based on the idiotic prognostications of climate gamers.

Rudd's expert wants tougher carbon goals - TOP climate change advisor Ross Garnaut has toughened his recommended greenhouse targets - but thinks it probably won't come to pass.

After infuriating green groups earlier this month by recommending a 10 per cent greenhouse target by 2020, he's now more open to a 25 per cent cut in emissions.

He also aspires to a 90 per cent target by 2050, compared with the Federal Government's 60 per cent goal.

Professor Garnaut today released his long-awaited 620-page final report on what the nation should do about climate change. (AAP)

Costly PR over climate change - KEVIN Rudd has cut back on government advertising - but is he just running multi-million-dollar PR campaigns instead? That's the impression created by the Garnaut Climate Change Review.

Approached for a comment on the Garnaut process on Sunday, a spokeswoman for Climate Change Minister Penny Wong offered these lines: "Professor Ross Garnaut's independent review is an important contribution to the Government's thinking on a range of climate change policy issues.

"Professor Garnaut is one of Australia's most esteemed economists and he has already made strong contributions to the debate.

"The Australian Treasury will release further modelling in October.

"More generally, the Government is consulting widely with industry and the broader community on the design of the CPRS (carbon pollution reduction scheme)."

That sounds like a polite dismissal of his work. (The Australian)

Green groups happier with Garnaut - CONSERVATIONISTS have welcomed the final Garnaut report on emission reductions, but business is urging caution given the chaos on financial markets. (AAP)

Australian Workers Union carbon compensation call - THE Australian Workers Union is pressing the Rudd Government to adopt its carbon insurance plan, which would give permits worth about $65,000 to workers made redundant by companies forced overseas by the new emissions trading scheme.

The Government insists its proposed compensation for emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries would ensure they could operate competitively in Australia even when companies overseas did not have to pay for their carbon emissions.

But the AWU - which represents workers in the hardest-hit industries such as cement, liquefied natural gas, steel, aluminium, petrochemicals and plastics and paper - has backed the Business Council of Australia view that the proposed compensation is inadequate and that some industries are likely to move offshore. (The Australian)

More misdirection: VIETNAM: Heeding Climate Change Warnings - HANOI, Sep 29 - With a predicted sea level rise of one metre by 2100, Vietnam may end up being one of the nations worst hit by climate change. Such a rise would affect five percent of the land area, 11 percent of the population and seven percent of the agriculture.

With worsening storms and flooding already lapping at its shores, this South-east Asian country is heeding the dire warnings.

A report released by World Vision on Sep. 18, ‘Planet Prepare’, focused on the multi-faceted climate change issues facing coastal communities. Bangladesh is one of the nations studied in detail. With the highest population density in the world, low-lying flood plains and a massive river delta, that nation faces severe devastation. But so does Vietnam, for similar reasons. (IPS)

It is true that sea level rises and falls locally, not just due to land subsidence or uplift but to persistent variations in atmospheric pressure deforming the lens of the sea surface (e.g. ENSO phase changes). What we don't have evidence of is enhanced greenhouse causing any changes.

The Week in D. C. - As for lifting the offshore moratorium, liberal Democrats in the House, led by Representatives Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Frank Pallone (D-N. J.), have already vowed to put the moratorium back in place when the Congress returns next year. Even if they fail, the offshore moratorium victory will be a symbolic one for several years. The next President will have to decide whether to allow the Interior Department to prepare any offshore areas for leasing by competitive auction. If he decides to go ahead with some lease sales, it will then take time to prepare them and for the winning bidders to start drilling exploratory wells. (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Digest)

Renewables Get Lost in Shuffle of Inter-Cameral Turf War; Taxpayer Wins - That’s great news for the taxpayer because renewable energy subsidies are a huge waste of money. When the government meddles in any emergent industry like renewables with tax favors, it is picking and choosing winners. But bureaucrats and politicians cannot be expected to invest well; instead they are prone to awarding constituents or pleasing superiors. This is the dynamic that produced synfuels, ethanol, futuregen, and a host of other government backed energy boondoggles. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

The Pickens Plan: Questions Unanswered - Introduction: On July 7, 2008, Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens introduced the “Pickens Plan,” an ambitious proposal to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil by one-third over the next ten years.1

The cornerstone of the Pickens Plan is replacing the natural gas now used to generate electricity with wind power, and then using the saved natural gas to power vehicles that presently run on gasoline.2

It’s a bold plan from a bold man.

Pickens should be credited for understanding that America has an urgent need to secure its energy independence. His website says: “As imports grow and world prices rise, the amount of money we send to foreign nations every year is soaring. At current oil prices, we will send $700 billion out of the country this year alone – that’s four times the annual cost of the Iraq war.”3

While Capitol Hill offers partisan bickering, Pickens appears to be offering a solution. And, as Pickens is prepared to spend $58 million to promote his plan,4 his advocacy could have an enormous impact on America’s energy policy for decades to come.

But while Pickens appears confident, his claims raise questions. Has oil production finally and irrevocably peaked, as Pickens claims? Why use wind power instead of nuclear power? Are natural gas-powered vehicles a viable alternative to gasoline-powered cars, and would switching to them improve America’s security? What does Pickens believe the federal government should do to make his plan a reality? Might he or the firms he owns benefit financially from such federal aid? (Reece A. Epstein and David A. Ridenour, National Policy Center)

No: Fast-track clean coal or face rival fuel threat - ONE of Australia's leading clean coal researchers claims that the technology needs to be implemented widely within 10 years or other fuel sources will emerge. (The Australian)

Horrendously wasteful technique to address a non-issue. Don't do it, ever.

After the Credit Crunch comes the Energy Crunch - Opening remarks by The Rt. Hon. Lord Howell of Guildford, President of the British Institute of Energy Economists, at the BIEE Annual Conference at St. John’s College, Oxford. Wednesday 24th September 2008 (Lord Howell was Energy Secretary 1979-81) (CCNet)

Back to the Dark Ages: National Grid raises the spectre of blackouts this winter - Homes could be plunged into darkness this winter as the nation faces the shocking prospect of power cuts. The warning, following the release of grim industry figures yesterday, will dredge up memories of the last electricity crisis in 1974. Then, households had to manage with candles, factories were put on short-time and TV broadcasts ended at 10.30pm. The figures from the National Grid suggest that the country could be crippled by energy shortages when the colder weather bites because there is so little spare capacity. (Daily Mail)

No? Duh! UK's renewable energy efforts 'ineffective' - The government's renewable power strategy is "ineffective and very expensive", according to a damning review by the International Energy Agency. (The Guardian)

Surviving epidemiological whiplash: Fruits and vegetables and colorectal cancer - Do fruits and vegetables protect from colorectal cancer? Last year, we heard that fruits and vegetables were not linked to colon cancer and that risks were similar between men and women. A Harvard study had been unable to find any tenable correlations among data of 756,217 men and women. This month, we heard that fruits and vegetables may protect men from colorectal cancer, but not women.

What we have here is another case of epidemiological whiplash. (Junkfood Science)

Next prohibition: salt - Here is a question I added to my chapter on logic today.

New York City “Health Czar” Thomas Frieden (D), who successfully banned smoking and trans fat in restaurants and who now wants to add salt to the list, said in an issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes that “cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.” Describe why no government or no person, no matter the purity of their hearts, can ever eliminate the leading cause of death.

I’ll answer that in a moment. First, Frieden is engaged in yet another attempt by the government to increase control over your life. Their reasoning goes “You are not smart enough to avoid foods which we claim—without error—are bad for you. Therefore, we shall regulate or ban such foods and save you from making decisions for yourself. There are some choices you should not be allowed to make.” (William M. Briggs, Statistician)

Understanding the Financial Crisis - To paraphrase a famous saying: the road to financial ruin was paved with good intentions. But to understand what has happened, you have to start by understanding the role that finance plays in the economy. (Stephen Rose, STATS)

Bailout marks Karl Marx's comeback - Marx’s Proposal Number Five seems to be the leading motivation for those backing the Wall Street bailout (Martin Masse, Financial Post)

Can Congress Fix A Problem It Caused? - Nothing could more painfully demonstrate what is wrong with Congress than the current financial crisis. (Thomas Sowell, IBD)

Lack Of Confidence, Not Capital, Is Issue - As the financial turbulence in the U.S. spreads, we've heard talk, especially from overseas pundits, of a "crisis of capitalism." But what we really have is a crisis of confidence, and the sooner it's solved, the better. (IBD)

Court to say if fish farms are a federal responsibility - A constitutional challenge of B.C.'s right to regulate the fish-farming industry is to begin today in B.C. Supreme Court.

A collective of groups opposed to fish farms filed the petition against the provincial government and the fish-farming company Marine Harvest Canada this spring.

The petitioners are biologist Alexandra Morton, the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society, the Wilderness Tourism Association, the Southern Gillnetters Association and the Fishing Vessel Owners Association of B.C. (Lora Grindlay, The Province)

Common insecticide can decimate tadpole populations - The latest findings of a University of Pittsburgh-based project to determine the environmental impact of routine pesticide use suggests that malathion—the most popular insecticide in the United States—can decimate tadpole populations by altering their food chain, according to research published in the Oct. 1 edition of Ecological Applications. (University of Pittsburgh)

Does this effect appear outside the researchers' tanks? Hasn't been reported but leaves room for more grants.

Experiment demonstrates 110 years of sustainable agriculture - A plot of land on the campus of Auburn University shows that 110 years of sustainable farming practices can produce similar cotton crops to those using other methods. (American Society of Agronomy)

September 29, 2008

BBC2 show ignites contributor row - BBC2's Earth: The Climate Wars is at the centre of a new TV global warming row after four contributors claimed it misrepresented them. (BBC)

We have DVDs and books by three of the four claiming to have been misrepresented by the BBC available in our store here, here and here so you can see exactly what their position is regarding catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. See also the DVD subjected to a plethora of complaints from warming hysterics to Ofcom, recently rejected.

BBC investigated after peer says climate change programme was biased 'one-sided polemic' - The BBC is being investigated by television watchdogs after a leading climate change sceptic claimed his views were deliberately misrepresented.

Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, says he was made to look like a ‘potty peer’ on a TV programme that ‘was a one-sided polemic for the new religion of global warming’.

Earth: The Climate Wars, which was broadcast on BBC 2, was billed as a definitive guide to the history of global warming, including arguments for and against. (Daily Mail)

Corrupted science revealed - Outsiders familiar with the proper workings of science have long known that modern Climate Science is dysfunctional. Now a prominent insider, MIT Meteorology Professor Richard S. Lindzen, confirms how Al Gore and his minions used Stalinist tactics to subvert, suborn and corrupt a whole branch of science, citing chapter and verse in his report entitled "Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?" His answer: A resounding "NO!" (Jerome J. Schmitt, American Thinker)

Global warming has paused: We still need to study nature’s contribution to trend - Recent studies by the Hadley Climate Research Center (UK), the Japan Meteorological Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of East Anglia (UK) and the University of Alabama Huntsville show clearly that the rising trend of global average temperature stopped in 2000-2001. Further, NASA data shows that warming in the southern hemisphere has stopped, and that ocean temperatures also have stopped rising.

The global average temperature had been rising until about 2000-2001. The International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and many scientists hypothesize rising temperatures were mostly caused by the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide (CO2), and they predicted further temperature increases after 2000. It was natural to assume that CO2 was responsible for the rise, because CO2 molecules in the atmosphere tend to reflect back the infrared radiation to the ground, preventing cooling (the greenhouse effect) and also because CO2 concentrations have been rapidly increasing since 1946. But, this hypothesis on the cause of global warming is just one of several. (Syun-Ichi Akasofu, Daily News-Miner)

Uhie? Who's Uhie? Southern Californians get a cool summer, but a warm future - So what's behind this long-term warming trend? Patzert says global warming due to increasing greenhouse gases is responsible for some of the overall heating observed in Los Angeles and the rest of California. Most of the increase in heat days and length of heat waves, however, is due to a phenomenon called the "urban heat island effect."

Heat island-induced heat waves are a growing concern for urban and suburban dwellers worldwide. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, studies around the world have shown that this effect makes urban areas from 2 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 6 degrees Celsius) warmer than their surrounding rural areas. Patzert says this effect is steadily warming Southern California, though more modestly than some larger urban areas around the world.

"Dramatic urbanization has resulted in an extreme makeover for Southern California, with more homes, lawns, shopping centers, traffic, freeways and agriculture, all absorbing and retaining solar radiation, making our megalopolis warmer," Patzert said. (JPL)

NASA JPL on Heatwaves: “it’s the asphalt, not the atmosphere” - UPDATE: Former California State climatologist Jim Goodridge presents some data that suggests that ocean temperature may be an equal or greater driving force behind Los Angeles Temperature increases, see graph below. (Watts Up With That?)

Letter of the moment: Cooling the planet - SIR – Your assertion that “global warming is happening faster than expected” exhibits a disturbing degree of cognitive dissonance (“Adapt or die”, September 13th). Since 1998 the world’s average surface temperature has exhibited no warming, according to all the main temperature records. The trend has been a combination of flatlining and cooling, with a marked plunge over the past year; many countries, including Australia, Canada, China and the United States, experienced severe winters... (Philip Stott, Emeritus professor of biogeography, University of London)

Former next failed presidential candidate Al Gore in San Jose speech: Climate change deserves same attention bailout is getting - Al Gore said in San Jose on Saturday that the climate crisis deserves the same type of attention and money from Washington that the financial meltdown is getting.

"Instead of a focus only on a bailout, we need to bail in renewable energy," Gore said during a 50-minute speech at the Civic Auditorium. (Mercury News)

Still trying to prop up your carbon scam, eh Al? How 'bout doing something useful and inventing an outernet or something? Most anything would have to be less damaging to humanity and the planet than your last 7 years of bullshit.

Gore's Rebellion - For a while, it was a standard-issue Al Gore jeremiad, with calls for everything from installing solar panels in Darfur (seriously) to legal action against "the carbon lobby" for denying global warming (ditto). But then Mr. Gore really got going and told his disciples to head -- literally -- to the barricades to "stop" coal.

Meanwhile, China is set to build 800,000 megawatts of new coal generation over the next eight years. That's 1,000 Cliffsides -- or more than two-and-a-half times the size of America's total installed coal capacity, with none of our environmental guardrails. Even if every U.S. coal plant were razed to the ground tomorrow, it wouldn't make any difference for global CO2 while China expands.

We look forward to seeing Mr. Gore take his "civil disobedience" against coal to, say, Shanxi province. He'd better bring a lot to read. (Wall Street Journal)

Raked Over Coal - Al Gore has rightly been scolded for encouraging civil disobedience to stop global warming. But his little-noticed follow-up statement might be even more foolish — and dangerous. When it comes to sheer crackpottery on environmental issues, no national figure can measure up to the lofty standard set by the former Tennessee senator and vice president. This is a man who is leading a caravan of humming hybrid drivers to nowhere and is willing to criminalize those who disagree with him to get there. (IBD)

Clear demonstration of how much the antis want to lower your standard of living: Radical new vision of a cooler life on earth - Six kilograms of carbon dioxide a day. If that sounds like little more than an obscure scientific measurement, think again. In the years to come it’s a figure we may have to get used to. Why? Because, say climate scientists, that’s the maximum daily amount of carbon dioxide each of us can generate if humanity is to have a chance of keeping the rise in global temperature below 2C.

That figure, endorsed by Lord Stern, then the government’s chief economist, in his 2006 report on the economics of climate change, is one of the best illustrations of the scale of the challenge of powering our world without endangering the planet.

Compare it with the amount we emit now. Britain generates about 10 tonnes per person each year - about 27kg a day. America generates about 60kg of CO2 a day, according to the Atlas of Climate Change, and China about 9kg, a figure rising as the country develops. (Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times)

Don't go soft on climate, PM warned - IN A move that will test the Rudd Government's climate credentials, Australia's leading climate hysterics scientists have written an open letter to the Prime Minister urging him to impose deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions and back a tough global agreement that will avoid dangerous climate change.

The 16 scientists, who all worked with the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warn "there is no time to lose" and call on Mr Rudd to slash Australia's emissions by at least 25 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Researchers who have hitched their stars to the IPCC want K.Rudd to keep throwing our money at them, imagine that...

'Carbon deadline adding to credit crisis' - KEVIN Rudd has been urged to rethink his "obsession" to deliver a carbon emissions trading scheme by 2010 because it is placing intolerable pressure on major companies battered by the global financial crisis. (The Australian)

Hip pocket a bigger worry than climate - FEAR about the outlook for the economy and jobs have overtaken climate change as the top foreign policy concerns for Australians, according to a new poll to be released today.

The Lowy Institute survey also found that 51 per cent were not confident in the Rudd Government's ability to deal with climate change and people were less convinced about the need to take immediate action to tackle the future effects of global warming. Those favouring action dropped from 68 per cent to 60 per cent. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Climate fight only worth $10 to Aussies - AUSTRALIANS have put a price on what they're prepared to pay to help fight climate change -- $10 extra a month on their electricity bill.

The 2008 Lowy Institute Poll reveals that Australians want action on climate change, but not if it costs jobs or hits them in the back pocket.

In a telephone poll of 1001 people conducted between July 12 and 28, a majority of 32 per cent favoured paying only $10 a month extra on their electricity bill to help solve climate change.

However, 21 per cent of respondents were not prepared to pay anything extra. (AAP)

That's very disappointing -- only 21% know this crap's not worth a penny.

Pitt's Institute of Politics fails its mission - So embarrassed was I this week with a University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics report -- buying lock, stock and barrel into global warming and one particular "solution" -- that I resigned from the institute's board of fellows.

The first problem with "Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Exploring a Southwestern Pennsylvania Geologic Demonstration Project" is that it cites the thoroughly discredited "work" of Al Gore and his error-riddled film "An Inconvenient Truth." (Colin McNickle, Tribune-Review)

We could wish... Learning to like it hot - THE year is 2050. Greenhouse gas concentration has reached 500 parts per million and is growing steadily, although annual global emissions have fallen to below year 2000 levels. The average temperature is 1C higher than 50 years earlier but with considerable variation across the globe. (Ziggy Switkowski, The Australian)

... sadly there is virtually no chance of the above scenario playing out and current indications are the world will be somewhat (hopefully not much) cooler than it is now. From the perspective that thriving life on Earth is a good thing then having the global climate warmer and wetter is always better.

Convenience stores under attack by global warming zealots - Now I’ve heard everything. Talk about your “Kyoto protocol”. The original source of this silliness comes from the city of Kyoto. In June, in a bid to reduce greenhouse gases and perhaps become a nationally designated “model environmental city,” the municipal government indicated it would request convenience stores to “voluntarily refrain” from staying open all night. (Watts Up With That?)

Yeah? Europe warming too quickly - EUROPE is warming faster than the world average and governments need to invest to adapt to a changing climate set to turn the Mediterranean region arid and the north ever wetter, a study showed.

Europe's mountains, coasts, the Mediterranean and the Arctic were most at risk from global warming, according to the report by the European Environment Agency and branches of the World Health Organisation and the European Commission.

"Global average temperature has increased almost 0.8C above pre-industrial levels, with even higher temperature increases in Europe and northern latitudes," it said.

Europe had warmed by 1.0C. (Reuters)

So, for this to be true -- and caused by enhanced greenhouse -- the northern extratropical mid-troposphere must be really cooking up, right? And yet it's not. If the region is genuinely warming (not a certainty) then it can't be enhanced greenhouse (a.k.a. gorebull warming) because the mid-troposphere is demonstrably not warming quickly enough.

Shrinking Glaciers and Presidential Politics (Video 3:12) - CO2 Truth-Alert: Are earth's glaciers wasting away at an accelerating pace as a result of CO2-induced global warming? John McCain and Barack Obama believe they are, and they have plans for massive government programs to reverse the dreaded meltdown by reducing our country's CO2 emissions. But are these actions needed? Watch the video to find out. (

You Have Got To Be Kidding... - The unusual snow and cold in South Africa that has occurred this week is reported as yet another example of global warming; see Warming has a hand in recent wild weather where it is written “The severe weather conditions experienced in South Africa in recent weeks are partially due to climate change.”

Additional articles on this weather event include  Roads close after snowfalls and Snow hits South Africa.  While clearly a single weather event does not inform us of what to expect in the future, the attribution of this cold and snow to global warming is yet another example of poor news reporting. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

EPA Fascism versus America: There is No Natural Evidence for Man-made Global Warming - This is the third in a seven part series detailing our objections to plans by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to claim unlimited power over the life of every American. Those plans were laid out in an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), dated July 11, 2008. The EPA is inviting comments to this advance notice. This article explains the second of our six major objections to the EPA plans. The total of our objections, including our letter, our comments, and a link to the EPA website, may be accessed here. (John Lewis and Paul Saunders, Capitalism Magazine)

Challenging the Activists: Market-based adaptation should be favoured over central planning - There is currently a consensus amongst the political establishment – and amongst the intellectual communities that feed into it – that detailed and wide-ranging government intervention is necessary to combat the effects of climate change. This monograph challenges that consensus.

The authors look in detail at a number of the underlying assumptions and proposals of the policy activists and find that there is enormous uncertainty relating both to the economics and to the science of climate change. As one author shows, the policy activists have form: alarmists have been wrong, time and time again, about ecological disasters.

However, the authors of this monograph have more humility than their critics. They do not argue that there is no threat from climate change, merely that the level of uncertainty is huge. Given this uncertainty, and the historic failure of central planning to do anything other than undermine economic welfare, the editor, Colin Robinson, one of the country’s leading energy economists, argues that it is prudent to proceed with caution. The flexibility of the market economy will deal better than central planning with any problems arising from man-made climate change. The wide ranging array of regulations, taxes, subsidies and artificially created incentives proposed by climate change activists should be rejected. (IEA)

Will September be the month the sun truly transitions to Cycle 24? (Watts Up With That?)

The quiet Sun - The debate continues over what the effect of known changes in the Sun's activity have on the Earth. As the primary source of heat and light and energy, it sustains life on the planet, and variations in its output can be expected to influence climate in significant ways. A common example of this is the 11- and 22-year cycles of sunspot activity, during which the number of dark visible spots on the Sun's surface varies between maximum and minimum values (which are different for each cycle). Higher numbers of sunspots are evidence of a more active Sun.

Economists have recognised for many years (from at least Adam Smith's time) that there is a link between sunspot activity and crop yields, having seen that wheat prices rose at times of low activity (the quiet Sun). And when there are a number of years of low activity, the effect on weather patterns can be very significant. The best known example of this is the so-called Maunder minimum. From 1645 to about 1715, very few sunspots appeared (only about 0.1% of the normally expected number). This lack of solar activity coincided with the Little Ice Age, when there are well-documented accounts of cool summers and bitterly cold winters afflicting the northern hemisphere.

Proxy records suggest that European annual average temperatures were about 1.5 degrees Celsius lower than in the twentieth century; many rivers were regularly frozen and sea ice extended as far south as Iceland and southern Greenland for long periods. The mechanism of this regional climate change is not settled, although it could be primarily due to different wind patterns. The mainstream scientific consensus is that changes to the overall radiation output of the Sun are not in themselves sufficient to account for average temperature changes of this magnitude (or, indeed, to account for the roughly 0.6 degree average temperature rise over the twentieth century).

Nevertheless, in the absence of any other credible drivers, changes in the Sun's activity would seem to have been the root cause of the Little Ice Age, which suggests that similar quiet periods could also have a cooling effect on the present climate. Since, despite the best efforts of the modellers, a comprehensive understanding of the drivers, interactions and complexity of the global climate systems still seems some way away, any real-life observations which add to our knowledge would be invaluable. And that's exactly what we may be getting with the current behaviour of the Sun. (Scientific Alliance)

Gulf Stream here to stay - The Gulf Stream, that almost mythical flow of warm seas that makes Norway and a few other Nordic countries liveable, isn't about to disappear any time soon. New research contradicts earlier theories that it might.

Climate researchers have re-examined studies that indicated the Gulf Stream was weakening. It's long been a source of warmer seas flowing north through the Atlantic, and it also sends colder waters south.

The Gulf Stream flows roughly from the east coast of South America, around the Gulf of Mexico and across the Atlantic, where it heads north, east of Ireland, over towards Norway and around Iceland, before heading due south again.

The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) reports that several observations in recent years suggested the circulation of the Gulf Stream had weakened, possibly because of global warming. Studies, the institute noted, had suggested that the flow of cold water south was down by half.

A group of researchers from Denmark, the Faeroe Islands, Germany and Norway thus started paying closer attention to the Gulf Stream, and now they're releasing conclusions that can leave climate researchers breathing a sigh of relief.

"It hasn't only been possible to show that the currents instead have maintained a surprisingly constant strength during the last 50 years, but we can also point out where earlier signs of weakness were misleading," said Steffen M Olsen of DMI.

The researchers have studied new and historic measures of the Gulf Stream’s strength over the undersea ridges between Iceland and Greenland.

Olsen cautioned, however, that changes may still occur. "We can’t rule that out," Olsen wrote in an article publishing the group's findings. The risk of a collapse in the warm circulation of the Atlantic just "isn't as probable in the near future as we had feared." (Aftenposten)

In case you were wondering... NASA data show Arctic saw fastest August sea ice retreat on record - Following a record-breaking season of arctic sea ice decline in 2007, NASA scientists have kept a close watch on the 2008 melt season. Although the melt season did not break the record for ice loss, NASA data are showing that for a four-week period in August 2008, sea ice melted faster during that period than ever before. (NASA/GSFC)

... this is how they are trying to spin a 'worst ever' out of the Arctic's failure to melt.

Holy Writ or Wholly Rot? The new religion of "global warming" - Christopher Monckton of Brenchley replies to a True Believer in the Canadian Civil Service. (SPPI)

Dude, Where's My Warming? - Last I checked, the debate/panic over anthropogenic global warming still centered around CO2-driven warming, specifically man’s marginal contribution to the earth’s CO2 budget. Simple enough. But it now seems that the alarmist industry has simply jumped the rails. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

CO2 output increased 3 percent in one year - AP informs that the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the civilization grew by 3 percent between 2006 and 2007, mainly thanks to developing countries. (The Reference Frame)

Rich Nations' Greenhouse Gases Fell in 2006 - Survey - OSLO - Rich nations' greenhouse gas emissions dipped for the first time in five years in 2006, easing 0.1 percent despite robust economic growth, a Reuters survey of the latest available information showed on Friday.

The figures were less gloomy than a report this week, based on scientist estimates to 2007, which said world emissions were surging, led by rocketing growth in poor countries such as China and India twinned with a tiny rise by industrialised nations. (Reuters)

Translation: average season: South Pacific Faces 8 to 10 Storms This Season - WELLINGTON - Eight to 10 tropical cyclones are expected to hit the South Pacific region over the next few months, scientists in New Zealand said on Friday, higher than last's year below-average five storms. (Reuters)

Big dry caused by lack of low-pressure systems - A DECLINE in the number of rain-bearing low-pressure systems along the NSW coast is the main reason for the state's big dry since 1950, research has revealed.

Milton Speer, of the University of NSW Climate Change Research Centre, said his study showed that natural climate variation was responsible for reduced rainfall along the coast and ranges during most of this period.

Global warming could also have contributed to the prolonged drought in eastern Australia since 2002, but "that is still open to question", he said. (Sydney Morning Herald)

GAO Faults 'Credibility' Of CO2-Offset Market - WASHINGTON -- The growing U.S. market for carbon offsets -- vouchers that let companies and individuals project an environmentally friendly image by paying others to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions -- is so opaque and loosely regulated that it offers consumers "limited assurance of credibility," according to a federal audit. (Wall Street Journal)

Someone thought CO2-offset markets had 'credibility'? Go figure...

Australia Carbon Plan May Chill Investment Climate - SYDNEY - Australia's plans to protect its climate from global warming, by cutting greenhouse gases, could end up playing havoc with its investment climate instead.

The government has promised to make polluters pay for their carbon emissions within two years, but there is still confusion and controversy over how the system should work.

Even a very modest reduction target could wipe out billions of dollars in profits from listed firms, such as steel-makers and mining companies, without major compensation, according to preliminary estimates by investment bank Goldman Sachs JBWere. (Reuters)

EU Eastern States Fear Carbon Plan Empowers Russia - WARSAW - Eastern members of the European Union said on Friday its tough plans to tackle global warming could force them to rely more on Russian gas and the bloc should be equally ambitious in ensuring their energy security. (Reuters)

So far out of touch: Financial Turmoil No Bar to Climate Deal, Says UN - WARSAW - Global financial turmoil should not hamper a new world climate deal because high energy prices remain an incentive to improve energy efficiency, the UN's top climate official said on Friday. (Reuters)

Green-Eyed Monsters - Few ecotastrophists will be disappointed that CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has had to be shut down for at least a couple of months to fix a technical problem. Because, for a while there, the Greens’ perpetual thunder about the imminent thermageddon was stolen by newspaper headlines insisting that we couldn’t entirely rule out the possibility that fundamental physics would get us first.

Environmentalists have more to be jealous of particle physics than that their end of the world might be nigher than their own, however. Because, despite the best efforts of the press, by the time CERN scientists flicked what is presumably a very big switch indeed, causing the LHC to shudder into life and drive two beams of protons in opposite directions around a 27-km-long circuit at close to the speed of light and at pretty much absolute zero, the remote possibility of the end of the world didn’t figure in our collective imaginations. We were too interested in whether Higgs bosons would turn out to exist or if we would have to re-think our working models of the material universe.

Climate science cannot compete with that sort of thing. Once you strip out the apocalyptic environmental prophesies, it has little to offer the non-specialist. Which is why, if global warmers want more of the action, they have to make even more of their scary scenarios. So, to justify why he thought the £4.4billion spent on the LHC would have been better spent on climate change, Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government, current president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and author of books about climate change that have pictures of polar bears on the cover, has little choice but to resort to hyperbole and extravagation: (Climate Resistance)

Green Churches: Casting Out Demons - The fashionable new Protestant movement is unquestionably the Green Church, and, of course, it exhibits precisely the same tendencies to factionalism as did the Baptists and other sects. One classic split is painfully exposed today in an article by that arch ‘global warming’ believer, Mark Lynas [‘The green heretic persecuted for his nuclear conversion’, The Sunday Times, ‘News Review’, p.5].

The language reported in this piece is extraordinary, and includes: “conversion”; “Damascene conversion”; “heresy”; “evil”; “believe”; “dogma”; “humility”; “myths”; and “traitor”. The only word missing is “apostate”. If you ever doubted that the Green movement is really a religion, then think again. The language at its very heart is both confessional and religious. You only need to attend a Green meeting to observe the parallels. There is prophecy, preaching, the confession of sins, conversion narratives, the casting out of demons, denunciations, and, inevitably, the church stall - “Buy your eco-balls here!” (Global Warming Politics)

Canada PM Oil Sands Plan Puzzles Industry, Greens - CALGARY, Alberta - Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday he would ban exports of tar-like bitumen from Alberta's oil sands to countries that do not match Canadian efforts to cut carbon emissions, a campaign promise that perplexed both the oil industry and environmentalists. (Reuters)

Obama Backs Biodiesel Baloney - In his first debate with Republican John McCain Friday night, Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's self-style Candidate of Change, revealed that when it comes to energy, he is either a charlatan or an eloquent and inspiring ignoramus.

Obama repeatedly referred to biodiesel, making it perfectly clear that as President he would push the phony fuel alternative as a way of attaining energy independence.

Unfortunately, betting on biodiesel and other supposedly green energy solutions at the expense of investing in real energy development--i.e. oil and gas and coal and nuclear power--will increase rather than decrease America's dependence on foreign oil. Simply put, except for coal liquefaction and gasification, and possibly also shale oil, there are no viable alternatives to the energy sources on which the world runs and will continue to run for at least the next 20 years. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed or lying. (China Confidential)

France Plans to End Biofuel Tax Breaks by 2012 - PARIS - The French government said on Friday it will phase out tax breaks for biofuels by 2012, arguing that higher oil and grain prices have removed the need for fiscal support. (Reuters)

New ultra-deepwater drill-ship can reach depth of 40.000 feet - Noble Corporation confirmed its subsidiary, Noble Drilling Holding LLC, has signed contracts for the construction of a new, dynamically positioned, ultra-deepwater, harsh environment Globetrotter class drill-ship with South Korea's STX Heavy Industries and Dutch-based design and construction firm Huisman Equipment. (Mercopress)

China takes over leading Norwegian offshore drilling co. - China Oilfield Services Limited China’s largest integrated oilfield services provider in offshore China, COSL announced this week it had successfully completed the 2.5 billion US dollars acquisition of the Norwegian offshore drilling company Awilco Offshore ASA. (Mercopress)

Venezuela anticipates oil sales to China of a million bpd in 2012 - China and Venezuela signed on Wednesday in Beijing a wide range of agreements to boost trade, energy cooperation and agriculture and in other fields. The agreements were signed by Chinese Vice Premier Li Kegiang and visiting Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. (Mercopress)

Donors Pledge US$6.1 Billion to Climate Change Funds - WASHINGTON - Industrialized countries pledged more than US$6.1 billion on Friday to international investment funds aimed at helping developing countries adopt cleaner technologies and mitigate growth in greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank said. (Reuters)

Carbon clean-up in Stinky Town - A new German coal-fired power station buries its own CO2. Now Europe must decide whether to spend €12bn subsidising more. Nick Mathiason reports (The Observer)

And the answer is "No!" -- next question?

UK accused of 'sabotaging' Europe's green energy plans - Leaked documents show strong pressure being exerted to 'kill the essence' of the EU's renewable energy targets. (The Guardian)

Tidal power scheme to launch in Scotland - An experimental tidal power scheme is to be launched in Scotland. Underwater turbines which harness the power of the tides to generate electricity will be placed at three sites. (Daily Telegraph)

Here we go... PM Kevin Rudd ready to borrow cash - THE Federal Government is prepared to become a borrower for the first time in more than a decade to fund its ambitious infrastructure building program.

Kevin Rudd is considering becoming the first Prime Minister in more than 12 years to take on net debt, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

Mr Rudd wants to fund massive improvements to city and regional transport systems, and he wants the "nation building" projects running as quickly as practically possible.

... Socialists plunging us into debt, again. Sell the $Aussie, buy greenbacks, they're currently undervalued. $Aussie to fall below US$0.75 despite resources demand, probably before Christmas.

Trust Congress — a new Federal priority - Brief policy update: Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.1381, which makes public health and preventive health an increased federal priority.

The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, with 114 co-sponsors (107 Democrats, 7 Republicans). Trust for America’s Health, which lobbied Congress, as well as developed the funding priorities precisely outlined in this legislation, issued a press release applauding the passage of the Resolution.

"Promoting healthy lifestyles will reduce the impact of devastating chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it will save lives," said Rep. Michael Castle. "Passage of this resolution signals strong support for prioritizing prevention to improve individuals' health and lower U.S. health care costs." (Junkfood Science)

Remember the BMI report card debate? - When Arkansas enacted Act 1220 in 2003, it was done with great fanfare and national attention. So began the largest and most comprehensive statewide school-based childhood obesity initiative ever enacted in the country. Act 1220 was to provide the proof needed that the war on childhood obesity could be won. The fourth annual report evaluating the effectiveness of the Arkansas Act 1220 was quietly released recently.

Quietly, perhaps, because the news wasn’t encouraging... (Junkfood Science)

Payout Fund For Vaccines Nearly Shot - A federal fund has paid out $1.8 billion to families of "unlucky" children injured or killed by vaccines and now is flooded with hotly contested claims for kids suffering from autism.

The little-known Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is mired in controversy as it grapples with 5,300 claims that blame childhood vaccines, including some with mercury, for triggering the devastating developmental disorder.

In the 20 years since it was launched, the program has paid just 2,200 claims for harm caused by 24 common vaccines such as those for measles, mumps and rubella, polio, hepatitis, and flu. It has dismissed 4,300 claims. (New York Post)

How sad that myth peddlers are creating so much distress -- as if parents of kids who genuinely have adverse reactions to vaccines aren't distressed enough already without adding parents of autistic children into the mix.

It is true that vaccinations trigger serious, sometimes fatal reactions in a tiny percentage of children which makes the vaccines the technical cause. This does not mean those children would have survived or "been normal" absent exposure to vaccines though -- the probability is high that they would have experienced the same reaction to infections in the wild anyway.

Under the theory that all society should provide some compensation to those who lose children in the broad campaign to maintain herd immunity to serious disease vaccines in America are taxed to support the VICP. While this is understandable and compassionate it is also a mistake. These children aren't 'victims' and neither their parents nor society made a poor decision trying to protect them from debilitating or deadly disease. Making a pot of money available only encourages shysters and scam artists with the inevitable result parents of autistic children have been mislead into believing their attempts to protect their children through vaccination did harm rather than good, that somehow they were forced or deceived into making bad decisions that led to this harm and that someone (compensation funds or rapacious developers and purveyors of lifesaving medications) must pay.

As a society we should be mature enough to educate our members that children are not all born perfect, that not all will survive childhood and that blame will not necessarily attach. To be entitled to live in our protected society comes with certain responsibilities -- like contributing to herd immunity -- so there should be absolutely no exceptions for belief or stupidity and no freeloading. Everyone gets vaccinated and a tiny few will die earlier than would otherwise have been the case. Unlucky for them, necessary for society.

Gates gives $168 mln for malaria vaccines research - UNITED NATIONS - Microsoft founder Bill Gates gave $168.7 million to develop vaccines for malaria, part of $3 billion in funding announced on Thursday to tackle Africa's biggest killer disease.

Gates said the funding for the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, in conjunction with GlaxoSmithKline Plc, will support "next-generation" vaccines research to find longer-lasting protection against the mosquito-borne disease. (Reuters)

West Nile season appears to be mildest in 7 years -- The West Nile virus season is on track to be the mildest in seven years, with less than a third the number of serious cases as last year's total, U.S. health officials said. (AP)

Tests for drugs in tap water - Drinking water supplies are to be tested for the presence of prescription drugs amid fears that rivers are being contaminated by the growing quantity of pharmaceuticals flushed unwittingly down the drain.

The Government has commissioned scientists to test river water at intake points where it is abstracted for human consumption, The Independent can reveal. They will also test drinking water after it has been through the water-treatment cycle.

Under a pilot project to begin next year, supplies will be examined for about five of the most common and potentially dangerous prescription drugs. The experts will meet over the next few weeks to decide which drugs to look for and where testing should be carried out. However, an insider said this was likely to be at selected sites on the river Thames because its water-catchment area covered the most densely populated part of the country.

Powerful anti-cancer drugs are of particular concern as they can be excreted unaltered from the body into the sewerage system. They are thought to be potentially dangerous because they are highly toxic to dividing cells, are easily dissolved in water and are difficult to destroy by conventional water-treatment techniques. (The Independent)

Scientists identify gene that may contribute to improved rice yield - A team of scientists, including Penn State Distinguished Professor of Biology Hong Ma, has identified a gene in rice that controls the size and weight of rice grains. The gene may prove to be useful for breeding high-yield rice and, thus, may benefit the vast number of people who rely on this staple food for survival. "Our work shows that it is possible to increase rice's yield by enhancing the expression of a particular gene," said Ma. The team's results will be published on 28 September 2008 in an early online edition of the journal Nature Genetics, and in the November print issue of the journal. (Penn State)

Celtic revolt against Westminster over GM crops: Scottish ministers plan to link up with Wales and Northern Ireland to head off attempts to grow modified food on home soil - Ministers are facing an unprecedented Celtic revolt from their Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish counterparts as they launch a new campaign to plant GM crops in Britain.

All three devolved governments have declared themselves implacably opposed to any modified crops in their territory, setting the scene for one of their sharpest-ever confrontations with Westminster. And their opposition is likely to have an impact throughout Europe, sapping the UK's hitherto obdurate support for the introduction of the technology throughout the Continent.

No GM crops have yet been cultivated commercially in Britain – despite a drive led by Tony Blair – thanks to public hostility and official trials which found that growing them harmed wildlife. But London-based ministers have privately never given up. For years they have voted consistently in the EU to allow the sale of modified food and animal feeds throughout Europe, giving Britain the strongest pro-GM record in the union. And they have now launched a bid to grow the crops in the UK.

Ian Pearson, the science minister, last week said "a significant majority" of Britons "will want to choose GM" once they learned of its advantages, adding: "We have to show that there are benefits to the consumer of adopting GM technologies." (The Independent)

September 26, 2008

Picking on the Pickens Plan? - Billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens’ camp responded last week to this column’s multi-part analysis of the so-called “Pickens Plan.” Focusing on my most recent comments, Pickens Plan defender Warren Mitchell said he was “overwhelmed” by my “lack of logic” and wondered what plan I had to “wean ourselves from foreign oil.” (Steven Milloy,

Details about the 2008 Arctic Melt Season - The Arctic summer melt season is over as sea ice has already begun to increase in coverage as the daylength rapidly diminishes. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) released a report yesterday detailing the 2008 melt season and compared it to the record-low season of 2007. (AccuWeather)

NAS reports: 50 million year cooling trend (Watts Up With That?)

Excellent! Bush speech to U.N.: “terror” 32, “climate” 0 - U.S. President George W. Bush upset some delegates by failing to mention “climate change” or “global warming” in his final speech to the United Nations — in which he referred to terrorism 32 times.

Exactly a year ago, the United Nations held a special summit about climate change – U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls fighting global warming his “signature issue” and many governments see it as the biggest long-term challenge.

Bush clearly has a lot to worry about such as the global financial crisis, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Yet while he spoke a lot about terrorism in his speech on Tuesday, he did also refer to other problems such as human rights in Burma, violence in Darfur, the Doha trade round and the fight against malaria.

Climate change didn’t get a mention, even though Bush has called it a “serious problem” and signed up at the Group of Eight nations in Japan in July to a vision of halving world greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. China and the United States are the main emitters of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels.

Gorebull warming shouldn't rate a mention when discussion real world problems, something unfortunately few leaders yet understand.

Clean coal plan divides green groups - KEVIN Rudd has split green groups by placing new emphasis on clean coal technology to combat climate change, telling the UN its development has to be at the "forefront of the agenda" to cut global carbon pollution from power stations and not destroy the coal industry.

In a move that will avoid strife with the powerful Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, but stir growing divisions in the environmental movement, the Prime Minister has joined former US president Bill Clinton to refocus attention on how best to capture and store carbon emissions to reduce global greenhouse gases.

Mr Rudd has also moved to reassure Australian industry he wants to protect exports and development at a time of international financial crisis. (The Australian)

Upsetting the watermelons may be "clean coal's" sole benefit. Regarding K.Rudd's claim he wants to protect development then there is one action he can take to economically excel -- get the heck away from all gorebull warming nonsense and truly become a world leader.

Coal Is Already Cleaner - On the coal issue, one fact is routinely butchered: The idea that modern coal energy is “dirty.”

Press accounts reflexively abuse the term because it’s easier to scare the public with lurid terms like the “dark fuel” (Matthew Wald in The New York Times) than explaining the mineral’s “threat” to the planet is the same odorless gas we are exhaling right now. Carbon dioxide may be a relatively large byproduct of coal, but it is a greenhouse gas, not a “dirty” particulate.

The modern coal plant, in fact, is remarkably clean compared to the belching smokestack stereotype of CNN stock footage. Take American Electric Power’s (AEP) gigantic Gavin plant in the Ohio Valley (which, together with its sister, 2900-MW John Amos facility, produces more power than all of America’s wind turbines combined — a capacity factor of 4125 MW vs. just 3750 MW for the entire wind industry). (Henry Payne, Planet Gore)

Environmentalists 'out of touch on emissions plan' - AUSTRALIA'S most active unionist pushing for clean coal technology says the Greens are becoming increasingly marginalised by maintaining their opposition to clean coal.

CFMEU mining division president Tony Maher said his union had done polling that showed roughly 5 per cent of the population supported the Greens' position of opposition to clean coal. (The Australian)

Just on emissions plans? Hardly, the watermelons give every impression of being collectively the most clueless bunch on the planet.

The Day The Earth Cooled - The solar wind is slowing, but Al Gore is still spewing hot air. The Oscar winner is promoting civil disobedience to stop energy and economic growth as the first U.S. emissions cap-and-trade program begins.

Speaking before Bill Clinton's Global Initiative, junk science advocate Gore called on young people to take the law into their own hands because the climate, he claims, is a-changin'. He told the gathering in New York City that "the world has lost ground to the climate crisis" and the time for action is now. (IBD)

New theory predicts the largest ozone hole over Antarctica will occur this month - WATERLOO - A University of Waterloo scientist says that cosmic rays are a key cause for expanding the hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole -- and predicts the largest ozone hole will occur in one or two weeks. (Exchange Morning Post)

Clueless: Labour's shocking CO2 admissions - Tens of thousands of 'green collar' jobs will be lost because of the government's policy of buying reductions from other countries (Gregory Barker, The Guardian)

Hundreds of thousands of real jobs could be saved, too. Of course, millions of jobs will be created when carbon stupidity dies its inevitable death. Wouldn't it be better to simply protect them now by getting over this adolescent crush on eco-doom and dealing with real problems?

UK Emissions: Facts And Politics - Every now and again, I like to provide raw, unadorned data about various aspects of our never-ending debate on ‘global warming’. Today, I thought it might be useful to review the fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions of the UK based on the latest complete set of statistics from 2005. The information and graph are taken from The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), the primary climate-change data analysis centre of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). CDIAC is located at DOE’s famous Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). All fossil fuel carbon dioxide emission figures are expressed in thousand metric tons of carbon and are for 2005, unless stated otherwise. The error bars range between 5% - 20%, with the figures probably representing underestimates. (Global Warming Politics)

Denmark, Norway Grapple with Growing CO2 - UNITED NATIONS, Sep 25 - Even as Scandinavian leaders have assumed a prominent role in international efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, both Norway and Denmark have failed to reduce their own emissions. (IPS)

Aha! So that's the cause of the... falling temperatures? Carbon dioxide emissions rise to record again, mostly due to Chinese greenhouse gas pollution - WASHINGTON - The world pumped up its pollution of the chief man-made global warming gas last year, setting a course that could push beyond leading scientists' projected worst-case scenario, international researchers said Thursday.

The new numbers, called "scary" by some, were a surprise because scientists thought an economic downturn would slow energy use. Instead, carbon dioxide output jumped 3 percent from 2006 to 2007. (AP)

Poor old Seth... just can't take a trick, can he? Allegedly evil carbon dioxide keeps rising, people keep happily consuming and the world, oh the world, just blithely ignores it all. Everyone knows carbon dioxide will broil us all (Al & Jimmy said so) and Ma Nature, that old trickster, goes and turns down the thermostat. Doesn't she want to be saved?

Cities Get Too Much Blame for Global Warming - Study - LONDON - Cities often blamed for producing most of the world's greenhouse gas emissions actually generate just two-fifths or less, according to a study published on Friday. (Reuters)

Misconception And Oversimplification Of the Concept Of Global Warming By V. Ramanthan and Y. Feng - There is a new paper by a eminent and distinguished climate scientist, Dr. Ramanathan in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is Ramanathan, V. and Y. Feng, 2008: On avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system: Formidable challenges ahead, PNAS, 105, 14245-14250, Sept 23, 2008. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Blame summer on our bad weather cycle - AS OUR water-logged summer of 2008 recedes and we enjoy what remains of the September sunshine, perhaps the time is opportune to examine the claims made in the media that the abnormal Irish weather of July and August was a signal of man-made climate change, writes Ray Bates .

As expected, the climatological statistics recently issued by Met Éireann show that this summer's rainfall was well above normal everywhere. Mean temperatures for the summer were a little higher than normal, by amounts varying in an irregular pattern between zero and 0.8 degrees Celsius across the country.

A first observation to be made is that the summer's rainfall pattern was the opposite of what is predicted by all climate models to result from the global warming associated with enhanced greenhouse gases. The model predictions are for warmer and drier Irish summers, with this trend being particularly marked in the east and southeast. Must we conclude from this lack of agreement between the predicted and observed rainfall that global warming isn't really occurring, or that the model predictions of the consequences of global warming are misleading?

I will argue here that neither of these conclusions should be drawn, but that the real cause of this summer's unusual rainfall was the natural variability of our Atlantic climate, which still overwhelms the emerging signal of global warming at our geographic location. (Ray Bates, Irish Times)

Financial saboteurs strike again: Funds urged to address climate change - GLOBAL - Superannuation and pension funds in Australia are being encouraged to adopt best practice in managing the risks and opportunities of climate change, through an initiative launched by minister for superannuation and corporate law Senator Nick Sherry.

The Australian Asset Owners Climate Change Initiative is the result of a partnership between The Climate Institute and the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST).

It consists of a survey of 80 of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, each with more than A$1bn (US$830m) under management, backed by best practice guidelines - both of which will be updated annually.

AIST chair Ian Robertson said super funds had a fiduciary obligation to address long term risks for their beneficiaries, and climate change was the greatest long term risk of all. (Global Pensions)

The misanthropists are busily corrupting fund management to deny seniors a decent standard of living after a lifetime of service. The greatest risk faced by funds today is climate hysteria, largely driven by Gaia-nuts wanting to make sure you can't afford to consume. To these ratbags' delight politicians have bought into the gorebull warming farce and are trying to introduce energy rationing through punitive pricing and taxation, something which will strangle the economy, your jobs and your purchasing power. Pension funds have a responsibility to maximize profits for the benefit of their members, not to destroy the profitability of the entities in which they invest your money. Any idiot who even mentions gorebull warming in fund investment and management meetings should be escorted from the premises, never to be allowed to return.

Wrong on so many levels: At URI, Nobel Prize-winning scientist answers critics of climate change - SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Michael E. Mann, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, had just spent an hour explaining why he thinks there is virtual scientific consensus that people are causing the earth to warm and sea levels to rise, when a self-described “left-leaning, pro-environment person,” a meteorologist, rose to angrily dispute him. (Peter B. Lord, Providence Journal)

Mikey doesn't have a Nobel, nor a "piece of one" but has contributed to an organization that shared one with Al Gore - journalists are either clueless or deceptive about that all too often.

That Mikey has been 'vilified' is a misstatement, more accurately he has been exposed as either grossly incompetent or a fraud.

That the hokey 'hockey stick' misrepresentation of contemporary climate history has somehow been 'vindicated' is utterly and completely absurd. For a good overview see this piece on Bishop Hill. See also: Jeff Id: cherry-picking in new hockey stick graph; Revival of the Hockey Stick - a new Low in Climate Science; “North Hottest for 1500 Years” - Really?; The Hockey Stick Debate as a Matter of Science Policy and so on and on...

As we said when this nonsense first reappeared:

Mikey's at it again, still appending instrument records to proxy reconstructions against all advice and good practice (pretty colored spaghetti graph, below). Without that nonsense addition this time Mann's effort looks a little more like the non-treemometer reconstruction of Loehle and a lot less like the hokey "hockey stick" of days gone by. The point is now, and always has been, that no contemporary proxy measure exceeds (or even equals) proxies from the Medieval Climate Optimum (or Medieval Warm Period, as it's now known). Check out "divergence problem" to see what we mean about the stupidity of tacking thermometrics onto a proxy time series.

Mikey also claimed gorebull warming was responsible for melting the snows of Kilimanjaro: New Study in Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research Reveals warming not cause of Kilimanjaro ice loss; Yet another study disproves Gore's Kilimanjaro claims; Tanzania official now declares ice caps on Mt Kilimanjaro 'increasing'; Researchers from the U.S. and Austria say global warming isn't the cause of Kilimanjaro ice loss; Another study: `Deforestation behind loss of Mt Kili snow` - Using Kilimanjaro for warming called ‘awfully inaccurate’; Snow Returns to Mount Kilimanjaro... -- h/t Marc Morano

Stupid is as stupid does: How a Plan for Bus Fuel Grew Expensive - Five years ago, as they were signing a contract for a cleaner-burning bus fuel, some officials with New York City Transit foresaw the day when similar low-sulfur fuels might become more common and less expensive.

That fuel was custom-made, and over the last two years, fuel suppliers warned transit officials that it might become difficult to get and urged them to consider a cheaper alternative.

But the transit agency never switched.

So last month, it found itself caught off guard when there were no bidders for a new fuel contract. As a result, it rushed through a stopgap agreement with its previous supplier at a much higher price.

The tale of how officials signed a contract that increases the fuel costs for their bus fleet by what could be tens of millions of dollars over the next year, at a time of budgetary crisis, helps show how well-intentioned efforts can go awry and end up affecting riders. (New York Times)

Boutique fuels are something of a problem, huh fellas?

The Petrobras Exception: How a state oil company succeeds—by not acting like one. - There are many reasons oil is trading above $100 per barrel, including soaring global demand and the fading luster of the U.S. dollar. But perhaps the most important factor is the mismanagement and inefficiency of state-run oil companies. More than 90 percent of the world’s oil and gas reserves are controlled by national oil companies or by Russian energy giants caught in the Kremlin’s orbit. And as the price of oil and gas continues to rise, those outfits have less incentive to increase their production because they can collect the same amount of rent (or more) by keeping their production flat. Nor do these companies feel much pressure to operate in a transparent, efficient manner.

All of those facts make the recent successes of Petróleo Brasileiro SA, better known as Petrobras, even more notable. Indeed, at a time when most national oil companies—and most OPEC members—are seeing their output stagnate or decline, Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company, is dramatically increasing its output. (Robert Bryce, The American)

New technology path to riches - CHIMING in at $25 billion last year, coal continues to be Australia's single biggest export earner. We're also the biggest coal exporter in the world and have one of the most coal-intense electricity markets on the planet.

So on economic, let alone environmental, grounds, it's hardly surprising that Kevin Rudd has followed in the path of John Howard before him as a passionate global advocate for clean coal technology. (The Australian)

Yes, Australia is very big in coal. No, 'clean coal' technology is no big deal since it refers to irrelevant carbon dioxide.

Cabinet split on Kingsnorth power station - The Cabinet is split over whether to approve a controversial plan for a £1bn coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent which has become a key test of its green credentials. (The Independent)

Wind power - I was in a conversation today at lunch with a fellow who told me that “wind power is better than anything we’ve ever done for generating electricity”. That made me wonder, how reliable (beyond the constancy of wind issues) is it? (Watts Up With That?) 

EU Lawmakers Snub Big Carmakers Over Carbon Curbs - BRUSSELS - EU lawmakers rejected a bid to delay planned limits on carbon dioxide emissions from cars in a surprise backlash on Thursday against the motor industry's efforts to ease its burden in the fight against climate change. (Reuters)

Hearsay squared — acupuncture for breast cancer - You’ve no doubt heard the news of a study reportedly finding that acupuncture works to reduce the side effects of breast cancer treatment as effectively as conventional medicine, without the side effects. This is a hallmark news story worthy of lining the bird cage — did you catch why? (Junkfood Science)

Cost savings or money maker? - That was fast. It was just last week, we learned of plans to market bariatric surgery as a preventive health intervention and way to save public healthcare costs.

This week, the Daily Mail published an interview with Carel Le Roux, who was described as a leading obesity expert at Imperial College, London. He is actually with the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust bariatric surgery unit.

In the article, Le Roux argues that “the only answer for most people who are obese (up to 20 percent of the population) is surgery.” Not only that, but he suggests that the BMI eligible for surgery be lowered even further. No evidence was provided to support this suggestion. (Junkfood Science)

From the food for thought file: Two stories from Arizona - A few weeks ago, a Tucson physician was informed that Blue Cross Blue Shield was terminating his provider contract because he also had a private practice which allowed patients to pay for their care directly.

Did the insurance company believe it had complete control over his entire practice, even beyond his care of its members? It might appear so. But its reaction backfired... (Junkfood Science)

Taking Time for Empathy - I would like to believe that I am a compassionate doctor. But when I must convey bad news to a patient, one of the first things I worry about is time.

One of the most challenging, and potentially rewarding, aspects of being a doctor is responding and acknowledging patients’ fear, anger, frustration and sadness. But I have always believed that it takes more time to listen and answer empathetically — time that is hard to ignore when you know there are other patients who have been waiting a long time outside to see you.

A paper this week in a medical journal, though, has made me think a little differently about time and empathy. The study, in The Archives of Internal Medicine, found that physicians overwhelmingly miss opportunities to express empathy to their patients. (New York Times)

Inhofe Report Exposes Environmental Groups as ‘Massive Democratic Political Machines’ - WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today released an updated comprehensive investigation into the financial and political activities employed by charitable and environmental organizations claiming to be non-partisan. (EPW)

How the energy crunch led to the credit crunch - What follows is excerpted from “Credit Crunch & Energy Crunch,” released this week from Merril Lynch’s global commodities group.

The main function of the financial sector in the global economy is to channel savings and risk capital into productive investments in the real economy. The function of the energy sector is arguably to supply enough energy to meet our economic growth targets.

Had the global energy sector been a free market open to investment, the financial sector would have probably pushed excess capital into energy rather than housing, and bank balance sheets would probably be in much better shape. As a case in point, natural gas prices in the United States are now half of those in Europe, mostly thanks to a large market-driven investment effort that has resulted in a significant expansion in domestic gas output. How did U.S. banks end up with so much money in their hands? In part, China’s integration into the global economy coupled with an undervalued exchange rate and a high propensity to save created a major savings glut. A similar effect is observed across a broad range of emerging economies. (Jeff White, Financial Post)

This is no morality play: The desire to punish the ‘greedy’ on principle remains strong - The widespread invocation of “greed” to explain the U.S. financial crisis has not been without its comic moments. First there was Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden telling CBS’s Katie Couric: “When the stock market crashed [in 1929], Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed.” Slight problems there, in the fact that (1) FDR did not become president until 1933, and (2) there was no commercial TV at the time. Still, the important thing was to ritually condemn those “princes of greed,” whoever they were. (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

Nuclear threat still very real, activist says - Dr. Helen Caldicott is a pediatrician by training, but she calls what she does now "global preventive medicine."

The longtime Australian anti-nuclear activist is in Halifax to give a public lecture tonight on how nuclear energy and global warming affect your health and to speak at an international conference organized by Physicians for Global Survival this weekend.

Ms. Caldicott, who was the subject of the Oscar-winning 1982 short documentary If You Love This Planet, said the nuclear disarmament movement had some success, but the threat remains.

"We did a lot to stop the Cold War, but then the weapons stayed in place because (United States President Bill) Clinton didn’t have the courage to take on the Pentagon," she said in a Halifax hotel lobby Wednesday morning.

"We could be destroyed and vaporized any second of any day." (Chronicle Herald)

Caldicott is still alive? Haven't seen or heard of her in years. Sounds like she's still as much a crank as ever.

Uh-huh... Eating to save the planet - Remember Brown Rice Week, those seven days of ritual deprivation at university to clear Third World debt? Well, good news - it's back. Once again we are being invited to change the world through our plates, only this time it lasts 52 weeks a year and it's not just Africa that we're going to save, it's the entire planet.

Ecotarianism is the new buzzword, a kind of greatest hits of all our favourite food movements from the past decade. It's about sourcing locally, organically, sustainably, in season and leaving the Earth's resources untouched. It's goodbye to £3 chickens imported from Thailand and hello to bean casseroles; no to winter asparagus and a resounding yes to celeriac mash. (Tony Turnbull, The Times)

Woman ‘given bovine TB by garden badger’ - A woman who contracted bovine tuberculosis is believed to have caught the disease from a badger that wandered into her garden, raising fears over the spread of TB and its threat to human health.

Experts gave warning of the threat posed by bovine TB after analysis of the infection of the woman, a former veterinary nurse from Cornwall, her daughter and the family’s dog. (The Times)

This will lift the push to cull badgers to control bovine TB.

Amphibians facing a wipeout by 2050 - Half of Europe’s amphibian species could be wiped out in the next 40 years. Scientists from the Zoological Society of London say that the combined force of climate change, pollution, disease and habitat loss and degradation has left many with “nowhere to run”.

After assessing the amphibians’ prospects, they predicted that more than 50 per cent of the 81 species native to Europe faced extinction by 2050.

Even surviving species, they said, were likely to suffer a decline in numbers and distribution, including the common toad in Britain, which is already being affected by climate change. (The Times)

September 25, 2008

Public Employee Pensions Endangered by State Officials Playing Global Warming Politics, New Report Says - Washington, DC - Already at-risk public employee pension funds are being placed at further risk by state officials who are lobbying for global warming regulation and by state officials who are ignoring the risks posed by such regulation, says a new report, "Pensions in Peril: Are State Officials Risking Public Employee Retirement Benefits by Playing Global Warming Politics?," by the National Center for Public Policy Research. (National Center)

Oops! CO2 emissions booming, shifting east, researchers report - Despite widespread concern about climate change, annual carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and manufacturing cement have grown 38 percent since 1992, from 6.1 billion tons of carbon to 8.5 billion tons in 2007.

At the same time, the source of emissions has shifted dramatically as energy use has been growing slowly in many developed countries but more quickly in some developing countries, most notably in rapidly developing Asian countries such as China and India. These are the findings of an analysis completed by the Department of Energy's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

"The United States was the largest emitter of CO2 in 1992, followed in order by China, Russia, Japan and India," said Gregg Marland of ORNL's Environmental Sciences Division. "The most recent estimates suggest that India passed Japan in 2002, China became the largest emitter in 2006, and India is poised to pass Russia to become the third largest emitter, probably this year." (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

These developing regions are not covered by Kyoto restrictions and they have (rightly) refused to consider any future restrictions. Even under the virtually impossible case that atmospheric carbon dioxide proved to be a significant driver of climate developed world restrictions will do nothing.

Gorebull warming makes tigers eat people? 'There are many tiger widows here' - In the Sunderbans forests between India and Bangladesh, climate change is pitting people against tigers - with deadly consequences. John Vidal reports on how extreme weather and shrinking habitats are bringing humans and beasts into closer and more perilous contact (John Vidal, The Guardian)

Knock, Knock: Where is the Evidence for Dangerous Human-Caused Global Warming? (pdf) - Before human-caused global warming can become an economic problem, it first has to be identified by scientific study as a dangerous hazard for the planet, distinct from natural climate change.

This notwithstanding, a number of distinguished economists have recently written compendious papers or reports on the issue, for example Nicholas Stern (2006) and William Nordhaus (2007); in Australia, Ross Garnaut is currently undertaking a similar analysis. These persons, and many other public commentators and politicians as well, have indicated that they accept that there is a scientific consensus that dangerous, human-caused global warming is occurring, as set by the views and advice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The IPCC is the United Nations body whose first chairman, John Houghton, wrote in 1994 that ‘unless we announce disasters, no one will listen’. From that point forward, it was obvious that IPCC pronouncements needed to be subjected to independent critical analysis; in fact, the opposite has happened, and increasingly the world’s press and politicians have come to treat IPCC utterances as if they were scribed in stone by Moses. This is a reflection, first, of superb marketing by the IPCC and its supporting cast of influential environmental and scientific organisations; second, of strong media bias towards alarmist news stories in general, and global warming political correctness in particular; and, third, of a lack of legislators and senior bureaucrats possessed of a sound knowledge of even elementary science, coupled with a similar lack of science appreciation throughout the wider electorate – our societies thereby becoming vulnerable to what can be termed ‘frisbee science’, i.e. spin. (Robert M. Carter, Economic Analysis and Policy)

WHO says climate change poses health risks - The World Health Organization on Wednesday warned Asia Pacific countries that they could be vulnerable to health risks and food shortages as a result of climate change. (AFP)

Sure it poses health risks and cold is particularly bad for food production but there's nothing we can do to control it so we'll have to cope with what we get.

Going over the top in the ‘climate war’ - A recent BBC series showed how dubious scientific conclusions are weapons in the politicised debate over global warming. (Ben Pile, sp!ked)

We might yet all disappear in the blink of an eye - OPINION We are intelligent enough to wipe out our species, but whether we are smart enough to prevent this remains to be seen, writes 

FOR ALL practical purposes, it hardly matters whether global warming is a natural cyclical phenomenon or caused by industrialisation.

In respect of the latter, even if it were possible for developed nations to de-industrialise without grinding to a halt, and if it was certain that their doing so would slow down or stop global warming, it still wouldn't matter, for they lack the necessary will. Moreover, even if they were willing to embark on such a programme themselves, they haven't the power to impose it on others. (David Adams, Irish Times)

Middle-Class Greenery Only ‘Ski’ Deep - In his Labour Party Conference speech yesterday in Manchester, Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, was minded to raise his target of 60% for cutting carbon emissions by 2050 to 80% - “And I am asking the climate change committee to report by October on the case for, by 2050 not a 60% reduction in our carbon emissions, but an 80% cut.” This really is the very worst of political hot air, and I am afraid it is difficult to take seriously such blather, especially in the light of two highly-revealing surveys reported today. (Global Warming Politics)

No Hope for MDGs Without Climate Plan - UNITED NATIONS, Sep 24 - With 2.6 billion of the world's poor affected daily by climate change, the linkages between environment, health and poverty cannot be questioned any longer, U.N. experts say. (IPS)

We totally agree development is urgently needed and that it is protective against a hostile climate but to suggest the poor are daily affected by anthropogenic global warming is a nonsense that destroys the UNDP's argument.

Vegetarian Shift Seen Helping Climate, Not Poor - OSLO - Eating less meat can help rich nations to combat global warming but may not work for poor countries where people depend on livestock for survival, a leading expert said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Where do these dipsticks live? As the poor climb out of poverty they add something to their previously miserable diets, is it a few spoons of lentils, an extra bowl of rice or maybe a portion of, um... meat?

Melting, Melting ... Well, Not Exactly - Predictions of an ice-free Arctic prove to be just a lot of hot air. (Dan Gainor, Business & Media Institute)

Nope: Poorer nations need urgent help to mitigate impact of climate change, UN told - 24 September 2008 – The leaders of Nauru and Suriname, two developing nations struggling to protect their vulnerable environments from the ravages wrought by climate change, issued a call to the General Assembly today for increased assistance to boost their resilience to the effects of global warming.

Phosphate mining has stripped Nauru of its farmable land, and greenhouse gas emissions are leading to a sea level rise – one metre in this century by conservative estimates – that will flood the remaining habitable terrain, President Marcus Stephen told the Assembly’s high-level debate. (UN News)

One meter sea level rise this century "by conservative estimates"? Not even. As it happens the absurdly alarmist IPCC AR4 estimated a range but a whole meter is well above it. Realistic estimates are 4-8 inches (0.1-0.2 meters) for the 21st Century (the same as preceding centuries, in fact).

Crisis No Reason to Dilute Climate Plan - EU - BRUSSELS - The global financial crisis is no reason to water down the European Union's flagship plan to fight climate change, the bloc's environment chief said on Wednesday.

Even before the current financial meltdown, many EU companies said the programme, involving cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, would hurt them by boosting costs. (Reuters)

EU Lawmakers Plan to Make Climate Goals Cheaper - BRUSSELS - EU lawmakers will vote next month on steps to lower carbon penalties for industry and funnel billions of euros annually into climate change-fighting technologies, a European Parliament document shows. (Reuters)

'Ban dirty coal' says government environment watchdog - The UK government's own environmental watchdog has called for a halt to the construction of a new generation of coal-fired power stations unless they are built with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology installed from the outset.

The comments, made as part of the Environment Agency's official response to the government's consultation on CCS, also urged faster progress in proving that the technology was commercially viable. (The Guardian)

T. Boone Pickens backs Proposition 10, from which he would profit - The oil billionaire wants California to invest $5 billion in rebates to help promote use of natural gas in vehicles, though few consumers could benefit. (Nancy Vogel, Los Angeles Times)

It needn't cost the earth - At the moment it's too difficult to live the green life. Obstacles should be removed and green choices made cheaper and easier (Ben Caldecott, The Guardian)

Rising cost of oil will not derail climate strategy, says Hilary Benn - Hilary Benn today defended the government's measures to help people with domestic fuel bills and pledged that the rising cost of oil would not derail its efforts to tackle climate change.

In his speech to Labour party conference, the environment secretary said he still believed the best way to reduce bills was through loft and cavity insulation rather than one-off payments. (The Guardian)

France's EDF Buys British Energy Firm - PARIS, Sept. 24 -- French power provider Electricite de France said Wednesday it has agreed to acquire British Energy Group for about $23.2 billion in cash in a deal that would create a powerhouse in nuclear energy.

EDF is already the world's largest nuclear plant operator, running all 58 of France's nuclear reactors. British Energy operates eight nuclear power stations. The combined company would be Britain's largest power company overall as measured by generating capacity -- with 16.5 gigawatts of installed capacity. (Associated Press)

Colorful study probes climate change, fall foliage - UNDERHILL, Vt. -- Could climate change dull the blazing palette of New England's fall foliage? The answer could have serious implications for one of the region's signature attractions, which draws thousands of "leaf peepers" every autumn.

Biologists at the University of Vermont's Proctor Maple Research Center will do some leaf peeping of their own to find out - studying how temperature affects the development of autumn colors and whether the warming climate could mute them, prolong the foliage viewing season or delay it. (Associated Press)

$45,000.00 to leaf peep?

Right... Gore urges civil disobedience to stop coal plants - NEW YORK - Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental crusader Al Gore urged young people on Wednesday to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction of coal plants without the ability to store carbon.

The former U.S. vice president, whose climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Academy Award, told a philanthropic meeting in New York City that "the world has lost ground to the climate crisis."

"If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," Gore told the Clinton Global Initiative gathering to loud applause.

"I believe for a carbon company to spend money convincing the stock-buying public that the risk from the global climate crisis is not that great represents a form of stock fraud because they are misrepresenting a material fact," he said. "I hope these state attorney generals around the country will take some action on that." (Reuters)

You know it's the darndest thing... I keep watching the mid troposphere temperature time series because that is where the enhanced greenhouse signature should appear since, for increased down-welling radiation to warm the surface the mid troposphere temperature must rise faster if for no other reason than it being a lossy system (not all radiation being returned to Earth). One thing that leaps out at me is the El Niño spike and its interruption of what appeared to be an oscillation and so I ran trends for the period before, during and following that event. Here's the trends plotted from start of series (December 1978) to end 1996 (plot was just falling through '0' average at that time), then the next 6 years until temperature kind of stabilizes (1/97-12/02) and finally the period since. Funny how all three trend lines are negative:

Al's right -- kind of... World is losing ground against climate change, Gore warns at Clinton Global Initiative - NEW YORK - Bill Clinton's annual summit of world leaders and celebrities opened Wednesday with the former president sharing the stage with rock star Bono and dignitaries including his former vice president, who warned that humanity is struggling in the fight against climate change.

Al Gore pointed to a number of natural disasters as evidence, including storms in Haiti, hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and fires in California.

"Since we met here last year, the world has lost ground to the climate crisis," Gore said at the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative. "This is a rout. We are losing badly." (Associated Press)

It's true, warmers are on a hiding to nothing these days although it is not really skeptics routing them but Ma Nature. Look at the graphic for the lower troposphere (where warming should be less than the mid troposphere according to enhanced greenhouse theory but obviously isn't): trivial warming trend to end 1997; slight warming from the El Niño of '98 through 2002 and then; crash, big time cooling. It's all gone wrong for them, hasn't it.

“The Impact of Oklahoma’s Winter Wheat Belt on the Mesoscale Environment” by McPherson et al. 2004 - Dr. Rene McPherson of the University of Oklahoma has contributed significantly to documenting the role of landscape processes as a first order climate forcing. This weblog is intended to provide much deserved recognition to her very important research on this subject. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

ISO-8000 Data Quality - something climate science could benefit from - I received the following email in my inbox this morning, inviting me to attend the first ISO 8000 data quality conference. Looking at the membership directory for this group, I’m not at all surprised that NASA, NOAA, NCDC, NWS, GISS and others are not members, given the mess that the surface data set is in.

But this is exactly what is needed, better data quality control. We have ISO 9000 all over private industry, to make sure that products meet or exceed quality specifications. Yet even though our government has the Data Quality Act (DQA) which is supposed to cover things like climate data, the simple fact is that it is not enforced. And even when it is questioned, such as I did last year sending a letter to NASA regarding DQA issues, (twice) it was simply ignored.

If climatologists want people to trust the data they gather and present, having an ISO 8000 certification would go a long way towards providing assurance. Given that entire economies will be affected by policy based on climate data that has been presented, wouldn’t it make sense to at least hold it to the same quality standard as private industry now embraces voluntarily? - Anthony (Watts Up with That?)

Solar Winds Cooling Warmist Doomsaying - Global warming alarmists face yet another challenge to their predictions of an inferno of doom. The solar wind is losing power, and is at a fifty year low, according to NASA.

The Ulysses solar probe reports a 13% drop in temperature, a 20% drop in density, and a 30% drop-off in the sun`s magnetic field, marking this as the weakest period of solar wind on record (records go back to the 1960`s).

What does this mean? The Heliosphere is thinning, and thus will block fewer cosmic rays. Heinrick Svensmark theorizes that an increase in cosmic rays reaching the Earth will drive cloud formation, increase the planet`s albedo, thus cooling it.

Is this the cause of the Earth`s unusually cool year? According to Anthony Watts, the Earth`s albedo reached a nadir in 1997, and has risen sharply since. Is this related to the weakening of solar activity? We`ve seen few sunspots in Solar Cycle 24, the solar conveyor belt has slowed to a crawl, and now the solar wind is bottoming out. (Timothy Birdnow, American Thinker)

A Stunning Pro-Drilling Victory - With the clock ticking down to what some are calling “Energy Freedom Day” — October 1, 2008, when the congressional bans on offshore oil drilling and onshore oil-shale development are set to expire — anti-drilling Democrats have backed down from a high-stakes stand-off that could have caused a government shutdown and will now result in the complete demise of the drilling bans. This is a stunning victory for grassroots activists over environmental special interests and business-as-usual in Washington. If not derailed, it also will be great news for all American consumers. (Phil Kerpen, NRO)

Drilling Forward - In a stunning defeat, congressional Democrats were forced to allow the quarter-century-old offshore drilling ban to expire. But the fight has only begun, with the struggle now shifting to state legislatures. (IBD)

No Coal For You! - Joe Biden wants to develop clean coal technology — for the Chinese. As for the U.S., he wants the Saudi Arabia of coal to be the Bangladesh of energy.

Biden has joked that the difference between him and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is that she's "good-looking." One of the real differences is that Palin wants to develop America's abundant domestic energy resources — all of them. (IBD)

Coal power stations must have carbon capture and storage, Environment Agency says - New coal-fired power stations shouldn't be built unless they have the technology to filter out damaging greenhouse gases, the Environment Agency has warned.

It said new coal-powered stations should only be given the go-ahead if they are fitted from the outset with carbon capture and storage facilities.

And they should be given a strict timetable to prove they had the ability to safely draw off and store CO2 emissions if the plant was to continue running. (Daily Telegraph)

Really? Green Energy Should Create 20 Mln Jobs by 2030 - UN - UNITED NATIONS - Development of alternative energy should create more than 20 million jobs around the world in coming decades as governments adopt policies to address the depletion of resources, according to a UN report released on Wednesday.

How many real jobs would it destroy?

Britain Looks to France for Nuclear Future - TORNESS, Scotland - Peering down from a viewing gallery high up in Torness nuclear power station, plant director Brian Cowell points out a turbine about the size of a large off-road vehicle.

"That alone is enough to power about 2 million homes in Scotland," he says. "It is the equivalent of building 600 wind turbines."

The turbine is one of two housed at Torness, an imposing blue-grey plant perched on the east coast of Scotland, about 35 miles south of Edinburgh.

Torness is one of eight British nuclear power stations owned by operator British Energy. Responsible for around 20 percent of Britain's electricity supply, the company agreed on Wednesday to be bought for 12.5 billion pounds by France's state-owned EDF.

Cowell's office looks out over the open grassland that could be the site of a new, French-owned station likely to be built if the deal goes through. (Reuters)

China Needs "Energy Tax" For Efficiency -Think-Tank - BEIJING - China should introduce an "energy tax" as early as possible while raising taxes on major resource products to encourage energy saving and improve energy efficiency, a government think-tank said in a report published on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Study suggests air quality regulations miss key pollutants -- A new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder reveals that air quality regulations may not effectively target a large source of fine, organic particle pollutants that contribute to hazy skies and poor air quality over the Los Angeles region. (

Look closely before leaping - For more than a year, medical and legal controversies surrounding an especially radical form of bariatric surgery have been in the Australian news. While the legal and medical investigations have yet to be resolved or all the facts made public, what is striking in following this story are two precautionary lessons that it highlights for patients and their families. (Junkfood Science)

Here's the environmental whacko group with more of their ridiculous scaremongering: Consumer groups fret over chemicals in teen cosmetics - Teenagers may be contaminated with potentially risky chemicals from cosmetics, according to a small study released Wednesday from the Environmental Working Group. (USA TODAY)

By the way, the fact that traces of these compounds are found in the girls' urine actually means the girls are dealing with them properly and excreting these along with other unused compounds. EWG either doesn't know or deliberately neglected to mention this is a perfectly normal and expected result of absolutely no concern.

Free school meals to teach benefits of healthy eating - Primary pupils are to be offered free school meals in a pilot scheme intended to improve behaviour, cut obesity and promote healthy eating. (The Times)

Good! UC hits tree-sitters with expensive surprise - Berkeley's infamous tree-sitters have been hit with a rude surprise since they came down to earth: Judges are socking them with thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees.

Ironically, much of the money - which could total more than $10,000 per sitter - is going straight to the University of California, the very institution the tree-sitters were protesting as they tried to save a grove of trees outside Memorial Stadium. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Wildfires reduced by human activity - For the last 2,000 years the climate has been the major cause of wildfires, but during the late 19th and early 20th century, human activity dramatically reduced burning in many parts of the world, according to new research published in Nature Geoscience this week. (PhysOrg)

More? Less? Make up you minds guys, either humans cause more fires or we suppress them.

Today's yawn: Boxer calls absent Bush officials 'cowardly' - WASHINGTON – Sen. Barbara Boxer called top Bush administration officials cowards Wednesday after they failed to attend a hearing on the administration's environmental record.

Boxer, D-Calif. and chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was incensed that two high-level officials at the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Interior skipped the committee hearing.

“They're cowardly and they have been a danger to the people of this country,” Boxer said. (Associated Press)

September 24, 2008

Oh boy, Jimmy's right out of his tree: NASA climate expert warns Kansans of dire consequences of global warming - TOPEKA — One day after a scientist told Kansas leaders not to worry about global warming, one of the leading experts on climate change stated Tuesday that if carbon dioxide emissions continue to increase it will eventually mean the end of life.

“If we don’t get this thing under control we are going to destroy the creation,” said James Hansen, who heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and was one of the first scientists to raise the alarm about global warming in the 1980s.

Speaking to more than 500 people at the Kansas Wind and Renewable Energy Conference, Hansen called for policymakers to phase out coal-burning power plants by 2030. This will reduce carbon dioxide emissions that he said have already caused serious and possibly irreversible damage to Earth. (Lawrence Journal-World)

If we don’t get this thing under control we are going to destroy the creation”? Oh Jimmy! For the greatest part of the last 150 million years Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide level has been much higher than that of today while life on Earth thrived. In fact for much of the history of life on Earth the planet has been not slightly but greatly warmer than it is now and ice caps but brief occurrences on a world too cold (the tropics extended to the current mid-temperate zone and the temperate zone extended to the poles). Such conditions obviously did not destroy the creation.

Fast? Try The Younger Dryas - Where climate change is concerned, context and history are everything. This is why anybody daring to comment on the possible effects of current climate change on the distribution and ecology of living organisms must read a brilliant new review published recently in the scientific journal, Progress in Physical Geography [see: G. M. MacDonald et al.: ‘Impacts of climate change on species, populations and communities: palaeobiogeographical insights and frontiers’, Progress in Physical Geography 32(2) (2008), pp. 139 - 172: DOI: 10.1177/0309133308094081. An Abstract and .PDF are available at Sage Journals Online]. This review is by some of the world’s leading authorities on palaeobiogeography, the study of the distribution of organisms through geological time. (Global Warming Politics)

Palin, McCain Disagree on Causes of Global Warming - No one, including Gov. Sarah Palin, questions that Alaska's climate is changing more rapidly than any other state's. But her skepticism about the causes and what needs to be done to address the consequences stands in sharp contrast to the views of her running mate, Sen. John McCain, and place her to the right of the Bush administration and several other Republican governors.

Although Palin established a sub-cabinet to deal with climate change issues a year ago, she has focused on how to adapt to global warming rather than how to combat it, and she has publicly questioned scientists' near-consensus that human activity plays a role in the rising temperatures. (Juliet Eilperin, Washington Pos)

Well, hopefully Sarah can take John aside and give him a few clues about the whole gorebull warming farce -- she seems pretty rational about it.

Oh CNN... Polar bears resort to cannibalism as Arctic ice shrinks -- Summer is over in the northern hemisphere, but it's been another chilling season for researchers who study Arctic sea ice.

"It's definitely a bad report. We did pick up little bit from last year, but this is over 30 percent below what used to be normal," said Walt Meier, a research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

This past summer, the Arctic sea ice dwindled to its second lowest level. Arctic sea ice is usually 1 to 3 meters, or as much as 9 feet thick. It grows during autumn and winter and shrinks in the spring and summer.

Scientists have monitored sea ice conditions for about 50 years with the help of satellites. Changes in the past decade have been alarming to climate researchers and oceanographers. (CNN)

So, CNN thinks Sputnik began Arctic ice surveys? Granted Sputnik made history October 4, 1957 and technically opened the door to satellite monitoring of surface conditions but sea ice area surveillance by satellite did not begin until the late 70s while moderately useful information did not become available from this source until recently (satellites still confuse surface melt and water pooling with open water). We suspect CNN confuses the old cold war submarine runs and surface ship voyages with modern-era monitoring from space. Then there's the throw away headline (cannibalism did get a brief mention in the depths of the piece) which is pretty silly -- we have pointed out many times that this behavior has been observed as long as people have been watching bears, regardless of sea ice extent (left to readers to search for references this time, there are plenty out there and they are not hard to find). Stupid piece.

Fat Polar Bears Are Killing The Polar Bears (Climate Resistance)

Atlantic Canada facing big chill - Some scientists are cautioning that global warming could mean colder weather for Atlantic Canada.

Melting Arctic ice may cause cooler water to drift south and change the climate of the eastern provinces in a different way than many people would expect, said Ken Drinkwater, who worked for three decades at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography before moving to the Institute of Marine Research in Norway five years ago.

"That’s one thing that could affect a good part of the North Atlantic," Mr. Drinkwater said in an interview Monday in Halifax.

"It could happen." (Chronicle Herald)

Radical environmentalists part of economic meltdown - Collapse of financial institutions is just part of a disturbing failure of leadership in the business segment of society. It is part of a wider crisis of leadership at all levels of society, but is the most immediate and potentially dangerous right now. The business world pushed by government has capitulated to greed and deception and has put people in financial jeopardy. Sadly, all this plays to a conundrum identified by David Lillenthal, Big business is basic to the very life of this country; and yet many--perhaps most--Americans have a deep-seated fear and an emotional repugnance to it. Here is monumental contradiction.

The financial debacle is serious but ultimately small change compared to the cost of unnecessary programs to deal with non-existent global warming, natural climate change and many other so-called environmental problems.  (Tim Ball, CFP)

Climate Response And Radiative Forcing From Mineral Aerosols By Mahowald Et Al 2006 - Climate Science has promoted the perspective that climate forcings involve much more than just the radiative forcing from carbon dioxide. This viewpoint is also emphasized in a National Research Council report National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp.

There was a paper in 2006 that investigated one of these issues; the role of mineral aerosols as a climate forcing. The paper is Mahowald N. M., M. Yoshioka, W. D. Collins, A. J. Conley, D. W. Fillmore, D. B. Coleman (2006), Climate response and radiative forcing from mineral aerosols during the last glacial maximum, pre-industrial, current and doubled-carbon dioxide climates, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L20705, doi:10.1029/2006GL026126. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Wow! The American anti-intellectual threat - ... Climate change, for example, poses dire threats to the planet that must be assessed according to prevailing scientific norms and the evolving capacity of climate science. The Nobel Prize-winning global scientific process called the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has set the gold standard for scientific rigor in analyzing the threats of human-induced climate change. (Jeffrey D. Sachs, Today's Zaman)

Delusion, really wishful thinking or outrageous porky? Hard to tell, Sachs might merely believe the propaganda. Bottom line however is that the IPCC's mandate precludes scientific rigor by virtue of being premised entirely on dangerous human interference with the climate, anything else is outside their purview. In the real world, however, we must preface IPCC output with "If dangerous human interference with the climate exists... " while knowing that observations do not support PlayStation® Climatology-generated claims that it does.

On the Threshold of Abrupt Climate Change - Abrupt climate change is a potential menace that hasn't received much attention. That's about to change.

Through its Climate Change Prediction Program, the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) recently launched IMPACTS - Investigation of the Magnitudes and Probabilities of Abrupt Climate Transitions - a program led by William Collins of Berkeley Lab's Earth Sciences Division (ESD) that brings together six national laboratories to attack the problem of abrupt climate change, or ACC.

Sparked by the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize that was shared by Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the reality of global warming finally got through to the majority of the world's population. (SPX)

Trying 'Abrupt Climate Change" now that gorebull warming is failing to drive the populace? Why not, "global weirding" and "dangerous climate interference" have failed to catch on, looming ice age has been done and global warming, well, isn't.

More right than they know: First US emissions market serves as trial balloon - NEW YORK, Sept 23 - When 10 states in the U.S. Northeast launch the country's first cap and trade emissions market this week, their greatest service to the fight against global warming may be the mistakes they make. (Reuters)

The biggest mistake is having anything to do with "carbon constraint" and hopefully they will demonstrate that to the rest of the country (apparently they've learnt nothing from the European farce).

EU Climate Policy Falters (yet again) - The “success” of the EU’s climate policy has long been a talking point for those who want Congress to enact energy-rationing legislation to fight global warming. If Europe can do it, they assert, then so can the U. S.

In trying to shame the Congress into expensive-energy climate policies, global warming alarmists are abetted by European leaders, who routinely admonish countries like the United States, Japan and Canada for not keeping up with the EU’s efforts on climate change.

The problem with this line of reasoning employed by alarmists and Eurocrats alike is that the EU’s marquee climate policy—the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)—is a disaster. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

It will all add up, Liberals insist - OTTAWA–Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion is asking Canadians to trust him with a campaign promise to take $40 billion from their pockets in the form of carbon tax and give it back in income tax cuts.

That pledge is at the heart of the Liberal election platform unveiled yesterday, a strategy that attempts to woo voters with new spending programs and tax cuts totalling $55 billion over the next four years.

Dion gave his word that his party's Green Shift strategy – which would hike the cost of fossil fuels – would be revenue neutral. (Toronto Star)

But Stéphane, people remember the GST, that was supposed to be "revenue neutral" too. More importantly, energy rationing will not work unless people are deliberately impoverished while "revenue neutral" would require taking more off them than is now the case or returning less (due to the cost of running such an absurd two-way transfer of people's wealth). Either way people lose and the only question is by how much.

D'oh! British public 'unwilling' to pay for climate change bill - Most people in the UK want more action on the environment, but don't want to pay more taxes to fund it, a new survey has revealed (The Guardian)

Big talk: Australia Govt Says No Carbon Trade Delay - CANBERRA - Australia's plan to impose a carbon emissions trade scheme on its US$1 trillion economy within two years will not be affected by global financial turmoil, Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said on Tuesday.

Wong, in an interview with Reuters, said the cost of doing nothing or delaying the regime's planned mid-2010 introduction would rapidly spiral with Australia already in the grip of long-term drought and climate change. (Reuters)

They still need to get any legislation through what is now a fairly hostile (and conflicted) Senate -- some of the votes they need are Green & don't think the proposals are sufficiently misanthropic while the others are unimpressed by such draconian (and pointless) measures. The K.Rudd government talks a good game.

EU Has Little to Show From Energy Scheme - Court - BRUSSELS - A European Union energy saving programme used up 250 million euros (US$366 million) of taxpayers' money but ended with little proof of progress, the European Court of Auditors said on Tuesday.

The report by the external auditor of the EU comes as the bloc gears up to spend billions of euros overhauling buildings and industries to make them more efficient and to curb carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in its fight against climate change. (Reuters)

EU Lawmakers Set to Brake Carbon Curbs on Cars - BRUSSELS - European Union lawmakers are set to slam the brakes on plans to curb carbon dioxide emissions from cars, easing the burden on the auto industry in the fight against climate change, documents circulated on Tuesday showed. (Reuters)

NASA’s press conference on the state of the sun - I just finished participating in the press teleconference call in for reporters with NASA and their panel of solar experts today. There was a lot of interesting discussions and questions.

The three general things that struck me most from this conference were:

1) We don’t know enough yet to predict solar cycles, we aren’t “in the game”, and “we don’t really know how big next maximum will be”.

2) We don’t see any link between the minimums, cosmic rays (which are increasing now) and earth’s climate. This was downplayed several times. Some quotes were “none of us here are experts on climate, and when asked about Galactic Cosmic Rays and Svensmark’s climate theory is the answer was “speculation”.

3) The minimum we are in now is “unique for the space age”, but “within norms for the last 200 years”, but we are also surprised to learn how much the solar wind has diminished on a truly “entire sun” scale. (Watts Up With That?)

Uh-oh... Ulysses spacecraft data indicate Solar System shield lowering -- Data from the joint ESA/NASA Ulysses mission show that the Sun has reduced its output of solar wind to the lowest levels since accurate readings have become available. This current state of the Sun could reduce the natural shielding that envelops our Solar System. (

The world according to Seth: Sun's wind and output on extended dimmer switch - WASHINGTON — The sun has dialed back its furnace to the lowest levels seen in the space age, new measurements from a space probe show. But don't worry — it's too small a difference to change life on Earth, scientists said Tuesday. In fact, it means satellites can stay in orbit a little longer. (AP)

Adjusting Pristine Data - On September 15, 2008, Anthony DePalma of the New York Times wrote an article about the Mohonk Lakes USHCN weather station titled Weather History Offers Insight Into Global Warming. This article claimed, in part, that the average annual temperature has risen 2.7 degrees in 112 years at this station. What struck me about the article was the rather quaint description of the manner in which temperatures are recorded, which I have excerpted here (emphasis mine): (John Goetz, Watts Up With That?)

Heavy Snow Fall In South Africa Blamed On Global Warming - Phantom warming still cited as NASA sounds alarm bells on greatly reduced solar activity (Steve Watson,

From CO2 Science this week:

High-Temperature Tolerance in Corals: Is it static or amenable to enhancement by repeated exposure to warmth severe enough to trigger bleaching?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 597 individual scientists from 352 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Northern Russian Treeline, Russia. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Moss: How do earth's mosses respond to atmospheric CO2 enrichment?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Alfalfa, Mongolian Oak, Potato, and Sugarcane.

Journal Reviews:
Kilimanjaro's Summit Glaciers: What has been causing their gradual demise?

Eurasian River Flows: Are they increasing in response to global warming?

Surface Temperatures of the East China Sea: How did they vary over the Holocene?

Upward-Migrating Plants in the Swiss Alps: Are they being "pushed off the planet," as James Hansen has suggested should happen?

The Impact of Elevated CO2 on Herbivore and Pathogen Damage of a Common Prairie Legume: How will the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content impact the future evolution and population dynamics of Lespedeza capitata?

Mackay, IDTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Mackay, ID. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Mackay's mean annual temperature has experienced no net change!. Not much global warming here! (

Is reality beginning to intrude, even at The Guardian? Arctic 'methane chimneys' raise fears of runaway climate change - Researchers say evidence suggests that the frozen seabed is perforated and is starting to leak methane, but other scientists urge caution (The Guardian)

They are skipping a chance to promote rank hysteria? Goodness, George Moonbat may have to find another host for his bizarre diatribes.

Essential trace gas as a pollutant: ARB chairman tells U.S. Senate committee Clean Air Act is powerful tool to fight global warming - Washington, D.C. Sep. 23, 2008 - Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, today told a Senate Committee in Washington D.C. that Congressional action is urgently needed to set a firm and ambitious cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

The ARB chairman addressed the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, chaired by Senator Boxer.

"California, and other states are already seeing the effects of global warming," said Nichols. "We need action now. Addressing climate change with tough federal legislation must be the first item in the new President's inbox." (Air Resources Board)

Public Employee Pensions Endangered by State Officials Playing Global Warming Politics, New Report Says - Washington, DC - Already at-risk public employee pension funds are being placed at further risk by state officials who are lobbying for global warming regulation and by state officials who are ignoring the risks posed by such regulation, says a new report, "Pensions in Peril: Are State Officials Risking Public Employee Retirement Benefits by Playing Global Warming Politics?," by the National Center for Public Policy Research. (National Center)

Economist: Global warming a back-burner issue - A Washington D.C. economist says global warming is not America’s most pressing concern in these economically challenged times.

“We have to look at the big picture,” says Margo Thorning, a senior vice president and chief economist with the American Council for Capital Formation. “... I don’t think global warming is our worst problem by far.”

Thorning says electricity is essential for emerging countries working their way out of poverty. And her data shows the increased bulk of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment comes from places like China, India and Africa.

“Global warming is an issue, but to me, it’s less important an issue than alleviating the need for electricity that people have,” Thorning says. “I am interested in people living longer, happier, healthier lives. They need electricity. ... They cannot claw their way out of poverty and abject misery without electricity.”

Thorning, who spoke to about 100 business leaders Tuesday at a breakfast meeting sponsored by Koch Industries Inc. at Wichita Country Club, says the United States’ sagging economy would take another hit if measures were taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through alternative energy sources. (Wichita Business Journal)

Congress still protecting you – from lightbulbs! - An act sponsored by 25 representatives asking the government to reconsider its ban on incandescent light bulbs has been stalled in committee – and the leading sponsor is faulting Democratic leadership.

The Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act highlights growing concerns over the safety and environmental impact of compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs. Before the sale of incandescent bulbs is banned, the representatives are asking the comptroller general to prove replacement with CFLs will be cost-effective, reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent in the United States by 2025 and that the bulbs will not pose a health risk to the general public. (Chelsea Schilling, WorldNetDaily)

Labour Conference: Gordon Brown says CO2 targets must be raised to 80% by 2050 - Gordon Brown is ready to adopt much tougher targets for slashing the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. He made clear that he wants the current target of a 60 per cent cut in CO2 by 2050 raised to 80 per cent. (Daily Telegraph)

Bill Would End Coastal Oil Drilling Ban - House Democrats are preparing a stopgap spending measure that would eliminate a 26-year-old ban on coastal oil drilling, avoiding a showdown with Republicans. (New York Times)

The Democrats' 'Kill Drill' Bill - With nearly 70% of voters demanding more domestic oil, the Democratic Congress is about to sneak a new drilling ban into a must-pass government funding bill — while claiming it supports drilling. (IBD)

The Coming Energy Abundance: How new technology can lower prices and reshape the global economy - As politicians, consumers, and manufacturers fret over the price of oil, there's good news on the energy front: Natural gas production is booming from "huge shale beds found throughout North America," reports The New York Times. The improving technology of underground horizontal drilling and fracturing has opened up trillions of cubic feet of gas that had formerly been thought unobtainable. And natural gas can also be used to run automobiles (after about $2,000 in conversion costs). These and other alternative methods of lowering fuel prices could dramatically reshape not only energy policy but the global economy. (Jon Basil Utley, Reason)

Energy Crunch Looms in Britain - Evidence is mounting in Britain that the Labor Party’s policy of replacing conventional sources of energy with renewables is leading to a major energy crunch.

Currently, Britain gets three-fourths of its electricity from natural gas, coal, and nuclear power. But domestic production of natural gas in the North Sea has peaked and is declining rapidly, and the Labor Party intends to retire by 2016 coal and nuclear power plants that now generate a third of Britain’s electricity. The plants will be shut down largely to comply with European Union environmental regulations. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

EU nears agreement on funding CO2 capture - The European Parliament is getting closer to secure funding for emerging technology to capture and store the carbon dioxide emissions of heavy-polluting coal-fired power plants, in an agreement that could bolster the EU's leadership in the fight against global warming.

But the technology is expensive and decreases the average efficiency of power plants by up to 20%. Neither member states, the Commission nor the private sector have thus far pledged any significant funding to drive the development of the demonstration plants. (EurActiv)

Wind Farm Site Considered 10 Miles From Queens Shore - A year after its plan to build a wind farm off Jones Beach fell through, the Long Island Power Authority is studying the economic feasibility of a wind farm 10 miles off the south shore of Queens. (New York Times)

Biomass Study Shows REMs Could Lead to Unsustainable Fiber Harvests - Government renewable energy mandates (REMs) in the U.S., both federal and state, could lead to over-harvesting of forests if fully implemented, and are therefore unrealistic, according to a new study published by RISI (Boston, Mass., USA) titled ”The Emerging Biomass Industry: Impact on Woodfiber Markets.” The report examines proliferating woody biomass projects throughout North America and what rapid growth in this industry would mean to the pre-existing markets that depend on a steady and reasonably priced source of woodfiber. (TAPPI)

How’s that working? - In 2006, Massachusetts signed into law the nation’s first state universal health insurance program. It was to be the test ground to see how well universal health coverage would work here in the United States. So, why do we hear so little about how it’s going? (Junkfood Science)

Charlatans to the Rescue - Ever since psychiatrist Leo Kanner identified a neurological condition he called autism in 1943, parents whose children have been diagnosed with the most severe form of the illness -- usually in the toddler stage, before age 3 -- have found themselves desperately searching for some way not to lose their children to autism's closed-off world. Unfortunately, such parents have often found misguided doctors, ill-informed psychologists and outright charlatans eager to proffer help.

Paul A. Offit, a pediatrician and the chief of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, has gathered this sorry parade of self-styled samaritans for "Autism's False Prophets," an invaluable chronicle that relates some of the many ways in which the vulnerabilities of anxious parents have been exploited. (Linda Seebach, Wall Street Journal)

Get your copy of Autism's False Prophets through our store and help keep online!

<chuckle> Green idealists fail to make grade, says study - People who believe they have the greenest lifestyles can be seen as some of the main culprits behind global warming, says a team of researchers, who claim that many ideas about sustainable living are a myth.

According to the researchers, people who regularly recycle rubbish and save energy at home are also the most likely to take frequent long-haul flights abroad. The carbon emissions from such flights can swamp the green savings made at home, the researchers claim. (The Guardian)

Greenland's Inuits blast EU plans to ban seal skin sales - A European Union proposal to ban imports of seal skins has Greenlandic Inuits worried they could soon face a repeat of boycotts that severely crippled one of their major sources of income two decades ago.

"This is a war against us and we can't accept that," Aqqaluk Lynge, who heads up the Greenlandic branch of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), told AFP.

Seal products certified to result from humane hunting techniques or from traditional hunting by Inuits across the Arctic region would be excluded from the proposed ban, but the indigenous people of Greenland nonetheless fear their livelihoods are at stake.

"Exemptions for Inuits have not worked before, and the ICC's position is that exemptions will not work this time around either," Lynge told an international Arctic conference in the western Greenlandic town of Ilulissat earlier this month. (AFP)

September 23, 2008

Important new paper: Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions? - Abstract: For a variety of inter-related cultural, organizational, and political reasons, progress in climate science and the actual solution of scientific problems in this field have moved at a much slower rate than would normally be possible. Not all these factors are unique to climate science, but the heavy influence of politics has served to amplify the role of the other factors. By cultural factors, I primarily refer to the change in the scientific paradigm from a dialectic opposition between theory and observation to an emphasis on simulation and observational programs. The latter serves to almost eliminate the dialectical focus of the former. Whereas the former had the potential for convergence, the latter is much less effective. The institutional factor has many components. One is the inordinate growth of administration in universities and the consequent increase in importance of grant overhead. This leads to an emphasis on large programs that never end. Another is the hierarchical nature of formal scientific organizations whereby a small executive council can speak on behalf of thousands of scientists as well as govern the distribution of ‘carrots and sticks’ whereby reputations are made and broken. The above factors are all amplified by the need for government funding. When an issue becomes a vital part of a political agenda, as is the case with climate, then the politically desired position becomes a goal rather than a consequence of scientific research. This paper will deal with the origin of the cultural changes and with specific examples of the operation and interaction of these factors. In particular, we will show how political bodies act to control scientific institutions, how scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions, and how opposition to these positions is disposed of. (Richard S. Lindzen, Program in Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Richard Lindzen: Climate science: Is it currently designed to answer questions? - Richard Lindzen is not only a renowned climate scientist but also an experienced person who has met many people and understood how many institutions work. In his new, published 35-page paper that is also available via the arXiv, Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions? (PDF) he shows that institutionalized climate science is becoming an inefficient tool to answer scientific questions. (The Reference Frame)

Met Office admits natural variation greater than enhanced greenhouse, kind of: Met Office says climate change deniers deluded - Climate change sceptics such as Nigel Lawson who argue that global warming has stopped have their "heads in the sand", according to the Met Office.

A recent dip in global temperatures is down to natural changes in weather systems, a new analysis shows, and does not alter the long-term warming trend.

The office says average temperatures have continued to rise in the last decade, and that humans are to blame.

In a statement published on its website, it says: "Anyone who thinks global warming has stopped has their head in the sand. The evidence is clear, the long-term trend in global temperatures is rising, and humans are largely responsible for this rise. Global warming does not mean that each year will be warmer than the last." (The Guardian)

There was a brief run of years about 0.2 K warmer than average at the beginning of the 21st Century but that seems to have passed. The warmest August in the Central England Temperature time series was in 1995 while August 2008 ranked a lofty, um, 98th hottest! They must be worrying people are starting to wise up.

Romm rant: As dirty as Inhofe: John McCain's environmental record is as bad as climate change denier James Inhofe - Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is an avowed climate science believer who comes from a state with enough solar resource to power the entire nation. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is an avowed climate science denier who comes from a major oil patch state.

So why has McCain voted with Inhofe and against clean energy and the environment a staggering 42 out of 44 times since the mid-1990s? And that doesn't even include eight straight votes on extending the renewable energy tax credits that McCain missed in the last year, where he would have sided with Inhofe and against a clean energy future.

The answer is that "Few politicians in history have more successfully sold a phony image about caring for the environment than Sen. John McCain" -- which is the central point of my new Salon piece, "John McCain's hot air." The facts are clear: McCain is at best an out-of-touch greenwasher and at worst simply a pathological liar. (Joseph Romm, Grist)

Granted it's not really clear whether Joe is touting for McCain or whining about him but given the target audience it seems clear Joe really thinks McCain should be a green idiot. It is true McCain has given the wrong impression -- I, for one, was not aware his voting record was near as good as Romm claims (I should pay more attention to politics). Note he makes all the wrong noises below:

McCain vows to 'answer Australia's call' on climate - AUSTRALIA has looked to the US for leadership on global climate change and it is "time for us to answer that call", John McCain says.

Writing in today's The Australian newspaper, the US Republican presidential candidate says he will work with the Rudd Government to establish a global framework that would encourage China and India to become part of the solution to man-made climate change. (The Australian)

Kansas Chamber of Commerce lends ear to scientist who disputes man-made global warming - TOPEKA — Global warming? So what.

That was the message Monday from research scientist and best-selling author Roy Spencer to legislative leaders, lobbyists and leading business officials at the Kansas Chamber of Commerce business and energy summit.

Spencer is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and author of “Climate Confusion.”

Spencer doesn’t deny that Earth is warming, but he attributes that to natural climate cycles and not to the increase in greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

“There are many of us skeptical of mankind being the cause of global warming,” he said. (Lawrence Journal-World.)

Storms heat up climate clash - With Texas still measuring the toll from Hurricane Ike, fresh gusts are blowing in a long-stormy debate about global warming's role in spawning deadly cyclones.

Few doubt this season is more threatening than usual. With more than two months remaining in hurricane season, 2008 has generated 10 named storms and ranked 25 percent stronger than a normal full season on the government's Accumulated Cyclone Energy index. If 2008 closes with 18 named storms, the top of its forecast range, it will tie for the fifth-busiest year on record - three years after the most intense storm year ever. (Palm Beach Post)

Actually the Northern Hemisphere ACE index is running somewhat low to September 1 this year: 218 from an expected 251 (30-year average). It is true that the North Atlantic has been busy this season but the Pacific has been very quiet. Ryan Maue's Global and Northern Hemisphere TC ACE plot Jan. 1990-Jul. 2008 tells a very different story from that of gorebull warming alarmists.

US Companies See Climate Risk, But Lack Plan - NEW YORK - US companies judge climate change a risk to their business, but lag global companies in setting targets to cut emissions, according to a global survey. (Reuters)

The most serious climate risk posed to companies is climate hysteria and to address that companies need to tell governments they are not playing this stupid game. If governments threaten to increase costs pretending to control the climate enterprises need to bluntly inform them their businesses will relocate to more business-friendly climes.

Climate change fears after German opt-out - A German government decision to back an almost total exemption for industry from new rules that would force companies to pay for the carbon dioxide they emit threatens to undermine a key tenet of European Union climate policy, climate campaigners warn.

The decision is a victory for German industry, which feared European Commission proposals for an auction of carbon emission permits would cost billions of euros and restrict its ability to compete internationally.

Angela Merkel, chancellor, warned recently that although she supported the need to tackle climate change, she “could not support the destruction of German jobs through an ill-advised climate policy”. (Financial Times)

What utter nonsense: Burying CO2 Could Pay for Itself by 2030 - Report - BRUSSELS - Trapping and burying carbon dioxide from power plants could become viable without public funding by 2030, helping nations reduce their dependence on energy imports and meet climate goals, a report said on Monday.

But that could happen only if obstacles to the technology are removed and polluters are forced to pay more to emit CO2 in cap and trade schemes, it added. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is seen by industry as a potential silver bullet to curb emissions from coal-fired power plants, which are multiplying rapidly in India and China, threatening to heat the atmosphere to dangerous levels. (Reuters)

Even with a 100% improvement in efficiency we'd still be throwing away 20% of generated energy just liquefying and injecting carbon dioxide. Why? What have we suddenly got against plants that we want to deny them the accidental bounty of our activities?

Liberals crunch carbon tax for Canadians - OTTAWA — Canada's Liberals unveiled their election plank Monday, touting the largest tax shift in recent Canadian history, massively cutting income and corporate taxes to offset a new pollution tax.

Liberal leader Stephane Dion described the cuts and introduction of a new 40-billion dollar carbon tax to stem emissions linked to global warming as "reconciling the environment and the economy."

He promised it would lead to a "richer, fairer, greener Canada" while maintaining the plan is fiscally "prudent."

But the environment has been a tough sell in this campaign, trailing far behind in a list of voters' priorities after the economy, taxes and health, according to the latest survey. (AFP)

Hmm... like the GST was introduced as "revenue neutral" eh?

A New Paper: “India’s Future Climate: No Cause for Alarm” by Dr. Madhav L. Khandekar - There is a very informative new article by Madhav Khandekar. It is Khandekar, M.L., 2008: India’s Future Climate: No Cause for Alarm. i4d, August 2008, 24-26.

The abstract reads: “The most recent climate change documents of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations Body of scientists) project increasing frequency of extreme weather events like droughts/ floods, heat waves, escalating sea level rise etc. as the earth’s surface continues to warm due to increasing concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) resulting from world-wide human activity. This article summarises the present state of the global warming and climate change science and concludes that for India as a whole, climate change impacts in future would be minimal and can be sustained with suitable adaptation strategy. The article further suggests (as an adaptation strategy) more efforts to be directed towards development of operationally useful technique for seasonal prediction of monsoon rainfall which is the most important climate event for the country as a whole” (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Craig Loehle: trouble with tree-ring reconstructions - In this weekly dose of peer-reviewed skeptical climatological literature, we visit Springer's Climatic Change where Craig Loehle has the following article: A mathematical analysis of the divergence problem in dendroclimatology (abstract, preview of page 1) He shows that the tree ring proxies can completely mislead you. Even if you have reasons to believe that the tree ring width primarily depends on the temperature, there is one subtlety that can literally turn your results upside down: nonlinearity. (The Reference Frame)

THE IMPORTANCE OF NOTHING! (On the Sun) - This concerns the current lack of sunspots and NASA's observations and announcements for 23 Sept - this is a continuation of the previous CO2Sceptics.Com exclusive 'The Roll Of The Spotless Sun'

One question - concerning what NASA has said in preview of NASA / ESA / Jet Propulsion Lab's excellent work - must be: How can we be sure that this is a 50-yr low in the SOLAR WIND (and what is the measure of that being used? particle flux? average speed? or???) because solar wind was NOT measured 50 years ago. Geomagnetic activity was measured of course but they are not the same.

The significance of prolonged lack of sunspot activity on the Sun is that it is very different from the normal levels of spots. (Piers Corbyn, CO2sceptics)

New Cycle 24 Sunspot and SSN wavelet analysis - Maybe there is some hope for SC24 ramping up this year yet. This appears to be the largest SC24 spot to date. Previous SC24 spots have faded quickly, we’ll see how long this one lasts. (Watts Up With That?)

Climate Skeptic Warren Meyer: Those retreating glaciers - We’re told the melting and retreat of the glaciers is “unprecedented,” due, of course, to anthropogenic warming, but a 2005 study shows that the glaciers have been retreating steadily for the past 150 years — before AGW became even a theoretical factor. (False Alarm)

Transcript: Global warming could help protect grey nurse shark from extinction - TONY EASTLEY: It's not often we hear about a positive impact of climate change, but new research has identified one critically endangered animal that could benefit from global warming.

Scientists have predicted that a rise in sea temperature could be good for the grey nurse shark and save it from extinction. (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

Oh boy... these clowns are expecting the Southern Ocean to warm enough to allow cold-sensitive sharks to traverse southern Australia? Ain't gonna happen.

This nonsense, again: Modest CO2 cutbacks may be too little, too late for coral reefs - How much carbon dioxide is too much? According to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) greenhouse gases in the atmosphere need to be stabilized at levels low enough to "prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." But scientists have come to realize that an even more acute danger than climate change is lurking in the world's oceans—one that is likely to be triggered by CO2 levels that are modest by climate standards. (Carnegie Institution)

Most corals evolved in the Ordovician with atmospheric carbon levels greater than 4,000 ppmv so they sure as heck are not likely to be troubled by less than one-fifth that concentration.

Climate change, human activity and wildfires - Climate has been implicated by a new study as a major driver of wildfires in the last 2,000 years. But human activities, such as land clearance and fire suppression during the industrial era (since 1750) have created large swings in burning, first increasing fires until the late 1800s, and then dramatically reducing burning in the 20th century. (University of Oregon)

What's the cost of global warming? - Analysis Let us assume global warming is happening. Let us assume too that it is doing so at a rapid pace. What should we do about it?

There are two very basic approaches. Either we can attempt to mitigate the problem by direct or indirect means, or we can go with the flow, and adapt to a warmer world. Let's examine the costs and benefits of these approaches. (Evan Jones, The Register)

The Indy... Exclusive: The methane time bomb - Arctic scientists discover new global warming threat as melting permafrost releases millions of tons of a gas 20 times more damaging than carbon dioxide. (The Independent)

... so tell us, oh Indy, since there is no indication the Arctic sea floor is warming and no historical information on methane release in the region, why should we think this is new or alarming? After all, methane leaks into all the oceans all the time anyway, why should this observation be anything other than confirmation there is in fact gas below the Arctic? Most rational response? Cool, hope we can get access to commercially viable gas reserves.

New hope for tapping vast domestic reserves of oil shale - Researchers in Canada and Turkey report discovery of a new process for economically tapping vast resources of crude oil in the United States, Canada, and other countries now locked away in rocky deposits called oil shale. (ACS)

Labour conference: John Hutton criticised for comments on coal fired power stations - Environmental protection groups rounded on Business Secretary John Hutton after he said the UK needed new coal-fired and nuclear power stations.

Mr Hutton dismissed criticism that they would put climate change targets out of reach and said they were necessary to keep the nation's lights on and to guarantee energy security.
Environment groups have criticised John Hutton for his comments on coal-fired power stations

"No coal plus no nuclear equals no lights. No power. No future," he told the Labour Party conference in Manchester. (Daily Telegraph)

Really stupid idea: Carbon capture viable by 2030 but needs £8bn to begin now - One of Gordon Brown's pet energy projects - to build up to a dozen pilot plants to capture and store carbon dioxide as power stations burn coal to generate electricity - would require EU subsidies of as much as €10bn (£7.9bn) over the next few years, it emerged yesterday.

A study by the consultancy McKinsey into carbon capture and storage (CCS) showed that such plants could be economically viable by 2030 at the latest. But it would require substantial public subsidies to get 10-12 plants running by the EU target date of 2015. (The Guardian)

More socialist nonsense: Crisis must be turned to green benefit, scientist says - Governments need to show the same boldness to intervene in the markets to kickstart a move to a low-carbon economy as they did when they helped the banks stave off financial crisis last week, a leading academic has demanded.

"Both require strong regulation for efficient economic outcomes," said Terry Barker, a climate change expert at Cambridge University, who fears the Lehman Brothers and HBOS problems foreshadow a global economic downturn. (The Guardian)

The financial markets are in trouble mostly because governments have meddled with them and require rescue because of, not despite government regulation. Lehman Brothers, like Enron before them, tried to harvest money from the ludicrous carbon-driven warming scam rather than from real markets with real products. In short it is largely a green/government-driven crisis and must not be used as an excuse for even more absurdities.

Suffer the little children: null link between tylenol and asthma - When little ones hurt, have a high fever and are crying and too miserable to rest or eat, their parents have been able to help them feel better with a few drops of tylenol or panadol. It’s the most-used analgesic around the world and used by parents for more than 50 years. This weekend, parents were frightened by 442 worldwide news reports of a study on more than 205,000 children just published in Lancet, claiming to find a link between acetaminophen use during infancy and asthma in childhood.

All the information was there to recognize that this study actually found no cause for concern, but how many parents understood that? How many babies will be left without pain relief, or worse, how many parents may go back to baby aspirin (putting their baby at risk for Reye’s syndrome) because, sadly, they got caught up in fear?

Per readers’ requests, let’s take a brief look at this study. (Junkfood Science)

Obesity harms heart more than smoking, study finds - Heart attacks are hitting the overweight more than a decade sooner than "normal" weight people, researchers are reporting.

A study of more than 111,000 people is one of the first to put real numbers to the risk of obesity and suggests "excess adiposity" -- fat tissue -- is more dangerous to the heart than smoking.

"The leading theory in cardiology right now is that the fat tissue is actually producing factors that precipitate heart attacks," says lead author Dr. Peter McCullough, consultant cardiologist and chief of nutrition and prevention medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. (Canwest News Service)

Research indicates new virus is culprit, not bystander, in deadly skin cancer - University of Pittsburgh scientists are uncovering more evidence that a virus they recently discovered is the cause of Merkel cell carcinoma, an aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer. (University of Pittsburgh)

EPA Won't Remove Rocket Fuel From Water - The Environmental Protection Agency has decided there is no need to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has fouled public water supplies around the United States.

EPA reached the conclusion in a draft regulatory document not yet made public but reviewed Monday by The Associated Press.

The ingredient, perchlorate, has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels some scientists say could interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses.

The EPA document says that mandating a cleanup level for perchlorate would not result in a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public-water systems." (CBS/AP)

New Process Eliminates a Fertilizer’s Blast Threat - A major chemical company will announce Tuesday that it has found a way to render nitrogen fertilizer useless as an explosive, and improve its value to some crops.

The company, Honeywell, of Morris Township, N.J., has patented a method for combining ammonium nitrate fertilizer with a second type of fertilizer, ammonium sulfate. Ammonium nitrate can be soaked in diesel fuel to produce a powerful bomb and is a favorite of terrorists, but when chemically tied to the ammonium sulfate, its chemical structure is changed so that it is no longer explosive.

Chemists had been looking for ways to render ammonium nitrate nonexplosive since the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was destroyed by a truck bomb in 1995, killing 168. (New York Times)

Bedbugs make a return via low-cost flights - Increased foreign travel and a lack of awareness have been blamed for the rise in bedbug infestations being reported by airlines, train and bus companies.

Pest control company Rentokil says there has been a 40% rise in the number of call outs over the past 12 months from the transport industry. Britain is now struggling to cope with infestations not seen in half a century.

The overall number of inquiries to the Rentokil UK website about the problem has doubled in the last three months. The company will this week fly in entomologists from all over the world to discuss the issue at its technical centre in Horsham, West Sussex. (The Guardian)

Bringing back broad-spectrum insecticides would help. So would dousing accommodation with DDT powder.

Science minister attempts to reopen the debate on GM crops - Ministers have given their strongest backing yet to GM crops being planted in the UK. The science minister, Ian Pearson, predicted the public would accept GM crops if they could be convinced that the technology would benefit consumers.

He acknowledged that the original public debate on the issue was handled badly by government, but he said if the benefits of GM crops could be put across to people they would be more enthusiastic.

"I don't think the GM debate in 2000 was handled very well," Pearson said. "I think that the public want to see benefits for GM technology for the consumer, not just for the fertiliser company or the farmer. If GM can demonstrably provide benefits for people living in sub-Saharan Africa ... then I think the public will want to support those as products and want to see them commercialised." (The Guardian)

September 22, 2008

More to Come in Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season - MIAMI - The 10 tropical storms and hurricanes that ripped through the Atlantic and Caribbean during this busy hurricane season savaged Haiti, Cuba and the US Gulf coast, and conditions are now ripe for more.

Residents of the Atlantic-Caribbean danger zone should not let down their guard, despite a brief lull in the action following Tropical Storm Josephine's demise two weeks ago and Hurricane Ike's strike on the Texas coast, experts said.

"Conditions are still favorable for hurricanes. People really need to stay on their toes," said Gerry Bell, the lead hurricane season forecaster for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Reuters)

More hysterical drivel: Blocking the Sky to Save the Earth - TO the relief of climate scientists around the world, it appears that the polar ice cap hasn’t shrunk as much this summer as it did last summer.

The ice cap usually reaches its smallest extent around now, and although the total area of ice in September fluctuates from year to year, in the last two decades it has generally declined, probably because of carbon-driven global warming. Last year, the ice cap shrank at a record-breaking pace; at its minimum it was almost 39 percent smaller than the average from 1979 to 2000. This year it’s down about 33 percent.

A couple of years’ rapid melting may be a random event. But the ice loss of recent years puts the Arctic melt decades ahead of model predictions, raising concern that climate change is proving worse than expected. (New York Times)

To begin with it wasn't temperature and hence wasn't enhanced greenhouse effect that dumped thicker multiyear ice out of the Arctic but a cyclic reversal of wind patterns. Like so much else these wind cycles aren't in GCMs so no one is surprised models didn't get it right (the only surprises are when models are accidentally close). No one has much of a clue how the Arctic ice behaves over century time scales (we've really only been watching for about 30 years) but it is a fair bet there will be some moderation of conditions as we get further from the Little Ice Age (always providing we don't return to similar conditions with a quiescent sun). The other point to note is that the last year's larger, more persistent snow packs probably increased Earth's albedo significantly more than increased Arctic sea ice melt reduced it so no, a little more open water during the northern summer did not warm the planet at all.

Sun Warms and Cools the Earth - In an op-ed in a Polish weekly I commented recently on a remarkable decrease of global temperature in 2008, and over the past decade. Not surprisingly the op-ed evoked a strong reaction from Polish co-workers of IPCC, denying the existence of cooling. Surprising, however, was that the criticism dwelled upon a “global climatic conspiracy”, and “colossal international plot”. I did not use these words nor even hinted at such an idea. The idea was probably apparent from the data and facts I presented, showing weaknesses of the man-made global warming hypothesis. Without irrational political or ideological factors, it is really difficult to understand why so many people believe in human causation of the Modern Warm Period, which was never plausibly proved by scientific evidence. Some of these factors I will discuss here. (NZCPR)

Hmm... Clearer skies have brought more rain - FETCH the umbrella - global warming and cleaner skies are making it rain more.

Martin Wild of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his colleagues analysed global measurements of solar radiation and rainfall taken between 1986 and 2000. On average, surface solar radiation has increased by 0.21 watts per square metre per year over land, and rainfall has increased by 3.5 millimetres per year (Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2008GL034842).

In recent decades, air pollution has dropped, so more sunlight is penetrating the atmosphere, says Wild. Meanwhile, rising levels of greenhouse gases are bouncing radiation back to Earth's surface. (New Scientist)

... Asian Brown Cloud? Chinese industrialization? Amazonian, African wet tropics and Indonesian land clearance fires? We hear a lot about increasing atmospheric pollution. Who says the skies are clearing?

Oh my... Trees Will Save Us From Global Warming? Scratch That - For the couple of decades the Greening Earth Society, a creation of the coal industry, has been happily insisting that the more carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere the lusher and more verdant the world will be. As far as climate change goes, their attitude is Alfred E. Neuman’s: what, me worry?

So it is always amusing when even the most straightforward assertions break down. In the climate-change field, one such assertion is that, since plants breathe in carbon dioxide, surely in a world with higher concentrations of CO2 plants will flourish and suck up lots of the stuff. We call that a negative feedback. Unfortunately, a study in this week's Nature finds that, after exceptional warming, an ecosystem anchored by a tallgrass prairie actually takes up less carbon dioxide than it did before the warming. (Sharon Begley, News Week)

... Begley really is dire at this, isn't she? Sharon, drought inhibited prairie grass in this failed experiment -- it was their uncontrolled variable and yes, drought is actually not good for plants (even puts the poor dears off their food -- CO2). For those not aware the comparison Begley should have made is between CO2-boosted plants and 'natural-state' controls in the same years to see what effect increased CO2 has rather than merely looking at boosted plants in consecutive years. This is where she would have seen that the Greening Earth Society is quite correct, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is indeed good for plants (NASA even put out a release a few years ago about how the world is, in fact, greening in response to elevated carbon dioxide and their GSFC did similarly back in 2001). More importantly, Begley would have discovered that increasing atmospheric CO2 makes plants more water efficient and drought resistant (or she could have gone to say, and got hundreds, probably thousands of references on plant growth enhancement and drought resistance with increased carbon dioxide).

The one point Begley accidentally got right is that trees will not 'save us' from global warming -- but only because we are not in any danger from same.

Can Rubber Ducks Help Track a Melting Glacier? - WASHINGTON - To help figure out what's happening inside the fastest-moving Greenland glacier, a US rocket scientist sent 90 rubber ducks into the ice, hoping someone finds them if they emerge in Baffin Bay. (Reuters)

NSIDC’ s Dr. Walt Meier Answers 10 Questions - Regular readers may recall some of the posts here, here, here, and here, where the sea ice data presented by NSIDC and by Cryosphere today were brought into question. We finally have an end to this year’s Arctic melt season, and our regular contributor on sea-ice, Steven Goddard, was able to ask Dr. Walt Meier, who operates the National Snow and Ice Data Center 10 questions, and they are presented here for you. I have had correspondence with Dr. Meier and found him straightforward and amiable. If only other scientists were so gracious with questions from the public. - Anthony (Watts Up With That?)

Climate cuttings 24 (Bishop Hill)

The global warming debate isn't over - I have written a lot about global warming in this column challenging the argument that you and I are responsible. I do it to provide balance to the media coverage. They have failed to print both sides of this story. When questioned, many reporters say "the debate is over!" That's not their job! Back in the days when real journalism was practiced, we got both sides. The debate is never over as long as there is a strong argument from both sides of any question.

The media elite have bought into the propaganda that you and I are responsible. Yet, there are numerous experts who say the proponents are wrong. Their stories are not being told, which means pro-global warming tactics (to silence the opposition) have worked. (Dick Little, Paradise Post)

It's probably just crusty old curmudgeons like me but... Scientist speaks up: Andrew Weaver's conscience pushed him into the political fray - It was pure chance that University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver's new book on global warming came out during a federal election campaign. But since it has, he's taking an extraordinary step for a scientist and declaring, point-blank, no punches pulled, how he thinks people should vote.

"Vote for [Liberal Party Leader] Stéphane Dion; don't vote for the Green Party," Weaver said in an interview promoting Keeping Our Cool: Canada in a Warming World. (Vancouver Sun)

... this looks a whole lot like "Quick, vote for the dudes that'll throw the most of your money at my global warming scam research! And by the way, buy my book on global warming to see how to save the world and make me lots of money."

Saskatchewan Premier Warns Against Carbon Tax - BANFF, Alberta - Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said Friday that his province, which has been riding a commodity-driven boom, should not be saddled with new environmental taxes as prices for oil and grain fall from their highs of a few months ago. (Reuters)

Reality beginning to intrude? Green Shift: Are Liberals downplaying eco plan? - WINNIPEG–Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion yesterday appeared to back away from his Green Shift plan featuring a controversial carbon tax by insisting it is not a major part of his election platform.

"You have said it was, never me," Dion told reporters.

Dion's remarks yesterday came after he failed to mention the Green Shift once in speeches on Thursday, and after a series of big-ticket spending announcements on such things as child care and agriculture. (Toronto Star)

Plundering the private purse - It was the great economist and philosopher Adam Smith who wrote:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

Now, they do not even bother to hide their intentions – they just cite "climate change" and lobby the government so that they can "compete for the lucrative business" made possible by its measures. (EU Referendum)

Global Warming Peters Out on Navy Pier - On September 22-24, hundreds of spokespersons for big corporations will gather on Chicago's Navy Pier to discuss how they can cash in on public worries about "global warming." The timing of the "Corporate Climate Response" event could hardly be worse for its sponsors. (News Blaze)

Proposed greenhouse gas rules could hit Alaska business - No matter who wins the presidential election, if you're in business, there's new government paperwork in your future. And no matter whether you believe in global warming, if your business operates buildings or mobile equipment, you'll be measuring and filing reports on greenhouse gases, that cocktail of chemicals - carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, methane and three other gases - scientists say are causing climate change.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials gave a preview to a state climate change task force on proposed new federal rules on greenhouse gas reporting and a possible new rule that could bring greenhouse gas regulation under the federal Clean Air Act. (Alaska Journal of Commerce)

Emissions scheme 'will mug farmers' - THE Rudd Government's proposed emissions trading scheme could cost tens of thousands of jobs, drive businesses offshore and force thousands of farming families off the land, according to a leading rural economist.

Brian Fisher, executive director of Concept Economics and former head of the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics, yesterday described the ETS as a policy made on the run at the last election.

"This promise will prove to be administratively and economically challenging," he said. "Unless the design is very carefully done. it will be economically damaging to many industries."

Although farming is exempted from the ETS until at least 2015, Dr Fisher says that many small farmers will be mugged in the meantime by increases in the costs of inputs such as electricity and fertiliser.

His warning reinforces recent modelling by the Business Council of Australia and the Australian Farm Institute that predicts many businesses will be made unprofitable by the scheme. (The Australian)

Eco-Activist: Children Amplify Emotional Effect of Alarmist Claims - If you want to get people on your side of an issue, scare them by suggesting something is going to hurt their children.

That’s the environmentalists’ strategy, according to Philip Shabecoff, the former 14-year chief environmental correspondent for The New York Times, and his wife, Alice Shabecoff, the former executive director of the National Consumers League.

On September 18, the couple told an audience at Politics & Prose, a bookstore in Washington, D.C., the idea behind their new book. They said “Poisoned Profits” was designed to scare parents into siding with environmentalists by suggesting kids are at high risk from environmental problems. (Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute)

Looking for something to set your kids' minds to rest? Try Holly Fretwell's "The Sky's Not Falling: Why It's OK To Chill About Global Warming" -- available now through the store.

Economic crisis threatens EU measures on climate change - BRUXELLES - The recent economic downturn could push the European Union to adopt more modest ambitions in its fight against climate change.

Although the European Commission has said it wants to cut greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2020, business leaders oppose the use of fines to oblige industry to reduce its emissions -- especially in the current economic crisis.

The cost to industry is estimated at some 44 billion euros per year between 2013 and 2020, with a tonne (1.1 US tons) of C02 costing 30 euros.

Business leaders have denounced the policy as a "tax", threatening to take their investments elsewhere and move their more polluting activities out of Europe.

Faced with the threat of job losses, governments are feeling the pressure. (AFP)

Look how much the fruitloop brigade have devalued "polluting" -- what they are talking about here is carbon dioxide emissions. Wonder when they'll start carrying protests signs "Don't feed the plants!"?

NEWS: NASA to hold press conference on the state of the sun - This is unusual. A live media teleconference on the sun. Even more unusual is this statement:

The sun’s current state could result in changing conditions in the solar system.

As you may recall, I posted an entry about the Ulysses mission back on June 16th and the findings of a lowered magnetic field in the sun, from the JPL press release then:

Ulysses ends its career after revealing that the magnetic field emanating from the sun’s poles is much weaker than previously observed. This could mean the upcoming solar maximum period will be less intense than in recent history.

We live in interesting times. (Watts Up with That?)

Coming event: "A Critique of Global Warming Science and Policy" - It is now widely believed that man-made greenhouse gases are causing an unnatural warming of the earth that will have devastating consequences for human life. Environmentalists and politicians are pressing for severe restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions aimed at preventing global warming. But are these beliefs and policies justified? What does the scientific evidence actually support regarding the causes of climate variability and the role of anthropogenic greenhouse gases? Are the predictions of catastrophic changes supported by scientific fact? Is government economic intervention aimed at severely restricting greenhouse gases an appropriate policy response? Panelists will address these critical issues in a spirited discussion.


Keith Lockitch is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, specializing in science and environmental policy. His writings have appeared in publications such as The Orange County Register, the San Francisco Chronicle, Australia's Herald Sun and The Canberra Times, and USA Today magazine. Dr. Lockitch has been a frequent guest on radio shows such as The Thom Hartmann Program on Air America Radio. He is also a contributing writer for The Objective Standard, a quarterly journal of culture and politics.

Dr. Lockitch teaches for the Ayn Rand Institute's Objectivist Academic Center; he teaches writing for the center's undergraduate program and a history of physics course for its graduate program. He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and has conducted postdoctoral research in relativistic astrophysics at the University of Illinois and at Pennsylvania State University.

Willie Soon is both an astrophysicist and a geoscientist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Dr. Soon is the receiving editor in the area of solar and stellar physics for New Astronomy. He is also the chief science adviser of the Science and Public Policy Institute (based in Washington, D.C.).

Comment On The September 13, 2008 Article in The Economist “Adapt Or Die” - The Economist published an article this past week titled “Adapt or die” [subscription needed]. It is an informative article and starts to address the issue of vulnerability that has been emphasized on Climate Science (e.g. see).

A focus on critical resources (e.g. energy, food, water, medical support) which is local and regionally focused, is a much more effective framework to assist society in reducing the risks from the diverse range of threats that face society and the environment. This resource based emphasis is a much needed replacement to the almost exclusive focus on downscaling from multi-decadal global models as promoted using the IPCC and CCSP perspectives.

There are a two glaring errors, however, in the Economist article. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

UAF professor emeritus continues to question sources of global warming - FAIRBANKS — A University of Alaska Fairbanks professor emeritus known for his belief that carbon dioxide is not the sole cause of climate change presented his latest research Thursday.

More than 40 researchers and students gathered into a room at the International Arctic Research Center, now named after Syun-Ichi Akasofu, for the hour-long presentation.

“Retirement is good because I can spend the time to correct information,” Akasofu said.

For several years now, Akasofu has put forward the idea that while the world was warming for most of the 20th century, it stopped warming sometime around 2000 or 2001. He clarified Thursday that according to his latest research, the oceans have stopped warming since that time, but it appears as if temperatures are still rising if one only looks at land temperatures.

Akasofu also was skeptical of reported changes in land temperature, however. For example, he noted that while many scientists claim global temperatures have risen slightly less than one degree on average across the past few decades, their studies don’t take urbanization into account. (Daily News-Miner)

Economic Slowdown Won't Ease Carbon Emissions - LONDON - Tumbling factory output following an economic slowdown will not be enough to curb rising industrial carbon emissions in Europe, analysts said on Friday. That means no bright lining to a credit crisis which at the same time has pressured political commitment to fighting climate change. (Reuters)

Only rabid misanthropists could possibly think there is a 'silver lining' to people's financial catastrophe. Not that that is a big surprise -- rabid misanthropists are driving the gorebull warming farce.

Global Warming’s Boom Bust - “‘Global warming’ is sub-prime science, sub-prime economics, and sub-prime politics, and it could well go down with the sub-prime mortgage.” (Philip Stott, September 21) (Global Warming Politics)

Financial crisis: Lehman misses out on carbon credit scam - What is the connection between the bankrupt Lehman Brothers and the likelihood that in four years' time our electricity bills will jump another 25 per cent (on top of the rises likely from soaring coal and gas prices)?

The answer is that, before its collapse, Lehman was pitching to become the leader in the vast trade created by the new worldwide regulatory system to "fight climate change" by curbing emissions of carbon dioxide. (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

Jeff Id: cherry-picking in new hockey stick graph - Jeff Id provides us with some new perspective on the new hockey stick graph, Mann et al. 2008. It seems that the paper is not only a case of sub-prime science but an example of scientific fraud.

World's premier scientific journal says "Kumbiya!" - Nature's descent from serious scientific publication to journal of record for the darker fringes of the green movement continues apace with a hilarious piece from hippie-chick editor, Olive Heffernan. (Bishop Hill)

Speaker Pelosi would 'save the planet' with higher gas prices - Nancy Pelosi has changed her mind. She'll allow a vote on drilling for America's offshore oil potential after all—sort of.

To paraphrase the old saying, however, "A woman convinced against her will is of the same opinion still." Pelosi's first reaction to the public's drilling demands was, "We've got a planet to save. Nothing less is at stake other than civilization as we know it."

Mrs. Pelosi represents the most liberal city in America, and she wants the U.S. to cut its greenhouse emissions in half by 2050. She's backing cap-and-trade legislation that would literally make gas, oil and coal too expensive to burn.

Don't worry about the oil companies actually doing more offshore drilling under her new bill. The U.S. Geological Survey thinks most of the economically recoverable offshore oil is within 50 miles of the coast. Pelosi's bill would open some Outer shelf areas beyond 50 miles, but it would permanently ban drilling in all areas within 50 miles without the state's approval—and she's offering the states no cut of the oil money to encourage their OK. This bill is just a lie to the American people about encouraging more U.S. oil; it's election-year cover for the House Democrats.

Also remember that the final line of eco-defense is always the courts. In February, the Feds leased 487 parcels for oil exploration in the coastal regions of Alaska's Chuckchi Sea—and the Green movement has already ensnarled all 487 leases in lawsuits. In 1973, faced with the OPEC oil embargo, Congress had to waive the environmental laws to permit the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. (Dennis T. Avery, ESR)

The Worst Energy Ideas of 2008 - Both presidential candidates have made arguments and endorsed policies that are inconsistent with economic reality. (Abigail Haddad, The American)

Windmills for Suckers: Pickens’ Genocidal Plan (pdf) - Billionaire T. Boone Pickens’ boondoggle to create the world’s largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle, is scientifically and economically worthless, as Gregory Murphy reports. (EIR)

Petrobras to Return Amazon Oilfield to Ecuador - QUITO - Brazilian oil company Petrobras has agreed to give back to Ecuador a controversial oilfield in the heart of the Amazon jungle, President Rafael Correa said on Saturday. (Reuters)

Brazil: Development of oil will help expand 4% in 2009 - Brazil's economy is forecasted to expand 4% in 2009 as oil exploration bolsters investment even as the United States and European Union slowdown hamper global growth, according to the country’s Planning Minister Paulo Bernardo. (Mercopress)

Canadian company finds crude in northeast Argentina - An oil deposit was discovered in an exploratory well in the northeast Argentina province of Formosa announced the Canadian company Gran Tierra Energy Inc. The Calgary based company said Wednesday it plans long-term production testing on the Proa.x-1 well and will begin commercial oil sales in about a week. (Mercopress)

Environmentalists balk at drilling off NJ coast  -- With oil and gas drilling heating up as an issue in the presidential race, environmentalists and the governor reiterated their opposition to tapping reserves off the state's coast, saying it would endanger the environment and the tourism industry on which New Jersey is so dependent. (AP)

Cost of Syncrude Emissions Plan Jumps to C$1.6 Bln - CALGARY, Alberta - Syncrude Canada Ltd's cost for installing equipment to cut emissions of deadly sulfur dioxide has more than doubled to C$1.6 billion (US$1.52 billion), the joint-venture's biggest shareholder said Friday.

Canadian Oil Sands Trust, which owns 36.7 percent of Syncrude, said the cost of the project to retrofit two upgraders with equipment to cut output of sulfur and other particles by 60 percent had risen from its previous C$772 million estimate because of delays and rising labor and material costs.

Syncrude, Canada's biggest oil sands producer, announced the project in 2003, saying then that it expected the retrofit to cost C$400 million. However costs have spiraled in the northern Alberta oil sands region as firms compete for a small pool of skilled labor and costs for steel and other commodities have skyrocketed. (Reuters)

ETS threatens gas industry and worse climate change - AUSTRALIA'S $15 billion gas industry could shrink by more than a quarter by 2020 unless it is protected from the economic effects of the proposed emissions trading scheme.

The industry will use new analysis to reinforce its concerns to the Rudd Government that excluding LNG from compensation under the proposed ETS will stall up to $60billion of new investment, and will actually worsen climate change by forcing developing economies, including China, to build more coal-fired power stations.

The new modelling, by Frontier Economics, estimates the 10 per cent cut in greenhouse emissions by 2020 proposed by the Government's chief climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, will require a $54 a tonne price for carbon and will slow the economy by nearly 2 per cent over the next 12 years.

Victoria's brown coal industry will be forced to halve its output, while the nation's natural gas and LNG projects would be cut by about 25 per cent because they are not eligible for compensation under the scheme outlined in the Rudd Government's green paper in July.

The Frontier report says LNG and natural gas will suffer from a shrinking electricity market and the perverse effects of downstream industries such as copper and gold processing not receiving compensation under the scheme, while rival sectors such as coal mining will be eligible. (The Australian)

PM wants more for his money on clean coal - KEVIN Rudd has warned miners and power generators to do more to tackle climate change, while handing them $100 million a year for a new research institute to rescue international efforts to develop carbon capture and storage technology.

As foreshadowed in The Australian yesterday, the Prime Minister committed the money to accelerate work on the technology, which aims to store emissions from coal-fired power stations deep underground to limit their release into the atmosphere. (The Australian)

This gibbering idiot is headed for New York this week... how much to keep him?

Melting Ice Brings Competition for Resources - Climate change is freeing the Arctic of ice -- and spurring a global competition for the natural resources stored beneath. Countries that border the sea are staking new territorial claims and oil giants are dispatching geologists. But what will the tug-of-war mean for the indigenous people and wildlife? (Der Spiegel)

Good luck guys, the Arctic environment will remain, um... challenging for a long time yet.

EU Biofuel Panic Threatens Planet - Brazil Envoy - BRUSSELS - Europe's heated debate over biofuels risks weakening one of the world's best tools to fight climate change and one of the developing world's best hopes for economic growth, Brazil's ambassador to the EU said on Friday. (Reuters)

UK Firm Eyes Ethanol Plant in Tanzania - DAR ES SALAAM - British-based energy firm CAMS Group plans to produce 240 million litres of ethanol a year from sweet sorghum in Tanzania at a cost of up to US$600 million, its chief executive said. (Reuters)

Rees scraps biofuel mandates - NSW Premier Nathan Rees has ditched his predecessor's commitment to introduce mandated levels of biodiesel in motor vehicles and boost ethanol levels from 2 per cent to 10 per cent.

In a setback for the biofuels industry, Mr Rees signalled yesterday that Morris Iemma's mandate plans would not be implemented -- putting himself at odds with Lands Minister Tony Kelly, who had insisted the Government backed the biofuels policy.

The about-face in NSW comes amid mounting evidence that biofuel mandates have contributed to growing world food shortages and rising prices.

NSW became the first state to introduce a biofuels mandate last October, requiring that ethanol account for 2 per cent of petrol used in motor vehicles. (The Australian)

The phantom epidemic of child diabetes - We’ve heard it repeated so many times that consumers and healthcare professionals, alike, assume it must be true: that the epidemic of childhood obesity has created a new epidemic among today’s young people — of type 2 diabetes. Once thought to be an adult disease, type 2 diabetes is said to have alarmingly increased among children and adolescents because rates of overweight and obesity have tripled in the past two decades.

But after twenty years, has anyone actually checked to see if this is really true? Is there really an epidemic of childhood diabetes? Physical assessments and blood tests are done regularly on representative samples of the American population through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among U.S. children has been tracked since 1988. Unlike obesity statisticulations, no one even has to think or understand statistics to do a simple check of these facts, if they cared to.

Incredibly, virtually no one has. (Junkfood Science)

FYI: a new preventive health measure - A new intervention has been added to the field of public health and preventive medicine: bariatric surgeries. This is being disseminated worldwide pretty much simultaneously and offers insight into the marketing of disease prevention.

Consumers and healthcare professionals, alike, can’t help but notice that media and medical journals have been presenting a steady stream of positive examinations of bariatric procedures. Critical reviews are sparse, despite the weak supportive research and the preponderance of the evidence showing greater risks than benefits for significant percentages of patients. While bariatric procedures have been advocated for the treatment of “obesity-related” health problems, many Americans probably first became aware of them promoted as a cure for diabetes with the CBS 60-minutes special this spring. (Junkfood Science)

When something sounds too good to be true: more cancer scams - As covered here in June, the Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to 125 companies marketing fraudulent cancer cures through the internet and launched a consumer website, “Beware of Online Cancer Fraud,” which lists some of the most obvious signs of health fraud. The FTC, which regulates fraudulent marketing claims, joined the FDA in a new initiative to try and help prevent deceptive products from harming or taking advantage of cancer patients — at a time when they’re the most vulnerable, frightened and desperate. (Junkfood Science)

FTC warns consumers about bogus cancer cures - WASHINGTON -- The Federal Trade Commission charged five companies with making false and misleading claims for cancer cures and said Thursday that it has reached settlements with six others. "As long as products have been sold there has been somebody out there selling snake oil to consumers," said Lydia Parnes, director of the FTC's bureau of consumer protection.

She said the agency, along with the Food and Drug Administration and Canadian authorities, is launching a consumer education campaign warning about bogus claims for cures.

"There is no credible scientific evidence that any of the products marketed by these companies can prevent, cure, or treat cancer of any kind," said Parnes. (Associated Press)

Uh-huh... Obesity may diminish a man's fertility - NEW YORK - Being obese may dim a man's chances of becoming a father, even if he is otherwise healthy, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among 87 healthy men ages 19 to 48, those who were obese were less likely to have ever fathered a child. More importantly, they showed hormonal differences that point to a reduced reproductive capacity, the researchers report in the journal Fertility and Sterility. (Reuters Health)

... following this to its logical conclusion, because obese men are less likely to have ever fathered a child then natural selection caused obesity to be bred out of the human race and... oh.

Weighing the Evidence to Prevent On-the-Job Pain - Results are mixed on whether ergonomic measures prevent musculoskeletal pain. (New York Times)

Interestingly, Australia was the RSI (repetitive strain injury) capital of the world with a veritable epidemic of cases -- right up to the point where insurance stopped paying for it. The epidemic then disappeared even faster than it grew and we haven't been troubled by it since. Doubtless you can over-train and strain young tennis players and 'tennis elbow' certainly exists but RSI in its many guises has been a vastly overplayed malady.

We are facing a global pandemic of antibiotic resistance, warn experts - Vital components of modern medicine such as major surgery, organ transplantation, and cancer chemotherapy will be threatened if antibiotic resistance is not tackled urgently, warn experts on today. (PhysOrg)

'CLUELESS' CRIME LABS: PROS SLAM CSI TECHNIQUES AS 'JUNK' - A federal panel of experts looking into the reliability of CSI tests has heard damning evidence against some of the most common techniques used to convict killers, rapists and other criminals, The Post has learned.

The analysis of fingerprints, tire tracks and bite marks isn't nearly as reliable as researchers once believed, crime-scene specialists told the panel. Some even called it junk science.

Many said major changes would be necessary if crime labs want to continue using the evidence. (NY Post)

African Grasslands Regenerated Through Fire - Are fires more important than rain for the savannah ecosystem? (Red Orbit)

And yet, greenies hand-wring over rainforest burning/clearance because it is 'lost'. Actually it isn't and this is a reminder that unless kept browsed or the land grazed or cropped then woody plants take over (which is another way of saying the rainforest regrows).

Nanomaterials Could Harm Fish, Environment - Study - CHICAGO - Buckyballs, tiny soccer ball-shaped carbon molecules that hold promise for uses ranging from novel drug-delivery systems to fuel cells, may threaten health by building up in fat, researchers said on Friday. (Reuters)

US Agriculture Squeezed by Demand, Climate - ST. LOUIS - US agriculture faces the daunting task of growing enough crops to meet the demands of both a hungry world and the booming new biofuels industry while reducing its impact on climate change.

That formidable challenge hung over discussions this week at a US soybean industry conference that chewed over topics from biodiesel fuels to agriculture's own greenhouse gases. (Reuters)

World malnourished soar to 925 million with global food crisis - The way out of the global food crisis, which has plunged at least 75 million more humans into hunger and poverty, lies in increased agricultural production, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told Italy’s Parliament on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Research pushes back history of crop development 10,000 years - Researchers led by Dr Robin Allaby of the University of Warwick's plant research arm Warwick HRI have found evidence that genetics supports the idea that the emergence of agriculture in prehistory took much longer than originally thought. (PhysOrg)

September 19, 2008

Anti-chemical Activists Hit the (Plastic) Bottle Again - Anti-chemical activists opened a new front in their jihad against the plastics chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) this week. (Steven Milloy,

Suzuki off with the tree fairies again: Seeing the forest for the trees - How much is a forest worth? And how do we calculate that value? Do we simply count the trees and figure out how much we could get for them if we were to cut them down and turn them into logs, lumber and pulp and paper?

That's been the traditional approach, but it hasn't served us well. A forest is much more than the timber it holds. A forest provides habitat for wildlife, recreational opportunities for hikers and hunters, a place for quiet contemplation, and filtration and storage of drinking water. And because forests scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in their trees and soils, they are a critical "hedge" against global warming. (David Suzuki, Beacon Herald)

It's about time we started telling it like it is: carbon sequestration is not a service -- it's a cost and those depleting this essential resource from the atmosphere should be paying for it (or at least grateful to those replenishing it).

The real situation is that hundreds of millions of years of biological activity have depleted essential atmospheric carbon dioxide and the atmosphere is currently in a parlous state, drawn way below a safe margin of ~1,000ppmv carbon dioxide to the point where many plants barely function at all. You would think tree huggers would be rejoicing the fact a byproduct of human activity is restoring to the atmosphere some of its former bounty and supporting more life on Earth but no, the misanthropic watermelons simply can't overcome their "if humans are involved it has to be bad" mindset and decry the best thing that has happened for the biosphere in millions of years.

<chuckle> Palin letter sets off eco-fury - Furious environmental campaigners have hit out at vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, after it was discovered that she tried to block air-pollution cutting legislation in California.

Palin, Governor of Alaska, wrote to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, asking him to veto the Ports Investment Bill, which would see a pollution tax put on container ships arriving in Californian ports.

Money raised from the tax – an estimated $400 million per year – would be reinvested in projects designed to reduce congestion and clean up California’s air.

Palin was concerned that the tax would damage Alaska’s economy as it would increase the price of goods shipped to Alaska. (Fair Home)

They don't like Palin doing her job as Governor of Alaska?

I was going to mention the hacking of Governor Palin's personal e-mail account but, as is often the case, Luboš has beaten me to it: Sarah Palin: nothing wrong about a Yahoo address - A hacker - possibly a group calling itself "Anonymous" (not too helpful) and maybe a student nicknamed Rubico - has hacked into Sarah Palin's e-mail account,, and published some content on the web. It was easy: he or she only resetted the password by answering a few trivial questions such as the ZIP code and the place where she met her husband (Wasilla High). What he or she or it or they have found seems innocent so I can show you: (The Reference Frame)

They've Got Mail! - As an army of Democratic operatives looks for dirt in Alaska, Gov. Sarah Palin's e-mail account is hacked into. It seems Barack Obama's supporters haven't given up the politics of personal destruction. (IBD)

Just for laughs: Startle Response Linked to Politics - People who startle easily in response to threatening images or loud sounds seem to have a biological predisposition to adopt conservative political positions on many hot-button issues, according to unusual new research published yesterday. (Washington Post)

Now let's see if I have this straight. Conservatives cling to guns, go hunting and have Confederate flags on their pickups. People who startle easily in response to loud sounds are likely to be conservatives. Guns make loud sounds so... conservatives like to be startled? No, no! Conservatives like to use silencers on their guns, that must be it!

Another naive propagandist: Climate change's various faces - For the past 16 years the first intergovernmental negotiation took place in Washington DC in early 1991 the world has been haggling about what it knows about climate change but does not want to accept. It has been desperately seeking every excuse not to act, even as science has confirmed and reconfirmed the fact that climate change is real, it is related to carbon dioxide and other emissions, the emissions are related to economic growth and wealth in the world. In other words, it is human made and it can devastate the world as we know it.

The fact is that science is not just certain but unequivocal that climate change and its devastation are now inevitable. (Sunita Narain, Canberra Times)

Global Warming to Shake Up Big Ten - Jim Nichols of the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote an article this past Tuesday (September 16) that has gotten the attention of Ohio State and Michigan fans around the country: Global warming could send buckeye trees to Michigan (Watts Up With That?)

Trusting climate model output is just plain dumb: Colorado resort real estate buffered from global warming - Ski towns in Colorado’s high country — including Summit County — may have some short-term immunity from predicted global-warming impacts that could drive down resort real-estate values by more than 50 percent in some parts of the country.

A recent study by the San Francisco branch of the Federal Reserve concluded that resorts in the Pacific Coast region could see a home values decline by 56 percent if temperatures climb by 2 degrees Celsius.

That change is well within the scale of current climate predictions. Most models show shorter seasons and less reliable snow cover for ski areas in California and the Pacific Northwest as well as New England and the Southeast.

The relatively high elevation of Colorado’s ski areas may delay those effects, but the same results — less snow, shorter seasons — are expected in the long-term. (Summit Daily News)

Guess what? We have no reason whatsoever to believe the world will warm catastrophically or that the snowpack will diminish.

Douglass & Christy: limits on CO2 climate forcing - In this dose of skeptical peer-reviewed [see some debate about the adjective in the comments] literature about the climate, we look to Energy and Environment. In the August 2008 issue, David Douglass and John Christy have the following article: Limits on CO2 climate forcing from recent temperature data of Earth (PDF)

Yes, it is also an arXiv preprint! The authors use a very natural strategy to determine the CO2 contribution to the warming trend. They look at the tropical and extratropical data from the last 30 years, as collected by UAH MSU and HadCRUT3. (The Reference Frame)

Granted I've only had a chance for a cursory examination of this paper but my impression was they may still be significantly overestimating increased forcing from carbon dioxide. While the extrapolation if about +1 °C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide holds from the last 30 years data I suspect it will not once we get further into a cooling (or warming stall, as warmers prefer to call it). Perhaps I haven't fully understood their paper but, at the moment, I've seen nothing to suggest we should up-revise the conclusion drawn here.

Kudos To Andy Revkin At Dot Earth For A Balanced News Article - Climate Science has been critical of news articles that are clearly biased in their presentation of our understanding of Climate Science. Thus, it is a pleasure to report on a balanced article by Andy Revkin on September 17, 2008 titled Arctic Ice Retreat Misses Last Year’s Mark

Except for the last sentence of the article, where he speculates, this news story accurately summarizes the end of the 2008 Arctic sea ice melt season. We need more well written articles of this type to properly communicate our understanding of climate to the public and policymakers. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Uh-huh... The IPCC report: what the lead authors really think - In the final months of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment reporting in 2007, the world’s three leading climate science agencies asked people directly and intimately involved with the report for their views on how the process had gone and some of the key issues it raised. (ERL)

IPCC lead authors are chosen for their gorebull warming belief so this is asking the promoters of the whole shemozzle.

Green Job Rhetoric, Meet Carbon-Cap Reality - It certainly seems incongruent to witness the candidates ever so quietly promoting their plans to address the greatest threat facing mankind, burying nonspecific throwaway lines in speeches given when they know lots of people are watching. Not much talk out of either of them at their respective conventions, when they had massive, rapt audiences. Strange. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

More Push for Green Jobs - Wednesday’s Washington Post also had a story, “Report: Emission rules to boost Calif. economy,” noting that “business groups and some Republican lawmakers” doubt this. Clearly, the global-warming industry has sensed the difficulties that it will face forcing its agenda on a public sharpening the pitchforks over what would prove in hindsight to be relatively cheap energy. I also now see that a “green recovery” hearing of Rep. Ed Markey’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is taking place this afternoon, so the coincidences make some sense. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Business chiefs urge action on climate change - Business leaders including directors at Tesco, Lloyds TSB and other top high street names have urged Gordon Brown to drop his slowly, slowly approach to tackling global warming and go for "transformational change", saying the prime minister should not be held back by fears over the current financial crisis.

But the involvement in the initiative of BAA, owner of Heathrow, and the energy firm E.ON angered environmentalists, who said the companies that encouraged flying and built coal-fired power stations showed "hypocrisy of the purest strain". (The Guardian)

Certainly does -- they should get the heck away from the whole "address gorebull warming" nonsense.

Socialist saboteurs looking for any excuse: 'Let us strike over climate change' - UNIONS are looking to change industrial laws to allow employees to strike over climate-change issues. (The Australian)

Dirty rain: clearing up the mystery - The effect of aerosols in the atmosphere on rainfall has been the subject of much dispute, with some studies finding that higher aerosol concentrations increase precipitation and others showing that they decrease it.

Now researchers from Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico and Switzerland have come up with a theory that accounts for both effects. They believe that there is an optimum amount of aerosol particles in the atmosphere to create maximum rainfall. Increasing aerosol concentrations below the optimum will boost rainfall, whereas increasing levels to above the optimum will decrease it. (ERL)

Carbon dioxide levels depended on ocean - During the last ice age, roughly 20-100,000 years ago, there were a number of abrupt changes in climate. Now researchers from Oregon State University have found out more about the role of carbon dioxide in these transitions.

"The most interesting findings are firstly that atmospheric carbon dioxide is strongly correlated with Antarctic temperature and secondly that it begins to increase a few thousand years prior to large abrupt warming events in Greenland," researcher Jinho Ahn told environmentalresearchweb. "We also see some links between increases in carbon dioxide and changes in ocean circulation that might release carbon dioxide from the deep ocean." (ERL)

Yes, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are dependent on ocean temperatures and, as we pointed out last week, abrupt cooling with only slow decline in carbon dioxide levels and the long lead time (2-5ka) between increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and Greenland warming fail to support the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis.

There goes another hysterical claim: Oldest ice in North America 'more resistant to climate change than thought' - The oldest known ice in North America has been found, revealing that it is three quarters of a million years old and more resistant to climate warming than thought.

Permafrost is like a glue that holds the Arctic together and a deep thaw would have dramatic effects on ecosystems and also release carbon dioxide and methane that would further accelerate climate change.

But evidence that the permafrost will tolerate warming at more southerly, Subarctic latitudes has been found in the form of ancient ice in the Klondike area of central Yukon Territory near Dawson City, by a team from the University of Alberta.

"Previously it had been thought that permafrost completely melted out of the interior of Yukon and Alaska about 120,000 years ago, when climate was warmer than today" said Dr Duane Froese, lead author of the study published in the journal Science.

"What we found is that even within the discontinuous permafrost zone- the area where permafrost is warm - within a few degrees of 0ºC, and shallow - only a few to tens of metres thick, that it has survived at some locations for more than 700,000 years". (Daily Telegraph)

Of all the things they could and should be doing... Chicago Unveils Multifaceted Plan to Curb Emissions of Heat-Trapping Gases - The blueprint would change the city’s building codes to promote energy efficiency, and it calls for installing huge solar panels at municipal properties and building alternative fueling stations. (New York Times)

How the IPCC Portrayed a Net Positive Impact of Climate Change as a Negative - And it was done without uttering an untruth! (Cato @ Liberty)

Newsflash: used-car salesman says 'Trust me!': Carbon trading boss rejects fears of slowdown in pollution permits business - There has been a 150% increase in the volumes of carbon trading on the European Climate Exchange in the first six months of the year and its boss predicted there would be further growth despite a global economic slowdown. (The Guardian)

Tax and Charade - ... And this is indeed the problem with cap and trade. Any policy, no matter how theoretically sound, that cannot meet the test of political and economic realities is indeed fatally flawed. RGGI may do many things, but reducing emissions does not seem to be among them. It is high time we started calling cap and trade what it really is — tax and charade. (Roger Pielke, Jr., Prometheus)

Drill, Baby, Drill - Energy is essential in America, and 40% of what we use comes from oil and 23% from natural gas. That comes to about 21 million barrels of oil and 64 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. Domestic oil production is declining--down nearly half since 1970--so imports are up, from one-third of what we needed in 1970 to just under 60% today. So we need to discover and access more of our own energy resources.

The good news is that huge resources of oil and gas exist offshore: recoverable oil and gas on America's Outer Continental Shelf comes to some 85 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and there are another 10 billion barrels of oil in the North Slope of Alaska. If full access to these resources were permitted, together they could replace America's imported oil for some 25 years, and no doubt reduce the price of oil, gas and gasoline. (Pete Du Pont, Wall Street Journal)

Pelosi's Drilling Ruse - The sudden pro-drilling makeover of the Pelosi Democrats has always had an air -- a gale, really -- of election-year convenience, and the House proved it Tuesday by passing an energy bill that would put any bunko man to shame. This confidence trick won't expand domestic oil-and-gas supplies even a bit.

The ruse began late Monday night, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a 290-page bill and then waved it through less than 24 hours later, 236-189. "Closed" rules prohibited the GOP from offering alternatives. The real game was to give vulnerable Democrats political cover by letting them vote for more offshore drilling -- while also making more drilling all but impossible, thus appeasing the party's green wing.

Sure enough, only 13 Democrats voted against the bill; even antidrilling purists like Ed Markey found something to like. Nearly all the members of the Blue Dog coalition, who had been on the cusp of revolt this summer because of Mrs. Pelosi's obstructionism, also fell in line. They now have their campaign cover story. (Wall Street Journal)

The Democrats’ Sham Energy Bill - WASHINGTON -- The other night when House Democrats appeared to reverse their long-standing ban on offshore oil drilling, the electorate was again hoodwinked. At least the Democratic leadership hoped the electorate was hoodwinked. (R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., American Spectator)

Ganging Up on the Gang - It’s a familiar story: A promising kid gets in with the wrong crowd, ends up joining a gang, and wastes his life away in addiction and futility. In this case, the addiction is to expensive foreign oil and the gangsters are the Senate’s so-called Gang of 20, who are pushing a potentially disastrous energy package that amounts to near-complete capitulation to the anti-drilling, anti-energy crowd. The promising kid is John McCain. And the bad influence? His name is Sen. Lindsey Graham. (NRO)

Russia Makes a Move for Arctic Oil - The international struggle to assert sovereignty over oil and gas rich Arctic waters heated up this week after Russian President Dimitri Medvedev suggested that the Federal Security Service (FSS) draw a formal border around Russia’s claimed territory. The Arctic is thought to hold 80 billion barrels of oil and up to 20 percent of the world’s natural gas deposits, but it is unclear which countries control what in the region. Under international law, each country is entitled to control an economic zone within 200 miles of its continental shelf, but the limits of the shelf are disputed, and Russia, the United States, Norway, Canada, and Denmark have made competing claims. In 2004, Russian President Vladimir Putin created the Arctic Directorate within the FSS (the successor to the KGB) to further Russia’s claim to over 460,000 square miles of the mineral-rich territory. (William Yeatman, Cooler Heads Digest)

Firms Line Up to Get in on Brazil Oil 'Gold Rush' - RIO DE JANEIRO - The discovery of huge offshore oil reserves has made Brazil one of the world's hottest energy markets, with firms that make everything from planning software for wells to floating "hotels" for platform workers clamoring for a piece of the action. (Reuters)

More wasted $s and energy: Kevin Rudd's $100m clean coal plan - KEVIN Rudd has summoned mining and industry chief executives, environmentalists and union leaders to Canberra this morning to unveil a $100 million clean coal research institute aimed at making Australia the world hub for the climate-change-fighting technology. (The Australian)

EU must build new power capacity faster -engineers - FRANKFURT, Sept 17 - European Union countries must quickly build new power generation plants to put in an additional 400,000 megawatts, or half the current total again, by 2020, plant engineers' association VGB said on Wednesday.

Installed power capacity in the bloc's 27 members states now stands at around 780,000 MW, according to industry figures.

In a statement, VGB cited a projected rise in electricity consumption by 15 percent to 4,000 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2020 from the current 3,400 MW in the EU-27. (Reuters)

Va. energy group hears view against coal plants - The U.S. should stop building coal-burning power plants because they contribute to global warming, a key speaker said at a Richmond energy conference yesterday.

The country needs to move over the next few decades toward making electricity in ways that don't produce heat-trapping gases, said Christopher Flavin, president of the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington-based environmental and research group.

"Starting right now, we should not be building any new coal-fired power plants," Flavin said. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Someone hit Lynas with a reality stick? Why greens must learn to love nuclear power - Global warming and finite resources mean our way of life is more threatened than ever, and it's time for the environmental movement to face up to some hard truths (Mark Lynas, New Statesman)

Hmm... WHO: Recalculation cuts malaria cases by half - GENEVA — The World Health Organization halved its estimate of the number of people who get malaria each year, saying Thursday that better measurement techniques had cut the number from 500 million people to 247 million.

The U.N. agency, which issued the revised figure in its World Malaria Report 2008, said the new estimate is based on better data for countries outside Africa.

WHO left unchanged the figure of malaria deaths. An estimated 881,000 people were killed by malaria in 2006 — most of them were children under 5, the report said. (Associated Press) | World Malaria Report 2008

... pretty handy to be able to claim you are doing your job well by magically waving away half the problem. "The Intolerable Burden of Malaria: A New Look at the Numbers," - supplement to The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene suggested a few years ago that WHO dramatically underestimated malarial cases and deaths with mortality at ~2.7 millions deaths per annum and now WHO statistically massages away half their estimate of the globe's cases. Hmm... again.

On the brighter side, gorebull warming has been frequently (albeit fraudulently) claimed to increase malaria. The globe has allegedly warmed (certainly the first few years of the 21st Century were above recent average) and WHO says malarial cases have halved, so I guess we can now claim gorebull warming reduces malarial incidence.

Public needs to know vaccines are safe, docs say -- A new coalition of 22 major medical groups says public confidence in vaccine safety needs to be restored to avoid risks for deadly disease outbreaks.

Thursday's message comes from the Chicago-based American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and 20 more of the nation's most influential health-related groups.

Their concern stems from recent measles outbreaks in several U.S. cities. Last month, health officials said 131 children had gotten the measles so far this year - the highest number in more than a decade. Nearly half of the cases involved children whose parents rejected vaccination and many of the cases were traced to outbreaks overseas. (Associated Press)

Hmm... Paracetamol given to babies is linked to global rise in asthma - The global rise in asthma over the past 50 years, which has mystified doctors for decades, may be linked to the growing use of paracetamol, researchers suggest today.

A major international study, involving more than 200,000 children in 31 countries, has found those treated with paracetamol in the first year of life had a 46 per cent increased risk of developing asthma by the age of seven.

The risk was up to three times higher among children who were the heaviest users of the drug, indicating a strong dose-dependent link. The study, published in The Lancet, adds to a growing body of evidence linking the painkiller with the disabling lung condition. Eczema and rhinitis were also increased. Previous research has linked asthma with exposure to paracetamol in the womb, infancy, childhood and adulthood. (The Independent)

... kids more prone to fevers -- and hence more frequent users of paracetamol -- might also be more prone to asthma, maybe?

Ancient, but How Safe? - LIKE many people these days, Lori Potter, a 50-year-old massage therapist living on Kauai, Hawaii, has explored alternative healing for everything from headaches to skin problems. So when she wanted to boost her immune system and lower her stress levels a few years ago, she made an appointment with a visiting practitioner of ayurveda, a medical system that originated in India thousands of years ago and has gained wide popularity in the United States.

He prescribed herbal supplements, which he tested himself for impurities, to help boost her immunity. Soon, Ms. Potter said, she felt more energetic and her digestion was better. After two years, the practitioner stopped visiting the island, and she has not taken any supplements since, she said, because she has not met any practitioners she trusts.

“You never know what’s really in these supplements,” she said. “This is serious stuff, and you can’t just take them without knowing the source.” (New York Times)

France Throws "Picnic Tax" in the Bin - ROME - France has dropped plans to introduce a so-called "picnic tax", French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Thursday, looking to head off controversy over the eco-friendly measure.

The French environment minister announced on Monday the government was going to increase taxes on throwaway plates, cups and cutlery to encourage people to buy recyclable products.

Opposition politicians dubbed it the "picnic tax" and said the government should be hiking levies on rich people rather than penalising ordinary people enjoying a day out.

Embarrassed by the bad publicity, Fillon immediately pulled the plug on the project. (Reuters)

The Hyperbole Market -- It's the Worst - John McCain was right when he said Monday that despite the bad news about Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy and AIG trolling for help from Uncle Sam, "the fundamentals of our economy are strong." As politicians running for the White House learn, honesty is a commodity best used sparingly on the campaign trail. Voters apparently believe that America is in a terrible recession -- even though the gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.3 percent last quarter and grew by some .09 percent in 2008's first quarter. When the public is in full panic mode, McCain could take a lesson from Barack Obama, who is running ahead of the stampede. (Debra J. Saunders, Rasmussen Reports)

The Crone doesn't understand why people like Palin, either: Gun Lobby First - The House stampeded past serious public safety concerns and the democratic rights of residents of the District of Columbia on Wednesday to approve a bill that would gut sensible gun controls in the nation’s capital. (New York Times)

The mother of all failures - From the organisation that wants to sell you snake oil carbon credits (or, at least, make you pay through the nose for them) comes the stunning news that it plans to carry out a "full review" of its flagship Common Fisheries Policy, with the intention of proposing "major reform" by 2012. (EU Referendum)

New System Could Help Avert Collapse of Fisheries - CHICAGO - Guaranteeing individual fishermen a share of the catch could help avert a global collapse of fisheries, US researchers said on Thursday.

Such programs, known as catch-shares, eliminate the frantic race to get the biggest share of the catch as in traditional open-access fishing, a system that promotes overfishing and habitat destruction, putting a key global food supply at risk.

"Under open access, you have a free-for-all race to fish, which ultimately leads to collapse," said Christopher Costello of the University of California, Santa Barbara, whose study appears in the journal Science.

"But when you allocate shares of the catch, then there is an incentive to protect the stock, which reduces collapse. We saw this across the globe," he said in a statement.

They're talking about avoiding the tragedy of the commons with proprietary interest -- otherwise known as "property rights" -- anathema to the Left and simple common sense to the Right.

A rising tide - Scientists find proof that privatising fishing stocks can avert a disaster (The Economist)

Privately Owned Fisheries May Help Shore Up Stocks - Giving people ownership rights in marine fisheries can halt or even reverse catastrophic declines in commercial stocks, researchers are reporting. (New York Times)

Conservancy Buys Slice of Adirondacks - A 14,600-acre piece of the Adirondacks long prized by environmentalists for its forests and wetlands, including a pond where Ralph Waldo Emerson led a “philosophers’ camp,” was purchased on Thursday by a preservation group for $16 million, the group said.

The property, which had been owned by a Vermont family for 56 years, will not immediately be open to the public because of leases for recreational hunting and fishing that will last several more years. But the group, the Nature Conservancy, said the purchase meant that the land would be protected and ultimately added to the Adirondack Forest Preserve in Adirondack Park. (New York Times)

Bread Stays on Menu for Carp at Pennsylvania Lake - PITTSBURGH — The carp in Pymatuning Lake will not be denied their daily bread, the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks has decided.

After being berated for two months by visitors, business owners and elected officials, the state has temporarily called off a plan to force people to stop feeding bread to carp in the lake near Linesville, Pa., and to feed them fish pellets instead.

Every year, an estimated 500,000 people trek to the lake in northwestern Pennsylvania to see a veritable carpet of carp in the water.

The impromptu roadside attraction is known in part for the sight of ducks walking over the backs of the carp to get at some of the bread themselves. This has spurred Linesville to call itself “Where the Ducks Walk on the Fishes.”

In July, the state said it wanted to end the 70-year tradition because it was generating litter and attracting geese that were defecating on local beaches and campgrounds. (New York Times)

GM crops protect neighbors from pests - A study in northern China indicates that genetically modified cotton, altered to express the insecticide, Bt, not only reduces pest populations among those crops, but also reduces pests among other nearby crops that have not been modified with Bt. These findings could offer promising new ideas for controlling pests and maximizing crop yields in the future. The report will be published by the journal Science on Friday, 19 September. (AAAS)

FDA issues rules for genetically modified animals - WASHINGTON - Genetically engineered animals moved closer to the dinner table on Thursday as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the process it will use to review new proposals public.

The FDA published proposed detailed guidelines that producers of genetically engineered animals would have to follow to determine whether there are any risks to humans, the environment and the animals themselves.

The guidelines bring the decades-old technology of genetic engineering for animals one step closer to the market. (Reuters)

For dinner: Genetically altered 'super chicken' -- Super Chicken strutted a step closer to the dinner table Thursday. The government said it will start considering proposals to sell genetically engineered animals as food, a move that could lead to faster-growing fish, cattle that can resist mad cow disease or perhaps heart-healthier eggs laid by a new breed of chickens. (Associated Press)

Walnut trees emit aspirin-like chemical to deal with stress - Plants in a forest respond to stress by producing significant amounts of a chemical form of aspirin, scientists have discovered. The finding, by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), opens up new avenues of research into the behavior of plants and their impacts on air quality, and it also has the potential to give farmers an early warning signal about crops that are failing. (NCAR)

September 18, 2008

Funny: Sarah Palin: The ice queen - Sarah Palin, the Republican party's vice-president nominee, governs an oil-rich area that has seen some of the most dramatic effects of climate change. So what's her record on environmental concerns? By Britt Collins (The Guardian)

Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science, says: "The irony of a climate change denier being based in Alaska is breathtaking. The state is warming faster than practically anywhere else, with winter temperatures up by 6F since 1950.

Well yes Chris, that's true - kind of... Alaskan temperatures did shoot up -- in the 1970s with the Great Pacific Climate Shift (look it up if you are unfamiliar with the term). And since 2005? Cooling, big time.

The green scam - The Lehman crash opens wide a vein of which we had begun to explore with our examination of carbon capture. It may be obvious when you think about it, and start doing some digging, but it has not been to forefront of the debate – the simple precept that one of the main beneficiaries of "climate change" is big business.

To that extent, simply to position the climate change issue as greenie propaganda is to miss the point. Green politics itself is a money-spinner, which makes the green agenda advocates beneficiaries in their own right. Big government, and especially the tranzis like the European Union and the United Nations gain considerably, as indeed do national governments which are able to expand their tax bases with rafts of green taxes.

Now put big business into the mix and you have a potent cocktail – a triumvirate of vested interest which needs to stoke up public concern about "climate change" in order to reap the financial and political rewards. The big myth in all this, of course, is that the "greenies" and industry are on opposing sides. They are in fact allies (some unwittingly), each standing to benefit in their own ways, alongside their allies in the various levels of government.

Arguably, this is – if one dare use that term – a vast conspiracy of interest, a means by which this triumvirate has found the golden key which enables it to pick the pockets of ordinary people. That turnkey, of course, is the quest to "save the planet", for which no impost or sacrifice is too great to demand. (EU Referendum)

Dammit! Passed over again! Rubber Dodo award for governor - Sarah Palin may have seen the light - sort of - on climate change but that did not spare her from being singled out yesterday as America's environmental enemy of the year.

The Centre for Biological Diversity awarded Palin its Rubber Dodo award for her insistence - despite evidence to the contrary - that the polar bear population was rising across the Arctic. The Arizona thinktank condemned the Alaska governor as a "global warming denier".

"Governor Palin has waged a deceptive, dangerous, and costly battle against the polar bear," Kieran Suckling, the centre's director, said. "Her position on global warming is so extreme, she makes Dick Cheney look like an Al Gore devotee." (The Guardian)

There's just no justice, the amount of effort I put in... [sounds of editor muttering off into the distance]

Most Business Execs are Climate Change Skeptics - Most Wisconsin business executives are skeptical about climate change science, but still favor energy conservation and alternative energy use, according to a survey released by the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp. (WECC).

Climate change ranked dead last on a list of 10 concerns presented by the six page survey. According to the study’s authors, “Most business leaders do not believe that climate change is a pressing problem that poses serious economic, social or environmental risks; most believe that climate change is not the result of human activity; and most regard predictions of adverse consequences from climate change as unreliable.” (Ken Reibel, Express Milwaukee)

Biased Broadcasting Climate - Dr. Iain Stewart’s new BBC2 series Earth: The Climate Wars promised to be a ‘definitive guide’ to the climate debate. Instead, this week’s episode ‘Fightback’, which focused on the sceptics was as shallow and as hollow as any old commentary. The film’s blurb on BBC iPlayer, advertises it thus:

Dr Iain Stewart investigates the counter attack that was launched by the global warming sceptics in the 1990s.

At the start of the 1990s it seemed the world was united. At the Rio Earth summit the world signed up to a programme of action to start tackling climate change. Even George Bush was there. But the consensus didn’t last.

Iain examines the scientific arguments that developed as the global warming sceptics took on the climate change consensus. The sceptics attacked almost everything that scientists held to be true. They argued that the planet wasn’t warming up, that even if it was it was nothing unusual, and certainly whatever was happening to the climate was nothing to do with human emissions of greenhouse gases.

Iain interviews some of the key global warming sceptics, and discovers how their positions have changed over time.

Before the film has started, it is clear that it lacks objectivity. Notice how the blurb casts the players of the debate as either ’scientists’ or sceptics’, as if they were mutually exclusive terms. Notice too, how it is supposed to be important that ‘positions have changed over time’, as though the counterpart argument had such integrity that it had never shifted, or responded to emerging evidence. Third, Stewart characterises the 1992 Rio summit (both in the blurb and in the film) as evidence of a consensus, which was seemingly attacked by ‘the sceptics’, when in fact, agreements and frameworks since then have failed for their non-viability, not because of any attack. And there was no such consensus in 1992. As we have pointed out before, in 1992, the ‘consensus’ was characterised very differently to today, and the UNFCCC agreements proceeded not on the basis of scientific evidence and certainty, but according to the precautionary principle. (Climate Resistance)

Most Europeans 'very concerned' by climate change - BRUSSELS — Most Europeans are very concerned about climate change though a sizeable minority feel they do not know enough to help counter it, a major EU poll released Thursday showed.


However 30 percent of Europeans think that CO2 emissions have only a marginal effect on climate change and 15 percent said they did not know whether it had an impact. (AFP)

45% is a pretty large swing vote...

Under-achieving B-team players fumbling on climate change too - As evidence to the contrary started rolling in and one prominent scientist after another abandoned ship, the global warming brigade lost much of its sizzle in the past year.

With temperatures going down rather than up, the devoted even had to retire the term "global warming" altogether.

But the wheels really started coming off the newly branded climate change bandwagon when Hollywood and a host of high-profile celebrities began admonishing we puny mortals about changing our ways for the sake of the planet.

There's something irritating about being lectured on the finer points of energy conservation by jet-flying, limousine-riding, estate-living elites with their Olympic-sized swimming pools, vacation homes and garages full of European sports cars.

And this past week brought about a pitiable scene that will only further alienate the alarmists from the rest of us. (John Martin, The Province)

Old Fulla's at it again: Rudd lashes climate change sceptics - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has lashed climate change sceptics as "reckless and irresponsible".

Mr Rudd made an unexpected appearance on Thursday towards the end of a long parliamentary debate on a government bill that clears the way for millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide to be stored under the sea.

The bill would establish the legal framework to make carbon capture and storage (CCS) possible in Commonwealth offshore waters and for ensuring it was safe, he told parliament on Thursday. (AAP)

Every day we get closer to an election. Every day we get closer...

Economist warn ETS rush could backfire - SOME of the nation’s most senior agricultural economists warn of severe economic consequences for the farm sector if Australia introduces a carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS) ahead of our trade competitors like the US and Brazil.

The concerns echo those from farm leaders who fear Australian farmers will be disadvantaged by a scheme which will effectively impose an export tax on farm businesses with higher electricity, fuel and fertiliser costs – which won’t affect farmers in other countries because they aren’t covered by similar schemes.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has also weighed into the debate, this week urging the Federal Government to implement a scheme which would ensure the competitiveness of Australia’s food and grocery manufacturing sector.

It said any ETS which did not include international emitters represented a threat to the $70 billion packaged food and grocery industry. (The Land)

Is This The Beginning of Global Cooling - Many scary stories have been written about the dangers of catastrophic global warming, allegedly due to increased atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the combustion of fossil fuels. But is the world really catastrophically warming? NO. And is the warming primarily caused by humans? NO.

Since just January 2007, the world has cooled so much that ALL the global warming over the past three decades has disappeared! This is confirmed by a plot of actual global average temperatures from the best available source, weather satellite data that shows there has been NO net global warming since the satellites were first launched in 1979. (Allan MacRae, Icecap)

Astronomical Influences Affect Climate More Than CO2, Say Experts – Warming and cooling cycles are more directly tied in with astronomical influences than they are with human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, some scientists now say.

Recent observations point to a strong link between “solar variability” – or fluctuations in the sun’s radiation – and climate change on Earth, while other research sees the sun as just one of many heavenly bodies affecting global warming in the later half of the 20th century.

Contrary to what has been stated in a “Summary for Policymakers” attached to the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report -- and in subsequent press coverage of the report -- there is scant evidence in favor of human-caused global warming, according to geologists, astrophysicists, and climatologists who have released updated studies.

The IPCC report was issued most recently in February 2007.

An examination of warming and cooling trends over the last 400 years shows an “almost exact correlation” between all of the known climate changes that have occurred and solar energy transmitted to the Earth, while showing “no correlation at all with CO2,” Don J. Easterbrook, a geologist with Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., told

Well gosh... Natives will survive climate change, study finds - AS THE world warms, Australian trees will grow faster and larger and become more water-efficient, research suggests.

Giant, climate-controlled tents that simulate the carbon dioxide-heavy conditions expected in the second half of the 21st century have been erected over gum trees by University of Western Sydney researchers.

Air inside the tents is carefully regulated to raise the carbon dioxide content to over 600 parts per million - above the predicted "tipping point" for highly damaging climate change.

The results suggest the hardy eucalypts will survive and maybe even prosper, even as surrounding ecosystems collapse. (Sydney Morning Herald)

... plants, which evolved in with higher atmospheric carbon dioxide conditions, actually thrive when not carbon-deprived as they have been for the last few million years. Go figure!

This should be more to disaster-mongers' liking: Global warming's ecosystem double whammy - Plants and soils act like sponges for atmospheric carbon dioxide, but new research finds that one abnormally warm year can suppress the amount of carbon dioxide taken up by some grassland ecosystems for up to two years. The findings, which followed an unprecedented four-year study of sealed, 12-ton containerized grassland plots at DRI is the cover story in this week's issue (September 18) of the journal Nature. (Rice University)

'Calm before storm' may foreshadow climatic tipping point -- Abrupt climate change has occurred on earth many times over the past millions of years. Climate scientists hypothesize that these sharp transitions may be caused when the earth system reaches a tipping point, or a critical value, resulting in a change of several degrees. These abrupt transitions have caused, for example, the formation and melting of glaciers throughout the earth, North Africa’s change from savannah to desert 5,000 years ago, and various other changes. (

Healthy breakfast can lead to a sicker planet - What you have for breakfast could have twice the impact on the environment as driving to work, according to a study published in New Scientist magazine.

Ecotrust ecological economist Astrid Scholz, who calculates food production carbon emissions using "equivalence CO2 emissions", says a bowl of cereal with milk has emitted as much greenhouse gas to get to your table as a 6km drive in an SUV would produce.

New Scientist said academics tallying the carbon emissions of products and manufacturing processes found our diets account for up to twice the emissions caused by driving. (New Zealand Herald)

Mikey's a Nobel Laureate now? At URI, global warming as a natural event - SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Forget about Al Gore and his film An Inconvenient Truth. Forget about the thousands of scientists who contributed to the United Nations reports on climate change. Forget about most of the countries in the world that signed on to the Kyoto Protocol and agreed to reduce their climate change emissions.

A well-crafted, visually appealing, 10-minute documentary film argues that they are all wrong. Cycles of the sun are warming the earth. The sun has done it before, and it is doing it again, according to Unstoppable Solar Cycles: The Real Story of Greenland.

The film was produced by the Idea Channel, a nonprofit group that produces videos to espouse its beliefs in political and economic freedom. Funding reportedly came from the Heartland Institute, a nonprofit organization that supports publications questioning climate change.

Next Tuesday, the speaker will be Nobel Prize winner Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. His talk will be at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium. (Providence Journal)

Actually not and we wonder if reporters will ever figure out that the Nobel was awarded (however foolishly) jointly to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and not to individual contributors or reviewers of some of their documentation. No matter, here's the video:

Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth by David H. Douglass and John R. Christy, 2008 - There is an important and informative new paper on the role of the radiative forcing of CO2 on the climate system. It is Douglass, D.H., and J.R. Christy, 2008: Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth. Energy and Environment, accepted. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

The Only Source of Heat - The John Locke Foundation (my former employer and current office landlord) hosted University of Alabama-Huntsville research scientist Roy Spencer at a luncheon (full video presentation is linked) in Raleigh yesterday, where he spoke about his book "Climate Confusion." (Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch)

These pieces are always fun: White roofs, streets could curb global warming - The idea of painting our roofs and roads white to offset global warming is not new, but a recent study has calculated just how significantly white surfaces could impact greenhouse gas emissions. Last week, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley presented their study at California's annual Climate Change Research Conference in Sacramento. (PhysOrg)

To figure this out these guys must know the warming that will result from 1 metric ton of atmospheric carbon dioxide, right? How much is that?

Forty years ago in the seminal work “Climate Modeling Through Radiative-Convective Models,” (Review of Geophysics and Space Physics 16 (1978):465) V. Ramanathan and J.A. Coakley, Jr. stated: "Partly because the infrared absorption bands of the various components of the atmosphere overlap, the contributions from individual absorbers do not add linearly. Clouds trap only 14 percent of the radiation with all other major species present, but would trap 50 percent if all other absorbers were removed (Table D2 and Figure D1). Carbon dioxide adds 12 percent to radiation trapping, which is less than the contribution from either water vapor or clouds. By itself, however, carbon dioxide is capable of trapping three times as much radiation as it actually does in the Earth's atmosphere." and as far as we know no one has disproved or even disputed this.

What does that all mean? Basically that there is 'competition' among absorbers for outgoing longwave radiation and that there has been more than sufficient greenhouse gas in the atmosphere to achieve the bulk of Earth's greenhouse effect since long before man learned to manipulate fire. It is also the reason adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere has a logarithmic effect on net greenhouse rather than linearly accumulative (that is, each additional molecule has less effect than the one before it...).

There is no neat formula of 1 ton carbon dioxide = some amount of warming and there is no significant enhanced greenhouse warming left to worry about for the simple reason we are already at the point where relatively huge increases in greenhouse gas provide negligible increased greenhouse effect.

More PlayStation® climatology: Warming world in range of dangerous consequences - The earth will warm about 2.4° C (4.3° F) above pre-industrial levels even under extremely conservative greenhouse-gas emission scenarios and under the assumption that efforts to clean up particulate pollution continue to be successful, according to a new analysis by a pair of researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Guess what? Without costing $100ks, we used an Earth energy balance model, made two assumptions: cleaner air would reduce the discoloration of snow and ice fields, increasing Earth albedo from 31% to 31.5% of incoming solar radiation and enhanced greenhouse would see the %age outgoing longwave radiation returned to Earth increase from 39.7% to 40.2% and found that ... Earth would actually warm trivially (about as much as Kyoto could possibly cool it, in fact, ~0.07 °C). You can use the form in this page to run your own simulations and it's free. Using the three adjustable variables you can tweak incoming and outgoing radiation to cook or freeze the planet to your heart's content.

Why? Bush administration taps climate change believer - The US environmental protection agency -- hardly known as a bastion of climate consciousness -- makes an interesting personnel choice. (The Guardian)

Regulate CO2 Under the Clean Air Act . . . Crash the Economy - On Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a study on the compliance burdens businesses will incur if the EPA, in response to Massachusetts v. EPA, decides to establish first-ever greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for new cars and trucks. (Marlo Lewis, Planet Gore)

Leaked papers show Britain trying to weaken plan for EU carbon cuts - Britain is trying to weaken European proposals to make governments and companies cut their carbon emissions by 2020 to tackle global warming, the Guardian has learned. Leaked documents show Britain wants Brussels to offset more domestic carbon savings through investment in clean projects in the developing world. (The Guardian)

EU's CO2 plans a cost disaster: German industry - BERLIN - Germany must push for change in how European countries share the financial burdens of tighter carbon trading rules after 2012, or face prohibitive rises in carbon avoidance costs, energy users' group VIK said on Monday.

"Germany's carbon trading position has to become top of the political agenda as we get closer to elections in 2009, the ball is in Chancellor Angela Merkel's court to avert disaster," said Alfred Richmann, managing director of the Essen-based group.

"The EU plans in their current shape will not lead to any more CO2 emissions savings, as those are capped, but bring sky-high new carbon taxes," he said at a conference in Berlin.

"On top of that, there will be a tsunami of power price hikes as a consequence, which could threaten investment plans, our industry's competitiveness, and jobs." (Reuters)

Climate change could lead to a surge in Legionnaires' disease - Climate change could lead to a surge in cases of Legionnaires' disease, Government scientists have warned. A study carried by the Health Protection Agency has found that higher temperatures and increases in humidity are linked with an increase in cases. (Daily Telegraph)

Administration rips Democrats' energy bill as waste of time - WASHINGTON -- The White House slammed an energy bill that the House of Representatives passed Tuesday night, calling it a waste of time.

The White House says a House bill that would allow more offshore oil drilling showed a "lack of seriousness."

The administration accused House Democrats of lacing the bill with "poison pills" that demonstrate a "lack of seriousness about expanding access to the vast domestic energy resources" off U.S. coasts. (CNN)

Drill-Shy Congress - House Democrats have passed an "oil drilling bill" that bans drilling where most of the oil is. President Bush and congressional Republicans — especially John McCain — can't let them get away with it. (IBD)

A Willing Producer - As Congress futzes around on offshore drilling, Colombia is doing the exact opposite — discovering and producing lots of new oil. So why does Congress withhold free trade from such a helpful ally? (IBD)

Medvedev says Arctic resources crucial for Russia's economic future - MOSCOW - President Dmitry Medvedev says it is imperative that Russia immediately begin marking its claims in the Arctic.

Speaking to his Security Council, Medvedev described the region as "strategically important" and crucial to Russia´s economic future.

Medvedev says he is urging speedy passage of a law to determine Russia´s southern Arctic zone.

He adds that "marking of the external border of the continental shelf is a long-term goal."

Already, some 20 per cent of Russia´s gross domestic product and 22 per cent of its exports are produced in the Arctic.

Russian oil companies are already posting declines in production as onshore oil and gas fields are getting depleted. Energy experts say the Arctic continental shelf may contain up to a quarter of the world´s undiscovered oil and natural gas. (Canadian Press)

Well said, that man! Indulging The Greens Must Stop - The Green movement has become dangerous for the survival of our society. It is surely time to stop pandering to its often ridiculous whims and fancies. We have been far too kind to its utopianism. Politicians of all parties have become enfeebled by indulging its fanaticism and unrealistic proposals, especially on food and energy. This has led to inertia, and to a serious failure to act when action is urgently required, a situation often exacerbated by the ludicrous obligations laid on us through a bureaucratic and unaccountable EU.

But we have to act, and we are going to have to challenge the EU. We need no more reports. We do not have the time. We require new coal-powered plants, new nuclear power stations, additional LNG storage facilities, and the Seven Barrage.

“And when do we want them? We want them now!” (Global Warming Politics)

Emissions scheme will kill NT economy: truckies - CARBON emission cuts of the kind promoted by UN climate change committee members would destroy the Territory economy, the head of Australia's trucking association said yesterday.

Australian Trucking Association chief executive Stuart St Clair said that because of the long distances, the Territory's economy was dependant on road freight. (Northern Territory News)

Tight Labor Vexes Brazil's Deep-Sea Oil Drilling - RIO DE JANEIRO - Technological advances will help oil giant Petrobras and its foreign partners tap huge subsalt reserves off Brazil's coast, but a shortage of skilled workers and tight equipment supplies pose challenges. (Reuters)

Petrobanks Capri / Thai processes for upgrading and recovering oilsands and heavy oil - If the Capri/Thai processes are successful then Canada's oilsands, other oilsands and heavy oil deposits around the world will have higher recovery rates using a more economic process and the oil will be upgrading in the ground to a higher and more valuable quality. This would be the technology that would crush peak oil for several decades and allow an orderly transition to a post oil world. The processes would enable trillions of barrels of oil to be economically accessed. In a few months the Capri process could be proven out and the energy world would be changed. Oil technology would change the world by unlocking the oilsand and heavy oil around the world. Trillions of barrels of oil would become economically feasible. It would be a and game changer. More projects like the one in would go ahead to access 3-4 billion barrels of oil at 120,000 bpd within 5 years. (Next Big Future)

Britain urged to dump climate goals - LONDON - British climate and energy policy is incoherent and needs an overhaul, dumping carbon targets and building more coal and nuclear power stations to stop the lights going out, a pro-nuclear scientist said.

A report entitled "A Pragmatic Energy Policy for the UK", by Professor Ian Fells and Candida Whitmill, said renewables would not fill the impending energy gap so old nuclear and coal plants had to be kept going while new ones were built urgently.

"Current UK energy policy is not fit for purpose. Something has to be done about it if we are not going to run into serious problems around about the middle of the next decade," Fells, an advocate of nuclear power, told reporters. (Reuters)

A step forward for space solar power - One of the criticisms leveled against the concept of space solar power (SSP) is that it is that it requires a large number of breakthroughs to become feasible. Major steps need to be taken in a wide range of technologies, from space transportation and on-orbit assembly to the collection and transmission of power, for SSP to be possible and economically viable. Those obstacles mean that it will take decades—if ever—for SSP to become reality.

Many proponents of SSP would concede that there is a lot of progress needed in many areas of SSP, but that there’s no reason not to try. That may be why so many SSP advocates were excited by Friday’s announcement by the National Space Society (NSS) of a “breakthrough” in SSP. While calling it a “breakthrough” might be something of an exaggeration, it is evidence that it is possible to make progress in SSP-related technologies for a modest amount of money. (Jeff Foust, Space Review)

Is Wind Power a Big Con Trick? - The case for producing more of our power through renewable means is well-made. Even without the threat from climate change, the pollution and waste that goes with burning fossil fuels is not sustainable in the long term. A more varied mix of generating options must be sought, as we move through the 21st century.

But wind energy, particularly when generated using land-based wind turbines in beautiful unspoilt landscapes, is a controversial answer to the question of how we keep the lights on when traditional forms of power generation are no longer considered viable. And today's report from the Renewable Energy Foundation detailing the subsidies and the shortcomings of wind turbines, ought to make everyone who is concerned about the environment and our power needs sit up and take notice.

It shows, in very stark terms, the shortcomings of wind turbines and makes a compelling case to suggest that but for the very generous subsidies available, no one would be investing in wind because it simply does not make sense to do so. The subsidies skew the energy market place and actually discourage funding for other, potentially more effective forms of renewable power. (Western Morning News)

Sapphire Raises Over US$100 Mln for Algae Crude - NEW YORK - Private company Sapphire Energy, which aims to squeeze "green" crude oil from blooms of one of the planet's oldest life forms, said on Wednesday it has raised over US$100 million from investors. (Reuters)

'Normal weight' obesity now? Half of normal-weight adults may still be too fat - NEW YORK - People with body mass indexes (BMI) that fall into the normal range may still have to be concerned about obesity, a cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic warns.

Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez and his colleagues recently reported that people with normal BMIs but excess body fat were more likely to have high cholesterol, excess belly fat and other characteristics of the metabolic syndrome, a set of symptoms that puts people at greater risk of heart disease and diabetes. BMI is the ratio of height to weight that is frequently used to determine if an individual is over-weight or under-weight.

This condition, which Lopez-Jimenez and his team have termed "normal-weight obesity," was extremely common; they found it in 61 percent of a sample of 2,127 men and women with normal BMIs. (Reuters Health)

In defence of fat - Banishing butter, well-marbled steaks and chicken skin from our diets hasn't made us skinnier or healthier. It's just made our food boring. It's time to shed our phobia of fat and embrace the ingredient that may be the sixth taste, James Beard Award-winning author Jennifer McLagan argues in this excerpt from her controversial new book. (Jennifer McLagan, Globe and Mail)

Superfood or Monster From the Deep? - Major food companies are competing for health-conscious consumers by plugging one food into another and claiming the health benefits of both. (New York Times)

The logic of public health - Imagine shopping at the mall or supermarket and someone wearing a bright-colored vest approaches to talk to you about your being fat and wants to measure your waist. Would you be happy to discuss your weight with a stranger and welcome the unsolicited diet and exercise advice?

Thought not... (Junkfood Science)

Car fat - When the Institute for European Environmental Policy, based in London, released a report last summer noting a correlation between rising car ownership and obesity, and a correlation between rising obesity rates and global warming, the solution proposed was to dissuade Europeans from driving their cars and to walk more. Government agencies began considering the plan, but few consumers took it all that seriously, thinking “what are they going to do, make us?”

A small story in the news today revealed a way they just might. The costs, however, might be greater than people in a free society might be willing to sacrifice... even if there was sound science behind the plan. (Junkfood Science)

US researchers call off controversial autism study -- A government agency has dropped plans for a study of a controversial treatment for autism that critics had called an unethical experiment on children. (AP)

It was rank quackery anyway -- chelation could not work because the cause is demonstrably not mercury from childhood vaccines (cessation of mercury preservative use made no difference in autism incidence ergo mercury preservative in childhood vaccinations is not the cause).

Royal Society or Rotten Society? - The resignation of Michael Reiss shows the zealots are taking over science, says Robert Matthews (First Post)

Guess who killed AIG - AIG was a model Sarbanes firm that followed all the new accounting rules (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

The vaunting hubris of regulators - Every politician and TV analyst says they know what went wrong on Wall Street. Why don’t the rest of us? (William Watson, Financial Post)

Congress Tries To Fix What It Broke - As the financial crisis spreads, denials on Capitol Hill grow more shrill. Blame an aloof President Bush, greedy Wall Street, risky capitalism — anybody but those in Congress who wrote the banking rules.

Such denials won't hold against the angry facts banging on their doors. The only question is whether the guilty party can keep up the barricade until Election Day.

A visibly annoyed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected suggestions that Democrats share blame for the meltdown. "No," she snapped at reporters who dared ask. (IBD)

Lehman Bros. and Consensus - My interest in climate change derived in part from experience in the stock market where "consensus" is not infrequently established in favor of opinions that are completely incorrect. And, in many cases, the people promoting the views are competent and serious people. How are such things possible? I read about the Bre-X and Enron failures, trying to distinguish between the "shame on you" and the "shame on me" components - i.e. yes, the original misconduct and deceit was deplorable; but at what point should proper independent due diligence have been able to detect misconduct? At what point were regulatory agencies negligent? Obviously we're going to see a new spate of such inquiries in the wake of the recent collapses.

I was particularly intrigued in the cases of Bre-X and Enron failures by the tremendous accolades meted out to the promoters right up to the eve of their collapses. (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

Benchmark cyanobacterium sequenced could be cheap renewable energy source -- A team of researchers headed by biologists at Washington University in St. Louis has sequenced the genome of a unique bacterium that manages two disparate operations — photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation — in one little cell during two distinct cycles daily. (

September 17, 2008

How sad for the broilers: Arctic sea ice melt comes close, but misses record - Crucial Arctic sea ice this summer shrank to its second lowest level on record, continuing an alarming trend, scientists said Tuesday.

The ice covered 1.74 million square miles on Friday, marking a low point for this summer, according to NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. Last summer, the sea ice covered only 1.59 million square miles, the lowest since record-keeping began in 1979.

Arctic sea ice, which floats on the ocean, expands in winter and retreats in summer. In recent years it hasn't been as thick in winter. (Associated Press)

The broilers are that bunch of hysterical sad sacks eagerly awaiting every sign of the apocalypse with claims we are all going to burn/ drown/ boil/ bake/ desiccate/ whatever/... due to some manifestation of gorebull warming. These are the guys who appear to have learned about the world from Hollywood's budget horror movies and whose worldview is scripted along the lines of Freddy Krueger and the Gaia Murders, The Amazon Chainsaw Massacre or some such thing. They are the ones so eager to demonstrate massive Arctic meltdown after so much thicker multiyear ice was blown out of the Arctic that surely a new 'record' low would ensue -- except it didn't.

So, what excuses should we anticipate for the Arctic having been cooler despite increased atmospheric carbon dioxide emission and accumulation?

Could we perhaps have an Olympic claim, with Chinese industrial shutdowns not only clearing Beijing's air but reducing black carbon deposition on the Arctic ice, hence maintaining brighter albedo and reduced melt? But wait, that won't do since it would be associated with reduced sulfate particulate emission, reduced albedo and increased warming while the summer was in fact cooler.

Can't blame a spotless sun since the sun is not supposed to be able to influence Earthly conditions...

Obviously I'm not very good at this game because I can't think of a single viable excuse why the promised massive melt didn't occur when all the other conditions were met -- people kept using fossil fuels and emitting carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide levels rose, Arctic sea ice was in fact thinner due to the winds having pushed multiyear ice south out of the Arctic, summer did in fact occur, no one held a giant parasol over the Arctic and yet there was no massive increase in open water -- the record failed to materialize.

"Not quite" setting a record is a huge reversal with a massive meltdown checked from significant loss of thicker multiyear ice last year to lesser loss of thinner first-year ice this year.

Arctic Sea Ice Melt Season Officially Over; ice up over 9% from last year - We have news from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). They say: The melt is over. And we’ve added 9.4% ice coverage from this time last year. Though it appears NSIDC is attempting to downplay this in their web page announcement today, one can safely say that despite irrational predictions seen earlier this year, we didn’t reach an “ice free north pole” nor a new record low for sea ice extent. (Watts Up With That?)

Getting weirder... NOAA Claims: Global Summer Temperature Was Ninth Warmest - Questionable - This just doesn’t seem to add up given what we’ve seen from anecdotal weather information and satellite data. For example the UAH global temperature for the lower troposphere shows that the temperature in 2008 doesn’t get anywhere close to this claim made by NOAA:

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for summer 2008 was 0.85 degrees F (0.47 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 60.1 degrees F (15.6 degrees C).

From my perspective as surveyor of the USHCN network, and knowing firsthand just how corrupted the data measuring system is, I have a lot of trouble believing this claim. The satellite data says otherwise. (Watts Up With That?)

Scientist: Warming is natural - RALEIGH - Scientist Roy Spencer thinks global warming is a natural occurrence and not man-made.

Over the past year, Spencer and his theory have gained more attention on the Rush Limbaugh radio show, where Spencer is the "official climatologist."

On Tuesday, Spencer spoke about his book, "Climate Confusion," to members of the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh think tank that advocates for smaller government.

"Scientists need money, and they need to have pet theories," said Spencer, a research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. "And who wouldn't want to save the Earth?"

Spencer said scientists are paid to find that global warming is caused by humans. "If you're paid to find something, you're going to find it," he told about 80 people in a Holiday Inn ballroom. (News & Observer)

Even the UN has trouble maintaining the illusion of a warming crisis: Global network necessary to confront climate change crisis, says Ban - With media interest in climate change waning since last year, cooperation from all sectors of society is essential to tackle the crisis that it poses, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

Global warming “is less in the news than last year,” Mr. Ban said at a service held at the Holy Family Church in New York. “Yet the evidence is all around that the problem is worse than most projections.” (UN News)

Meanwhile... Denmark to host next UN Climate Conference - Next November, the Danish capital Copenhagen will host 15,000 NGO members, business leaders and diplomats for the annual UN COP15 Climate Conference. Keeping with the theme and priority of the conference, the Danish government will fund the meeting with carbon-neutral flights, effectively making it an emissions-free event – although scientists still argue the efficacy of carbon offsetting as a tool against climate change. (Ice News)

Carbon Regulation Could Hit 1 Million US Firms - Study - WASHINGTON - The prospect of US regulation of climate-warming carbon dioxide has sparked a pre-emptive outcry from the Chamber of Commerce, which warned of bureaucratic gridlock if proposed limits are put in place.

In a report to be released on Tuesday, the pro-business organization projected such regulation would affect more than 1 million US businesses and create such a regulatory backlog that it could stall economic development. (Reuters)

Steel, Aluminium Need Aid in EU Carbon Plan - Study - BRUSSELS - Parts of Europe's steel and aluminium industries are highly exposed to international competition and may need free allowances to emit carbon dioxide (CO2) after 2013, according to a preliminary EU analysis. (Reuters)

From the department of major yawns: Antarctic Ozone Hole Already Larger Than in 2007 - WMO - GENEVA - The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has already surpassed its 2007 size this year, and is set to keep growing for another few weeks, the UN weather agency said on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Predictable 'news' release on 'Ozone Day' and of no consequence to anyone (unless your research grants depend on ozone layer nonsense). Said 'hole' was there when people first looked and there's not the slightest evidence it is anything but all-singing, all-dancing, all-natural. Ozone 'depletion' hysteria has already caused more ill-health than the alleged problem ever will by terrorizing people about sun exposure to the point where they are getting insufficient to synthesize vitamin D -- lack of which leads to a plethora of health problems.

Complete with space aliens :) Save the Ozone, Save Earth! - Have you been happy to have experienced more rainfall in your area than usual, of late? Have you more frequently used the expressions “it’s too cold” or “it’s too hot” than you used to ever before? Have you been a witness to the changing weather pattern in your part of the world, of late? Have you been reading about frequent hurricanes and cyclones in newspapers? There are a number of such similar questions and if you answer in the affirmative to any one of these, then do not be amused or surprised! Because all this signals a change in “your world”, and certainly, it’s not for “your good”! You would want to ask why? The answer is simple: the climate is changing and it would change the way you survive, not live, forever!

Global warming – the term has become so common now that it no more needs to be explained – is slowly but steadily changing the face of the world. The face, I say, because glaciers, rivers, ice caps, land etc represent what the earth means to us, and probably to some aliens sitting in another, far away part of the universe. The glaciers are melting, rivers are overflowing, sea level is rising, coastal land is vanishing, ice shelves as huge as 19 square miles are breaking apart (in Canada’s arctic) – what more of a proof does one need to establish and believe in the concept of ‘Climate Change’ and ‘Global Warming’. (Deepak Nagpal, Zee News)

In case any of our newer readers are unaware, the great ozone farce is and always has been a nonsense.

Chemical Lobby Weakening Ozone Treaty - UXBRIDGE, Canada , Sep 16 - In hard economic times, protecting the environment is often seen as a luxury -- or ignored completely. But had that attitude prevailed 20 years ago when it came to taking action to protect the ozone layer, skin cancer rates would have soared and climate change would be even more dramatic than it is today. (IPS)

What utter rubbish! To begin with ozone is a greenhouse gas so, had 'more ozone been preserved,' the world would be warmer according to the enhanced greenhouse hypothesis but that is only part of it -- substitute compounds used in lieu of 'ozone depleting substances' tend to have very high GWP numbers (GWP = global warming potential) meaning the Montreal Protocol is potentially a gorebull warming bad guy. Fortunately gorebull warming is an equally fraudulent scare.

Moreover, even were the misnamed 'ozone hole' anthropogenic it still has Buckley's and no effect on skin cancer rates for the simple reason that no one sunbathes at the South Pole in the southern Spring (ozone destruction occurs in the super cold atmosphere when sunlight returns to power the reactions). When the South Polar Winter Vortex collapses as Spring advances then for a couple of days areas of reduced ozone may pass between the sun and settled regions, allowing residents in say Punta Arenas to experience as much solar UV as do residents of Boston in the Fall.

There absolutely should not be an 'ozone treaty'.

UN BS on the day: Restoring ozone layer could ring in health, economic benefits – Ban (UN News)

Expert survey: Israel will continue to use oil and coal for most energy needs - Israel will have to continue to use oil and coal for the vast majority of its energy needs, according to a recent survey of Israeli scientists and other experts commissioned by the Environmental Protection Ministry.

Many local climate experts also accused some researchers of using the increasingly popular issue to increase their chances of getting their studies funded.

"There's no doubt that the slogan of climate change has been adopted by researchers from various disciplines to get research budgets because it is attractive to funding bodies in Israel and around the world," said Nurit Kliot, a member of the research team that conducted the survey and a professor in the University of Haifa's department of natural resources management.

Prof. Uri Mingelgreen, a scientist at the government-run Agricultural Research Organization who used to serve as the Environmental Protection Ministry's chief scientist, called into question the ethics of some scientists. "Climate researchers are approaching the red line when it comes to the ethics of their work," he said.

"It's hard to see research budgets in front of you and not go in the direction that the funding bodies want you to go in, instead of the directions that you think you should go."

Most of the scientists said the research was tilted toward studies highlighting the role of climate change in an effort to win funding, though they did not provide examples.

The United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union are among the institutions that provide funding and organizational support for research on climate changes, in addition to private foundations around the world.

"The research funders sometimes redirect the funds they have to researchers who show data that supports climate change," the report found. (Haaretz)

Uncertainty In Multi-Decadal Global Climate Model Predictions Associated With Snow Albedo Feedbacks - There is a paper which documents a large uncertainty of the feedback of snow albedo on the climate system. It is Hall A., X. Qu (2006), Using the current seasonal cycle to constrain snow albedo feedback in future climate change, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L03502, doi:10.1029/2005GL025127. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

From CO2 Science this week:

Animal Migrations and Climate Change: How has the latter affected the former? ... and what does the answer suggest about the future?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 594 individual scientists from 351 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Palpa-Nasca Basin, Northern Atacama Desert, Peru. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
West Antarctic Ice Sheet (Dynamics): Is the massive ice repository slip-sliding away, as so many radical environmentalists claim it is?

Plant Growth Data:
This week we add new results (blue background) of plant growth responses to atmospheric CO2 enrichment obtained from experiments described in the peer-reviewed scientific literature for: Alfalfa, Carrot, Oilseed Rape, and Potato.

Journal Reviews:
An 800-Year History of Australian Tropical Cyclones: How have they varied over the long term?

Debilitating Drought and the Classic Mayan Collapse: Evidence continues to accumulate for the hydrological manifestation of the Medieval Warm Period in eastern Mesoamerica.

Warming of Antarctic Tundra: How does it impact above- and below-ground ecosystem carbon stocks?

Aerobic Methane Emissions from Terrestrial Plants: Are they real or imaginary?

More on the Role of Earthworms in Sequestering Soil Carbon: Working in the dark -- and beneath our feet -- the lowly creatures are quietly doing their part to mitigate the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content.

Fayette, IATemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Fayette, IA. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Fayette's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.74 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (

Henny Penny Goes Carbon-Free - Months had passed since we last talked with Ms. Henny-Penny, whose famous declaration -- "the sky is falling!" -- electrified the world. At the time, her barnyard colleagues quickly fell into line with her, save one, Chicken Little, who demurred. When last Ms. H-P and I talked, she scoffed at her former friend as a "denier."

So, the other day I called her to see how she was doing as the recording secretary of what was now the Holy Order of the Sky is Falling, the Hon. Al Gore, pontiff. (Peter Hannaford, American Spectator)

Break Out the Airbrush! - These coincidences are something.

First, when the Enron unpleasantness unfolded in 2001, the Pew Center quickly airbrushed its website of various fawning over erstwhile poster boy for climate responsibility, Ken Lay, and his cap-and-trade colleagues (who were also personal favorites over at the Heinz Center).

Luboš Motl spots the climate-specific similarities between Enron and the Lehman Brothers gang.

Iain Murray notices the Chair of the Pew Center for Global Climate Change (and also board member of you-know-who's Alliance for Climate Protection . . . is this a bad time to ask where you guys got that $300 million . . . ?), Theodore Roosevelt IV, who I also see listed as managing director of Lehman Brothers. (Chris Horner, Planet Gore)

Lehman Brothers Close Ties to Gore, Hansen and Carbon Trading - Al Gore’s carbon trading business GIM was banked with Lehman Bros. It will be interesting to see how this will play in the future but I suspect that this increases the risk of participating in Carbon trading. Merrill Lynch, was also deeply involved in this business.

Last year Lehman Brothers released a long and highly publicized report about climate change in which they preached about decarbonization, trying to make their investors keep getting high profits from the Kyoto carbon trade scheme and the support of huge public subventions. All that, of course, with the applause of the usual choir of politicians, the entire media and the Greens.

A year ago they couldn’t predict their bankruptcy but were predicting the climate 100 years ahead. Thousands of green militants have been using the Lehman report as a proof of global warming and impending chaos. Lehman Bros said it! sacred words! Its scientific advisor is James Hansen! The report is the basis for policies on climate change in Spain, Argentina and several other countries playing the progress game; it is used by economy professors playing the climatologists; by newspapers editorials, and even by a State Secretary: Lehman Bros, said it!

Lehman Brothers spoke in his report about the climate in 2100 and its economic and financial projections, about climate change costs several decades away. They dared to recommend their investors what they considered a central value of the carbon ton in 50 years from now. Their sources and support references were taken from the IPCC AR4, AR3, and so on. Really impressive.

But even with their high ability to peek into the future, they couldn’t predict their demise one year ahead though there were many people that had been warning about this present crash for years. But Lehman Bros were recommending investments 30, 50, 100 years ahead. Some days, reality imitates fiction. Who was Lehman Bros’ ‘scientific’ adviser on climate? You guessed it, James Hansen, the same guy that wants to drive the world to bankruptcy as he did with Lehman’s Bros.

But the story has some connections with Hansen being the ‘scientific’ adviser to Al Gore, who’s the Chairman of the Board of the Alliance for Climate Protection. As seen in Alliance’s website, the managing Director is none less than: Theodore Roosevelt IV. Managing Director, Lehman Brothers, Chair of the Pew Center for Global Climate Change. (Icecap)

Scrap this sham! House Adopts Plan to Ease Offshore Drilling Ban - WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday night approved a measure that would ease a longstanding ban on offshore oil drilling and try to spur greater use of alternative fuels as Democrats and Republicans engaged in a bitter pre-election clash over America’s energy future.

Under the Democratic legislation, adopted by a vote of 236 to 189, oil companies would lose some tax benefits, utilities would be required to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and a ban on developing fuel from Rocky Mountain shale would be lifted.

The legislation, which faces significant hurdles to becoming law before Congress breaks at the end of the month, would allow drilling as close as 50 miles from the coastline if adjacent states agree and 100 miles out no matter a state’s position. It would impose stricter oversight on the agency that handles oil leasing and royalty payments after recent disclosures of improper relationships between its employees and oil industry representatives. (New York Times)

Democrats Still Aren't Serious About Drilling - After a five-week paid vacation, Democrats are back in Washington and claiming that they want to do something about oil prices.

But the problem is that their plan, which passed the House yesterday and will likely come up for a vote in the Senate later this week, will not produce a single drop of oil.

Why? Because it does nothing about environmental groups that are suing to stop drilling.

The Democratic proposal is not a death-bed conversion, it's designed to solve their political problem. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her members in August that they can say they are in favor of drilling, but that she wouldn't allow a vote on a drilling bill. Now that she has been forced to, she knows her environmental allies will block new drilling from going forward.

The Sierra Club has told its members that it is "working to ensure that the final bill's focus is on real clean energy solutions rather than expanded offshore drilling." Democratic Rep. John Murtha, a Pelosi confidante, went further last week in noting that his party's not above cynical politics: "This is a political month. There's all kinds of things we try to do that will just go away after we leave." And Legislative Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council Karen Wayland has said "This is about politics, not necessarily about policy."

The green lobby, however, is not going away. EarthJustice, which employs over 150 people, has filed hundreds of lawsuits. On its Web site, it says "Because lawsuits can be so effective, we have a team of policy experts in Washington, D.C. that work hand-in-hand with our attorneys to stop legislative backlash . . ."

Indeed, incessant legal and administrative challenges make true the Democrat claim that oil from newly opened areas will not reach the market for years. These groups make use of a wide range of laws and regulations to challenge development. And they will make sure that the Democrats' proposal is meaningless. (John Shadegg, Wall Street Journal)

EnCana wants credits for carbon piped in from the U.S.: document - OTTAWA - A Canadian energy giant wants offset credits from the federal government for carbon dioxide it pipes in from the United States and stores underground in Saskatchewan, a newly released document shows.

Calgary-based EnCana Corp. lobbied Industry Minister Jim Prentice in January to broaden regulations so Canadian companies that ship carbon from the U.S. and store it in Canada qualify for offsets.

The Conservatives eventually plan to set up a carbon-trading scheme that grants offsets to companies who meet emissions targets. Firms who don´t meet the targets can buy offsets from those with a surplus instead of reducing their emissions. (Canadian Press)

Energy security 'more important than climate change' - Securing the country's supply of electricity is more important than tackling climate change, a new report from energy analysts has claimed. It warned that the UK's economy could be wrecked if there was no action to plug the energy shortfall predicted for the next decade, with businesses going bust and hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs. (The Guardian)

Check out this video: Out Of Control - How the EU is costing you the Earth.

Think very carefully before tolerating any fossil fuel restrictions.

Presidential Candidates Differ Sharply on Ethanol - Barack Obama and John McCain have sharply different visions of ethanol in the nation’s future. Obama wants more ethanol, while McCain thinks we should probably have less. Both say man-made global warming is a serious threat, and both say they want the best for the nation’s farmers.

At the gas pump, Consumer Reports in 2006 found it cost the customer 37 percent more to run a flex-fuel SUV with an 85 percent ethanol fuel blend. The ethanol was more expensive than gasoline and delivers 35 percent less energy per gallon. (Dennis Avery, CFP)

Prairie Atoms: Expanding nuclear power in Alberta and Saskatchewan - The Canada West Foundation today released a paper examining how Alberta and Saskatchewan can take advantage of the nuclear revival that is sweeping the globe. Prairie Atoms: The Opportunities and Challenges of Nuclear Power in Alberta and Saskatchewan outlines both the opportunities and challenges of expanding the value-added nuclear industry and the use of nuclear energy as a source of electricity. The paper also recommends ways to improve public policy as it relates to Canada’s untapped nuclear capacity. (CFP)

Freddie vom Saal rides again: Chemical in Bottles Linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes -- Heart disease and diabetes are twice as common in adults exposed to higher levels of a chemical used in plastic bottles, food-storage containers and the lining of cans, new research shows.

The study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association boosts concern that the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, causes health risks. The findings were presented today to U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers for review. The advisers have been studying an FDA report that found the chemical was safe for consumers. (Bloomberg)

Agency Affirms Plastics’ Safety, as Study Raises Questions - WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators on Tuesday defended their assessment that a chemical widely used in plastic baby bottles and in food packaging is safe, even as a preliminary study reported that it was associated with increased risks for heart disease and diabetes.

“A margin of safety exists that is adequate to protect consumers, including infants and children, at the current levels of exposure,” Laura Tarantino, a senior Food and Drug Administration scientist, told an expert panel that has been asked for a second opinion on the agency’s assessment of bisphenol A, or BPA.

The new study, released Tuesday by The Journal of the American Medical Association, was based on a survey of nearly 1,500 adults. It found that those with higher levels of BPA in their urine were also more likely to report that they also had heart disease or diabetes. But the investigators wrote that their approach “may have resulted in false-positive associations” and urge that the study be independently replicated. (Associated Press)

There’s no case for a new Keynesian era - Robert Skidelsky implies that the Depression was a failure of laissez-faire capitalism, but Milton Friedman blamed government monetary manipulation (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

Breaking News: Reiss Steps Down - Further to my earlier posting of this morning [see: ‘Biting The Creationists’, September 16], here is some extremely interesting breaking news. The Royal Society has now issued the following Press Release: (Global Warming Politics)

More from the 'people are a disease' crowd: Cause And Effect: Why Scientists Succumb To Political Correctness - Dr. Albert A. Bartlett, University of Colorado at Boulder, wrote another stunning paper concerning America’s love affair with self-delusion. Dr. Bartlett remains the premiere voice in America concerning the greatest predicament facing our civilization in the 21st century.

While everyone in America suffers from its symptoms from gridlock, air pollution, crowding and higher energy prices--no politicians from governors to senators address it. Most Americans either demonstrate any awareness or they dismiss it out of hand. Yet, it accelerates as THE single greatest dilemma facing America and the world in the 21st century.

“Throughout the world, scientists are prominently involved in seeking solutions to the major global problems such as global climate change and the growing inadequacy of energy supplies,” Dr. Bartlett said. “They present their writings in publications ranging from newspapers to scientific journals, but with a few rare exceptions, on one point they all replace objectivity with “political correctness.”

”In their writings the scientists identify the cause of the problems as being growing populations. But their recommendations for solving the problems caused by population growth almost never include the recommendation that we advocate stabilizing our population. Political Correctness dictates that we do not address the current problem of overpopulation in the U.S. and the world. (Frosty Wooldridge,

Klaus Against the Greens - For most people, being the president of a country would be enough to keep one busy, but not so for Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic. He directs as much time and energy as he possibly can to campaigning against those he characterizes as global warming alarmists. That is why Klaus was delighted when a major Czech daily newspaper ran the complete text of a speech he gave last week -- in Tokyo -- to the The Mont Pelerin Society, a prestigious international economics organization of which he is a member. Klaus, who has been President of the Czech Republic since 1993, holds a doctorate in economics. (Human Events)

Calif. wildlife officials propose expanded protections for native red-legged frog habitat - Federal wildlife officials on Tuesday proposed more protection for the threatened California red-legged frog, providing up to four times as much habitat than was set aside two years ago.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends designating up to 1.8 million acres in 28 California counties as habitat critical to the frog's survival. The proposal must undergo 60 days of public comment and another review before it becomes final.

The designation would require any development project on the land to get prior approval from federal wildlife officials. (Associated Press)

Not so cold suits some critters? Longer breeding season provides new hope for the kiwi - It might be down to global warming or just a couple of shorter winters on the trot, but whatever the reason, the kiwi breeding season is getting longer – the kiwi bird that is. That is good news for those working to ensure the survival of the North Island brown kiwi as Ali Ikram found out. (3 News)

Aquarium Releases Sharks Off Sydney Beach for Study - SYDNEY - A Sydney aquarium released seven sharks bred in captivity and tagged with acoustic tracking devices into the waters off a city beach on Tuesday to study if it is feasible to breed sharks to restock dwindling wild numbers. (Reuters)

Wishful thinking from the antis? Transgenic Crops' Days May Be Numbered - Pressure from the president of the European Commission has not succeeded in advancing the cause of transgenic crops. In spite of the power wielded by the executive organ of the European Union, the bloc’s member countries are gradually discontinuing the use of genetically modified seeds. (IPS)

September 16, 2008

You know, gun control nuts are really going to hate this:

How not to measure temperature, part 71: NOAA neglect of volunteer observers - As we get more of the private observers in USHCN surveyed, we start hearing about stories like this one from Dufur Oregon, where the observers seem to have been pretty much “left on their own” for about many, many, years. The lack of guidance and QC on the part of NOAA is stunning. The station itself is even more troubling. I don’t blame the observer, but NOAA clearly failed this observer and the science mission to collect climate data. (Watts Up With That?)

Weather History - NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — It is probably a good thing that the Mohonk Mountain House, the 19th-century resort, was built on Shawangunk conglomerate, a concrete-hard quartz rock. Otherwise, the path to the National Weather Service’s cooperative station here surely would have turned to dust by now.

Every day for the last 112 years, people have trekked up the same gray outcropping to dutifully record temperatures and weather conditions. In the process, they have compiled a remarkable data collection that has become a climatological treasure chest.

The problems that often haunt other weather records — the station is moved, buildings are constructed nearby or observers record data inconsistently — have not arisen here because so much of this place has been frozen in time. The weather has been taken in exactly the same place, in precisely the same way, by just a handful of the same dedicated people since Grover Cleveland was president. (New York Times)

Roll back time to safeguard climate, expert warns - A return to pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide urged as the only way to prevent the worst impacts of global warming (David Adam, The Guardian)

Sure, why not? How about during the ice age when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were about a dozen times higher than they are now? If Ordovician conditions are not to your taste maybe you'd prefer the 1500-2000 ppmv normal when giants trod the Earth? Almost the entire history of life on Earth has occurred with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels far higher than now and the average of pre-Industrial Era Earth is well above 2,000 ppmv. Should we aim for that and roll back time? I don't think we can achieve it but it should would help boost the biosphere.

Al Gore’s Global Warming Find-and-Replace (The Chilling Effect)

More saboteurs: Institutional investors urged to join forces to stop unconventional fossil fuels extraction - The Co-operative Asset Management is urging more than 20 Institutional investors to join forces to exert pressure on the oil companies leading the rush to exploit unconventional oils.

Meeting in London on Tuesday 16 September, members of the United Kingdom Social Investment Forum (UKSIF) will be asked to use their combined investment might to influence companies exposed to social and environmental risks through the expansion of extracting oil from sand and shale - and protect their investments, in the process.

In July, The Co-operative Financial Services, and WWF produced a report entitled ‘Unconventional Oil: Scraping the bottom of the barrel?' which highlighted the financial and reputational risks facing oil companies involved in the development of unconventional oils. (

Newly revised: Climate Change Science - One of the goals of the Friends of Science Society is to educate the public through dissemination of relevant, balanced and objective technical information on the scientific merit of the Kyoto Protocol and the global warming issue. The science of climate change is complex. Unfortunately, politics and the media has affected the science. Climate research institutions know that they must present scary climate forecasts to receive continued funding - no crisis means no funding. The media presents stories of climate disaster to sell their products. Scientific research that suggests climate change is mostly natural does not receive much if any media coverage. These factors have caused the general public to be seriously misled on climate issues resulting in wasteful expenditures of billions of dollars in an ineffective attempt to control climate. This document gives an overview of climate change issues as determined by a comprehensive review of the state of climate science. (Friends of Science)

The trillion dollar band-aid - Solving climate change will be the most expensive public policy decision ever. Half-baked thinking won't fix it now (Björn Lomborg, The Guardian)

Much as I disagree with Lomborg regarding gorebull warming being any sort of problem at all he is right that carbon constraint will have trivial effect on climate while causing massive harm to humanity.

Too green is no good - IT is too risky for the environment and the economy for Australia to take up calls to commit to cutting our greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 per cent in little more than a decade. It could be even more dangerous in the unlikely event that Kevin Rudd convinced the rest of the industrialised world to sign on to such ambitious targets in the name of saving the planet.

Although this would be Nobel prize-winning form, such promises simply would not be credible. It may feel good to hope otherwise, but too much of the industrialised world has broken its Kyoto Protocol promises.

It quickly would become clear that the rich world would not deliver on even more onerous vows. The ensuing disrepute and disillusion would provoke global political fractiousness, economic tit for tat and even raw aggression, particularly if a warmer planet became increasingly uncomfortable.

By going it alone, Australia could even make things worse for the global environment by sending its emission-intensive industries offshore to dirtier regimes.

Unilateral steep cuts could be achieved only at an economic cost too large for Australia's political system to digest. The likelier outcome of missing the target by a wide margin would trash Rudd's hopes for Australia to lead the world on tackling climate change. (The Australian)

Japan Carbon TradeTargets to be Voluntary - Paper - TOKYO - Japanese companies taking part in a trial carbon trading system to be launched next month will work to voluntary reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions, rather than mandatory ones, a newspaper reported on Monday. (Reuters)

Brussels Would Allow State Aid for Carbon Capture - BERLIN - Brussels would look favourably at member states giving financial support for plants to test almost carbon-free power production, which could help fight climate change, a European Commission official said on Monday. (Reuters)

EU's New Car CO2 Rules "are illegal" - A regulation forcing car makers to cut average CO2 emissions to 130g/km for their model ranges, or face hefty fines, has been declared illegal.

That was the decision of the EU Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee which met on 9 September, prompting fears that negotiations on targets, fines and start-dates may have to start from scratch next year. (Climate Realist)

Farmers vulnerable under emissions trading scheme - Major changes to the international greenhouse accounting rules, and more accurate measurements of carbon sequestration, are needed before farming can be included in the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme.

That's the view expressed by the National Farmers' Federation in its formal response to the Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper.

It its submission the NFF says that agriculture in Australia could be decimated unless there are significant changes to the proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS). (Stock Journal)

Why I’ve got a beef with going vegetarian - After policing how we shop, holiday and dispose of waste, now environmental bigwigs want to turn us into eco-veggies. (James Panton, sp!ked)

Increasing Eolian Dust Deposition in the Western United States Linked to Human Activity by Neff et al 2008 - There is an important new paper that presents further evidence of the complexity of the climate system. It is Neff, J.C., Ballantyne, A.P., Famer, G.L., Mahowald, N.M., Conroy, J.L., Landry, C.C., Overpeck, J.T., Painter, T.H., Lawrence, C.R., and Reynolds R.L., 2008, Increasing eolian dust deposition in the western United States linked to human activity. Nature - Geosciences. doi:10.1038/ngeo133 (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

State-sanctioned radicalism - The Greenpeace activists acquitted of criminal damage are not true protesters: they are part of a new caste of agitated bourgeois insiders. (Brendan O’Neill, sp!ked)

The Week in D. C. - The offshore drilling provisions that have been drafted in both the House and the Senate would open some limited areas beyond fifty miles of the coast to drilling. But the State with the coastline would have to agree to allow drilling between fifty and hundred miles. (For production between one and two hundred miles out, the federal government wouldn’t have to get state approval.) It’s not likely that most State governments would agree, since no provision to share federal royalties with those States is in either plan. Moreover, production within fifty miles would be permanently banned. Of course, that’s where most of the oil and natural gas is. And generally speaking, the closer to shore, the shallower the water and the lower the production costs. Thus enacting Pelosi’s or the Gang’s plan would turn an annual provision included in the Interior Department appropriations bill into law for the offshore areas with the highest potential. Thus the appearance of allowing a little drilling covers up the reality that it would lock up more securely trillions of dollars of oil and gas. (Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Digest)

Is The Crone really this stupid? Ms. Pelosi’s Compromise - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s energy plan, which allows for offshore drilling in exchange for investment in alternative energy, deserves support. (New York Times)

Pelosi is not compromising, she's just sabotaging oil extraction by subterfuge:

No-Energy Nancy’s Phony Energy Plan - Today’s Greenwire (subscription required) reports that the House is expected to vote as soon as tomorrow on Democratic legislation that would “allow drilling more than 100 miles from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and as close to 50 miles from the shore if coastal states agree to it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is spearheading this legislation — an obvious sign that the Green Left’s longstanding opposition to drilling has become a political liability for Democrats in this election cycle.

However, although Pelosi appears to be bowing to political and economic reality, her proposed “compromise” is a cynical ploy that no self-respecting supply-sider will touch with a 2,000-foot oil rig. (Marlo Lewis, Planet Gore)

Save the Environment: Drill, Baby, Drill - THE audience’s mantra at the Republican National Convention — “drill, baby, drill” — reflected deep frustration with Washington’s decision to lock down tens of billions of barrels of oil under American territory in an era of $4-a-gallon gasoline. Whatever the merits of his argument, Barack Obama’s response that “drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution” won’t make the sting go away as long as it costs $100 to fill the tank of a pickup truck.

The crux of the matter is how accelerated drilling would affect gas prices, now and in the long term. And the conclusions of our latest research aren’t likely to please true believers on either side. We found that full-speed-ahead exploitation of the restricted oil reserves would lower prices at the pump by a few cents at most. Nonetheless, it’s equally clear that the failure to develop these oil resources would cost the state and federal governments hundreds of billions of dollars in royalties and taxes. It would also, paradoxically, pass up an opportunity for a grand bipartisan bargain — going far beyond the deal to open up some coastal drilling that Congress is expected to vote on this week — that could preserve or restore huge swaths of wilderness that are a top priority of serious environmentalists. (Robert Hahn and Peter Passell, New York Times)

Obstacles stunt Calif. offshore drilling - The Bush administration and oil companies say they want to open up the nation's coastal areas to new drilling, but in two cases - involving some of California's most promising oil fields - they are doing little to make that happen. (Patrice Hill, Washington Times)

One if by Land, Billions if by Sea - THE House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is to unveil specifics of a Democratic energy bill this week that would open some offshore areas to drilling — marking a major change in her position. She will likely face opposition from the House Republican leadership, who believe her plan falls short. Only their proposal, they say, will adequately reduce fuel prices and help America become energy self-sufficient.

Let’s hope the Republican efforts fail — because, in fact, their plan would recklessly hand coastal states billions of federal dollars while giving them undue influence over national resource management. (David S. Abraham, New York Times)

As Oil and Gas Prices Rise, Wood Stoves Gain Converts - JEFFERSON VALLEY, N.Y. — Fire Glow Distributors Inc., a store in this hamlet in the Westchester County suburb of Yorktown Heights, has pellet stoves on back order. Tree trimmers for the utility company in Orange and Rockland Counties, used to scavengers in pickup trucks, have spotted Mercedes-Benzes trailing their crews to load logs into their (carefully lined) trunks.

And in Spring Valley, a village in Rockland County, landscapers like John Wickes are being pestered for the scrap branches they had to pay to dump just a few months ago.

“There are wood wars,” said Mr. Wickes, a third-generation co-owner of Ira Wickes, a family arborist business founded in 1929. “People are desperate to look for ways to heat their homes cheaply.”

After a summer of high oil and gas prices, suburb dwellers around New York, and across the country, are going low-tech in hopes of reducing their energy bills this winter. (New York Times)

Energy 101- 2 Energy Policy Thoughts (pdf) - Introduction: The preceding paper (Energy 101-1) we established a basic picture of US Sources and Uses of Energy. A categorization framework was established to facilitate discussion and understanding of the Sources as they relate to our NEEDs. (Tom Horgan)

Lithium Battery for Many Vehicles Seen a Ways Off - ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY, Ill. - Vast improvements are needed to extend the life and lower the cost of lithium batteries before they can efficiently power vehicles, a US government official who tracks high-power battery development said on Monday. (Reuters)

New study says high grain prices are likely here to stay - An ethanol-fueled spike in grain prices will likely hold, yielding the first sustained increase for corn, wheat and soybean prices in more than three decades, according to new research by two University of Illinois farm economists. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Europe's Biofuels Conundrum - The European Parliament may be backing away from its targets for crop-based biofuels, but the EU is still hoping that it can create a certification scheme that will ensure that biofuels are produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. (Der Spiegel)

With their money, myopia and abuses, these pill makers match big pharma - The food supplement industry likes to style itself as people's medicine, but the way it stifles debate is far from democratic (Ben Goldacre, The Guardian)

Fall of the doctor who said his vitamins would cure Aids - Promoter of nutritional pills drops libel action against Guardian

Vitamin deficiency - Editorial (The Guardian)

Is there new evidence that low vitamin B12 levels cause brain atrophy? - When an observational study finds a bunch of things linked to a health condition, it’s always interesting to observe which correlation people latch onto as the important one. It’s nearly always whatever someone is selling or whatever people want to believe is the healthy message.

So, low-carb advocates favor the headlines reporting on a new study that says going veggie shrinks the brain; while dietary supplement advocates like the headlines saying that vitamin B12 deficiency leads to brain atrophy and lack of B12 is linked to brain shrinkage. WebMD even turned a reported correlation into evidence of a causation and wrote a dietary prescription for more vitamin B12 to prevent brain volume loss in old age.

No news story reported what the study actually found. (Junkfood Science)

The 9/11 faker: suffering as celebrity - Tania Head, who achieved fame posing as a survivor of 9/11, grasped the source of modern celebrity: victimhood. (Patrick West, sp!ked)

AIDS epidemic? It was a ‘glorious myth’ - The author of 1987’s The Truth About the AIDS Panic welcomes two new whistleblowing texts on the opportunism of the AIDS industry. (Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, sp!ked)

In defence of plastic - Plastic has attracted a lot of bad press recently about its potentially damaging environmental implications. After the BBC's Chris Jeavans spent a month living without plastic, Susan Mossman explores the many inventions that rely on it. (BBC)

Biting The Creationists - ‘Creationism’ is in the news again, from US vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin [“How did she evolve into a pitbull?”], to private Christian, Jewish, and Muslim schools. And this is not just in America, where some 47% are reported to reject Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. In the UK, a 2006 survey for the BBC found that more than a fifth of those polled were convinced by the ‘creationist’ argument, with less than half - 48% - choosing ‘evolution’ [see: ‘Who are the British creationists?’ BBC Online News Magazine, September 15].

Worryingly, this misguided debate is often unenlightened on all sides. ‘Creationism’ and ‘evolution’ are fundamentally in different philosophical realms of ‘knowing’. ‘Creationism’ is not science, and it should not be taught in science lessons (except, perhaps, in an historical context with regard to paradigms). ‘Creationism’ is an untestable philosophy concerning the origins of life on earth which is believed by certain groups of people as a matter of faith. ‘Creationism’ requires belief and faith; science requires observation, data, and testable evidence. Indeed, faced with the whole panoply of evidence for evolutionary change, there is absolutely no way that literal ‘creationism’ can be taken seriously. But this is to miss a key point. ‘Creationism’ is about the religious poetry of human origins, and, as such, it is an entirely appropriate subject to examine in the context of faith and philosophy - but not, I fear, in science. (Global Warming Politics)

Church owes Darwin apology over evolution, says senior Anglican - Church of England commissions series of introspective online articles ahead of 200th anniversary of naturalist's birth (Audrey Gillan, The Guardian)

Contraceptive jabs to curb wild boar - Contraceptive vaccines may be used to control the number of wild boar in the English countryside. The animals, which until recently had been extinct in Britain for at least 400 years, have been steadily rising in number in three main locations after a series of escapes from farms, and there is increasing concern that they may damage crops, spread disease and attack other animals – or even people. A big male can weight 400lb and has razor-sharp tusks. (The Independent)

Largest owls in the world threaten British birds - Several pairs of eagle owls, the largest owls in the world, are now breeding in the wild in Britain, according to a new study.

But it is unlikely they will ever be considered British birds as they escaped from a large pool of birds kept in captivity.

With its prominent ear tufts, 6ft wingspan and its ability to kill birds as large as herons and animals as big as roe deer, the eagle owl is one of the most remarkable birds in Europe, nesting from Spain in the south to Russia in the north, but has always been absent from Britain.

However, in the past 15 years, several pairs of the birds have begun to nest in different parts of England, according to a review of the eagle owl's status in Britain published in the journal British Birds. (The Independent)

Why? 'Too conservative' Scotland urged to speed up return of missing lynx - A LEADING wildlife expert has called for Scotland to accelerate plans to re-introduce extinct species. Speaking ahead of a major conference today, Roy Dennis said he thinks the Highlands could support the reintroduction of the lynx and the wolf. (The Scotsman)

Big Donors Shifting Green Agenda - OBERLIN, Ohio, Sep 15 - "Philanthro-capitalists" and more traditional foundations are addressing global problems like climate change with unprecedented zeal. But are their money and efforts being put to the best use? (IPS)

Not even close. Never mind that if it's 'green' it's generally misanthropic or at least a very bad idea -- these guys are being stampeded into worrying about the wrong risk. Humans and the biosphere generally prosper during warm periods and suffer dreadful privation during cooler ones -- if you must worry about and take defensive measures against one then worry about a real risk: cooling is very bad, warming is not.

Environmentalism or death: is that the choice? It’s fitting that the scaremonger Caroline Lucas has been elected first leader of the doom-obsessed Green Party. (Ben Pile, sp!ked)

French Green "Picnic Tax" to Hit Throwaway Cutlery - PARIS - France will tax non-recyclable throwaway plates and cutlery to encourage consumers to buy more eco-friendly products, ahead of a wider move that could include consumer electronics, the environment minister said on Monday. (Reuters)

Hell hath no fury like a Eurocrat scorned - A leaked briefing reveals why officials think they lost the Irish referendum: because there’s ‘too much’ press freedom. (Tara McCormack, sp!ked)

What Is So Fair About Fair Trade? - PARIS, Sep 15 - Fair trade is held up as promoting fair prices for producers and guaranteeing social and environmental standards. These ideas are neither new nor controversial. But the recent boom in fair trade has drawn attention as standards and models multiply while authentication mechanisms lag behind. (IPS)

Actually 'fair trade' isn't, it's just socialist top-down control by a different name. What does do a lot of good and has lifted vast numbers of people out of poverty is free trade, which is the only variety I'll support.

Let’s cap this myth of overpopulation - The Balanced Migration group moans that Britain will need seven new cities to cope with an influx of immigrants. Well, let’s start building then. (Nathalie Rothschild, sp!ked)

Courts - the Battleground for Fight Against Paper Mills - PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil, Sep 15 - The battle against the wood pulp industry has intensified in the Brazilian courts, especially in those states where eucalyptus plantations have expanded the most: Bahia and Espírito Santo in the east and Rio Grande do Sul in the south. (Tierramérica)

Food prices: don’t turn a drama into a crisis - We could challenge the food crisis by calling on governments to remove the bizarre barriers to producing more food. (Rob Lyons, sp!ked)

September 15, 2008

Two new papers confirm MWP and knock down resurrected ‘Hockey Stick’ - Study: A mathematical analysis of the divergence problem in dendroclimatology – By Craig Loehle, Published in Journal Climate Change, September 10, 2008 (Full paper requires subscription)

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

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

Problems with the Climate Models - Recalling that people such as Robert F. Kennedy have called climate skeptics “traitors”, David Suzuki calls for their jailing, the Grist website called for Nuremburg trials for them, NASA’s Dr. Jim Hansen calling for their trials for treason, along with the habitual insults from Al Gore, its been difficult for anyone to respectfully dissent. It’s been difficult to stick to the rules of hard science, by demanding evidence and replication, both of which require questioning but are often followed by insults and threats.

The world owes a lot to many climate scientists who are closely studying and reviewing the claims of the global warming lobby. They are also attempting to replicate some of these findings without the traditional support of the originating authors. Ordinarily, in the world of hard nosed science, such scrutiny and replication has been historically welcomed. No longer. The well-known name calling, the dismissiveness, the ad hominem attacks, is regrettably now the standard level of discourse. Additionally, these include many laboratory directors, media editors, and Ph.D.s who for whatever reasons adopt the same low roads of discourse and the abandonment of science.

These are difficult times for traditional climate scientists who do practice good science, serious peer review, welcome scrutiny, replication, and the sharing of data. Thanks to the whole world of the global warm-mongers and indentured PhDs, the integrity of the entire world of science is being diminished, followed by a loss of trust and respect.

Among the giants challenging the global warming dogma has been Christopher Monckton. He has been a strong international leader, spokesman, and expert in unraveling the complexities of the man-made warming hypothesis. (Michael R.Fox, Hawaii Reporter)

Hockey Stick? What Hockey Stick? (pdf) - An extraordinary series of postings at, the deservedly well trafficked website of the courageous and tenacious Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre, is a remarkable indictment of the corruption and cynicism that is rife among the alarmist climate scientists favored by the UN’s discredited climate panel, the IPCC. In laymen’s language, the present paper respectfully summarizes Dr. McIntyre’s account of the systematically dishonest manner in which the “hockey-stick” graph falsely showing that today’s temperatures are warmer than those that prevailed during the medieval climate optimum was fabricated in 1998/9, adopted as the poster-child of climate panic by the IPCC in its 2001 climate assessment, and then retained in its 2007 assessment report despite having been demolished in the scientific literature. It is a long tale, but well worth following. No one who reads it will ever again trust the IPCC or the “scientists” and environmental extremists who author its climate assessments. (Lord Monckton)

Current Global Warming Alarmism and the Mont Pelerin Society’s Long Term Agenda - I think I have to start with expressing my deep and ever-deeper conviction that the recently created panic as regards dramatic, in the past allegedly unknown global climate changes and their supposedly catastrophic consequences for the future of human civilization must not remain without a resolute answer of the – until now – more or less silent majority of rationally thinking people, especially classical liberals, libertarians and other freedom loving men and women. Not everyone is silent but the current dominance of climate alarmism practically in the whole world can’t be disputed.

Many of us know (or at least should know) that this panic doesn’t have a solid ground, that it has not been set off by rational arguments, that it demonstrates an apparent disregard of the past experience of mankind, and that its substance is not science. It is based, on the contrary, on the abuse of science by a non-liberal, extremely authoritarian, freedom and prosperity despising (and destroying) ideology which I, together with many others, call environmentalism. (Václav Klaus)

This is what passes for a sunspot these days (Watts Up With That?)

Kasatochi Volcano SO2 update: aerosols may have cooling effect on the NH this year (Watts Up With That?)

How not to measure temperature, part 70 (Watts Up With That?)

More on the Santa Ana Rooftop Weather Station: comparison stations also problematic (Watts Up With That?)

I am a Skeptic (Watts Up With That?)

More alarmism turned into more hard cash (Tom Nelson)

Don't let the facts spoil a good story - Here is a cautionary tale for anyone working in research. "Captain Cook and Lord Nelson seem unlikely figureheads in the fight against climate change alarmists," said the Sun. "Lord Nelson and Captain Cook's ship logs question climate change theories," announced the Telegraph. Oh that's handy. So perhaps we can just keep on burning oil regardless then? "The ships' logs of great maritime figures such as Lord Nelson and Captain Cook have cast new light on climate change by suggesting that global warming may not be an entirely man-made phenomenon."

I spoke to Dennis Wheeler, a geographer at Sunderland University and the man whose research triggered this coverage. Is he a leading figure in "the fight against climate change alarmists"?

No. "But now I've had emails from cranks around the world thinking I'm some kind of anti-global warming conspiracy theorist and a friend to them. I'm most certainly not. The newspapers grossly and crassly misrepresented everything we are doing."

In fact, Wheeler had spoken only to the Sunday Times, which covered his work accurately. The rest of the newspapers copied the quotes, and the information, but rather grandly decided to change the purpose and the outcome of his research. "It was odd reading articles which were written as if a reporter had spoken to me - I wasn't fully aware of the extent to which the media copy each other's newspapers - but worse was the brazen way they distorted our work. Not a single one of the journalists from any other newspaper contacted us to see if their take on the story was correct." (Ben Goldacre, The Guardian)

The funniest part of this is that it applies most specifically to gorebull warming. There is absolutely no research whatsoever that demonstrates enhanced greenhouse as a driver of global temperatures or climate, much less that any catastrophe can or will ensue but no one is ever going to know that from the media coverage.

Its the Sun, Not Your SUV! - The evidence is in. Before we go bankrupt, read lt's the Sun, Not Your SUV and make up your own mind. This book is an excellent presentation of the truth about the changes in temperature over the past 125 years. Increases in solar activity along with reduction of cloud coverage and thus Earth albedo (reflectivity) are the primary reason temperatures have increased.

Greenhouse gases are to a lesser extent involved in the temperature changes. This book brings afresh new set of information that provides the undeniable truth that the IPCC report’s focus upon Greenhouse Gases is fatally flawed. It also puts to rest as to whether there is any need for action on this overly politicized issue. - From the Foreword by Peter Dietze, 2001 IPCC Reviewer (Right Side News)

Buy this book through our store and help at the same time!

Australia Seeks to Lower Carbon Emissions From Cars - SYDNEY - The Australian government issued a discussion paper on reducing automobile carbon emissions on Saturday, with recommendations such as providing financial incentives for manufacturing low-emission cars. (Reuters)

Climate change heroes' sham case - ONE commonly repeated argument for doing something about climate change sounds compelling, but turns out to be almost fraudulent. It is based on comparing the cost of action with the cost of inaction, and almost every major politician in the world uses it. (Bjorn Lomborg, The Australian)

Canada Tories Reject Rivals' Fear of Carbon Tariff - OTTAWA - Canadian Trade Minister Michael Fortier rejected the notion on Thursday that some countries might slap tariffs on Canadian products because of the Conservative government's weak climate change policies. (Reuters)

Why? NZ's Carbon Scheme Expected to Survive Election - WELLINGTON - New Zealand's planned carbon trading scheme, the first cap-and-trade market outside Europe, is expected to survive even if Prime Minister Helen Clark loses a national election on Nov. 8. (Reuters)

A scare too far: Tapping football fever, environmentalists say global warming could send Ohio buckeyes to Michigan - It's not the best-researched global-warming theory, but it could be the most horrifying to certain fans of college football: Environmentalists said Friday that climate change might push the growing range of Ohio's iconic buckeye tree out of the state, leaving it for archrival Michigan.

Save The Buckeye, a coalition of environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts, has a billboard in Columbus warning about the fate of the buckeye tree, and backers plan to hold rallies during football tailgating events. They're hoping to channel Ohio pride into environmental awareness and action.

"People had thought of global warming as something far away, affecting polar bears," said Tom Bullock, an advocate for the Pew Environment Group in Ohio. "If we don't get started now we will reduce the opportunity to reduce global warming and curb its worst effects." (Associated Press)

I know enviros specialize in low blows and shoddy claims but this is especially egregious! Wrongly asserting Ohio's state pride could be transferred to Michigan if people don't stop liberating the stuff of life, the trace gas that supports most life on Earth? That is a new low even for misanthropic ratbags claiming to be green. Rise up, Buckeye fans, rise up and cast these fearmongering agents of Michigan out of Ohio!

With all the usual 'Yes, but' weaseling; Antarctic sea ice increases despite warming - The amount of sea ice around Antarctica has grown in recent Septembers in what could be an unusual side-effect of global warming, experts say.

In the southern hemisphere winter, when emperor penguins huddle together against the biting cold, ice on the sea around Antarctica has been increasing since the late 1970s, perhaps because climate change means shifts in winds, sea currents or snowfall.

At the other end of the planet, Arctic sea ice is now close to matching a September 2007 record low at the tail end of the northern summer, in a threat to the hunting lifestyles of indigenous peoples and creatures such as polar bears.

"The Antarctic wintertime ice extent a rate of 0.6% per decade" from 1979 to 2006, says Donald Cavalieri, a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

At 19 million square kilometres, it is still slightly below records from the early 1970s of 20 million, he says. Since 1979 however, the average year-round ice extent has risen too. ( news service)

Bottom line guys, if it's a result of warming because more snowfall is available from a warmer atmosphere then claims of looming sea level rise are wildly overstated (they are anyway but just go with it) or, alternatively, it's because southern polar regions are not, in fact, warming. Since the entire Southern Hemisphere mid-troposphere shows no warming it is quite correct to say global warming is not happening.

Slowdown predicts 'tipping points' - There's a theory that as climate change progresses the Earth could undergo a series of climate tipping points – sudden changes beyond which a return to the original state just isn't possible. But it's been hard to prove that such tipping points exist and even more difficult to tell how near we might be to reaching one. (ERL)

Hmm... 'smart filtering' eh? Sometimes known as 'data diddling', too.

Sodden farmers struggling with a changing climate - A terribly wet summer in the UK has left farmers facing the worst harvest in 40 years and the task of adapting to new conditions (The Guardian)

Unfortunately John may be right -- the last time we had a period of really wet summers was during the Little Ice Age, accompanied by great morbidity, misery and human unrest.

Get Fagan's The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850 through our store and keep online. See why we really don't want to cool the Earth!

Why carbon offsets don't work - They're like a fat person claiming he's losing weight by paying a thin person to go on a diet (Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun)

Not so Lorrie, paying a thin person to diet would result in their losing weight and reduce the net mass of people on the planet but reducing carbon emissions will have zero effect on global temperatures, making the diet scenario far too effective to be analogous.

CO2 hysteria causes a Chinese environmental bureaucrat to take a fossil-fueled roundtrip flight to Germany every two months (Tom Nelson)

Runny Nose, Itchy Eyes? Blame Global Warming - One of the few potentially positive effects of climate change, at least in the short term, is that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may enhance the growth plants. That could be good for agriculture — though warming temperatures and changing rain patterns in a warmer world might wipe out that advantage. But there are no unalloyed gifts from climate change. Recent research suggests that global warming will also exacerbate respiratory allergies, as higher CO2 concentrations lead to vast increases in ragweed pollen production. "There's no denying there's a change," says Paul Ratner, an immunologist with the American College of Allergies. "It's definitely bad news for people who have allergies." (Bryan Walsh, Time)

Another wayward 'gotcha' attempt: Palin Denies Denying Human Role in Global Warming - In an interview with ABC's Charles Gibson that was broadcast Thursday and Friday, the GOP vice presidential nominee took pains to say she had not denied humans' role in driving climate changes across the globe.

"Show me where I have ever said that there's absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted or engaged in has had any effect or no effect on climate change. I have not said that," Palin told Gibson.

In fact, she has publicly questioned this connection -- which represents the current scientific consensus -- at least twice. (Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post)

Can anyone not see that Palin not being convinced anthropogenic influences are the major determinant of global climatic change is distinct from her denying any anthropogenic role in global climate? I publicly doubt majority human influence (in fact publicly call that assertion complete crap) but that in no way conflicts with human activities influencing at least weather at the local scale (think dust from agriculture or the Asian Brown Cloud, Urban Heat Islands...).

Comprehensive Data Set of Global Land Cover Change for Land Surface Model Applications by Sterling and Ducharne (2008) - There is yet another paper that documents the very important role of land cover change as a component of the climate system [and thanks to Laure M. Montandon for alerting us to this article!]. The paper is Sterling, S., and A. Ducharne (2008), Comprehensive data set of global land cover change for land surface model applications, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 22, GB3017, doi:10.1029/2007GB002959. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Review: Hot, Flat and Crowded. Why the World Needs a Green Revolution by Thomas L. Friedman - Would a Green America save both the world and its own supremacy? wonders Philip Stott (Daily Telegraph)

Too funny: Wind power speed record bid fails - A team that had hoped to break the world land-speed record for a wind-powered vehicle is blaming climate change for its failure. (BBC News)

Well why not, we suppose, gorebull warming is blamed for everything else.

Vandalizing the Economy - This is very big. Over in the UK, a group of Greenpeace supporters trespassed on to a coal-fired power station and started vandalizing it, painting a message to UK Prime Minister Gordon Borwn about global warming. They were arrested and prosecuted. Their defense strategy was to claim a "lawful excuse" on the grounds that their actions could help prevent significant damage to others' property that would result from global warming. Their defense witnesses included James Hansen, Al Gore's adviser and head of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, and Zac Goldsmith, ultra-wealthy heir of Sir James Goldsmith and a wannabe Tory MP. The strategy worked. Yesterday, a jury returned a majority verdict, acquiting the so-called Kingsnorth Six. As The Independent put it, the jury decided the "threat of global warming justifies breaking the law." (Iain Murray, Planet Gore)

Crossing the Line - Top NASA climatologist James Hansen endorses eco-vandalism. (Henry Payne, NRO)

Phase out coal and burn trees instead, urges leading scientist - Humanity must urgently embark on a massive programme to power civilisation from wood to stave off catastrophic climate change, one of the world's top scientists has told The Independent on Sunday.

Twenty years ago, Professor James Hansen was the first leading scientist to announce that global warming was taking place. Now he has issued a warning that a back-to-the-future return to one of the oldest fuels is imperative because the world has exceeded the danger level for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Growing trees, which absorb the gas from the air as they grow, burning them instead of fossil fuels to generate electricity, and capturing and storing the carbon produced in the process is needed to get the greenhouse effect down to safe levels, he says. (The Independent)

I was just pondering the inspiration for Jimmy's mania... could it be:

A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” -- Paul Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich, “Population, Resources, Environment” (W.H. Freeman, San Francisco, 1970, 323)

or maybe:

"Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialised civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" -- Maurice Strong, head of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and Executive Officer for Reform in the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Geoffrey Lean: The public are ahead of the game on climate change - Thursday, Ben Stewart feared, would be the day he started a prison term. But instead of being banged up, he found himself "in the green room of The Jeremy Vine Show, next to Cliff Richard". (The Independent)

Actually not and the judge really should never have entertained such an absurd 'defense'. The public may indeed have been stampeded by activist media and a hugely financed and orchestrated campaign of deceit over trivial enhanced greenhouse effect but this is where responsible government and the judiciary should be restraining the impetuosity of mobs. Instead they've made essential services more of a target than ever. We don't need jihadists to bring down society -- we have the greens and activist judges.

Climate change chicanery - Recent events have seen the scare campaign over global warming descend to the level of a Monty Python sketch.

Much publicity was given, for instance, to Lewis Gordon Pugh, who set out to paddle a kayak to the Pole to demonstrate the vanishing of the Arctic ice. At 80.5 degrees north, still 600 miles short of his goal, he met with ice so thick that he and his fossil-fuelled support ship had to turn back.

But this did not prevent him receiving a congratulatory call from Gordon Brown, nor boasting that he had travelled "further north than anyone has kayaked so far". (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

Grasshoppers are recruited as climate change scouts - The rasping summer sound of grasshoppers chirping in fields and meadows is to be used to help to track climate changes.

Grasshoppers, along with bush crickets, have been identified as the ideal insects for a public monitoring system. There is a now a scheme to record sightings of all 27 native species of grasshoppers and crickets in Britain based on the system that enabled scientists to follow the spread of harlequin ladybirds.

The harlequin, an invasive species that competes with and often eats native ladybirds, arrived from the Continent in 2004 and has spread rapidly.

The public reporting system that was introduced to monitor the ladybird is regarded by researchers as an outstanding success and they now intend to use it to find out how climate change is affecting other insects. (The Times)

Editorial: Comprehensive policy should be legislative goal - We can’t drill our way to energy independence, but neither can we conserve our way there or rely wholly on alternatives such as wind and solar power. We need a full basket of options. (Journal Sentinel)

Kind of like the Republican's "all of the above" refrain, huh?

Why the Drilling Windfall Will Change the Drilling Debate Debate - The debate over new oil drilling in the United States usually breaks down into a debate over the effects of any new supplies on the price of oil. Some say that the effects are marginal, and thus pretty much irrelevant to the longer-term challenge of transitioning away from fossil fuels, while others say that the the effects are positive and work toward getting the U.S. off of foreign sources. In this debate, there are valid arguments on both sides, but the “drill or not to drill” debate itself misses what seems to be the elephant in the living room, which has been discussed in today’s Wall Street Journal: (Roger Pielke, Jr., Prometheus)

Democrats Reluctantly Embrace Offshore Drilling - WASHINGTON — For decades, opposition to new offshore oil drilling has been a core principle of Congressional Democrats, ranking in the party pantheon somewhere just below protecting Social Security and increasing the minimum wage. (New York Times)

We wish... Climate is right for Arctic oil rush - WASHINGTON – It's a scramble for the spoils of global warming as the rapid melting of Arctic sea ice is opening access to previously unreachable deposits of oil and gas, setting off a race by northern nations – including the United States, Canada and Russia – to claim them. (San Francisco Chronicle)

... unfortunately the most likely change is more Arctic icing, which means we'd need to develop drilling submarines to exploit Arctic subsea resources.

Why Is Our Oil Up Hurricane Alley? - Even as global forces drive oil prices lower, all it takes is one nasty storm to reverse that. With a continent full of energy resources, why is U.S. oil production still concentrated in one Hurricane Alley? (IBD)

Electrifying Idea From The 'Gang Of 10' - The recent conflict between Georgia and Russia has once again highlighted the profound danger that oil dependence poses to free nations, including the United States. Our nation's deep reliance on oil, largely imported from unstable and, in some cases, hostile regimes is corrosive to the integrity and effectiveness of American security policy. (Gen. P.X. Kelley And Frederick W. Smith, IBD)

Actually not. Far better to get coal to liquids up and running. For one thing we have hundreds of years worth of coal and for another the Air Force would have a difficult time maintaining flight operations with battery-powered aircraft. Battery-operated Abrams Tanks may not exactly be battlefield dominant, either.

If they don't wanna invest in carbon, get out of oil stocks... Investors press for disclosure of tar sands' climate risk - F&C Management, the UK's oldest investment trust, has teamed up with a group of US and Canadian fund managers to halt Wall Street financial regulators softening the rules on tar sands, arguing that new rules should take account of the carbon impact of reserves disclosed by oil and gas companies. (Terry Macalister, The Guardian)

Oil sands cleanup - The public debate on oil sands fails to recognize that restoration is possible and not that expensive (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

BG's Brazilian oil discovery is three times larger than expected - BG Group's most recent oil discovery in Brazil's Santos Basin is more than three times larger than expected, the company has revealed, and could contain between 3 and 4 billion barrels of recoverable oil. (The Independent)

Gas, Gas Everywhere - Billions are being pumped into new U.S. natural gas exploration, leading to a jump in production, lower prices, and a lot of rich Texans (Business Week)

Critics claim deception in Californian energy measures - SAN FRANCISCO: Californians will vote on two ballot initiatives this fall that at first glance would seem shoo-ins for approval in a state long associated with environmental activism. (Associated Press)

Renewable energy may dim if tax break ends - Credits benefiting industry will expire unless Congress acts (Journal Sentinel)

The Pickens Plan: Questions Unanswered - Introduction: On July 7, 2008, Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens introduced the “Pickens Plan,” an ambitious proposal to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil by one-third over the next ten years.

The cornerstone of the Pickens Plan is replacing the natural gas now used to generate electricity with wind power, and then using the saved natural gas to power vehicles that presently run on gasoline.

It’s a bold plan from a bold man. (Reece A. Epstein and David A. Ridenour, National Policy Analysis)

Wind-Power Politics - For years, wind-farm projects had stalled in the face of local political opposition. Then an entrepreneur named Peter Mandelstam came up with a new and energizing approach. (New York Times)

Windfarms: One of the great deceptions of our time - The total power generated by all the 2,300 turbines so far built in Britain, is less than that contributed by a single medium-size conventional power station. (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

Wind farms fail to deliver value for money, report claims - Wind farms are failing to deliver value for money and distorting the development of other renewable energy sources, a report claims. (Daily Telegraph)

Cost of £1bn energy relief plan 'will end up on household bills' - Gordon Brown faces a double revolt despite announcing a £1 billion package yesterday to help struggling households to cope with soaring energy prices. (The Times)

Personal nukes: Update Hyperion Nuclear Power Generator - Hyperion Power Generation, Inc., (HPG) with the assistance of Los Alamos National Laboratory, is developing and commercializing a small, factory-sealed, mass-produced, transportable nuclear power module that is uniquely safe and proliferation-resistant. The technology utilizes and builds upon similar features of the 60+ TRIGA training reactors that have been safely operated for years in universities and laboratories around the globe. Current identified applications include industrial use (oil shale & sand retorting), power for military installation, homeland security, emergency disaster response, and remote community and infrastructure. As of September 9, 2008, HPG has ten installation commitments and 50 pending. The first HPG reactors should be ready in 2013. The cost of the reactors will be about $1400/kw. After 5 years, each reactor would have a softball size amount of waste. The uranium hydride reactor can burn up to 50% of the uranium or about ten times more than current reactors. (Next Big Future)

There goes another one: Beatrice BioDiesel in bankruptcy - BEATRICE — Two years ago this month, ground was broken in a northwest Beatrice industrial park on what was supposed to be a $52.5 million biodiesel plant. By summer of 2007, partners in the plant construction hoped to be producing millions of gallons of a soybean oil-diesel fuel mix.

Last week, the plant’s owner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. (Beatrice Daily Sun and Lincoln Journal Star)

India Dreams Big on Biofuel But Can it Deliver? - NEW DELHI - India's drive to ramp up biofuels use within a decade offers hope to a struggling biodiesel sector, but without a clear roadmap, commercial production will remain years away, a top trade official said. (Reuters)

No evidence that bariatric surgeries save healthcare costs or save lives - A study has been in all the business news this past week and its reported finding is already on its way to becoming a truism: that obesity surgery pays for itself in lower insurance costs in just two to four years. As with so many beliefs that are repeated over and over again, the real story behind its origin are lost.

Few people will hear that the study behind the cost savings of bariatrics was so faulty that even the economist behind the “costs of obesity” myth wrote a cautionary editorial pointing out conspicuous problems. Few people will hear that the study behind the truism was written by bariatric surgeons and staff from a consulting company that provides its corporate clients with data analysis for marketing, litigation and development strategies, and that the surgeon’s role in the paper “could be considered as payment from Ethicon-Endo-Surgery, Inc.,” which financed the paper. Few people will hear that it was published in a business-to-business trade journal, produced by a publisher that creates custom publishing products for health industry clients. Few people will hear that it used a database that’s been cited by the FTC for unfair and deceptive acts and practices, and the target of lawsuits from a state attorney general to the American Medical Association for being fraudulent. And virtually no one will go to the original paper and see how many ways it failed as a “fair test” of any scientific hypothesis. (Junkfood Science)

Lessons from the Amish - If we believe news reports this week, there’s no excuse for being fat because our genes can be overcome by having a healthy lifestyle and getting plenty of exercise. A new study of Old Order Amish living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was reported as showing that physical activity can combat obesity and keep people trim, even among those with a genetic susceptibility to obesity. Today’s modern lifestyles and obesogenic environment, with its perceived more fattening, processed foods and lack of exercise, are believed to cause the current obesity epidemic. And people living simpler lives, eschewing the trappings of modern life, eating natural foods and getting lots of exercise, don't have weight problems...or so the myth goes... (Junkfood Science)

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Looking for a new scare? New form of 'mad cow' disease could infect humans - JUST when it looked as if we had mad cow disease licked, a new threat may be lurking down on the farm - bovine amyloidic spongiform encephalopathy. First discovered in Italian cows in 2003, BASE has infected a monkey, suggesting that the disease may also be capable of spreading to humans.

Alarmingly, the disease took hold - and killed - the monkey faster than strains of classical BSE and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the human version of mad cow disease, injected into other monkeys as part of the same experiment. What's more, the symptoms and brain damage look very like a rare form of "sporadic" vCJD, called MM2, which has no known cause, raising the prospect that BASE may already infect people. (New Scientist)

Old enough to fight, old enough to drink - At age 18, an American can enlist in the military, vote, sign a contract, get married, have an operation - hey, in California, a 14-year-old can have an abortion without telling her parents - but cannot buy a beer. Not legally, anyway.

It makes absolutely no sense, and it is shameful that my generation, which won the right to vote at age 18, continues to infantilize people who are allowed to make life-and-death decisions on every issue save one. We believe in rights - except for those of college-age kids, even if they are serving in the military.

Enter the Amethyst Initiative, pushed by former Middlebury College President John McCardell and signed by more than 100 college presidents, which is pushing for Washington "to reopen public debate over the drinking age." According to McCardell, it is time for Washington to reconsider a 1984 measure, signed by President Ronald Reagan, that withheld 10 percent of highway funds from states that had a legal drinking age lower than 21.

The reason for the Amethyst Project - named for a gemstone believed to be "an antidote to the negative effects of intoxication" - is simple. Many college officials do not believe that the 21-year-old drinking age works. They believe that most students break the law. Worse, McCardell argues, they believe that the age fosters a "culture of dangerous, clandestine binge-drinking." (Debra J. Saunders, SF Chronicle)

Oh boy... Is it better to buy canned or frozen food? - Frozen and canned foods may eat energy, but it's the 'chilled' ranges you should cross off your shopping list, says Lucy Siegle (The Observer)

But wait, maybe this is associated: Going veggie shrinks the brain - SCIENTISTS have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain - with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.

Vegans and vegetarians — such as Heather Mills — are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system. (Courier-Mail)

Hmm... cows are veggies and they suffer brain wasting diseases, does this mean BSE is from vegetarianism? (No e-mails please -- the assertion is not meant to be taken seriously)

How China Helps America’s Poor - The University of Chicago’s Christian Broda says U.S. trade with China has reduced prices and mitigated inequality. (Heather Wilhelm, The American)

The Progressive Case For Free Trade - As recently as eight years ago, when the Clinton-Gore administration ended, a bipartisan consensus existed among Democrats and Republicans in favor of free trade, which leaders of both parties recognized was in America's economic interest. (Senator Joe Lieberman, IBD)

Kids endanger the planet? Scientists: Save the planet—have fewer kids - As rising populations strain a warming planet, a British journal suggests having smaller families (Laurie Goering, Chicago Tribune)

MTV Trashes A Piece Of Rainforest For Their New Reality Show (ecorazzi)

Will environmentalists miss George Bush? - No doubt, environmentalists are counting down the days until President Bush leaves office. However, is this parting bittersweet? Consider the following figure on the number of Americans that claim to belong to an environmental organization. (David Cherney, Prometheus)

Iran supports Obama (no surprise there): The world’s verdict will be harsh if the U.S. rejects the man it yearns for - An America that disdains Obama for his global support risks turning current anti-Bush feeling into something far worse (Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian via Tehran Times)

Funny how dictatorships and the axis of weasels yearn for those whose ideas of self defense and international policing are a plaintive "Please don't do it. I don't like it."

Record 2007/08 harvest in Brazil, 143.8 million tons - Brazil confirmed that the 2007/08 was the greatest grain and oilseed crop ever, 143.8 million tons. The Ministry of Agriculture said it was 9.2% above the previous season and could further increase when the final volumes of the northeast second corn harvest are completed. (Mercopress)

How much is due to aerial crop fertilization from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide?

UN: soaring prices and agro-fuel threaten right to food - The global food crisis caused by soaring prices is jeopardizing the right to food, and any potential solution to the problem must be viewed through the lens of human rights, an independent United Nations expert said Wednesday. (Mercopress)

Group Plans to Sue EPA Over Sewage Sludge on Farms - WASHINGTON - The Center for Food Safety, a private advocacy group, said Thursday it plans to sue the US Environmental Protection Agency over its refusal to put a moratorium on dumping sewage sludge on farmland. (Reuters)

September 12, 2008

Pickens' Natural Gas Nonsense - "Get this one," says billionaire T. Boone Pickens in his latest TV ad, "Iran is changing its cars to natural gas and we're not doing a thing here. They're doing this to use less oil and sell it for $120 a barrel. We can switch our cars to natural gas and stop sending our dollars to foreign countries."

Readers of this column know better than to take at face value the marketing of the so-called "Pickens Plan." (Steven Milloy,

Excuse me? Ice core studies confirm accuracy of climate models - An analysis has been completed of the global carbon cycle and climate for a 70,000 year period in the most recent Ice Age, showing a remarkable correlation between carbon dioxide levels and surprisingly abrupt changes in climate.

The findings, to be published this week in the online edition of the journal Science, shed further light on the fluctuations in greenhouse gases and climate in Earth's past, and appear to confirm the validity of the types of computer models that are used to project a warmer climate in the future, researchers said. (Oregon State University)

Actually the only mention of models in the paper is to say that model output also seems to show some relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide but I don't view that as "confirming the accuracy of climate models" (how they got in the title of this release when the actual title of the paper is Atmospheric CO2 and Climate on Millennial Time Scales During the Last Glacial Period is anybody's guess). What they did find was that the Antarctic rapidly cooled and atmospheric carbon dioxide then slowly declined (no support there for atmospheric CO2 controlling temperature since it is still the wrong way round) and 2,000-5,000 years following increases in carbon dioxide (as determined from ice cores) Greenland temperatures rose. A 2-5ka gap in cause and effect is pretty tenuous, to say the least. If atmospheric carbon dioxide is a key driver of global temperature then why do temperatures plunge only to be slowly followed by carbon dioxide levels in one hemisphere while taking 2-5ka to elicit a response in the other? Hardly compelling.

Hmm... another model mix study: Atmospheric Warming and the Amplification of Precipitation Extremes - Climate models suggest that extreme precipitation events will become more common in an anthropogenically warmed climate. However, observational limitations have hindered a direct evaluation of model-projected changes in extreme precipitation. We used satellite observations and model simulations to examine the response of tropical precipitation events to naturally driven changes in surface temperature and atmospheric moisture content. These observations reveal a distinct link between rainfall extremes and temperature, with heavy rain events increasing during warm periods and decreasing during cold periods. Furthermore, the observed amplification of rainfall extremes is found to be larger than that predicted by models, implying that projections of future changes in rainfall extremes in response to anthropogenic global warming may be underestimated. (Allan & Soden, Science)

My first worry would be determining whether positive Nino-3 events are the same as increase in global mean temperature (granted, rearrangement of the Earth's thermal furniture during ENSO events does affect global mean temperature, something we examined more closely here). Granted too, that the event we looked at demonstrated a transient temperature increase of 0.5 K to 1.0 K (depending on time series).

Now we get to my major concern: Low-level moisture rises with temperature at about 7%/K, as expected from the Clausius Clapeyron equation they say, citing Soden and Wentz papers. Well, up to about 500 feet above sea level it does appear there has been some atmospheric moistening concurrent with a few tenths of one kelvin rise in global mean temperature but what about the annual 10-12 K hemispheric warming? While there is little equatorial warming and cooling throughout the year this is not true of higher latitudes so the assumption must be that the higher the latitude, where greater seasonal warming occurs (New York, for example, is barely greater than 40 degrees North Latitude yet typically warms about 25 K from January to July), the drier the winter and more extreme the summer precipitation, right? Such a hypothesis might wash & wear in the monsoon belt but I can't see it holding much attention in say, Mediterranean climates.

Sorry but I think extrapolating from Nino-3 to global warming is a reach way too far and that their argument is all wet.

Emissions not making rivers run dry - IS the ongoing drought in the Murray-Darling Basin affected by climate change? The simple answer is that there is no evidence that CO2 has had any significant role. Like it or not, that is the science.

In fact, the drought was caused by an entirely natural phenomenon: the 2002 El Nino event. This led to particularly low rainfalls across eastern Australia. The subsequent years were either neutral or weak El Nino conditions. Significantly, neutral conditions are not sufficient to break a drought. In 2006, we had a return to El Nino conditions which further exacerbated the drought. What we didn't have was a strong La Nina.

Last year finally brought a La Nina event but it was relatively weak. It produced a number of major storm events in coastal areas and some useful rainfall in the Murray-Darling basin and elsewhere. Approximately half of NSW drought-declared areas were lifted out of drought (albeit into "marginal" status) and Sydney's water supply doubled in the space of a few months.

This was the first rain-bearing La Nina since 1999 but proved insufficient to break the drought. In short, the drought was initiated by El Nino, protracted by further El Nino events and perhaps more importantly, the absence of substantial La Nina events.

Despite the known causes of the drought, many have claimed that CO2 emissions are to blame. There have been arguments put forward to justify this claim, all eagerly adopted by various groups, but none of which have serious merit.

A key claim is that the multiple occurrence of El Nino is a sign of climate change. This is speculative at best. Recent analysis showed the nine-year absence of La Nina was not unusual. In fact long-term records demonstrate alternating periods of 20-40 years where El Nino is dominant, followed by similarly extended periods where La Nina dominates. Ominously, the data demonstrates that it is possible to go 14-15 years without any La Nina events. The consequent drought would be devastating but entirely natural.

The observation that El Nino and La Nina events cluster on 20-40 year, multi-decadal timescales is an important one. It demonstrates that Australia should always expect major changes in climate as a function of natural variability. When viewed in this light, the drought is most likely a recurring feature of the Australian climate. (Stewart Franks, The Australian)

Another assumption bites the dust: Research team proposes new link to tropical African climate - The Lake Tanganyika area, in southeast Africa, is home to nearly 130 million people living in four countries that bound the lake, the second deepest on Earth. Scientists have known that the region experiences dramatic wet and dry spells, and that rainfall profoundly affects the area's people, who depend on it for agriculture, drinking water and hydroelectric power. (Brown University)

Adapt or die - Environmentalists have long said the world should concentrate on preventing climate change, not adapting to it. That is changing. (The Economist)

They are finally coming to their senses? Don't hold your breath!

Al Gore's Carbon Empire, Cashing in on Climate Change (pdf) - Al Gore says everyone will benefit when new government rules require companies to pay to reduce global warming. But some people will benefit more than others, as will some companies. Benefiting most are those like the ex-vice president who can set up and invest in companies that will profit from the federal regulations imposing heavy costs on others. (Capital Research Center)

People not as stupid as this lot hoped they were? Pity... World carbon standards to relax -CCX head - NEW YORK, Sept 11 - World greenhouse gas markets probably will relax their notions of what constitutes a carbon credit to encourage more people to reduce emissions of planet-warming gases, the head of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) said in an interview.

CCX Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Sandor said he favors granting carbon credits to clean projects, such as maintenance and planting of trees, even if the actions occurred years earlier, in some cases before carbon markets existed.

The approach is counter to a major tenet of carbon trade -- known as additionality -- which says a transaction of a carbon credit is only good if it results in a emissions reduction that would not have happened otherwise. (Reuters)

K.Rudd... Climate change summit scrapped - THE Rudd Government has scrapped plans for a climate change summit with state premiers and chief ministers due in three weeks because of delays in getting the policy together and uncertainty over the West Australian election.

Instead, the Government is scrambling to assemble an agenda for the Council of Australian Government meeting, which is scheduled to be held in Perth on October 2, with officials being asked to provide suggestions for "announceables".

While political advisers would like to avoid it becoming a "meeting about a meeting", it may be scaled back to discuss progress for a planned gathering of premiers, chief ministers and the Prime Minister in December, which is intended to deliver agreement on reform of state funding, including health, education, housing and indigenous affairs. (The Australian)

Climate row sparks debate around world - THE row over the Environment Minister's controversial climate change scepticism stormed into its fifth day yesterday, with comments coming in from around the world. East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson penned an article in last Friday's News Lettter in which he expressed strong doubts that global warming is caused by man. Thousands of people from around the world logged into the News Letter website to read his views and dozens joined in the debate. Many of the posters supported Mr Wilson while around a third have condemned him. (News Letter)

Harper Says Carbon Tax May Trigger Canadian Recession -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said a plan by Liberal Party Leader Stephane Dion to tax the use of carbon-based energy would trigger a recession and re-ignite the pro-sovereignty movement in Quebec.

``Such policies would cause a big recession in this country, a recession equivalent to the recession in the early 1980s,'' Harper told reporters in Montreal today on a campaign tour ahead of elections on Oct. 14. ``It would be economically a catastrophe.'' (Bloomberg)

Green light to anarchy: Eco-activists cleared of power station damage after using climate change as defence - Protesters have been given a legal 'green light' to commit crime after six Greenpeace activists accused of vandalising a power station were cleared, an ex minister has warned. The eco-campaigners admitted causing damage to the value of £30,000 when they climbed a chimney and began painting a slogan. But a judge allowed them to base their 'lawful excuse' defence around their cause: the fear that the power station could contribute to climate change. (Daily Mail)

So, if some Englishmen truly fear greenies could contribute to famine and disease then that's a legitimate defense for damaging greenies? Can't just see this idiot judge sitting still for that...

'If I was E.ON or owned an airport, I'd be very, very worried' - Interviews by Bibi van der Zee (The Guardian)

'Defending' the indefensible: Beyond all reasonable doubt - Each had a job to do, and each did it to perfection. The four key witnesses chosen by Greenpeace to speak in its defence at the Kingsnorth trial were crucial to the environmental group's acquittal. They were chosen not only to "push all the right buttons" with the court, but to answer the very specific questions the judge would ask the jury to answer, says Ben Stewart, Greenpeace's communications director and a defendant in the case. "We wanted a not guilty verdict, but we also wanted to put the government's policy on coal in the dock." (Jon Henley, The Guardian)

Climb every chimney ... - The 'Kingsnorth Six' admitted causing £30,000 worth of damage to a coal-fired power station - yet a jury still refused to find them guilty. The verdict has left the government's energy plans in the balance, says John Vidal, and given a huge boost to climate change protesters (John Vidal, The Guardian)

No, it's opened the door to anarchy. 'Shoot on sight' orders are probably more responsible.

Bullshit: Policy, not protesters, should be on trial - Unlike the jury in Maidstone, policy-makers seem unable to grasp that unabated coal burning will lead to climate disaster (Tony Juniper, The Guardian)

Just for fun: On male pattern baldness and global warming - Global warming doesn’t cause baldness in men. At least, I haven’t seen anybody claiming this. Yet.

No, I’m talking about the little-known theory of intelligence and hair length. For a long time, really since biblical times and the legend of Sampson, scientists thought that with hair came power. A full head of hair was associated with sophistication, creativity, and brilliance. Look at Einstein, scientists used to say, full of hair and clever ideas.

Leading scientists of our own time know about this theory, of course, and carefully tend to their tresses in an attempt to maintain their intellectual prowess. Think of Stephen Pinker or that guy who wrote Blink.

However, it turned out that the theory was only mostly true. It was discovered in 1982 that men who possessed a variant of the gene arylacetamide deacetylase-like 5 would lose hair as they aged and that, surprisingly, hair loss was directly associated with intelligence because of quantum physics. As pattern baldness developed in these men, their heads would, naturally, become less protected from a specific kind of cosmic radiation.

This radiation, no longer blocked from getting inside the head, seeps in and impacts synaptic junctions, breaking them down. The effect is cumulative: the more radiation you are exposed to, the dumber you get. Men with this gene literally lose their hair and their minds.

A case study is the following scientist. To preserve his anonymity we will call him “Dr. X.” (William M. Briggs, Statistician)

Rethinking Carbon of the Past: Scientist Uncovers Miscalculation In Geological Undersea Record - Carbon isotope ratios are central to many reconstructions of past climate. For example the IPCC Working Group 1 cited C12/C13 ratios as the basis for determining some of their findings about climate in the last 1000 years. However, longer term reconstructions are less certain, and now with this new discovery, some of the long term work may have to be reconsidered. (Watts Up With That?)

All the World’s a Cage - According to World Water Council’s director-general Ger Bergkamp, Australia is ‘the metaphorical canary down the coalmine when it comes to climate change‘:

In Australia, what was projected to be here in 20 years from now, in terms of the drought, is already here as we speak.

Now where have we heard that one before? It’s not just Australia that is still clinging to its perch only because somebody has nailed it there. If climate alarmists are to be believed, there are as many ‘climate change canaries’ out there as there are canaries in the Canary Isles: penguins, migratory birds, the Antarctic, the Arctic, Tuvalu, sea turtles, Kenyan pastoralists, islands, polar bears, Australian ski resorts, US ski resorts, Australian vineyards, Napa Valley vineyards, Canada’s Inuit, Alaska, mountain ecosystems, tropical ice-caps, Greenland, pika, naturists, the Bering Sea, intertidal zones, coral reefs, to name but a few.

‘Climate canary’ the perfect metaphor in the age of the precautionary principle. Especially when it can apply to anything you want it to. Because, when you’re watching everything for signs of catastrophe, it follows that you can’t do anything without at least one of your canaries karking it. (Climate Resistance)

Corporate Irresponsibility: Dow Chemical Promotes Climate Hype Instead of Drill, Drill, Drill - Just as good political advertising can sway an election, effective ads on issues such as energy can move public opinion and Congress. At a time when the soaring price of energy has public sentiment strongly in support of off-shore oil drilling, corporations have a unique opportunity to drive home the importance of developing domestic natural resources. With corporate profits being stung by the high cost of energy, aggressive advertising promoting fossil fuels is in the corporations’ self-interest.

Yet companies are squandering this opportunity. Why? Because liberal CEOs have adopted the leftist-inspired definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is characterized by commitments to combat global warming. As a result, companies promote efforts to cut greenhouse gases rather than advertise the economic and social benefits of domestic energy exploration.

But by reinforcing the war against fossil fuels, CEOs are harming their shareholders, their employees and the economy.

The Dow Chemical Company provides an excellent example of a self-defeating CSR policy. (Tom Borelli, Townhall)

Drilling for Dollars - Congress is usually scrambling for revenue to spend, not rejecting it out of hand. Which makes it all the more strange that Democrats have resisted the windfall they stand to collect if they drop their ban on offshore oil-and-gas development.

Allowing drilling isn't the giveaway to industry that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and environmentalist dead-enders claim. In fact, liberating publicly owned resources could net the Treasury as much as $2.6 trillion in lease payments, royalties and corporate taxes, according to one estimate currently knocking around Capitol Hill. The returns wouldn't roll in overnight, but that's almost a full year of spending even for this spendthrift Congress. (Wall Street Journal)

Sheesh! Investors look at carbon cost for oil reserves - NORTH AMERICA – Oil companies should be forced to factor in the carbon cost of extracting future reserves when reporting, according to a letter delivered to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The letter, signed by some 19 investors, including the US$232bn California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the $160bn California State Teachers’ Retirement System, and supported by F&C, argued oil and gas companies should be forced to take into account the resources required to extract barrels when accounting for future reserves. (Global Pensions)

These guys are supposed to be looking after members (i.e., maximizing profits) but look at the nonsense they get up to.

They listen to these fools too much: MTV ad attacks 'greenwash' firms - MTV is launching a global marketing push to tackle climate change that includes a TV ad attacking businesses guilty of "greenwash" - deliberately misleading consumers about their eco-credentials. (The Guardian)

It is not and never will be the function of business to focus on anything but business.

Maine offers testbed for power from tides - Electricity produced from bay with greatest tide change in continental U.S. (Associated Press)

EU Committee Votes to Cut Biofuels Goal - A committee of the European Parliament has voted to cut the EU's target for using traditional biofuels for road transport by 2020. The move has been welcomed by environmental and aid groups concerned that the growth in biofuels has been boosting food prices and causing deforestation. (Der Spiegel)

AP Enterprise: Drugs affect more drinking water -- Testing prompted by an Associated Press story that revealed trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in drinking water supplies has shown that more Americans are affected by the problem than previously thought - at least 46 million.

That's up from 41 million people reported by the AP in March as part of an investigation into the presence of pharmaceuticals in the nation's waterways. (Associated Press)

41, 46, 10 gazillion... still makes no real difference to anyone's health that we can detect ever smaller (and less relevant) trace levels of these compounds.

Agreed: Huge increase in spending on water urged to avert global catastrophe - Countries across the world will have to dramatically increase investment in dams, pipes and other water infrastructure to avoid widespread flooding, drought and disease even before climate change accelerates these problems, experts have warned. (The Guardian)

We do need massive increase in development, including but not only huge increases in water catchment and storage, treatment and reticulation. The biggest obstruction is and has long been the misanthropists known as enviros or greenies and we must sweep them aside as a matter of survival for large numbers of the world's poorest people.

Australian researchers discover elusive frog -- A tiny frog species thought by many experts to be extinct has been rediscovered alive and well in a remote area of Australia's tropical north, researchers said Thursday. (AP)

Officials pluck tree-sitters from their perch - After almost two years perched in the sky, Berkeley's tree-sitters came back to earth Tuesday. The final four were handcuffed and escorted by police down steep steps of scaffolding for a safe-and-certain descent cheered by hundreds of bystanders, who anxiously gathered in fear of a conflict at the top of a 100-foot redwood. (San Jose Mercury News)

Hmm... what was that scene from Police Academy about getting the kitty out of the tree?

The World Bank Urges A New Green Revolution - CHURCHVILLE, VA—The World Bank is warning of “climate chaos” and demands a rebuilding of the world’s agricultural science centers to keep everyone fed. The basic message is right on target, even if it is swathed in climate hype. Katherine Sierra, the World Bank’s vice president for sustainable development, says climate change will mean more droughts, floods, more outbreaks of pests and disease, more heat stress for livestock and less arable land for crops. She warns the world “dropped the ball” on agricultural science after the Green Revolution saved a billion people from starvation and preserved 16 million square miles of forest from being plowed for more low-yield crops.

We are delighted that Ms. Sierra now agrees with us—that the world faces its biggest-ever food production challenge in the next 40 years—but global warming doesn’t seem to have much to do with it. World temperatures today are just about the same level as 100 years ago. (Dennis T. Avery And Alex A. Avery, CGFI)

Asia poverty level down, child health poor-UN - NEW DELHI - Asia is making progress in reducing extreme poverty but faces an uphill battle to improve child nutrition and lower child mortality rates, the United Nations said on Thursday.

The U.N.'s annual Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report, released on Thursday in New Delhi, showed East Asia and Southeast Asia making the most progress in reducing poverty levels, although South Asia lagged behind.

In South Asia, progress was slow in India, with the number of people living in extreme poverty rising by 20 million between 1990 and 2005, the report said. But it did manage to lower its poverty levels to 41 percent from 52 percent in the same period, officials said. (Reuters)

September 11, 2008

Obama And 9/11 -  Eight days after terrorism declared war on America, a young state senator blamed it on "a failure of empathy" — yet another reason why Barack Obama should never be commander in chief.

The July 20 issue of the New Yorker magazine got a lot of attention for its cover, which carried a "satirical" cartoon depicting Michelle and Barack Obama that Obama supporters found tasteless and offensive. Buried inside that issue's feature story, however, was a reaction by Obama to 9/11 that all voters should find even more tasteless and offensive.

The article reprised a piece published in Chicago's Hyde Park Herald on Sept. 19, 2001, and written by a then-unknown and otherwise undistinguished state senator from Illinois. The senator, a former community organizer, wrote that after tightening security at our airports and repairing our intelligence networks, we "must also engage . . . in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness."

According to Barack Obama, the madness that drove terrorists to turn passenger jets into manned cruise missiles aimed at our centers of finance, government and military power "grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair."

As if the answer to the attacks should have been food stamps for al-Qaida. (IBD)

Uh-huh... Australia Being Hit by More "Extreme Waves" - Study - CANBERRA - Australia's vast coastline is increasingly being battered by destructive "extreme waves" driven in part by climate change, scientists said on Wednesday.

Research into wave size changes over the past 45 years showed waves of 3 metres (9.8 feet) in height or more were increasing, hitting Australia's southern coasts as severe storms become more frequent and intense, government experts said.

"Extreme wave conditions are greatest south of the Australian continent, associated with the passage of extra-tropical storms along Australia's southern margin," they said in a report.

Australia, the world's driest inhabited continent, is feeling an accelerated version of global warming, climate scientists say, leading to extreme droughts and sudden severe storms.

... and this is due to the extratropical warming that Australia is not experiencing, right? In fact the southern hemisphere as a whole is pretty much ignoring gorebull warming. "Accelerated version of global warming"? What a crock.

Old Farmers Almanac: Global cooling may be underway - DUBLIN, N.H. — The Old Farmer's Almanac is going further out on a limb than usual this year, not only forecasting a cooler winter, but looking ahead decades to suggest we are in for global cooling, not warming.

Based on the same time-honored, complex calculations it uses to predict weather, the Almanac hits the newsstands on Tuesday saying a study of solar activity and corresponding records on ocean temperatures and climate point to a cooler, not warmer, climate, for perhaps the next half century.

"We at the Almanac are among those who believe that sunspot cycles and their effects on oceans correlate with climate changes," writes meteorologist and climatologist Joseph D'Aleo. "Studying these and other factor suggests that cold, not warm, climate may be our future." (Associated Press)

Brits have a law and order problem because courts won't uphold the law: Greenpeace Protestors Cleared Over Coal Protest - LONDON - Six activists from environmental group Greenpeace were cleared by a court on Wednesday of causing criminal damage when they closed down a coal-fired power station in Kent last year in a climate change protest. (Reuters)

Note to NASA: Fire Dr. James Hansen, now. - I’ve been wrestling with this topic for hours now as to how to best present it in this forum. I finally decided to simply just write it as I see it.

It has been an ugly day for law and common sense in the world. Vandalism in the name of ecological causes is now “ok” thanks in part to Dr. James Hansen, of NASA GISS coming to the defense of eco-vandals. See the second story below. Now, encouraged by this “victory” that gives a sanction to eco-vandalism in the UK, how many more shall we see? And if one of these people is injured and kills themselves or others in the process of the next stunt? What then? Who is responsible?

Certainly I want a cleaner world, and better energy resources with focus on the future. But, sanctioning vandalism for these causes is not the way to get there. What do I want from NASA as a taxpayer? Science, solutions, and inspiring ideas turned into reality. I don’t want political activism in the name of science. (Watts Up With That?)

John McCain walks a fine line on the environment - His choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate and new support for offshore oil drilling could undercut any standing on the issue he earned with his bipartisan proposal to limit greenhouse gas emissions. (Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times)

2 out of 3 isn't that bad... Now, if we can just get through to him that Al lied, there is no enhanced greenhouse emergency and no gain to be had from rationing energy he'll really be worth having.

Alaska is a Battleground in "Green" Wars - KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK, Alaska - Sarah Palin makes some greens see red, not least because her Alaskan home is a battleground in America's "environmental wars."

One frontline is the Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, which has been receding so fast that signs mark the years where it once stood -- vivid testimony to climate change. The 1917 sign is now about a mile (1.6 km) from the imposing wall of ice.

Gosh, that sounds a big number! Why that annual retreat is almost the combined length of the 3 vehicles left idling outside while Ozone Al does his warming shtick! What can we do? Who can we telephone?

McCain Surrogate Tim Pawlenty: Human Impact On Global Warming ‘Half A Percent’ - Appearing on the Glenn Beck radio show yesterday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) denigrated the science of climate change, saying the human impact on global warming was only “half a percent.” He implied mandatory programs to reduce global warming emissions — like the cap-and-trade programs he has previously called for — would “wreck the economy.” And he said that it’s “understandable” that plans to fix global warming have “faded into the background” because of the “energy crisis”: (The Wonk Room)

The colossal arrogance: Labour must encourage individuals to tackle global warming - Now that the argument for global warming has been almost universally accepted, the debate has shifted to how countries can best go about cutting carbon emissions.

The UK has taken a lead on this front: the Climate Change Bill, currently going through Parliament, formally commits the country to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 60 per cent by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels) and will set legally binding five-year carbon budgets. The Energy Bill, if passed, will support an increase in renewable energy and pave the way for a new generation of nuclear power stations. (David King, Daily Telegraph)

"The argument for global warming has been almost universally accepted"? Not exactly -- it hasn't even been joined yet. Arrogant prat.

Dangerous human-caused warming can neither be demonstrated nor measured - There is no evidence, neither empirical nor theoretical, that carbon dioxide emissions from industrial and other human activities can have any effect on global climate. In addition, the claims so often made that there is a consensus among climate scientists that global warming is the result of increased man-made emissions of CO2, has no basis in fact. (John Nicol, CFP)

EU Lawmaker Warns CO2 Caps in Danger, Eyes Shipping - BRUSSELS - A key European Union lawmaker, Swedish liberal Lena Ek, said the EU's Emission Trading Scheme was in danger of being undermined and proposed to include the shipping sector in the scheme from 2013.

The inclusion of shipping would be a surprise move, not a part of earlier proposals made by the EU's executive European Commission. (Reuters)

Emissions trading scheme futile - NATURAL climate changes include warmings, coolings and more abrupt steps represented by the Great Pacific Climate Shift in 1977.
Meanwhile, lurking in the background lies the threat of visitation of another Little Ice Age.

The Rudd Government's emissions trading policy deals only with the threat of presumed human-caused warming, and ignores the other all-too-real climate threats. The Government's intended emissions trading scheme, therefore, does not represent proper climate policy but rather constitutes a human global warming policy - which is an entirely different, and speculative, matter. (Bob Carter, Courier-Mail)

Parallel universes: Ross Garnaut's report is a welcome reality check - THERE are two parallel debates running in Australia on climate change, one grounded in reality and the other floating off into the world of fantasy. One is the economic debate towards which Ross Garnaut made a major contribution with his supplementary report last week setting an achievable trajectory for Australian greenhouse gas emissions and a framework on which to build international agreement. The other debate is the one that takes the worst climate projections as a given and sets incredible targets that are impossible to achieve and would not, given the relatively small size of Australia's domestic emissions, make the slightest dent on global carbon output.

The latest contribution to the fantasy debate comes from three Australian scientists, Bill Hare, David Karoly and Amanda Lynch, who are calling for cuts of up to 40 per cent in greenhouse emissions in Australia by 2020. The scientists claim that such a bold target would make Australia "a leader on the international scene". If they mean the kind of leadership exercised by alpha-male lemmings, then they are probably right. If, on the other hand, we want to lead the world towards a carbon-constrained future that preserves the many benefits that come from technological advancement and economic growth, then they are completely, categorically and catastrophically wrong. (The Australian)

Break out the Woohoo Hats: Melting ice caps could suck carbon from atmosphere - It's not often that disappearing Arctic ice is presented as good news for the planet. Yet new research suggests that as the northern polar cap melts, it could lift the lid off a new carbon sink capable of soaking up carbon dioxide. ( news service)

This from the bloke who claims to be 'muzzled': US election: Climate scientist aims to get 1m students to vote on presidential candidates' green energy records - Renowned climate scientist James Hansen today lent his voice to a US voter organising drive with an ambitious goal: enlisting 1m students who will cast their vote for the presidential candidate with the greenest energy record.

The organising push, dubbed Power Vote, aims to harness young people's unprecedented engagement in the US elections and keep enthusiasm high for stronger action against climate change. (The Guardian)

Actually we should thank The Guardian -- they have an excellent track record when interfering in US elections (now, if they'll just launch another 'get out the vote' campaign) :-)

NASA study illustrates how global peak oil could impact climate -- The burning of fossil fuels -- notably coal, oil and gas -- has accounted for about 80 percent of the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial era. Now, NASA researchers have identified feasible emission scenarios that could keep carbon dioxide below levels that some scientists have called dangerous for climate. (NASA/GSFC)

Hansen rides against evil Coal again...

Uh-oh... Scientists uncover miscalculation in geological undersea record - The precise timing of the origin of life on Earth and the changes in life during the past 4.5 billion years has been a subject of great controversy for the past century. The principal indicator of the amount of organic carbon produced by biological activity traditionally used is the ratio of the less abundant isotope of carbon, 13C, to the more abundant isotope, 12C. (University of Miami)

... this might upset current theories on the carbon cycle and the "human fraction".

Nice berg pictures, at least: Paradice Lost (don't blame me, that's how The Sun wrote it) - LIKE graceful sculptures of white rising from the sea, these icebergs are an undeniably beautiful sight. But as magnificent as the photographs are, according to the man who took them, they are also a dire warning of how our climate is changing. (The Sun)

Imagine that: Alaska, Russia Forests Overlooked in Climate Fight - OSLO - Old forests from Alaska to Russia soak up vast amount of greenhouse gases as they age and are wrongly overlooked as a weapon in a UN-led fight against global warming, a study said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Even older forests thrive in a carbon dioxide-enriched environment (no calls or e-mails please, we know that current levels remain near historic lows but here we use enrichment in a relative sense).

Charlie, Prince of Wails: Prince in call to save rainforests - The Prince of Wales has called for a "sense of wartime urgency" in a bid to save the rainforests and cap global warming. Charles, addressing a dinner at Mansion House in the City of London, described tropical forests as "the world's lifebelt", the destruction of which could result in "unprecedented geopolitical and economic upheaval". (Press Association)

A Geophysical Research Letter Article by Lobell, D. B., G. Bala, and P. B. Duffy (2006): Biogeophysical Impacts Of Cropland Management Changes On Climate - Recently, I came across an interesting paper that is another valuable resource that documents the first order role of landscape processes as part of climate variability and change. The paper is Lobell, D. B., G. Bala, and P. B. Duffy (2006), Biogeophysical impacts of cropland management changes on climate, Geophys. Res. Lett. L06708, doi:10.1029/2005GL025492. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Gravity-mapping satellite will help predict climate change - Scientists are preparing to launch a new satellite to make more precise measurements of the Earth's gravitational field and so help improve predictions about global warming. (The Guardian)

If it is anything like GRACE we are underwhelmed.

To win the presidential race, it takes energy - Record-high prices for gasoline, heating and electricity and growing concern about global warming have pushed energy issues to the forefront of the 2008 presidential campaign.

Not since the gas lines of the 1970s has energy loomed so large as it does in the race between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, says Kenneth Medlock, an energy expert at Rice University. And it's an issue that is unlikely to fade between now and November. (Paul Davidson and Barbara Hagenbaugh, USA TODAY)

Energy is the lifeblood of the nation and the only real issue is guaranteeing adequate supply at the cheapest possible price. Get that done and everything else becomes doable and, more importantly, affordable (think health care, social security, employment, declining debt...).

Drilling takes center stage on Capitol Hill - Ideas galore, but an energy bill seems unlikely to make it out alive (Houston Chronicle)

Liquid Pork - Congress is back. If, upon reading those words, your hand shoots reflexively to your wallet or purse to make sure it’s still there, then you know what comes next: A Gang of 16 in the Senate is pushing an energy bill that would spend billions of dollars, raise taxes, and do nothing to lower the price of gasoline. And they’ve only been back for three days! (NRO)

Enviro-waffle: Tar-sands pipeline will undo Quebec's work on environment - Quebec was one of the first provinces to show leadership on tackling global warming. It is now pursuing more efficient vehicles, has a carbon tax at the fuel wholesale level, and is joining other jurisdictions in a cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse-gas emissions.

It's a shame that this progress is being undone by the tar sands. (The Gazette)

Progress? As in "advance to the rear"? "Tackling gorebull warming" is a display of superstition and ignorance, not "progress" and carbon taxes are some of the most insidious attacks on the poorest members of society. What they are saying then is that the tar-sands pipeline will circumvent at least some of the enviro-misanthropy. This is supposed to be a bad thing?

The Fallacy of 'Green Jobs' - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has a great twofer pitch: "green jobs." It sounds like a winner. In one fell swoop he can promise to end unemployment and fix and save the planet from climate change.

Or so he says. (John Stossel, Real Clear Politics)

Baracking for starvation of the world's poorest? Obama Tells US Farmers He Backs Ethanol Mandate - WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama told farmers on Tuesday that he backs the federal requirement to use ethanol as a way to reduce reliance on oil imports. (Reuters)

EU Lawmakers Propose Lowered Biofuels Target - BRUSSELS - European Union lawmakers have proposed cutting the share of traditional biofuels to less than 6 percent of EU road transport fuel by 2020, a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed.

The European Commission had proposed that 10 percent of all road transport fuel should come from renewable sources by that date, with biofuels currently the main way of meeting that target.

The EU's original 10 percent target has been attacked by environmentalists, who say traditional "first generation biofuels" from food crops contribute to rising food prices and deforestation. (Reuters)

New York Yellow Cab Owners Sue Over Green Plan - NEW YORK - A group of New York taxi owners is suing the city over a plan to turn the entire fleet of cabs "green" by 2012, saying the plan compromises safety and is unconstitutional. (Reuters)

UK, Italy to Work Together on Nuclear Energy - LONDON - Britain and Italy agreed on Wednesday to work together to develop nuclear energy to ease their reliance on expensive oil and gas. (Reuters)

Popcorn can be good for you - People who snack on popcorn may actually be helping keep their diet healthy and be doing their heart a favour, according to new research. Researchers from The Center for Human Nutrition in Nebraska found that people who eat popcorn consume more whole grains and less meat than people who opt for other snacks. (Reuters)

Sheesh! £70 FINES FOR USING THE WRONG DUSTBIN - HEFTY fines are to be inflicted on householders who fail to recycle their rubbish correctly, it emerged last night. People caught mistakenly putting normal waste into their green recycling bins could be fined £70 – more than many shoplifters, drug users and dangerous drivers. (Daily Express)

September 10, 2008

Relax, truth has surfaced - KEVIN Rudd's global warming guru has finally - and reluctantly - exposed the con. Ignore everything the Government has told you.

The truth, conceded Professor Ross Garnaut last week, is that it really is cheaper for Australians to do nothing about global warming.

And, no, it's not immoral to figure there's no point spending big money to "stop" this warming when it won't make a blind bit of difference.

No wonder the Rudd Government refuses to comment on Garnaut's latest report, released on Friday. Much of the argument for its grand plan to make us slash emissions from 2010 has just been destroyed. (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Personal carbon trading is not as simple as swiping an Oyster card - Defra's study concluded that there are more cost-effective forms of emissions trading, says Richard Starkey (The Guardian)

Um, no: Brutal truth of climate change - AT LEAST Ross Garnaut was honest about the cost to our greatest natural treasure when he said Australia should initially aim for a global consensus to stabilise greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 550 parts per million.

Garnaut was brutally frank in his recently released supplementary draft report: "The 550 strategy would be expected to lead to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs."

The Australian and Queensland governments have always avoided this point when explaining their climate policies. Neither has ever stated a stabilisation target for the rise in global temperatures or greenhouse gases. To do so would expose them to the criticism that their policies would not save the Great Barrier Reef and a host of other ecosystems. (Chris McGrath, Courier-Mail)

Most of the current coral was merely limestone ridges about 50 meters above sea level a scant 10 millennia past. Corals are highly adaptable opportunistic niche colonizers that have flourished over a huge range of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, planetary (and local) temperatures and sea levels. They evolved in the Paleozoic Era when atmospheric carbon dioxide ranged from 5,500 ppmv down to perhaps 1,500 ppmv (from 10 times down to a mere 3 times the 'stabilization target' bemoaned by this enviro lawyer) and when global temperatures ranged from 8-10 °C warmer than today down to ice age conditions (yes, there was an ice age when atmospheric carbon dioxide was more than 10 times current levels). The GBR is obviously not at risk from human influence on atmospheric trace gases.

Spencer R. Weart On The Weblog Real Climate Makes A Confession - Spencer R. Weart posts a remarkable weblog on Real Climate titled “Simple Question, Simple Answer… Not“. He writes

“I often get emails from scientifically trained people who are looking for a straightforward calculation of the global warming that greenhouse gas emissions will bring.”


“I’m not saying we don’t understand the greenhouse effect. We understand the basic physics just fine, and can explain it in a minute to a curious non-scientist. (Like this: greenhouse gases let sunlight through to the Earth’s surface, which gets warm; the surface sends infrared radiation back up, which is absorbed by the gases at various levels and warms up the air; the air radiates some of this energy back to the surface, keeping it warmer than it would be without the gases.) For a scientist, you can give a technical explanation in a few paragraphs. But if you want to get reliable numbers - if you want to know whether raising the level of greenhouse gases will bring a trivial warming or a catastrophe - you have to figure in humidity, convection, aerosol pollution, and a pile of other features of the climate system, all fitted together in lengthy computer runs.

Physics is rich in phenomena that are simple in appearance but cannot be calculated in simple terms. Global warming is like that. People may yearn for a short, clear way to predict how much warming we are likely to face. Alas, no such simple calculation exists. The actual temperature rise is an emergent property resulting from interactions among hundreds of factors. People who refuse to acknowledge that complexity should not be surprised when their demands for an easy calculation go unanswered.”

This is a clear admission of the complexity of the climate system which Climate Science has been emphasizing since it was initiated! (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Petascale Climate Modeling Heats Up At University Of Miami - The development of powerful supercomputers capable of analyzing decades of data in the blink of an eye mark a technological milestone capable of bringing comprehensive changes to science, medicine, engineering, and business worldwide. (SPX)

Sure it's Garbage In, Garbage Out -- but man, it produces it really fast!

The One Legged Stool (pdf) - The Carbon Sense Coalition submission in response to the Government Green Paper on The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (Carbon Sense Coalition)

We all must support the poorest people - This year has seen millions of people face drought in Ethiopia, 11 million people affected by flooding in India, and up to 128,000 people killed by the cyclone that struck Burma. Scientists predict that such weather events will only become more frequent and more extreme as a result of climate change. (Douglas Alexander, The Guardian)

Yes, we must help the poorest people develop and this stupid misdirection of effort to 'address' the phantom menace of enhanced greenhouse is hindering that effort.

Extreme measures - Bangladesh, no stranger to natural disasters, is also on the frontline when it comes to climate change. Now the UK is putting in £75m to help beleaguered communities adapt and survive. John Vidal reports (The Guardian)

But John, the populist gorebull warming version of 'climate change' doesn't exist outside computer games.

From CO2 Science this week:

Responses of Tree Species to Global Warming: Are the locations where they can successfully grow and reproduce in the future really as rigidly defined by their current "climate envelopes" as climate alarmists make them out to be?

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 588 individual scientists from 348 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Collins Ice Cap, King George Island, Antarctica. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
Legumes: How are they affected by atmospheric CO2 enrichment? ... and what do the results portend about the future of the biosphere?

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: Oilseed Rape, Trembling Aspen, and Wallaby Grass.

Journal Reviews:
Global Drought Conditions: 1950-2000: How did they vary over the last half of the 20th century?

Storminess in Northwest Europe: How has it responded to 20th-century global warming?

A "New-and-Improved" 1500-Year North Fennoscandian Summer Temperature History: What does it suggest about the degree of warmth of the Medieval Warm Period?

Elevated CO2 and Surgarcane: Can the atmospheric trace gas we all exhale make the sweet crop even sweeter?

Fine Roots of Sweetgum Trees Growing in CO2-Enriched Air: How do they impact carbon and nitrogen input to the soil in which they grow?

Quitman, GATemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Quitman, GA. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Quitman's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.81 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (

Carbon Dioxide and the "Climate Crisis" - Reality or Illusion?
An Investigative Documentary by CO2Science
Available NOW through -- all purchases through's store help keep online.
Get your copy today!

Is Carbon Lost Cause? - Browsing a Royal Society Phil Trans special issue on geo-engineering and reading a paper by Lane and Montgomery tempts me to ask: is carbon a lost cause? (Overcoming Bias)

Another Message from Kyoto - Do a web search for “Kyoto and Global Warming” and you will be pointed to a stunning 4.5 million sites. For many people in the world today, Kyoto could never be located on a map, few would know that it was once the imperial capital of Japan, and for that matter, few would even know that Kyoto is in Japan. It really wouldn’t matter, for most importantly, almost everyone knows Kyoto has something to do with global warming, “Kyoto” is something President Bust did or didn’t do, and it led to more global warming, right? (WCR)

Elitist evangelists - By claiming it represents scientific truth, Greenpeace is turning political protest into an elite, aloof, religious-style activity (Brendan O'Neill, Daily Telegraph)

I don't agree with O'Neill's assertion about this being 'protest' -- criminal damage is criminal damage and these bloody idiots are self-admittedly guilty. People have an undeniable right to protest but they most definitely do not have any rights to interfere with anyone else, any enterprise or any property.

Polar Defense Project Deletes The Tough Questions - You may be familiar with the much ballyhooed “Polar Defense Project” which aimed to get two kayakers into the arctic sea as far north as possible. While it’s difficult to find a succinct mission statement on their web page, this is about as close as one can get: (Watts Up With That?)

Low levels of Arctic sea ice signal global warming's advance - WASHINGTON — This year will see the second-biggest loss on record of Arctic sea ice — a sign that the area of ice coverage is shrinking at a pace faster than once expected.

The trend also suggests that global warming is likely to increase, polar bear habitat will decline and previously icebound areas could be opened to oil and gas exploration.

Mark Serreze, a senior scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said Tuesday that the sea-ice minimum, which will be reached later this month, won't hit last year's record because the amount of daylight is decreasing in the Arctic and a new freeze is beginning. (McClatchy Newspapers)

But it was supposed to be much reduced due to the absence of multiyear ice, no? As my son would say: Epic fail!

Melting Swiss glacier yields Neolithic trove, climate secrets - Some 5,000 years ago a prehistoric person trod high up in what is now the Swiss Alps, wearing goat leather pants, leather shoes and armed with a bow and arrows.

The unremarkable journey through the Schnidejoch pass, a lofty trail 2,756 metres (9,000 feet) above sea level, has been a boon to scientists but it would never have emerged if climate change were not melting the nearby glacier.

So far, 300 objects dating as far back as the Neolithic or New Stone Age -- about 4,000 BC in Europe -- to the later Bronze and Iron Ages and the Medieval era have been found in the site's former icefields.

"We know now that the discoveries on Schnidejoch are the oldest of this kind ever made in the Alps," said Albert Hafner, an expert with the archaeology service in Bern canton.

They have allowed researchers not only to piece together snapshots of life way back when, but also to shed light on climate fluctuations in the past 6,500 years -- and hopefully shed light on what is happening now. (AFP)

This item sure is being recycled a lot, perhaps because warmists mistakenly believe it supports their case. Sorry to disillusion them once again but the fact so many different eras are represented at this particular glacial melt point actually highlights that the glacier has receded to this extent many times in the last few thousand years (i.e., this is 'normal'). Yes, it is interesting that these passes have been open in previous warm periods but we knew that already. It's surprising to see it appearing so often since it delivers exactly the wrong narrative according to 'the SUVs done it' crowd.

Scares pay: Rockland scientist wins international award for work on climate change - PALISADES - A Rockland scientist who was among the first to warn of global climate change has been awarded a nearly $1 million prize from a European foundation that honors initiatives that advance world peace.

Wallace S. Broecker, a geochemist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a division of Columbia University, won the prestigious Balzan Prize. The $885,000 prize was announced last night in Milan and will be presented Nov. 21 in Rome. (Journal News)

Broecker is strictly amateur league, nothing to compare with the millions raked in by individuals like Ozone Al or industrial strength, corporate scare mongers like Greenpeace and WWF but not bad, all the same.

And Mikey says: Please Sir, I'd like some more: A review of "Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming," by Michael E. Mann and Lee R. Kump - Global warming, increasing greenhouse gases and melting ice sheets are among the predictions made by the Nobel-Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but comprehending the scientific assessments, their human impacts, and the possibilities for mitigation is not easy. Now, in a new book, Penn State climate scientists Michael E. Mann and Lee R. Kump digest the most recent IPCC reports into easily understood, sometimes amusing explanations and illustrations. (A'ndrea Messer, Penn State)

Four former PMs join in call for climate change action - TORONTO — Four of Canada's former prime ministers have joined together with business leaders, environmentalists and academics in demanding that the country do more to tackle climate change. (Globe and Mail)

Makes you wonder if this is why they are 'former' (read: has beens).

Large industries cry foul over emissions trading scheme - Among the loudest critics of the emissions trading scheme are large industrial concerns which claim it will undermine their ability to compete in export markets or against imports.

Rio Tinto, owner of the aluminium smelter at Tiwai Pt, told MPs the scheme would "put the smelter on the path to closure", imperilling more than 1000 jobs and more than $1 billion a year in export earnings. (New Zealand Herald)

Oil-eating microbes give clue to ancient energy source - Microbes that break down oil and petroleum are more diverse than we thought, suggesting hydrocarbons were used as an energy source early in Earth's history, scientists heard today at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting being held this week at Trinity College, Dublin. These microbes can change the composition of oil and natural gas and can even control the release of some greenhouse gases. Understanding the role of microbes in consuming hydrocarbons may therefore help us access their role in the natural control of climate change. (Society for General Microbiology)

I suspect that should read: assess their role...

Not-So-Slick Oil Bill - Some GOP senators allied with Democrats are peddling a "drilling" bill that actually adds exploration restrictions, raises taxes and may even end up meaning no new domestic oil. Some Republicans never learn. (IBD)

Ministers in power struggle over power - Two events in recent days shed light on a battle at the heart of government over what threatens to be as serious a crisis as Britain has ever faced. (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

Blackout Britain Warming - Britain is “quite simply running out of power” and blackouts are almost inevitable within the next few years. This is the stark warning from the head of an energy think-tank who believes power cuts could be serious enough to spark civil disorder. (Daily Express)

Warning over growing fuel poverty - Almost a quarter of the population will be in fuel poverty by next year and those on low incomes will be especially badly hit, new figures have shown.

A report published by the National Housing Federation shows that by the end of 2009 5.7 million UK households will be spending at least 10% of their annual income on energy bills - an increase of 100% since 2005.

The research, entitled Energy Prices and Debt, written by IPA Energy and Water Economics, says around 5.7 million people will be in fuel poverty by 2009, compared with around 3.8 million in 2007 and 2.4 million in 2005. It says annual electricity bills are expected to increase to over £500 each year and gas bills to around £900 by 2010. (Press Association)

Ah, Socialism...No windfall tax: it’s energy-saving instead - Eleven million homes are to be given help to reduce bills in the biggest state-backed programme to modernise household energy use for more than 40 years.

Utility companies will fund most of an additional £1 billion for energyefficiency measures over the next three years, Gordon Brown is likely to announce tomorrow.

About four million of Britain’s poorest households, people on benefit and people over 70, will be eligible for free loft and cavity insulation. More affluent households, yet to be defined, will be able to claim discounts on household improvements designed to reduce energy consumption.

But the package will fail to satisfy Labour MPs and union leaders demanding a windfall tax to pay for immediate help for families to meet rising bills this winter. (The Times)

Kyoto power costs pass to consumers - One of the biggest impacts of the emissions trading scheme on the economy will be through the electricity sector, which will have to pay for its carbon emissions from 2010.

That is despite the fact that electricity is responsible for only about 10 per cent of the country's emissions, as two-thirds of the power generated is from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal steam and wind. (New Zealand Herald)

Fuel emissions from marine vessels remain a global concern - The forecast for clear skies and smooth sailing for oceanic vessels has been impeded by worldwide concerns of their significant contributions to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that impact the Earth's climate. (Rochester Institute of Technology)

Biofuel boom profiting corporations, not locals: activists - The boom in biofuel production in Latin America, particularly Brazil, is benefiting corporations but not local people, a network of environmental activist groups said in a report released Wednesday.

Friends of the Earth International made its study, "Fuelling Destruction in Latin America," public one day before a vote in the European parliament on plans to increase biofuel use in the European Union.

Critics of ethanol made from crops contend that it is harmful to the environment and diverting land-use from food production at a time of record food prices. (AFP)

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NYC Food Cops' National Agenda - IF the city Health Department gets its way, government officials - local, state and federal - will soon be deciding what you can and can't eat.

Writing in The Journal of the American Medical Association last month, Drs. Lynn Silver and Mary Bassett (both of the Health Department) argue that Americans eat too much fat, sugar, salt and calories and that it's up to government to take urgent action to protect citizens from "unhealthy food" - in other words, to protect people from themselves.

Specifically, the doctors call on government to take immediate emergency action to force the food industry to make "healthier" food, including placing hefty taxes on fare they deem unhealthy - thus contributing to the already soaring price of food.

They reject government guidelines and education as "relatively weak interventions" and argue that "stronger actions are needed immediately to reduce obesity, hypertension, heart disease and other chronic ills." (Elizabeth M. Whelan, New York Post) -- h/t William M. Briggs

D'oh! Lessons from the Amish: We're not doomed to obesity - OK, folks, it’s time for another round of Health Lessons We Can Learn From the Amish. Four years ago we discovered that the Amish maintained super-low obesity levels despite eating a diet high in fat, calories and refined sugar. They key was their level of physical activity — men averaged 18,000 steps a day, women 14,000. That’s monumental compared to the paltry couple of thousand or so most of us eke out in a day.

A recent study revealed even more about the Old Order Amish: They maintain low obesity levels despite having a gene variation that makes them susceptible to obesity. The secret here? You guessed it — lots of physical activity. (LA Times)

Yes, it's largely a matter of energy balance, calories in and calories out. That said, you don't need to be thin to be healthy and there's plenty of evidence it's not particularly good for you to be thin nor bad to be fat either. Activity is good and you should try to at least walk -- oh, and get some sunshine too, you need sunlight on your skin to synthesize vitamin D.

The universal conspiracy? How industry money protects killer chemicals - It happens almost every time. When a study is published linking a workplace chemical to serious disease, a scientist working for the industry disputes the findings. David Michaels, author of ‘Doubt is their product’, exposes industry’s dangerous tactics to protect its toxic favourites. (David Michaels, Alternative News)

If industry is so bad why don't these twits go where there is little to none? Try Liberia or Mali perhaps.

Britain worries as companies flee over tax rates - LONDON: Already struggling with an economy on the brink of recession and a record budget deficit, Britain's government is facing another problem: how to stop an exodus of British companies fleeing the local tax regime. (IHT)

Superstitions evolved to help us survive - Darwin never warned against crossing black cats, walking under ladders or stepping on cracks in the pavement, but his theory of natural selection explains why people believe in such nonsense.

The tendency to falsely link cause to effect – a superstition – is occasionally beneficial, says Kevin Foster, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University.

For instance, a prehistoric human might associate rustling grass with the approach of a predator and hide. Most of the time, the wind will have caused the sound, but "if a group of lions is coming there’s a huge benefit to not being around," Foster says. ( news service)

Or not: Environmentalism as hysteria - A short but totally crazy video here. I wonder who is the guy behind it. Another Jim Jones, I suspect.

As Mike Pechar said: "It displays complete, unadulterated, idiocy by people with too much time on their hands and in dire need of a new circle of friends.

It's sad comedy, a burgeoning genre, at its finest. It's also a reason that mental health counseling is always in demand.

By the way, after viewing the video, you'll have a better understanding about the three dozen Heaven's Gate people who committed mass suicide in preparation to embark on an imagined space ship that was following the Hale-Bopp comet. (Greenie Watch)

Landmark study reports breakdown in biotech patent system - The world's intellectual property system is broken. It's stopping lifesaving technologies from reaching the people who need them most in developed and developing countries, according to the authors of a report released in Ottawa today by an international coalition of experts.

"We found the same stumbling blocks in the traditional communities of Brazil as we did in the boardroom of a corporation that holds the patent to a gene that can determine the chance a woman will develop breast cancer," said Richard Gold, professor of intellectual property at McGill University and chair of the International Expert Group that produced the report. "Most striking is that no matter where we looked, the lack of trust played a vital role in blocking negotiations that could have benefited both sides, as well as the larger public." (PhysOrg)

Of course there's a lack of trust impeding progress -- green whackos have spent years fomenting it.

A Genetically Engineered Swat - Last week, I discussed rewriting the genes of viruses in order to make better vaccines. This week, I’d like to discuss the genetic engineering of mosquitoes as a way to stop the spread of dengue fever. (Olivia Judson, New York Times)

September 9, 2008

Actually, not: Found after 300m years: rainforest fossils show how climate change could look - A series of fossilised forests the size of small cities have provided prehistoric evidence of how tropical rainforests are destroyed by global warming. The fossil remains represent the first rainforests grown on the planet and their demise more than 300million years ago “points to the future” of the modern-day Amazon. (The Times)

As I remember description of these fossils the most plausible theory for their formation was geological upheaval and submersion in a series of stages. It was submergence and silting that killed the lush then-equatorial forests (how did gorebull warming make it into the current version?) and formed the rainforest fossils. The so-called 'weedy ferns' populated the brackish silt when the region drained and these were in turn submerged and silted with further subsidence and submergence. There was never a need to invoke global temperature increase or any such thing to explain the formation of these fossilized forests. Further, temperature changes around 300million years ago involved a dramatic cooling to roughly similar temperatures as we find today and atmospheric carbon dioxide had previously fallen through the Devonian, remaining analogous to today's levels through the Carboniferous, only rebounding to more 'normal' (usual? common?) levels in the latter Permian.

Moreover, for these fossils to "point to the future" of the modern-day Amazon as a gorebull warming parable there would need to be a realistic expectation of significant tropical warming, which there is not. Even in the absurdly huge accident that our current generation of admittedly pathetic climate models somehow proved prescient and the globe were to prove hypersensitive to trivial changes in trace gas constituents, it is not the tropical home of the Amazon rainforests where significant warming could occur. The wet tropical atmosphere is already replete with greenhouse gases in the bandwidths where carbon dioxide is significant and adding more will make no difference. All that enhanced greenhouse can do is extend the tropical and temperate zones polewards (as has occurred in Earth's past), thus extending the suitable geographic range for tropical rainforests. The big gorebull warming risk for the Amazon rainforests? Middle-aged spread.

Poor, terrified little blighters: The dark dreams of global warming - MY 12-YEAR-OLD supports Barack Obama, and after the Democratic National Convention, I expected euphoria, but he surprised me. "Actually," he said, "Schwarzenegger is the one I really want for president." Discuss

"What? You want the Terminator in the Oval Office?"

"Who's the Terminator?" my son asked. "Schwarzenegger's good on the environment, and that's my number one issue. It doesn't really matter as much for you, because you'll be dead," he explained, "but I'm going to have to live through global warming, and I'm afraid by the time I can vote, it will be too late." (Allegra Goodman, Boston Globe)

An Inconvenient Youth - Childhood indoctrination. It’s a dirty word. Hitler did it. Stalin did it. It can never happen here in the free world, now can it? Of course not.

In the past few days, I have had a couple of disturbing conversations about AGW with the younger generation, including my own daughter. Particularly striking is the one I had with the 12-year old daughter of a friend.

(Warning: The following transcript may incite anger in libertarians and parents). (Dee Norris, Watts Up With That?)

Comic relief: Research Links Allergies to Climate Change - Lewis Ziska, a weed ecologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, researched how warmer temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions affect the growth of ragweed.

"We are seeing, with increasing CO2, the greater ability of the plant to produce pollen," Ziska said. "Initial results suggest that pollen is more allergenic; so, all of that adds up to an increase in the misery index."

Researchers say the allergy and pollen problem is only going to get worse.

"This is something we are all -- all 6 billion of us -- are going to be experiencing some time soon," Ziska warned about allergies. (ABC News)

Global Warming’s Kaput; 2008 Coolest in 5 Years - The global warming theory is going into the freezer, some climate experts say.

The first half of this year was the coolest in at least five years, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). And the global warming that has taken place during the past 30 years is over, says geologist Don J. Easterbrook, a professor emeritus at Western Washington University.

Easterbrook, who has written eight books and 150 journal publications, predicts that temperatures will cool between 2065 and 2100 and that global temperatures at the end of the century will be less than 1 degree cooler than now. This is in contrast to other theories saying that temperatures will warm by as much as 10 degrees by 2100. (Newsmax)

China Government Adviser Urges Greenhouse Gas Cuts - BEIJING - China should bind itself to international goals to slash greenhouse gas pollution, one of the nation's most prominent policy advisers said, in a striking break with Beijing's official stance. (Reuters)

His next post will be village idiot...

Here's another one: Only a small price to tackle emissions - AWARENESS of human influence on the planet's climate has grown substantially in recent months thanks to the efforts of Al Gore and the release of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is no surprise that the outcome of the last Australian general elections was determined significantly by the position that today's Government articulated on climate change during the election campaign.

In the last Conference of the Parties held in Bali during December 2007 the driving force for moving the global community towards an agreement on adequate mitigation of emissions of greenhouse gases was the scientific rationale for taking action. The Synthesis Report as part of the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, which was finalised in November, brought out some strong findings on the nature of the impacts of climate worldwide, highlighting reasons for concern related to each one of these impacts. (Rajendra Pachauri, The Australian)

Save the planet by cutting down on meat? That's just a load of bull - Look, I hate to be rude to the UN. I don't want to seem churlish in the face of advice from a body as august and well-meaning as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But if they seriously believe that I am going to give up eating meat - in the hope of reducing the temperature of the planet - then they must be totally barmy.

No, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, distinguished chairman of the panel, I am not going to have one meat-free day per week. No, I am not going to become a gradual vegetarian. In fact, the whole proposition is so irritating that I am almost minded to eat more meat in response. (Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph)

Garnaut is wrong, say [Greenpeace] scientists - AUSTRALIA'S most respected climate scientists have condemned the advice of greenhouse adviser Ross Garnaut and urged the Federal Government to take a more aggressive position at global climate change negotiations.

Three authors with the UN's climate change panel say Professor Garnaut made a mistake by advising the Government to accept a deal that would all but guarantee environmental and social disaster.

Speaking separately, Bill Hare, David Karoly and Amanda Lynch - all authors with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - criticised Professor Garnaut's recommendations, describing them as inconsistent, disappointing and wrong.

All believe Australia, as the developed country expected to be worst hit by climate change, should be aiming for a cut in emissions of 25 per cent to 40 per cent by 2020. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Hare works for Greenpeace and is 'on loan' to Potsdam. We expect the whackos and scam dependents to object to Garnaut's all too slow realization that attempting to 'address' climate change is the path of greatest destruction, it's what they do, after all.

Climate case built on thin foundation - ROSS Garnaut made it clear in his interim report that his climate change review takes as a starting point - not as a belief but on the balance of probabilities - that the claims made in the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are correct.

Had he made even a cursory examination of the integrity of those IPCC claims he would have found a very troubling picture.

The IPCC encourages us to believe that about 2500 climate scientists supported the claim of a significant human influence on climate. It fails to clarify that the claim was made in chapter nine of the working group one contribution and that the contributions of working groups two and three were based on the assumption that the claim was correct. The first eight chapters of the WG1 contribution were mainly concerned with climatic observations and the authors expressed no opinion about the claim made in chapter nine, and chapters 10 and 11 assumed the claim to be correct. The entire IPCC thesis therefore stands or falls on the claims of just one chapter. (John McLean, The Australian)

Ross Garnaut recommends focus on greenhouse emissions - ON Friday, Ross Garnaut recommended a starting price of $20 a tonne on greenhouse emissions, at least until a global deal could be brokered.

Three days earlier he recommended that Australians focus more on capturing greenhouse emissions in trees, grassland and soils. Neither idea is new, but they are closely related.

Kevin Rudd wants to deliver a swift and decisive policy response to address climate change. But the rumblings from emissions-intensive industries and now Treasury modelling remind him of the political dilemma he has created.

Because of Australia's highly emissions-intensive, trade-exposed economic profile, aggressive cuts are economically lethal unless part of a global framework. Rudd needs to find a way to honour his political promise without derailing the economy in the process. (Matthew Warren, The Australian)

It won't be happening -- K.Rudd can fall on his sword or wait to be booted to the kerb at the next elections but Australia will not commit economic suicide.

Action plan sets us up for a fall - ROSS Garnaut set up a fabulous straw man in his second report on emissions trading, released last week.

You have to read to page 43 to find the creature. This is where he tells us that "the European, Americans, Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese, among others, are all watching Australia with acute interest to see how we handle the problems of our trade-exposed, emissions-intensive industries." If we get adopting emissions trading wrong, says Garnaut, it will "give every country on Earth another excuse to also get it wrong."

This is hubris of a high order, not just gazing at our own navel, but setting ourselves up as the navel of the planet. (Keith Orchison, The Australian)

Poll shows hopeful signs for Harper - TORONTO - A majority of Canadians aren't especially worried about the economy and support the Conservative government's approach to climate change, according to a poll released on Sunday, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper triggered an October 14 general election. (Reuters)

Further Evidence Of The Serious Limitations Of Using Regional Climate Models For Multi-Decadal Predictions - Regional Climate Models (RCMs) are used extensively to provide regional and local weather, water resource and other predictions, decades into the future, to planners and policymakers. The RCMs use lateral boundary conditions and interior domain nudging from the multi-decadal global climate model predictions (e.g. see Chapter 7 in the 2007 IPCC report).

As concluded in our previous papers, however, the presentation of regional forecast skill is an illusion based on the finer scale appearing results produced by the RCMs, as a consequence of their ability to map their output onto more detailed resolution terrain and landscape. The RCMs, however, are just sophsiticated interpolations of the output from the global climate models, and cannot correct biases that are already present in these models. Our past papers that discuss this issue include

Castro, C.L., R.A. Pielke Sr., and G. Leoncini, 2005: Dynamical downscaling: Assessment of value retained and added using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). J. Geophys. Res. - Atmospheres, 110, No. D5, D05108, doi:10.1029/2004JD004721

Castro, C.L., R.A. Pielke Sr., J. Adegoke, S.D. Schubert, and P.J. Pegion, 2007: Investigation of the summer climate of the contiguous U.S. and Mexico using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). Part II: Model climate variability. J. Climate, 20, 3866-3887.

Lo, J.C.-F., Z.-L. Yang, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2008: Assessment of three dynamical climate downscaling methods using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. J. Geophys. Res., 113, D09112, doi:10.1029/2007JD009216.

We now have another paper which is “in press” that further documents the limitations of regional climate modeling. The paper is

Rockel, B., C. L. Castro, R. A. Pielke Sr., H. von Storch, and G. Leoncini (2008), Dynamical Downscaling: Assessment of Model System Dependent Retained and Added Variability for two Different Regional Climate Models, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2007JD009461, in press. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Volcano’s Eruption Colors World’s Sunsets - Will it Affect Climate by Augmenting Cooling? - In this story Volcano’s Eruption Colors World’s Sunsets on Live Science, Andrea Thompson reported: “Reports of unusually fiery orange sunsets on Earth and ruby red rings around the planet Venus have popped up on the Internet in the last week.

Some skywatchers suspect that these views are being colored by the dust and gases injected into the atmosphere by the Aug. 7 eruption of Alaska’s Kasatochi volcano. The skywatchers are probably right. Kasatochi, part of the Aleutian Island chain, sent an ash plume more than 35,000 feet (10,600 meters) into the atmosphere when it erupted last month. (Icecap)

Dirty air brings rain -- then again, maybe not - An international team of scientists, headed by Prof. Daniel Rosenfeld of the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has come up with a surprising finding to the disputed issue of whether air pollution increases or decreases rainfall. The conclusion: both can be true, depending on local environmental conditions. (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Michael McCarthy: Another summer of sodden misery. Is it bad luck – or worse? - It's getting wearisomely familiar, isn't it? Last summer's toll of sodden misery is with us again as people are flooded out of their homes from one end of the land to the other and, for the second year running, a famous medieval abbey is an island. You could be forgiven for thinking, is this really all just coincidence?

Perhaps it is. But perhaps it isn't – that's an increasingly real possibility. It may be this is very much the shape of the future as climate change takes hold. (The Independent)

Hmm... it could be Svensmark Effect with the currently quiescent sun, or not. With the August CET figure ranking 98th warmest it's unlikely to be gorebull warming though.

Doomsday talk on Barrier Reef angers tourism operators - TOURISM operators reliant on the Great Barrier Reef are battling a new menace they say is as damaging to their businesses as crown of thorns starfish. (Courier-Mail)

Indeed climate hysteria has the capacity to decimate the tourism industry -- see how many tourists must necessarily fly to Australia before they can visit the GBR to start with. The GBR itself is at no risk (it's a huge complex spanning roughly 25 degrees of latitude and at least 15 °C [27 °F] mean water temperature) and is completely indifferent to the concerns of mere people. Bear in mind that corals managed to repopulate this structure following the last ice age when the bulk of it was more than 50 meters above sea level (resilient critters, aren't they?) and corals do this rough mass drift spawning with larvae anchoring and beginning new communities in any suitable location (including ships hulls, oil platforms...). Relax about the GBR, it's not particularly fragile and it for sure is not endangered.

A Melting Arctic: Happy News for Mankind - Alarm over sea ice loss is misplaced.

Recent short-term gains in Arctic ice coverage indicate nothing about the eventual state of the Arctic. Answers to the long-term status of the region lie in the realm of a scientific branch known as paleoclimatology. What does it tell us?

The Earth is currently in the geologic epoch known as the Holocene. This began nearly 12,000 years ago when the last ice age (more precisely, the Weichsal glacial) ended. Temperatures warmed, glaciers began to retreat, and the Arctic began to melt. This began what is called an interglacial: a warmer period between glaciation.

We tend to think of the poles as immutable, but geologically speaking, permanent polar ice is a rare phenomenon, comprising less than 10% of history. Icecaps form briefly between interglacials, only to melt as the next one begins -- this time around will be no different.

So we know the Arctic will eventually be open water. The only question is how it will affect us. (Daily Tech)

Inhofe says he's his own man - OKLAHOMA CITY - Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma's blunt-talking, 73-year-old Republican senator, says he's a target of outside forces in his re-election bid, but has no intention of letting an upstart state senator slip up on him.

Inhofe, one of the Senate's most conservative members, says "the Hollywood crowd" is after him because of his stand against global warming, including filmmaker Robert Greenwald, producer of an online video in which Oklahoma veterans criticize the incumbent's voting record on veterans benefits. (Associated Press)

Fight Global Warming - Hand Wash Your Clothes - From the Creative Ways to Tackle Global Warming files:

It appears that the Australian Cotton Research and Development Corporation feels the need to develop an argument that cotton is a green alternative to polyester. According to Daily News & Analysis India, the CRDC has commissioned a “life cycle assessment” that compares the environmental impact of cotton and polyester T-shirts on their production, use and disposal stages, the “cradle to grave” approach. This assessment is being done by researcher Francisco Javier Navarro of the Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Sustainable Resources. (John Goetz, Watts Up With That?)

Man-made global warming? Worry about the sun - LAST week Environment Minister Sammy WIlson caused anger among some environmentalists by questioning whether global warming was caused by man. The Green Party has already hit back - now NIGEL CALDER, former editor of the New Scientist defends Mr Wilson's position. (

UAH Global Temperature dips in August - UAH (University of Alabama, Huntsville) Microwave Sounder Unit (MSU) lower troposphere global temperature anomaly data for August 2008 was published today and has moved a bit below the zero anomaly line, with a value of -0.010°C, down from 0.048°C in July 2008 (Watts Up With That?)

It's Time To Turn Down the Heat: What Thomas Friedman's doomsday environmental scenario gets wrong—and right. - Buzz. BUZZZZZZZZZ. There are so many buzz phrases in Thomas Friedman's new book that it practically vibrates in your hand. Code Green. Day-trading for electrons. Green is the new red, white, and blue. Subprime planet. Petrodictatorships. The Common Era, Friedman tells us, should be supplanted by the Energy Climate Era; the year is 1 ECE.

Hot, Flat, and Crowded asserts that artificially triggered climate change is a deadly threat to society. Rising global population, accompanied by rising rates of resource and energy consumption as the developing world grows affluent, may overwhelm both the Earth and the marketplace. Only fundamental change in energy production and use—"a whole new system for powering our economy"—can stave off disaster. Yet there's an upside, Hot, Flat, and Crowded contends: Radical change in energy use represents an opportunity for the United States to preserve its global economic leadership, by beating the world to clean-energy ideas that will sell. (Gregg Easterbrook, Slate)

Fair bit of nonsense: How carbon capture and storage (CCS) could make coal the fuel of the future - It has been condemned as one of the main causes of global warming but is coal about to enjoy an extraordinary rebirth as the fuel of the future? (The Times)

Beginning with the idea coal's usefulness depends on containing carbon dioxide emissions. Coal is abundant and chemically stores a great deal of energy humans wish to use -- of course it's the fuel of the future... and present.

“CO2 - less” coal power plant draws green ire anyway - I’ve always thought that the biggest issue with greens was not CO2 and AGW, but “progress in general”. This story seems to support that notion. Maybe they’ll get James Hansen to denounce it too. - Anthony (Watts Up With That?)

Arctic Oil and Gas Rush Alarms Scientists - UXBRIDGE, Canada, Sep 8 - As greenhouse gas pollution destroys Arctic ecosystems, countries like Canada are spending millions not to halt the destruction but to exploit it. (IPS)

Humans are opportunists, exploiting niches as they open? Go figure...

Dikeman Skeptical of 'Game Changing' New Energy Technologies - "People think new energy [technology] is going to be disrupting the whole industry," he said. "It's not. ... People are lying to themselves if they think their technology is game-changing and it isn't."

As an example of how long change usually takes, he pointed to solar technology. The most effective solar technology today is 25-years old, he said.

The biggest problem still is price, he said.

"Oil companies are making 70 percent margins and ethanol companies are making nothing," he said. "If prices fall, ethanol gets shut out first. Wind also is more expensive to produce - five times more expensive than coal. Solar technology is 20 times more expensive than coal. And subsidies are 100 times higher than oil on a per-unit basis." (Seeking Alpha)

Researchers advance cellulosic ethanol production - A team of researchers from Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering and Mascoma Corporation in Lebanon, N.H., have made a discovery that is important for producing large quantities of cellulosic ethanol, a leading candidate for a sustainable and secure alternative to petroleum-derived transportation fuel. For the first time, the group has genetically engineered a thermophilic bacterium, meaning it's able to grow at high temperatures, and this new microorganism makes ethanol as the only product of its fermentation. (Dartmouth College)

Behind the scenes of Stand Up to Cancer - Friday night, the nation witnessed the complete control over print and broadcast media for a star-studded cancer fundraiser. No one doesn’t care about those who suffer and die from cancers, of course. Nor does anyone want to appear not to care. So the fact that cancer is now literally the cause-celeb and that we heard only one unified message shouldn’t surprise us. While more than $100 million dollars was successfully raised by this event, we would be remiss to believe we heard the full story or accurate, balanced information. In fact, what we didn’t hear offers some of the most important and cautionary information. (Junkfood Science)

A new addiction: Internet junkies - While compulsive gambling is only beginning to be addressed by mental health professionals, they must now face a new affliction: Internet addiction. (University of Montreal)

Rusted Roots: Is Organic Agriculture Polluting Our Food With Heavy Metals? - Scientists have known since the 1920s that organic fertilizers used by farmers to supplement conventional systems—composted animal manure, rock phosphates, fish emulsions, guano, wood ashes, etc.—further contaminate topsoil with varying concentrations of heavy metals. Organic advocates, who rely exclusively on these fertilizers, remain well aware of the problem today, although they rarely publicize the point.

No one is saying that organic soil has higher heavy-metal counts than conventional soil as a rule—scientists have not conducted enough research to make such a determination. Still, some evidence indicates that organic soil can, in some cases, be more contaminated. George Kuepper, an agriculture specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, observed in a 2003 report that composting manure actually concentrates the fertilizer's metal content, which could lead to greater levels of the contaminants in organic soil.

Recent studies have lent Kuepper's concern tentative support. For example, in 2007, researchers conducted an analysis of wheat grown on various farms in Belgium; based on the results, they estimate that consumers of organically grown wheat take in more than twice as much lead, slightly more cadmium, and nearly equivalent levels of mercury as consumers of wheat grown on conventional farms. (James E. McWilliams, Slate)

Not so bad: Friendly Invaders - New Zealand is home to 2,065 native plants found nowhere else on Earth. They range from magnificent towering kauri trees to tiny flowers that form tightly packed mounds called vegetable sheep.

When Europeans began arriving in New Zealand, they brought with them alien plants — crops, garden plants and stowaway weeds. Today, 22,000 non-native plants grow in New Zealand. Most of them can survive only with the loving care of gardeners and farmers. But 2,069 have become naturalized: they have spread out across the islands on their own. There are more naturalized invasive plant species in New Zealand than native species.

It sounds like the makings of an ecological disaster: an epidemic of invasive species that wipes out the delicate native species in its path. But in a paper published in August in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dov Sax, an ecologist at Brown University, and Steven D. Gaines, a marine biologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, point out that the invasion has not led to a mass extinction of native plants. The number of documented extinctions of native New Zealand plant species is a grand total of three.

Exotic species receive lots of attention and create lots of worry. Some scientists consider biological invasions among the top two or three forces driving species into extinction. But Dr. Sax, Dr. Gaines and several other researchers argue that attitudes about exotic species are too simplistic. While some invasions are indeed devastating, they often do not set off extinctions. They can even spur the evolution of new diversity. (New York Times)

September 8, 2008

Naomi & the conspiracy theorists: Jason and the secret climate change war - A shadowy scientific elite codenamed Jason warned the US about global warming 30 years ago but was sidelined for political convenience (Naomi Oreskes and Jonathan Renouf, Sunday Times)

Same time, same channel next week -- season finale double episode: Naomi & the black helicopters followed by Naomi & the government mind-control chemtrails!

Garnaut exposes Rudd: doing nothing is actually cheaper - Kevin Rudd repeatedly claims we cannot afford to do nothing about global warming:

All are familiar with the fact that the economic cost of inaction on climate change is far greater than the economic cost of action on climate change.

But Piers Akerman discovers that Rudd is now contradicted even by his own global warming guru, Professor Ross Garnaut:

In his July 4 draft, [Garnaut] stated that the cost of no mitigation - that is, if no action were taken on so-called greenhouse gases - would be minus 0.7 per cent of GDP in 2020.

In his new paper he presents three scenarios for carbon-emission reductions by 2020.

At an “as-soon-as-possible’’ level of 450 ppm (parts per million) he says the cost would be minus 1.6 per cent of GDP.

At the “first best’’ conditional offer of 550 ppm the cost would be minus 1.1 per cent of GDP.

If a second-best “Copenhagen compromise’’ was followed, the cost would be minus 1.3 per cent of GDP.

It is highly revealing that in presenting his first specific trajectories and estimated costs of emissions reduction, Professor Garnaut has found that the cost of reducing emissions is greater than the cost of doing nothing - although that is not how he sold his paper. (Andrew Bolt Blog) [Links in original]

Rudd's climate change hot air - NO SINGLE issue better illustrates the Rudd Government's gross incompetence than its blindly ideological approach to the question of climate change.

Fortunately, and perhaps accidentally, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's own hand-picked climate change guru, Professor Ross Garnaut, has now driven a truck through its principal argument. (Piers Akerman, Daily Telegraph)

Science slows global warming! - Yes, kids, science is a wonderful thing. But not nearly as wonderful as climate modeling, which can perform supernatural miracles. Honest! Climate modeling can raise the level of the oceans (even without Obama's intervention), it can burn up the planet a hundred years from now, and Shazzam! -- the models can save us again -- all without leaving your video games, and without the benefit of the real-world data that you need for boring old regular science.

At least, that's what Nature -- the oldest science journal in the world, going back to Isaac Newton -- now claims.

According to credulous journalist extraordinaire Katharine Sanderson (who has no degree in climatology), we are supposed to believe that "sophisticated climate chemistry models have shown that the (Montreal) Protocol has done much more than rescue the planet from sunburn."

For all you great unwashed, the Montreal Protocol prohibited CFC's, which used to keep our refrigerators cold. Now we find out that not only has Montreal saved the world's ozone layer, but it has even postponed the dreaded catastrophe of Global Warming!

How do we know that? What's the actual evidence?

Well, ummmm... well... duuuhhh

Oh yes, it's a "sophisticated climate chemistry model"! (James Lewis, American Thinker)

Actually, the great 'blind Patagonian Sheep' (as Ozone Al was prone to rant) scare was a total crock from start to ... well, it hasn't actually finished yet, it's just kind of staggering along. Some genuine information is available here. Note the South Pole graphic and see the step change in values following the missing data years of '72 & '83 (hint: equipment change and calibration -- there's actually no trend). There is absolutely nothing interesting happening in the Mauna Loa Observatory values. The Montreal Protocol is based on poor experiment design and crappy models. A great example of how not to conduct science and international agreements and which forms the basis for Kyoto and climate nonscience.

Bill Kininmonth Requests Explanation of the Greenhouse Effect - Bill Kininmonth knows a lot about climate science, he is a meteorologist and he was the head of Australia’s National Climate Centre from 1986 to 1998. He is also a well known global warming skeptic and is particularly critical of the idea that the principles for sustaining the greenhouse effect are well understood. While this may seem like a ridiculous proposition, indeed the greenhouse effect is the underpinning science for the hypothesis of dangerous global warming, in a recent letter to the Federation of Australian Scientists and Technologists (FASTS) he explains how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are neither consistent in their explanation for the greenhouse effect nor provide a mechanism that accords with the global average earth energy budget. (

Paying the climate change bill - How much will it cost the European Union to fight global climate change? Clearly, the answer depends on what your target is, how you propose to get there, and the size of the EU’s contribution compared with those of the US, China and so on. But a new report from the Centre for European Policy Studies thinktank offers some useful estimates.

According to the CEPS study, the smallest bill the EU could expect to pick up is €24.4bn a year, while the biggest is €194.3bn. The thinktank’s own estimate, based on what it calls “the limited likelihood of a global burden-sharing according to current emissions”, is that the EU will face annual costs of at least €60bn. (Financial Times)

Wong misquotes a misquote - Climate Change Minister Penny Wong does the booga-booga:

There is a great deal of scientific advice about the impact of climate change on rainfall, particularly in southern Australia… We know the IPCC said by 2050 that Australia should expect around about a 25 per cent reduction in rainfall in the southern part of ... Australia.

Ian Castles, former head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, then demonstrates just how badly Wong - and the IPCC - have misrepresented the facts. (Andrew Bolt Blog) [Links in original]

NO! Thaw Of Polar Regions May Need New UN Laws - Experts - OSLO - A new set of United Nations laws may be needed to regulate new Arctic industries such as shipping and oil exploration as climate change melts the ice around the North Pole, legal experts said on Sunday. (Reuters)

The Large Media Collider (Global Warming Politics)

Wow! ABC admits Little Ice Age: Scientists warn Pyrenees will melt by 2050 - Leading global warming scientists say the 21 remaining glaciers in the Pyrenees mountains in Europe will melt by the year 2050.

The researchers say high mountains are particularly sensitive to climate change and there has been a steady increase in temperature since 1890.

Their calculations show that since 1990, a rapid thawing has caused the largest glaciers to shrink by 50 to 60 per cent and the smallest ones have completely disappeared.

The glaciers in Spain were formed during a 'mini ice age' which lasted from 1300 to 1860. (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

We are all content we are not currently in said Little Ice Age. We are all content Spanish glaciers formed during said Little Ice Age. Presumably then we are all content these glaciers should disappear because we are not in said Little Ice Age. No need to invoke gorebull warming to explain less frigid conditions and reduction of glaciers then, is there.

Arctic Ice Hints at Warming, Specialists Say - Leading ice specialists in Europe and the United States for the first time have agreed that a ring of navigable waters has opened all around the fringes of the cap of sea ice drifting on the warming Arctic Ocean.

By many expert accounts, this is the first time the Northwest Passage over North America and the Northern Sea Route over Europe and Asia have been open simultaneously in at least half a century, if not longer. (New York Times)

It Causes Everything - Mention global warming and it always rains. This is an international phenomenon, as Rod Liddle observes:

It is exactly one month to the day since the Fire Brigades Union put out a press release saying that Britain’s wildlife was in danger of being wiped out by the “tinder-dry” heathlands turning into raging bushfires, caused by global warming.

I thought now would be a good time to remind you of this, as you pump up the dinghy preparatory to braving your “tinder-dry” high street to buy a pint of milk. If you see any wildlife on the way, be so kind as to warn them of the coming apocalypse.

And, as in Australia, rain and cold in Britain are likewise blamed on global warming:

The floods, of course, are also caused by global warming – just like those hot dry summers at the beginning of the 1990s when we were warned that Essex would soon resemble Chad and we would all get skin cancer or die of thirst. That was global warming too.

Read on for further ridicule of “global warming monkeys”. (Tim Blair Blog) [Links in original]

Critique of “A Semi-Empirical Approach to Projecting Future Sea-Level Rise” by Rahmstorf - A recent article in Science by Stefan Rahmstorf (2007) predicted extreme sea level rise during the 21st century. Rahmstorf’s predictions went as high as 140 cm (55 inches), far beyond even the high edge of the uncertainty of the IPCC’s unlikely A1Fl scenario (see here, page 820). This high estimate by the IPCC was 59cm (23 inches), with other other scenarios yielding considerably lower estimates. Following is a critique of Rahmstorf’s method and conclusions.

This post has a quick summary of Rahmstorf’s approach to to projecting sea-level rise for this century. Following that summary is a quick list of problems that I have identified in his paper, each with a link to subsequent posts with more detailed information. (Climate Sanity)

Another clueless wonder: Carleen Cullen fights global warming - "I often tell the kids that it's just like a car," said Cullen, who holds a bachelor's in English literature from Loyola Marymount University, "When you go into your parents' car and it's been sitting in the sun in a parking lot and all of the windows are up - when you open the door, you notice how much warmer it is inside the car. That's what's happening to the Earth - it's as if all the windows are getting rolled up and it's starting to get hot and all the gases can't release. If we stop using so many fossil fuels, we'll allow the Earth to be able to breathe again." (SF Chronicle)

No, no and absolutely NO! The effect Cullen describes is the restriction of convection, which so-called greenhouse gases categorically can not do (in fact infrared absorbers facilitate convection by warming the atmosphere, increasing molecular excitation, reducing density and allowing cooler, more dense overlaying air to displace the lower density warmed air -- the same reason hot air balloons experience lift). As so often is the case Cullen is confusing the function of physical greenhouses with Earth's greenhouse effect (which has a lousy name for completely different physics). Earth's misnamed greenhouse effect is limited by convective activity within the atmosphere and by evaporation and condensation (bright clouds altering Earth's albedo -- use the form in this page to see how great that effect is).

Cullen should stop misinforming kids by regurgitating Gore's rubbish presentation.

The Revival of the Hockeystick Graph - a New Low in Climate Science (pdf) - The highlight of the 2001 climate report of the IPCC was undoubtedly the hockeystick graph, created by the Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann. The curve was a reconstruction of the northern hemisphere’s temperature since 1000 B.C showing a linear contour until the 19th century and an abrupt rise since about 1900. Most remarkable was the absence of the well documented Medievial Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA) during the 17th century. Relying mostly on the treerings of bristlecone pines growing at extreme locations several groups of scientists meanwhile had falsified Mann’s study. In September 2008 M. Mann has published a new paper, using data from 9 different proxies and confirming the contradicted claims of his first article in 1998. Again he summarized: “Surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were warmer over the last 10 years than any time during the last 1,300 years”. According to his updated temperature reconstruction modern temperatures exceed those of the MWP by approx. 0.8C.

A closer look to Mann’s paper will help us to find the truth: (Ernst-Georg Beck, Icecap)

In New Zealand: Global Warming is a Hoax, Al Gore is a phoney and a fraud - "The entire climate change - global warming hypothesis is a hoax, the data and the hypothesis do not hold together, Al Gore is a phoney and a fraud on this issue, and the emissions trading scheme is a worldwide scam and swindle.” Rodney Hide MP in NZ Parliament. (CFP)

And in Northern Ireland, too: Wilson row over green 'alarmists' - The Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has angered green campaigners by describing their view on climate change as a "hysterical psuedo-religion". (BBC News)

UPDATE: Death Blow To Anthropogenic Global Warming: - My earlier article “The Death Blow to Anthropogenic Global Warming.” has proved to be a highly popular article having received over 10,000 viewings on CO2Sceptics.Com and probably similar numbers of viewings on sites that reproduced it.

I think it is time for a general update due to subsequent developments (especially the current 2 year global cooling trend and a quieter sun with cooling oceans after an 8 year temperature plateau which tends to show that my point about solar and oceanic influences on global temperatures has some merit) and the fact that I can make the essential points more simply by condensing them into a series of bullet points as follows: (Stephen Wilde, CO2sceptics)

Back to this: Wind of change on farms as cows help to save the Earth - Hundreds of cattle in Britain are being fed a new diet to reduce their burping and cut emissions of greenhouse gas. (The Times)

MWP Non-Dendro Proxies #2 - OK, I'm starting to get the feel of the new proxy network and have some ideas of what the new Mannomatic is doing. The manouevres have a lot of similarities to the moves in MBH98 and I think that a few main components can be singled out:

1. Once again, as in MBH98-99, the "proxies", as a network, do not have a strong common "signal" and the HS-ness is contributed by a very small minority of the proxies.

2. In proper data analysis, if one knows that the load is actually carried by a small number of proxies, then the analyst has to put these under the miscroscope to ensure that these are really good proxies - well-studied and endorsed by their original authors as temperature proxies. Once again, we get the opposite. As in MBH98-99, the load-bearing proxies are very problematic and, as previously with the Graybill strip bark chronologies (which remain in use), known defects are ignored using contrived excuses.

3. In this case, Mann notes caveats by the original authors (e.g. Lake Kortajarvi), but, once again, does a typical Mannian calculation, purporting to show that he can get a similar answer without the flawed data, begging the question of why the flawed data was used at all, if it doesn't "matter". It's not as though the selection criteria for this grabbag network are clearly expressed. In this case, pardon me if I assume for now that the flawed data does "matter" as we found out with MBH98, where any attempt to do a sensitivity analysis without them.

4. Remember that even Mannian RegEM still results in linear weights for the underlying proxies. So if Mannian EIV, whatever it proves to be, ends up being more-HS like than Mannian CPS in the non-dendro network, as seems to be the case, this merely means that Mannian EIV concentrates the load on the HS-shaped proxies and thus "gets" a more HS-shaped result. Exactly how this is done within the algorithm is unclear right now, but, based on present information, we already know that this happens.

This is precisely the sort of issue that was encountered with Mannian PCA/regression. If more load was placed on the bristlecones, he could "get" a HS. Given the heavy load borne by the bristlecones, any sensible statistical program would then assess whether they were a good proxy. Instead the Team used contrived arguments that given heavy weights to bristlecones was statistically "right" and "proper". (Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit)

Dispelling Delusions: Human-caused climate change and carbon “pollution” mythology (pdf, 1MB) - “Knowing and understanding the past is a vital key to the future, and earth scientists can present much of this information in a context that can assist in exposing the truth and misrepresentations of the current “Climate Change” debate.

“It is fact that the vast bulk of the Great Barrier Reef area was exposed land and above sea level, prior to 10,000 years ago, when sea levels were over 70m lower than present. There was no great coral reef there until recently, and Kakadu was probably not a swampy wetland then either.” (G LeBlanc Smith, Carbon Sense Coalition)

New Evidence For The Complex Role Of Aerosols On The Climate System By Rosenfeld et al 2008 - There is an important new paper in Science magazine that sheds new insight into the complex role that aerosols play within the climate system. Since aerosols are input into the atmosphere through a variety of human activities (e.g. industrial and vehicular emissions, biomass burning, blowing dust from landscape degradation), this means that the human aerosol effect on climate is not only very significant but also quite complicated in how it affects weather. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Lifestyle choices won't win the battle against global warming - Should you feel guilty about flying? A lot of people would say you should. After all, the danger of runaway climate change is real. (The Independent)

Stop right there. There is absolutely zero potential for 'runaway climate change' from fossil fuel use, period. Even if we succeeded in warming the globe a degree or two from enhanced greenhouse effect (itself extremely unlikely, near impossible) the extra evaporation will increase low cloud availability and persistence, which increases planetary albedo and cools the planet. This is one of the reason previous warmer interglacial periods have peaked out only a degree or two warmer than we are now. 'Runaway warming' simply cannot happen on our watery world.

Conservatives, Climate Change, and the Carbon Tax - Global warming has for a long time been a partisan issue rather than a purely scientific one—and in important respects, conservatives have painted themselves into a corner. Based on the reasonable expectation that admitting a problem would lead to a huge government power-grab, those conservatives with access to the biggest megaphones have long used scientific uncertainty to avoid the issue. That game is up, and they suddenly find themselves walking unprepared into the middle of a sophisticated scientific and economic conversation about how to deal with the problem. While a few conservative think tanks have considered these issues seriously for some time, the public discussion has until recently been conducted largely among various liberal factions and has turned into a technical debate about differing schemes for taxing emissions of carbon dioxide.

Still, no matter how much global-warming activists feel as if they have won all the debates in think-tank meetings, editorial pages, and faculty lounges, it is going to be a tough battle to convince the voting public to make huge sacrifices based on the evidence that we have now. After all, Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates has estimated that implementing even the limited emissions abatement envisioned for the United States under the proposed Kyoto Protocol would cost the average U.S. family about $225 per month. Ongoing polling conducted by researchers at M.I.T. suggests that the median U.S. family would be willing to pay $21 per month to “solve global warming.” That’s quite a bid-ask spread. (Jim Manzi, The New Atlantis)

And all for nothing, too. That's the part all these advocates forget -- no amount of carbon constraint can or will predictably adjust global temperature and climate model output is neither a necessary nor sufficient reason to suspect any warming might occur at all, whatever we do or don't do.

Met’s models washed out - Britain’s Met office firmly predicts man will cause the world to warm by 2100. But its record of predicting the weather over just the few months keeps inspiring ridicule. Steven Goddard on the Met’s latest:

On April 3, 2008 the Met made their annual UK summer forecast - “The coming summer is expected to be a ‘typical British summer’, according to long-range forecasts issued today. Summer temperatures across the UK are more likely to be warmer than average and rainfall near or above average for the three months of summer.”

On August 29, 2008 The Met reported that the summer of 2008 was ”one of the wettest on record across the UK.” Here is how the Independent described the UK summer - “It has been a miserable summer for bugs as well as people….The combined effect of low temperatures and rain has presented Britain’s invertebrates with a double whammy.” (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Newest geo-engineering plan is salt water daffy (Watts Up With That?)

Pachauri’s at it again - shun meat, he says (but what about the buffalo?) (Watts Up With That?)

‘Coimhtioch Gan Cuireadh’ have Irish in a Dander (Watts Up With That?)

NOAA: China to Warm U.S. Heartland (Watts Up With That?)

Public Invited to Submit Essays, Photos for Online Global Warming Book (Watts Up with That?)

The Role Of The Spotless Sun - An exclusive interview with Piers Corbyn.

Most of us tend to think of the Sun as the key driver of climate change on Earth. In general we also tend to think in terms of an active Sun being responsible for weather extreme's and a calm Sun (spotless) with less of an influence to the Earth's weather system. (CO2Sceptics)

Time Rejects Climate Change as Cause of Storm Intensity - Magazine reports disasters worse due to population, not global warming (Julia A. Seymour, Business & Media Institute)

UN Plan to Protect Forests Flawed - UK Adviser - LONDON - Plans to pay tropical countries to protect forests under a UN pact to fight climate change are flawed and risk alienating voters in rich nations, Britain's top adviser on forests told Reuters. (Reuters)

Stupid Crone! John McCain’s Energy Follies - The industries that create energy — coal, wind, nuclear, ethanol, and, of course, oil and gas — all clamored to be heard at the Republican convention. At cocktail receptions and in hundreds of ads, each claimed to welcome the challenge of creating a cleaner, greener energy future. (New York Times)

None of these industries 'create energy'! They are all harvesters and/or transformers of energy but no energy is created or destroyed. Of those list wind is completely unreliable and doesn't deserve a place in the baseload energy suppliers list.

The irresponsible Congress - Congress returns today for an abbreviated session, with energy being the number one issue on the agenda. Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner, spent the August recess pushing for Congress to enact an "all of the above" package to increase energy supplies and lower gasoline prices, and they will continue to do so. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, clearly thrown off balance by public opinion polls showing that a decisive majority of the electorate agrees with the Republicans on drilling, have a different, irresponsible agenda: running out the clock and preventing a straight up-or-down vote on drilling. But to do this successfully, they will have to continue their strategy of pretending to support compromise, while loading up energy legislation with poison pills that will make expanded drilling impossible. (Washington Times)

US Congress Faces Big Push on Offshore Drilling - WASHINGTON - America's pain at the gasoline pump has been years in the making, but there will be a big push in Congress next week, when lawmakers return from summer break, to fix the problem by expanding offshore oil drilling. (Reuters)

The sands of peace - Russia’s energy supplies enabled their aggression, Canada’s supply could be the placating alternative (Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post)

Planned Chaos in Energy (pdf) - “Australian state and federal governments are today pursuing plans that must produce high prices for electricity and gas, electricity blackouts and high risks to petrol and diesel supplies.

“Every proposed government energy policy seems designed to create long term energy chaos for Australians. Three foolish policies stand out…” (Viv Forbes, Carbon Sense Coalition)

Environmental rules 'could cause plane crashes' - Environmental rules demanding planes burn less fuel could cause pipes to freeze increasing the risk of a devastating crash, it has been warned. (Daily Telegraph)

Norway Surveys Troll Field for Carbon Storage - OSLO - Norway has begun seismic surveys at its biggest North Sea oil and gas field, Troll, to determine whether carbon dioxide emissions could be stored there, energy officials said on Friday. (Reuters)

If it's economical to increase oil recovery, great. If not there's no point, is there.

EU told to unite on energy supplies - BRUSSELS, Belgium: The International Energy Agency on Thursday warned EU nations to overcome divisions to secure their future energy supply - now heavily reliant on Russia - and reduce costs for customers.

The EU buys 30 percent of the oil it imports from Russia and another 45 percent from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. About 40 percent of the EU's imported natural gas comes from Russia and that is forecast to rise to 60 percent by 2030.

The bloc knows it needs to tackle its growing dependence on energy imports and break down barriers within the EU that keep electricity and gas prices high - but the union's 27 countries have so far made little progress on how they should move forward. (Associated Press)

Germany Engulfed in Row Over Nuclear Waste Sites - BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday called for a decision on where to store radioactive nuclear material after a scandal over leaks at a depot this week sparked a row about what to do with atomic waste. (Reuters)

Revealed: Brown's £1bn power windfall - Rising energy prices are on course to net the government a windfall of over £1bn thanks to a little-known scheme designed to promote the development of renewable energy. (The Guardian)

When the wind doesn't blow - By 2020, more than a third of Britain's electricity will be generated by wind power, according to government plans. But what happens on calm days? (BBC News)

Spinning to destruction - Wind power may be one of the cleaner, greener energy sources available, but turbine and blade failures point to dangers that were not anticipated, says Michael Connellan (The Guardian)

Emission Rules - WASHINGTON - Exhaust-spewing lawn mowers and speed boats will get a green make-over under tough new rules from the US Environmental Protection Agency designed to reduce smog and save millions of gallons of gasoline. (Reuters)

Waste of energy: World's First Carbon Capture Pilot Fires Up Clean-coal Advocates - German project will burn coal in an atmosphere of pure oxygen - producing CO2 waste which can be buried - creating enough electricity to power 1,000 homes (Guardian Newspapers)

Britain Meets Biofuels Target But Imports Dominate - LONDON - Britain is meeting its 2.5 percent target for biofuels use in motor fuel but is relying heavily on imports, government data issued on Friday showed. (Reuters)

Africa Becoming a Biofuel Battleground - Western companies are pushing to acquire vast stretches of African land to meet the world's biofuel needs. Local farmers and governments are being showered with promises. But is this just another form of economic colonialism? (Der Spiegel)

New Doubts That Dust Killed a 9/11 Rescuer - A 2003 pulmonary biopsy of James Zadroga, the New York City police detective whose death in 2006 has been held up as an example of the illnesses suffered by 9/11 rescue workers and others sickened by toxic dust at ground zero, found only minor abnormalities and no signs of the foreign materials found in his lungs after he died, according to a new report.

The findings of the biopsy, reported in an article to be published in the Sept. 15 issue of The New Yorker, raise doubts about whether Detective Zadroga’s death was caused by his work at ground zero. The case has important policy implications because the death has been cited by advocates seeking federal compensation for the thousands of rescue workers who responded in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. (New York Times)

Considering the value of life... medical ethical issues at the beginning, middle and end of life - This summer, the public learned of a 64-year old woman, living in a low-income apartment and covered by Medicaid under the Oregon Health Plan, who was denied coverage for chemotherapy prescribed by her oncologist for her lung cancer, but she was offered state-assisted suicide as a “palliative or comfort care measure.” (Junkfood Science)

Whacko flag-waver: Pollution can make you fat, study claims - Children exposed to pesticide in womb twice as likely to be overweight, refuting idea of sole personal responsibility. Geoffrey Lean reports (The Independent)

Another whacky one from Geoffrey "if it's modern or human it must be bad" Lean Electronic smog 'is disrupting nature on a massive scale' - New study blames mobile phone masts and power lines for collapse of bee colonies and decline in sparrows (The Independent)

For the record anthropogenic EMFs are really quite trivial compared with those of the Sun and Earth which are really powerful, erratic, prone to polarity reversal and, um... entirely natural.

Bug decline sparks food fears for other wildlife - The miserable summer has led to a decline in bugs, prompting concern for birds and other wildlife reliant on insects. (Daily Telegraph)

The flip side of this, of course, is when weather suits bugs -- which is then a disaster because disease vectors thrive, prompting claims of spreading tropical diseases, etc. and:

Nigeria to Spray Pest-Ravaged Northern Farmlands - LAGOS - Nigeria will spend 251 million naira (US$213,339) to spray farmlands in its arid northern region that are being ravaged by thousands of tiny grain-eating quela birds and locusts, the agriculture minister said on Sunday. (Reuters)

More excuses for governments failing to provide adequate infrastructure? Era of cheap water over, say Stavros Dimas, EU Environment Minister - The era of cheap water in Europe is over and people will have to pay for what they use, Expo 2008 has heard. European Environment Minister Stavros Dimas told the conference in Zaragoza, Spain - which has a water theme - that the Continent was squandering too much of its water resources and the guiding principle now had to be: the user pays. (Daily Telegraph)

Granted, the main reason governments avoid investing in adequate water storage and reticulation is fear of rampant greenies but that is simply a display of cowardice.

Green activists 'are keeping Africa poor' - Western do-gooders are impoverishing Africa by promoting traditional farming at the expense of modern scientific agriculture, according to Britain's former chief scientist.

Anti-science attitudes among aid agencies, poverty campaigners and green activists are denying the continent access to technology that could improve millions of lives, Professor Sir David King will say today. (Mark Henderson, The Times)

Europe's GM food fear 'exacerbates famine' - Europe's reluctance to encourage the adoption of genetically-modified (GM) foods is threatening the health of the third world, Britain's former chief scientist will warn. (Daily Telegraph)

September 5, 2008

Cholesterol Drug Scare Shenanigans - Why is the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine encouraging a cancer scare over the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin? Is he overcompensating for past bad behavior? (Steven Milloy,

Kingsnorth trial: Goldsmith defends climate change activists - Millionaire environmentalist tells court direct action against planned coal-fired power station can be justified (The Guardian)

Bullshit! These morons are attacking society and endangering lives (think of the number of people requiring electrically powered medical support, traffic control lights, hazard lighting...). They should wear the consequences of their criminal actions and are poster cases for capital punishment.

<chuckle> Garnaut: modest climate cuts ok - Top climate adviser Ross Garnaut says Australia should aim for a 10 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 because immigration rules out any greater reduction. In a major report released today, Professor Garnaut says Australia is a special case and should reduce its emissions by less than every other developed country. The reason is a high level of immigration, which he says means Australia cannot realistically cut emissions as much as can other wealthy nations. And Professor Garnaut thinks Australia should soften its target to a five per cent cut, based on 2000 levels, if an international climate pact is not forged. The 10 per cent target will be a disappointment to the environmental lobby, which has called for a cut of up to 40 per cent. (AAP)

There's no reason to even attempt any cut at all but it is interesting to see the change of pace from 'We have to kill the entire economy' Garnaut.

Canada Opposition Liberals Adjust Carbon Tax Plan - WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Canada's opposition Liberal Party responded to criticism of its carbon tax plan on Wednesday, ahead of a looming election call, promising a total of C$900 million (US$849 million) in tax breaks and subsidies to farmers, loggers, fishermen and truckers. (Reuters)

Electricity system among the worst polluters in the world - DESPITE having one of the world's most advanced economies, Australia has an electricity system that is one of the worst greenhouse-gas polluters. The performance of only a handful of countries, including Cuba, Botswana, Kazakhstan, Libya, Malta and Bahrain, rates more dismally.

The extraordinary finding was made by Ross Garnaut, the Government's independent adviser on climate change, in his last report. Today he will deliver his long-awaited advice on how much Australia should aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Professor Garnaut's latest report is expected to supercharge the lobbying by the nation's top mining, energy and industry groups, who argue that any plans by the Government to make deep cuts to emissions by 2020 will damage the economy and create the potential for power shortages. (Marian Wilkinson, Sydney Morning Herald)

Nonsense. Australia should be proud of the amount of previously lost carbon being restored to biological availability -- our free gift to everyone trying to grow food for the world's population and to wildlife by protecting their habitat through increased productivity. Only green whackos could consider assisting the biosphere to be bad because humans benefit too.

Here's Seth again: Asian soot, smog may boost global warming in US - Smog, soot and other particles like the kind often seen hanging over Beijing add to global warming and may raise summer temperatures in the American heartland by three degrees in about 50 years, says a new federal science report released Thursday.

These overlooked, shorter-term pollutants - mostly from burning wood and kerosene and from driving trucks and cars - cause more localized warming than once thought, the authors of the report say. They contend there should be a greater effort to attack this type of pollution for faster results.

For decades, scientists have concentrated on carbon dioxide, the most damaging greenhouse gas because it lingers in the atmosphere for decades. Past studies have barely paid attention to global warming pollution that stays in the air merely for days. (Associated Press)

Actually Hansen floated this 'black carbon first' line several years ago, before he descended into his current CO2 mania. Long before that black carbon dusting of snowfields was proposed as a way to defer the onset of the next ice age but that was back in the '70s when people still realized cold was our greatest threat.

Blasting Air Conditioning Outdoors No Longer Legal in New York City - Walk certain streets in Manhattan in the sweltering summer, and you could pass a gauntlet of cool air... flowing out wide-open storefronts. I mean purposely propped open, not just open from customers passing through doorways.

It's a not-too-subtle psychological trick to entice customers to step in out of the heat. So is this a business right, another opportunity for owners to get an extra competitive edge, or is it an environmental affront that affects us all?

This week New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a first-of-its-kind law that takes aim at the practice in the name of energy conservation. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which helped the city prepare the legislation, hopes the law will serve as a model for other cities, helping the fight against global warming and air pollution, and relieving pressure on over-stressed power grids. (Daily Green)

An Inconvenient Truth exaggerated sea level rise - Al Gore's Oscar-winning environmental documentary exaggerated the likely effects of global warming on sea levels, a new study shows. The film, An Inconvenient Truth, suggested that the sea would rise up to 20ft "in the near future" as the ice in Greenland or Western Antarctica melts.

Other documentaries have picture Britain deluged with water, showing the House of Commons submerged.

However, while some mainstream predictions project sea levels 2 to 4 meters higher by 2100, a new study published today in Science concludes that a rise in sea level between 0.8 and 2 meters is much more likely.

While scientists agree that sea levels rose by six inches over the course of the 20th century, estimates of future rises remain hazy, mostly because there are many uncertainties, from the lack of data on what ice sheets did in the past to predict how they will react to warming, insufficient long-term satellite data to unpick the effects of natural climate change from that caused by man and a spottiness in the degree to which places such as Antarctica have warmed. (Daily Telegraph)

Historical average is 4-8 inches per century and that is what we anticipate for this century, too. All other claims are based on the absurd output of PlayStation® climatology models, process models of zero known prognostic ability (and never likely to have either, due to the chaotic nature of the complex, coupled, nonlinear system we call climate).

Global sea-rise levels by 2100 my be lower than some predict, says new study - Despite projections by some scientists of global seas rising by 20 feet or more by the end of this century as a result of warming, a new University of Colorado at Boulder study concludes that global sea rise of much more than 6 feet is a near physical impossibility. (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Recent Presentation By Roger A. Pielke Sr. - “Human Impacts on Weather and Climate - Recent Research Results Require That We Adopt A Broader Assessment” - I recently gave the following recent invited talk at the 2008 American Association of Wind Engineering meeting; Pielke Sr., R.A., 2008: Human Impacts on Weather and Climate - Recent Research Results Require That We Adopt A Broader Assessment. AAWE Keynote Lecture, August 21, 2008, Vail, CO. Included in the talk were examples of climate data which should be routinely monitored in order to accurately communicate climate variability and trends. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

We're Losing Our Instruments! - The Wilmington (NC) Star-News (a New York Times property) reports today about the meteorological community (as well as other folks) bemoaning the loss of ocean buoys and instruments that track hurricane strength and other impacts as they approach U.S. shorelines. The reason for the loss is attributed to a drop in federal government funding. (Paul Chesser, Climate Strategies Watch)

Another Example of Bias - This Time By The Weblog - In response to the Climate Science weblog Hurricanes And Global Warming - A Scientific Disconnect the website published an attack titled “Roger Pielke Sr. Attacks Messenger, Injures Self“. This ad hominem Desmog weblog is a clear example of the bias that has permeated the climate science issue. The article fails to comment on the science that is presented [which implicitly means the perspective presented by Climate Science on this issue is correct]. (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Likin' her better by the minute: Palin's record on wildlife as harsh as Alaska's environment itself - WASHINGTON - At the National Governors Association conference where she first met John McCain, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had other business: making her case to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne against classifying the polar bear as a threatened species.

Months later she sued Kempthorne, arguing that the Bush administration didn't use the best science in concluding that without further protection, the polar bear faces eventual extinction because of disappearing sea ice as the result of global warming.

Palin, McCain's vice presidential running mate, has had frequent run-ins with environmentalists.

In her 20 months as governor, Palin has questioned the conclusions of federal marine scientists who say the Cook Inlet beluga whale needs protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

She has defended Alaska's right to shoot down wolves from the air to boost caribou and moose herds for hunters, and — contrary to a view held by McCain — is not convinced that global warming is the result of human activity.

Environmentalists have nicknamed Palin the "killa from Wasilla," a reference to the small town where she formerly was mayor. (Associated Press)

Applying Monte Carlo simulation to Sloan’s and Wolfendale’s use of Forbush decrease data - Introduction: It’s been five months since the widely remarked upon paper, Testing the proposed causal link between cosmic rays and cloud cover, by Sloan and Wolfendale, was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. In that short time this paper has been enshrined in the hall of fame of anthropogenic global warming dogma. The thing that makes this paper a favorite of the climate change alarmists is its purported proof that there is no possible significant relationship between galactic cosmic ray flux, as modulated by the sun’s magnetic field and climate change. This is important to the alarmists, because anything that might even partially exonerate CO2 must be stifled.

I spent many long hours deciphering this paper after several acquaintances alerted me of its conclusion. I was dismayed to find out, after my careful study, that none of these acquaintances had ever actually read the paper! I don’t know why this surprised me, they were simply victims of the global warming echo chamber. Some of them read articles in the popular press or in web blogs that cited this paper and uncritically repeated its conclusions.

But are the conclusions that Sloan and Wolfendale based on the study of Forbush decreases (see below) correct? Simply put, No. (Climate Sanity)

Treading carefully around oil - CALGARY -- Six months ago, residents of the cattle country south of Calgary invited a climate scientist to town to speak to 140 students from J.T. Foster High School in Nanton and bused in from nearby Claresholm. The guest was Tim Ball, a prominent Canadian skeptic of the theory of man-made climate change and perennial bugaboo of the green lobby.

The school had been showing An Inconvenient Truth, the contentious Al Gore movie about global warming, in class, much to the consternation of a number of locals.

"I think that we are lucky in a small rural community as a lot of things that kids are ‘taught' in school are headed off fairly quickly," one of the speech's organizers, Callum Sears, said in an e-mail. When he first approached the principal about bringing Mr. Ball to speak, something strange happened. "I just kept running into roadblock after roadblock," Mr. Sears recalls.

Phone calls went unreturned; the speech kept getting put off. He eventually went to the parent council who helped press the principal and teachers into cooperating. The lecture was a hit. (Kevin Libin, National Post)

Hot air over global warming - As a congressman once joked before a political meeting in chilly Pennsylvania, "You'd think, with all these politicians present, there'd be more hot air."

The hot air of politicians inspired an ingenious idea by a free-market organization, Americans for Prosperity. It is conducting a nationwide hot air balloon tour to build grass-roots pressure against costly state, local and federal climate-change policies.

AFP, consider this your invitation to bring the Hot Air Tour to Washington. When it comes to politicians spouting hot air about "global warming," folks in Seattle and Olympia take the cake.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and her legislative allies have committed our state to an economic suicide pact known as the Western Climate Initiative.

This amazingly complex and costly scheme seeks to redistribute wealth in the name of global warming through an approach already proved unsuccessful in Europe.

The governor's own Ecology staff admit that the pact likely will result in a "leakage" of jobs to other states. Experts agree the WCI most likely also will mean higher costs for Washington's electricity consumers.

So why would anyone support this and other foolish environmental policies? (Seattle P-I)

More fantasy modeling: Old-growth trees worth more alive than stumped: Study - Logging B.C.'s old-growth forests would produce chump change compared to the economic benefit of letting them stand, says a new study.

Researchers at Simon Fraser University say a tweak in perspective can reveal the true value of a forest. Rather than value trees as lumber, researchers estimated the worth of forests as carbon storehouses, recreation sites and sources of products other than timber - for example, wild mushrooms. (Canwest News Service)

Major 'oops!' is that carbon storage is not really worth anything -- in fact keeping carbon out of the cycle is a net minus for the entire biosphere. Without that mythical 'value' lumber value almost always wins (sometimes it just isn't worth the effort to extract lumber from difficult/remote locations). People need to relearn there is absolutely nothing to be gained from locking up a wonderful resource like atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Necessity's inventions - Can the new science of geoengineering save the planet? Tim Radford weighs the probabilities (The Guardian)

No it can't -- first the planet would need to be endangered.

Study Seeks Human Fingerprint On Western Australian Climate - Research into the causes and extent of climate change in WA will be conducted during the third stage of the Indian Ocean Climate Initiative (IOCI) - a partnership of the state government, CSIRO, and the Bureau of Meteorology.

A workshop held this week at CSIRO's facilities in Perth marked the beginning of the four-year, $8 million study. Dr Pandora Hope, from the Bureau of Meteorology, says the study will build on past results from IOCI that contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fourth assessment report. (SPX)

Pandora Hope models climate... apparently not a joke name though.

Palin says U.S. oil imports pose security risk - ST. PAUL - U.S. reliance on imported oil poses a national security risk, and energy policy should include everything from expanding domestic drilling to finding alternative fuels, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said on Wednesday.

In her speech accepting the vice presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention, Palin said a natural gas pipeline under construction in Alaska would one day "lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart."

She said the United States should not be so reliant on imported oil that it has to tap its Strategic Petroleum Reserve when a hurricane strikes oil production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

"With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers," she said. (Reuters)

As Energy Mom, Palin’s influence could be good news for Canada - Sarah Palin, a climate skeptic and energy booster, knows more about Canada-U.S. issues than Joe Biden (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

The Social Responsibility of Coal - They get little credit for their efforts, but most resource extraction, manufacturing and power generation companies strive to be “socially responsible” - by emphasizing energy efficiency, resource conservation, pollution control and worker safety in producing the raw materials, consumer products and electricity that improve, safeguard and enrich our lives. It’s not easy, due to the nature of their business, public intolerance for any ecological impacts - and the fact that “corporate social responsibility” often defined and used by activist groups to promote ideological agendas. Above all, activists want to engineer a “wholesale transformation” of our energy and economic system, away from hydrocarbon fuels and into “eco-friendly” renewable resources; reduce our living standards to “sustainable” levels (their definition again); and give them power over the power that sustains our modern society. (Paul Driessen, Icecap)

Picking through the Pickens Plan - In a recently posted Youtube video, energy analyst Donn Dears identifies what appears to be a major flaw in the Pickens Plan. (Marlo Lewis, Planet Gore)

Poverty fears over wind power - Half a million people could be pushed into fuel poverty by the UK's drive for wind power, the government's former chief scientific adviser has said. Sir David King said: "If we overdo wind we are going to put up the price of electricity and that means more people will fall into the fuel poverty trap." The UK has signed up to an EU agreement for 20% of power to come from renewable sources by 2020. Professor King told the BBC EU leaders did not understand their own targets. (BBC News)

Biofuel push may backfire says official - Laws have been passed that require oil companies to sell a certain amount of biofuel each year, beginning on October 1.

In the first year biofuels will have to make up 0.5 per cent of an oil company's sales, rising by 0.5 per cent increments to reach 2.5 per cent in 2012.

Principles have been written into legislation to try to avoid companies selling imported biofuels that are unsustainable - such as ones that have a bad impact on global food production.

But it is not yet known how it will be determined if a fuel meets the principles. (New Zealand Herald)

Fire retardant chemical found in children - group - WASHINGTON - A fire retardant chemical used in electronics, toys and furniture has been detected in children's blood at triple the levels found in their mothers, the Environmental Working Group reported on Thursday. (Reuters)

This has been declared a potential problem if you are trying to light children -- those not trying to use kids as biofuels need not worry.

No? Duh! Focus on green offices wanes - Environmental concerns such as energy efficiency have been pushed to the bottom of the agenda for UK companies as cost becomes increasingly crucial in the more difficult economic climate.

During the recent property boom, much was made of the drive by developers for more energy-efficient schemes, which had been hoped to command higher rents because of their green credentials.

However, green issues are more of a concern in a benign economic climate, becoming a luxury as circumstances change, the research suggests. (Financial Times)

'Green issues' and similar fatuous crap should never be on the agenda at all.

Traditions embraced in a naive style - HOW easily are we fooled by people dreaming up oppressive new Aboriginal "traditions"? (Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun)

Jim Hopkins: Why women take the carbon credit - When tomorrow's historians finally set upon the 20th century with their usual rigorous gusto, they will likely see it in a light unglimpsed by us.

They may, for example, note the enormous effort we devoted to looking in the wrong direction and worrying about the wrong things. They may contrast the anxiety we felt about the possible effects of the atom bomb with our casual disregard for the actual effects of the oral contraceptive pill.

They may report that the unintended consequence of personal liberation was social implosion and conclude it was the pill, not the bomb, which posed the greater threat - certainly in the First World where unsustainably low birth rates compelled compensatory immigration, the consequent rise of Islam as a potent influence throughout Europe and, ultimately, hastened the decline of Western power and influence. (New Zealand Herald)

Gull Sets Arctic Pollution Record for Birds - OSLO - A small Arctic gull has set a record as the bird most contaminated by two banned industrial pollutants, scientists said on Thursday. (Reuters)

I've always wondered whether these critters aren't more endangered by researchers harassing them during their breeding attempts than anything else people do.

Managing drought - CLIMATE change is so inexact a science that debate over how much, if at all, it is responsible for the crisis in the Murray-Darling Basin will produce little but hot air. While politically inept to open up the debate, Brendan Nelson is correct that water management is one problem we can address immediately. Regardless of whether manmade greenhouse emissions are exacerbating the problem by warming the basin and increasing evaporation, drought has been part of the Australian landscape for centuries. The fact that current conditions, according to the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, are the worst since records began in 1892 should be a spur to instigate better management. In making good its election promise to end the "blame-game", there is no better issue on which the Rudd Government can act than redressing underpricing and overallocations by state governments as part of a national approach. (The Australian)

Listeria hysteria - Politicians are using the listeriosis outbreak as an excuse to increase their resources and power (Pierre Lemieux, Financial Post)

Tiny particles hit the big time - Products that use nanotechnology, from TV screens to water filters, are coming to the market faster than ever before (The Guardian)

September 4, 2008

Massive Canada Arctic Ice Shelf Breaks Away - OTTAWA - A huge 19 square mile (55 square km) ice shelf in Canada's northern Arctic broke away last month and the remaining shelves have shrunk at a "massive and disturbing" rate, the latest sign of accelerating climate change in the remote region, scientists said on Tuesday.

They said the Markham Ice Shelf, one of just five remaining ice shelves in the Canadian Arctic, split away from Ellesmere Island in early August. They also said two large chunks totaling 47 square miles (76 square km) had broken off the nearby Serson Ice Shelf, reducing it in size by 60 percent.

"The changes ... were massive and disturbing," said Warwick Vincent, director of the Centre for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec. (Reuters)

And why so? These trivial remnants are the pathetic remains of significant ice shelves which broke up before the 20th Century was even out of diapers. That they are continuing to break up indicates conditions are less severe than they were a few hundred years ago (darn!) and we haven't yet plunged into a new ice age (darn again!).

Arctic Melting Shows Global Warming Serious - Expert - OTTAWA - The incredibly rapid rate at which Canada's Arctic ice shelves are disappearing is an early indicator of the "very substantial changes" that global warming will impose on all mankind, a top scientist said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Dr Vincent was a little more forthcoming when talking to Andy Revkin a few years ago: It was the last large remnant of a much more extensive ice shelf that once fringed all of Ellesmere Island, Dr. Vincent said. Over all, that fringe has diminished by more than 90 percent over the last century, he said.

According to his colleague: Ellesmere Island was once entirely ringed by a single enormous ice shelf that broke up in the early 1900s. At 170 square miles and 130 feet thick, the Ward Hunt shelf is the largest of those remnants. Mueller said it has been steadily declining since the 1930s.

With the bulk of the ice shelf breaking up about a hundred years ago, prior to any appreciable change in atmospheric greenhouse gas loading, we are forced to assume this is in fact part of a natural process, most of which occurred before we were paying any attention.

Arctic Sees Massive Gain in Ice Coverage - Data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has indicated a dramatic increase in sea ice extent in the Arctic regions. The growth over the past year covers an area of 700,000 square kilometers: an amount twice the size the nation of Germany.

With the Arctic melting season over for 2008, ice cover will continue to increase until melting begins anew next spring.

The data is for August 2008 and indicates a total sea ice area of six million square kilometers. Ice extent for the same month in 2007 covered 5.3 million square kilometers, a historic low. Earlier this year, media accounts were rife with predictions that this year would again see a new record. Instead, the Arctic has seen a gain of about thirteen percent. (Daily Tech)

I'm not really in favor of "on this day" comparisons but the Arctic does seem to be grabbing a lot of attention.

Strongest Hurricanes May Be Getting Stronger - A new study finds that the strongest of hurricanes and typhoons have become even stronger over the last two and a half decades, adding grist to the contentious debate over global warming and its ability to unleash more destructive storms.

At the same time, the study, published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature, finds that more typical, run-of-the-mill tropical storms have not become stronger over that same period. (New York Times)

Not remotely plausible. If it were a matter of trivial warming and sea surface temperatures then the storm threshold (the surface temperature required to form and sustain hurricanes) would be exceeded for more days per year and over a larger sea surface area and there would be a disproportionate increase in the number of weaker category storms, which no one claims to be happening. There is no plausible mechanism for stronger storms to selectively gain energy from gorebull warming while lesser storms do not, which is what they are claiming has occurred.

Nonsense, Incoherence, and Inconsistency at the Hurricane Science and Media Interface - A new paper has been published today in Nature by Elsner et al. which documents trends in the strongest tropical cyclones in a satellite record. The analysis overcomes some of the challenges of other studies by relying on a single dataset from 1981-2006, thus avoiding the problems of inhomogeneities when datasets are combined, and thus adds some useful knowledge to a growing literature. The paper and its reception also indicate how dysfunctional the hurricane science-media interface is, particularly this time of year. (Roger Pielke, Jr., Prometheus)

Hurricanes And Global Warming - A Scientific Disconnect - There was a news release by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, entitled “Global warming’s toasty water connection to Gustav.” Among the statements in the text are

“Global warming has probably made Hurricane Gustav a bit stronger and wetter, some top scientists said Sunday, but the specific connection between climate change and stronger hurricanes remains an issue of debate.”

“Measurements of the energy pumped into the air from the warm waters — essentially fuel for hurricanes — has increased dramatically since the mid 1990s, mostly in the strongest of hurricanes, according to a soon-to-be published paper in the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems by Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief at National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.”

“Warmer water makes the surface air warmer, which means it could contain more moisture. That means more hot moist air rises up the hurricane, serving as both fuel for the storm and extra rainfall coming back down, said Peter Webster, professor of atmospheric sciences at Georgia Tech.”

Both the article and the statements by the scientists, however, mislead the public into thinking there is a clear relationship between global warming and Atlantic hurricane activity. This is a gross oversimplification of hurricane dynamics. Hurricanes respond to their immediate environment, not a global average increase in heat! (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Hurricane Gustav and the incitement to panic - US officials’ overblown reaction to Gustav shows that the politics of worst-case thinking can seriously harm community safety and solidarity. (Frank Furedi, sp!ked)

August RSS Global Temperature - holding steady, still cooler than 1 year ago - Even though little change has been seen, there is some interesting news in the August RSS numbers. We are still cooler than one year ago, and the 12 month trend continues to drop. (Watts Up With That?)

Climate Change - The Real Causes - "It is so easy to grab onto the notion that the increase in fossil-fuel burning and subsequent growth in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is directly the major cause. Even from season to season we see snow and ice-covered mountains thaw, and massive areas of the Antarctic ice shelf melt, but in just 6 or so months they are restored. We are not alarmed at these annual changes! So why can’t we see that climate changes occurring all over the world now (not as big as these dramatic annual changes) are simply similar but on a larger time-scale." Professor Geoffrey Duffy, University of Auckland, NZ (NZ Climate Science)

Climate change isn't something to be believed or disbelieved - Polemics won't help us solve this problem; it is alarming that some treat it as an article of faith, says Martin Parry (The Guardian)

Fortunately gorebull warming doesn't exist in the real world so we need not take any action to address it (stopping the computer program eliminates the 'problem' immediately). What will be problematic is that cooling is equally likely and for more dangerous yet it will be very hard to cause any protective action to be undertaken because warming hysterics have destroyed all climate science credibility.

“X years to Climate Catastrophe” - The scare: In the late summer of 2008, the once-serious Washington Post published a joint op-ed article by the president of the formerly-prestigious Brookings Institute and a foreign-policy wonk who works there. The article, entitled “Seven Years To Climate Midnight”, took a now-traditional form, claiming that we have only x years (x being declared equal to 7 in the present instance) to avert irreversible climatic catastrophe “within decades”. The co-authors, who are currently working with Stanford University on a “global governance” project, whatever that may be, recite a well-worn litany about the “momentous political challenge” faced by the next US President because of warmer weather. They say greenhouse gases are warming the Earth; that it will warm by more than 4.5 F by as soon as 2050, causing “vast regions” to “slide towards being uninhabitable”; that arable land will turn into desert; that the sea will rise to flood coastal areas from Manhattan and Florida to Bangladesh, St. Petersburg, and Mali; that the Gulf Stream will be altered; that Nevada will have no water at all; that cap-‘n’-trade, windmills, solar panels, biofuels, and carbon-capture are the answer to this “existential threat to civilization”; and that Americans are guilty because the United States emits four times as much carbon per head as the Chinese and 12 times as much as the Indians.

The truth is that every single one of the exaggerated claims made in this article, and in hundreds like it that are published daily in the media, has long been shown to have no scientific credibility. (SPPI)

Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on Germany - More heat waves, far less snow: Using a new more precise climate model, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology has calculated the impact of global warming on weather patterns in Germany stretching up to the year 2100. (Der Spiegel)

Climate Change May Cut Plague Cases in US - Study - OSLO - Rare outbreaks of plague in the United States seem to match climate shifts over the Pacific Ocean in a hint that global warming may make the region too hot and dry for the disease, scientists said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Climate Must be Heart of Foreign Policy - EU Official - LONDON - Climate change represents such a threat to global security it must be at the heart of European Union foreign policy, much as energy security is now, a top EU bureaucrat said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Another assault on farmers clearing and using their land: Forests to the rescue on climate change - KEVIN Rudd will be asked to drastically lift Australia's reserves of natural forests and grasslands as part of its climate change solution in a bid to ease emissions cuts on industry as part of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The Prime Minister's climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, yesterday urged Australia to lift its focus on retaining natural forests and grasslands in northern Australia as part of its climate change response. (The Australian)

The ecoflakes try every excuse to prevent farmers clearing even regrowth down-under and this is simply an extension of same. Even worse increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is a significant plus for life on Earth -- including people. We do not need or want to reduce this wonderful resource.

Really? From what? Geo-engineers, too, have a vital role in saving the planet - Cleaner fuel will not halt climate catastrophe. We need to find pioneering solutions that alter the earth's thermal balance (Oliver Tickell, The Guardian)

Guess what? Carbon-based fuels will not (can not) cause climate catastrophe.

Global Warming Falls On List Of Environmental Concerns - WASHINGTON -- When it comes to environmental concerns, more Americans are starting to think less about global warming and more about energy, according to a recent survey. The survey on environmental attitudes shows that 58 percent of Americans believe the environment is headed in the wrong direction. Global warming has been a top environmental issue for many since the release of Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth." However, with a lagging economy, many Americans priorities have shifted towards pushing energy issues to the forefront, the survey showed. (NBC)

On the credibility of climate predictions - Geographically distributed predictions of future climate, obtained through climate models, are widely used in hydrology and many other disciplines, typically without assessing their reliability. Here we compare the output of various models to temperature and precipitation observations from eight stations with long (over 100 years) records from around the globe. The results show that models perform poorly, even at a climatic (30-year) scale. Thus local model projections cannot be credible, whereas a common argument that models can perform better at larger spatial scales is unsupported. (Koutsoyiannis, 2008) | Get full PDF

Brookings Institute Trips over Climate Science, Says SPPI - In the most recent edition of its influential ScareWatch series, the Science and Public Policy Institute questions whether the Brookings Institute is familiar with basic geography, to say nothing of climate science. (TransWorldNews)

Fear Mongering in Denver - George Nathan said, “Politics is the diversion of trivial men who, when they succeed at it, become important in the ideas of more trivial men.” Henry Adams said, “Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.”

Few have combined these sentiments better than former Vice President Al Gore. His comment before the recent Democratic national convention in Denver that, “You understand that the politics of the past are exhausted, and you’re tired - we are all tired - of appeals based on fear.” What we’re tired of is such fatuous statements from the grandmaster of exploiting fear. Within the same speech he said, “We are facing a planetary emergency, which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of mankind.”

“Many scientists predict-shockingly-that the entire north polar ice cap may be completely gone during summer months during the first term of the next president. Sea levels are rising; fires are raging; storms are stronger. Military experts warn us our national security is threatened by massive waves of climate refugees destabilizing countries around the world, and scientists tell us the very web of life is endangered by unprecedented extinctions.”

Hyperbole heaped on hyperbole based on gross misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the facts around a nonexistent problem. (Tim Ball, CFP)

Dutch draw up drastic measures to defend coast against rising seas - THE HAGUE, Netherlands: The Netherlands needs a massive new building program to strengthen the low-lying country's water defenses against the anticipated effects of global warming for the next 190 years, an important panel advised Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Hopefully they are not being stampeded by the output of GCMs because these models have zero prognostic ability.

Earth about as hot as it was in 1900 - Barack Obama says the United States must "end the age of oil in our time," with "real results by the end of my first term in office."

Duff Badgley, the Green candidate for governor in Washington State, goes only a bit further: He'd immediately convert the Boeing factory from building jetliners to making solar panels and wind turbines.

He'd ration your carbon emissions, right down to your lawn mower. He'd outlaw single-occupancy vehicles and spend carbon tax money to ensure there would be a bus you could ride - but rural dwellers would mostly have to walk.

Both Obama and Badgley would make perfect sense if the Earth was suffering rapid global warming caused by human CO2 emissions. Fortunately, that isn't happening.

The net global warming from 1940 to 1998 was a tiny 0.2 degree C, during nearly 70 years of the first, and theoretically most powerful, surge of human-emitted CO2.

Since 1998, temperatures haven't risen at all, and over the past 18 months, the thermometers and satellites both report a sharp global cooling. Earth's temperatures are now about where they were in 1900. (Dennis T Avery, Tucson Citizen)

Demand seen thin in first US greenhouse auction - NEW YORK, Sept 3 - U.S. Northeast power companies likely will not race to buy permits to emit the main greenhouse gas in the country's first carbon auction later this month because the region's emissions of the gas have slipped over the last few years, experts said. (Reuters)

That and it's a completely stupid exercise to begin with.

Crude logic on oil prices - Oil continues its apparent decline towards $100 a barrel, most recently “because of” Hurricane Gustav’s mildness and “despite” Vladimir Putin’s Georgian aggression. But, as ever, it’s a good deal more complicated than single factor lurches.

Crude prices have always been particularly tricky to forecast because of the commodity’s peculiar nature, the corresponding desire to “tame” it, and its abundance beneath some of the globe’s most unstable regimes. These characteristics have also made it unusually amenable to the conspiracy theories.

Not that there haven’t actually been conspiracies that attempted to carve up exploration areas or control prices, it’s just that they have traditionally been foiled by markets, that is, competitors who saw the profits from breaking cartels, and/or exploring new areas and/or developing new technologies. (Peter Foster, Financial Post)

Energy's Most Dangerous Game - All the energy America needs for the next 100 years lies under the sea off the coast of South Carolina. One problem: Digging it out could cause a global climate disaster.

Welcome to the final frontier in fossil fuels, the wild card in climate change theories and the dark horse in the scramble to secure access to clean energy. Meet methane hydrates, the world's most promising and perilous energy resource. (Forbes)

Georgia-Russia conflict changes the energy equation - Officials at the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline announced last week that the pipeline is fully functional and work has started to refill it. But in the weeks since the pipeline stopped working due to a fire along the Turkish section, much has changed along the pipeline's route due to the Georgian-Russian conflict.

There are fears that the conflict between Russia and Georgia may threaten existing and planned Caucasus energy routes seen by the West as vital supply corridors that avoid Russian territory. (EUbusiness)

Coalfields could soon be supplying our gas - VAST swathes of the South Wales coalfields could be at the centre of a multi-billion-pound gas industry, according to a global energy firm hoping to extract a valuable energy source.

Australian-based company Eden Energy has announced that the coalfield beneath Bridgend, Pencoed, the Llynfi Valley and parts of Port Talbot is saturated with valuable methane. (South Wales Echo)

EU Lawmakers Delay Vote to Get Tough on Car CO2 - BRUSSELS - EU lawmakers have delayed a key vote on curbing carbon dioxide emissions from cars, allowing themselves time to make tougher demands on the car industry, they said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Oh good grief! Nasa scientist appears in court to fan the flames of coal power station row - The Nasa scientist who first drew attention to global warming 20 years ago appeared in a British court yesterday as a key witness in support of climate change activists charged with damaging a power station. (The Independent)

Brown must halt new coal power stations, scientist tells court - James Hansen, a former White House adviser and Al Gore's science adviser, giving evidence in a British court, said sticking to a "business as usual" approach would see the planet passing its climate change tipping point.

Hansen was giving evidence in the case of six Greenpeace supporters charged with causing £30,000 of criminal damage when scaling the 200-metre Kingsnorth power station chimney in Kent last October. (The Guardian)

Look, the bloody idiots were filmed in the act, don't deny it and are merely milking it for fundraising purposes. Either extract the cost of their criminal damage from them or shoot them or something useful to reestablish the rule of law but stop pandering to these misanthropic twits! Sheesh!

Wind power: Economic insanity of the Government's renewable energy strategy - The Government's Renewable Energy Strategy document is out for consultation until 26 September.

This is the document that proposes that Britain's renewable energy targets for electricity generation will be largely met by 3,000 offshore wind turbines and a further 4,000 onshore turbines.

The Government is also in the process of establishing the new subsidy support structure to encourage investment in renewable energy, particularly, wind turbines.

The Government's main support mechanism for the generation of renewable electricity consists of Renewable Obligation Certificates ( ROC's) which are issued to those who invest in and generate renewable electricity, but the cost of this support is borne directly by the consumer.

At no point has the full cost of the proposed wind strategy been fully and simply explained to the public and at no point has the public been told what alternatives there might be. (Daily Telegraph)

Greenpeace Proposes Giant North Sea Windfarm Grid - BRUSSELS - North Sea nations could link their offshore windfarms via a giant electricity grid on the sea bed and bring huge benefits for Europe, according to a Greenpeace report gaining interest from the European Commission. (Reuters)

Really? The fuss greenies and fishermen put up over Basslink (connecting the Victorian and Tasmanian grids with one monopolar HVDC submarine cable) because it would allegedly upset the fishies and other marine critters, disrupting migrations, causing the cohabitation of catfish and dogfish and all manner of ills and yet gridding the North Sea (where cod & other fishies are allegedly on their last legs, so to speak) is a good idea? How wonderfully flexible are these ratbags -- they're agin it except when it is the most expensive and least practical option for energy.

Bulgaria Kick-Starts Belene Nuclear Power Project - BELENE, Bulgaria - Bulgaria launched on Wednesday the construction of a 4 billion euro (US$5.78 billion) new nuclear power plant to restore its position as a leading regional power exporter and meet European Union emission targets. (Reuters)

Italy Not Enough to Plug Gap in Solar Power Demand - VALENCIA, Spain - Growth in solar power installations in Italy may not be enough to plug a gap in global demand as Spain prepares to slash subsidies, say Italian industry experts. (Reuters)

Dutch Brewers Say Enthusiasm for Biofuels Waning - THE HAGUE - Enthusiasm for biofuels is receding and European legislators have become more sensitive to the needs of the food industry, hit by soaring commodities prices, the head of the Dutch brewers' association (CBK) says.

"I am not as afraid as last year that vast areas will be planted with rape seed, replacing grain crops," Jack Verhoek told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. "I think wisdom has returned."

Lawmakers and scientists are warning of problems with large-scale planting of crops for first-generation biofuels, which have been blamed in part for high world food prices because of competition for farmland, Verhoek said.

"I think if this understanding continues to grow, then people will realise we shouldn't use land for growing fuel crops alone. We should use it first for grain," he said. (Reuters)

Rewards of renewables - Thanks to concerns about carbon emissions and the rising price of fossil fuels, the green-energy industry is currently experiencing huge growth worldwide. This presents plenty of interesting and lucrative opportunities for physicists, as Gregory McNamee describes. (Physics World)

Bisphenol A Assessment Released: Debate over the safety of low-level exposure to the plastics chemical continues - Current levels of exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in making polycarbonate plastic bottles and epoxy-based canned food liners, are of "some concern" for developmental and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants, and children, according to a final assessment released on Sept. 3 by the National Toxicology Program. The report comes just weeks after FDA declared in a draft assessment that the estrogenic chemical is safe in food contact products such as baby bottles and infant formula cans (C&EN, Aug. 25, page 10). (C&EN)

U.S. study clears measles vaccine of autism link - CHICAGO - Scientists who tried to replicate a study that once tied a measles vaccine with autism said on Wednesday they could not find any link and hope their study will encourage parents to vaccinate their children to combat a rash of measles outbreaks.

Parents' refusals to have their children vaccinated against measles have contributed to the highest numbers of cases seen in the United States and parts of Europe in many years.

Measles kills about 250,000 people a year globally, mostly children in poor nations.

Public health officials have been stressing the safety of the combined measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, shot and other childhood vaccines in the face of vocal groups who claim the immunizations may cause autism and other problems.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine has issued several definitive reports showing no connection between autism and any vaccinations.

This study took a new tack. It attempted to replicate 1998 research by a team led by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, then of Britain's Royal Free Hospital, in the Lancet medical journal that suggested the vaccine was linked to autism and gastrointestinal problems.

Wakefield is undergoing disciplinary action for professional misconduct by Britain's General Medical Council and 10 of his collaborators formally withdrew their original Lancet study. (Reuters)

“Doctor do I really need this drug?” Uncertainty and best judgements in cholesterol drugs - One can only imagine how anxious yesterday’s news of a possible link to cancer must have left people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. With the publication of the results of the 5-year SEAS trial (Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis), arguments have been vehemently made on both sides of cancer risks, making things even more confusing. But no one is arguing about two things. (Junkfood Science)

LA's fast-food ban draws skepticism - LOS ANGELES - A ban on new fast-food restaurants in poor Los Angeles neighborhoods has made headlines around the world, but residents say they don't plan to give up their cheeseburgers, fried chicken and tacos anytime soon.

The moratorium, which was passed in July, was intended to fight obesity in low-income communities of America's second-largest city where healthy food is hard to find.

The move is trend-setting California's latest salvo in an expanding war on the fast-food industry, which is bracing for copycat maneuvers around the United States that could threaten growth.

But residents are skeptical that such laws will have much impact in Los Angeles' low-income and minority neighborhoods, which are already blanketed with cheap and easy-to-find meals at chains such as McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell and Domino's Pizza.

"It's stupid. It's our body, we choose what we put in it," Tonya Owens, a 45-year-old nurse assistant told Reuters. (Reuters)

Smoke smudges Mexico City's air, chemists identify sources - Mexico City once topped lists of places with the worst air pollution in the world. Although efforts to curb emissions have improved the situation, tiny particles called aerosols still clog the air. Now, atmospheric scientists from UC San Diego and six other institutions have sorted through the pall that hangs over the city to precisely identify aerosols that make up the haze and chart daily patterns of changes to the mix.

This forensic work will help to identify the sources of these persistent pollutants, which plague other megacities in places like China and India as well. With this information, leaders will be better able to develop policies that will effectively clear the air. (UC San Diego)

Raising skeptics - As children across the country return to school, the National Post takes a look at the curriculum issues that are flashpoints in their respective regions and examines how the most controversial subjects are taught. Today, teaching environmentalism in Alberta. (Kevin Libin, National Post)

Organic food: no flash in the pan fad - Far from being niche, our research shows that as the price of oil increases, organically farmed food is the most profitable option (Peter Melchett, The Guardian)

Pete works for the soil association now, flogging their overpriced fad produce, doesn't he?

Nice try: Eco-Sellers Gaining Momentum With Mainstream Buyers - LAS VEGAS - The move to more sustainable, earth-friendly clothing, shoes and other consumer goods may be at a "tipping point" of mainstream acceptance, and major companies like Nike Inc and eBay Inc are recognizing their growing importance among global shoppers.

Green is now a major marketing tool, with companies from British Petroleum advertising alternative energy to Wal-Mart Stores Inc's offering more organic goods. Moreover, the green movement is no longer the exclusive domain of the granola-eating, Birkenstock-wearing crowd, insiders say.

"I believe we're at a tipping point in the green market," said Marci Zaroff, president of clothing, home goods and spa line Under the Canopy, who first coined the phrase "ECOfashion." (Reuters)

Actually word is people are becoming more cost-conscious and avoiding green claptrap (probably why this lot are trying to talk up their market).

World Needs GMO Wheat to Fight Hunger - Wheat Body - CANBERRA - Japan and Europe need to embrace genetically modified wheat to combat food shortages in poor countries, rather than pander to consumer fears, the head of a global wheat research institute said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

EU to Approve Bayer GM Soy Imports Next Week - BRUSSELS - The European Union will next week approve imports of genetically modified (GM) soybeans made by Bayer CropScience, hoping to ease a shortage of animal feed, officials said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

NZ must keep up with GE progress, says AgResearch - AgResearch says more than 100 million hectares of land overseas is planted with genetically engineered crops, and New Zealand needs to be able to keep up the technology.

"New Zealand's ability to remain globally competitive may be compromised unless it addresses GE crop and animal issues," the Crown Research Institute's general manager of applied biotechnologies, Jimmy Suttie, said today.

He said recent studies suggested that New Zealanders were becoming progressively less opposed to GE organisms, especially when there was an opportunity to improve human health. (New Zealand Herald)

European parliament calls for ban on cloned farm animals - The European parliament on Wednesday urged the EU's executive branch to ban the cloning of animals for the food trade, citing reduced genetic diversity among other concerns. (AFP)

September 3, 2008

Ambulance-chasing Graun goes after Gustav - Spare a thought for anyone on the Environment beat at the Guardian newspaper. It must be like working for Pravda during the Breznhev era. There, as the economy became ever more dysfunctional, reporters were obliged to pump out ever more absurd stories saluting record productivity and efficiency records. The triumph over capitalism was imminent!

A different time and a different place: but at the Graun, the ideology is "Climate Change" - and the number of narratives permissible is similarly narrow, and rigidly defined from the top. For as regular readers of the paper will know, the climate can only change in one direction: for the worse. Apocalypse is imminent!

It's in this context you should spare a thought for David Adam, the newspaper's environment correspondent. He certainly has our sympathies. With hurricane Gustav set to devastate New Orleans, Adam was tasked with the job of showing how it's all down to Global Warming. (Andrew Orlowski, The Register)

Oh... Hurricanes, Floods Show Risks of Climate Change - UN  - OSLO - Atlantic hurricanes and floods in India are reminders of the risks of ever more extreme weather linked to a changing climate, the head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Monday. (Reuters)

These guys never give up their nonsense claims, do they? We have no indication of more frequent or more intense weather events and anticorrelations are common: for example August was one wet month for Central England -- it was also 98th warmest. Just because activist claim every weather event is correlated or consistent with gorebull warming doesn't make them so and people should be tipped off by the same trivial cause being blamed for both too little and too much precipitation in the same place in successive years (interesting mechanism that, one that can selectively increase/decrease a particular topography's rainfall).

Seth Boringtheme getting all excited: Tropical quartet: 4 storms with more to come -- The tropics seem to be going crazy what with the remnants of Gustav, the new threat from Hanna, a strengthening Ike and newcomer Josephine. Get used to it.

Hurricane experts say all the weather ingredients, which normally fluctuate, are set on boil for the formation of storms. And it's going to stay that way for a while, they said. (AP)

Basic Bunkum - Every scientist, every science teacher, and possibly every gardener in the world knows that applying the terms ‘greenhouse effect’ and ‘greenhouse gases’ to the atmosphere, and to climate, is the most basic bunkum. Why then do we continue to propagate these two terms which are scientifically wrong and so misleading? Or, for some, does their propaganda value make the science irrelevant? It is no wonder that a physics teacher whom I met recently at one of our top schools was in despair: “How can we teach the kids real science if such nonsense is allowed into the curriculum?” (Global Warming Politics)

Philip is absolutely correct. Those wishing to see a great deal more about the effect can see here.

Trees Suffer One-Two Punch of Acid Rain and Climate Change - Forests in Vermont's Green Mountains transition abruptly from a heat-loving mix of sugar maple, American beech, and yellow birch on the lower slopes to a cold-adapted mix of red spruce, balsam fir, and paper birch higher up. (Natural History Magazine)

So, gorebull warming would be good for "heat-loving sugar maple"? (I thought gorebull warming was supposed to kill off maple sugar but, oh well...)

Oh, that acid rain thing? Actually, not so bad: British acid rain helps our trees, says Norway - British acid rain is good for Norway's trees, says a Norwegian scientific study. It wipes out damage caused by pollution from local industry and has helped the country's forests spread by a quarter in recent decades. The report, by the state-run Norwegian forestry research institute, says that acid rain has been unfairly demonised. Svein Solberg, of the institute, said: "After 15 years' research, it is now clear to us that, as far as forests are concerned, our fear of acid rain was totally unfounded.

Oops! Solar panels 'take 100 years to pay back installation costs' - Solar panels are one of the least cost-effective ways of combating climate change and will take 100 years to pay back their installation costs, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) warned yesterday.

In a new guide on energy efficiency, Rics said that roof panels for heating water and generating power are unlikely to save enough from bills to make them financially viable in a householder's lifetime. In the case of solar panels to heat water for baths and showers, the institution estimates the payback time from money saved from electricity and gas bills will take more than 100 years – and up to 166 years in the worst case.

Photovoltaic (PV) panels for power – and domestic, mast-mounted wind turbines – will take between 50 and 100 years to pay back. (The Independent)

Yohe and Lomborg - Last week I had a post up titled “Yohe vs. Lomborg” focusing on an exchange in the Guardian between Gary Yohe and Bjorn Lomborg. Now, are you sitting down? If not the following might knock you over.

Gary and Bjorn have decided to discuss their differences and write a joint op-ed for the Guardian that has just been published. Can you imagine? Two people who disagree on climate change policies actually working together in the public eye. Shocking behavior. But admirable and exemplary. (Roger Pielke, Jr., Prometheus)

It's not about us - The climate change debate, while very public and very political, is not the place for hyperbole and hysteria; it's time to move on (Björn Lomborg and Gary Yohe, The Guardian)

Sunspeck counts after all, debate rages…Sun DOES NOT have first spotless calendar month since June 1913 - UPDATED AT 8:30AM PST Sept 2nd-

More on SIDC’s decision to count a sunspeck (technically a “pore”) days after the fact. NOAA has now followed SIDC in adding a 0.5 sunspot where there was none before. But as commenter Basil points out, SIDC’s own records are in contrast to their last minute decision to count the sunspeck or “pore” on August 21. (Watts Up With That?)

There Goes The Sun - Al Gore's been busy in recent years scaring everyone about what he's sure is disastrous global warming. More ruinous, though, would be a deep cooling, which is the direction our planet might really be heading. (IBD)

“North Hottest for 1500 Years” - Really? (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

Publicly available PDF here: Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia (Mann et al, PNAS). Supporting information here.

Earth Has Had Sharp Climatic Shifts In Past: Is Earth Nearing Another Tipping Point? - In the Earth’s history, periods of relatively stable climate have often been interrupted by sharp transitions to a contrasting state. For instance, glaciation periods typically ended suddenly. About 34 million years ago the Earth’s long lasting tropical state in which most recent life forms evolved, shifted abruptly and irreversibly to a cooler state with ice caps.

This shift is known as the "Greenhouse-Icehouse-Transition". (ScienceDaily)

Irreversibly to a cooler state with ice caps? We'll take that under advisement. Isn't it weird that gorebull warming hand-wringers worry about Earth returning to the tropical state in which most recent life on Earth evolved (the same weird critters snowbird to tropical locations for holidays and gorebull warming conferences).

Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring - In 2000, the nation s next-generation National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) program anticipated purchasing six satellites for $6.5 billion, with a first launch in 2008. By November 2005, however, it became apparent that NPOESS would overrun its cost estimates by at least 25 percent. In June 2006, the planned acquisition of six spacecraft was reduced to four, the launch of the first spacecraft was delayed until 2013, and several sensors were canceled or descoped in capability.

Based on information gathered at a June 2007 workshop, Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft, this book prioritizes capabilities, especially those related to climate research, that were lost or placed at risk following the 2006 changes.

This book presents and recommends a prioritized, short-term strategy for recovery of crucial climate capabilities lost in the NPOESS and GOES-R program descopes. However, mitigation of these recent losses is only the first step in establishing a viable long-term climate strategy one that builds on the lessons learned from the well-intentioned but poorly executed merger of the nation s weather and climate observation systems. (NAP)

Arctic Sea Ice - Media Darling Of Misrepresentation (.pdf) - Distinguished Canadian climatologist, Dr Timothy Ball, explains why and how news media have misrepresented claims about the state of Arctic sea ice. This analysis is a superb backgrounder for anyone wanting to know the facts about the Arctic and the changes that have occurred in its ice volumes. (via NZ Climate Science)

Carbon tax sales pitch falls flat - The election campaign will reveal more of the risks to the economy (Terence Corcoran, Financial Post)

Canadians should be wary of green protectionism - Imposing ‘carbon tariffs’ might level the playing field, but it would wreak havoc on trade agreements (Michael Hart and Bill Dymond, Financial Post)

Support for the Liberals' Green Shift dropping: Poll - WINNIPEG - Support for the Liberals' Green Shift carbon tax proposal fell over the summer, signalling leader Stephane Dion faces "a big problem" with the centerpiece of his election campaign platform, says Darrell Bricker, president of the Ipsos-Reid polling firm. (Canwest News Service)

Government open to carbon trading scheme alternatives: Wong - Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says the Federal Government is open to alternatives to a cap and trade emissions scheme. (Australian Broadcasting service)

Sure they have options: scrap this nonsense or lose office.

Rudd’s dud study (Andrew Bolt Blog)

Still with this nonsense: Climate Change Refugees Look to Australia, N.Z. - With the apparent effects of global warming already being felt among Pacific island nations, Australia and New Zealand are being urged to do more to prepare for ‘climate change refugees’.

"In Tuvalu and Kiribas we’re already starting to see the effects of king tides and storm surges on the coastline, but in particular, on people’s crops," says Damien Lawson, national climate justice coordinator from Friends of the Earth Australia. (IPS)

Actually, deformation of the sea surface lens causes sea level difficulties for these low lying atolls during La Niña events -- that's right, the ones associated with cooling. During the warm-associated El Niños changes in upwelling patterns and surface pressure causes local sea level fall, giving the islanders another half-meter or so of freeboard. Absent ENSO effects there is absolutely zero indication of accelerating sea level rise.

Emissions scheme to hit charities - AN emissions trading scheme will cost charities and community groups $1.1 billion a year, a new report says.

The impact of rising prices from a carbon tax meant the Government would have to compensate both sectors, the Australia Institute said today.

"It's not like the car industry or Qantas that can just jack up prices," the institute's executive director Richard Denniss told ABC Radio.

"These are people delivering services to the most vulnerable people in the community.

"For example ... if you have got hundreds of people in aged care home, then that is a lot of hot water systems, that's a lot of air conditioners, it's a lot of heaters and it's a lot of other energy intensive appliances being used 24 hours a day, seven days a week." (AAP)

Beyond Carbon: Scientists Worry About Nitrogen’s Effects - For example, Dr. Vitousek said in an interview, “There’s a great danger in doing something like, oh, overfertilizing a cornfield to boost biofuel consumption, where the carbon benefits are far outweighed by the nitrogen damage.”

Soon after Dr. Vitousek’s report, the journal Geophysical Research Letters branded as a “missing greenhouse gas” nitrogen trifluoride, which is used in production of semiconductors and in liquid-crystal displays found in many electronics. Nitrogen trifluoride, which is not one of the six gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol, the celebrated international global warming accord, is about 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Its estimated worldwide release into the atmosphere this year is equivalent to the total global-warming emissions from Austria.

“The nitrogen dilemma,” Dr. Vitousek added, “is not just thinking that carbon is all that matters. But also thinking that global warming is the only environmental issue. The weakening of biodiversity, the pollution of rivers, these are local issues that need local attention. Smog. Acid rain. Coasts. Forests. It’s all nitrogen.” (New York Times)

From CO2 Science this week:

Vegetation, Climate and CO2: Their Intertwined Relationship: The quest to unravel the interdependency of the three factors finally rises to the fore.

Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week:
Was there a Medieval Warm Period? YES, according to data published by 588 individual scientists from 348 separate research institutions in 38 different countries ... and counting! This issue's Medieval Warm Period Record of the Week comes from the Lomonosovfonna Ice Cap, Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway. To access the entire Medieval Warm Period Project's database, click here.

Subject Index Summary:
West Antarctic Ice Sheet (Collapse and Disintegration): These two modes of ice sheet dynamism are always hyped by climate alarmists. But is there any evidence to suggest they are on the verge of occurring in West Antarctica?

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: Faba Bean, Oilseed Rape, Radish, and Rice.

Journal Reviews:
The Past Half-Century of Sea Level Rise: Has it shown any dramatic response to the supposedly unprecedented global warming of the latter part of the 20th century?

Cherry Blossoms and Climate Change in Kyoto: What do the former tell us about the latter?

British Lepidoptera Responses to Global Warming: How did their species composition and populations change between 1864 and 1952? ... and 1976 to 1997?

Elevated CO2 vs. Warming and Drying: What's the net result for the soil water content of an old field ecosystem?

Cloud Effects on Forest Carbon Uptake: Do they enhance or reduce it?

Tallahassee, FLTemperature Record of the Week:
This issue's Temperature Record of the Week is from Tallahassee, FL. During the period of most significant greenhouse gas buildup over the past century, i.e., 1930 and onward, Tallahassee's mean annual temperature has cooled by 1.00 degrees Fahrenheit. Not much global warming here! (

World Bank warns of 'climate chaos' - AN expert from the World Bank has warned that "climate chaos" will affect farmers around the globe, and called for a revolution in sustainable agriculture.

Katherine Sierra, the World Bank's vice president for sustainable development, told a Canberra audience that action was needed for the sake of future generations.

Climate change would lead to droughts, floods, more outbreaks of pests and disease, heat stress among livestock, and a reduction in arable land, she said. And all this when the world's population was tipped to rise to 10 billion. (AAP)

Bleeding-heart jetsetters spell bad news for climate  - The emergence of a new generation of ‘bleeding-heart jetsetters’ has disturbing implications for the UK’s spiralling emissions from air travel, according to new research by the University of Exeter. The results of the research by the School of Geography, Archaeology and Earth Resources and University of Exeter Business School were presented by Dr Stewart Barr at the Royal Geographical Society with IBG Annual Conference.

According to a survey of over 200 people, along with focus groups and in-depth interviews, even the most committed environmentalists – identified by green trademarks such as shopping ethically, installing water and energy saving appliances and recycling – would not be prepared to accept extra ‘green taxes’ and are deeply sceptical of the carbon offsetting schemes designed to mitigate them.

Indeed, of those questioned, 59% were against the introduction of further taxes on air travel, whilst just 15% of those questioned had used carbon offsetting. The largest group identified from the survey, the ‘eco-hypocrites’ – those who operate green households yet also choose to fly – justified their jaunts by suggesting that recycling, using energy saving lightbulbs and buying ethically-sourced groceries were sufficient to ‘trade off’ the impact of their holidays abroad.

Even the most ‘eco-conscious’ were determined to keep flying regardless of environmental cost, believing that taxes and offsetting would have little impact on the reducing emissions from flying, the researchers found. (University of Exeter)

Actually it tells us they plain don't believe the climate hysterics, making fliers smarter than the average media talking head.

Emissions scheme 'won't stop logging' - THE forestry industry has rejected suggestions it will stop harvesting trees under emissions trading.

Forestry companies could make more money from leaving their trees in the ground than from chopping them down, once trading starts in 2010, Australian National University research shows.

Even with a low carbon price of $10 a tonne, companies would make more money from growing carbon than growing wood, researchers found.

Trees consume and store carbon as they grow. Emissions trading could pay plantation companies to grow trees, but they won't get the money if they harvest them.

ANU forest economist Judith Ajani, who co-authored the research, says the wood processing industry will be decimated if plantations are earmarked for carbon storage under emissions trading.

It would also push companies towards logging native forests, she warned. (AAP)

Republicans urge more drilling in energy blueprint - ST PAUL, Minnesota — Republicans adopted a blueprint calling for stepped up petroleum drilling and refinery construction in the "most aggressive" energy policy in the party's history.

On the first day of the party convention scaled back because of a hurricane threat to the US Gulf Coast, the Republicans unanimously passed their 2008 "platform" urging "accelerated" domestic exploration, drilling and development of new oilfields to shed foreign oil dependence.

"If we are to have the resources we need to achieve energy independence, we simply must draw more American oil from American soil," said the 60-page document, adopted at the start of the convention due to nominate John McCain as the party's presidential candidate.

It also sought an expansion of refining capacity, noting that because of "environmental extremism and regulatory blockades" in Washington, not a single new refinery has been built in the country in 30 years.

The platform featured "the most aggressive and innovative energy policy in Republican party history," a statement from the party said.

Amid high oil and gas prices, polls suggest two-thirds of Americans support lifting a 27-year-old federal moratorium on offshore drilling. (AFP)

Unfit To Lead On Oil - If anyone still thinks Democrats can provide leadership on the No. 1 issue of the day — energy — then Harry Reid's remarks to their party's convention last week should dispel the notion for good.

Last month's invasion by Russia of neighboring Georgia showed the utter bankruptcy of the Democrats' energy policies. With its attack, Russia seized control of the main non-Russian pipeline from the energy-rich Caspian to Europe, giving it a stranglehold over nearly a third of Europe's energy supplies.

So what do the Democrats have to do with this?

Plenty. By refusing to let companies drill for energy on U.S. soil and pursuing policies that keep oil prices above $100 a barrel, the Democratic Congress, in effect, is helping Russia to finance its aggression against Europe — a kind of Marshall Plan in reverse.

Yet, listening to Reid, you'd never suspect this was the case. (IBD)

Palin's Importance - The impact of prolonged high oil prices is moving well beyond economics. Russia now takes license to assault Georgia, and intends worse. John McCain's Alaska running mate has the only weapon.

When Alaska governor Sarah Palin was chosen for the McCain vice presidential ticket, most attention was on her beauty-queen past and down-home North Woods family life. In reality, she's the powerful governor of Alaska, the most pivotal state in the union for energy.

John McCain understood well that it's the one state that can liberate the U.S. not just from high prices but from increasingly threatening enemies whose power derives solely from high oil prices.

Alaska was purchased in 1867 explicitly to ensure America's energy future. Palin's leadership has done much to develop Alaska's energy resources, but the state is still stonewalled by Congress.

Palin's strong Alaskan presence in Washington will change that. (IBD)

US Republicans Break With Bush on Ethanol - ST. PAUL - US Republicans called on Monday for an end to a controversial requirement that gasoline contain a set amount of ethanol, a policy backed by the Bush administration that critics say has helped drive up world food prices. (Reuters)

Coal plans go up in smoke - Environmentalists in the US have halted a huge new wave of coal-fired power stations. What lessons can Europe learn from them? (The Guardian)

Ooh! Ooh! Pick us, we know! That we must get green whackos out of the decision loop in order for people and the environment to prosper! What do we win?

Canada's Tar Sands Lobbyists Focus on Democrats - As the U.S. election campaign kicks into overdrive, Canadian politicians and oil executives are stepping up lobbying efforts to make sure whoever controls the White House keeps purchasing notoriously dirty oil from the Alberta tar sands. (IPS)

Fish or fuel? Debate divides Norway's far north - The pristine Lofoten Islands off Norway's far north paint an idyllic image of tranquility, but beneath the surface is a roiling debate over the islands' resources, dividing fishermen, environmentalists and oil companies. (AFP)

Scotland Could Boost Hydropower by 50 Pct - Study - LONDON - Scotland has potential to raise hydropower capacity by about a half, helping Britain cut greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate global warming, a new study showed on Tuesday. (Reuters)

Wouldn't get too excited, as soon as they pick a site some fool will 'discover' it to be required habitat of the left-handed dormouse, the particularly icky windshield-spot bug or some such thing.

Environment: Solar plant yields water and crops from the desert - Vast greenhouses that use sea water for crop cultivation could be combined with solar power plants to provide food, fresh water and clean energy in deserts, under an ambitious proposal from a team of architects and engineers. (The Guardian)

Irradiating Lettuce Will Save Lives - CHURCHVILLE, VA—For years, our Center has been demanding irradiation for spinach, lettuce, and other high-risk produce—to kill the food-borne bacteria that present a last big preventable risk in our food supply. On August 22, the Food and Drug Administration granted our plea. (Dennis T. Avery, CGFI)

A telling name change - It was a quiet little press release that received very little notice, but told a much larger story. The Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. media company which publishes 60 journals for various health-related groups — from obesity management to genetic engineering — announced last week that Disease Management, the publication of the Disease Management Association of America: The Care Continuum Alliance, was being changed to Population Health Management. (Junkfood Science)

So, the burgers are better at Hungry Jack's (Aussie version of Burger King): Critics bite at Hungry Jack's fat stack - A FAST-food chain's sale of a 4520-kilojoule hamburger is irresponsible and a sign the industry is ignoring health warnings about obesity, experts say. TV commercials are promoting the Hungry Jack's Quad Stack Burger, which contains four beef patties, four slices of cheese, two rashers of bacon, barbecue sauce and two sugared buns. It contains 71g of fat, 34.7g of saturated fat, 1930 milligrams of sodium and 74.8g protein. (Herald Sun)

Cartwheels in cotton wool aren't fun - 'PSST, pass it on - everybody meet behind the bike shed at one o'clock."

"What's happening?"

"Bates is doing something big."

"How big?"


"You're kidding?"

"Nah, reckons he's gonna do more than one, maybe go for the record his dad set back in '82."

"How many was that?"

"He reckons seven in a row."

"What if they catch him?"

"They won't catch him, he's too quick."

"He's brave, Batesy, isn't he?"

While the above scenario may seem ludicrous, the fact is, if we do not all pull together - schools, parents and students - and put, as Miss Peters used to say to us in Grade Five, "our common sense hats on", there may indeed come a day when typical schoolyard play behaviour becomes a subversive activity.

We won't be smoking behind the shed any more, we'll be performing illegal skipping manoeuvres.

I was appalled to hear of the Queensland school banning dangerous and possibly criminal activities such as cartwheels, handstands and backbends, but not, I must say, surprised. (Frances Whiting, Sunday Mail)

Another cherished green myth bites the dust: Ancient Amazon Cities Found; Were Vast Urban Network - Dozens of ancient, densely packed, towns, villages, and hamlets arranged in an organized pattern have been mapped in the Brazilian Amazon, anthropologists announced today.

The finding suggests that vast swathes of "pristine" rain forest may actually have been sophisticated urban landscapes prior to the arrival of European colonists. (National Geographic News)

Throwaway razors and nappies should be taxed as luxuries, says Defra - Disposable razors and nappies could be taxed as luxury goods in order to cut the amount of waste going to landfill, a Government-funded report to ministers has suggested.

In the same way as taxes were applied to discourage the purchase of cigarettes and alcohol, they should apply to disposable goods that cannot be reused or recycled in order to prevent people from buying them as cheap and convenient alternatives to reusable items, the report said. Taxes would also encourage manufacturers to focus on the development of more durable products. If disposable razors were taxed at the same rate as cigarettes – about 80 per cent of the price goes to the Treasury – a single Gillette Mach 3 would leap from £1 to £5. (The Independent)

September 2, 2008

Inevitably, here's Seth Boringtheme: Global warming's toasty water connection to Gustav - Global warming has probably made Hurricane Gustav a bit stronger and wetter, some top scientists said Sunday, but the specific connection between climate change and stronger hurricanes remains an issue of debate.

The Atlantic is seeing an increase in storms rated among the strongest. In the past four years, Hurricanes Gustav and Katrina, and six other storms have reached Category 4 or higher with sustained winds of at least 131 mph, according to research at Georgia Tech.

Six scientists contacted by The Associated Press on Sunday said this shows some effect of global warming, but they differ on the size of the effect. (AP)

More wishful thinking from the catastrophists: A savage force of nature – and mounting evidence they are becoming more violent - Hurricanes are one of the most destructively powerful forces of nature and their existence depends on the surface temperature of the ocean reaching at least 26C. One obvious question is whether Gustav is the result of rising sea temperatures associated with global warming.

The simple answer is that it is virtually impossible to link any one weather event with climate change, yet there is mounting evidence that global warming could be causing hurricanes to increase in both frequency and intensity. (The Independent)

Latest science debunks Hurricanes and Global Warming Link - Before the media starts predictably linking Hurricane Gustav and Hannah to man-made global warming a sampling of a few of the most recent studies should easily silence such chatter. See below report. (CFP)

MICHAELS: Record low for climate science - Ever since Soviet and Western climate scientists published the first international compendium on global warming, back in 1985, we have known that scaring people to death is very good for the environmentalist business. Such documents appear once or twice a year under the aegis of sundry governmental and international agencies, such as the United States' Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).

Remember that acronym, CCSP. If its latest "Synthesis Report" on climate change sees the light of day, we may one day thank CCSP for policies that drive America into the poor house.

The problem is that our professional selfishness has a price: We have to agree the problem is so bad that it becomes, in Al Gore's words, "the central organizing principal for civilization." So we climate scientists wind up espousing policies are so drastic they will paralyze any economy.

Having been a climate scientist for about as long as these documents have been around, I have had the opportunity to review and comment on many documents that do this - not that my comments are listened to very much. I found two changes in the thousands of pages of the last (2007) IPCC report - after I sent in a 30,000-word point-by-point review.

I'll be lucky to get even that much attention after my equally long critique of a new CCSP report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. The sum of my analysis: This is the worst document in this genre I have ever seen. By comparison, it makes the 1962 Mets (or, for that matter, 2008's Washington Nationals) paragons of professional excellence. (Patrick Michaels, Washington Times)

Sigh... 99 months, and counting - Howl farewell to the dog days of August. They were mostly damp and drab, not to mention marking the beginning of a 100-month countdown to the world entering a new, more perilous phase of global warming. Not everything, though, can be blamed directly on climate change. For the record, weather varies enormously due to short-term atmospheric changes. The climate system, however, changes in response to the complex push and pull of many spheres, from solar radiation to ice cover and greenhouse gas levels. Weather is a subset of climate, whose long-term patterns will nevertheless change as the climate system alters.

One month ago, writing in the Guardian, we said that the world had 100 months to go before it stood to cross a threshold, after which we will all be playing a game of climate roulette. Runaway global warming is the bullet in the chamber. With all the work and words expended on the issue, still, we thought, a reality check was needed. Unlike other issues demanding a political solution, climate change is on a ticking clock. We either do, or we don't, avert runaway warming. (Andrew Simms, The Guardian)

As our planet has demonstrated so many times in the past "runaway warming" is simply not possible on this watery world (for those who don't understand this it is because more warming increases evaporation and more evaporation leads to more clouds, more reflected sunlight, less warming... we have a form in this page where you can play with solar radiation, albedo and greenhouse effect to see what effect it has on global temperature). The always ignored negative feedbacks in our climate system ensure the fantasies of gorebull warming hysterics can never occur.

As far as The Indy knows: For the first time in human history, the North Pole can be circumnavigated - Open water now stretches all the way round the Arctic, making it possible for the first time in human history to circumnavigate the North Pole, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. New satellite images, taken only two days ago, show that melting ice last week opened up both the fabled North-west and North-east passages, in the most important geographical landmark to date to signal the unexpectedly rapid progress of global warming.

Last night Professor Mark Serreze, a sea ice specialist at the official US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), hailed the publication of the images – on an obscure website by scientists at the University of Bremen, Germany – as "a historic event", and said that it provided further evidence that the Arctic icecap may now have entered a "death spiral". Some scientists predict that it could vanish altogether in summer within five years, a process that would, in itself, greatly accelerate. (The Independent)

History however is rather short on Polar circumnavigation and covers only the period since the depths of the Little Ice Age. Kinda takes the fun out of it, doesn't it?

Meier of NSIDC on melt: “it’s not going to make it to the North Pole” (Watts Up with That?)

Was There Less Arctic Ice in 1932? - “Arctic Becomes an Island for the first time in human history“…really???

On Dec 5, 1932, The New York Times reports the “feat, accomplished for the first time” of circumnavigation of Franz Josef Land (actually, an Arctic archipelago). The same expedition (lead by a Professor N.N. Subkov) was also described in March 1933 in the pages of Nature. (Omniclimate)

Arctic Ice Growth, 2008 - How Much? (Watts Up With That?)

Ball gazing: Johnson warns of climate threat to London - Climate change could seriously threaten quality of life in London and the capital's position as a leading world city, Mayor Boris Johnson has warned today.

Mr Johnson issued the warning as he launched a strategy detailing the action that needs to be taken in London to cope with global warming.

It outlines measures such as "greening" the city and cutting water use which will be needed to help London adapt to the higher risk of floods, droughts and heatwaves expected in the future.

The strategy said London is not currently prepared to cope with the more frequent extreme weather events or the changes in the seasons - including warmer, wetter winters and hotter drier summers - that climate change will bring. (PA)

'Will bring'? That's some crystal ball, hopefully it came with some kind of warrantee so they can get their money back when prognostications prove false.

'Too early' to blame climate change for wet summer - It is too early to blame the unseasonable weather on climate change despite the wettest summer in half a century, a senior Met Éireann forecaster said today.

Speaking at a three-day conference on climate change at Trinity College Dublin attended by a range of international experts, Ray McGrath, Met Éireann’s head of research, said that although July and August of the last two years were swamped with torrential downpours it was nothing too out of the ordinary. (Irish Times)

A Balancing Act on Emissions - The Apollo Alliance, a coalition working to promote green jobs and clean energy, has been struggling with how to offset the global warming pollution that results from its day-to-day operations, especially from its travel. “Our carbon footprint is ridiculous,” its co-director, Kate Gordon, said referring to the amount of greenhouse gases emitted each year by the organization. Air travel is its worst offender, Ms. Gordon said. The quest for renewable energy has its employees on the move for speaking engagements and lobbying. (New York Times)

No, atmospheric carbon dioxide is not "pollution".

California land use subject to global warming review - SACRAMENTO—For decades, California cities and counties knew one way to grow—by sprawling outward.

That approach, which has led to ever longer commutes, jammed freeways and worsening air quality, is being challenged under a bill that was approved Saturday in the state Legislature.

The bill would require local governments to plan their growth so homes, businesses and public transit systems are clustered together. The goal is to help California meet the emission mandates spelled out in a wide-ranging greenhouse gas reduction law passed two years ago.

At the same time, it will encourage housing to be built closer to where people work and shop while discouraging the type of suburban sprawl that has characterized California's development pattern for decades. (Associated Press)

Cranking up the extreme scenarios, again: Past evidence boosts concern for Greenland icesheet: scientists - PARIS - Scientists Sunday said they could no longer rule out a fast-track melting of the Greenland icesheet -- a prospect, once the preserve of doomsayers, that would see much of the world's coastline drowned by rising seas. (AFP)

What's the bottom line here? "In February 2007, in the first volume of a landmark report, the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted the oceans would rise by between 18 and 59 centimetres (7.2 and 23.2 inches) by 2100." but ""[The new] work suggests that future reductions of the Greenland ice sheet on the order of one metre (3.25 feet) per century are not out of the question," they said." So they've upped the ante from 0.6m to 1.0m maximum expectation over the 21st Century (realistic expectation is about 0.1-0.2m).

A Hard Habit to Break, Even With Gas at $10 a Gallon - ROME — Ten dollars a gallon may seem unthinkable to American drivers still smarting from the spike in gas prices to around $4 a gallon. But that was nearly the price that Marco Annarumi faced recently when filling his Jeep on his way home from work.

“It hasn’t changed my driving at all — not a bit — I just have to work harder,” he said with seeming indifference.

High oil prices and high taxes on gas pushed the average price of gasoline to new heights in much of Europe this summer. Yet transportation experts in this laboratory of sky-high fuel prices say that many Europeans, out of necessity, habit or love, have proved surprisingly willing to bear the extra cost of driving. That raises questions as to how effective high prices by themselves can be in achieving the ambitious targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions that European leaders have committed themselves to meeting.

Gas prices have persuaded some people to drive less. Traffic on the Eurostar train that links London and Paris was up 21 percent in the first three months of 2008. Gas purchases in Italy dropped 10 percent compared with the year before. Sales of gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles have plunged across the continent, just as they have in the United States.

But, at least so far, there are few signs of the wholesale shift away from current driving habits that environmental economists contend is needed for European countries to meet emissions control targets. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says meeting the targets is crucial if the world is to prevent the worst effects of global warming. Rental car companies say their business is up this summer. Many consumers appear willing to economize in other parts of their lives — eliminating vacations, movies, even birthday gifts — before choosing not to drive.

“We do see reports of a significant change in the types of cars people are buying, but I’ve been mostly surprised at the lack of a reaction,” said Peder Jensen, a transportation expert at the European Union’s European Environment Agency in Copenhagen. “One had hoped that these prices would deter driving, but people have coped better than we hoped they would.” (New York Times)

Climate Fight Hit by Global Slowdown, Russia Fears - LONDON - The fight against global warming is in danger of being downgraded on more urgent fears over energy security, heightened by a Russian war with Georgia, and a global economic slowdown. (Reuters)

Gore Hailed, Warns Against McCain, Climate Change - DENVER - Al Gore, who lost the 2000 election but has become a world leader on the environment, was embraced at the Democratic Party's convention on Thursday as a comeback hero -- with a warning against John McCain and climate change. (Reuters)

Little warmer throws big tantrum: Sarah Palin: Making John McCain Look Like Al Gore? - In stark contrast with Senator Barack Obama’s energy policy, which he described last night calling for millions of new green jobs, improved national security, and reduced global warming pollution, John McCain today announced that his running mate, Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, doesn’t believe in anthropogenic climate change or evolution. Combine all of this with the fact that Ms. Palin’s husband works for British Petroleum drilling in North Alaska, that she doesn’t believe that climate change science is clear or that the changes are caused by mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions and the fact that she wants to drill in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to guarantee our energy security rather than pursuing renewable energies, and you’ve got one of the worst climate candidates yet! Even John McCain has spoken vocally to protect ANWR, so his selection of one of the nation’s biggest supporters for drilling there has been a major blow. (Caroline Howe, It’s Getting Hot In Here)

I, for one, have no problem with Palin being a woman of faith and certainly will not hold against her her taking Genesis more literally than some, although I firmly believe evolution belongs in Science classes while faith-based counter cases should be kept in Religious Instruction with clear distinction between the two. However, given Palin's clarification:

In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

"I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state's required curriculum.
" I have no significant qualms on this point.

I've heard her referred to as the 'Anti-Gore', which has to be about the highest accolade available. If Sarah Palin can educate McCain regarding gorebull warming and natural resource extraction while helping rein in government spending then the U.S. may recover its rightful ascendancy. This is indeed a ticket worth getting out and voting for and, for the first time, makes me regret Aussies can't vote in U.S. elections. You go, girl!

Gov. Sarah Palin, (R) Alaska - Days before being announced as the Republican party's first female candidate for Vice President, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was interviewed by Maria Bartiromo (CNBC)

America: Meet Sarah Palin - "In Full": Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, speaks at a GOP rally in Dayton, Ohio following her introduction by John McCain as his pick for vice president. (CBS)

Sarah Palin on Glenn Beck - 06/02/2008 Sarah Palin guests on The Glenn Beck Show to discuss Alaska's lawsuit against the federal government regarding the polar bear listing.

Sarah Palin, interviews, commentary (IBD)

A Star Is Born? - Thursday night, after Barack Obama’s well-orchestrated, well-conceived and well-delivered acceptance speech in Denver, Republicans were demoralized. Twenty-four hours later, they were energized — even exuberant. It’s amazing what a bold vice-presidential pick who gives a sterling performance when she’s introduced will do for a party’s spirits.

There are Republicans who are unhappy about John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin. Many are insiders who highly value — who overly value — “experience.” There are also sensible strategists who nervously note just how big a gamble McCain has taken.

But what was McCain’s alternative? To go quietly down to defeat, accepting a role as a bit player in The Barack Obama Story? McCain had to shake up the race, and once he was persuaded not to pick Joe Lieberman, which would have been one kind of gamble, he went all in with Sarah Palin.

Some media mandarins were upset. One reporter noted that — horrors! — Palin had never even appeared on “Meet the Press.” Time’s Joe Klein remarked disapprovingly that McCain didn’t know Palin well and had never worked with her. He noted by contrast “that when Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, House Speaker Tip O’Neill, who had worked with Ferraro, was not only vouching for her, but raving about her.”

Of course, Ferraro was widely regarded as an unsuccessful V.P. choice. Maybe rave reviews from D.C. insiders aren’t the best guarantee of future success.

And Obama supporters can’t get too indignant about Palin’s inexperience. She’s only running for the No. 2 job, after all, while their inexperienced standard-bearer is the nominee for the top position. And McCain doesn’t need a foreign policy expert as vice president to help him out.

Meanwhile, a Republican operative here mentioned to me that Barack Obama has cited this 1992 comment by Bill Clinton:

“The same old experience is irrelevant. You can have the right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience. And mine is rooted in the real lives of real people, and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change.”

But the crucial political fact is that the Obama campaign no longer has a monopoly on “the courage to change.” Facing an electorate that wants change, McCain has given himself a fighting chance to win the election. (William Kristol, New York Times)

No romantic notions about cuddly-wuddly polar bears, either: Governor Palin Responds to New Climate and Polar Bear Studies (State of Alaska)

Bearing Up - Sarah Palin in the New York Times last January.

What's not to like? Palin backs oil drilling in wildlife refuge - WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain's choice of a running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, favors drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, questioned the science behind predictions of sea ice loss linked to global warming and opposed a state initiative that would have banned metal mines from discharging pollution into salmon streams.

The Alaska governor has said that she has tried to persuade McCain to agree with her on drilling in the wildlife refuge. She also has said that she was happy that he changed his position over the summer and now supports offshore oil drilling. (McClatchy Newspapers)

UN Chief Warns Against Waiting for Climate Deal - GENEVA - The world should not wait until next year to cobble together a new climate change pact, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday.

Ban, addressing diplomats and officials at a ceremony for the 20th anniversary of the UN climate panel, said countries negotiating a successor deal to the Kyoto Protocol should aim for a meaningful breakthrough in Poznan, Poland, in December.

Delaying major advances until the end of 2009, when a Copenhagen summit will aim to finalise an accord to tackle rising global temperatures, may be ill-advised, Ban told the event in Geneva. (Reuters)

Nowhere near as ill-advised as actually having anything to do with UNFCCC and its ill-conceived progeny.

Climate change target may lead to ‘dangerously misguided’ policies - The pledge from G8 countries to cut global emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, in an effort to cut global warming to 2ºC, could lead to ‘dangerously misguided’ climate change adaptation policies, according to new research from The University of Manchester.

True but not for any reason they suggest. Any attempt to adjust global climate or even merely the temperature through carbon constraint is dangerously misguided. Any adaptation policy must be prepared for cooling as well as warming since each outcome is possible at any given time and cooling will be significantly more difficult to deal with than any likely or even possible warming.

Check out this absurd claim: "The special edition of the journal is edited by Professor Brian Launder, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Manchester. In the introduction to the journal, he and co-author Prof Michael Thompson write that the consequences of global warming are “already causing misery and premature death for millions and hold the prospect of unquantifiable change and potential disaster on a global scale for the decades to come”."

Actually the only known cause of "global warming-related misery and death" is hysteria and foolish policies to "address" the phantom menace inflating the cost of food and fuel.

Rapid climate change needs a global solution, says scientist - Global warming is happening faster than expected and planet-wide engineering projects may be needed to buy humans more time, a leading scientist has warned.

James Lovelock of Oxford University says schemes to reflect sunlight from the atmosphere or increase the uptake of the greenhouse gas CO2 by the oceans should be considered to hold back disastrous climate change.

But the scientist also warned that such projects may do more harm than good and argues the best option could be to let nature take its course. (Daily Telegraph)

The 'consensus' on climate change is a catastrophe in itself - As the estimated cost of measures proposed by politicians to "combat global warming" soars ever higher – such as the International Energy Council's $45 trillion – "fighting climate change" has become the single most expensive item on the world's political agenda.

As Senators Obama and McCain vie with the leaders of the European Union to promise 50, 60, even 80 per cent cuts in "carbon emissions", it is clear that to realise even half their imaginary targets would necessitate a dramatic change in how we all live, and a drastic reduction in living standards.

All this makes it rather important to know just why our politicians have come to believe that global warming is the most serious challenge confronting mankind, and just how reliable is the evidence for the theory on which their policies are based. (Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph)

Assessing the carbon market - London -- Debate is rife in Australian political circles about whether carbon trading is the way forward for climate change abatement.

Carbon trading is said to be one way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is looking to introduce a mandatory carbon trading system by 2010 which will cap the amount of pollution industry can release. The proposed Australian system will be similar to the European Union emission trading system which was established in 2005.

With Phase 1 of the European system complete, there are a few lessons about carbon trading that Australia -- and other countries looking to go down this path -- could benefit from. (CNN)

There's actually only one carbon trading lesson from Europe -- DON'T DO IT!

Why I recanted - 'There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming' (David Evans, Financial Post)

Today's cringe: Africa's animals could evolve into separate species as climate changes - CLIMATE change could trigger an explosion in the number of new species in Africa, according to research from Edinburgh University. The future loss of lakes and rivers in Africa would influence how species such as buffalo, wildebeest and elephants evolve, according to scientists. (The Scotsman)

Um... who said Africa would continue to desiccate in a warmer world? Who suggests such change would persist long enough to significantly influence evolution? Hippos once used to wallow in the Thames but there is no suggestion they evolved into cold climate critters as conditions changed. Hopefully the piece is a joke (well, it's certainly that but we hope it was meant to be), otherwise Edinburgh University has some really big problems in the biology faculty.

From the Tyndall Centre for generating climate hysteria: Temperature rises 'will be double the safe limit' for global warming - IT IS "improbable" global warming will be kept below 4C – double the rise considered safe to avoid climate catastrophe – according to an influential new report. Internationally, it has long been agreed governments should be aiming to keep a global temperature rise below 2C, to avoid climate change spiralling out of control. However, a bleak new study by scientists at the Tyndall Centre, a leading organisation for climate change research at the University of Manchester, now suggests we should be adjusting our expectations towards far higher rises. (The Scotsman)

Hmm... Has Autumn come early to Britain? - With purple blooms of heather on the hills, crops of berries in the hedgerows and huge numbers of fungi fruiting around the country, the British countryside looks to have entered Autumn a month earlier than normal. (Daily Telegraph)

A dismal summer does not an autumn make.

More anecdotal unwarming: Coldest August in 64 years - Sydney has shivered through its coldest August in 64 years. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Cold 'consistent with' warm: Big chill a symptom of climate chaos - Forget global warming - the latest problem is global cooling. Conservation group WWF has blamed climate change for the coldest August in Sydney for more than 60 years. The freezing temperatures are proof of the urgent need to cut carbon pollution, according to WWF development and sustainability program manager Paul Toni. (AAP)

Global cooling? An inconvenient truth - The sudden change of focus from global warming to global cooling by leading environment group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) demonstrates the lack of substance to the argument that manmade carbon emissions are responsible for global warming, according to Senator Boswell.

The prominent NP senator for Qld says, “The WWF now claims that recent freezing temperatures in Sydney are proof of the urgent need to cut carbon pollution.

"Does that mean that global warming causes global cooling?

"Does that mean that we should be increasing emissions in order to cool the earth or increasing them to warm it back up?” (Farm Weekly)

We could wish... Thawing Permafrost Likely To Boost Global Warming, New Assessment Concludes - A new assessment more than doubles previous estimates of the amount of carbon stored in permafrost, and indicates that carbon dioxide emissions from microbial decomposition of organic carbon in thawing permafrost could amount to roughly half those resulting from global land-use change during this century. (ScienceDaily)

The Sun remains in a magnetic funk - While sunspots are often cited as the main proxy indicator of solar activity, there is another indicator which I view as equally (if not more) important. The Average Planetary Magnetic index (Ap), the strength of which ties into Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory modulating Earth’s cloud cover. A weaker Ap would mean less cosmic rays are deflected by the solar magnetic field, and so the theory goes, more cosmic rays provide more seed nuclei for clouds in Earth’’s atmosphere. More clouds mean a greater albedo and less terrestrial solar radiation, which translates to lower temperatures. (Watts Up With That?)

Sun has first spotless calendar month since June 1913 - Many have been keeping a watchful eye on solar activity recently. The most popular thing to watch has been sunspots. While not a direct indication of solar activity, they are a proxy for the sun’s internal magnetic dynamo. There have been a number of indicators recently that it has been slowing down.

August 2008 has made solar history. As of 00 UTC (5PM PST) we just posted the first spotless calendar month since June 1913. Solar time is measured by Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) so it is now September 1st in UTC time. I’ve determined this to be the first spotless calendar month according to sunspot data from NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center, which goes back to 1749. In the 95 years since 1913, we’ve had quite an active sun. But that has been changing in the last few years. The sun today is a nearly featureless sphere and has been for many days: (Watts Up With That?)

Still with this nonsense: Antarctic Ozone Hole May Be Larger in 2008 - UN - GENEVA - The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica may be larger this year than in 2007, the United Nations weather agency said on Friday. (Reuters)

The problem that never was.

He's ba-ack: Global warming greatest in past decade - Researchers confirm that surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were warmer over the last 10 years than any time during the last 1300 years, and, if the climate scientists include the somewhat controversial data derived from tree-ring records, the warming is anomalous for at least 1700 years. (Penn State)

Mikey's at it again, still appending instrument records to proxy reconstructions against all advice and good practice (pretty colored spaghetti graph, below). Without that nonsense addition this time Mann's effort looks a little more like the non-treemometer reconstruction of Loehle and a lot less like the hokey "hockey stick" of days gone by. The point is now, and always has been, that no contemporary proxy measure exceeds (or even equals) proxies from the Medieval Climate Optimum (or Medieval Warm Period, as it's now known). Check out "divergence problem" to see what we mean about the stupidity of tacking thermometrics onto a proxy time series.

Proving they've learned nothing at the Beeb: Climate 'hockey stick' is revived - A new study by climate scientists behind the controversial 1998 "hockey stick" graph suggests their earlier analysis was broadly correct. Michael Mann's team analysed data for the last 2,000 years, and concluded that Northern Hemisphere temperatures now are "anomalously warm". Different analytical methods give the same result, they report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Richard Black, BBC News)

Appending thermometrics to proxy records is plain stupid because the time series do not match -- while the thermometric record indicates rising near-surface temperatures treemometers indicate cooling over the same period, hence the "divergence problem".

A Coupled MM5-NOAH Land Surface Model-based Assessment of Sensitivity of Planetary Boundary Layer Variables to Anomalous Soil Moisture Conditions by Quintanar et al 2008 - There is an excellent new paper that illustrates effectively the role of soil moisture on weather and climate.

It is Quintanar, A., Mahmood, R., Loughrin, Lovanh, N. C., 2008: A coupled MM5-Noah land surface model-based assessment of sensitivity of planetary boundary layer variables to anomalous soil moisture conditions. Physical Geography, 29, 54-78, 10.2747/0272-3646.29.1.54 (subscription required) (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

A 2008 Science article “Did You Say ‘Fast’?” by Jacqueline Flückiger - In our paper Rial, J., R.A. Pielke Sr., M. Beniston, M. Claussen, J. Canadell, P. Cox, H. Held, N. de Noblet-Ducoudre, R. Prinn, J. Reynolds, and J.D. Salas, 2004: Nonlinearities, feedbacks and critical thresholds within the Earth’s climate system. Climatic Change, 65, 11-38, we concluded that “The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm.” A new Science perspective article reinforces this conclusion. The article is Flückiger, J., 2008: Did you say “Fast”? Science, 321, 651-651. (subscription required) (Roger Pielke Sr., Climate Science)

We really, really hope this is facetious: Global Warming FAIL - I couldn't resist. FAILBlog has the original entry, a screenshot from a forum by someone who has a plan to stop sea level rise, an outcome of global warming. Here is what the text says:

"I was watching inconvenient truth the other day and theres the bit where it shows the sea level rising really high and flooding most of the world. Well i live near the sea, and don't want to drown, so i got to thinking. Maybe if we lower the sea level a bit, when the water level rises then it won't rise high enough to flood.

Anyway, heres the plan. Everyone who can should take a bucket of sea water and pour it down the sink. If lots of people put the effort in, we could lower the sea level substantially and create a better world for our children to live"

ROTFLMAO, but seriously this is a scientist, education and media fail. If this person is to represent an average person who gets his information from TV and the internet with no scientific background, then we may as well be doomed. (Deep-Sea News)

Joe's hot for Jim: Hansen's still got it - Right for 27 years: 1981 Hansen study finds warming trend that could raise sea levels (Joseph Romm, Grist)

Joe likes to point out that journal searches do not come up with reams of papers suggesting a lot of scientists worried about an impending ice age back in the 1970s (he just fails to mention we didn't have a plethora of specialist climate journals then -- there simply wasn't the financial interest or incentive, something which didn't change until the late 1980s). What we had in the era were publications like Newsweek and Time Magazine reporting what scientists claimed to worry about. Silly Joseph :)

BHP's Argus Says Emissions Trade Re-Think Needed - AUSTRALIA: September 2, 2008 -- CANBERRA - Australia's government came under pressure on Monday from the chief of BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining group, to reconsider a planned emissions trading system expected to reshape the US$1 trillion economy. (Reuters)

The greatest danger of gorebull warming is that some idiot may actually try to 'do something' about it: Extreme and risky action the only way to tackle global warming, say scientists - Political inaction on global warming has become so dire that nations must now consider extreme technical solutions - such as blocking out the sun - to address catastrophic temperature rises, scientists from around the world warn today.

The experts say a reluctance "at virtually all levels" to address soaring greenhouse gas emissions means carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are on track to pass 650 parts-per-million (ppm), which could bring an average global temperature rise of 4C. They call for more research on geo-engineering options to cool the Earth, such as dumping massive quantities of iron into oceans to boost plankton growth, and seeding artificial clouds over oceans to reflect sunlight back into space.

Writing the introduction to a special collection of scientific papers on the subject, published today by the Royal Society, Brian Launder of the University of Manchester and Michael Thompson of the University of Cambridge say: "While such geoscale interventions may be risky, the time may well come when they are accepted as less risky than doing nothing." (The Guardian)

Sadly, not true: Scientists uncover key to boosting carbon capture - Buried under a giant stand of bamboo in northern New South Wales, two Australian soil scientists have made a discovery they believe will help save the planet. (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

The two scientists in question are not, in fact, buried under a giant stand of bamboo. It might be better if they were, however, since the last thing we should be doing is wasting such a precious resource as atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Radical ideas to save the planet - Artificial clouds to reflect away sunlight, creating colossal blooms of oceanic algae, and the global use of synthetic carbon-neutral transport fuels - just three of the climate-transforming technologies in need of urgent investigation, according to leading scientists. The group argues that, with governments failing to grasp the urgent need for measures to combat dangerous climate change, radical - and possibly dangerous - solutions must now be seriously considered. (The Guardian)

Geoengineering is no solution to climate change - Tinkering with our entire planetary system is not a silver bullet. It's an expression of political despair, writes Greenpeace's Doug Parr (The Guardian)

For once we agree with Greenpeace -- we don't want anyone trying to engineer planetary cooling. Not because it can't be done but because it's is highly undesirable to have cooler planetary conditions.

Ghost ship fleet could be a silver lining in clouds of climate change - It looks like something out of a Dan Dare comic book, and it might just help to save the world. A scientist at the University of Edinburgh has devised a new weapon in the fight against global warming: a fleet of 1,500 unmanned sailing ships creating wakes that whiten clouds to reflect the heat of the Sun better.

The concept involves vessels powered by a radical rotary-sail technology that could patrol selected areas of ocean, spraying tiny droplets of seawater into existing clouds. The droplets increase the surface area and so whiten the cloud, bouncing more radiation back into space and offsetting the warming caused by burning fossil fuels.

“The beauty of the system is that it runs on wind and seawater,” said Stephen Salter, author of a paper published today in the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions. “You can apply the effect locally, to cool down the Arctic or the seas around coral reefs. It would give us complete control. We could even take ourselves back to a little ice age. The effects can be turned up or down, or shut off completely if something unexpected happens.” (The Times)

Medicine for a feverish planet: kill or cure? - Planetary scale engineering might be able to combat global warming, but, as with nineteenth century medicine, the best option may simply be kind words and letting Nature take its course, says James Lovelock (The Guardian)

Geoengineering: The radical ideas to combat global warming - Artificial clouds and creating colossal blooms of oceanic algae are among the ideas scientists say must now be considered (The Guardian)

Carbon sins? Sheesh! Aid agencies plan CO2 offsets that also help poor - LONDON, Sept 2 - From fuel-efficient stoves for displaced Congolese families to drought-resistant cashew trees in Brazil, some aid agencies offering carbon offset schemes want to marry emissions savings with help for people living with climate change.

A London-based coalition is launching a new funding scheme to address concerns about existing trade in carbon credits -- primarily that this excludes the world's poorest communities, which are most at risk from the impact of global warming.

"This is very much not a minor absolution for your carbon sins, but is honestly a compensation payment for the impact you know your personal carbon emissions will have," said Andrew Simms, policy director at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), coordinating the initiative with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). (Reuters)

Making Gore's Switch Isn't Quite So Simple - Al Gore must be kidding.

The former vice president, now in his second career as a climate Cassandra, has spent the past few weeks pushing the notion that the United States can be "repowered" -- that all its electricity needs can be met without producing greenhouse gases. He says it can be done within a decade.

At the Democratic National Convention last week, he told the crowd in Denver that "we have everything we need" to start solving the climate crisis, except presidential leadership. And Gore's nonprofit group has been reinforcing the message with prime-time TV commercials, in which everyday Americans find giant light switches protruding from streets and farm fields. The switches, of course, are metaphors for the country's energy choices, not a sign that someone has put peyote in Americans' French Roast. The people gather around and -- working together, in a metaphor of their own -- start flipping the switch toward "on."

"The answer is simple," a voiceover says. "Power our country with 100 percent clean electricity within 10 years."

The answer is simple: This is where Gore must be pulling our collective leg. Because most people who study the country's energy supply say that -- whatever you think of the motives behind Gore's idea -- as a real-life plan, it's a non-starter. (David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post)

I am determined to seek self-sufficiency in energy as an urgent national priority. My goal is to make America independent of foreign energy sources by 1985. -- Gerald R. Ford - April 23, 1975 (10-year wishful thinking didn't work then either)

The High Cost of Low Temperatures - The price of home heating oil has dropped from a peak of over $4.60 a gallon, but it is still about 40 percent higher than it was a year ago. That could mean painful choices for some Americans this winter — between heat and balanced meals or between heat and medicines.

While everybody will suffer from high energy costs, people with oil heat — about eight million households, many in the Northeast — are especially vulnerable. Users of natural gas or electric heat from a local utility are generally protected by law from shutoffs, but people who can’t pay their private oil suppliers are not. (New York Times)

Surge in Natural Gas Has Utah Driving Cheaply - SALT LAKE CITY — The best deal on fuel in the country right now might be here in Utah, where people are waiting in lines to pay the equivalent of 87 cents a gallon. Demand is so strong at rush hour that fuel runs low, and some days people can pump only half a tank.

It is not gasoline they are buying for their cars, but natural gas.

By an odd confluence of public policy and private initiative, Utah has become the first state in the country to experience broad consumer interest in the idea of running cars on clean natural gas. (New York Times)

Russia may cut off oil flow to the West - Fears are mounting that Russia may restrict oil deliveries to Western Europe over coming days, in response to the threat of EU sanctions and Nato naval actions in the Black Sea. Any such move would be a dramatic escalation of the Georgia crisis and play havoc with the oil markets. (Daily Telegraph)

Caution likely at EU summit on Russia - BRUSSELS, Belgium: When it comes to action over Georgia, Russia has the European Union over a barrel. In fact, 1.2 million barrels.

That's how much Russian crude is pumped westward every day down the Druzhba pipeline to fuel Europe's economies.

This hard economic reality explains why Monday's emergency EU summit will struggle to produce much more than a slap on the wrist for Russia, despite Europe's exasperation over Moscow's invasion of Georgia and backing for its two separatist regions to break away.

The EU gets roughly a third of its oil and about 40 percent of its natural gas imports from Russia. (Associated Press)

Funny, in a sad kind of way: EU leaders issue another warning to Russia - BRUSSELS: The leaders of the European Union, having repeatedly warned Moscow in vain to abide by the six-point cease-fire agreement reached by France to end the fighting with Georgia, gathered here Monday in an emergency summit meeting and after several hours of talks, decided to warn Moscow again. (IHT)

EU, Dependent on Russian Energy, Balks at Georgia War Sanctions -- European Union leaders refused to impose sanctions on Russia over the invasion of Georgia, acknowledging their reliance on Russian oil and gas at a time of faltering economic growth. (Bloomberg)

Vladimir Putin threatens Europe over energy supply - Vladimir Putin has warned Europe that Russia's energy reserves will flow to the Far East if the continent's leaders seek to punish his country for invading Georgia. (Daily Telegraph)

Russia Bears Down on European Energy - ... It therefore seems that when faced with a choice between empowering Russia and annoying environmentalists, Western Europeans are less afraid of the former. (Really Inconvenient Blog)

Greenpeace Canada Blasts Syncrude Lawsuit - TORONTO - Greenpeace Canada blasted a lawsuit brought against it by Syncrude Canada Ltd, saying the move was designed to intimidate critics of the sprawling oil sands developments in northern Alberta.

The suit comes after Greenpeace protesters targeted a waste-water pipe at Syncrude's Aurora mine, north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, on July 24, demanding a halt to rising crude production from the oil sands, which the environmental group says is wrecking the environment. (Reuters)

These bloody idiots wants a seat in the game then they have to ante up, just like everyone else. You keep launching nuisance suits and interfering with commercial operations you have to figure sooner or later someone is going to respond, no?

Brazil ponders about wealth from recent huge oil finds - Towering above the beautiful bay of Angra dos Reis near to Rio de Janeiro a vast oil platform stands almost ready to head out to sea. Work is almost completed on Petrobras 51 (P-51) and there seems little doubt it will be put to good use, with Brazil making headlines around the world for its recent oil finds.

One field known as Tupi is said to hold between 5 and 8 billion barrels of oil and gas. There have been suggestions from official sources that another may contain as much as 33 billion barrels.

Some oil experts have suggested that recent oil finds actually amount to one continuous area. (Mercopress)

UK presents before UN sea bed claim around Ascension Is - Britain is to formally present its case to the United Nations in New York for extending its territorial rights around Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. States have rights over their resources, including oil or gas reserves, up to 200 nautical miles from the shoreline. (Mercopress)

Oil rig for South Atlantic exploration arrives next month - Argentine and Chilean government and private oil companies announced Wednesday they would be investing 150 million US dollars to search for hydrocarbons in the South Atlantic. (Mercopress)

Coal back-up for wind power 'will cost £100bn' - A LEADING power company has claimed wind energy is so unreliable that even if 13,000 turbines are built to meet EU renewable energy targets, they could be relied on to provide only 7 per cent of the country's peak winter electricity demand. E.On has argued that, during the coldest days of winter, so little wind blows that 92 per cent of installed wind capacity would have to be backed up by traditional power stations. It argues this would require new coal-fired power stations to be built so they could be used in an emergency when little wind blows. This, E.On suggests, will mean that, to meet renewable targets of 20 per cent of energy being provided from renewables by 2020, the UK's installed power base will need to rise from 76 gigawatts today to more than 100GW. The company estimates this could cost £100 billion. (The Scotsman)

The return of Old King Coal - At least one noteworthy policy directive emerged from the recent G8 forum in Tokyo. It now seems that the preferred option to meet the energy needs of the 21st century is for all of us to start burning coal again. What's being proposed is a reappraisal of the use of coal as a power source for developed economies, with a particular emphasis on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. (Investors Chronicle)

Forget the CCS and they've got it about right.

UK Coal raises output to capitalise on higher prices - UK Coal is seeking to cash in on rising energy prices through higher production and the end of long-term, low-priced legacy contracts.

The company is already investing £55m each in its collieries at Thoresby in Nottinghamshire and Kellingley in West Yorkshire to open up new reserves and is expected to decide within the next six months whether to reopen the Harworth mine near Doncaster, which has been mothballed for more than two years.

Chief executive Jon Lloyd said he believed it was accepted that in the face of higher energy prices, and despite the impact of the large combustion plants directive, which limits power station emissions, coal would play a "significant and perhaps major part in the UK's energy mix over the next two decades".

"There will be environmental challenges but frankly it's a political must to keep the lights on," Lloyd said. (The Guardian)

Argentina, Brazil to develop nuclear energy agency - Argentina and Brazil are scheduled to address the creation of a bi-national nuclear energy agency when the countries two presidents meet next month in Recife, northeast Brazil, reports the Brazilian press. (Mercopress)

EU Lawmakers Move Towards Phased CO2 Cuts for Cars - BRUSSELS - Curbs on carbon dioxide emissions from new cars sold in the European Union could be phased in slowly through 2015 after two political groups in a key EU parliamentary committee agreed a compromise. (Reuters)

The authorities have lied, and I am not glad - Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, author of 1987’s The Truth About the AIDS Panic, says it is a shame that AIDS insiders did not expose the myths and opportunism of the AIDS industry earlier. But still, better late than never. (Dr Michael Fitzpatrick, sp!ked)

It must be Tuesday... - Without looking at the calendar, healthcare professionals know it’s Tuesday by the Medscape journals in their inboxes.

Medscape’s online journals have recently become the topic of debate among medical professionals over appearances of bias in its editorial content, coverage of research and health policy, and continuing medical education courses. This controversy would likely never have been raised among doctors if the content hadn’t sparked concerns because, as we know, funding sources alone don’t necessarily mean the science itself and interpretations are flawed. However, unless medical professionals take the time to vigilantly compare content to the actual research findings and have the know-how to recognize fair tests, the lack of balance in any publication can be easily overlooked. It would be too easy to write a weekly “Medscape Tuesday” column — as it became a redundant exercise years ago to itemize its problematic content. But, given its recent assurances of a new rigorous editorial process and refined standards, a column is warranted today. (Junkfood Science)

Unhealthy health programs - Dr. Leanne Barron, a Queensland doctor, again speaks out on behalf of children being harmed by “healthy eating” campaigns and today's childhood obesity interventions. (Junkfood Science)

Remember your long lost aunt? - The mere suspicion that you might have one of the genes associated with a health risk factor now makes you a target for screening and government monitoring.

Health authorities in the UK announced the first national testing program that calls for anyone suspected of possibly having a gene associated with familial hypercholesterolemia to submit to blood tests. It also plans to institute a national surveillance system to identify suspected individuals. (Junkfood Science)

The socialist determinants of health - The WHO last week released its long-awaited report on the "Social Determinants of Health" - that is, the social and economic factors behind disease.

The report claims that 'social injustice is killing people on a grand scale', and advocates a vertiginous list of government interventions to help iron out inequality, from town planning to the regulation of sandwich shops.

Unfortunately, their recommendations hover somewhere between the fantastical and insane. The authors make the case that only a wholesale socialisation of society, business and trade will create a harmonious, healthy planet.

Chaps, chaps. We tried this before from the 1950s til about the 1980s. I can't see many governments being terribly keen on rewinding the clock back to the good ol' days of shortages, militant labour, strikes and declining living standards. Except, perhaps, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Cuba. (hang on,Cuba gets significant praise in the WHO report).

How can economic decline - which the report seriously seems to be advocating - be good for health? (CFD)

By defection, not election: Canada's Greens Gain First Seat in Parliament - VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A member of Canada's Parliament joined the Green Party on Saturday in a move that could boost the fledgling party's bid to participate in televised debates in the expected fall election. (Reuters)

Environment: Keep It Real - There is increasing concern among politicians and NGOs about the effects of Africa's economic growth on people's health. As anyone who has breathed the not-so-fresh air of Lagos or Nairobi can attest, the soot, pollution and traffic fumes of a growing city do indeed sit heavily on the lungs.

Africa's ministers gather this week in Libreville, Gabon to discuss these problems. But before they get too carried away with grandiose plans, they need to get some perspective.

Ever since modern Man first stepped out of east Africa, he has been in a constant struggle with the environment, which by turns tries to freeze, overheat, starve and poison us. The good news is that it is relatively easy to prevent the environment from killing us--but only if governments stop getting in the way.

Take the most basic necessities of life, cooking and warmth. For many people too poor to afford electricity, gas or kerosene, the only option is the fuels used by Man since the dawn of time: wood, dried dung and crop residues.

When burnt indoors, these fuels give off noxious smoke with dangerous levels of chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. The result: chest infections are the biggest global killer of children, claiming at least two million under-fives every year. Who would have thought that the oldest task in human history, making a wood fire, could also be the most deadly?

We all need water but streams, rivers and aquifers are full of nasty micro-organisms and parasites, especially without sewage facilities for human waste: some 1.5 million children are killed annually by ancient water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery, making dirty water the second biggest killer on the planet.

This need not happen. Greater prosperity has allowed all of Europe, North America and large parts of Asia to have electricity, superseding dirty fuels such as wood. Similarly, practically everyone has access to a flushing toilet and clean running water.

These advances have consigned "environmental" diseases such as cholera to the history books. England, once a hotbed of cholera, has not had an outbreak since 1866. By contrast, just last year an outbreak in Angola infected 3,000 people. Epidemics are still common all over Africa and southern Asia. (Philip Stevens, Ghana News)

Kingsnorth protest: Activists to use climate change as defence for £30,000 tower damage - Greenpeace climate change activists who scaled one of Britain's tallest power station chimneys, causing £30,000 damage, were accused in court yesterday of crossing the line of acceptable protest. (The Guardian)