Friday, February 29, 2008

Now an old prohecy

There is a 1958 video here which prophesies global warming and flooding due to mankind's emissions. Fifty years later and nothing significant has happened. Odd that! The present prophecies couldn't be equally far out, could they? Background to the video here


Gore said the retreat of snow there was due to global warming. So I guess its present state proves global cooling. In fact, of course, the snow on it varies with precipitation, nothing else

A thick veil of snow had settled on Kilimanjaro the morning after my group arrived in Tanzania. Over breakfast, we gazed at the peak filling the sky above the palm trees of our hotel courtyard in Moshi, the town closest to the mountain. It was as Hemingway described it: "as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun."

I had wanted to climb to the roof of Africa before climate change erased its ice fields and the romance of its iconic "Snows of Kilimanjaro" image. But as we trudged across the 12,000-foot Shira plateau on Day 2 of our weeklong climb and gazed at the whiteness of the vast, humpbacked summit, I thought maybe I needn't have worried.

An up-and-down-and-up traverse of the south face of Kibo, the tallest of the mountain's three volcanic peaks, showed us a panorama of the summit ice cap and fractured tentacles of glacial ice that dangled down gullies dividing the vertical rock faces. And four days later, when we reached 19,340-foot Uhuru, the highest point on Kibo, we beheld snow and ice fields so enormous as to resemble the Arctic.

It looked nothing like the photographs of Kibo nearly denuded of ice and snow in the Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Nor did it seem to jibe with the film's narrative: "Within the decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro."

This was the last week of January - nearly a year ago - and the middle of the dry season. But several weeks of heavy rain and snow preceded the arrival of our group, 10 mountaineering clients and a professional guide from International Mountain Guides, based near Seattle. That made for a freakishly well-fed snow pack and the classic snowy image portrayed on travel posters, the label of the local Kilimanjaro Premium Lager and the T-shirts hawked in Moshi's tourist bazaars. But to many climate scientists and glaciologists who have probed and measured, the disappearance of the summit's ice fields is inevitable and imminent.

Lonnie Thompson, a glaciologist at Ohio State University who has studied Kilimanjaro's ice fields for years, photographed the summit a year to the week, coincidentally, before we were there. He found only a few, isolated snow patches in shaded areas, a drastic difference from what we encountered. Even on the world's highest free-standing volcano, seasonal snow doesn't remain on a peak so close to the Equator.


The collage below from SDA is informative

More selective silence from the media

Last week, I broke the story of a press release issued by NOAA where they publish an opinion smashing any link between hurricanes and global warming saying that "There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts."

Many readers may recall that Al Gore used hurricanes prominently in An Inconvenient Truth, and mentions hurricane Katrina specifically. Gore claims that increased hurricane activity is caused by global warming.

Last week, when the NOAA press release came out smashing any link between hurricanes and global warming, I wrote to my local newspaper editor, David Little, and said to him "Do you care to bet that AP and Reuters won't run this story?" He responded: "I hope they do, it seems newsworthy to me."

Well here is is, 4 days later, not a peep. A Google search of news stories for "NOAA increased hurricane" (keywords of the press release) reveals a tiny handful of stories about the press release. Could you imagine though if the story said the reverse? What if NOAA claimed they had established a definitive link between global warming and hurricanes. Oh my, the humanity of it all! Gloom, doom, death, destruction, angst, and demands for action on Kyoto. If it bleeds it leads. Compare to all the stories still circulating about hurricane Katrina and global warming.

Here is another story about a point from Gore's AIT hit parade; Mount Kilimanjaro. Mr. Gore asserted that the disappearance of snow on Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa was expressly attributable to global warming; "Within the decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro." That was in 2005 in his movie An Inconvenient Truth.

Deforestation seems to be causing Mount Kilimanjaro's shrinking glacier. Researchers think deforestation of the mountain's foothills is the most likely culprit. Without the forests' evapotranspiration of humidity into the air, previously moisture-laden winds blowing across those forests now blow drier. The summit, no longer replenished with water from those winds, started shrinking. Studies show the ice is evaporating through a process called sublimation. You can witness this effect at home, have you ever noticed that ice cubes left in your freezer tend to shrink with time?

Last year, a British Court ruled Gore's point about Kilimanjaro not to be true. So when a news story crossed my desk today that said: "Mount Kilimanjaro: On Africa's roof, still crowned with snow" I had to wonder, will we see this one covered in the main stream media? Or maybe those beacons of truth over at Real Climate will make a note of it? Don't hold your breath. But, at least the New York Times travel section covered it. It seems more of a touristy thing to have snow on Kilimanjaro than a scientific issue of truth I suppose.


New Paper Reviews the Evidence for a Cosmic Ray-Climate Connection

A new paper is currently in press in the journal Comptes Rendus Geoscience, which reviews the evidence for a connection between Cosmic Rays and Climate. The invited review authored by Ilya G. Usoskin and Gennady A. Kovaltsov is entitled: 'Cosmic rays and climate of the Earth: possible connection' is available via Ilya Usoskin's personal website for free download (as a corrected proof). The Abstract states:

Despite much evidence relating climatic changes on Earth to solar variability, a physical mechanism responsible for this is still poorly known. A possible link connecting solar activity and climate variations is related to cosmic rays and the physical-chemical changes they produce in the atmosphere. Here we review experimental evidence and theoretical grounds for this rela tion. The cosmic ray - climate link seems to be a plausible climate driver which effectively operates on different time scales, but its exact mechanism and relative importance still remain open questions.

The paper concludes: We have reviewed the experimental evidence and theoretical models relating cosmic ray variations to the terrestrial climate changes.

On short time scale of a few days, there exists much evidence that CR changes may affect the process of cyclogenesis via the changing transparency and pressure, particularly in the North Atlantic during cold seasons. Although each individual piece of evidence is barely significant, in aggregate, they suggest that the relation can be real.

A link between low clouds and CR appears statistically significant on the inter-annual time scale since 1984 in limited geographical regions, the largest being North Atlantic + Europe and South Atlantic. We note that many reconstructions of the past climate are based on European data, where the CR-cloud relation is the most pronounced. Extension of this relation to the global scale may be misleading.

A relation between the geomagnetic field changes and climatic variations provides evidence favoring the possible CR influence on climate. A study of regional climate variations in relation to the geomagnetic dipole axis migration over the last millennium is also promising.

There is an indication of the climate changes synchronously with the CR flux on Mega-yr time scales, but this result is not straightforward to interpret. Large uncertainties make it only indicative.

Essential progress has been recently achieved in theoretical modelling of both ionizing effect of CR and physical mechanisms relating CRII to cloud variations, but the link between micro- and macro-physics is still missing. A new experimental evidence, obtained by the SKYexperiment team, confirm that enhanced ionization notably facilitates the production of small ion clusters in realistic atmospheric conditions.

In conclusion, a CR-climate link seems to be a plausible climate driver, as supported by the bulk of statistical studies and existing theoretical models. However, further studies, in particular a clear case study as well as improved model development, are foreseen to improve our understanding of the link between cosmic rays and the climate on Earth.


Brainwashed kids in Britain

British children, well versed in the effects of climate change, are putting pressure on older generations to act now to halt environmental decline. New research shows 95% of children aged between 4 and 15 were 'concerned' by global warming, with more than half 'very concerned'. And three out of four respondents believed they were more fluent on the subject than their parents.

The eco-conscious youngsters, dubbed 'Greenagers', now want to put more pressure on older generations to take a lead in environmental decision-making. Some 70% of those polled believed climate change is something that will affect them in their lifetime. Another 85% thought people should be more concerned about the issue and 96% believed it is important to encourage other people to be more environmentally friendly.

The research has been conducted by the UK kids' channel Nickelodeon as part of their environmental campaign called 'Nick's Big Green Thing'. The channel has launched a week of programming to encourage children to create a greener environment. One of the week's hosts, acclaimed adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild, was delighted to see the youngest generation were paying attention to the subject of global warming.

He said: "Our climates changing quicker than anyone ever expected and we can't afford to ignore the signs. "The good news is we have the solutions and this research proves that kids are taking action helping to create more stable environmental conditions for our future generations."

The survey further showed that more than half (59%) of children were aware of the concept of a 'carbon footprint' and were keen to alter their home life in order to reduce it. Better recycling, switching off lights in empty rooms, avoiding car travel and reducing the use of household appliances all polled highly.

Despite the awarness of home environmental initiatives, the respondents felt that they learned more about the environment from school teachers rather than their parents.


Hydrogen buses cost MUCH more to run than diesel vehicles

The experiment sounded so grand three years ago: The Valley Transportation Authority and SamTrans would test three buses that run on hydrogen fuel cells, emit no smog-inducing pollutants and help keep the valley's air clean. Green, yes. But a new report from the VTA says the $18 million state-mandated pilot project costs too much green - and raises troubling questions about whether the program should continue.

The most glaring figure: Zero-emission buses - or ZEBs - cost $51.66 to fuel, maintain and operate per mile compared with just $1.61 for a 40-foot conventional diesel coach. They break down much more frequently, and replacement parts are next to impossible to order, according to the report.

The VTA experiment could be a blow to hydrogen fuel technology, once heralded as the future of green mass transit options. At the least, the report raises significant questions about whether the state should ease off the accelerator rather than push Bay Area transit agencies to expand the hydrogen project. "When you say that there is a 50-dollar difference between ZEBs and diesel, that's exorbitant," said Dolly Sandoval, the VTA vice chair from Cupertino. She and other VTA board members are questioning whether the state should loosen its insistence on hydrogen-fuel-cell technology and allow the agency to consider using hybrid buses to meet clean-air requirements, which is being done in New York City, where hundreds of diesel-hybrid buses are in use.

But the California Air Resources Board is poised next year to launch a $36 million second phase of the hydrogen program, adding 12 more buses in the Bay Area and expanding it to include Golden Gate Transit. Analifa Bevan with CARB said her agency "is not considering any changes," pointing out that the VTA experiment involves early prototypes and that the next generation of buses will be more reliable and "cheaper to operate than diesel."

AC Transit in the East Bay has operated hydrogen-hybrid buses for two years, ones that also use electrical batteries to help cut hydrogen fuel costs and provide a smoother ride and easier acceleration and braking, much like in hybrid cars. Officials at the agency are sold on the program. "Our experience is pretty positive," said Jaimie Levin, director of alternative fuels policy and marketing with AC Transit. "These vehicles aren't cheap, but the technology is far simpler than the internal combustion engine and it keeps getting cheaper, lighter and more powerful. That's a given."

But the VTA's early results are not encouraging. Although the cost of a new hydrogen-fuel-cell bus has fallen from about $3.5 million to $2.5 million, a diesel coach costs about $400,000. And ZEBs have on average traveled 1,100 miles before needing repairs in the VTA trial, while a typical diesel bus covers about 6,000 miles.

The state approved the fuel-cell experiment in 2000, with VTA and SamTrans each contributing $6 million to the project and federal and state money covering the final $6 million. Hybrid buses running on diesel and electricity weren't included in the choices the VTA could make, since those buses contribute more to smog levels than hydrogen buses. The three zero-emission buses began running in 2005 in Santa Clara County, from express routes to the VTA's most heavily traveled lines. By 2012, 15 percent of buses in California transit agencies with 200 or more diesel buses must be ZEBs, in a program being watched across the country.

These buses don't belch smoke; they run as quietly as a golf cart and are expected to reduce soot emissions by 90 percent. Powered solely by hydrogen fuel cells, the tailpipes emit wisps of water vapor instead of plumes of diesel exhaust, which is linked to numerous respiratory ailments such as asthma and lung cancer. Hydrogen-fuel-cell technology converts hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, water and heat. The hydrogen flows into an electrode that breaks the hydrogen into electrons and protons. The electricity produced runs the bus. If you took a white cloth and held it to the exhaust of a fuel-cell bus, all you would collect would be some water vapor. No soot, no dirt, no lung-clogging grime.

But the issue is whether a $2.5 million bus operated by fuel cells can withstand the daily pounding of stop-and-go traffic, potholes and loading and unloading of thousands of passengers at a cost a transit agency can afford. After about 75,000 miles in the VTA test, red warning flags are flapping. "Five years ago, they said the technology was five years away," said VTA General Manager Michael Burns. "Today, they are still talking five years, maybe 10. "What do we do at this point, given what we know?"



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Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Preface to the two articles reproduced immediately below:

Given the current low level of solar activity and the shape of the climate record, I am inclined to believe on balance that a move to systematic long-term cooling is indicated by recent cooling events. It is also true, however, that the current cooling could just as well be a random fluctuation -- counterpart to the big 1998 warming event. But what current cooling UNDOUBTEDLY shows is that there are large NATURAL changes in global temperature and that recent warming events do not exceed recent cooling events.

So to say, as James Hansen and other Greenies do, that one change is natural and the other is not is where the dishonesty comes in. It is just ideology speaking -- with no tincture of proper scientific caution or any possibility of proof. It is faith, not science. But such arguments are very typical of the way the Green/Left look only at facts which suit them -- JR

Forget global warming: Welcome to the new Ice Age

Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966. The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average." China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.

There have been so many snow and ice storms in Ontario and Quebec in the past two months that the real estate market has felt the pinch as home buyers have stayed home rather than venturing out looking for new houses. In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.

And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its "lowest levels on record? Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past. The ice is back. Gilles Langis, a senior forecaster with the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa, says the Arctic winter has been so severe the ice has not only recovered, it is actually 10 to 20 cm thicker in many places than at this time last year. OK, so one winter does not a climate make. It would be premature to claim an Ice Age is looming just because we have had one of our most brutal winters in decades.

But if environmentalists and environment reporters can run around shrieking about the manmade destruction of the natural order every time a robin shows up on Georgian Bay two weeks early, then it is at least fair game to use this winter's weather stories to wonder whether the alarmist are being a tad premature.

And it's not just anecdotal evidence that is piling up against the climate-change dogma. According to Robert Toggweiler of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University and Joellen Russell, assistant professor of biogeochemical dynamics at the University of Arizona -- two prominent climate modellers -- the computer models that show polar ice-melt cooling the oceans, stopping the circulation of warm equatorial water to northern latitudes and triggering another Ice Age (a la the movie The Day After Tomorrow) are all wrong.

"We missed what was right in front of our eyes," says Prof. Russell. It's not ice melt but rather wind circulation that drives ocean currents northward from the tropics. Climate models until now have not properly accounted for the wind's effects on ocean circulation, so researchers have compensated by over-emphasizing the role of manmade warming on polar ice melt.

But when Profs. Toggweiler and Russell rejigged their model to include the 40-year cycle of winds away from the equator (then back towards it again), the role of ocean currents bringing warm southern waters to the north was obvious in the current Arctic warming.

Last month, Oleg Sorokhtin, a fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, shrugged off manmade climate change as "a drop in the bucket." Showing that solar activity has entered an inactive phase, Prof. Sorokhtin advised people to "stock up on fur coats."

He is not alone. Kenneth Tapping of our own National Research Council, who oversees a giant radio telescope focused on the sun, is convinced we are in for a long period of severely cold weather if sunspot activity does not pick up soon. The last time the sun was this inactive, Earth suffered the Little Ice Age that lasted about five centuries and ended in 1850. Crops failed through killer frosts and drought. Famine, plague and war were widespread. Harbours froze, so did rivers, and trade ceased. It's way too early to claim the same is about to happen again, but then it's way too early for the hysteria of the global warmers, too.


Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

A compiled list of all the sources can be seen here. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.

Let's hope those factors stop fast. Cold is more damaging than heat. The mean temperature of the planet is about 54 degrees. Humans -- and most of the crops and animals we depend on -- prefer a temperature closer to 70. Historically, the warm periods such as the Medieval Climate Optimum were beneficial for civilization. Corresponding cooling events such as the Little Ice Age, though, were uniformly bad news.



Miliband is the son of a noted Marxist theoretician so this obeisance to Communist China is not unexpected

Rich industrialized nations must help the developing world pay for a shift to cleaner technologies to fight climate change, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Tuesday during a visit to China's financial center. Major developing nations such as China and India will face a devastating "boomerang effect" of devastating effects from global warming such as drought and crop disruptions if they do not opt for cleaner, less polluting economic development, Miliband told students at the China-Europe International Business School.

Adapting energy technologies that emit fewer of the greenhouse gases viewed as a main contributor to climate change "does not sacrifice development but ... it is much more expensive than high-carbon development," he said. "The question is, who pays for it?" Miliband said. "The richer countries have got to lead in taking the burden of paying for the shift to a lower-carbon economy." Scientists believe carbon dioxide is one of the leading contributors to global warming.

China, which chiefly relies on heavily polluting coal to fuel its surging economy, now rivals the United States as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Britain backs calls for industrialized countries to help the developing world cope with the consequences of centuries of pollution by the West. Last month, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged about 50 million pounds (US$98.3 million) to support investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean coal and carbon dioxide capture-and-storage technology during his first state visit to China. China has pledged to improve energy efficiency, while insisting on its right to pursue the economic growth needed to supply jobs to its 1.3 billion people.

For the poorest countries, the focus should be on promoting sustainable development, Miliband said. "Their aid programs have got to be 'greened,'" he said. Miliband was to travel to the southwestern industrial hub of Chongqing before heading to Beijing later in the week. During a stopover in Hong Kong, he said Monday that he would discuss the issue of Sudan with his Chinese counterparts, but added that Beijing alone should not be held responsible for trying to end the conflict there. "We all have our responsibility to use our weight in the country and in the international arena to argue for dialogue, for responsibilities on both sides."



Claims that changes in global climate are the result of man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, are used as a pretext to demand increased taxes on vehicle use and restrictions such as lower speed limits. Yet the level of public debate about this highly complex subject has often been at a simplistic and emotive level, rather than a serious examination of the scientific evidence. Indeed, attempts to question the claimed `scientific consensus' are often met with abusive personal attacks designed to discourage dissenters - a clear sign that the issue has been hijacked for political purposes.

There are two questions that need to be considered: whether man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are actually changing the world's climate; and, even if they are, whether any action taken to reduce the UK's emissions could have a significant remedial impact at a global level.

On the first point, a scientific consensus on the causes of climate change does not exist, despite strenuous efforts to create that impression by those who wish to maintain and exploit public alarm. As explained by Dr Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, in an open letter to the Royal Society, the claimed link between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming does not even merit the scientific title of `theory'; it is merely a hypothesis, since causation has not been demonstrated in any conclusive way. He also points out that the recent warming trend began long before human-caused increase in carbon dioxide was evident.

The main alternative hypothesis to explain climate change is rapidly gaining credibility: variations in the sun's output of charged particles and in its magnetic field, linked to the sun-spot cycle, affect the flow of cosmic rays reaching the Earth's atmosphere, where they help to seed clouds. At times of high solar activity (such as recently), fewer cosmic rays reach the atmosphere so there is less cloud cover; more of the sun's heat radiation reaches the Earth's surface and the planet warms. When solar activity is low, more clouds form and reflect the sun's radiation back into space, so cooling takes place. Evidence is mounting to support this hypothesis and there are some scientists predicting a period of global cooling ahead, as solar activity decreases.

There is also nothing unprecedented about recent global temperatures or rates of change. There have been many fluctuations in temperature since the end of the last ice age, most recently the Medieval Warm Period of around a thousand years ago and the Little Ice Age that followed it. The existence of these natural fluctuations is an embarrassment to the proponents of man-made climate change, and attempts have been made to rewrite climate history to eliminate them. Also, since direct daily observations of temperature only began during the Little Ice Age, claims about recent temperatures being the `hottest ever recorded' are highly misleading.

Even if man-made carbon dioxide emissions were the cause of climate change, any measures that the UK could take to reduce its own emissions would have a negligible impact at a global level. In 2004, the UK emitted 158.09 million tonnes (carbon equivalent) of carbon dioxide, amounting to 2.1 per cent of the world total. Of the UK figure, 21.6 per cent came from road transport in 2004, or 0.46 per cent of the world total.

While road transport in the UK emits 34 million tonnes of carbon per year, China's total output of carbon dioxide in 2004 was 1,284 million tonnes (carbon equivalent), up from 1,063 million tonnes in 2003. Thus a single year's increase in carbon emissions by China, at 221 million tonnes, was six and a half times the output from road transport in Britain, or 40 per cent more than the UK's total emissions.

Any reduction that could be achieved in the UK's road transport emissions would be insignificant by comparison: a 10 per cent reduction would be negated in less than six days, if China's emissions continue to grow at their current rate. There can be no justification, therefore, for taxation increases or other restrictions that would affect mobility, on the grounds of tackling climate change. Suggesting that an example set by the UK would lead countries such as China and India to forgo the benefits of economic growth is risible.

Whether climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions is real and set to continue or not, responses to it need to be based on rational assessments of the costs and benefits of the options, not futile, damaging and expensive political gestures. This was the message delivered by the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs in its 2005 report, in which it also pointed out that there are positive aspects to global warming, such as fewer cold-related winter deaths. There is no justification for singling out the drivers of Britain as responsible for climate change.


Ten myths about nuclear power

`It's dangerous, wasteful and too expensive!' Greens are busily putting the case against nuclear, but there is not a spark of truth in their arguments

The UK government is expected to announce tomorrow that it will give the green light to the building of new nuclear power stations in the UK - the first since the Sizewell `B' station was completed in 1995. These are urgently needed to make up the shortfall in power supply as older nuclear stations are closed over the next few years.

Yet the decision is bound to be controversial - not helped by widespread misinformation about nuclear power. Greens opposing nuclear power muddle every issue from terrorism to uranium supplies, in order to besmirch the only proven safe and cost-effective way to generate large amounts of electricity that won't produce large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. One would think that greens don't want a world with abundant energy and a stable climate!

These are some of the myths we are likely to hear from greens debating nuclear power over the next few weeks:

1) Uranium is running out

According to Greenpeace, uranium reserves are `relatively limited' and last week the Nuclear Consultation Working Group claimed that a significant increase in nuclear generating capacity would reduce reliable supplies from 50 to 12 years

In fact, there is 600 times more uranium in the ground than gold and there is as much uranium as tin. There has been no major new uranium exploration for 20 years, but at current consumption levels, known uranium reserves are predicted to last for 85 years. Geological estimates from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that at least six times more uranium is extractable - enough for 500 years' supply at current demand. Modern reactors can use thorium as a fuel and convert it into uranium - and there is three times more thorium in the ground than uranium.

Uranium is the only fuel which, when burnt, generates more fuel. Not only existing nuclear warheads, but also the uranium and plutonium in radioactive waste can be reprocessed into new fuel, which former UK chief scientist Sir David King estimates could supply 60 per cent of Britain's electricity to 2060. In short, there is more than enough uranium, thorium and plutonium to supply the entire world's electricity for several hundred years.

2) Nuclear is not a low-carbon option

Anti-nuclear campaigners claim that nuclear power contains `hidden emissions' of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from uranium mining and reactor construction. But so do wind turbines, built from huge amounts of concrete, steel and plastic. The OECD analysed the total lifetime releases of GHG from energy technologies and concluded that, taking into account mining of building materials, construction and energy production, nuclear is still a `lower carbon' option than wind, solar or hydroelectric generation. For example, during its whole life cycle, nuclear power releases three to six grams of carbon per kiloWatthour (GC kWh) of electricity produced, compared with three to 10 GC/kWh for wind turbines, 105 GC/kWh for natural gas and 228 GC/kWh for lignite (`dirty' coal)

Greens, exemplified by the Sustainable Development Commission, place their trust in `carbon capture and storage' (CCS) to reduce the GHG emissions from coal and gas plants. But carbon capture is, at present, a myth. There is no functioning power station with CCS in the world - not even a demonstration plant - and if it did work, it would still greatly reduce the energy efficiency of any power station where it is installed.

3) Nuclear power is expensive

With all power generation technology, the cost of electricity depends upon the investment in construction (including interest on capital loans), fuel, management and operation. Like wind, solar and hydroelectric dams, the principal costs of nuclear lie in construction. Acquisition of uranium accounts for only about 10 per cent of the price of total costs, so nuclear power is not as vulnerable to fluctuations in the price of fuel as gas and oil generation.

Unlike the UK's existing stations, any new designs will be pre-approved for operational safety, modular to lower construction costs, produce 90 per cent less volume of waste and incorporate decommissioning and waste management costs.

A worst-case analysis conducted for the UK Department of Trade and Industry (now the Department of Business and Enterprise), which was accepted by Greenpeace, shows nuclear-generated electricity to be only marginally more expensive than gas (before the late-2007 hike in gas prices), and 10 to 20 times cheaper than onshore and offshore wind. With expected carbon-pricing penalties for gas and coal, nuclear power will be considerably cheaper than all the alternatives

4) Reactors produce too much waste

Contrary to environmentalists' claims, Britain is not overwhelmed with radioactive waste and has no radioactive waste `problem'. By 2040 there will be a total of 2,000 cubic metres of the most radioactive high-level waste (9), which would fit in a 13 x 13 x 13 metre hole - about the size of the foundations for one small wind turbine. Much of this high-level waste is actually a leftover from Britain's atomic weapons programme. All of the UK's intermediate and high-level radioactive waste for the past 50 years and the next 30 years would fit in just one Royal Albert Hall, an entertainment venue in London that holds 6,000 people (and which seems, for some reason, to have become the standard unit of measurement in debates about any kind of waste in the UK)

The largest volume of waste from the nuclear power programme is low-level waste - concrete from outbuildings, car parks, construction materials, soil from the surroundings and so on. By 2100, there will be 473,000 cubic metres of such waste from decommissioned plants - enough to fill five Albert Halls. Production of all the electricity consumed in a four-bedroom house for 70 years leaves about one teacup of high-level waste, and new nuclear build will not make any significant contribution to existing radioactive waste levels for 20-40 years.

5) Decommissioning is too expensive

Existing UK reactors were built with no regard for future demolition. New reactors will be constructed from modular designs with the need for decommissioning built-in. The costs of decommissioning and waste management will be incorporated into the price of electricity to consumers. New nuclear plants are expected to have a working life of 40 years so the cost of decommissioning is spread over a longer period. Current government subsidy of decommissioning costs is approximately o1 billion annually (for 20 per cent of Britain's electrical supply) - half the subsidy to `sustainable' energy (two per cent of Britain's electrical supply).

6) Building reactors takes too long

This is perhaps the most ironic of the anti-nuclear arguments, since the legal manoeuvrings of Greenpeace delayed the UK government's nuclear decision by a year and it is the very opposition of greens that will cause most of the future delays.

The best construction schedules are achieved by the Canadian company AECL, which has built six new reactors since 1991; from the pouring of concrete to criticality (when the reactors come on-line), the longest build took six-and-a-half years and the shortest just over four years. The UK government expects pre-licensing of standard designs and modular construction to reduce construction times significantly - to about 6 years. New nuclear build could certainly start making significant contributions to UK carbon reduction targets by 2020.

7) Leukaemia rates are higher near reactors

Childhood leukaemia rates are no higher near nuclear power plants than they are near organic farms. `Leukaemia clusters' are geographic areas where the rates of childhood leukaemia appear to be higher than normal, but the definition is controversial because it ignores the fact that leukaemia is actually several very different (and unrelated) diseases with different causes.

The major increase in UK childhood leukaemia rates occurred before the Second World War. The very small (one per cent) annual increase seen now is probably due to better diagnosis, although it is possible that there is a viral contribution to the disease. It is purely by chance that a leukaemia `cluster' will occur near a nuclear installation, a national park or a rollercoaster ride. One such `cluster' occurred in Seascale, the nearest village to the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant, but there are no other examples. Clusters tend to be found in isolated areas where there has been a recent influx of immigration - which hints at a virus.

Men who work on nuclear submarines or in nuclear plants are no more likely to father children with leukaemia (or any other disease) than workers in any other industry

8) Reactors lead to weapons proliferation

More nuclear plants (in Britain and elsewhere) would actually reduce weapons proliferation. Atomic warheads make excellent reactor fuel; decommissioned warheads (containing greatly enriched uranium or plutonium) currently provide about 15 per cent of world nuclear fuel. Increased demand for reactor fuel would divert such warheads away from potential terrorists. Nuclear build is closely monitored by the IAEA, which polices anti-proliferation treaties.

9) Wind and wave power are more sustainable

If, as greens say, new nuclear power cannot come on-line in time to prevent climate change, how much less impact can wind, wave and carbon capture make? Environmentalists claim offshore wind turbines can make a significant contribution to electricity supply. Even if that were true - which it is certainly not - the environmental impact disqualifies wind as `sustainable'. The opening up of the North Sea continental shelf to 7,000 wind turbines is, essentially, the building of a huge industrial infrastructure across a vast swathe of ecologically sensitive seabed - as `unsustainable' in its own way as the opening of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.

Wave power is still highly experimental and unproven as a method of generating electricity. Even if we allow the Severn Tidal Bore, the tidal surge that runs up and down the River Severn estuary in south-west England (and a great natural wonder of the world), to be destroyed, the cost overruns and time delays would make any problems of the nuclear industry look cheap by comparison.

10) Reactors are a terrorist target

Since 11 September 2001, several studies have examined the possibility of attacks by a large aircraft on reactor containment buildings. The US Department of Energy sponsored an independent computer-modelling study of the effects of a fully fuelled Boeing 767-400 hitting the reactor containment vessel. Under none of the possible scenarios was containment breached.

Only the highly specialised US `bunker busting' ordnance would be capable - after several direct strikes - of penetrating the amount of reinforced concrete that surrounds reactors. And besides, terrorists have already demonstrated that they prefer large, high visibility, soft targets with maximum human casualties (as in the attacks on New York, London, Madrid and Mumbai) rather than well-guarded, isolated, low-population targets. Any new generation of nuclear reactors in the UK will be designed with even greater protection against attack than existing plants, and with `passive' safety measures that work without human intervention or computer control.



For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Climate orthodoxy perpetrates a hoax

By GORDON FULKS (Gordon J. Fulks [] holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research)

Gov. Ted Kulongoski's successful purge of George Taylor -- Oregon's former state climatologist and soon-to-be former director of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University -- has a clear message for scientists: agree with the governor or you too will disappear. Don't hint that man-made global warming is the greatest scientific hoax of our time. It offends the governor.

Many, like Taylor, are unwilling to support political agendas at odds with good science but also too polite to play the role of the little boy in "The Emperor's New Clothes." They will quietly say, "Let's look at the evidence concerning man-made global warming (more properly known as Anthropogenic Global Warming or AGW), because science is based entirely on evidence."

As a meteorologist, Taylor would show that the warm-up we saw peak in the 1990s was very similar to the warm-up in the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, before there was significant use of fossil fuels. He would also mention the sharp decline in global temperature this January, returning us close to where we were decades ago. Climate change is perfectly normal.

As a physicist, let me point out that our understanding of climate was not "settled more than a decade ago," as global warming alarmists argue. Science is never settled, as Albert Einstein spectacularly demonstrated.

Our knowledge of the interplay between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature has gone through three stages over the past 20 years. Al Gore correctly points out that early ice-core data gathered from glaciers around the world showed a very strong correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature over 650,000 years. Because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, most of us assumed that it regulated global temperature.

By 1999, improving ice-core techniques produced a stunning reversal, showing that the global temperature changed many centuries before carbon dioxide changed. This proved that natural climate cycles were causing changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, probably by affecting how much remained dissolved in the oceans. Using new ice-core evidence, Caillon, et al. (Science, March 2003), concluded that "CO2 is not the forcing that initially drives the climatic system."

This should have convinced alarmists that their scare was unwarranted. But too many would have been thrown out of work, and too many politicians would have lost a hot-button issue. So they ramped up the alarm, relying on ever-more-contrived theories to explain the ice-core data.

In 2007, their last theoretical bastion crumbled. Climatologists announced that a fundamental signature of greenhouse gases, predicted by all U.N. climate models, is missing. There is no "hot spot" from CO2 -induced warming at tropical latitudes. Satellites and weather balloons show normal temperature profiles. The climate models are fundamentally flawed. (Douglass, et al., International Journal of Climatology, Royal Meteorological Society, October 2007.)

Of course, with the abysmal state of science education and the near-total support of the media, global warming propagandists saw no reason to alter their strategy. We continue to hear that catastrophe is just around the corner, and we must sign up for ever more expensive and environmentally damaging "solutions."

A very important break in this discussion came from The New York Times on Jan.1: "In 2008, a 100 Percent Chance of Alarm" science writer, John Tierney, describes how we are being victimized by a vast array of opportunists. They point out anecdotal evidence of warming and ignore counter evidence -- such as the fact that the global temperature last year "was actually lower than any year since 2001. "Governor Kulongoski should understand that responsible science is nonpartisan. We follow scientific evidence, not those lacking scientific training. Forcing out a scientist because he won't go along with your favorite hoax hurts Oregon science and ultimately every citizen in this state.



John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all promise bold action on climate change. All have endorsed a form of cap-and-trade system that would severely limit future carbon emissions. The Democratic Congress is champing at the bit to act. So too is the Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of companies led by General Electric and Duke Energy.

You'd think this would be a rich time for debate on the issue of climate change. But it's precisely as sweeping change on climate policy is becoming likely that many people have decided the time for debate is over. One writer puts climate change skeptics "in a similar moral category to Holocaust denial," another envisions "war crimes trials" for the deniers. And during the tour for his film "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore himself belittled "global warming deniers" as unworthy of any attention.

Take the reaction to Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg's latest book, "Cool It," which calls for a reasoned debate on global warming. Mr. Lomborg himself leans left, and he opens his book by declaring his belief that "humanity has caused a substantial rise in atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels over the past centuries, thereby contributing to global warming." But he has infuriated environmentalists by saying it is necessary to debate "whether hysterical and head-long spending on extravagant CO2-cutting programs at an unprecedented price is the only possible response." To do so, he says, it will be necessary to cool the doomsday rhetoric, allowing a measured discussion about the best ways forward. "Being smart about our future is the reason we have done so well in the past. We should not abandon our smarts now."

Mr. Lomborg's solution is to avoid discredited cap-and-trade programs, in which developing nations limit economic growth while they fruitlessly try to convince booming economies such as India and China to do the same. His alternative: "Let's focus on research and development. Let's focus on noncarbon-emitting technologies like solar, wind, carbon capture, energy efficiency and also, let's realize the solution may come from nuclear fission and fusion." He laments that the climate change issue has been demagogued by ideological groups on both sides, "and the ones who are making panicky or catastrophic claims simply have better press." At the end of the day, he ruefully acknowledges that potential progress and the sorts of solutions he advocates "are just boring things."

Let's hope Mr. Lomborg is wrong in his fear that the media are uninterested in showcasing a real debate on climate change. The proof may be found next week, when hundreds of scientists, economists and policy experts who dissent from the "consensus" that climate change requires radical measures will meet in New York to discuss the latest scientific, economic and political research on climate change. Five tracks of panels will address paleoclimatology, climatology, global warming impacts, the economics of global warming and political factors. It will be keynoted by Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who has argued that economic growth is most likely to create the innovations and know-how to combat any challenges climate change could present in the future. (Information on the conference is here.)

The conference is being organized by the free-market Heartland Institute and 49 other co-sponsors, including a dozen from overseas. Heartland president Joseeph Bast says its politically incorrect purpose is to "explain the often-neglected 'other side' of the climate change debate. This will be their chance to speak out. It will be hard for journalists and policy makers to ignore us."

I wonder. Already, environmental groups have sent out their opinion to their media friends that the conference is simply a platform for corporate apologists and can safely be ignored. One group alleges the conference will have "no real scientists" present despite an impressive array of speakers such as Patrick Michaels, a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists, and Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Critics point out that ExxonMobil gave nearly $800,000 to Heartland between 1998 and 2005 and that the group's board of directors include several people with ties to energy companies. The authors of the blog Real Climate don't engage the issues raised by the conference but instead attack it as stuffed with shills. When Heartland experts tried to respond to those charges, they were blacklisted from the comments section of the Real Climate Web site.

All this has led the Western Standard, a Canadian magazine sympathetic to the global warming skeptics, to predict that "the gathering will be completely ignored, even though it's being held in the news media capital of the world." Let's hope not. Global warming is too important a subject to not to debate, and we in the U.S. may rue the day we rushed pell-mell into expensive and shortsighted solutions when much more rational and cost-effective ones were readily available.


Reporters as Prostitutes

Reporting on the issue of "global warming" demonstrates that often the only difference between reporters and prostitutes is that prostitutes understand what type of business they are in. Many reporters are allowing themselves to be used by politicians and others to con the viewers and readers the reporters are supposed to be serving

30 years ago as a graduate student I took some journalism courses. At that time reporters were encouraged to get more than one opinion on issues and to avoid taking sides by reporting allegations as facts. A phrase like "according to" some source should precede or follow whatever claim the source is making.

Many reporters willingly repeat the allegation that "greenhouse gases are causing global warming" as if it were an accepted fact instead of a subject of controversy. News stories will state that "CO2 causes global warming" without presenting any evidence to support the allegation. Those who support this hypothesis cannot provide evidence because the process doesn't exist.

The situation is occurring in spite of the fact that it is easier for reporters to find alternate opinions than it was 30 years ago. In the 70's reporters had to contact other news sources and ask for other opinions. Today reporters can use internet search engines to find quotes from other sources, including experts who aren't well known, with just a few mouse clicks.

Good reporters should be skeptical of their sources and recognize that people who willingly talk to reporters are usually attempting to gain acceptance for their points of view. Such sources may get away with misrepresenting the facts when reporters don't bother to check the validity of statements. Reporters who don't understand the issues they are reporting on are particularly vulnerable.

Why should reporters who don't understand science be skeptical of the claims about "greenhouse gases causing global warming"? First, those making the claim admit that average temperatures only increased by 1 F (0.5C) during the entire 20th Century. Average temperatures can vary by more than that from one day to the next or from a shady area to a sunny area only a few feet apart.

In an era when even priests and preachers can be crooks, there is no reason to assume scientists will tell the truth. Those scientists who believe in global warming sometimes claim that those who disagree are being paid to do so by oil companies, etc. If these scientists don't believe scientists as a group can be trusted to tell the truth why should reporters? Have reporters checked to see how many of those scientists who support global warming claims are being paid to do so?

The scientist as con artist is an old movie plot that is based on fact. There have been recent cases of scientists being caught presenting false data to support their claims in addition to those who claim they can provide miracle cures for diseases. The claim that a minor atmospheric gas (0.036% of the atmosphere) can determine air temperatures sounds too much like magic to be taken at face value.

Statements by global warming claimants about punishing those who disagree with them should raise a red flag with any real journalist who supports freedom of speech. Such statements made by individuals in authority positions can indicate fear that someone will find out they are wrong. Scientists who believe they are correct welcome challenges.

If the idea of "global warming" is valid why do those who support it feel they have to exaggerate everything? Many of their claims sound too much like the traditional Hollywood disaster movie plot to be believable, particularly the claims of the great exaggerator, Al Gore.

Journalists have criticized the U.S. military for "planting" stories about the Iraq conflict. NASA's Gavin Schmidt has been running an ostensibly private website supporting NASA's claims about global warming for some time. If the claim about global warming is valid, why does the government need to set up a propaganda site to plant information supporting the claim?

S. Fred Singer who was the first director of the National Weather Satellite Service has questioned claims about global warming for years. John Coleman who founded the Weather Channel recently called the global warming claim the greatest scam in history, but reporters ignore him because they have already made up their minds and aren't interested in facts.

How many of those who call themselves journalists have bothered to check with these well known experts? Real journalists report both sides of controversial issues. Propagandists only present one side.Perhaps it is unfair to compare reporters to prostitutes. Prostitutes are professionals who are paid by those who utilize their services. Reporters who present only one side of an issue don't get paid by those who use them.



European consumers shunning imported food supposedly to limit climate change should not make African farmers a scapegoat, a Brussels conference has been told. In Britain, several supermarkets have begun labelling products flown into the country with stickers marked "air-freighted," to reflect concern about the contribution of aviation to global warming.

But Benito Mueller, a director at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, dismissed the concept of food miles as "an extremely oversimplified indicator" of ecological impact. Saying he was "really angry" with the implicit message that agricultural produce from Africa should be avoided, Mueller claimed that less greenhouse gas emissions are often emitted from the cultivation and transport of such goods than they would be if grown in Europe. Strawberries imported from Kenya during the winter, he maintained, have a lower "carbon footprint," a measure to ascertain the effect of a method of production on the environment - than those grown in a heated British greenhouse, even when their transport by air from Africa is taken into account. Mueller argued that African farmers should not suffer because of efforts to cut discharge of carbon dioxide, the main gas triggering climate change. Britain, he added, is responsible for 50 times more greenhouse gas emissions than Kenya.

Efforts to increase the use of biofuels were also called into question at a February 13 conference organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation, a body dealing with relations between Europe and some 80 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The European Union has set itself a target that biofuels should provide 10 per cent of the energy needed to power cars and other modes of transport by 2020, despite growing doubts over whether it is wise to rely so heavily on these fuels.

Two new papers published in Science magazine have calculated that production of the most popular forms of biofuels causes a major increase in greenhouse gas emissions because of land clearance. Palm oil, a key biofuel used in European cars, is produced through the deforestation on lands rich in peat. It would take an estimated 840 years to claw back the amount of carbon dioxide released from that process, according to scientists, through the eventual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions caused by using biofuels rather than conventional petrol or diesel.

Mark Rosegrant from the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute cited worries that land that should be used to grow food for the poor and hungry is instead being used for biofuels. "The continued expansion of biofuels is increasing food prices and increasing malnutrition in a number of developing countries," he said.


Australia: Some climate skepticism that has generally gone unnoticed

The media have noted only the drastic cuts in emissions that the Garnaut report said would be needed. But that pesky Andrew Bolt has looked at the report in detail:

KEVIN Rudd's global warming adviser has had a rude surprise. Professor Ross Garnaut has invigorated a debate on catastrophic man-made global warming that Al Gore, and most journalists and politicians, keep claiming was over years ago. In fact, he's even wondering if some scientists have played funny buggers.

Garnaut, hired to tell Labor how to cut greenhouse gases, yesterday released his interim report, saying most scientists felt we were running out of time: "The world is moving towards high risks of dangerous climate change more rapidly than has generally been understood." This was honey to alarmists, but Garnaut also admits his review of the global warming science "takes the work of the IPCC as its starting point".

That's a problem. This Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change is the United Nations body that persuaded governments we're doomed unless we get less gassy. But Garnaut concedes the IPCC has in fact been accused - not least by an all-party British House of Lords inquiry into climate change - of using dodgy science, excluding dissenters and sexying up findings. Or in Garnaut's more polite words, of lacking "objectivity" and giving in to "political considerations".

As Garnaut says, its critics include top scientists such as hurricane expert Chris Landsea, who quit the IPCC to protest (in Garnaut's words) the "mispresentation of climate science" by colleagues.What's more, despite claims the "science is settled", Garnaut found the science of man-made warming was of a "qualified and contested nature", and he was in "no position to adjudicate on the relative merits of various expert scientific opinions". He just had to go "on the balance of probabilities" - with this controversial IPCC and the majority of scientists whose views it represented.

But he urged that the global debate be made "open to alternative perspectives beyond the IPCC", and said he'd recommend a "strengthening (of) the pluralist character of the Australian research efforts".

Meanwhile, Britain's Hadley Centre reports a global drop in temperature in the past 12 months, backing up predictions that 1998 will still remain the hottest year on record. No one knows if global warming has stopped. But with even Garnaut wanting a more balanced debate, it's best to be wary of the people shouting once more that it's time to panic.



For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

UFOs behind global warming

Environmental activists might wonder what in the world do UFOs have to do with massive global environmental degradation in general and global warming in particular. Many of us in the UFO/ET community are beginning to make that connection and as that knowledge spreads beyond the UFO community environmental activist leaders will begin to grasp the connection.

The fact is that environmentalists are well behind the learning curve as compared to world peace activists. We in exopolitics now realize that there have been two major national and global entrenched interests that stand out in suppressing extraterrestrial realities. One is the fossil fuels industry and the other is the arms industry. We now realize that in the 1950s if ET reality had become public knowledge both these industries would have been devastated just as had the gas light industry when the electric light bulb came into widespread use.

These industries as well as other special interest came in early to suppress extraterrestrial knowledge out of self interest once the military and the intelligence community understood the situation. This has resulted in a 60 year old cover up and propaganda campaign of denial and ridicule that has brainwashed world populations placing them in denial of extraterrestrial realities.


Comments on the above by Christopher Monckton below:

Ah, I knew it must have been a UFO that's been causing all that "global warming". My own years of earnest, exopolitical research have revealed the following vital information, which I can now bring out from behind the veil of high-level international secrecy and reveal to the public for the first time.

The UFO in question is pretty big, and powerful beyond our imagining. It has the mass of 8 billion Earths. Something like that, anyhow. Even though it's a whole astromonomical unit away from us - yup, a whopping 8 light-minutes - it is causing serious warming throughout our planet, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. It's so massive that, even though it's so far from us, its apparent size (if you dare to look at it) is exactly - and I mean exactly the same as our Moon. I mean, how's that for an astronomical coincidence?

Of course, it's not a coincidence at all. It's a sinister alien plot to dominate the world. People are already getting cancer from it. How do I know it's all a conspiracy? How do I know that the aliens have already joined forces with evil capitalist interests on Planet Earth? Simple. The official body in charge of finding the cause of the "global warming" that started in 1700 and ended in 1998 pretends that the UFO doesn't exist - or that, if it does exist, it can't have much to do with climate change.

And Al Gore, who has a huge financial interest in the "global warming" industry, with his Generation Investment Management corporation, and all that stuff, I mean, like, he never even mentions it, the UFO, I mean, when he talks about "global warming". I mean, who do these people think they're fooling? I know the truth, and just because governments round the world are all covering up the true effect of this huge UFO on the whole world's climate, I'm not just going to stand there and let them get away with this massive cover-up. No way, Jose! It's an outrage, that's what it is. Don't they realize how much it's going to cost us if they don't come out into the open and admit that it's the UFO that's the real cause of "global warming"? I mean, what's the point of all that carbon trading if its the UFO that's to blame.

I've even decoded the CIA's secret transmissions using my Secret Agent's Abacus, and I've worked out what the UFO is called. In English, it has a three-letter name. The first letter sounds like the middle letter of "UFO", and is often confused with it in telephone conversations. The second letter of the English name of the UFO is the same as the first letter of "UFO". And - get this - to find the third letter of the English name of the UFO, all you do is a simple one-place retro alphabet-shift of the third letter of "UFO", and you get The Answer!

No, no, how stupid can you be? It's not called "SUV". Close, baby, but no cigar. SUVs aren't the problem. And don't think the rest of the planetary nexus is getting away without being affected. There's been "global warming" on Mars, too. And on Jupiter, by Jupiter! And on Neptune's largest moon. And even on distant Pluto. Bet you haven't seen any of that in your local newspaper! Or on the BBC! New York Times? Forget it! And it's not all those 4x4s and farting cows that are to blame.

No, it's that UFO. You know, this is the biggest thing in our Solar System. It really, truly is. Honest. I mean it. Really. Cross my heart and hope to drown in a 20ft sea-level rise.

Comment from Hans Schreuder

Lord Monckton!

You are disclosing TOP SECRET information here. Have you had clearance from MI5 and MI6, the CIA and FBI to divulge such sensitive information to the rest of the world?! What are we to make of this revelation? Before reading about your UFO, I was comfortable in knowing that is was my SUV and my neighbour's SUV that were the baddies on the block, but now you are saying that it is the big bad UFO that is messing with us. How are we to disable this UFO? Maybe we should get the United Nations involved? I hear that they have an excellent record in dealing with trouble spots and use proper scientific methods to investigate cause and effect phenomenon. Maybe we should tell the President, does he know or even understand the effect that this UFO has on the world? Maybe he can send some troops to sort it out? I anxiously await further updates on what must surely now be called an IFO - identified flying object.

Antarctic Glaciers Going To Sea At Faster Rate

British explorers in West Antarctica reported glacier movement in the region has picked up by a startling seven percent this season, a development, they said, which could lead to a significant rise in sea level.

David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey said the team found new evidence from group of glaciers in West Antarctica which cover an area the size of Texas. He said the glaciers, particularly the Pine Island Glacier, has surged sharply in speed towards the ocean-- and it's not because of global warming.

Throughout the 1990s, according to satellite measurements, the glacier was accelerating by around one percent a year. The British team said it now seems to have accelerated by seven percent in a single season, sending more and more ice into the ocean. "The measurements from last season seem to show an incredible acceleration, a rate of up to seven percent. That is far greater than the accelerations they were getting excited about in the 1990s," said team member Julian Scott.

The Pine Island Glacier is a couple of kilometers thick, 30 kilometer wide and is moving at 3.5km per year. Team member Julian Scott theorized that global warming is not the cause. He said it could be a deep ocean current channeling into the continental shelf close to the mouth of the glacier; or, geothermal activity.

Scott's research revealed evidence of a volcano that erupted through the ice about 2,000 years ago. The whole region could be volcanically active and could possibly be releasing geothermal heat to melt the base of the ice and help its slide towards the sea.

If the glacier continues to surge and discharge most of its ice into the sea, the Pine Island Glacier alone could raise global sea level by 25 centimeter. If the entire region were to lose its ice, the sea would rise by 1.5 meters worldwide.


Climate clash claims a victim

George Taylor has too much class to complain in public, so he's retiring instead as the state climatologist and head of the Oregon Climate Service at Oregon State University.

For several years now he has been under fire and sometimes personal attacks because his views on the causes of global warming differ from those that now have become the conventional wisdom. He thinks natural causes such as solar radiation and long-term cycles in the world's climate play a bigger role than the greenhouse gases that are increasingly put in the atmosphere by industrial society.

Instead of being proved wrong by convincing evidence, he's been condemned or even ridiculed. Last year, Governor Kulongoski let it be known that it was embarrassing to have a state climatologist at odds with the warming theories on which he was basing the state's energy policies. The legislature made sure that Taylor would be sidelined. It approved a new climate research center to be based at OSU, and charged it with pretty much the same tasks as the one a previous law had spelled out for the service headed by Taylor.

A man can buck the bureaucracy and the establishment for only so long. Then it makes sense to take a different route. That's what Taylor is now doing. Don't expect him to complain about being pushed out, or about being unfairly treated. He is far too good-natured and smart for that. Taylor has a solid reputation as an expert on Oregon weather whose long-term forecasts are right far more often than they are wrong. And the good news is that he'll still be around.

Getting away from the university and the state government may give Taylor a chance to be more outspoken on climate issues than he has been so far, especially in recent months, when he had been lying kind of low.So we hope that now and then, when a counterpoint to the popular wisdom would be particularly interesting and instructive, he'll not be shy about letting the public in on what he knows.


The Trouble With Government Grants


Flush with success in creating an atom bomb, the U.S. federal government decided it should start funding non-military scientific research. A government report titled "Science, the Endless Frontier" provides the justification for doing this. It makes the case that "science is the responsibility of government because new scientific knowledge vitally affects our health, our jobs, and our national security" (Bush, 1945). Accordingly, the government established a Research Grants Office in January, 1946 to award grants for research in the biomedical and physical sciences. It received 800 grant applications that year. The Research Grants Office is now known as the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), and it processes applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In 2005 CSR received 80,000 grant applications.

With a budget of $28 billion, the director of NIH reports that it currently funds 22 percent of all the grant applications it reviews (Zerhouni, 2006). Among these, multi-year R01 grants are the mainstay of research by medical school faculties. And in 2005, the NIH funded only one in eleven (9.1%) of the unsolicited R01 research grant applications it reviewed (Mandel and Vesell, 2006). In 1998 the NIH funded 31 percent of its grant applications, and since 2003 grant appropriations have lagged behind inflation (Zerhouni, 2006). The National Science Foundation awards $6 Billion in grants each year. This independent federal agency funds 28 percent of the 40,000 annual grant proposals it receives.

Twenty-six federal granting agencies now manage 1,000 grant programs. Even clinical trials of drugs, vaccines, and devices, where industry may profit from the outcome, have come under the purview of government. Zarin and colleagues (2005) reviewed records and found that the federal government currently funds 9,796 (51%) of the 19,355 interventional trials being conducted. Industry sponsors 4,734 (24%); and universities, foundations, and other organizations, 4,825 (25%).

Ethics in science and society "describe appropriate behavior according to contemporary standards" (Friedman, 1996). Two standards that scientists follow for writing grant proposals are: 1) Keep it safe and survive, and 2) Don't lie if you don't have to.

Pollack (2005) addresses the first ethic, noting that the paramount motivational factor for scientists today is the competition to survive. A scientist's most pressing need, which supersedes the scientific pursuit of truth, is to get her grant funded - to pay her salary and that of her staff, to pay department bills, and to obtain academic promotion. The safest way to generate grants is to avoid any dissent from orthodoxy. Grant-review Study Sections whose members' expertise and status are tied to the prevailing view do not welcome any challenge to it. A scientist who writes a grant proposal that dissents from the ruling paradigm will be left without a grant. Speaking for his fellow scientists Pollack writes, "We have evolved into a culture of obedient sycophants, bowing politely to the high priests of orthodoxy."

Applicants following the ethic of "keep it safe and survive" propose research that will please the reader-peers and avoid projects that might displease them. An NIH pamphlet on grant applications reinforces such behavior by stating, "The author of a project proposal must learn all he can about those who will read his proposal and keep those readers constantly in mind when he writes." (Ling, 2004a).

With regard to the second ethic, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi said, "I always tried to live up to Leo Szilard's commandment, `don't lie if you don't have to.' I had to. I filled up pages with words and plans I know I would not follow. When I go home from my laboratory in the late afternoon, I often do not know what I am going to do the next day. I expect to think that up during the night. How could I tell them what I would do a year hence?" (Moss, 1988, p.217). This long-time cancer researcher, discoverer of vitamin C, and Nobel laureate was unable, despite multiple attempts, to obtain a government grant.

Friedman (1996) describes a variant of this ethic where an investigator applies for a grant to do a study that he has already completed. With this grant awarded and money in hand he publishes the study and uses the funds on a different project. The misrepresentation enables the investigator to remain one project ahead of his funding. Apparently enough seasoned investigators do this that the academic community views the practice as sound "grantsmanship."

When the peer review grant system was established in 1946 people assumed that scientific progress occurs in an evolutionary incremental and cumulative fashion. Having a panel of experts judge the worth of each research proposal seeking funds seemed then to be the best way to allocate federal tax dollars for research. This system assumes that a majority of specialists in a given field will know where truth lies and how best to get there and find it (Ling, 2004b). But as Hall (1954) and Kuhn (1962) later showed, periodic upheavals and revolutions in science disrupt an otherwise steady growth of scientific knowledge. Long-cherished ideas are replaced wholesale by new ones that lead science in a different direction.

The grant system fosters an Apollonian approach to research. The investigator does not question the foundation concepts of biomedical and physical scientific knowledge. He sticks to the widely held belief that the trunks and limbs of the trees of knowledge, in, for example, cell physiology and on AIDS, are solid. The Apollonian researcher focuses on the peripheral branches and twigs and develops established lines of knowledge to perfection. He sees clearly what course his research should take and writes grants that his peers are willing to fund. Forced by the existing grant system to follow such an approach, Pollack (2005) argues that scientists have defaulted into becoming a culture of believers without rethinking the fundamentals.

Intuitive geniuses, like Thomas Edison, Louis Pasteur, Ernest Rutherford, and Albert Einstein, take a Dionysian, transformational approach to science. Their research relies on intuition and "accidental" discoveries. Szent-Gyorgyi describes intuition as "a sort of subconscious reasoning, only the end result of which becomes conscious." The Dionysian scientist knows the direction he wants to follow into the unknown, but "he has no idea what he is going to find there or how he is going to find it. Defining the unknown or writing down the subconscious is a contradiction in absurdum." And, citing Pasteur, who said, "A discovery is an accident finding a prepared mind," Szent-Gyorgyi notes that "accidental" discoveries are rarely true accidents (Moss, 1988, pp. 216-217).

Although it is the Dionysian method of research that produces transformative scientific breakthroughs, peers possessing the power to judge grants do not support this kind of research. They abuse the trust and power of government, which does not know science, to advance their own careers and, in some cases, protect their investments in companies that profit from the reigning paradigm. Knowing this government might be more amenable to supporting potentially transformative, Dionysian research.

To make matters worse, this system is replacing other sources of funding that formerly supported Dionysian scientists. Ling (2004b) observes, "Oversupply of scientists, the rising cost of living and of research, the decline of private foundations and scientific niches which these foundations once sustained [has] completed the dismantling of the socio-economic environment which once protected revolutionary scientists and their young followers."

Unassailable Paradigms

Paradigms in the biomedical and climate sciences that have achieved the status of dogma are:

* Cholesterol and saturated fats cause coronary artery disease.

* Mutations in genes cause cancer.

* Human activity is causing global warming through increased CO2 emissions.

* A virus called HIV (human immunodeficiency) causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

* The damaging effects of toxins are dose-dependent in a linear fashion down to zero. Even a tiny amount of a toxin, such as radiation or cigarette smoke, will harm some people.

* The membrane-pump theory of cell physiology based on the concept that cells are aqueous solutions enclosed by a cell membrane.

Scientists that question these state-sanctioned paradigms are denied grants and silenced (Moran 1998). But valid questions nevertheless have been raised about each of these established orthodoxies.

* The idea that cholesterol causes coronary heart disease is now close to being dogma, and investigators that question the lipid hypothesis need not apply for funding. But there is growing evidence that the hypothesis is wrong, as Ravnskov (2000) documents in The Cholesterol Myths.

* Aneuploidy (an abnormal number and balance of chromosomes), instead of mutation-produced oncogenes, may well prove to be the true cause of cancer (Bialy, 2004; Duesberg and Rasnick, 2000; Miller, 2006).

* The human-caused global-warming paradigm is most likely false (Soon et al., 2001; Editorial, 2006). Two climate astrophysicists, Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, present evidence that shows the climate of the 20th century fell within the range experienced during the past 1,000 years. Compared with other centuries, it was not unusual (Soon and Baliunas, 2003). Unable to obtain grants from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), Soon (personal communication, August 31, 2006) observes that NASA funds programs mainly on social-political reasoning rather than science.

* Duesberg (1996), Hodgkinson (2003), Lang (1993-2005), Liversidge (2001/2002), Maggiore (2000), and Miller (2006), among others, have questioned the germ theory of AIDS. All 30 diseases (which includes an asymptomatic low T-cell count) in the syndrome called AIDS existed before HIV was discovered and still occur without antibodies to this virus being present. At a press conference in 1984 government officials announced that a newly discovered retrovirus, HIV, is the probable cause of AIDS, which at that time numbered 12 diseases (Duesberg, 1995, p. 5). Soon thereafter "HIV causes AIDS" achieved paradigm status. But, beginning with Peter Duesberg, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, a growing number of scientists, physicians, investigative journalists, and HIV positive people have concluded that HIV/AIDS is a false paradigm.

The NIH awarded Duesberg a long-term Outstanding Investigator Grant and a Fogarty fellowship to spend a year on the NIH campus studying cancer genes, and he was nominated for a Nobel Prize. When Duesberg publicly rejected the HIV/AIDS paradigm the NIH and other funding agencies ceased awarding him grants. Government-appointed peer reviewers have rejected his last 24 grant applications. Peter Duesberg (personal communication, September 20, 2006) writes: When I was the blue-eyed boy finding oncogenes and "deadly" viruses, I was 100% fundable. Since I questioned the HIV-AIDS hypothesis of the NIH's Dr. Gallo, and then the cancer-oncogene hypothesis of Bishop-Varmus-Weinberg-Vogelstein etc. I became 100% unfundable. I was transformed from a virus- and cancer-chasing Angel to `Lucifer'."

* Rather than being harmful, as predicted by the linear no threshold hypothesis, low doses of radiation are actually beneficial (Calabrese, 2005; Hiserodt, 2005). Its beneficial effect is based on hormesis, where radiation in small doses stimulates immune system defenses, prevents oxidative DNA damages, and suppresses cancer. The dose must exceed a certain threshold to stop having a simulative and start having an inhibitory effect on the body and become toxic - and in high doses, fatal (Miller, 2004).

* Research in cell physiology is based on the concept that the cell, the basic structural unit that makes up all living things, is an aqueous solution of chemicals enclosed within a cell membrane. Drug research adheres to the concept that a drug's action is mediated by fitting into a specific receptor site on the cell membrane. Ling (2001) and Pollack (2001), however, make a strong case that the membrane paradigm of cell physiology is wrong. They show that cell function does not depend on the integrity of the cell membrane, and membrane pumps and channels are not what they seem. These investigators hypothesize that the three main components of a living cell - proteins, water, and potassium ions - are structured together in a gel-like matrix, where the cell's water is organized into layers alongside proteins.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a product of this view of cell physiology, known as the association-induction hypothesis, which was first proposed by Gilbert Ling in 1962. For more than 45 years government granting agencies, guided by their "expert" peer-reviewers' verdicts, have refused to provide funds for this pioneering investigator to pursue research on this hypothesis, even after it brought about the important medical technology of MRI (Ling 2004b). Despite multiple attempts, Gerald Pollack (personal communication, September 13, 2006) also has been unable to obtain government grants to conduct research on this alternative hypothesis of cell physiology.

Peer review enforces state-sanctioned paradigms. Pollack (2005) likens it to a trial where the defendant judges the plaintiff. Grant review panels defending the orthodox view control the grant lifeline and can sentence a challenger to "no grant." Deprived of funds the plaintiff-challenger is forced to shut down her lab and withdraw. Conlan (1976) characterizes the peer-review grant system as an "incestuous `buddy system' that stifles new ideas and scientific breakthroughs."

Science is self-correcting and, in time, errors are eliminated, or so we are taught. But now with a centralized bureaucracy controlling science, perhaps this rhetoric is "just wishful thinking" (Hillman, 1996, p.102). Freedom to dissent is an essential ingredient of societal health. Braben (2004) contends that suppressing challenges to established orthodoxy sets a society on a path to its doom.

More here

Green Hypocrites in Britain

Post below lifted from Blue Crab. See the original for links

On a number of occasions, I have pointed out that the elitists who are pushing the biggest "environmentalist" agendas like global warming have no intention of living with the limits they plan on imposing on the less-than-elite. The phrase I use for that is that they will "wave from the limousine" as they pass the shivering masses. I expect a rousing chorus of "told ya so."
Ministers are using a secret limousine service to ferry them around the country, a Mail on Sunday investigation has discovered. Senior Labour figures are quietly using 60,000 pound ($120,000) gas-guzzlers to whisk them around in comfort - despite claims that politicians have switched to smaller, cheaper models that are less damaging to the environment. Among the prominent politicians using the secret luxury car service is the Speaker Michael Martin and his wife Mary, who travel regularly in top-ofthe- range Mercedes and Jaguars.

This newspaper has established that a fleet of expensive cars operates discreetly from South London, away from the Westminster base of the official Government Car Service. Kelly Executive earns 500,000 pounds a year carrying out up to 50 journeys a day for politicians, including the Speaker, from its fleet of 30 chauffeur-driven limos. The Government also uses a number of similar private companies in other cities. Ministers and Labour MPs such as Mr Martin frequently use the firms to pick them up from the airport and take them home. Significantly, none of the limousines appears on the public list of cars in the official Government car pool, which handles the transport arrangements for Ministers and civil servants.

Last year the Government announced it had spent 900,000 pounds buying 110 hybrid-engined cars for the Government Car and Despatch Agency to cut down on carbon-dioxide emissions, to show voters that it was doing its bit to save the planet. However, it is an open secret that many Ministers do not like the Toyota Prius - of which 98 were bought. It has been nicknamed "the milk float" by Government drivers who say the car is slow and has a "tinny rattle". Ministers privately complain that they miss the comfort of the executive cars that the Prius replaced.

Kelly Executive has 20 S-class Mercedes, which emit up to 355g of CO2 per kilometre - well above the 226g level at which London Mayor Ken Livingstone has levied a new environment-driven congestion charge of 25 pounds a day.

The Speaker uses Kelly Executive in London, but when travelling to his constituency home in Glasgow he favours local company Little's Chauffeur Drive, which boasts of "utmost discretion and an impeccable chauffeuring service" used by "the world's most important people".

Yes, indeed. They will tout their carbon-neutrality while riding in the finest - and least eco-friendly - cars. No worries. They'll wave if you can see them through the blackout windows. Meanwhile, in other "eco-friendly" news, the Telegraph points out that "fair trade" coffee is anything but.
"Fairtrade purports to work within the market economy but its rise has been largely based on marketing subsidies and public-sector procurement," says Tom Clougherty, policy director of the Adam Smith Institute. Despite huge pressures on the public purse, local councils are squandering large sums becoming Fairtrade towns and cities, distributing posters and leaflets to nanny people into only buying Fairtrade. Meanwhile, the Fairtrade Foundation has received over 1.5m pounds from the Department for International Development. It wants more. In December, reminiscent of 1970s-style industrial policy, it called for 50m of development aid to be spent as "strategic investment" on Fairtrade.

Monday sees the start of Fairtrade Fortnight, the time each year when we are hectored into paying more for a cup of coffee. Charities, politicians and primary school teachers will deliver the scheme as an undisputed good. With all this effort, it is a pity Fairtrade does not work.

Fairtrade's supporters blame the plight of coffee farmers on world prices and ruthless multinational companies. But supporters ignore the real causes of poverty among growers. Farmers I interviewed in Kenya told me that the problems they face are not caused by global influences but their own government's interference. They are forced to use milling companies granted regional monopolies, who fleece them. They want to boost productivity by using fertiliser, but they cannot afford the inflated prices demanded by the government fertiliser monopoly. Imported tools and machinery would transform their output but are subject to punitive tariffs. Police roadblocks slow their goods and involve money exchanging hands.

On top of that, the growers selling to fair trade programs are also selling on the free market. The free market pays premium for high quality so the best beans are sent to the free market. The leftovers are sent to the "fair trade" market to garner the guaranteed higher-than-market value prices. It has never been easier - or more lucrative - to rape the planet.


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