20070907 Marc Morano’s Round up– Sept 6, 2007
Is carbon-offsetting just eco-enslavement?
Excerpt: If you thought that the era of British bigwigs keeping Indians as personal servants came to an end with the fall of the Raj in 1947, then you must have had a rude awakening last week. In a feature about carbon offsetting in The Times (London), it was revealed that the leader of the UK Conservative Party, David Cameron, offsets his carbon emissions by effectively keeping brown people in a state of bondage. Whenever he takes a flight to some foreign destination, Cameron donates to a carbon-offsetting company that encourages people in the developing world to ditch modern methods of farming in favour of using their more eco-friendly manpower to plough the land. So Cameron can fly around the world with a guilt-free conscience on the basis that, thousands of miles away, Indian villagers, bent over double, are working by hand rather than using machines that emit carbon. Welcome to the era of eco-enslavement. The details of this carbon-offsetting scheme are disturbing. Cameron offsets his flights by donating to Climate Care. The latest wheeze of this carbon-offsetting company is to provide ‘treadle pumps’ to poor rural families in India so that they can get water on to their land without having to use polluting diesel power. Made from bamboo, plastic and steel, the treadle pumps work like ‘step machines in a gym’, according to some reports, where poor family members step on the pedals for hours in order to draw up groundwater which is used to irrigate farmland (1). These pumps were abolished in British prisons a century ago. It seems that what was considered an unacceptable form of punishment for British criminals in the past is looked upon as a positive eco-alternative to machinery for Indian peasants today. What might once have been referred to as ‘back-breaking labour’ is now spun as ‘human energy’. < > Carbon offsetting is not some cowboy activity, or an aberration, or a distraction from ‘true environmentalist goals’ - rather it expresses the very essence of environmentalism. In its project of transforming vast swathes of the developing world into guilt-massaging zones for comfortable Westerners, where trees are planted or farmers’ work is made tougher and more time-consuming in order to offset the activities of Americans and Europeans, carbon offsetting perfectly captures both the narcissistic and anti-development underpinnings of the politics of environmentalism. Where traditional imperialism conquered poor nations in order to exploit their labour and resources, today’s global environmentalist consensus is increasingly using the Third World as a place in which to work out the West’s moral hang-ups. The rise of the carbon-offsetting industry shows that a key driving force behind environmentalism is self-indulgent Western guilt. It is Western consumers’ own discomfort with their sometimes lavish lifestyles - with all those holidays, big homes, fast cars and cheap nutritious foods - that nurtures today’s green outlook, in which consumption has come to be seen as destructive and a new morality of eco-ethics and offsetting (formerly known as penance) has emerged to deal with it (6). It is no accident that the wealthiest people are frequently the most eco-conscious. British environmental campaign groups and publications are peppered with the sons and daughters of the aristocracy, while in America ridiculously super-rich celebrities (Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt) lead the charge for more eco-aware forms of consumption and play. The very nature of carbon offsetting - where the emphasis is on paying money to offset one’s own lifestyle, in much the same way that wealthy people in the Middle Ages would pay for ‘Indulgences’ that forgave them their sins - highlights the individuated and self-regarding streak in the Politics of Being Green. Carbon-offsetting also shines a light on the dangerously anti-development sentiment in environmentalism.
Update: Global Warming Lie of the Day – Debunking warming = more heart attack AP article
Excerpt: We're used to reporters making up scare stories about global warming, but when scientists start to make up "drop dead" headlines, things must really be getting desperate in the climate game. But yesterday, we were told that you'll get a heart attack from global warming. Fortunately, we can look up the original research on the National Library of Science website, and waddayaknow? People die of heart attacks whenever it's really hot. < > So all the retirees who head south to Florida and Arizona are going the wrong way, apparently. Tell ‘em to turn around and head north for Canada or Alaska, where it's nice and cold. Well, not quite. Through the magic of the web you can find more than 15 million biomedical abstracts from the National Library of Medicine, better known as "PubMed." Just go to the PubMed link,
and type in "cardiac temperature extremes". In a second or so you get lots of scientific abstracts, and right on top, from two scientists at Harvard Medical School, we see a study with this conclusion: "Conclusions: we confirmed in a large sample of cities that both cold and hot temperatures increase the mortality risk."
Is anybody surprised? Do you suppose the doctor in Sweden didn't know that more people came into the Emergency Room on cold days?
Hollywood recruits kids to fight climate change
Excerpt: A significant amount of “moral learning” happens during the formative ages — generally beyond pre-school, Anderson explained. Kids roughly 7 and older begin to understand, remember and reflect on serious topics like death — including the Earth’s death. Elementary school students even start becoming interested in political positions. < > “It begins very early,” Anderson said about the connection between the young and animals. “Children by around age 2 really strongly respond to the branding of products.” Smokey the Bear encouraged fire safety with his slogan 'Only you can prevent forest fires. Hit the sticks, Smokey. Snook — along with Mumble, Nanu and Cody — is the new furry friend globally warming the hearts and minds of kids across the country. As Mother Earth stuffs the ballot box in the contest for pop culture prom queen with successful films like “Happy Feet,” “Arctic Tale” and “Surf’s Up,” experts say environmental issues are following the burn pattern of the forest fire, making this generation’s children more nature-friendly and raising their environmental awareness. “Children have always been very sensitive to the plight of animals — way back to ‘Bambi,’” explained Dave Walsh, president of the National Institute on Media and the Family, a research and advocacy organization based in Minneapolis that studies the impact of media on children’s behavior. So penguins and polar bears — those marketable animals among the most obviously affected by the negative impacts of global warming — are the chief mascots for the cause. Walsh, who at age 7 was president of his neighborhood Smokey the Bear club, said that the environment is now Topic A among purveyors of children’s media. “It’s not surprising with all of the recent talk about global warming that people who are creating children’s entertainment would translate that current-event discussion into the impact on animals,” Walsh continued. “Kids aren’t going to relate to the impact on the polar ice cap.” They will, however, relate to their fuzzy penguin pal Mumble (“Happy Feet”) traveling halfway across the world to save his friends and family from starvation, or “Arctic Tale” polar bear Nanu’s arctic home quickly melting away.
Researcher demands apology for professional discourtesy from essayist who claimed climate “consensus
Excerpt: Naomi Oreskes, a historian at the University of California, San Diego, faces questions after an academic researcher formally complained to Chancellor Marye Anne Fox that Oreskes had not read a draft paper by him before thrice publicly accusing him of “misrepresentation”. In 2004 Oreskes, in a Science essay,said none of 928 abstracts of science papers on “global climate change” published between 1993 and 2003 denied the “consensus” that most recent warming was manmade. Al Gore used this finding as the basis for his statement in An Inconvenient Truththat no scientist disagreed with the consensus that “global warming” might prove catastrophic. A widely-publicized statement this week, apparently by Oreskes, said three times that Klaus-Martin Schulte, a surgeon and researcher at King’s College Hospital, London, had misrepresented her. He complains she had not read his paper, which had not criticized her research, and demands an apology for professional discourtesy: “Since no draft of my paper contains the statements attributed to me, the comments which have been made are based not on the paper itself but on media reports about it, though the statement fails to make this clear. Whether or not it was Oreskes who issued the statement, it has been widely publicized and the points made require answers from me.” Schulte, whose draft paper had not in fact criticized Oreskes’ research at all, found that several of 539 papers dated 2004 to early 2007 explicitly reject the “consensus”. Fewer than half endorse it even implicitly. Just one says climate change may prove “catastrophic”. He said: “In every draft of my paper, I was careful to make no comment of any kind on the accuracy or reliability of [Oreskes’] research, still less on whether she regarded anthropogenic ‘global warming’ as serious enough to be potentially catastrophic ... I confined myself to citing figures from her essay merely as a point of comparison.” He added: “I drafted the paper because I had become concerned that patients were being perhaps unduly alarmed by media reports of catastrophic climate change and were coming to harm through resultant stress.” Schulte concludes: “If unanimity existed in the peer-reviewed literature between 1993 and 2003 – which I have reason to doubt – it certainly no longer exists today.”
Open Letter in Response to Namoi Oreskes’ Criticisms - Written by Mr. Klaus-Martin Schulte
Excerpt: My attention has been drawn to what purports to be a statement by Naomi Oreskes, a science historian at the University of California at San Diego, commenting on a forthcoming but not yet finalized paper of mine, an early draft of which was circulated without my authority. Furthermore, since no draft of my paper contains the statements attributed to me by Oreskes, the comments which have been made are based not on the paper itself but on media reports about it, though the statement fails to make this clear. Whether or not it was Oreskes who issued the statement, it has been widely publicized and the points made require answers from me. I shall enumerate the points in the statement, which I shall recite in full and in Roman face. My reply to each point will be in bold face. 1) The Schulte piece is being published in Energy and Environment, a known contrarian journal. It was posted on the minority blog of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, whose leader thinks that global warming is a "hoax." It was circulated on the internet by Marc Morano, a long-standing contrarian and former reporter and producer for the Rush Limbaugh Show, and who was involved in the "swift boat" campaign against John Kerry. I drafted the paper because I had become concerned that patients were being perhaps unduly alarmed by media reports of catastrophic climate change and were coming to harm through resultant stress. Peer-reviewed studies of patients’ views on the subject of climate change had reinforced my concern. The medical journals had also begun commenting on climate change, often in a frankly but not necessarily justifiably alarmist sense. Accordingly, I decided to study the peer-reviewed literature on climate change myself, starting where Oreskes’ essay (Oreskes, 2004) had left off, in January 2004. It was only once the paper was written that a colleague recommended that I should submit it to Energy and Environment, a peer-reviewed journal in good standing. Science, to which it was originally submitted, declined to publish it on the ground that it was not of sufficient interest. I have never had any contact with any member of the US Senate or with his staff. I am neither a “contrarian” nor an “alarmist”. I am an endocrine surgeon with numerous published papers in the medical journals. My sole concern in this debate is the welfare of patients.
New Skeptical DVD Released: Global Warming or Global Governance?
Excerpt: Contrary to what is heard in the media, there is overwhelming evidence that the warming we are experiencing is natural, with maybe a small amount contributed by man’s activities. Nor is there any scientific consensus. The debate is still raging within the scientific community. Sovereignty International has put together interviews of climate scientists and biologists from numerous sources who explain, step by step, why Al Gore and the global warming alarmists are incorrect. In some cases, blatantly so. It also provides evidence that the global warming agenda is being funded with tens of billions of dollars as a mechanism to create global governance. Hear from congressmen, experts and even well-known news broadcasters how global governance puts global institutions that are not accountable to the American people in control of every aspect of our economy. The U.S. government is very close to making this a reality. Very close. Every American, every citizen of the world, needs to hear the other side of the global warming story.
Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers (By Editor and Publisher)
Excerpt: Advocacy has gotten a bad name in modern news media. I would argue that climate change is too important of an issue squander the power of the news media. Newspapers can and should not only educate people about what they can do, but pro-actively lead and encourage behavior change. That will mean setting aside a time-honored journalistic practice -- for this one vital issue. < > There's clearly scientific consensus that humans are altering the planet's climate, and that the effect is accelerating. Stronger hurricanes, melting glaciers and sea ice, worse wildfires and longer fire seasons, more severe droughts and flooding, and more frequent bizarre weather events overall. The few critics of the consensus are a small and shrinking group, who to most observers seem irrelevant. To the mainstream, they may as well be flat-earthers. Why is it, then, that mainstream coverage of climate change is still mired, too often, in he-said, she-said reporting where both "sides" get their time? When the evidence is so overwhelming to support the idea that humans are changing the climate, why should the news industry give the tiny number of skeptics a higher percentage of time within a news report on their viewpoint than they deserve? It's probably not a perfect analogy, but with a tiny number of people in the U.S. supporting polygamy (estimated at 37,000 living in the Western U.S.), news organizations don't tend to give a lot of space to polygamists explaining why their lifestyle is a good thing and should be allowed. (Though polygamists have gotten more press lately, since the hit HBO show "Big Love." The Salt Lake Tribune even has a full-time reporter on the polygamy beat.) At this point, global warming skeptics have little credibility.
Editor’s Note: [“The ‘consensus’ is becoming more and more certain, but it is in favor of climate skeptics. The media is ignoring the fact that 2007 has become the ‘tipping point’ in climate alarmism, as new peer-reviewed science continues to debunk the hyped fears of Gore, Hansen and the UN.” See below Senate report on new scientific studies. ]
New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears
Excerpt: An abundance of new peer-reviewed studies, analysis, and data error discoveries in the last several months has prompted scientists to declare that fear of catastrophic man-made global warming “bites the dust” and the scientific underpinnings for alarm may be “falling apart.” The latest study to cast doubt on climate fears finds that even a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would not have the previously predicted dire impacts on global temperatures. This new study is not unique, as a host of recent peer-reviewed studies have cast a chill on global warming fears. “Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming bites the dust,” declared astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson after reviewing the new study which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Another scientist said the peer-reviewed study overturned “in one fell swoop” the climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore. < > Meteorologist Joseph Conklin, who launched the skeptical website www.ClimatePolice.com in 2007, recently declared the “global warming movement [is] falling apart.” “A few months ago, a study came out that demonstrated global temperatures have leveled off. But instead of possibly admitting that this whole global warming thing is a farce, a group of British scientists concluded that the real global warming won’t start until 2009,” Conklin wrote in an August 10, 2007 blog post on his website.
Critical column on Editor & Publisher’s call for abandoning 'objectivity' stance on climate reporting
Excerpt: A column last week in Editor and Publisher called on newspapers to abandon the posture of objectivity and become active advocates for the cause of anthropogenic global warming alarmism. The pretense of objectivity has, of course, been fundamental to the self-image of most mainstream media. But Steve Outing writes:...there's clearly scientific consensus that humans are altering the planet's climate, and that the effect is accelerating. Stronger hurricanes, melting glaciers and sea ice, worse wildfires and longer fire seasons, more severe droughts and flooding, and more frequent bizarre weather events overall. The few critics of the consensus are a small and shrinking group, who to most observers seem irrelevant. To the mainstream, they may as well be flat-earthers. Why is it, then, that mainstream coverage of climate change is still mired, too often, in he-said, she-said reporting where both "sides" get their time? When the evidence is so overwhelming to support the idea that humans are changing the climate, why should the news industry give the tiny number of skeptics a higher percentage of time within a news report on their viewpoint than they deserve? Mr. Outing needs to get out more. The shaky foundations of the models of the alarmists are being exposed, and important highly respected climatologists do not agree with the anthropogenic hypothesis. This call to become outright propagandists demonstrates the weakness of the advocates' case.
Paleoclimate Scientist Bob Carter Calls Media ‘Flacks for Alarmists’
Excerpt: The BBC's "line" is self-evident to any independent and trained scientist who watches its coverage. It is to reproduce, without a trace of critical analysis, the alarmist utterances of a bevy of self-interested, self-perpetuating scientists and science agencies, environmental pressure groups and "significant" politicians (Tony Blair, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bob Brown), while at the same time ignoring or paying the most passing of lip service to any independent scientists or "insignificant" politicians (President Vaclav Klaus, Czech Republic; Senator James Inhofe, US Senate; Dennis Jensen, Australian Parliament) who try to inject some critical analysis into the debate.
Kennedy's stance on project generates an ill wind
Excerpt: Once upon a time, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy could count on his daily dose of veneration. The right wing hated the Massachusetts Democrat, but progressives honored him as a defender of old-school liberalism. In a remarkable turnaround, liberals are now heaping scorn on the 73-year-old senator. Young audiences boo at his name, and the leftish Daily Show on Comedy Central makes fun of him. The source of unhappiness is Kennedy's effort to kill an offshore wind farm on Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind was to be the first such project in the United States and a source of pride to environmentally minded New Englanders. Polls indicate that 84 percent of Massachusetts residents are in favor. But now it appears that the country's first offshore wind farm will be near Galveston, Texas. Proposed the month before Sept. 11, 2001, Cape Wind has been frustrated at every turn by a handful of yachtsmen, Kennedy included, who don't want to see windmills from their verandas. Many millions have been spent spreading disinformation and smearing the wind farm's supporters. The towers would be barely visible from shore on the clearest day, but the summer plutocrats resent any intrusion on their vistas. "But don't you realize - that's where I sail!" may stand as Kennedy's most self-incriminating quote.
Top astrophysicist Nir Shaviv: The Inconvenient Truth about the Ice Core Carbon Dioxide Temperature Correlations
Excerpt: One of the “scientific” highlights in Al Gore’s movie is the discussion about the clear correlation between CO2 and temperature, as is obtained in ice cores. To quote, he says the following when discussing the ice-core data (about 40 mins after the beginning for the film): “The relationship is actually very complicated but there is one relationship that is far more powerful than all the others and it is this. When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer, because it traps more heat from the sun inside.” Any laymen will understand from this statement that the ice-cores demonstrate a causal link, that higher amounts of CO2 give rise to higher temperatures. Of course, this could indeed be the case, and to some extent, it necessarily is. However, can this conclusion really be drawn from this graph? Can one actually say anything at all about how much CO2 affects the global temperature? To the dismay of Al Gore, the answer is that this graph doesn’t prove at all that CO2 has any effect on the global temperature. The main evidence proving that CO2 does not control the climate, but at most can play a second fiddle by just amplifying the variations already present, is that of lags. In all cases where there is a good enough resolution, one finds that the CO2 lags behind the temperature by typically several hundred to a thousand years.
Carbon Dioxide: The Houdini of Gases (By Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo & Alan Siddons)
Excerpt: How long does carbon dioxide linger in the air? This is actually an important question, a question of so-called residence time. As previously discussed on this http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2_study.pdf
studies compiled by geologist Tom Segalstad rather convincingly show that earth’s biological and chemical processes recycle CO2 within a decade, meaning that a CO2 molecule you’re exhaling at the moment is bound to be captured by a plant or a rock or the ocean just a few years from now. Yet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other authorities insist that carbon dioxide generally remains in the air for up to 200 years. Who to believe? We’ll present some evidence http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CarbonDioxide_Final.pdf
and you be the judge. See also this recent http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=433b593b-6637-4a42-970b-bdef8947fa4e
UN Concedes Antarctica not melting due to “the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region.”
Excerpt: The ice caps are melting – right? If you visit thousands of websites on climate change, watch Gore’s film or many similar documentaries, you would be left with no doubt that the icecaps are warming and melting at an unprecedented rate. However, with respect to Antarctica, you might be surprised when you examine what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says in their 2007 Summary for Policymakers. Believe it or not, IPCC reports “Antarctic sea ice extent continues to show inter-annual variability and localized changes but no statistically significant average trends, consistent with the lack of warming reflected in atmospheric temperatures averaged across the region.” Furthermore, they note “Current global model studies project that the Antarctic ice sheet will remain too cold for widespread surface melting and is expected to gain in mass due to increased snowfall.” A major article on this subject appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Climate by William Chapman and John Walsh of the University of Illinois. The two scientists extensively review the literature on temperature trends in Antarctica and conclude “These studies are essentially unanimous in their finding that the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed since the 1950s, when many of the surface stations were established.” They note “Recent summaries of station data show that, aside from the Antarctic Peninsula and the McMurdo area, one is hard-pressed to argue that warming has occurred, even at the Antarctic coastal stations away from the peninsula and McMurdo.” Furthermore, they write “Recent attempts to broaden the spatial coverage of temperature estimates have shown a similar lack of evidence of spatially widespread warming.” We completely agree having covered this http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/category/climate-changes/polar/antarctic/
at World Climate Report many times in the past – there is some warming in Antarctica but it is largely confined to the relatively small peninsula extending away from the bulk of the continent and is largely confined to the winter season (see below – the Antarctic Peninsula extends toward to southern tip of South America).
BBC CLIMATE BIAS AND THE POWER OF BLOGGERS
Excerpt: The BBC claims it scrapped Planet Relief because audiences 'prefer factual output on climate change'. This is a non-sequitor of course, because the BBC's factual programmes on climate change are every bit as biased as Planet Relief promised to be. The real reason for the decision appears to be that the BBC realises the public is becoming sick of hysterical media coverage of the subject, as the failure of Live Earth demonstrated, so the BBC has decided it can have more influence on public opinion by dressing its editorialising up as 'factual' programming. Not surprisingly, environmentalists have slammed the BBC's decision as "cowardice", (damn, foiled by those pesky well-funded deniers again!). The report adds: "A number of right-wing commentators such as the Daily Mail's Keith Waterhouse also criticised the idea." The writer, environment correspondent and global warming doomsayer Richard Black, is clearly allowing his frustration to get to him here. You'll notice that you'll rarely, if ever, see a commentator referred to as 'left-wing' by the BBC. Interestingly, however, Black adds that 'Many blogs run by climate skeptics groups regularly accuse the BBC of bias', and I think this is the really interesting point in all of this. Bloggers, have, of course been at the forefront of the resistance to claims that the debate is over, and have enabled research by skeptical scientists, which previously would have been confined to science magazines and easily suppressed by a hostile media, to be seen by millions. Another area where bloggers have led the way is in exposing media bias. A few years ago it was almost impossible for the public to complain about biased reporting by the BBC. You could write to them, or phone them, and your complaint would be duly noted before disappearing into the system. Only a few 'right-wing' journalists and Tory MPs were able to draw attention to dishonest or misleading reports with any effect. Blogs have changed all that, and brought together thousands of people who have been quietly seething at the BBC for years, but felt they were powerless to do anything about it; complaints about bias now appear daily, both on dedicated 'Beeb-watch' sites and mainstream blogs, and every omission, half-truth and lie is quickly thrown back in the faces of those responsible. There are clearly decent people in the BBC who are truly committed to impartiality, but I think we can chalk this one up to the bloggers.
[Note: Is there no story too absurd for promoters of global warming?]
Global warming threatens Indonesia's Borobudur temple
Excerpt: "We are racing against the weather," Sutopo said. "Changing climate will have an impact on temple conservation efforts. Warmer temperature could theoretically cause more fissures and cracks in the stones," he said, adding that acid rain has already eroded many of the reliefs.
Al Gore Readying New Environmental Book
Excerpt: For those frightened by the tale of global warming in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," and wondering what can be done, the former vice president has an answer: a sequel. Gore is working on a new environmental book, "The Path to Survival," that will be released as a paperback original on April 22, 2008, Earth Day. According to publisher Rodale Books, Gore will continue where he left off in "An Inconvenient Truth" and offer "a visionary blueprint for the changes we should make as a world community." "He (Gore) explains how making bold choices now to protect our environment will also create new jobs, propel sustainable economic improvements, and inspire a new generation to tackle our most challenging issues with moral leadership," according to a statement issued Wednesday by Rodale. "Part scientific manual, part expose, part visionary call for a new planet-wide political movement, the book will appeal to those who were motivated by the call to action of `An Inconvenient Truth' and who are now ready to fight for the solutions that were considered politically impossible only a short time ago." Rodale publisher Liz Perl told The Associated Press that no movie version is currently planned for "The Path to Survival." "An Inconvenient Truth" was released as a feature film in 2006 and won the Academy Award for best documentary. The companion book, also a paperback original, topped The New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction paperbacks. http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/entertainment/other/20070905_ap_algorereadyingnewenvironmentalbook.html
SUV Hypocrisy, Part II: The Quest For Sanity | Editorial Blog at Motor Trend
Excerpt: Our elected officials, though, don't agree. They make grandiose statements about hydrogen highways (Ah-nold), turning in your SUV (Edwards), and drying your laundry on a clothesline (Al Gore) so you can save the earth while they themselves are guzzling 20 times the national average in home energy (as Gore did in 2006 at his sprawling Tennessee estate). Then, when the reporters are looking, they wheel out a hybrid vehicle and a Greenpeace T-shirt and claim that "climate change" is "the most important moral, ethical, spiritual, and political issue humankind has ever faced." Baloney. "Climate change" is humankind's "fear du jour." I hate to break it to you, but the end of the world has been imminent for centuries. In 234 A.D., the renowned Roman theologian Hippolytus boldly calculated that the world had just 200 years left. From 1012-1014 a series of natural disasters in Germany led many to believe the world was "returning to its original chaos." By 1850, American pundits were predicting that the country would soon go dark as it ran out of whale oil (instead, in 1859, a railroad conductor struck oil in Pennsylvania). In 1968, Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich predicted, in his bestselling book The Population Bomb, that "in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death," that nothing could be done to avoid mass famine greater than any in history, and that radical action was needed to limit overpopulation (instead, without implementing any of Ehrlich's suggestions, world food production grew at an exponentially higher rate than the population). And now it's global warming that's going to kill us all off.
[Your tax dollars at work?] A Fish Tale: Federal effort to restore endangered trout has been using wrong fish
Excerpt: A new study led by University of Colorado researchers says federal and state biologists trying to restore the endangered greenback cutthroat trout the last two decades have been using the wrong fish. Researchers say genetic tests show that five of the nine populations believed to be remnants of the greenback were actually the more common Colorado River cutthroat trout. The study, published online Aug. 28 in Molecular Ecology, says the results imply that more than two decades of trying to save the greenback from extinction haven't improved the species' status. Bruce Rosenlund of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Denver says federal and state biologists will allow the scientific process to play out. Other researchers will review the study and see if the results can be reproduced.
Ban wood-burning fireplaces?
Excerpt: Every so often, readers will call to pitch an idea for a cause they believe I will champion. Such is the case with a caller who left this message: “I was wondering if you would consider writing a column on fireplace burning, especially on nights when the weatherman says it's cool enough and you can leave your windows open. You know, "great sleeping weather.' Inevitably, certain people will use the cool night weather as an excuse to light a fire and snuggle next to a fireplace. “The fumes fill the neighborhood and your bedroom and you can't leave your windows open. Maybe we need a ban on fireplace burning. I live in Levittown. It's getting really bad around here. But I was wondering if you would consider writing about this.” Fireplaces cause “fumes” and give people an excuse to “snuggle”? Outrageous! You are onto something, caller. Wood-burning fireplaces should be banned. Let me make the case, beginning with the “fumes” issue first. Who can stand the smell of wood smoke wafting through the neighborhood, especially on a crisp autumn day? Why, the next thing you know, a person might find himself digging through the garage for the football, calling his kids outside, tossing the football, having fun, and this inevitably puts him in a good mood. But he should not be in a good mood! This is because he and his children are inhaling noxious fireplace fumes, which are loaded with grimy “particulates” that cause cancer, asthma and sleepless nights for grumpy neighbors. Why, I wouldn't be surprised if wood-burning fireplaces also cause global warming, cancer clusters, men who wear flip-flops while shopping, and other planetary plagues. Now for the “snuggling” issue. Lighting a fire naturally leads to this. In some cases, people are tempted to open a bottle of wine, recline in front of the crackling flames, and drink the wine. This leads to something even worse than snuggling — drunken snuggling! And, dear caller, I think we know what kind of hanky-panky that leads to. We need to lead Bucks County in the movement to ban wood-burning, planet-killing, snuggle-inducing fireplaces. I suggest you and I form an environmental awareness group. We can call it “Fireplaces Are Really Terrible” and put the acronym on bumper stickers. < > If people miss the sound of real wood crackling, we can have them download fireplace sound effects from our Web site. With digital quality sound, is there really a difference? Sure, when Christmas comes, people may have to sing “Chestnuts Roasting on a Phony Fire.”
To cancel out the CO2 of a return flight to India, it will take one poor villager three years of pumping water by foot. So is carbon offsetting the best way to ease your conscience?
Excerpt: Climate Care says that it has offset a million tonnes of carbon since it was founded ten years ago. It has just made the claim that it will sell enough offsets to neutralise 1 per cent of carbon emissions in Britain next year. But it was targeted last week by activists dressed as “red herrings”, who delivered fish to its Oxford premises. “Climate Care are misleading the public, making them believe that offsetting does some good,” said Joss Garman, a protester. “It’s like being a member of the RSPCA then going home and kicking a dog.” Visitors to the company website are invited to offset their greenhouse gas emissions after consulting a “carbon calculator”. A return flight from Manchester to Tenerife is measured at 0.65 tonnes of CO2 . That will be £4.91. But the treadle pump initiative raises the moral predicament of offsetting: decadent Westerners paying for their pollution to be neutralised by people in developing countries. “That particular project is an outrage because it’s so exploitative,” said Jutta Kill, of the green campaigning organisation Fern. “It’s just disgraceful.” Customers of the Cooperative Bank will soon be making payments towards Indian peasants’ “human energy”, as Climate Care calls it. The bank is marketing mortgages with a built-in “donation to Climate Care” equivalent to a fifth of the CO2 emissions of a typical British home. Publicity from Climate Care claims that a treadle pump saves 0.65 tonnes of carbon a year, the amount that would have been emitted had the farmers used diesel. The pumps are part of a programme run by IDE-I, the respected Indian poverty relief organisation, and funded by charities and governments. They appear to have been designed to help families who cannot afford to buy a diesel pump. But an independent study of treadle pumps in a village in Uttar Pradesh found that families there had previously hired a diesel pump for a maximum 30 hours per year. That suggests each was emitting 0.03 tonnes of carbon at most, nothing like the claimed savings suggested by Climate Care. The company admits openly that it claims that the leg pumps save carbon, even if the farmers previously did little or no diesel pumping.
Documentary claims weak sun has masked global warming
Excerpt: It seems that we've been lulled into complacency by Solar Dimming. http://tinyurl.com/2ryz6o
The True Impact of AGW has actually been disguised, you see, because the sun has been getting dimmer. And if it undims itself, look out, Nellie! To make matters worse, all our efforts to clean the atmosphere of particulate matter have removed a significant factor of negative forcing (am I getting the jargon right, pliny?) In other words, by clarifying the atmosphere, we've actually accelerated Global Warming. Ooops.
Former Sec. of State George P. Shultz calls for carbon taxes
Excerpt: We in the United States -- and we as global citizens -- live in what is, in many respects, a golden moment. Economic growth is globally strong, and, if security threats can be contained, this expansion, with some ups and downs, can be sustained. < > In many respects, a straight-out carbon tax is simpler and likelier to produce the desired result. If the tax were offset by cuts elsewhere to make it revenue-neutral, acceptability would be enhanced. Do not expect http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/China?tid=informline, http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/India?tid=informline and other developing countries to accept what amounts to a cap on economic growth. They will not -- and cannot -- do that. We must create market incentives for them to cut emissions while continuing to grow and find actions that are economically feasible in a relatively low-income environment. We may also need to give them extra time, even allowing some short-term emissions growth, before requiring them to reduce their emissions.
Global warming faces popular backlash
Excerpt: Further evidence that global warming enthusiasts have jumped the shark comes with the box office disaster experienced by Leonardo DiCaprio's film 11th Hour. Roger Friedman of Foxnews.com http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,295768,00.html
(hat tip: Drudge):
The 11th Hour has been a total bust at the box office. After 18 days in release, the film has grossed only $417,913 from ticket sales. The 90-minute snore-fest is playing on 111 screens this week, but that number is likely to be reduced this Friday. The film will be sent to DVD heaven after that. By comparison, Al Gore and Davis Guggenheim's similar but far more engaging http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,295768,00.html
“An Inconvenient Truth" had already made $3.5 million by its 18th day of release. < > Arguing that no further discussion is allowed because the science is "established" and time is of the essence is as bad as the telephone scripts employed by boiler room salesmen peddling collectible coin sets and obscure "hot" stocks traded on the Vancouver Stock Exchange. I wonder how many years it will require for global warming's snake oil faction to become ashamed of their role in pushing their dogma with their chosen methods. The public seems to have caught on, judging by the box office surprise Leo got, not to mention all the empty seats at various Live Aid concerts. By the way, have you seen Al Gore in the news recently? I haven't. Maybe he and his obsession have become what Variety used to call "B.O. Poison".
Senator Kit Bond Challenges Lieberman/Warner Bill for costs to economy
Excerpt: An outspoken Senate conservative yesterday challenged an effort by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) to find compromise in the global warming debate, claiming their recent proposal to curb heat-trapping emissions would crimp the U.S. economy.
In a http://www.eenews.net/features/documents/2007/09/05/document_daily_01.pdf
letter to his colleagues, Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) criticized key sections of a draft bill Lieberman and Warner circulated before the August recess and insisted the legislation would "impose hardships on U.S. citizens and threaten robust growth in the U.S. economy."Bond also suggested the senators add a blanket pre-emption that would eliminate all state and regional global warming policies, including efforts in California and the Northeast. And Bond called for a "liability shield" to protect power plant owners from lawsuits if they go ahead with plans to capture and store underground large amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions. Diving further into the details of a proposed cap-and-trade program to curb emissions, Bond questioned why Lieberman and Warner would give away about 70 percent of the pollution credits for free to power companies and other industrial sectors but offer no allowances to transportation, which contributes about a third of U.S. emissions. "These allocations are arbitrary on their face," Bond wrote. Bond, a senior member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, typically provides a reliable "no" vote when the panel considers strict new environmental legislation. Yet the senator's letter appears to spell out what it would take to win him over in the debate over global warming legislation. A Bond spokeswoman insisted the letter should not be seen as an offer to negotiate.
http://www.eenews.net/EEDaily/2007/09/05/archive/3?terms=bond (subscription required) Greenwire September 5, 2007
Flashback: Reality Check: Lieberman-Warner Climate Bill Seeks New Federal Bureaucracy Modeled after Federal Reserve
Excerpt: Under the senators' plan, companies faced with mandatory pollution cuts could borrow with interest against their future requirements should the carbon price persist beyond Congressional Budget Office estimates. If the borrowing does not work, more allowances would be temporarily released into the market with the caveat that future pollution requirements get tougher. Under the measure, a new seven-member Carbon Market Efficiency Board would have direct oversight of the system. Bill supporters explained yesterday the presidentially appointed board would operate in many ways like the Federal Reserve monitors inflation, interest rates and the overall U.S. economy. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) offered a more critical perspective on the cost plan. "Constructing new federal bureaucracies like the proposed 'Carbon Market Efficiency Board' will do nothing to alter the climate or solve the economic issues," said Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Inhofe cited Massachusetts Institute of Technology climate scientist Richard Lindzen, who said in March, "Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat's dream. If you control carbon, you control life."
(Subscription required) Greenwire July 24, 2007
Transcript: Bjorn Lomborg Debunks Numerous Popular Myths About Global Warming
Excerpt: Author of the brand new book, "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming." < > Global warming, unfortunately, I think, has very easily become somewhat of a religion almost, you could say, where the answer to any problem you can come up with is cut CO2. Sometimes it's a good idea, but sometimes it's not.
Israel accused of the “crime” of ignoring global warming (Wall Street Journal - 9-3-07)
Excerpt: There was Clare Short, a member of the British Parliament and Secretary for International Development under Prime Minister Tony Blair until she resigned in 2003 over the Iraq war. Claiming that Israel is actually "much worse than the original apartheid state" and accusing it of "killing (Palestinian) political leaders," Ms. Short charged the Jewish state with the ultimate crime: Israel "undermines the international community's reaction to global warming." According to Ms. Short, the Middle East conflict distracts the world from the real problem: man-made climate change. If extreme weather will lead to the "end of the human race," as Ms. Short warned it could, add this to the list of the crimes of Israel.
Gore’s Live Earth Flop Prompts BBC to Scrap Global Warming Special
Excerpt: On July 12, NewsBusters asked, "Did Live Earth's Flop Reduce Media Interest in Global Warming?" Two months later, the BBC has scrapped "Planet Relief," a proposed day-long special about climate change, specifically citing the failure of Al Gore's international concerts as one of the reasons for the cancellation. How delicious. As reported by England's Times Online Wednesday (h/t NB reader Chris Stacy, emphasis added throughout): The BBC announced today that the project has been scrapped. Negative reaction to this summer's flop Live Earth concert, promoted by Al Gore, the former US Vice-President, was cited as a factor. Viewers told the BBC to present the debate around climate change in an informed and rigorous manner. They did not want to be lectured by wealthy pop stars and celebrities. How marvelous.
EU climate flight plans 'deluded'
Excerpt: European Union proposals to reduce the climate impact of flying will not work, a report concludes. The EU plans to include aviation in its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
But analysts at the Tyndall Centre, a prestigious UK climate research body, say this will have minimal effect without a major rise in carbon prices. Friends of the Earth (FoE) which funded the study wants mandatory efficiency goals for aircraft, tax on aviation fuel and curbs on airport expansion. "We delude ourselves if we believe the proposed framing of the EU ETS is in keeping with the EU's own and repeated commitment to limit climate change to a 2C (3.6F) rise," said Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre's energy programme. "The current aviation ETS proposal must be significantly strengthened so as to drive down emission growth rates and force the adoption of more efficient aircraft technologies and operation." Priced too low The ETS began operating in 2005. Current plans call for inclusion of flights within Europe by 2011, extending a year later to all flights originating or ending on the continent. Tyndall and FoE believe this would be too late. By 2012, they say, carbon emissions from aviation will have increased by at least 25%. Another criticism is that the current price of carbon is too low to make any impact on flying.
Dog walking 'harms bird populations'
Excerpt: People walking their dogs could be inadvertently harming the local bird populations, Australian research has suggested. Dog walking, whether on or off the lead, through a natural area caused a 35 per cent reduction in bird species and a 41 per cent decline in individual species. Researchers from the University of New South Wales conducted the study over concerns in Australia about predators and the impact on bird populations in bushy areas near the Sydney suburbs. The university's Dr Peter Banks told the Today programme that although the team expected to find dogs having an effect, they were "quite surprised at the magnitude of the impact". "There had been a few studies which had shown that dogs off the lead, if they go and chase a bird, a curlew or some other water bird, and pursued the bird obviously the bird will leave its nest and it may actually do that permanently," he said. "But ... it was actually the dogs on leads [causing problems]; they weren't able to pursue the birds and still the birds were seeing them and taking flight."
Rabid bear killed after attacking Maryland home and wrestling with occupants
Excerpt: A rabid black bear trying to rip out a window air conditioner lost its tug-of-war with a terrified housewife when her husband blasted the beast with a shotgun, the woman and a state wildlife official said today. The bear rushed the house after Charlotte Stanton yelled out her screen door to try to scare it away from a goat pen. Stanton, 39, of rural Grantsville in Garrett County, said she was losing her tussle with the 134-pound sow when Michael Stanton pulled the trigger. "I finally yelled at my husband, because I couldn't hold on to that air conditioner much longer," she said. "It seemed like forever, but I'm sure it was just seconds." The load of buckshot didn't kill the bear, which lay bleeding and moaning in the yard of the western Maryland home for about 30 minutes Aug. 29 before a state Natural Resources Police officer arrived to dispatch it. All four family members -- including daughter Caitlin, 10, and son James Winebrenner, 15 -- will receive a series of rabies shots because of their exposure to the animal's blood and saliva, Mrs. Stanton said. "We cleaned up the blood and stuff from the house," she said today in a telephone interview. "All of us had pretty much blood on us." Michael Stanton, 49, won't be charged with a wildlife violation because the state allows killing bears out of season to defend people and livestock, The Cumberland Times-News reported. The bear was the first known case of a rabid black bear in Maryland, said Harry Spiker, who heads the state's bear management program. Rabid bears have been confirmed in Pennsylvania and Canada, he said
Airline sacrifices goats to appease sky god
Excerpt: Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday. Nepal Airlines, which has two Boeing aircraft, has had to suspend some services in recent weeks due the problem. The goats were sacrificed in front of the troublesome aircraft Sunday at Nepal's only international airport in Kathmandu in accordance with Hindu traditions, an official said. "The snag in the plane has now been fixed and the aircraft has resumed its flights," said Raju K.C., a senior airline official, without explaining what the problem had been.